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Americans go to poll today Obama leads in early results

A Obama

Romney

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mericans will decide today who rules them for another four years from January 20, 2013 between the incumbent President Barack Obama of the Democrat Party

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and Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate. Four years ago, long before the election, pundits were clearly able to predict where the pendulum of CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Tuesday, November June 7, 2011 6, 2012

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Jonathan summons govs over oil wells dispute Stop media war, President warns I’m not interested in 2015 presidency –Amaechi

ROTIMI FADEYI AND CHINEDUM EMEANA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday summoned to Abuja Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson and his Rivers State counterpart, Rotimi Amaechi, over the escalating oil wells dispute between the two states. President Jonathan also yesterday told Amaechi and Dickson to stop the provocative exchanges in the media. The fresh meeting, scheduled to take place at the Presidential Villa, will CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Police intercept bomb-laden car in Abuja P.7

A cross section of newly-sworn in Justices of the Court of Appeal in Abuja,yesterday.

Appeal Court: CJN stops swearing-in of female justice

Oyo drops three commissioners, swaps six others Amosun reshuffles cabinet, creates new ministries P.8,9

PHOTO: NAN

Controversy over state of origin Ajimobi

Okonjo-Iweala defends $9.3bn fresh debt

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News

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Appeal Court: CJN stops swearing-in of female justice ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he swearing-in ceremony of newly-appointed justices of the Court of Appeal by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, yesterday ended on a controversial note. This is sequel to the 11thhour removal of Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo from the list of the justices approved for elevation by both the National Judicial Council, NJC, and President Goodluck Jonathan. The Supreme Court had last week released a list of 12 justices for the swearingin ceremony, including Justice Jombo-Ofo. National Mirror gathered yesterday that Justice Jumbo-Ofo was dropped on the strength of a petition against her which claimed that the state she is to represent, (Abia) on the Appeal Court bench is not her state of origin. Jombo-Ofo was appointed a high court judge on November 4, 1998 following her call to the Bar in 1979. She was representing Abia State where she had served for many years after her marriage to Mr. Jombo-Ofo, an indigene of the state.

She was originally from Anambra State before her marriage and subsequently transferred her service from her home state to her husband’s state of Abia. Those behind the petition were reported to have mounted intense pressure and arm twisting techniques to foil her elevation to the appellate court. Efforts by the state governor, Theodore Orji, who was at the ceremony to save Justice Jumbo-Ofo failed. Besides his presence at the ceremony, it was gathered that the governor had written a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria last Saturday confirming the indigenship of Justice Jumbo-Ofo, who had served in the Abia State judiciary in the last 14 years and also affirmed that her name was indeed sent by the state government as one of the state’s candidates for elevation to the appellate court. Governor Orji urged the CJN to disregard the petition or allegation against her indegenship and swear her in. National Mirror reports that a serving justice of the Supreme Court, who found herself in a similar situation, was not dropped by the Supreme Court, when she got elevated to the apex

court bench. Just last Wednesday, Justice Olufunlola Adekeye, in her retirement speech from the Supreme Court bench, had implored the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Chief Judges of the states, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to review the policy that married women cannot reach the peak of their career in their husband’s state of origin. Adekeye noted that complaints of this nature were becoming increasingly rampant within the judi-

ciary and stated that most women transfer their services to the state of origin of their husbands immediately after their marriage which, according to her, is logical and in compliance with the tenets of marriage that the two spouses shall become one. The retired jurist regretted that whenever there is vacancy at the top in the husband’s state of origin, the woman will be denied the post and there and then referred to her own state of origin, after climbing the ladder and putting so many years in service. An indi-

gene of the state will then be fished out to take the position. She further observed that the woman would have hurdles to cross in her own state of origin as she did not work there and the authorities in her state of origin will not be in a position to assess her suitability for the post properly. “It is my view that during the existence of her marriage, the name of her husband must qualify and make her eligible to reach the peak of her career in her husband’s state. I think it is unconstitutional as

well as discriminatory to deprive her of her promotion in her acquired state as a citizen of Nigeria, by virtue of Section 42 of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” Section 42 of the constitution provides as follows: (1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person: (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Big canoes serving as homes for some families in Ogodobiri in Bopmadi Local Government Area of Delta State, after severe flooding swept away their homes six weeks ago, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Jonathan summons govs over oil wells dispute CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

be attended by leaders of the affected communities and stakeholders. In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati, President Jonathan expressed concern over the development. The President noted that “the media war was unbecoming, unnecessary and unhelpful.” President Jonathan urged the two governors and leaders of the affected communities to ensure that no inciting comments were made again “to pollute the right atmosphere for constructive dialogue and brotherly reconciliation” for the amicable resolution of the dispute. Part of the statement reads: “The Presidency has noted with concern the rather unbecoming, unnecessary and unhelpful comments by the Bayelsa and Rivers State governments

over the rightful ownership of some oil wells. “The Presidency believes that this media war, which appears to be escalating with each passing day, can only hinder and negate efforts already initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan to achieve an amicable resolution of the dispute in the best interest of the affected communities, the two states and the nation.” President Jonathan, therefore, asked the governors to create the right atmosphere for the successful conclusion of the peace process by ordering an immediate stoppage of all acrimonious public comments against each other over the dispute. “Having already had very useful discussions with the Rivers State Governor and Kalabari elders over the weekend, President Jonathan intends to take the process forward at another scheduled meeting

at 11a.m. at the Presidential Villa on November 9, 2012 with the governors of the two states, leaders of the affected communities and all concerned stakeholders. “President Jonathan consequently urges the two governors and leaders of the affected communities to ensure that no further spiteful or inciting comments are made against each other to pollute the right atmosphere for constructive dialogue and brotherly reconciliation, which he is striving to promote for the amicable resolution of the dispute,” the statement added. On Saturday, President Jonathan met with Amaechi, monarchs and elders of the Kalabari Kingdom over the oil wells in dispute. Amaechi, along with Kalabari monarchs and elders, had alleged that there were plans to cede the five oil wells in Soku and ElemSangna to Bayelsa with the

connivance of the Presidency. Following this allegations, the monarchs and elders took to the streets of Abuja where they staged a peaceful protest last week Monday. But not pleased that his name was dragged into the issue, President Jonathan decided to invite Amaechi and the monarchs to a meeting to express his mind on the issue. At the end of the closeddoor meeting, which lasted for about two hours, His Royal Highness, Disrel Gbobo Bob Manuel II, Amanayabo of Abunneme, who represented the Amanayabo of Kalabari, in an interview with State House correspondents expressed happiness over the invitation of the President. On the allegation that Amaechi was orchestrating the protest, Bob-Manuel said it would be wrong to make such allegation as it

has nothing to do with the state governor, stressing that the Kalabari nation were not well treated and decided to come out and state their minds. Prior to the meeting, the Presidency had last Tuesday denied insinuations by the Kalabari National Forum and some monarchs that he was behind the border disputes between Rivers and Bayelsa states, with him allegedly behind plans to cede the five Rivers State oil communities to Bayelsa. It described the allegations as irresponsible and most unfortunate especially coming from people believed to be respectable in the society. Meanwhile, Amaechi has said he had no plans to contest the 2015 presidential election as a running mate to his Jigawa State counterpart, Sule Lamido. The governor disclosed that he had never been part of any meeting to discuss

the idea. Amaechi denounced reports connecting him to the 2015 presidency while briefing the press at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday. He said he heard rumours that the border adjustment and oil wells controversy involving the state was part of plans to emasculate him because of his supposed ambition for the Presidency in 2015. The governor, who spoke on the matter in response to a question from a reporter, appealed for understanding from President Goodluck Jonathan who, according to him, has directed governments of Bayelsa and Rivers states to stop speaking to the press on the matter. He pleaded with those fighting him because of his supposed personal ambition for 2015. The governor said they should not deprive the state CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Good Health

SAM EFERARO

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ant to have a good memory? Try moving your eyes from side-side for 30 seconds continually and you won’t have problems recalling events or words. According to researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in England, such eye movement promotes better memory formation as it triggers interaction between the brain’s hemispheres, a crucial process for recalling certain types of memory. Previous studies have suggested that horizontal eye movements improve how well people recall specific words they have just seen. The Manchester Metropolitan University researchers led by Andrew Parker in their study wanted to know whether such eye movements might also help people to recognize words they have just seen. In the study, 102 participants listened to 150 words, organised into ten themes (e.g. types of vehicle), read by a male voice. Next, 34 of these participants moved their eyes left and right in time with a horizontal target for thirty seconds (saccadic eye movements); 34 participants moved their eyes up and down in time with a vertical target; the remaining participants stared straight ahead, focussed on a stationary target. After the eye movements, all the participants listened to a mixture of words: 40 they’d heard before, 40 completely unrelated new words, and 10 words that were new but which matched one of the original themes. In each case, the participants had to say which words they’d heard before, and which were new. The participants who had performed sideways eye movements performed better in all respects than the others: they correctly recognised more of the old words as old, and more of the new words as new. Crucially, they were fooled less often by the new words whose meaning matched one of the original themes - that is they correctly recognised more of them as new. This is important because mistakenly identifying one of these ‘lures’ as an old word is taken as a laboratory measure of false memory.

Move your eyes, increase your memory

Bilateral eye movements enhance memory

The performance of the participants who moved their eyes vertically, or who stared ahead, did not differ from each other. “Bilateral eye movements appear to enhance true memory and decrease the extent to which subjects rely or make use of gist based false memory”, the researchers said. “The movements could be helping people identify the true source of their memories,” said Stephen Christman, a psychologist at the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA, who was not involved in the study, published in a recent issue of the journal Brain and Cognition. Another team of researchers at the Washington University, St. Louis, USA, believe such eye exercises could even be more beneficial to people who are right handed. The team, in the study established some evidence showing that making 30 seconds of bilateral eye movements improves memory in young

adults who are “strongly right-handed.” According to this team led by Carilyn Dufault, given that attention and eye movements share many overlapping neural mechanisms, it is possible that bilateral shifts of covert visual attention may have similarly beneficial effects on memory. The team’s study showed that strongly right-handed students remembered significantly more words if they moved their eyes compared to keeping their eyes still. Nonstrongly-right-handed students (including left-handers) remembered the same number of words regardless of whether they moved their eyes before the test. But there’s another aspect to memory: how many words did respondents incorrectly think they had seen? Strongly right-handed students had significantly fewer false alarms after they moved their eyes back and forth. But for nonstrongly-right-handed people, the reverse

occurred; moving their eyes caused them to falsely remember more words. So overall, while the eye-saccade exercise helped righthanders, for lefties and for those who didn’t have a strongly dominant hand, the exercise actually harmed their performance. The researchers however discovered that left handers already have a high level of hemispheric connectivity. Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia defines eye movement as the voluntary or involuntary movement of the eyes, helping in acquiring, fixating and tracking visual stimuli. It may also compensate for a body movement, such as when moving the head. There are three main basic types of eye movements. These include: Vergence or convergence movements which are the movements of both eyes to make sure that the image of the object being looked at falls on the corresponding spot on both retinas. This type of movement helps in the depth perception of objects Saccades: These are rapid movement of eyes that is used while scanning a visual scene. In our subjective impression, the eyes do not move smoothly across the printed page during reading. Instead, our eyes make short and rapid movements called saccades. During each saccade the eyes move as fast as they can and the speed cannot be consciously controlled in between the stops. The movements are worth a few minutes of arc, moving at regular intervals about three to four per second. One of the main uses for these saccadic eye movements is to be able to scan a greater area with the high resolution fovea of the eye. Pursuit Movements or Smooth pursuit: These are the movements that the eyes make while tracking an object’s movement, so that its moving image can remain maintained on fovea (central part of the retina).

YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW

Dietary supplements may cause liver injury, says Hepatologist

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iacin, comfrey, Kava and even green tea in high doses can cause liver injury. A Loyola liver specialist praises the new LiverTox free online database of drugs and explains acetaminophen is just one of many drugs taken that negatively impacts liver health Dose-dependent (acetaminophen) and idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States, responsible for approximately 50 percent of all reported cases.

“Awareness of the dangers of acetaminophen has risen but many consumers and even many health care professionals are not aware that certain popular herbal and dietary supplements can also cause liver damage,” says Steven Scaglione, MD, hepatology, Loyola University Health System (LUHS) and the Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). “Kava, comfrey, valerian, vitamin A, niacin and even green tea, when consumed in high doses, have been linked to liver disease.” LiverTox, a new database

launched Oct. 12 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has a searchable database of about 700 medications. “The LiverTox web site is very user-friendly and provides evidence-based data in a clear and succinct manner,” says Scaglione. — ScienceDaily

High levels of Vitamin D in plasma protects against bladder cancer

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igh levels of vitamin D are associated with protection against bladder cancer, according to a multidisciplinary study coordinated by molecular biologists and epidemiologists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), the conclusions of which are being published October 30 in the Journal of National Cancer Institute (JNCI) . The study has been led by Núria Malats, head of the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group, and Francisco X. Real, from the Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group, at the CNIO. The authors of the study took blood samples from more than 2,000 individuals -- including patients with bladder

cancer and control subjects free from the disease -- in 18 Spanish hospitals, making of this the largest study carried out to-date in this field. “We have seen that those subjects with the highest levels of 25(OH)D3, a stable form of vitamin D in the blood, are those who showed the lowest risk of suffering bladder cancer. These results indicate that high levels of this vitamin are associated with protection from the illness or, similarly, that low levels are associated with a higher risk of suffering from it,” says Malats. “We have also shown, using in vitro molecular analysis, that vitamin D regulates the expression of a protein -- FGFR3 -- that takes part in the development of bladder cancer,” adds Real.


Photo News

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Yusuf Ageni; Human Resource Director, Mr. Victor Famuyibo; Managing Director, Mr. Nicolas Vervelde; Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola; Brewery Manager, Nigerian Breweries, Mrs. Ethel Uche and Public Affairs Manager, Mr. Edem Vindah, during a courtesy call on the governor in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom; Minister, Mr. Olusegun Aganga and Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. David Adulugba, at the inauguration of the third Nigerian Non-Oil Export Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Chairman of the occasion, Chief Joop Berkhout; President, Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Chairman, NADECO, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, during the posthumous birthday of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, organised by the Igbo community in Lagos, at the weekend.

L-R: Vice-President, World Bank and former Finance Minister, Oby Ezekwesili; founder, Success Attitude Development Centre, Dr. Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase and co-founder, Mrs. Esther ObazuOjeagbase, during the 16th Success Digest Enterprise awards presentation dinner in Lagos, at the weekend.

National News

Boko Haram has killed 3,000 Nigerians –COAS Don’t dialogue with sect –Bishop FG adopts measures to counter terrorism

OBIORA IFOH, ROTIMI FADEYI AND WOLE ADEDEJI

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he Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt.Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has said 3,000 people have so far been killed by the deadly Islamic sect, Boko Haram. He made this known yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, while declaring open the third inter-division and headquarters map reading competition organised by the Nigerian Army Education Corps, NEAC. The COAS added that the activities of the sect had taken economic and psychological tolls on the people as well as business activities in the northern part of the country. Ihejirika, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding, 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Maj. Mohammed Abubakar, added that the current security challenges in the country required collective action to tackle.

He said: “The changing nature of threats to Nigeria’s national security environment has manifested in militancy, kidnappings, violent extremism and terrorism. “It is a known fact that terrorism worldwide is characterised by extremism, violence, hatred, lack of respect for human dignity and constituted authority. “The spate of bombings in parts of the North has necessitated the Nigerian Army to review its doctrine with a view to updating our training and operational procedures to fulfill our constitutional mandate. “Success in this pursuit, therefore, calls for renewed and concerted efforts and initiative. “I, therefore, urge all of us to remain resilient to be able to overcome the miscreants and terrorist attacks on our psyche and our beloved country through conscientious effort for the country to make good progress.” The army boss also

commended NAEC’s decision to write and publish a book on terrorism saying that “this will no doubt positively contribute to our determination to fight the present security challenges.” Earlier, the Corps Commander, NAEC, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Banjiram, said the current security challenges in the country had undermined national security. He added that the challenges had placed great strains and demands on the Nigerian Army’s resources. Banjiram said: “It becomes necessary, therefore, to re-emphasise the need for training and retraining of army personnel. “The competition is NAEC’s effort towards the training of its personnel and the creation of a pool of instructors in map reading for the Nigerian Army.” Meanwhile, the Anglican Bishop of Enugu North Diocese, Rev. Sosthenes Eze, has strongly opposed increasing calls for the Federal Govern-

ment to enter into dialogue with members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Eze also tasked SouthEast governors to contain the rising cases of kidnapping, saying that the incidents had become rampant in the region as many indigenes prepared to return for end of year festivities. The bishop bemoaned the volatile security situation in the country, especially in the North, stressing that the activities of the Boko Haram sect had led to unnecessary bloodshed and destruction. Eze said that dialogue with the sect would promote and encourage illegality. The bishop, who was addressing the church’s annual diocesan synod in Olo, Enugu State, at the weekend, said that for the nation to avoid the wrath of God, the church and the nation’s political leadership should unite to wage the battle for the survival of Nigeria. “Any national effort without a solemn assem-

bly may not go far. The church must lead the way for this kind of meeting with the political leadership directing. “This will be followed with restitution by all of us as Israel did in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra in the Bible.” He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that those found guilty of unleashing mayhem on innocent citizens are brought to justice. Bishop Eze who blamed the high level of corruption in Nigeria for the general instability prevailing across the nation, said such acts of wickedness have led to increased cases of breakdown of law and order and lack of peaceful co-existence among Nigerians. In a related development, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the Federal Government has embarked on measures to enhance the counter-terrorism capabilities in the country. Speaking at the opening of the Regional Confer-

ence on Counter-Terrorism in Abuja, Jonathan said a number of measures are being put in place to strengthen the security outfits against terrorism, which is relatively new phenomenon in the country. Jonathan, who spoke through Vice President Namadi Sambo, said: “Recognising the complex and mutating nature of terrorism, we adopted a comprehensive and overarching counter-terrorism approach that integrates national, regional, multilateral and functional responses.” He said the fundamental response has been predicated on providing citizens with a focused legal framework that would underpin counter-terrorism efforts, in line with the administration’s focus on ensuring that the Rule of Law guides all aspects of national life. Jonathan noted that the Federal Government took far-reaching measures including the signing into law on 3rd June, 2011 the Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA) 2011 and the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Americans go to poll today CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 victory would swing and in a unanimous voice, the Americans voted for the first African-American as their president in Obama. The enthusiasm and fervour with which every Obama supporter prosecuted the campaign and the election were unprecedented in history. But the same cannot be said of this election, four years later, with race up till early yesterday neck-to-neck

for Obama and Romney. President Obama and Romney will go to the poll today with no clear winner for the 270 Electoral College votes, constitutionally required to win the American presidency and the uncertainty has forced the gladiators and their surrogates, including their wives into mad rush for votes, especially in swing states of Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.

Others are New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where 123 Electoral College votes are up for grabs. And perhaps for the second time in the last 20 years in the history of the American presidential elections, the election went to the wires. In 1993, George Bush Senior found himself in the exact situation Obama found himself and went ahead to lose the election to Bill Clinton.

But early results from the early voting and absentee votes put Obama in the lead, but with the polls giving Obama no more than one point lead in most situations, it is going to be a tough battle, perhaps the toughest political battle of the incumbent president. The last time an incumbent president faces similar situation was in 1993. Former President George Of all the swing states, Florida is the major decider, fol-

Vice-President Namadi Sambo (6th left) with service chiefs and other dignitaries at the regional conference on terrorism in Abuja, yesterPHOTO: NAN day.

Okonjo-Iweala defends $9.3bn fresh debt TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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inister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday defended the $9.3bn external borrowing plan by the Federal Government in the 2013 and 2014 fiscal year, insisting that the country needed the loan. Reacting to concerns raised by members of the National Assembly on whether the country was not gradually sliding back

to the days of debt burden to the Paris Club of Creditors, which it only exited during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the minister said that exiting the debt burden in which she was directly involved was a painful experience that she would not want the nation to face again. According to the Debt Management Office, DMO, the country’s external debt profile as at September 30, 2012 was $6.2bn, while domestic debt was standing at N6.3trn.

It also stated that the debt sustainability indicators showed that the country’s debt stock was sustainable. The minister, who appeared alongside the Director General of DMO, Abraham Nwankwo before the House of Representatives Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management to defend the amendment request sent by the Executive in respect of the medium term borrowing plan also disclosed that Nigeria remained one of the countries with the lowest debt

to GDP ratio, a reason she said accounted for the positive credit rating the country is currently enjoying. “We share in the feelings and concerns of the National Assembly. There is no interest to stock up debt because it was a painful process exiting from the Paris Club which I personally participated. “They (the current loans) are not from the Paris Club, which comes with purely commercial interest rates. These are highly concessional loans with long periods of maturity.

Appeal Court: CJN stops swearing-in of female justice CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion or political opinions are not made subject. Or (b); be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded

to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion or political opinions. Those who were sworn in yesterday were Justices Ibrahim S. Bdliya, who was called to the Bar in 1976 and appointed a High Court judge on August 20, 1987; Abiriya James Shehu, called to Bar in 1979 and subsequently appointed a High Court judge on September 17, 1993; and Obietonbara O. Daniel-Kalio, who was called to Bar and became a High

Court judge in 1981 and October 30, 1995 respectively. Others are Justices Onyekachi Otisi, called to the Bar in 1980 and sworn in as a High Court judge in November, 1998; Stephen Jonah Adah, called to the Bar in 1982 and appointed a High Court judge on November 12, 1998; Tinuade Akomolaje-Wilson, who was sworn in as judge on May 3, 1999 having being called to the Bar in 1975; and Fatima Akinbami, who was called to the Bar in 1977

and sworn in as High Court judge on May 12, 1999. The others are Justices Habeeb Adewale Abiru, who was called to the Bar in 1985 and appointed to the High Court bench in May, 2001; Peter Olabisi Ige, sworn in as High Court judge on June 27, 2001 following his call to the Bar in 1985; Tijani Abubakar, called to bar in 1985 and sworn in as a High Court Judge in 2004; and Emmanuel Agim, who was sworn in as a High Court judge in 2008.

lowed by Ohio which has not backed a losing president since 1960. Florida, with 29 Electoral College votes has over the years been crucial that it has always decided who wins the American presidential election. It has also been known not to lean towards the Democrats or the Republican. The election would also go down in history as the most expensive with over $6 billion said to have been spent by both major gladiators, with the bulk spent on advertising. Commenting on the cost of the election, Sheila Krumholz, the executive director of the Centre for Responsive Politics, said: “In the new campaign finance landscape post- Citizens United, we’re seeing historic spending levels spurred by outside groups dominated by a small number of individuals and organisations making exceptional contributions.” Krumholz disclosed that not only is the total cost of the election record breaking, but the rate at which spending has increased – and continues to increase – in the closing weeks of the election is a major issue. Major issues that would decide today’s election are bothered on the economy,

jobs, education, healthcare, abortion, foreign policy, same sex marriage, taxes, immigration, environment and energy. How each of the candidates intends to tackle these issues would determine who the Americans would eventually settle for. Four years ago, it was an easy ride for Obama over John McCain when he garnered 365 Electoral College votes against mc Cain’s 173, but such luxury in today’s election is none existence. Different polls conducted on the election have also revealed that it was not sure for either of Obama or Romney. For instance in many of the polls, Obama and Romney tied, thus increasing the frenzy and scramble for votes by the two candidates. But one unlikely factor that may play a very significant role in deciding who wins the election was the Superstorm Sandy which ravaged the East Coast of America in the last few days. How the president and his main challenger responded to the calamity, would surely spring surprise in today’s poll. But at the end, from all indication, the pendulum of victory may swing to the Obama camp, but it would not be an easy ride.

Jonathan summons govs over oil wells dispute CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

of its oil wells because the resources belonged to the people and not his personal property. He said: “There are rumours everywhere. They have cut off all our oil wells. We used to be number one oil producing state, but today, we are number two or three. I have no plans for 2015. I have heard that in the North there are vehicles with my picture and that of Governor Sule Lamido. I don’t know who they are.” Amaechi said 46 oil wells, which he claimed belonged to Rivers State, had just been ceded to Abia State, while another 71 oil wells would have been given to Bayelsa State but for the vigilance of the Kalabari people. He said: “I have never attended a meeting anywhere in the world on 2015. It is the campaigners’ busi-

ness. To me, it is a non-issue. What we have now is 2012, which I am focusing on. “I am leading Rivers people to fight for their future. As a state, we must fight for our rights. This morning, Mr. President directed that we should not speak to the media on the matter.” The governor, who said he must comply with the President’s directive, however, said that he was compelled to respond to the question from the reporter. Amaechi said the President summoned only government officials from both states to discuss the matter. He, however, pointed out that boundary between the states was known to the people, so he would take a Kalabari man along, who, according to him, understands the history of the boundary and the oil wells in the disputed areas.


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News

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Customs Bill not good, Okonjo-Iweala tells NASS GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has picked holes in some aspects of the proposed Customs Service Bill 2012 and the Companies Income Tax Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2012 currently undergoing public hearing at the National Assembly. Making a presentation before the Senate Committee on Finance, which held a one-day public hearing on the bill yesterday, the minister opposed the aspect of the bill which seeks to

•As waivers cost Nigeria N50bn revenue

remove the power of discretion for the granting of financial waivers for some imports from the President to the Customs Service. She put up a strong argument in support of the retention of the present arrangement where the President determines the beneficiaries of the waiver. Okonjo-Iweala said the problem with the current use of waivers was that it was given to individuals and not specific companies who needed it, leading to the loss of revenue to the government. She said: “Many of the powers of the President that were granted in the

former bill have now been vitiated.” The minister also kicked against the removal of the powers to appoint the members of the governing board of the service from the minister to the service, noting that no organisation must have powers to appoint members to its own board to supervise itself. Okonjo-Iweala said such practice did not only go against global best practices because it did not ensure checks and balances but also did not ensure proper accountability. According to her, the proposed bill vests both policy making power and

executive power in the Customs alone. She said: “We believe that the bill should separate the policy making powers from executive powers so that they can be properly aligned.” According to her, the powers under the previous bill granted to the minister to make appointments have been very much restricted to a couple of people while the power to appoint people to the board rests with the Customs administration. Meanwhile, it was disclosed yesterday that the Customs Service has so far lost N50.8 billion revenue to waivers.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ribadu’s report has vindicated NEITI –Mitee

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he Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, said its activities had been justified by the report of the Committee on Governance, Transparency and Accountability in the oil and gas sector. The Chairman of NEITI’s National Stakeholders Working Group, Mr. Ledum Mitee, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja that the report had further exposed the need to strengthen NEITI through necessary legislation. The Committee on Governance, Transparency and Accountability in the oil and gas sector was set up by President Goodluck Jonathan in February. The committee, headed by former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, submitted its report last Friday. Mitee said NEITI had over the years conducted three different cycles of industry audits spanning the period 1999 to 2004, 2005 and 2006 to 2008. He said: “As an agency statutorily set up to develop a framework for transparency and accountability in the management of re-

sources from Nigeria’s extractive industries, especially oil and gas, NEITI has legitimate interest in not only the report, but the processes, its findings and the outcome. “Apart from the earlier NEITI reports, the report of another round of comprehensive audit of the oil and gas sector from 2009 to 2011, which began in the year, is expected to be concluded by December 2012.’’ Mitee said NEITI’s past audit reports had clearly identified financial, physical and process lapses. He said: “They also revealed a loss of some $2.6 billion due to under-payments, under-assessments, poor judgment in the computations of crude sales and other leakages only. “Also, the reports equally showed that a total of $9.8 billion is outstanding recoverable fund due to the Federation Account from the companies.’’

Ribadu

Presidency, UNDP, editors meet on constitution review

T Members of the Biafra Zionist Movement shortly after the organisation declared Biafra Republic in Enugu, yesterday.

Flood displaces 2.2m, kills 363, says NEMA OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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loods ravaging the country in the last few weeks have displaced over 2.2 million people. The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, which disclosed this yesterday, said that properties worth billions of naira were also destroyed. Director-General, NEMA, Alhaji Mohamad Sani-Sidi, disclosed this in Abuja at the opening of the Training Programme for Decision Makers on Public Safety and Resilience in Disaster Relief through Foot-

ball in Nigeria. This is as the spokesman of NEMA, Mr. Yushau Shuaib, said in a statement that 363 people lost their lives to the floods. The two-day training programme is sponsored by Motorola Foundation in partnership with NEMA. Sani-Sidi, who spoke through the Director of Administration, Dr. Zanna Muhammad, said the spate of the occurrence of disaster had increased in the last 10 years. He said it rose to 2.6 billion people as against 1.6 billion of the previous decade. The NEMA DG said it

was in view of the increasing incidence of disaster that efforts must be made to curtail its impacts by building the resilience of the people, particularly those at the grassroots. He said: “No efforts should be spared in our collaborative efforts to curtail the impacts of disasters and build a culture of resilience in our communities. Hence, the significance of this training programme, which emphasises coordination as a veritable tool in disaster response.” Speaking on the ripple effects of disaster, Sani-Sidi noted that it could potentially impact on every member

of the community, including infrastructure, economic livelihood on which the community depended with its concomitant effects on the country’s economy. He said the country needed effective planning with enormous resources to deal with any eventuality of disaster, explaining that “being well-prepared requires an investment of time and resources.” In a related development, Shuaib said a report from the Emergency Situation Room of the agency showed that 7,705,398 persons were affected by the floods between July 1 and October 31.

he Presidency, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, will tomorrow in Abuja hold a one-day dialogue with editors of top media organisations based in the North and the South-South. The dialogue is part of efforts to give the media a greater role in the process of altering the 1999 Constitution. The theme of the parley, under the auspices of the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity and the UNDP Democratic Governance for Development Project II, is: “The Editor and the Constitution Amendment Process.” The Special Assistant to the President on Media, Bolaji Adebiyi, and Communication and Reporting Advisor of the DGD Project II, Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, said in a statement that: “The dialogue is aimed at

mobilising the Nigerian editors for the task of reawakening the media to its critical responsibility of promoting public awareness and active citizen participation in the constitution amendment process.” The statement added that about 40 editors had been invited to participate in the discussion that would involve critical stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, civil society organisations and the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, as well as his Ministry of Justice counterpart, Mohammed Adoke (SAN). The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, are also expected to attend the event which is the second in the collaborative effort to get the media to increase its involvement in the amendment process.


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News

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Release our members now, MASSOB tells police NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday demanded the immediate and unconditional release of its three principal officers detained by the Anambra State Special An-

ti-Robbery Squad (SARS). In a statement issued in Onitsha, MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Mr. Uchenna Madu, identified the three principal officers as Mr. Osondu Okwareke (Regional Administrator for Onitsha 3), Mr. Omenka (Regional Administrator for Onitsha 1) and Mazi Chris Mocha

Alleged drug trafficking: Iranian, accomplice lose bid to stop trial K AYODE KETEFE

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n attempt by two accused persons Azim Aghajani, an Iranian, and Ali Jega - to stop their trial for illegal drug trafficking before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday failed as the court refused their application to quash the charge. The application was made through a no-case submission by their lawyer, Chief Chris Uche. The court overruled their application on the grounds that the accused had a case to answer. The accused had been on a five-count charge of making illegal importation of arms, ammunitions and explosives to Nigeria. They had pleaded not guilty to all the five counts. The alleged offences contravened sections 3, 14, 18 and 47 of the Firearms (special provisions) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The presiding judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, also refused a bail application on the grounds of the seriousness of the offence, stressing that the issue at stake related to national security. Ruling on the no-case submission, the judge said the prosecution had proved through the evidence adduced by its witnesses that the accused persons had case to answer. The judge said: “In making a no-case submission, the court must consider

whether the evidence adduced by the prosecution is weighty enough. “The court must also be sure that the evidence adduced does not possess sufficient grounds to link the accused with the commission of the offence. “Out of the nine witnesses produced by the prosecution, I will single out the testimonies of the third (friend to the accused) and fifth witnesses (clearing agent of accused) because their testimonies sufficiently make out a case against the accused. “The prosecution has therefore made out a prima facie case against the accused, and so, the no-case submission of defence counsel hereby fails” The court consequently adjourned the matter till November 19, 2012 for the accused to open their defence. The accused were arraigned on March 7, 2011 before the court on a fivecount charge of unlawful importation of fire arms and ammunitions into Nigeria. The prosecution had alleged that the accused illegally imported a 13 by 20 feet container loaded with arms, ammunitions and bomb explosives and rockets into Nigeria It also accused the accused of having made a false declaration in their bill of lading that the container contained “glass wool” and pallet of stones contrary to Section 161 of the Custom and Excise Management Act 2004.

(National Deputy Director of Information). According to the statement, the detained principal officers had gone to the Divisional Police Station at Fegge, Onitsha, on November 1, 2012 to hand over a member of a group called Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM) to the police because of the group’s proposed November 5 declaration of Biafra only to be detained by the police. The statement reads: “It is suicidal for any Igbo-

man to trade with future of Biafra people. MASSOB under Chief Ralph Uwazuruike represents the genuine interest of Ndigbo and Biafrans in general in nonviolence struggle. “Biafran re-declaration had already been done by Uwazuruike through hoisting of Biafran flag on May 22, 2000 at Freedom Square, Faulks Road, Aba.” The statement, therefore, insisted that the police should release MASSOB’s detained

ABUJA

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hree suspected terrorists were arrested yesterday evening at Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja by men of the Nigerian Police in a Volvo car wired with explosives and heading towards the metropolis.

According to eyewitnesses, the vehicle boycotted the busy Airport Road in order to avoid the military checkpoint, but rather opted for the less busy Kuje road linking up with the city. The eye witnesses said residents alerted the police when they suspected some suspicious movements. The men were subsequently swooped upon and taken

Uwazuruike

L-R: Director, Alumni Relations, Lagos Business School, Mr. Henry Onukwuba; secretary of the association, Abuja chapter, Eno Inyang; Chairman, Samson Okoronkwo and Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, during the association’s lecture held in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

World Bank asks FG, states to fund devt of statistics TOLA AKINMUTIMI

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he World Bank and the National Bureau of Statistics yesterday urged the federal and state governments to adequately fund the implementation of the National Strategy for Development of Statistics (NSDS) and other statistics projects in the country. The NSDS project, which has a five-year implementation time line from 2010 to2014 for its completion, is

expected to cost $401 million. The Federal Government is to provide about $261.68 million, while the states and development partners are to provide $19.76 million and $120 respectively. Leading other advocates on the need for improved funding of statistical production projects at all levels of government in his paper at the two-day National Statistical User Workshop in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, World Bank representative, Mr. Alain Gaugris, said it

Police apprehend bomb-laden car in Abuja OMEIZA AJAYI

principal officers with immediate effect as their action did not amount to any threat or breach of peace. It said that the detained officers were merely complementing the police effort to restore calm and orderliness in the South-East. MASSOB also appealed to Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP) M.D Abubakar and President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the natter.

to the Kuje Central Police Station. National Mirror learnt that the prison located at Kuje could be the primary target of the culprits. As at the time of filing in this report, it was not known where the suspected bombers were coming from as authorities of the FCT Police Command declined to give further details. Attempt to get the police

reaction last night was not successful. The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Doris England said that Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adenrele Shinaba will brief the press today. It was also learnt that some military men later went to the police station where the suspects were been held and took them away.

was the most critical step in the nation’s desire to become one of the leading 20 most developed economies globally by year 2020. Gaugris, who restated the World Bank’s support for Nigeria’s statistical development agenda, said recent experiences had shown that some funding support by the governments and development partners were beginning the quality data production and usage, adding that more should do be done by the governments to consolidate on the modest achievements recorded so far. The World Bank official, who spoke on the implementation of the threeyear Statistics for Results Facility (SFR) project in the country being funded by the United Kingdom and Netherlands government, which the Bank is supervising in Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Kaduna, Niger and Ondo states in its first phase, said the project had begun yielding tangible results upon which its

continuation and possible replication in other states would be based. Noting that recent initiatives, including the reforms which began in 2005 with the adoption of the Statistical Master Plan and the enactment of the NBS Act in 2007, have helped in enhancing the statistical system to a large extent, he advocated improved funding and collaboration between statistical data producers and users as imperative in the efforts to use such statistics for development. In his opening remarks at the forum, Statistician General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, who also canvassed improved funding in order to develop the national statistical system for improved contributions to national development, said the workshop was organised as part of the Bureau’s ongoing agenda to “provide another opportunity to promote the importance of statistics in national development”


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oyo sacks three commissioners, swaps six others KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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risis may have erupted in the Oyo State cabinet as the government yesterday announced the sack of three of its commissioners, namely, Mr. Bosun Oladele; Alhaji Yunus Akintunde and Hon. Kazeem Adedeji, in the ministries of Information and Orientation, Works and Transport and Trade, Investment and Cooperatives, respectively. Also, the name of a current Special Adviser to the governor on Education and

former governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in the state, Hon. Taiwo Otegbeye, has been sent to the State House of Assembly for confirmation as commissioner. Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Akin Olajide, while making the announcement after the State Executive Council meeting, said the step was taken by the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, to further strengthen his transformation agenda. In the minor cabinet reshuffle, Mrs. Tokunbo Fayokun, Hon. Dapo Lam-Adesina, Dr. Nuru-

deen Olarinde, Mr. Bimbo Owolabi and Mr. Zacheaus Adelabu, all retained their positions as the commissioners in charge of Education, Sports and Youth Development, Economic, Budget and Planning, Water Resources and Finance. Also retained were Miss Kafayat Adeojo (Urban and Physical Planning), Mr. Mutalab Ojo Adebayo (Justice), Mrs. Atinuke Osunkoya (Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation) and Dr. Muyiwa Gadegesin (Health). Olajide equally said that Peter Odetomi, for-

merly of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, was moved to Agriculture and Natural Resources, just as Mr. Lowo Obisesan, was moved to the Ministry of Environment from Establishment and Training. Mr. Adebayo Olagbenro was moved from Applied Science to Trade, Tourism and Investment, Mr. Bimbo Kolade from Agriculture and Natural Resources to Lands and Surveying and Mr. Isaac Ajiboye Omodewu was taken to the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters from

Lands. Olajide while speaking on the dropped commissioners said; “Those who were dropped have not committed any offence. It was just to increase the tempo of governance in some key areas, so as to achieve the agenda we have set for ourselves within the time available.” Meanwhile, it was learnt that the sack of Mr. Bosun Oladele, from the Ministry of Information and Orientation was received with shock and disbelief by his members of staff, some of whom gave in to emotion by crying.

‘FG should invest more on research’ L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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he Deputy ViceChancellor, Academics and Research, of the University of Lagos, Prof. Babajide Alo, has called on the Federal Government to pump more money into research in Nigerian institutions so as to make research a catalyst for the development of the economy. He stated this during a media briefing on the Golden Jubilee Research Conference and Fair which has been slated to commence today and end on Thursday, November 18, 2012 at the multipurpose hall of the institution. He said putting more money in research will enhance the contribution of the universities to economic development through the expansion of product lines based on indigenous technology. The don also encouraged Nigerians to demand researches done by the universities to solve individual and industrial problems so as to encourage the researchers and prevent their works from wastage. “The theme of the conference is Research and Innovation for Economic Development in a globalising Nigeria and it will feature plenary lectures by professionals and academics from within and outside the country,” he said. Alo said it is also a forum for researchers and practitioners in industries to share ideas, research results and practical experiences on emerging issues.

National President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mr. Azubike Okwor (left) and Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, during a courtesy call on the governor in Abeokuta, yesterday.

Why Nigerian varsities’re poorly rated –OAU VC WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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he Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, has given reasons why no Nigeria university would rank among the best 10 in Africa. He said incessant closure of the universities due to industrial disputes

and students’ unrest, inadequate academic staff, as well as poor funding of the universities by the government would continue to earn poor rating for the nation’s ivory towers. Omole, who made this submission yesterday in Ile-Ife while briefing journalists on activities lined up to commemorate the golden jubilee anniversary of the university,

said that the fortunes of the nation’s universities would be better advanced if students and unions embraced dialogue as a way of settling disputes. His words: “For as long as we have strike and incessant closure of the universities there will continue to be problem in our rating. The Nigerian universities would always get zero. This is why every-

body should embrace dialogue as a way of settling disputes.” The vice-chancellor, who said that OAU was overcoming the problem of incessant closure, also said that in the next five years, the university would rank among the best 10 in Africa, adding that at present OAU is rated as one of the best universities in research.

Ajimobi’s family warns opposition over alleged money laundering KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he last may not have been heard of the alleged money laundering publication against the wife of the Oyo State governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, as the Ajimobi’s family yesterday appealed to political opponents of the governor not to drag the good name of the family into disrepute, all in the name of politics. The family, speaking through one of the brothers to the governor, Akeem, made the appeal in reaction to a recent newspaper publication over the alleged arrest of Mrs. Ajimobi by the police in London over money laundering. Akeem while speaking at the 60th birthday of the step-mother to the governor, Alhaja Folashade Ajimobi, which took place at the Apata, Ibadan residence of the Ajimobis, said members of the family cherished its good name and will not sit idle and watch it being dragged in the mud because of politics. Speaking at the birthday party attended by the Osun State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Mr. Muyiwa Ige and other dignitaries, Akeem, added that members of the family were sad over the “rumour peddled by political opponents of the governor,” stating that politics should not be used to destroy the name built by their father. He said the governor is a God-fearing person, who was brought up to be honest, prudent and accountable.

Traffic law: Okada operator strips self naked to evade arrest MURITALA AYINLA

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esidents of Ikeja, Lagos State, yesterday watched in awe how a commercial motorcycle operator striped himself naked to evade arrest by the Lagos Task Force for Environmental and Special Offences. The 38-year-old operator, Mr. Sunday Udoh, was arrested about 9.00 am on Acme Road in Ikeja, one of the 475 prohibited routes by

the new Lagos Traffic Law, for operating on a prohibited route. Speaking to journalists at the state secretariat, Chairman of the Tasks Force, Bayo Sulieman, who described the development as the latest gimmick employed by the operators to create public sympathy, insisted that his team would not be deterred from enforcing the law. His words: “I wonder why someone would descend to the level of strip-

ping himself naked in a bid to escape arrest. We will not succumb to sentiment in enforcing the law. “We are no longer dismantling impounded motorcycles anymore, because we now have a spacious yard where we can keep them. We dismantled the previous ones because we didn’t have enough place to keep them,” he said. He urged Lagosians to desist from patronising motorcycle operators, saying they would not hesitate

to kill or maim their passengers or even passersby while trying to evade arrest. “Motorcycle operators will want to escape arrest at all cost, once he sees the police and enforcement officers. It is the passengers that will be at risk because the operator is already holding something. “We arrest them on any prohibited route in the state because the law does not specify a particular time for arrest, whether in the day or at night.

Sualiman, however, said that the arrested operators would be arraigned today to serve as deterrent to others who may want to use the same trick.

Fashola


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

9

ACN to Presidency: Look inwards for those insulting Jonathan OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said Steve Oronsaye and Bernard Otti were the ones who insulted President Goodluck Jonathan by the way they turned the presentation of the report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force into a theatre of the absurd last Friday. Speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, the ACN said that the Presidency condoned the insults from the two men by the way it handled their outbursts, “treating them with kid gloves, when they should have been censured for their audacity and discourteous behaviour at the public presentation.” Mohammed said: ‘’Oronsaye’s incredibly audacious statement, that ‘the President has asked us to submit the report....and so what?’ should have elicited the reaction which the Presidency issued to ACN’s statement, if indeed the Presidency is concerned about insults.” Alleging that the Presidency is trying to blackmail the opposition by accusing it of insulting the President, for merely saying

the obvious, that the only reason Oronsaye and Otti could have acted in such a brazen manner with the President seated right there is if they were indeed programmed to perform the role of spoilers by discrediting the report, the ACN said: ‘’President Jonathan is a democratically-elected President, not an oracle who cannot and must not be criticised. Therefore, we at the ACN will continue to offer a constructive criticism of his administration, true to our role of providing responsible opposition. ‘’We stand by our statement and will not be cowed by this old, cheap trick of labelling constructive criticism as an insult.’’ The party challenged the presidency to deny the facts contained in its earlier statement on the issue, saying: ‘’Let’s restate the facts, for the avoidance of doubt: One, Oronsaye and Otti were already serving on the task force before they were given the plum NNPC jobs. Two, the Federal Government could have waited for them to complete their assignment before giving them suspicious appointments, if only to avoid possible conflict of interest or any perception of such. Three, the men could have resigned their membership of the task force after they

Amosun reshuffles cabinet, creates new ministries FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has carried out a minor cabinet reshuffle among members of his executive. A statement issued yesterday in Abeokuta by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, said the exercise takes immediate effect. Those affected in the reshuffle were former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Olu Odeyemi, who was now moved to the Ministry of Special Duties, while Lanre Tejuosho, a former Commissioner for Special Duties, was redeployed to the Ministry of the Environment. Former Commissioner for Agriculture, Ayo Olubori, was moved to the Ministry of Forestry, while Adebayo Fari, who was in charge of

the Ministry of the Environment, was redeployed to the newly created Ministry of Physical Planning. Former Commissioner for Forestry, Falilu Adebisi Sabitu, was moved to the newly created Ministry of Rural Development, which was carved out of Ministry of Water Resources. Although the statement did not explain why the governor reshuffled the cabinet, National Mirror learnt that it was part of the efforts to provide good governance to the people.

got themselves the NNPC jobs. And four, they could have written a minority report when they disagreed with the conclusion of the task force, instead of choosing the presentation venue to discredit the report. ‘’These are the facts that the Presidency, through the chameleonic presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, should have addressed, instead of resorting to name calling. In any case, we are not surprised at Abati’s metamorphosis. With his

snout now deeply inserted in the nectar of office, criticisms have turned to insults in his eyes.” Saying that it is the same Abati who, in his newspaper column before fortune smiled on him, who regularly tackled sitting Presidents with his unsparing articles, the ACN cited one of such catching articles on the President titled: “The President’s missing ears,’ which he wrote on the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. The party said: “He

wrote of the then President Yar’Adua: ‘Men Without Ears is the title of a 1984 novel by Nigerian writer, Ifeoma Okoye. With due respect, President Umaru Yar’Adua is beginning to behave like a man without ears. Being without ears refers to certain obduracy, a peculiar inability to appreciate the truth. I see the same problem in the Yar’Adua presidency, seven months down the line. “The President either needs the services of an ear

doctor (I am sorry sir) or he needs to listen a bit more attentively. There are issues in this country which need to be addressed urgently, which the government is treating with kid gloves.’’ Saying that since Abati apparently did not believe that the article under reference contained any insult against the then President Yar’Adua, the ACN added that it is disingenuous of him to keep haranguing critics of his boss for insulting him.

Second runner-up of Best Principal Senior Secondary School category, Lagos State and Principal, Army Cantonment Secondary School, Ikeja, Mrs. Patricia Gbadegesin (middle) receiving an award from the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, during the presentation of the award in Lagos, at the weekend.

Strike: Juju scare as Ekiti LG workers shun govt’s directive ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he ongoing strike embarked upon by the Ekiti State branch of Nigerian Union of Local Government Employers (NULGE) took another dimension yesterday as the workers laced the gates to the 16 council headquarters with charms otherwise known as juju. The move was to prevent any worker from resuming work following the order of the state government directing the council workers to resume work yesterday. The council workers stayed away from the pre-

cincts of offices, just as the caretaker chairmen and their committee members, who had wanted to enter their offices, were scared away by the charms made of boxes of ritual, libated with palm oil and a black bird wrapped in white nylon. NULGE had ordered its members to embark on strike about seven week ago to push for the payment of the N19,300 minimum wage and Consolidated Health Salary Scale for health workers, which other civil servants had been benefiting since April. But the state government, through the Commissioner for Labour, Mr. Wole Adewumi, announced on Saturday

that Labour had agreed to call off the strike and subsequently ordered the workers to report at their duty posts yesterday. The government directive prompted NULGE to make a counter directive to its members that its leadership was not part of the “phantom meeting by the state government officials”. NULGE had, in a statement signed by Mr. Oludare Famoofo on behalf of its National President, said some individuals were misrepresenting their positions on the issue to break their ranks, saying: “the strike is still in progress”. According to NULGE, the

issues, which culminated in the declaration of strike, had not been tackled, just as their demands had not been met to warrant the suspension of the strike. The council headquarters visited by journalists yesterday, including Igede-Ekiti, Ilawe-Ekiti and Ado-Ekiti were under lock and key as the juju were conspicuously displayed. The Caretaker Chairman of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government, Hon Femi Awe, described the situation as frightening, saying the workers could as well continue with the strike without resorting to voodoo option.

Osun moves to prevent likely food shortage WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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he Osun State Government has taken pro-active measures to prevent the people from suffering a possible global food shortage. The government is now collaborating with agri-

cultural experts from the German State of Saxony Anhalt in a bid to ensure an improvement in food production and farming in the state. Receiving the team at the Government House at the weekend in Osogbo, the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, said the collabora-

tion hinged mainly on how to improve agriculture and food security, adding that the cooperation, described as first of its kind in Nigeria, would focus on how to modernise, mechanise and improve on the existing agricultural activities in the state. According to him, the experts, who were

drawn from German agriculture sector, farmers’ co-operative system, animal husbandry and other areas, have commenced a one week tour of the Cattle Ranch at Oloba Farm, Iwo Farm Settlement, Toro Farm in Iwo and Feg-Agro Farm in Iloko-Ijesha, among other areas.

Aregbesola


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

BZM re-declares Biafra Republic •Police arrest, arraign 500 members DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he Biafra Zionist Movement, BZM, yesterday carried out its threat to re-declare a new independent Biafra Republic in Enugu. However, the police swooped on BZM members and arrested about 500 of them shortly after the redeclaration at Coal Camp area of Enugu. The Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer,

PPRO, Ebere Amarizu, confirmed the arrest but put the figure of the arrested BZM members at over 100. Amarizu said those arrested were suspected members of BZM led by one Ben Onwuka. The PPRO added that they were arrested about 6.45am yesterday carrying 61 Biafran flags, 13 berets, three bands and eight BZM forms. The arrested BZM members were immediately arraigned before an Enugu

Magistrates’ Court and subsequently detained in prison custody. Making the re-declaration, Onwuka said it had become abundantly clear that the security of lives and property of the Biafran people was no longer guaranteed in the entity called Nigeria. He said: “Therefore, we the Biafran people have resolved to re-declare our independence today November 5, 2012 based on the mandate given to Chukwue-

meka Odumegwu Ojukwu on May 30, 1967 in order that we the Biafran people can provide our people with security according to international law.” The BZM president said it was also clear that the Biafran people’s right to freely worship according to their Christian faith was no longer guaranteed. “Therefore, we the Biafran people have resolved to opt out of Nigeria to freely worship our God without being bombed or killed according to the United Nations Convention on the freedom

CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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of association,” he added. Onwuka said God had given them the right to reclaim the sovereignty stolen from them in 1914, adding that Biafran people were determined to build a country that would be democratic and transparent.

Stop undermining Niger Bridge, Obi warns sand excavators CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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overnor Peter Obi of Anambra State has warned that the government would impose severe punishment on those excavating sand at the base of the Niger Bridge in Onitsha. The governor warned those engaged in such activity to desist forthwith or face full wrath of the law. Obi, who gave the warning while inspecting the Bridge Head and its environs, said such action constituted serious threat to the bridge. The governor said he was shocked to see people engage in such activity at an important and sensitive facility, saying his administration would not allow anything that would undermine the bridge. He recalled that government had taken necessary measures to check congestion on the bridge to avoid dead weight. Government, the governor added, had also removed obstruction and illegal structures around the bridge. Obi promised to bring the sand excavation and illegal collection of money from the excavators to the notice of the Minister of Works for necessary action. One of the sand excavators, who gave his name as Mr. Ikechukwu, defended the action of his group, saying they paid levies to the National Inland Waterways Authority and others. He, however, promised that they would comply with the governor’s directive.

Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi (left) and villagers during his inspection visit to Old Awka-Nkpor Road in Anambra, yesterday.

Fuel scarcity hits Aba •Petrol sells for N130 per litre

GEORGE OPARA

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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uel shortage crippling social and commercial activities in parts of the country has hit Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State. Long queues of vehicles have surfaced in filling stations in the town despite the reopening of Osisioma Ngwa Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Depot. Petrol now sells for between N120 and N130 per litre. A commercial bus driver, Mr. Cajethan Ikoro, said the situation was affecting his business. He said: “If urgent action is not taken to reverse

to the normal pump price, people will have to begin to pay more to move from place to place.’’ Ikoro said no benefit had been derived from the reopening of the Osisioma Ngwa NNPC Depot because “at no time is fuel sold at N97 a litre in Aba”. He said motorists were buying the product between N110 and N115 per litre before the recent 10 per cent increase. “It is important that this situation should be addressed before Christmas so as not to discourage people from visiting their home states,” he added. The state Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals Development, Chief Don Ubani, said the price increase was due to

forces of supply and demand. He said a ship was already discharging petrol in Port Harcourt for onward delivery to Aba. “There is hope that the situation will improve soon,’’ he said. The Chairman, Reactivation Committee of the Osisioma Ngwa Depot, Mr. Simple Nwamkpa, the depot would soon be operational at “100 per cent.” He said: “We are working tirelessly to resolve the problem.” Meanwhile, Governor Theodore Orji has reiterated the desire of his administration to partner and cooperate with Abia State citizens and Nigerians living outside the country who wanted to do business

Anambra CJ grants 12 Awka prison inmates bail

in the state. He promised to provide them a conducive business environment and enduring entrepreneurship. Orji said this while receiving a team of Nigerians based in United States at the Abia Lodge, Abuja. The visitors came to disclose their desire to establish a world class hospital at Obuaku city in Ukwa West Local Government. The governor, who watched the module of the envisaged 200-bed hospital, thanked the team for indicating interest to come home to establish a world class hospital. He promised that his administration would set up a committee to work with the group. Presenting the module of the hospital to the governor, Dr. Okoronkwo Ogan of the Duke University Medical Centre, North Carolina, said the group was ready to deliver a world class hospital at Obuaku city.

he Anambra State Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi, yesterday granted bail to 12 sick and old awaiting trial inmates of Awka Prison. Those granted bail during a special court session held inside the prison were detained over sundry offences. However, the CJ rejected bail applications of many other inmates. Among those whose bail requests were rejected are Kanayo Arinze, being tried for alleged murder and Mathias Umeozokwelle, who was directed to apply for bail in the regular court. Among the sick and old inmates, who were granted bail during the special court session, is Ugochukwu Igboamalu, who the Prison Matron, Obukwelu Ehel Nnonyelu, said had never talked since he was brought there in 2006. The court later directed that a relation of the inmate be contacted to take him on bail.

‘Govt must engage private security outfits to solve insecurity’ ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

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o resolve the insecurity bedevilling the country, the Federal Government has been advised to make use of private security outfits. The President and Commandant of Crisis Control FDTN, CCF, Dr. Ezeatalu Osakwe, who gave the advice, said the insecurity in the country required an immediate solution. Osakwe said CCF, a registered crisis management outfit, was duty bound to provide solution to the insecurity facing the country. He said: “We are willing to work with the government to provide solutions to the crises. We wish to provide solutions as it is our duty to work for the progress of our nation. We are therefore calling on the government to work with us to solve the country’s security challenges as we have a detailed blueprint that offers all the solutions to the country’s security problems.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South-South

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Salary deductions: Forgive me, Amaechi begs workers CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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overnor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi yesterday postponed his scheduled 8.30am press briefing with journalists for several hours to apologise to Rivers State workers, who at the weekend gave the government a seven-day ultimatum over deductions from their salaries. The governor, who went to the state Secretariat first

thing in the morning to meet with workers, apologised to them for the way their monies were deducted without explanations. He blamed the situation on the Ministry of Finance. Speaking with the media later in the day, the governor denied that the deductions were arbitrary. He pointed out that the deductions were for the Social Levy contributions and the contributory pension scheme. Amaechi said the work-

ers were unhappy over the timing and manner of the deductions without explanation and not the purpose of the deductions itself. The governor admitted that it was wrong for six month arrears of the social levy to be removed in one fell swoop from a worker’s one month salary, as well as two months arrears of the contributory pension scheme. He said removing the deductions in bulk at the

Christmas season was not well thought out. Amaechi therefore directed the Ministry of Finance to stop all further deductions until February 2013. The Rivers State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, at the weekend issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government to refund the money it deducted from workers’ September and October salaries or face an indefinite strike.

Ayokoromo community in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta still flooded after six weeks, yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

Edo tribunal refuses to hear Airhiavbere’s petition afresh SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he reconstituted Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City yesterday resolved to continue hearing the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Charles Airhiavbere, from where the dissolved tribunal stopped instead of hearing the case afresh. In an inaugural session at the Edo State High Court Complex, the threeman tribunal, chaired by Justice Mu’azu Pindiga, also resolved to deliver justice on the petition in a free and fair manner. Other members of the tribunal are Justice

Abubakar Kutigi and Justice A. A. O. Ajileye. The latter was, however, absent yesterday. The tribunal sued for the cooperation of all the parties in the petition so as to deliver justice on time. It said it needed time to review the case file so as to continue from where the former tribunal stopped. The tribunal said a timely handling of the petition was imperative because of the appeal filed at the Court of Appeal in Benin, whose decision was vital to the petition before the tribunal. The case at the Appeal Court comes up for hearing on November 7, the same day the tribunal fixed for trial. “We are here to let you

know that a new tribunal is on ground. We have received the files from the former tribunal and we are here to give justice. We don’t have enough time. Again, we have just 90 days or thereabout to deliver justice. So, we want the cooperation of the counsel to both parties so that we can meet the deadline. We will sit from Mondays to Saturdays, except on Sundays,” Pindiga said. In his argument, Airhiavbere’s counsel, Mr. Efe Akpofure (SAN), urged the tribunal to hear the petition afresh since the former tribunal could not conclude before it was dissolved. However, counsel to Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and the Ac-

tion Congress of Nigeria (ACN) opposed Akpofure. He explained that there was no time to start the case afresh in view of the 180-day regulation of the Electoral Act 2010 (Amended). All the parties, however, pledged to cooperate with the tribunal in its onerous task. Speaking after the sitting, Airhiavbere, who attended the tribunal for the first time since he filed his petition, said he was pursuing the petition to deepen democracy. He, however, denied the allegation from his spokesman, Mr. Okharedia Ehimekpen, that unknown persons were threatening to kill him if he pursued the petition.

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SANs back Oshiomhole on death warrants SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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tion against the governor, Amnesty International’s Deputy Programme Director for Africa, Lucy Freeman, said: “The decision to sign a death warrant on these two prisoners shows a deep disrespect for the judicial process as the inmates are part of an ongoing appeal. “The execution of a prisoner when their death sentence is still under challenge in the courts is a flagrant violation of human rights.” According to the right activists, in March 2010, the Legal Defence and Advocacy Project, LEDAP, filed an appeal on behalf of some 840 inmates, including the two whose execution warrants Oshiomhole signed, and lost same in April 2012. The organisation reportedly filed another appeal after the court decision, which ruling is pending. But in his reaction, Alli asked: “To which court is LEDAP appealing the judgement of Supreme Court of Nigeria? That is the final court in Nigeria. Any judgement it enters stays till eternity. I think they just want to draw attention to themselves. “To answer your second question, I support Governor Oshiomhole for signing the death warrants. If those protesting are the ones who were affected, would they be saying the same thing now? It is not only murderers but those who are found guilty of corruption too should be killed. As a Muslim, I believe that the signing of the warrants satisfies the injunction of God.” In his own reaction, Osibajo advised critics of the governor to approach Edo State House of Assembly to expunge death penalty from the state statute. He said: “It is very difficult for the Supreme Court to review its judgement. Once the Supreme Court has given a decision, unless it is so sure there was a fault, or fraud, or there is new evidence, it hardly reviews its decision.

he signing of the death warrants of two convicted criminals by Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of Edo State has continued to generate reactions from legal experts. Leading Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, among them Alhaji Yusuf Alli and Prof. Yemi Osibajo, former Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, have endorsed the governor’s action. Oshiomhole penultimate week announced that in the exercise of his power, he had signed the death warrants by hanging for two convicts, Osaremwinda Aigbuohian and Daniel Nsofor, whose sentences were confirmed by the Supreme Court. The governor’s action was sequel to the report from prison authorities on the recent jailbreak at the Oko Prison in Benin City. Defending his action at the weekend, Oshiomhole said: “I am convinced that those people need to die. In the interest of society, they need to die under the law. The rule of law is different from resolutions by some Non-Government Organisations, NGOs, and nations are not governed by NGOs’ resolutions. “As a governor, I subscribed to an oath of office, which says that I shall obey the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including all laws without fear or favour. I cannot be afraid to sign the death warrant of a man who has been found guilty. I have no apologies. I didn’t sentence them to death. I am not the one who accused them. They were accused by those they harassed. “They have been tried, and they have taken advantage of the appellate courts all the way to the Supreme Court of the land and they were found guilty. “The law also says that having been found guilty and sentenced to death, the governor could exercise prerogative of mercy. But I say that I have no (pity for) those who killed. Why should you compel me to have mercy on those who kill?” Leading a line of opposi- Oshiomhole


12

North

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Alleged terrorism: FG stalls Ndume’s trial Court lashes out at prosecutor

ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he on-going trial of Senator Aliyu Ndume before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for allegedly engaging in terrorism was yesterday stalled at the instance of the Federal Government. The Federal Government announced at the court two witnesses whose names were not

on the list of those earlier submitted to give evidence in the matter. The presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, stopped the witnesses from giving evidence in the case following objection by Ndume. He also lashed out at the prosecutor for failing to play by the rules by making available to the defence all it would use to prosecute the accused person in line

Ndume

with the principle of natural justice. The judge consequently adjourned the case till December 11 and 12 to enable the prosecution to regularise its proof of evidence if it is still willing to call the

two witnesses. Ndume, a Senator from Borno, is standing trial for his alleged links with the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Justice Kolawole refused to allow Mr. Aliyu Usman, a State Security Service (SSS) official, to testify on account of an objection raised by Mr. Rickey Tarfa, counsel to the accused person. The judge said: “From the beginning of this case, the court has been the one prompting the prosecutor. A criminal case requires

diligent prosecution. “Justice is not only meant for the accuser, both the accused and the public require justice too. “In the light of today’s anomaly, the court is compelled to grant leave to the prosecutor to file additional proof of evidence to include the names of the witnesses. “The prosecution counsel is thereby given 14 days within which to file additional proof of evidence and to serve the counsel to

the accused person.’’ Earlier, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Thompson Olatigbe, informed the court on the readiness of the prosecutor to present its two witnesses. But Tarfa immediately raised an objection, as according to him, the officers were not listed in the proof of evidence before the court. He said that the prosecutor used the leverage of being a government apparatus to stampede the court with unlisted witnesses.

Victims of St. Rita’s suicide bombing for burial Thursday A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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eavy security will be deployed on Thursday to St. Rita’s Catholic Church attacked by a suicide bomber last week Sunday in Kaduna for the mass burial of the eight worshipers killed during the incident. It will be recalled that the suicide bomber, who rammed his Honda CRV Jeep into the church’s fence at Unguwan Yero Malali in Kaduna, killed eight worshippers, while 145 were injured. The brief event, will however, take place at the church’s yard by 10 am as Archbishop of Kaduna Catholic Diocese, Arch-

bishop Mathew Man’oso Ndagoso, is expected to perform the burial rites. A security source, who did not want his name mentioned, told National Mirror yesterday that heavy security troops would be stationed in and around the vicinity for surveillance. The source said: “We are aware and I can tell you we are already on top of the situation. The police, State Security Service (SSS) and Army will be on ground to forestall any break down of law and order. We can’t tell you everything, but be rest assured that there will be maximum security during the burial of the slain worshippers.”

PHCN denies collecting N17m from Wamakko

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he Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) yesterday denied collecting N17 million from Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State. A statement made available yesterday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by the Head of Public Affairs, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Babalimmy Omar, said the company was, however, working out ways to restore power to the state. According to the statement, investigation by the company has not traced any money issued to it for any purpose by the state government. It said the five-man committee earlier inaugurated by the company was unable to trace such payment. “After a thorough check through all our records, we make bold to say that the company had not received any money for

power project from Sokoto State government in the sum of N17m as being publicised in the media. “The management solicits the support and cooperation of the customers and stakeholders to ensure quick resolution of the current situation and subsequent transformation of the industry.’’ NAN recalls that the National Union of Electricity Workers, last Thursday gave the governor 48 hours within which to apologise over his alleged flogging of one of its members on Oct. 24, this year. The governor had since denied the allegation.

Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo (middle) unveiling the flag-off of 54 Km Kanawa-Deba-Jagali-Jauro Road, at the weekend.

SSS arrests gun running syndicate in Nasarawa IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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fficials of the State Security Service (SSS) have arrested a syndicate for allegedly specialising in gun running in Nasarawa State. Members of the syndicate were arrested with their weapons, such as three

AK 47 rifles, one sub-machine gun, 48 rounds of live ammunitions and charms. Parading the suspects yesterday in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, Director of SSS, Mr. Abubakar Bubuche, told journalists that the syndicate was made up of two groups. One group was supplying the weapons, while the

other engaged in their sale. One native doctor was also arrested for preparing charms for the suspects. Bubuche said: “We achieve this feat following the operations we carried out recently as two people were arrested in Asakio town which led to the arrest of the others at Abinsi in Benue State”.

Niger plans robust healthcare for rural areas PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he Niger State Government has announced plans to institutionalise community medical outreach to bring robust healthcare services to the rural areas.

The initiative is to cost N1.7 billion. The Commissioner for Health and Hospital Services, Dr Ibrahim Baba-Mini Sule, said in Minna, the state capital, that the cost of the programme would be built into the health sector budget to ensure its success.

The commissioner said that the move would assist in providing healthcare services to areas where such were not available. He said: “To achieve success in the new programme, the general hospitals that offer secondary healthcare services will be the pivot of

Kano to establish classes for illiterate workers

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he Kano State Agency for Mass Education is to establish five literacy classes for illiterate workers. The Executive Secretary of the agency, Prof.

Bubuche gave the suspects’ names as Mohammed Ozegya, Ibrahim Aliyu, Daniel Danladi, Alexander Adeshola Apeshale and Josiah Awolo. He said that the suspects would soon be charged to court and advised members of the public to stop carrying arms against one another.

Fatima Umar, disclosed this while addressing a news conference yesterday in Kano as part of the activities to commemorate this year’s International Literacy Day.

She said the agency, in collaboration with the office of Head of Service, had completed necessary arrangements for the immediate take off of the programme.

“The classes will be established at Gidan Murtala, Audu Bako Secretariat, Government House, Post Office Road and Deputy Governor’s Office, all in Kano,’’ she said.

the community outreach programme while the basic health clinics that provide primary healthcare services will serve as the peripheral outreach of the programme. “The programme will also assist in reducing infant and maternal death in the state. “Under the new community medical outreach programme, our doctors and nurses will be sent to all the primary healthcare centres across the state to ensure that the health services are taken to the door steps of people in the rural areas.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

SUPER TUESDAY

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NASS, Nigeria sacrificial lamb – Ndoma-Egba

Nigeria’s future’ll be in jeopardy, unless... – Yerima

42&43

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Dead heat in race for White House REPORTING

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oday is Super Tuesday in the United States. It is the day Americans finally elect their president, climaxing the early and absentee voting. Beyond the all-important presidential election, hundreds of seats in the Senate and House of Representatives are also up for grabs. Unlike 2008 presidential race where Barack Obama had an easy ride with 365 electoral votes against John Mcain’s 173, today’s election is too close to call. President Obama is running neck and neck with Republican Mitt Romney. As it is, Americans are going into the election divided. Up till yesterday both candidates criss-crossed several swing states for votes. So much money has been pumped into the presidential election. The Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP) in its report released last week said the 2012 U.S. election’s estimated expenditure is in excess of $6 billion. This is considered to be the most expensive in the history of U.S. election. Bulk of the money is spent on advertising. “In the new campaign finance landscape post- Citizens United, we’re seeing historic spending levels spurred by outside groups dominated by a small number of individuals and organisations making exceptional contributions,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of CRP. Krumholz said that not only is the total cost of the election record breaking, but the rate at which spending has increased and continues to increase in the closing weeks of the election is a major issue. Critical issues such as the economy, jobs, education, healthcare, abortion, foreign policy, same sex marriage, taxes, immigration, environment and energy will determine the choice of the voters. The position of the candidates on these issues will determine their choice.

Brickbats The tight race has witnessed the leading candidates throwing tantrums at each other on virtually all subjects: economy, foreign policy, medi-care, spending and jobs. Obama has accused Romney of being dishonest on his stand on medi-care, foreign policy, auto bailout and tax regime, saying his Republican rival is suffering from Romnesia; a condition affecting Romney, who has shifted his positions severally conveniently forgetting the conservative promises he has made over the past six

OBAMA/BIDEN US presidential Electoral College votes by states

ROMNEY/RYAN

SOLID LIKELY LEANS TOSS UP SOLID LIKELY LEANS TOSS UP

come of today’s election. All point to one direction: a tight race or too close to call. Neither Obama nor Romney enjoys a clear lead in the race for the 270 electoral votes to emerge winner in the poll. The last time an incumbent president faced similar situation was in 1993. Former President George Bush Snr. could not maintain a clear lead in the build up to the election against Bill Clinton. Bush lost the election. In the national polls released yesterday by FOX News, Politico/GWU/Battleground, CNN/Opinion Research, and Rasmussen Reports, the two candidates tied with 46, 48, 49, 49 per cent pair respectively In the Pew Research, NBC News/Wall St. Journal, ABC News/Wash Post, CBS News/NY Times, National Journal and IBD/TIPP Obama was leading Romney with between one and five points while the Republican candidate is ahead of the President in Gallup and NPR polls with one and five points.

Candidates’ safe states

Obama

Romney

TOP STORY years that he’s been running for president. Romney on the other hand has hit hard at Obama, accusing him of running the economy in the wrong direction. “Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill. The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work,” Romney said. But Obama reminded voters that the country has made progress since 2008, even if it has come slower than he predicted. “The American auto industry is back on

top. Home values are on the rise,” he said Saturday in Ohio, adding: “The war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.”

How the president will emerge To emerge a winner in the U.S. presidential election, a candidate is expected to secure 270 out of the 538 electoral votes. By convention, any candidate that wins with even a vote automatically wins the entire electoral votes in a given state. Each state is allocated electoral vote by their population. Winning majority votes in the election does not guarantee a winner.

Poll of polls Several polls have been conducted by different organisations on the possible out-

Obama/Biden has 11 safe states with a total of 154 electoral votes. The biggest haul for them is California with 55 electoral votes. Other safe states for the Democrats are Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New York (29), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3) and Washington (12). The Democrats are also likely to gain 29 votes from Connecticut (7), Maine (3), New Jersey (14) and New Mexico (5). Maine (18), Minnesota (10) and Oregon (7) also lean towards Obama. The President is also favoured to win Michigan’s 16 votes. Putting the safe states, likely and lean Obama states together, the Democrats will be going into the election with 217 electoral votes, 53 short of the 270 constitutionally required to emerge as winner. For Romney/Ryan, they are sure of 16 safe states having 127 electoral votes with the biggest from Texas (38). Other states the Republicans are sure of winning are Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Nebraska (4), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), Tennessee (11), Utah (6), West Virginia (5) and Wyoming (3). States like Georgia (16), Indiana (11), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Missouri (10), Montana (3) and Nebraska CD2 (1) with 53 electoral votes are going for Romney. Arizona (11) also leans towards the Republicans. With these figures, the Romney/ Ryan ticket can boast of 191 electoral votes.

Battleground states In United States politics, swing states otherwise known as battleground states are states in which no single candidate or party has overwhelming support in securCONTINUED ON PAGE 41


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Politics THE

PARLIAMENT

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NASS, Nigeria’s sacrificial lamb – Ndoma-Egba

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Majority Leader of the Senate. In this interview with EMMANUEL ONANI, the threeterm legislator speaks on a wide range of national issues, including the call by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for a referendum on the review of the 1999 constitution, as well as the refusal of the Federal Government to appeal against the October 10, 2002 judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ceding Bakassi to Cameroun. Excerpts:

why I say we are the fall-guys of the country such that, anything that goes wrong, blame it on those “bastards”. But, the facts speak a different story.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), insisted that the only way the on-going constitution review process will have legitimacy is for it to be subjected to a referendum. What is your reaction to this? Well, neither the constitution nor any of our laws provides for referendum. So, when they talk about referendum, it means it’s extra-constitutional or extra-legal. Who will conduct the referendum and how do you determine the outcome? You know, the constitution is very clear; the constitution that creates this National Assembly and creates all our current institutions, powers and authorities, is very clear on how it should be altered or amended and it did not say anything about a referendum. So, when they talk about referendum, who is going to conduct it, how and what will the guidelines be? How do you determine the outcome?

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), recently warned its members against public criticism of the government, to avoid sanctions. Will this warning impede on the pace of legislative vibrancy? There are three arms of government; we are an arm of the government. One thing I object to is for people to assume that they have a monopoly of patriotism, nobody does. All of us are as patriotic as the next person. As a matter of fact, I was telling somebody that my last child is not three years yet but, I even have a greater stake to make sure that I have a good country for her, than people whose children are adults. So, there is no monopoly of wisdom or patriotism residing in any particular place; we all swore to serve Nigeria, to defend the constitution and the positions we take are defined by where we stand. The perspective you have depends on where you stand. I know people who were in this National Assembly and the positions they took then and now that they are in the executive, have changed. This is because, where they stand has changed and they are now seeing things from a different perspective. It doesn’t make them any less patriotic. And, that is why those who formulated government, in their wisdom, have put three arms so that no one arm pre-dominates. So, I think that the best we can do in the situation, is for all of us to develop that democratic spirit, that democratic disposition and to respect the views of others. Let it not be that if you don’t share my views then you are not patriotic. I can challenge anybody on that one; I’m entitled to my views and I’m entitled to see things my own way.

The group raised the alarm that many bills have been pending before the National Assembly for over 10 years, accusing the legislature of abdicating its primary function of lawmaking. What is your take on this? First of all, I don’t agree that oversight is secondary. Oversight is, perhaps, the most important function of the National Assembly, after its power to appropriate. So, its oversight duties are as important as its other duties. Secondly, it’s not possible for any bill to be pending in the legislature or in this National Assembly for 10 years. It is constitutionally impossible because the National Assembly has a life-span of four years and its constitutional provisions say on its fourth anniversary, it stands dissolved. When you dissolve a thing nothing survives, including the bills that we have not finished working on. It’s a different scenario when you are talking about the United States Congress. Elections are staggered and so, there is no time that the congress stands dissolved. But, even in the US – they can check their records – there are bills that have remained pending in the United States Congress for over a century. So, it doesn’t mean that the US congress has abdicated its responsibility. But, in our own situation it is practically impossible for any bill to last more than four years; no bill can last more than the life span of the National Assembly. The National Assembly seems to be receiving a lot of bashings from the public on matters of national concerns. What could be responsible for this persistent outcry? First, let me start by saying that there is no parliament anywhere in the world that will win a beauty contest. No parliament anywhere in the world can win a popularity test; it is the nature of parliament, because it is an assemblage of the representative of the people. It also represents the peoples’ hopes and their frustrations. So, the easiest place to take out those frustrations is on the people directly elected. In our own peculiar Nigerian situation, in our post independence history, for the almost 29 or 30 years of military rule, the National Assembly did not exist. The implication is that Nigerians got used to living without a National Assembly. It’s just that we are confronted with a paradox! This same National Assembly that we have learned to live without is the symbol of democracy. Because, it is the presence or absence of the National Assembly that

Why can’t the National Assembly embark on aggressive enlightenment in order for the public to be properly guided on some of these facts? Our budget is, for instance, an Act of Parliament; that is a public document. Everything I have told you is what you can verify; the amount involved in the subsidy is public. Not only did the House of Representatives finish their investigation, the Aig Imoukuede-panel also came out with figures; so, they are all in the public domain. It’s just that the attitude, you know we have this public response to situations, which is, let’s take the easiest way out. Whenever something is wrong with Nigeria, it’s the National Assembly.

Ndoma-Egba

WE ARE IN A LOVE-TO-HATE SITUATION. WE ARE THE ONLY INSTITUTION THAT PEOPLE HAVE LEARNED TO LIVE

30 YEARS. SO... NIGERIANS CAN “AFFORD TO LIVE WITHOUT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY WITHOUT FOR

determines the kind of government that you have. If you have a National Assembly then you have a democracy and if you don’t have a National Assembly, then you have a dictatorship. We are in a love-to-hate situation. We are the only institution that people have learned to live without for 30 years. So, the implication is that Nigerians can “afford to live without the National Assembly.” But, can you afford to live without the National Assembly, if you want a democracy? The answer is no. Again, because for almost 30 years we did not exist, we have not developed the kind of engagement with the public that the other arms have developed. We are still far behind in terms of capacity and we admit that. However, we are doing the best that we can do. We are far behind in terms of infrastructure and we admit that. But, every society has its weeping boys and scapegoats. In our own case, the National Assembly has become the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in Nigeria. For example, Nigerians blame us for the high cost of government and I ask, what is the budget of the National Assembly in 2012? It’s N150 billion out of a national budget of N4. 8 trillion, which is less than three per cent. But, the problems of Nigeria are concentrated on the three per cent; nobody is talking about the ninety seven per cent of the budget. The fuel subsidy scheme they are investigating is over N2 trillion while the National Assembly budget is just a little fraction of that. In fact, the National Assembly’s budget is what one marketer is being investigated about, an individual. Unfortunately, we seem to be the problem, not the individual who is spending the same N150 billion or collecting the same amount from government. The budget of the National Assembly is a fraction of the amount you are investigating in the pensions. You see, there is now that fixation and that is

Despite your very passionate debate on Bakassi, which culminated in the Senate’s resolution urging the Federal Government to appeal for a review of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ’s) decision that ceded the oilrich Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice decided otherwise. What is the feeling of the Senate? You cannot as a litigant substitute your position with that of the court. The conclusion, whether or not facts are new or fresh, is a conclusion that only the court itself can arrive at. So, I think it was an error on our part to substitute our views for those of the court. Having said that, I can only pray that the Federal Government’s position is vindicated by time and by history. As the National Assembly intensifies efforts to alter some aspects of the constitution, what plans are you putting in place to return Nigeria to the path of federalism? What we are doing is the constitutional amendment and that is what we call the grund norm, which is a German word for the fundamental law. The terms of our relationship, the terms of our union, are all derived from that document. So, it is the document that will now provide the framework for the federalism of our dream. That is why the exercise is a very crucial one, and that is why I am worried by the attitude of the new president of the NBA to it. This is because; this exercise has been so important and so crucial and critical and will remain important, crucial and critical that the NBA itself has been a very effective partner.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Politics

16

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rotimi ASO ROCK FILE

Jonathan as mediator in oil wells disputes

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with

Rotimi FADEYI

When tempers went high over oil revenue report

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alam Nuhu Ribadu is not new to controversy, even when he was the helmsman at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), there were controversies over the procedure adopted by the anti-graft agency in prosecuting some of its cases in court. His appointment in February this year as the head of an investigative team to probe the activities in the oil industry was hailed by many who believed that coming from the opposition party and considering his intimidating record as Chairman of the EFCC, he would do a good job in exposing corrupt practices in the industry. But before his committee submitted its final report to the government last Friday, it has already leaked to the public through some news websites, thereby raising many issues about the authenticity of the final report. Ribadu was however not disturbed by the leakage, saying that when working with many people as a committee, the possibility of a leakage cannot be completely ruled out. They exchanged words before the President, who became an umpire at a point trying to calm the rising temper over the report. Ribadu and Oronsaye advanced reasons to justify their different positions. While Oronsaye said that the report was flawed because members were not given opportunity to verify the content and make meaningful contributions, Ribadu countered his argument, saying that Oronsaye did not attend meetings and therefore could not have been

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1. Chairman, Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu 2. Chairman, Task Force on Governance and Control, Dotun Sulaiman 3. Kogi State governor, Idris Wada 4. Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi 5. Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio 6. Anambra State governor, Peter Obi 7. Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke 8. Camerounian Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmadu Ali 9. Camerounian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abbas Iya Ibrahima 10. German Foreign Minister, Dr. Guido Westerwelle

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three-man delegation from Camerounian President, Paul Biya was in Nigeria last week to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan over bilateral issues affecting the two countries including the oil rich Bakassi Peninsula The judgement of the International Court of Justice on the ownership of the oil rich area had favoured Cameroun but Biya had to send the three wise men to Jonathan seeking for a meeting in order to cement relationship in spite of the judgement The three-man delegation comprised the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmadu Ali; Ambassador to Nigeria, Abbas Iya Ibrahima and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Cooperation, Jean Nguta. They informed Jonathan of Biya’s readi-

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involved in the process leading to the report. The drama started when Oronsaye raised up his hand several times, seeking to be recognised by the President to allow him to express his opinion on the report that Ribadu had presented and after he got the attention of the President he told the gathering that he was not part of the decisions and recommendations contained in the report. Specifically, Oronsaye questioned the process through which the report was prepared, saying that he never participated in preparing the report or signed the report, stressing that the process was flawed. While expressing his grievances on the report of his committee, Oronsaye told the President: “I did not join the committee until much later because I was busy with some assignments but when I joined, I made certain observations. But I want to make a general statement. No matter how elegant a house may be, if the foundation is faulty, it will collapse.” But Ribadu fired back, saying that the former Head of Service never participated in the work of the committee or was involved in the production of the report, adding that Oronsaye was not comfortable with the report of the committee because of the far reaching recommendations which he considered unfavourable to government. But Jonathan, while responding to the allegations raised by the duo, stated that it was normal for such disagreement, stressing that government would still consider the report, because according to him, the government has nothing to hide, saying that the report of the committees, particularly, the Petroleum Revenue Task Force was not to investigate anybody in government.

wo separate meeting were held last week with President Goodluck Jonathan playing the role of peacemaker in disputes over oil wells involving five states. It is expected that such disputes would arise particularly when it has to do with oil money and other benefits that would accrue to states that could put up a strong fight to ensure the possession of the oil wells in dispute or even in addition to the number of such oil wells that a state may already have in its territory. Three states-Kogi, Anambra and Enugu on the one hand, are engaged in battle for a fair share in the revenue from the activities of the first oil refinery being built by Orient Petroleum at Aguleri Otu in Anambra East Local Government Area. The Kogi State government is insisting that the state would be a major stakeholder in the refinery, considering the fact that the oil wells that would supply crude to the refinery are in Odeke community in Ibaji Local Government Area of the state. The state governor, Idris Wada made it clear that he is not ready to give up on the

claim to substantial share in the revenue or benefit that would be derived from the operation of the refinery. Similarly the Enugu State government has also joined in the dispute, claiming that it also has a major stake. On the other hand Bayelsa and Rivers states are also fighting over boundary dispute in areas where five oil wells are located, obviously for the oil money. Last week, Jonathan summoned all the feuding states to the Presidential Villa for peace meetings. Though the two governors after the meeting with Jonathan said the outcome was favourable to them, another meeting has been scheduled to take place in Kogi State at the end of this month for further discussion on the matter. While expressing the position of his state government on the dispute, Obi said Anambra is ready to work with Kogi as states of the federation to resolve the matter particularly with the intervention of the President Speaking in the same vein, Wada said the matter would be resolved amicably in the interest of the nation.

L-R: Representative of Amayanabo of Kalabari Kingdom, HRH, Disrel GBobo Bob-Manuel; Chief of Staff, Mike Ogiadomhe and President Goodluck Jonathan, during a meeting with monarchs and elders of Kalabari Kingdom at the State House.

Boosting power reform through cabinet reshuffle

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obody was expecting the cabinet reshuffle in the federal cabinet just about two months after the resignation of former Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, over conflict of interest in the power reforms for which he was the driving force. The power sector and the efforts towards providing stable supply of electricity has been a critical area that has engaged the attention of the present administration as

well as many Nigerians. Though with the exit of Nnaji, the power sector agenda was still on focus as the Minister of State for Power, Darius Dickson Ishaku took over the leadership in the Ministry of Power as there was no appointment of a substantive minister. Ishaku has actively participated in the various meetings of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo towards power

Still on Bakassi Peninsula ness to work cordially with him to address salient issues bordering on the common interests of the two countries. Apart from expressing willingness to further promote and strengthen relationship between the two countries, Biya also sought for an audience with Jonathan as a way of encouraging regular consultations and interactions between the two leaders. Responding, Jonathan noted that there was need for Nigerians living in Cameroun and Camerounians living in Nigeria to be treated well, adding that the fundamental human rights of individuals must be respected irrespective of where they reside.

Jonathan assured that he was ready to meet with Biya to find lasting solutions to the problems facing the two countries. Biya condoled with Jonathan on the recent floods in parts of the country, saying his country also witnessed a similar scenario recently. Following alleged cases of abuse of Nigerians living in the area since the ICJ judgement, the Federal Government considered the option of approaching the court again to challenge the ruling before the time limit allowed for appeal, but ruled out the option of an appeal on grounds that there were no fresh substance in the matter with which to back up the appeal.

generation and distribution as well as complete privatisation of the sector But at the Federal Executive Council meeting last week, President Goodluck Jonathan asked Ishaku to swap position with the Minister of State for Niger Delta, Hajia Zainab Kuchi, a step seen as a demonstration of the determination of the government to further strengthen the sector and continue to raise the level of performance to meet the expectation of Nigerians. Though there are insinuations that Ishaku was removed from the power ministry because improvement in the supply of electricity could not be sustained since the exit of Nnaji, but the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati dismissed such insinuations, stressing that there has not been a drop in the supply of electricity. “The testimony that we get from ordinary Nigerians from people who use electricity is that there has been an increase. In fact, in many parts of the country, people now enjoy electricity supply for many long hours of the day and for which this government has been commended”

MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-44


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Re: EFCC: From Hope to Hogwash OLUMHENSE’S HUBRIS

WILSON UWUJAREN

IS COMPLETELY

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he attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to an article by Sonala Olumhense entitled, EFCC: From Hope to Hogwash, published online by Saharareporters on Sunday October, 28, 2011. In the piece, Olumhense appeared cross with the EFCC under the leadership of Ibrahim Lamorde for the singular reason that it failed to submit its Annual Report to the National Assembly by September 30, 2012 as demanded by law. This supposed failure, in his estimation, is evidence that Lamorde and the system which he runs is fraud. He went ahead to make sweeping claim that Lamorde’s failure to submit the report was indicative that the EFCC Chief Executive is as much a fraud as the people he is pretending to be chasing about. These are weighty and unsavoury conclusions, coming as they are from a columnist of Olumhense’s pedigree. Olumhense has over the years showed less than a passing interest in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. His interventions, through well considered and far-sighted commentaries have been invaluable. Indeed, he is considered a respected voice from the Diaspora, one of those who truly desire genuine change and positive development in Nigeria However on this occasion, he falls miserably short of his own high standard by

UNFOUNDED AS IT IS PREDICATED ON A FAULTY FOUNDATION publishing an article that is anything but factual. In the first place, Olumhense’s hubris is completely unfounded as it is predicated on a faulty foundation. The EFCC under Lamorde has not violated any law that it is supposed to comply with. Contrary to the claims, the commission duly submitted its 2011 Annual Report to the National Assembly as demanded by Section 37 of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004. That section states, that “”the Commission shall, not later than 30th September in each year, submit to the National Assembly, a report of its activities during the immediately preceding year and shall include in such report the audited account of the Commission”. This was done. It is curious that Olumhense’s made no attempt to verify his fact before publishing. In this instance, he neither sought to know from the commission, whether it had submitted the annual report nor did he verify from the National Assembly whether it was in receipt of the report. Had he done so, he would have saved himself the embarrassment of an article that

is flawed and misleading. Apparently Olumhense appeared fixated in his anticipation of the report, that he mistook the absence of ceremony in the fulfilment of this statutory requirement as evidence of non-compliance. He completely ruined what should have been an excellent treatise on the way forward in the anti- graft campaign by allowing his emotion to get the better of him over the issue of the EFCC Annual Report. But his anger was completely misplaced. Olumhense surely owes Lamorde an apology for doubting his professionalism. Everything the EFCC Chairman has done since he took the reins of the commission’s leadership has been tailored towards restoring its moral and professional integrity. From recalling some of the crack investigators that were asked to leave the commission in its meltdown years, to investigating and prosecuting officers with integrity issues, to running integrity checks on all serving officers; Lamorde has had one thing in mind: Restoring the professional health of the commission. The result of this initiative is evident even to cynics. Many of the International partners that abandoned the commission in its testy years are back. The Commission now enjoys the confidence of law enforcement organizations around the globe, opening up fresh windows of cooperation and collaboration that have strengthened the fight against economic crimes and corruption in Nigeria.

More than 160 cases were investigated and charged to court in Lamorde’s first six months in office, earning more than 30 convictions for the commission. Some of these cases, especially ones relating to the mega scam in the oil subsidy regime affect highly influential individuals. These are not the imprimatur of an anti-graft czar that “is as much a fraud as any of the people he is pretending to be chasing around”. Haba, Sonala! There is no promise Lamorde has made concerning his current job which he has abandoned. Of course, those who have been carried away by the theatrics and drama that the commission had come to be associated with in the recent past may find it difficult to appreciate the professionalism of the EFCC under Lamorde. The era of high drama, of simply showing off and blowing hot air is gone. Real law enforcement the world over is serious business, and not one to be conducted on the pages of newspapers and television studios. Sonala Olumhense: EFCC submitted its 2011 Annual Report, right on schedule to the two chambers of the Nigerian National Assembly, Thursday, September 27, 2012. No fanfare. No drama. Run your checks and…apologise not just to Lamorde and his team that you so savaged in that piece, but to the millions of Nigerians who hang on to your every word, who you have unfortunately let down and led astray this time! Uwujaren is Ag. Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC

Letter to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan STEPHEN KEKEGHE

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s you mounted the throne, you towed your subjects to your knell and blindfolded them with the cacophony of confused rhythms. Now, they cannot tell the difference between a governor and a tormentor. They fold their hands in anguish; and bite their lips in distress. I’m sorry sir; I have disregarded the observable conventions of composing a letter; especially to such a personality like you. As the comrade that I’m, and as a bearer of the trauma of the despairing masses currently experiencing perpetual heartbreak, I’ll not place much prominence on your regal image. But sir, I’m sorry once more that I wouldn’t expend much time. The issues on ground are too fierce for such insubstantial injunctions. Of course, we acknowledge the fact that you are doing well, but your subjects are not; you are rich and happy, they are poor and angry. You can recommend your children, cousins and relatives for jobs; they do not have anyone to recommend them. Thus they experience physical and psychological alienation in their own state. Although you were recently awarded the Commander of the Niger (C.O.N) by the Federal Government and a few foxes and leeches celebrated you, not because they love you, but because they are all bulldozing a path to the storehouse of our wealth to take their own shares through rapacious contracts and appointments. A

few others groaned bitterly, not because they hate you, but because they knew the award was another attempt to mock the nation which has succeeded in raising insanity shoulder-high. It is so ridiculous that your immediate and political families employed the media to celebrate your prowess as you strut around the various camps where the displaced flood victims are dumped to wrestle with want, mosquitoes and cold. It is lamentable that in Delta State the tragedy of the flood victims has stimulated another opportunity for shameless politicians who reel brazenly for contracts to set up camps in order to corner our resources. Isn’t this reprehensible? You woke up one morning and probably refused all the foods served you. You preferred to go and eat in the most exclusive hotel in town. You spared no thought on the downtrodden that do not have the opportunity of making such choices. Some of them probably eat once a day, not minding the quality; others do not have to eat at all. They struggle from dawn to dusk to earn a thousand naira or less. They are human beings like you. Now, you said you would ban commercial motorcycles (Okada), yet all the roads are in terrible state. What measures have you put in place to sustain them? If the only access to getting employed in Delta State is to be recommended by a politician, then, what do you expect of such qualified candidates that have no relatives in government? Is it not upsetting for

THERE IS AN INEVITABLE END TO

OUR STRUGGLES, AND THE WEALTH WE HAVE GARNERED WILL NOT ACCOMPANY US TO THE ABSOLUTE GRAVE people to experience such existential contradictions in their own state – a situation where people that merit jobs are deprived because they have no compradors in government? Is it not outrageous to see that a lizard can lecture students in tertiary institution if he is on the Governor’s list? How can we experience intellectual ethos? . We have been fooled long enough and will be ready to dramatize our angst in a combative way. With the burden of anger, we have refused to bewail, but stand to be more confrontational in unfolding our resentment. I would want to applaud your eloquent efforts in your service to pregnant women, but since we are persistently confronted by some political blunders, the little famous achievements have been eclipsed by bounteous flaws. Sir, but why did you change the motto of Delta State from “Big Heart” to “Finger of God”? Is it not an attempt to reduce the majestic portrait of God? Is the finger of God kleptomaniac? Why has this finger rejoiced more on how to squander our wealth and make us blind, than ever

before? Why does this finger express every perfect mechanic in political malpractice? As the lion governor, you have successfully dragged Chiefs, Elders and Kings under your feet, tottering barefacedly to mend their pale pockets. Now, the crown is buried under the trodden feet of rogues! Infant-elders! What magic did you employ, that in spite of the strides of failure in your government, Professors and intellectuals are mute? Even the usual radical student body, NADESTU, have robbed themselves of their reputation to shower synthetic praises on you because they chose to remain the Lazarus who kneels shamelessly in entreaty to get the crumbs from the rich man’s table. No matter the billions you pile up, I want to remind you of the pointlessness of the striving within. Life is vain. There is an inevitable end to our struggles, and the wealth we have garnered will not accompany us to the absolute grave. It is therefore imperative to make a judicious use of our time on earth to affect lives positively. Kekeghe is Researcher on Literature and Psychiatry at the University of Ibadan. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


Editorial

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Is a ‘Flood Commission’ necessary?

bill to create a commission for flood and erosion has passed the second reading at the House of Representatives. Christened ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Coastal Erosion and Flood Control Commission’, it would be vested with the responsibility of control and management of coastal erosion, flood and other related matters. Proponents of the bill argue that the country ought to have a commission that will handle such disasters as the flooding that devastated about 19 states of the federation, including Lagos, Delta, Edo, Anambra, Bayelsa, and Nassarawa, etc., recently. The argument appears premised on the mismanagement and, most times, diversion of ecological funds which should have been invested in erosion and flood control projects by state governments. The impression being given, therefore, is that hurriedly establishing a flood commission would translate to better management of ecological funds and, perhaps, official proactive management of erosion and flood crises nationwide. On the contrary, however, we object to the panic-driven idea of establishing an additional public agency by whatever name called just for the sake of managing erosion and flood problems. In truth, the mayhem visited on the

nation by recent flood disasters can hardly be quantified. But the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) warned far ahead of time that the tragic floods should be expected. The essence of such warning was for the relevant authorities to take precaution. Despite all the efforts of NIMET to draw public attention to the expected floods, however, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and ministries of environment at both the federal and state levels were caught off- guard. They were helplessly wringing their arms in awe as if they were not forewarned. Indeed, of all the 36 states in the federation, including Abuja, the nation’s capital, Lagos State seems the only state government that has invested enough energy and resources to mitigate the grave effects of flooding of late. Early in the year, the Federal Government set up a Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, which was headed by former head of the civil service of the federation, Steve Oronsaye. Part of that committee’s report which has since been submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan was that many government establishments were performing similar functions, and needed to be merged or scrapped. The Nuhu

THE FLOOD COMMISSION IS DEFINITELY NOT CONSISTENT

PRESIDENT JONATHAN’S AVOWED WITH

COMMITMENT TO REDUCING THE COST OF GOVERNANCE Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force also set up by Jonathan this year to look into the rot in the oil sector also made similar remarks, particularly in respect of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) while submitting its report to the president last Friday. Indeed, why should additional bureaucracy be viewed as the panacea to Nigeria’s flood problems in a country that has federal and state ministries of environment, in addition to NEMA and an ecological fund? Why the luxury of a flood commission when roughly 80 percent of the nation’s annual budgets in over a decade is spent on recurrent expenditure? Why settle for the convenient option even with the level of corruption ravaging the public sector? Must the FG

create a commission for each natural disaster? The flood commission is definitely not consistent with President Jonathan’s avowed commitment to reducing the cost of governance. The argument on proper management of ecological funds through the proposed commission is also hasty, faulty, misplaced and short-sighted, since the leadership of the commission might turn out to be worse than the present managers of the fund. In truth, the proposed bill glossed over the diversion of ecological funds by state governors. Governors owe the nation the moral obligation of accounting for ecological funds disbursed to their states; just like the FG owes Nigerians explanation on why it woefully failed to dredge the River Niger. Virtually all government ministries, departments and agencies specialize in wasteful and profligate spending, but are specters of embarrassment when it comes to being accountable and transparent. We don’t think the proposed flood commission would be an exception. Everything possible should be done to shrink the public sector, not duplicating it the more to create jobs for political cronies and allies. The existing agencies should be properly funded, kitted and compelled to be effective in the performance of their legitimate duties.

ON THIS DAY November 6, 2004 An express train collided with a stationary car near the village of Ufton Nervet, England, killing seven people and injuring 150 others. The inquest concluded that the accident was caused by Brian Drysdale, a chef at the nearby Wokefield Park Hotel, committing suicide by parking his car on the crossing. The rear of the 220 m (720 ft) long InterCity 125 train came to rest about 100 m (110 yd) beyond the crossing with all eight coaches derailed.

November 6, 1999 Australians voted to keep the Head of the Commonwealth as their head of state in the Australian republic referendum. The referendum was on two questions: whether Australia should become a republic with a President appointed by Parliament following a bi-partisan appointment model which had been approved by a half-elected, half-appointed Constitutional Convention in 1998; and whether Australia should alter the Constitution to insert a preamble.

November 6, 1986 A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashed 2.5 miles east of Sumburgh Airport killing 45 people. The helicopter was on approach to land at Sumburgh Airport Shetland Islands, while returning workers of the Brent oilfield. At 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from the runway, the helicopter had a catastrophic forward transmission failure which de-synchronised the twin rotors causing the blades to collide. The helicopter crashed into the sea and sank.


Why proposed National Carrier will fail - Stakeholders

Risk surveyors call for increased disaster management in Nigeria

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Financial inclusion: Experts chart roadmap for successful policy implementation The National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) was launched last week by the President as a monetary strategy to integrate millions of unbanked micro-business entrepreneurs, particularly women, into the ‘financial grid’. Since then, experts have continued to react to the initiative with mixed feelings. In this analysis by TOLA AKINMUTIMI, their concerns and informed opinion about how to make the strategy work are captured.

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

Inside a banking hall

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o most entrepreneurs and other economic stakeholders, access to affordable funds remains the most tasking operational constraint that has over the years make doing business in Nigeria a harrowing experience. Save for the cost of power supply, there seems no other problem that has hampered indigenous companies’ competitiveness at sub-regional and global markets as getting credit from the banks, especially at a time when efforts by governments and monetary authorities to sooth the frayed operational nerves of operators through fiscal incentives have failed to pro-

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vide the needed reliefs. And so when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), after close to two years of painstaking initiatives in collaboration with other regulatory authorities in the financial system, came out last week to launch the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) amid fanfare and global players’ involvement, dashed hopes of many small business owners and their interest groups who had hitherto been completely cut off from banking financing channels were rekindled. The importance of the initiative to stimulating economic revitalisation at the grassroots can well be captured with the presence of the President Goodluck Jonathan, the United Nations Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Princess Maxima of Netherlands, key ministers;

and hordes of representatives of micro-business operators and farmer groups, who appear to see a glimpse of light after years of languishing in the dark tunnel of capital inadequacy. Indeed, the event was like a reawakening of national consciousness to give the needed push to the most vital link in monetary policy initiatives that can really give Nigeria a cutting edge in global economic competitiveness and by implication, make the collective dream of the laudable objectives of Vision 20:2020 economic blueprint come true. This is especially true when NFIS launch is analysed within the context of the fact that the strategy is expected to result in the launching of a new N220 billion Micro Credit Fund the larger chunk of the disbursement of which will go to women in busi-

ness, agro-business owners and other informal micro-business operators whose contributions are estimated to be well above 60 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Speaking at the occasion of the formal launch of the NFIS, President Jonathan, who was represented by the Vice President, Arch. Namadi Sambo, while admitting that lack of access to finance has been one of the major factors militating against economic growth in the country said the strategy would complement the goals set by the Federal government in its transformation agenda. Specifically, the president said: “At the assumption of office, we set clear policies and programmes that will put our national on the path of economic growth and development. This administration CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

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)

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Nigeria to save $3. 9bn on CIF freight policy reversal

Career fairs can end unemployment

Stakeholders lament environmental degradation across Nigeria

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Business & Finance

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Financial inclusion: Experts chart roadmap for successful policy implementation remains committed to ensuring that the atmosphere is right for Nigerians to find gainful employment especially for the youths and women. “To achieve this we have embarked on the YouWin programmes for youth and women. All of these are aimed at accelerating the pace of economic growth and development,” President Jonathan said. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the NFIS seeks among others goals, to create an enabling environment that will substantially lower the cost of financial services through the deployment of innovative technology, implement a sound regulatory framework that values the goal of financial inclusion with integrity and stability, recognise consumer protection and empowerment as key parts of financial inclusion and also make evidence-based financial inclusion policy a priority by collecting comprehensive data. According to available statistics on financial exclusion, a problem which the strategy is designed to address, currently, 39.2 million or 46.3 per cent of the total adult population of 84.7 million Nigerians are excluded from financial services. Out of these, women account for 54.4 per cent of the excluded population while 73.8 per cent are aged less than 45 years, 34 per cent are without formal education and 80.4 per cent of them live in rural areas. On how the NFIS will be made operational, Sanusi, who spoke with journalists in company of the UN envoy a day after the launching of the strategy, said the N220 billion the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) would be launched before the end of the current financial year and that 60 per cent of the fund would be committed to providing long term credit at single digit interest rate to women in micro and agro-based businesses in the country. This strategy, according to the CBN governor, is amongst other policy strategies being pursued in order to give women, who constitutes the largest group in micro and agro-based businesses, access to funds and improve their banking culture in line with the current drive for improved financial inclusion of millions of particularly, the unbanked and underserved Nigerians in the rural communities. He explained: “The fund that we were supposed to launch yesterday but which we hope to launch hopefully before the end of the year, specifically provides for about 60 per cent of the amount to be targeted at businesses owned and managed by women, and the objective is to help them get long term funding at single digit interest rate so there is specific incentives there for the women. “The N220 billion funds will involve the Central Bank and other government ministries. Right now we are at the stage where all stakeholders are looking at it and giving their own input into the structure. We will take it at the economic management implementation team and have the buy-in of all parties then, go ahead and launch it,” he said.

Sanusi

Oputu

TO ACHIEVE INCLUSIVE FINANCE IN NIGERIA, EMPHASIS SHOULD BE DIRECTED AT CREATING VIABLE INSTITUTIONS WHICH SUPPORT THE

DELIVERY OF FINANCIAL SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS, HOUSEHOLDS, AND ENTERPRISES

Despite the potential benefits and desirability of the Fund to the financial inclusion agenda, analysts have argued that there is the need for the authorities to put in place critical policy modalities and institutional mechanisms that would make the realisation of its broad objectives achievable. An industry chieftain and microfinance specialist, Mr Nwoke Rogers, who delved elaborately on what financial inclusion connotes and why appropriate policy and institutional frameworks are crucial to make its impact felt at the micro level of the nation’s economy, especially at the grassroots, pointed out that there was need for collective approach in order to make the agenda work since government alone cannot pull it through the hurdles that are bound to be contended with when the implementation kicks-off. Rogers, who is the Managing Director of Hasal Microfinance Bank Limited, identified appropriate policy framework, financial sustainability and effective channels for getting the micro-credit to end users in a cost efficient and timely manner, a functional agent banking network, strong and functional infrastructure and strengthening of the microfinance banks as imperatives for successful financial inclusion drive in the country. He stated: “To achieve inclusive finance in Nigeria, emphasis should be directed at creating viable institutions which support the delivery of financial services to individuals, households, and enterprises. This places an enormous task on the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial regulators for the sustainability of the system.

“The question then arises on how policy frameworks can be used as pivotal instruments to drive inclusive finance for development. It is imperative here to observe that inclusive finance for development cannot be pursued by government alone but by the active participation of the private sector financial intermediaries. “This then brings the issue of financial sustainability for such institutions. Several channels exits to advance financial inclusion and these may include the use of electronic channels such as POS terminals, ATMs and cards. Mobile telephony systems have also become effective channels for mobile money and mobile banking due to their penetration rate to hitherto unreached enclaves”, Rogers added. According to him, in order to succeed in the financial inclusion drive, a functional agent banking network is pivotal. He added that for all these channels to work effectively, a strong policy framework, which will serve to provide level playing ground for all operators and avoid sharp practices that hurt consumers of financial services, is needed to provide regulatory guidelines for all actors in the spheres of inclusive finance. While noting that such policy frameworks should also create minimum standards of service delivery targeted at instituting best practices in the delivery of financial services to all levels of the society since they are also pivotal in eliminating bottlenecks to financial inclusion which includes KYC and CDD requirements which do not favour rural and low income people to have access to finance; and driving a focused financial literacy

Okonjo-Iweala

campaign to educate and enlighten the Nigerian public on their rights and responsibilities in the use of financial products and services. On the roles of microfinance banks which he believes given the CBN-midwifed capacity building requirements set for operating MFBs, would be better positioned to perform their financial roles at the micro levels of the economy, Rogers pointed argued that the launching of the microfinance development fund which seeks to give microfinance banks the desired funding base to access wholesale funds for on-lending to deserving micro clients remains the most effective option to advance the provision of financial services to the lower segments of the society. The seasoned banker and Vice Chairman of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMBs) however identified paucity of basic infrastructure such as good road networks, stable energy, good and reliable communication facilities as the most daunting challenge that may limit the ability of providers of financial services to reach the poor and unbanked members of the society. In his remarks, an agro-business entrepreneur, Dr. Yila Umaru Lakorok, explained that though the efforts by the monetary authorities, particularly the CBN, to pursue the financial inclusion agenda was commendable. He, however, pointed out that the high level of financial illiteracy in the rural areas should be one of the challenges that must be tackled in order to make the NFIS impactful on the economy. Lakorok, who is also the Managing Director of Agriprojects Concept International Limited, a Kaduna State-based agricultural and agro-allied company, also canvassed the simplification of accounts opening processes, empowerment of microfinance banks through supportive frameworks as well as amendment of the Land Use Act as policy measures that will help financial services penetration and rural farmers’ and micro-business owners’ accessibility to bank credit.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business & Finance

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

21

Nigeria to save $3.9bn on CIF freight policy reversal FRANCIS EZEM

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he Federal Government has said that if the proposed policy reversal on carriage of Nigeria’s export from the current Cost, Insurance and Freight to the more beneficial Free On Board, the country will save as much as $3.9bn yearly on crude oil freight, which currently goes to foreign shipping lines. Nigeria had over the years operated a trade imbalance under which her crude and other non-oil exports are carried on CIF basis under which the buyer determines who freights and insures the cargo while her imports are carried on FOB, which allows the seller determine both the freight and insurance. President Goodluck Jonathan had about three months ago, held a maritime retreat to address most the challenges facing the maritime industry including the trade imbalance on the carriage of her imports and exports, which led to the setting up of a presidential committee

L-R: Marketing Director, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mr. Dele Anifowoshe; Managing Director, Mr. Emil Moskofian; Sales Director, Mr. Paul Udochi and Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, during the Bournvita ‘Yummy Life’ promo press briefing in Lagos, yesterday.

headed by Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar. Senior Special Adviser to the president on Maritime services, Mr. Leke Oyewole, a member of the committee, who spoke on one of the recommendations of the committee, which is the re-

versal of the trade imbalance, disclosed that at the export of about 2.7million barrels of crude oil per day at the freight rate of $4 per barrel, Nigeria will save over $3.9bn, which currently goes to foreign shipping lines. According to him, this is be-

cause substantial part of the freight component, all of which goes to foreign liners will come to Nigeria, a development that would positively impact on her economy. He also argued that apart from the crude export, Nigeria will

also make huge savings arising from the carriage of imported various refined petroleum products, which is in excess of about 50, 000 litres daily. The presidential aid argued that the decision of the committee to make such recommendation was apart from the fact that the reversal of the policy will change the lot of the indigenous shipping lines, it would also create more business for the indigenous shipyards, which he argued would now have more requests to build new ships. “Additionally, indigenous insurance companies, who were under the former dispensation denied business, will now have so much business because the Nigerian will insist that they should be involved in the insuring of the export cargo”, he further argued. “Same applies to the Nigerian banks, which will have more business in financing the acquisition of vessels. So when you look at the entire thing, it will have multiplier effects on the economy if fully implemented”, Oyewole insisted.

Recapitalisation: Broking 70% of crude oil illegally siphon wasted - DPR firms set to merge C U HIDI

ABUJA

JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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ndication has emerged that stockbroking firm that don’t have enough capital base of N70 million to operate in the country will soon merge. The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Aruma Oteh hinted that some stock broking firms have come to her, requesting for possibilities of merger. She said, “Some brokers have come to us and said they are looking at the possibilities of merger. That will make a good sence.” Oteh said that the commission will soon issue guidlines on the recapitalisation exercise. In his reaction, the Managing Director of Trust Yields Investment Limited, Alhaji Rasheed Yussuff, noted that the merger of the stockbroking firms will ensure efficiency and meeting up with the international standard. He faulted the present structure where a stockbroking firm is a broker-dealer and also issuing houses, saying that the onefit-all approach is wrong. “But now I think the regulators are moving towards where you have different players playing their roles and establishing necessary capital for you to play that role. By now, the structure has been reasonably restruc-

tured to meet the international standard. We are to have the broker, to have the broker-dealers; so that you don’t say because somebody is a broker he must do all the jobs. If I don’t want to be a broker-dealer, I can be a broker. “If I want to be a buying broker or a selling broker as it is in other countries, I can decide to be. That does not say that if I want to be a broker to 100 people or one million people, I must have the same capital. In terms of market structure, I think we have done tremendously well in the various reforms. So, we can now be saying that the Nigerian capital market is being configured to meet the international standard. The SEC, under former Director-General, Alhaji Musa Al-Faki, had argued then that in line with the recapitalisation of financial institutions -banks, insurance, mortgage and microfinance banks, stockbrokers should undergo mergers and acquisitions to reduce their number without necessarily leading to the sack of traders. The move was criticised by the stock market community, which argued after all they were mere intermediaries, despite claims by the commission that most of them were over-geared and sometimes misusing funds belonging to their clients.

GWU

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ore than 70 percent of the crude oil siphon illegally in the Niger Delta region ended up wasted and spoiling the environment, the Head of Technical Services, Department of Petroleum Resources Mr Dozie O. Irechukwu has said It was estimated that about 120,000 barrels of crude oil is being siphoned daily by theft in the region. Irechukwu said yesterday in his paper entitled: HSE challenges in the Nigerian Oil and

Gas Industry at the ongoing 15th International HSE Biennial Conference on the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Speaking also at the event President of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadir said there are a lot of HSE challenges in the downstream sector as a result of lack of infrastructure in the country. He said nowadays, bridging is the order of the day as most of the pipelines are down. Abdulkadir said many trucks are falling on daily basis due to bad roads in the country and

long distance to the delivery points spilling out hazardous products on the environment. He said as long as bridging continues, environment will continue to suffer the consequences. Another speaker at the event Mr Abdullahi Mohammed of the Pipeline and Marketing Company (PPMC) said between 2001 to 2011 the company recorded about 2,174 pipeline vandalism along Atlas CoveMosimi line. He said about 1.4 billion litres of products were lost in the process of pipeline vandalism.

ACAP integrates IIF into ACAP CanaryGrowth Fund

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lternative Capital Partners Limited (ACAP), one of Nigeria’s fund managers has concluded the integration of the Intercontinental Integrity Fund (IIF), previously managed by Intercontinental Capital Markets Limited (ICML) with the ACAP CanaryGrowth Fund (ACAP CGF) presently managed by ACAP. This follows agreed resolutions with unit holders at the ExtraOrdinary General Meeting held by ACAP on behalf of the IIF. Units of the IIF have since been transferred into the ACAP CanaryGrowth Fund (ACAP CGF). Sequel to the decision of Access Bank Plc to discontinue operations of non-bank subsidiaries

of the now defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc previously the parent company of ICML, an approval was granted by the Securities & Exchange Commission for ICML to wind down operations and transfer the IIF to ACAP CGF. It is noteworthy that this is the first collective investment scheme merger to have been undertaken by local fund managers in Nigeria. This feat comes twelve months after the firm’s successful acquisition of Oceanic Vintage Fund (now known as ACAP CanaryGrowth Fund) from Oceanic Bank Plc on October 28, 2011. The ACAP CGF is a SECregistered collective investment scheme listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange Memorandum

Quotations and commenced in October 2011 after ACAP acquired the Oceanic Vintage Fund from Oceanic Bank Plc and rebranded it ACAP CGF. The integration of the IIF with the ACAP CGF is expected to further accelerate the fund growth, broaden the fund’s earnings base, and increase opportunities for Unitholders to take advantage of superior returns whilst preserving capital. The ACAP CGF with a net asset value exceeding N1 billion as at October 9, 2012 has consistently outperformed the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index since it was taken over, delivering over 30 per cent returns on investment as at October 31, 2012.


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Telecoms firms shun NCC directive on instant bills KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ome telecoms companies have shunned the directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission mandating all telecoms operators to provide free instant Short Message Service to all phone users detailing the cost of each call and available balances to the subscriber at the end of every call. Checks by National Mirror yesterday from telecoms subscribers revealed that only MTN Nigeria and Airtel have complied completely with the directive as their subscribers now receive such instant SMS after every call. Subscribers on Etisalat, Globacom and other CDMA networks said they had yet to start receiving such notification after making calla from their networks. With the two GSM compa-

nies and other CDMA operators shunning the regulator directive, it was learnt that the erring operator have secured the wrath of the commission to impose a fine of N5m each on them for failure to comply. It would be recalled that following avalanche of complaints received from telecoms subscribers over billing irregularities, the NCC had on October 31, 2012, issued a statement directing all telecom operators to provide instant SMS service to their subscribers after every call. Such SMS service is expected to provide full details of the cost of each call, and available balances to the subscriber. The regulator, in the statement signed by its Head, Media and Public Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said the service is free to all subscribers with the commencement date for all the operators fixed for November 1, 2012.

However, five days after the directive was issued, Etisalat, Globacom and other CDMA networks have not complied with the directive. The statement also specified heavy penalty for any operator that fails to comply with new directive, aimed at checking dubious charges on phone calls made by telecoms subscribers. According to the directive, any operator which fails to commence the service to its subscribers will be liable to fine in the sum of N5million as sanction and a further sum of N500,000 per day as long as the contravention persists. The statement further noted that the commission, has in a direction issued since August 2012, mandated “that from 1st of November, 2012, all mobile operators shall send, free of charge, a message or an alert to both postpaid and prepaid subscribers after every call, SMS, or system generated charge or tariff, with a proviso that a subscriber can opt out if he or she so wishes.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lagos govt to achieve 1m metric tons of fish production STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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n its effort to contribute to the economy of the state, Lagos Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is set to encourage sea food industries to achieve one million metric tons of fish production on a yearly basis. Speaking to journalists at unveiling of the ``First Lagos Sea Food Festival``, the State Commissioner, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, disclosed, that Lagos presently produces about 125,000 metric tons of fish while about 780,000 metric tons are being imported, adding that there is urgent need to boost production.

``Lagos State is working towards improving the production of fish in the state to one million metric tons on a yearly basis, `` Lawal said. The commissioner added that to achieve this feat, the state is collaborating with the Federal Government and other states in the coastal area to address food security in the nation’s territorial waters. According to him, there is a robust plan to curb sea piracy in the nation’s waterways. ``There is a robust plan between the state and the federal government with other coastal states to curb the menace of piracy in our water ways. Pirates have eroded our territorial waters, and fishermen are unable to fish because of insecurity”.

ANAN urges accountants to tackle corruption MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) has said it was important for accountants in general and ANAN members in particular to commit to the eradication of corruption and promote transparency in the profession. The association said further that lack of transparency in business have dealt great blows on the economic growth of the nation, adding also that Nigeria will witness massive and sustainable development when corruption is eliminated from the polity. Speaking to journalists on Monday, the Chairman of the Ikeja Branch of ANAN, Mr.

Solomon Oladimeji, said the association is sending a message that betrayal of public trust by those in public office will no longer be tolerated by accountants. Oladimeji noted that corruption and lack of transparency has become a scourge on the economy, a development he said has continually jeopardised efforts by concerned stakeholders and the government to improve the quality of life and standard of living of the citizenry. According to the ANAN boss, the association abhors corruption in all its ramifications, which is why they are stressing that the body was ready to punish any of its members involved in corrupt practices within and outside the profession.

Nine firms bid for position of external auditor in NCAA OLUSEGUN KOIKI Executive Director, Enterprise Bank Limited, Mr. Aminu Ismail (right), presenting a 2012 Customer Service Award to Miss Nkechi Okeke, one of the winners of the Customer-Centric Staff Award in the bank, recently.

Nigeria’s economic rebound lies in housing sector - Ashafa DAYO AYEYEMI

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he Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, said that the housing sector is vital to making Nigeria a modest state. According to him, for the nation to witness economic development, housing sector must be giving priority. The lawmaker disclosed this while delivering a goodwill message at the seminar on the Social Housing Bill (2012) held Abuja at the weekend. He remarked that the major ingredient to the modest and re-

cent rebound of the American economy lies in the housing sector. “After the manufacturing sector, the housing sector provides the greatest spread of value per N1 of government expenditure, that is, N1 spent by government would touch unimaginable number of lives,” he said. Ashafa made some hypothetical analysis on a house construction from conception to completion and different layers of quantifiable economic value that go with it. In his analysis, he categorised the activities involved in constructing a house under three major areas. These include land, decision to begin

construction and foundation to roofing. Under the land purchase, he explained that the activities would serve as economic opportunities for surveyors and lawyers, while construction proper would serve as economic opportunities for architects and artisans that would do initial cutting of trees and land preparation. According to Ashafa, the foundation laying to roofing activities would provide economic opportunities for the bricklayers, architects, builders, plumbers, carpenters, aluminium workers and suppliers of cement and sand. To buttress his point, the lawmaker said, “If only 10,000 housing units are constructed in the 36 states of the federation.

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n line with the Public Procurement Act of 2007 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday commenced the opening of bids for the position of external auditor for the agency. At least, nine interested bidders expressed interests in the position of external auditor with the agency. NCAA had carried advertisements in the media in October requesting for bidders for the position. At the open bidding yesterday, which involved all the interested bidders, the Director-General, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren said that the agency was committed to the Act of Public Procurement 2007, saying that a successful company would be made public after the exercise. Demuren who was represented

by the Deputy General Manager, Audit, Mr. Gabriel Achayi at the event disclosed that nine bidders expressed interest in the position of external audit for the agency and assured that the management would ensure objectivity and openness in picking the rightful candidate for the position. Some of the interested bidders are Biodun Ige & Co, Sulaiman & Co, Peter Osalor & Co, Fred Okonta &Co, Olufemi Adeniyi & Co and J.K Randle & Co among others. Also speaking, the convener of the event, Head, Procurement, NCAA, Mr. Barnabas Agochukwu assured interested bidders of the objectivity of NCAA with the bidding. He explained that inasmuch all applicants were expected to be present at the opening of the bid, the bids of absentee companies could still be opened in their absence according to the law guiding Public Procurement Act of 2007.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jobs & Career

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Regular job, career fairs can end unemployment –Experts

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hough not a regular feature in the series of plans and initiatives that are constantly being rolled out by stakeholders in the quest to grapple with and end unemployment in the country, many experts believe that jobs and career fairs when effectively organised and managed by professionals will tackle unemployment and reduce the scourge in Nigeria This notion, based also on the views of stakeholders in employment creation like employers group, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, (NECA), is due to the belief that countless vacancies exists in organisations in the country at both the public and private sectors without the legion of employment hopefuls being aware of them, or about how to link up with the potential employers. It is in this regard that the recent call by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria,(CIPM) that jobs and career fairs be given its position in the fight against unemployment in the country be given closer attention. Speaking with National Mirror, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the institute,Mr. Sunday Adeyemi,said those in charge of initiating programmes and activities that are geared towards reducing or ending unemployment in the country must admit that jobs and career fairs be urgently embraced by stakeholders with the objectives of reducing or eliminating unemployment particularly at graduate levels. According to him, “the country should be worried by the worsening unemployment situation in the country, alongside the challenge employer of labour face in recruiting the right talents”, adding also that that challenge alone is enough reason to regularly conduct jobs and career fair.

Mapaderun

Adeyemi

After several initiatives by the Federal, state governments and the private sector to combat unemployment in the country without much success, analysts posit that regular jobs and career fairs will go a long way towards connecting employers with job seekers, writes MESHACK IDEHEN He explained further that jobs and career fairs on their own, reliably provide veritable platform for job seekers and potential entrepreneurs interested in self employment; and that “access to information, resources and opportunities are available at such fairs, that will also enable recruiters and employers to disseminate information to their target audience about career prospects and opportunities’ in their sectors”. On his part, Career Development Expert, and Managing Director of Team Building Nigeria, Mr. Yinka Olugbodi, said job seekers should know how best to take advantage of jobs and career fairs opporturnities, saying further at such occasions that it was important for job seekers to conduct thorough research on their target companies, because recruiters are usually not impressed by job seekers who approach booths at jobs and careers fairs and ask, what does your company do? Or what are you hiring for? “Employers, including all the major organisations

EVEN IF YOU DON’T GET A GRADUATE PLACEMENT AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE FAIR, YOU ARE STILL TAKING

STEPS TOWARDS YOUR CHOSEN CAREER AND MOVING CLOSER TO RECRUITMENT IN YOUR PERFECT JOB are starting to build a talent pool of people that, even if you are not right for that immediate job today, you might be in the future. Companies are trying to change the way they approach the job seeker,”Olugbodi explained. “Graduate jobs and careers fairs are an important resource for graduate appointments”, said Career Coach, Mr. Sunny Agboju. “even if you don’t get a graduate placement as a direct result of the fair, you are still taking steps towards your chosen career and moving closer to recruitment in your perfect job”, he said. According to him, a suitable graduate placement can be difficult to find, and with the amount of competition

vying for graduate appointments, job seekers have to use every avenue they can to maximise their chances of finding the right graduate placement. Further describing jobs and careers fairs are one of the best ways to find graduate, or even non graduate appointments in areas of interest for the job seekers, Agboju added that careers fair is an excellent opportunity to meet potential employers face to face and market yourself to your chosen industry, even if such job seeker haven’t finished his course and are still in further study, “ careers and job fairs are still worthwhile as a source of information, contacts and interview experience”. He added that job and ca-

reers fairs offer a multitude of benefits to graduates, and that ambitious and organised employment hopefuls can get a lot out of a career fair, including in particular, the ability to horn interview skills, expand network, learning industry information and gathering information about companies. Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Strategic Management, Mr. Adeyemi Mapaderun, explained to National Mirror that job fair, which is also referred commonly to as a career fair or career expo, is a fair or exposition for employers, recruiters, schools and manpower producing institutions to meet with prospective job seekers. “Expos usually include company or organisation tables or booths where resumes can be collected and business cards can be exchanged. Job fairs are commonly used for entry level job recruiting.It provide a convenient location for students and non graduate job seekers to meet employers and perform first interviews”, he said.

NECA, ITF partner in development of technical education M ESHACK IDEHEN

mains a crucial step towards economic growth for Nigeria.

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The ITF-NECA Technical Skills Development Project Director, Mrs. Helen Jemerigbe, speaking in Lagos said the initiative is committed to producing skilled manpower that will not only be self employed but also serve as employers of labour.

he Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) have pledged to see to the development of technical education in Nigeria, adding also that technical education re-

She explained that both organisations being important stakeholders in the country’s economic development will not rest until the growth and development of the economic is fast tracked with the provision of technical education. On his part, a Director in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Mrs. Susan Oludiya who

represented the Minister, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the Federal Government is looking forward to the betterment of the life of the citizens, noting also that the ministry is currently exploiting every available medium to achieve this, especially in the area of trade and investment. Expressing gratitude to ITF and NECA, Director of the Tech-

nical College at Yaba, Mr. William Iweama, said the training which staff went through under the ITF-NECA intervention is highly appreciated and will soon yield positive result as the staff ’s report is currently been examined by the department heads after which it will be implemented to better the lot of the students.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG in dark over Sunmonu’s report, says SSAEAC– MESHACK IDEHEN

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he National union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Company (SSAEAC) have declared that the presidency is in the dark on most issues concerning the power sector reforms, and that the Hassan Sumonu recommendations is being shielded from the government by some “powerful forces” in order to scuttle the reform process. According to the unions, the Hassan Sumonu’s recommendations that the PHCN’s condition of service regarding gratuity and pension should apply in the negotiations with the workers by the government. Futhermore, NUEE and SSAEAC also told National Mirror that power individuals in the ministry have distributed circulars to workers to open their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) at designated banks in the country for “stipends” to be paid into the accounts in order to deceive both the Federal Government and electricity workers that labour issues about the power sector

Opara

Jonathan

WE HAVE RELIABLE INFORMATION ON HOW SOME POWERFUL INDIVIDUALS IN THE POWER MINISTRY HAVE BLOCKED THE PRESIDENCY FROM GETTING THE TRUE REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS reforms have been resolved. National President, Mr. Bede Opara and NUEE General Secretary, and Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Con-

‘Why working more than 8 hours a day can kill you’

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f you are accustomed to being the last one to leave the office, new research may offer you cause to rethink your routine. The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that a combination of stress, raised blood pressure and unhealthy diets stemming from long working hours may be the cause of thousands of workers’ serious health problems. The study combined the results of different studies over the last 50 years and found that spending too long in the office resulted in a 40 to 80 percent greater chance of heart disease compared to an eight hour work day. The latest findings discovered by scientists at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health support results from a 2011 British

survey that revealed that doing more than 11 hours of work a day raised heart disease risks by 67 percent. Lead researcher Dr. Marianna Virtanen and her team gathered data from 12 different studies going back to 1958, when researchers first suggested that working long hours could be linked to poor heart health. In total, the studies involved more than 22,000 participants, from Britain, the USA, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. “There are several potential mechanisms that may underlie the association between long working hours and heart disease,” study authors wrote. “One is prolonged exposure to psychological stress.” Source :( yahoojobs.com)

gress, (NLC), Mr. Joe Ajaero, while making the disclosures, reiterated that individuals and groups in the power ministry have blocked the Sumonu’s re-

port recommendations from reaching the President Goodluck Jonathan. “We have reliable information on how some powerful individuals in the power ministry have blocked the presidency from getting the true report recommendations of the Hassan Sumonu’s Committee on pensions and gratuity for the PHCN’s workers, and by so doing, are planning to deprive the Government from implementing the recommendations. “We have been reliably informed how President Goodluck Jonathan gave directives that all labour issues must be settled in line with the recommendation of the Hassan Sumonu led Committee set up by the Federal Government, but these individuals have prevented the report from reaching him”,the union leaders added According to him, the Federal Government’s position on the pension and gratuity is that workers are entitled to pension and gratuity up to 30th June, 2004, but thereafter the provision of pensions Reform Act 2004 would apply, adding the Government also made a final offer of 20% severance.

Tips for career growth

“But there was an absolute need to have a cut-off date in order to seek forbearance from Pencom, and the unions’ final position was that gratuity should be paid in accordance with the extant PHCN condition of service”. He explained that contrary to the views of the government side, which the Pension Reform Act of 2004 was not against the payment of gratuity as a separate component of retirements benefit, saying further that the unions concluded that since the PHCN had not yet migrated to the new pension’s regime, the issue of forbearance was not necessary. “The Chief Negotiator, Sumonu enquired whether the Pension Reform Act of 2004 abrogated the condition of service of PHCN which was signed in March, 2010, and asked the Government to reconsider the Unions’ demands in the light of this. “The chief negotiator, having discovered the otherwise, however recommended that the PHCN’s condition of service regarding gratuity and pension should apply”, he emphasised.

he people whose careers seem to grow the fastest follow similar patterns of behaviour. They understand competition exists, they recognise the steps they need to take to succeed, and they understand who is responsible. They take charge of their career and accept full responsibility for their growth. These actions will help accelerate your 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 as much as you

can in your current job. Develop trust- People naturally want to surround themselves with people they trust. Developing trust takes time and consistent effort. 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 organisation.

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. Work yourself out of the job- This one may not make sense on its face, but the idea is to work effectively and close the loop on what you are doing. Think in terms of projects: plan what you are going to do, work at it and when it’s finished move on to the next project. Work effectively and make it so that anyone could step in and take over. As you do that you will automatically make yourself more valuable to your company, and they will have no choice but to promote you or find something more challenging for you to do.

treasury management skills and Strong experience in planning, budgeting and forecasting are required. Also on offer for the week, is the position for a Quantity Surveyor a firm in Lagos (www. jobs.vanguardngr.com) requiring experience of between 5 and 7 years Some of the responsibilities for this position are preparing project costing quotation and tenders, preparing project budget,

progress claims, projected cash flow, tender documentation and final accounts, alongside negotiation with suppliers and contractors. The qualifications and requirements are relevant degrees, an in-depth experience of quantity surveying work, associated procedures and practices, preferably in a large public/private organisation. On offer for the week, is also the post for a Website Content Of-

ficer (www.jobs.vanguardngr. com), based in Lagos. Requiring the minimum qualification of a Degree, and experience of 3 - 5 years, the responsibilities include contributing to audience research as a basis for design of the site, and contribute to the top-level and detailed design of the website with a particular focus on the ways in which the goals for the site and the needs of users can be met through the provision of appropriate content.

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Job vacancies

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pening job vacancies for this week is the position for a Finance Controller (www.findajobinafrica.com) located in Lagos. The successful candidate will own direct and manage the implementation of the financial strategy and control framework for his/her assigned business unit, and ensuring it effectively supports the achievement of short, medium and long-term goals. Some of the key responsibilities for the position are to take

charge of all financial management activities within the business unit including but not limited to overseeing and managing all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems and ensuring compliance with the Group’s Finance policy amongst several other functions. For qualifications and skills, a practical and thorough understanding of the principles of accounting and Financial Management, Strong MS Excel and basic


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Real Estate & Environment dayoayeyemi@yahoo.com 08033312578

Stakeholders lament environmental degradation across Nigeria Canvass more funding to tackle challenges as Lagos earmarks N40bn to protect coastal

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ver the years, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation has urged the nation leadership to adopt and energetically pursue a comprehensive agenda for the environment. “The environmental challenges we are facing across the country today is mainly as a result of our persistent failure to care for the nature and preserve its integrity for generations yet unborn.” Those were the words of the President, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Chief Philip Asiodu, while lamenting the environmental challenges confronting the nation during the foundation’s 23rd Annual General Meeting in Lagos at the weekend. Taking stakeholders through the happenings in the environment, he noted that people lived year 2011 with severe environmental challenges, pointing out that the problem of flooding, gully, sheet and coastal erosion, desertification, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, oil and gas pollution, waste management has grown worse as Nigeria is yet to embark on significant remedial measures. He explained that the unprecedented extent of flooding in recent months which has inflicted enormous damage, loss of lives, residential and industrial property especially in the states bordering Rivers Niger and Benue, and distributaries of the Niger in Delta zone, has exposed the little capacity of the nation to combat environmental challenges. Asiodu urged the need to address the issue of lack of adequate funding to tackle environmental challenges in the country, adding that paucity of fund is severely limiting NCF interventions and activities. He appealed to members of the public and government to support NCF with adequate funding to be able to do more in the areas of advocacy and implementation of conservation projects across Nigeria. He also canvassed the need to address the issue of lack of coordination and cooperation among ministries, parastatals and agencies whose activities impact on the environment. The NCF’s president brought to the fore the extremely dangerous threat of coastal erosion in Lagos State, saying the consequences would be horrendous. He noted that in Lagos, erosion and ocean surge have been devastating lives and properties at regular intervals, warning that unimaginable disas-

Scenes of environmental degradation across Nigeria.

A lot of environmental degradation with various reported cases of ecological challenges and natural disasters in the country were brought to the fore during the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) at the weekend. Stakeholders at the meeting canvassed adequate funding for nature conservation projects, among others. DAYO AYEYEMI, reports

Fashola

Asiodu

ter is threatening. He said, “Despite the laws adopted by government and all the institutions established to address the various environmental challenges, the rate of degradation of the ecology in Nigeria is accelerating. It is therefore necessary and urgent to have a drastic change of attitude. “We understand that ongoing seawall works may suffice to protect Kuramo area and Alfa Beach. Beyond is Lafiaji Beach. There are dozens of

,shipwrecks littering Lagos coastal waters which have been left unattended to for years and which aggravate erosion of parts of the narrow barrier separating the ocean from the Lagoon. “The consequences will be horrendous, one cannot even begin to imagine the magnitude of damage and millions who will be displaced if the barrier is breached and the ocean flows in the Lagos Lagoon,” he stated. According to Asiodu, livelihood in the Northern states has been compro-

mised by the advancing desert, saying that it has been estimated to be advancing southwards in some area at the rate of 0.6 kilometres per annum. However, it was a cheering news for stakeholders at the weekend as Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, in his budget estimates of N497.277 billion for 2013, earmarked N40 billion for coastal area protection. The governor hinted that his administration had designed coastal protection plan that would cost about N40 billion to mitigate the recurring ocean surge and negative impact of climate change on Lagos State. The project, he said would stretch for about seven kilometres to protect coastline areas in the state and is expected to be implemented in two budgetary cycles. Fashola explained during the presentation of 2013 budget proposal at the State’s House of Assembly that continued risk confronting the state, owing to its proximity to Atlantic Ocean, called for proactive measures to mitigate the negative impact on the residents. He said, “Currently, we have designed a coastal protection plan with CONTINUED ON PAGE 26


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Reconstruction of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to commence before December –Minister

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

DAYO AYEYEMI

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fter prolonged delay, the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onomenmen, disclosed to journalists and anticipating members of the public at the weekend that proper construction work will commence on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway before the end of 2012. The minister gave the hint when reopening the rehabilitated Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos after four months of partial closure to traffic. Onolomemen assured that the Federal Government will ensure that the concessionaire of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Messrs Bi-Courtney Highway Services, begins permanent construction works on the road before the end of December, saying the road is very important to the economy of the nation. When contacted on phone by National Mirror, spokesperson of the concessionaire, Bi-Courtney Highways Services,

Mr. Dipo Kehinde, confirmed the statement, saying that, work has commenced from Ayetoro to Shagamu axis, adding that another contractor will commence work from the Ibadan end immediately rain subsides. According to him, four contractors ought to have moved to site, but only two have commenced construction works due to challenge of mobilisation. He confirmed that Messrs Borini Prono Limited and RCC Construction Company have already moved to site. The 105-kilometre Lagos-Ibadan Road is a Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) Toll Road agreement signed in 2009 between the Federal Ministry of Works and Bi-Courtney Consortium The 105-kilometre road was handed over to Bi-Courtney on May 26, 2009 to expand, modernise and maintain for a period of 25 years. Its scope of work involves the full reconstruction of the existing carriageways from Lagos to Ibadan; the provi-

sion of two additional lanes in each direction between Lagos and Sagamu Interchange, making it four lanes. The construction of the road which would be in four phases and last 3years is yet to achieve the purpose for which its contract was signed. Reasons such as delay in final approval for the project design’s from government which was finally approved on May 10,2011, long period requirement for the mobilisation of materials, clearance of right of way, involvement of bank and technical partners to make the project a success were adduced in the past for the hindrance in the take off the project However, after four months of partial closure to allow the repairs of its eight expansion joints, the popular Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos was reopened to traffic last week. Though the repair of the bridge was expected to be completed by November 6, 2012, but the contractor, Messrs Borini

Prono, is able to complete the project 10 days ahead of schedule. Declaring the bridge open to traffic in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Work, Mr Mike Onolememen, an architect, said that not only was the repair work completed about 10 days ahead of schedule, it was completed at the awarded contract sum, devoid of variation. Contract sum for the repair of the bridge is N1,055,447,608.16, and amount certified to date is N598,224,040.74. The bridge measures about 11.8km in length. It is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other two being the Eko and Carter bridges. It is the longest bridge in Nigeria. The first phase of the replacement of the expansion joints commences from Lagos Island bound carriageway between Ebute metta interchange and Adeniji Adele end. The second phase of the repairs is on the Oworonsoki bound carriageway between Adeniji Adele and Ebute Metta interchange. Still speaking, the minister of work stated that the Federal Government has kept faith with the promise to do everything possible to cushion the frustration and other inconveniences that would be caused to road users due to partial closure of the bridge. He said, ”We have kept faith with that promise, as we draw the curtain on the repair works on the bridge. To the glory of God, I now have the honour and privilege to declare the repair works on the third Mainland Bridge completed. The bridge is hereby fully re-opened to traffic.” On technology applied for the repair of Third Mainland Bridge, he noted that throughout the project, the hydrodemolition technique was employed while high pressure water jet was utilised to remove the concrete around the joints. The minister thanked Borini Prono for

Stakeholders lament environmental degradation across Nigeria CONTINUED FROM 25 our consultants from Holland that will stretch for about seven kilometres, to protect Kuramo, Victoria Island Extension, Oniru Estate, Goshen Beach Estate and Alpha Beach. “It will cost about N40billion to implement it over at least two budgetary cycles. Without help, we are constrained to finance and implement the plan in phases to arrest the immediate threats and then deliver the protection.” Fashola described the challenges confronting the state as enormous, adding that many projects had been stepped down to give room for the execution of schemes to mitigate environmental challenges. Chairman, National Executive

Council of NCF, Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, said the issue of environmental challenges like climate change and its threatening negative impact on the populace demand that government should look for more practical solutions, adding that environmental scientists and other experts should start to conceive and formulate proactive and practical mitigation and adaptation policies and strategies to help communities. He stated that though lack of fund had limited the foundation’s activities, but it has also recorded some progress in its efforts at Baturiya wetlands, Nguru-Marma channel, Rima river basin, Adiani Forest Reserve, Machina Arid and Kumaganam Kaska

THE CONSEQUENCES WILL BE HORRENDOUS, ONE CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE THE MAGNITUDE OF DAMAGE AND MILLIONS WHO WILL BE DISPLACED IF THE BARRIER IS BREACHED AND THE OCEAN FLOWS IN THE

LAGOS LAGOON Arid sites in the restoration of wetlands. NCF’s Acting Executive Director, Mr Alade Adeleke, while stated the importance of forest to human needs, stated that United Nations Climate Change Conference reports have indicated that 17 per cent of emission

from forest degradation contributes to global climate change. He called for decisive actions that would embrace a national development programmes that recognises the role of forests and its associated biodiversity in the life of people “today, tomorrow and in the long run.”


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I want to leave a legacy – Onakoya 30

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI SPORTS EDITOR

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Sport

Mikel in 10 shortlist for Glo/CAF Awards

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igeria and Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, is in the list of Top 10 players theConfederation of African Football (CAF) released yesterday as nominees for the 2012 Glo African Player of the Year Award. Also CAF listed five players remaining in the runing for Africa-based Player of the Year. The Confederation’s Technical, Football and Media committees decided on the current shortlists which will now be passed on to head coaches and technical directors of its member associations, whose votes will decide the eventual winners. Apart from Mikel, the other nominees are Alexander Song of Barcelona and Cameroun, Andre Ayew of Marseille and Ghana, Zambia’s Christopher Katongo, Demba Ba of Senegal, Didier Drogba and Gervais Lombe Yao Kouassi of Cote d’Ivoire, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon, Younes Belhanda of Montpellier and Morocco, and last year’s winner, Yaya Toure. CAF will announce the top three in the last week of this month, while the winners will be unveiled at a ceremony on December 20 in Accra, Ghana’s capital

CBN launches Beach Soccer Challenge Cup

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Osaze Odemwingie

Only Enugu Rangers’ Ejike Uzoenyi and Kano Pillars’ Gambo Mohammed who was part of the team that won a four-club invitational tourney in Niger Republic last weekend were still being expected. “We are happy at the turn out of players, the next step for them is to

show that they can displace those based abroad and pick shirts not only for the friendly against Venezuela but the Nations Cup in South Africa and we are here to offer them the platform to prove themselves,” Keshi said before the evening training in Abuja.

entral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has thrown its weight behind efforts to develop and promote the game of beach soccer in Nigeria, with the launching of CBN Beach Soccer Challenge Cup. Slated for November 30 - December 2 this year, the three-day event at the Jabi Lake, Abuja will see players drawn from the country’s financial sector slugging it out. It is the first-ever corporate beach soccer tournament in the country. According to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the championship is part of the programmes lined up to herald the commencement of Nigeria Beach Soccer League (NBSL), which will be organised by Sports Solutions Limited in collaboration with the NFF. Speaking in Abuja yesterday, the chief executive officer of Sports Solutions Ltd, Mr. Abdullahi Abubakar, said, “The CBN Beach Soccer Cup will be more than just a thrilling sports competition. It will be a perfect cocktail of soccer, music and dance. “It promises to be a very exciting tournament that will really boost productivity in the banking sector along with long-term growth that will strengthen the sector. Those attending will enjoy live soccer action, halftime cheerleaders’ performance, a party atmosphere, live DJ and a chance to win many prizes and giveaways,” enthused Abubakar.

Eko 2012: Team Nasarawa to use customised kits

asarawa State contingent to the 18th National Sports Festival holding in Lagos later this month, will wear customised jerseys and kits to enhance its performance, the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Daniel Ogazi, said yesterday.

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I support the Nigeria Pitch Awards because it will motivate and spur our young men and women to better performances in their different sport disciplines at home and abroad - Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke

Ahead Venezuela friendly: Keshi parleys with Osaze uper Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, has held a parley with Osaze Odemwingie with a view to ending the West Brom striker’s exclusion from the senior national team. Media Officer of the team, Ben Alaiya, told National Mirror yesterday that Keshi had a lengthy telephone discussion with Osaze on Sunday to end their differences, just as the invited home-based players arrived in camp for the November 14 international friendly game against Venezuela. Keshi made clarification over some reports in the media, quoting him as saying that Osaze had decided not to feature again in the Eagles. “What he told me was that after fighting so hard to qualify Nigeria for the South Africa 2010 World Cup, he was dumped on the bench when the tournament proper started and that he fears a repeat following the manner he was substituted in the qualifier against Rwanda in Kigali, which was under me. “Well, I told him that if I had my way all the players who featured in that match should have been substituted but I had only three substitutions to make because we played poorly in the encounter. He told me he understands my position and that he is now ready to return to the national team fold. “We actually spoke for over one hour on Sunday (November 4), so there is actually nothing amiss about Osaze. He has said he will join others to come and fight for a shirt and that is the new rule in the national team,” Alaiya quoted Keshi. National Mirror was also told that Team Psychologist, Dr. Robinson Okosun, also on Sunday, spent several minutes talking to Osaze on the telephone, during which time the former Bendel Insurance of Benin star said he remains one of the pillars of the national teams, who still has at least five years of active football in his career. “I want to win something with the national team and I think there can’t be a better time to achieve that than now,” Osaze declared. Meanwhile, 22 players out of the 24 invited to camp sweated it out yesterday as the Eagles started preparation for the match against Venezuela in the United States on November 14.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ogazi disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lafia that the jerseys and kits were manufactured by a sporting outfit based in Austria. The commissioner said the jerseys and sporting shoes were designed in consonance with the prevailing weather

situation in Lagos. “We had to send them the exact temperatures in Lagos, to enable the manufacturers to develop the kits. As we speak, most of the consignments have arrived in Lagos,” Ogazi said. He said that over 70 athletes would represent the state in 11 sports at the festival.

Gov. Sanusi


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Sport

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

REAL MADRID vs BORUSSIA DORTMUND

Form favours Madrid’s turnaround

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eal Madrid CF will go in search of an eighth straight home victory against a Borussia Dortmund side who beat them on matchday three but last won away in the competition in 2003. Real Madrid CF’s recent UEFA Champions League home record suggests an awkward evening awaits Borussia Dortmund at the Santiago Bernabéu on matchday four. Dortmund were superb in drawing at Manchester City FC in their last away fixture, and overcame Madrid 2-1 in Germany on matchday three, but now visit opponents seeking an eighth straight home victory in the competition.

Euro Champions League

Match background • Including their 3-2 victory over Manchester City on matchday one, Madrid have won seven straight home fixtures in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 27 goals. • Madrid’s record against German visi-

tors is W18 D3 L2, including a 5-1 victory over 1 FC Köln in the first leg of the 1985/96 UEFA Cup final. Last season they defeated FC Bayern München 2-1 in the home leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final but lost the penalty shoot-out that followed. Bayern, with wins in 2000 and 2001, are the only Bundesliga team to have won at the Bernabéu. • Dortmund’s last trip to Spain yielded a 2-2 draw at Sevilla FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage. Neven Suboti scored a second-half equaliser but Dortmund, needing three points to progress, were eliminated. • Beaten in all three fixtures on the road last term, Dortmund last won a UEFA Champions League away game in 2003 at AC Milan. Key Players: Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuan, Karim Benzema, Marcelo: Borussia Dortmund: Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski, Sebastian Kehl, Mario Gotze

Santi Cazorla

MANCHESTER CITY vs AJAX

City seeks to prevent Ajax repeat

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anchester City FC is struggling in Group D but a long unbeaten home record gives cause for optimism as AFC Ajax aim, for a second victory on Mancunian soil in 2012. Manchester City FC may have scraped a draw with Borussia Dortmund in their last home outing but their record suggests AFC Ajax will have their work cut out to take anything from the teams’ matchday four fixture. City has won 14 and drawn four home matches in UEFA competition since September 2008, although Ajax can take heart from both their 3-1 matchday three defeat of City and having won at Manchester United FC just over eight months ago.

Today’s Fixtures AC Milan

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Malaga

Anderlecht

v

Zenit St

Dynamo Kiev

v

FC Porto

Man City

v

Ajax

Olympiakos

v

Montpellier

Paris SG

v

Din Zagreb

Real Madrid

v

B. Dortmund

Schalke 04

v

Arsenal

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrating after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the La Liga match against RCD Mallorca

included. • Ajax ended a 40-year wait for a ponents when beating City’s neighb UEFA Europa League round of 32 derweireld (87) secured a 2-1 victor a 2-0 first-leg deficit. Key Players: Manchester City – David Silva, Yaya Toure: Ajax – Si Eyong Enoh, Ryan Babel

Match background • City are hosting Dutch opposition for the third time having twice got the better of FC Twente. They won 3-2 to secure a 4-3 aggregate success in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round, with Brian Kidd, now first-team coach, scoring the second goal. The score was the same when the clubs met again in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage – the only survivors from that game in City’s squad are Joe Hart, Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta. • Mario Balotelli’s late penalty equaliser against Dortmund on matchday two means City have still not lost a European home tie since a 1-0 reverse against FC Midtjylland in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round. They remain unbeaten at home in the European Cup, albeit having played only five matches to date, their brief 1968/69 campaign Mario Balotelli jumping off a tackle


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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SCHALKE 04 vs ARSENAL

Schalke’s home strengths a concern for Arsenal

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C Schalke 04 was held to a frustrating draw in their last home outing but is now seeking a second famous Group B victory against Arsenal FC in quick succession. Having ended Arsenal FC’s long unbeaten home sequence in the UEFA Champions League, FC Schalke 04 will now look to preserve their own impressive record on their own ground to cement first place in Group B. Goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay made the German club the first foreign visitors to defeat Arsenal at home since FC Internazionale Milano in 2003, ending a 45-game unbeaten streak. The previous two clubs to win at Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League were both English: Chelsea FC (2003/04) and Manchester United FC (2008/09), the latter defeat preceding a 16-game unbeaten home run, play-offs included, that Schalke ended. Arsenal won their first away game 2-1 at Montpellier Hérault SC and then defeated Olympiacos FC 3-1. Schalke won in Piraeus, also 2-1, before being held 2-2 at home by Montpellier.

an away victory over English opbours United 2-1 in last season’s . Aras Özbiliz (37) and Toby Alry although it failed to overturn

– Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez, iem de Jong, Niklas Moisander,

Match background • Schalke are making their fifth UEFA Champions League appearance and when they were last involved, in 2010/11, they recovered from a opening defeat at Olympique Lyonnais to win seven of their next nine fixtures, including all five at home. The German club have lost only two of their last 12 home fixtures in the competition, qualifying included. • Arsenal are in the group stage for the 15th campaign in a row. In 2011/12 Wenger’s side departed in the round of 16 for the second season running. It was the 12th successive time they had made it through the group and only the second campaign since 2006/07 that they had failed to reach the quarter-finals or better. • The matchday one win at Montpellier was only Arsenal’s third in 13 away matches in the competition proper, a run that includes eight defeats. Key Players: Schalke 04: KlausJan Huntelaar, Jefferson Farfan, Ibrahim Afellay, Jermaine Jones; Arsenal – Santi Cazorla, Theo Wallcott, Thomas Vermaellen, Lukas Podolski

Utaka wins club’s MVP

Bobsam Elejiko

Memorial game for late Elejiko

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he family and friends of late former KVC Westerlo central defender Bobsam Elejiko have concluded plans to organise a memorial game for the departed star in Antwerp, Belgium. The late player’s wife Caroline told National Mirror that the memorial game in honour of her departed husband would take place in Antwerp pitching Bobsam Elejiko and friends against his former club KVC

Westerlo. The game will have several of Elejiko’s former team mates, team up against Westerlo and the team will be coached by former Super Eagles defender Furo Iyenemi and Benedict Mayuku. Several of his ex-team mates have indicated interest in honouring the memorial game. Elejiko slumped and died while playing for his last club K. Merksem S.C. on November 14 last year.

IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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alian Aerbin of China striker Peter Utaka has been named the club’s Most Valuable Player in the just concluded Chinese Super League season. The former OB Odense hit man claimed the personal honour in a landmark style, hitting 20 goals in his very first season at the club. He grabbed his 20th goal in the last league game of the season as teh Chinese Super League drew its curtains last weekend. He finished second on the top scorer’s chart behind Romanian striker CristianDanalache of Jiangsu Sainty. Utaka’s amazing goal returns and assists helped turn the promoted club’s fortunes around from the bottom table to title contenders. He would worm his way to club’s fans who continued to bank on his goals to save them from relegation. Utaka told National Mirror he was thrilled with the honour but maintained his best was yet to come. “I can’t thank God enough for what he helped me to achieve here in my very first season and I want to thank everyone – the coaches, the management, my mates , fans, including family and friends at home. “I’m deeply honoured by this award and I want to say it will only spur me to greater things next season.”

Managing Director, Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Eshikena, presenting MD cup to Mr. Efosa Ogbeufun, at the final of the 2012 WAMCO MD Football competition in Lagos last weekend


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Sport

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

On the track with

YEMI OLUS danyella172003@yahoo.com

15 Diamond Races to be decided in Brussels

I want to leave a legacy – Onakoya S H e may not have made it into the Nigerian team to the last London 2012 Olympic Games but national athlete, Abiola Onakoya, believes that all hope is not lost. He had a Season’s best of 45.99 secs but was unable to hit the ‘A’ standard for the 400m men’s event which is 45.30 secs Onakoya who is in his third year at the University of Texas El Paso where he is studying Criminal Justice with Physical and Health Education said, “My ultimate goal in my athletics career is to get international medals from the Olympics and world championships. I want to lay a living legacy just like Micheal Johnson but I still want to be myself. I was not happy about missing the Olympics because it is the dream of every sportsman to be at the Olympics. But people should watch out for me because there is still a lot to come.” The athlete gave a glimpse of how he got into the sport: “I started running while I was in high school because I took part in inter-house sports competitions. I passed through the process as an up-and- coming athlete who was determined to get to the top because when I started running in 2007, I saw the young guys who made the team then. That made me challenge myself that if this set of guys could run for this county, I will too.” Onakoya said that the challenges being faced by athletes are

even London 2012 champions will be engaged in a battle for superiority at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels on Friday night, the second of two 2012 Samsung Diamond League series finals. Many of the sport’s biggest names that will converge on the Belgian capital to battle for the Diamond Trophy in 15 remaining events include Usain Bolt, compatriot Yohan Blake, Aries Merritt and Vivian Cheruiyot among others. Four athletes, Paul Kipsiele Koech (3000m Steeplechase), Barbora Spotakova (javelin), Kaliese Spencer (400m hurdles) and Chaunte Lowe (high jump) are coming to claim the Diamond Trophy they’ve already clinched, but the remain-

Bolt, Rudisha for 2012 athlete of the year

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Onakoya (2nd left) and UTEP 4x400m team mates

numerous especially in terms of moral and financial support: “It is only to whom much is given

that much is demanded. I will definitely be at my peak if all of these are put in place.”

Why I can’t produce champions again –Toblow

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oremost grassroots coach, Tobias Igwe has blamed the standard of facilities in Abia State as well as his lack of employment for his inability to churn out athletes of repute as has been the

Igwe

ing 11 events are still very much up for grabs. One of the finest headto-head rivalries to emerge this season is that between Merritt and Jason Richardson, one which has pushed the pair to the pinnacle of the 110m Hurdles. Brussels will mark their 11th meeting of the season and the third since Merritt beat Richardson to the Olympic title. There’s also intriguing battle to the finish in the women’s 800m between the event’s last two Olympic champions. Pamela Jelimo, the Olympic winner in Beijing, arrives in control of her own destiny as the series leader with 12 points, five ahead of Mariya Savinova, the reigning Olympic champion.

case in former years. The veteran was known to have discovered athletes like Olympic medalist, Mary Onyali, the Ezinwa brothers Osmond and Davidson, Henry Amike, Sunday Uti and Uche Emedolu, who won the World Cup in 2002 and many others. However since being disengaged by the Abia State government last year, Igwe who was the athletics coach of the state lamented the treatment being meted to him and some of his colleages. He said, “I have produced athletes that won Olympic medals for this country and someone like Emedolu who did this country proud in Spain 10 years ago but he was also affected by the Abia State indigenization policy. I am being owed my salary and allowances for more than one year. Have I not paid my dues? I have appealed to the presi-

dency and anyone who can listen but nobody has been able to come to my aid.” That notwithstanding, the coach has been preparing athletes for the forthcoming National Sports Festival which will be hosted by Lagos State from November 27 to December 8 but decried the state of facilities which has served as a stumbling block to the athletes’ progress: “I just decided to continue training the athletes on my own even though no one is paying me but there are no track facilities available in the state. It is impossible for us to train from July to September because of the weather. These are some of the reasons why I have not been able to produce athletes that can do the country proud in recent times but nobody is asking questions. This is very sad,” he said.

amaica’s Usain Bolt headlined the shortlist for the 2012 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year announced by the International Association of Athletics Federations, (IAAF) in Monaco, France. Bolt dismissed doubts over his form and fitness at London 2012 by sweeping to gold in both the 100 metres and 200m. He then played a key role as Jamaica smashed the world record in the 4x100m. The 10-man shortlist named last month was whittled down to three following a three-week poll and the three male athletes who gathered the most votes are Usain Bolt (Jamaica), Aries Merritt (USA) and David Rudisha (Kenya). Merritt clinched gold in

Bolt

London in the 110m hurdles and then smashed the world record with a blistering run of 12.80 seconds in the second of two Samsung Diamond League finals in Brussels in September. Rudisha also achieved an Olympic gold and world record double. He blitzed the field in the final of the 800m at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford to cruise to victory in a best-ever time of 1:40.91. Britain’s Mo Farah was cut from the expanded list despite an emotional summer of success. The Somali-born star first landed the 10,000m and then rode a tidal wave of support to clinch the 5000m title the following Saturday. The winners will be announced live, on 24 November 2012.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Real Estate & Environment

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NSE picks holes in nation’s procurement policy STORIES: OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has flawed the country’s procurement laws, stressing that its open door policy which gives foreigners unrestricted access to jobs in the construction industry was capable of undermining local professionals in the country of their birth. This is even as the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, charged the professionals in the construction sector to uphold standard, arguing that President Goodluck Jonathan had given a directive on local patronage. NSE President,Mr. Mustafa Shehu, who spoke at a meeting with Ololememen in Abuja recently, said that if the country must develop, its economy deliberate efforts must be made to put in place protective measures as it is being done all over the countries. He said, “We observe that Procurement Laws in other developing countries or even in those that have developed, do not leave their doors open for laissez faire to foreigners. The protective measures put in place by China, Malaysia, India, South Korea, Singapore, are what them become technological powers and exporters of expertise even to Nigeria today. “The society then told government that our open door policy is undermining the engagement of our young engineers, and technologists, and other professionals, as of their right in their own country. There is need to embed Nigerian Content in our Procurement Laws.” Onolememen however noted that the Federal Government was willing to patronise not only indigenous engineers, but also local companies, explaining that the NSE should do more to enforce standard among its ranks. He also said,” I want to assure you that as a deliberate policy, Mr. President has continuously reminded ministers to patronise local professionals to the extent that even when we have a lot of competitions, any area we have local capabilities our duty is to patronise the local companies provided they can deliver the services of those for which government is embarking on that particular procurement. “As matter of policy we are also willing to patronise

Aerial view of the section of Abuja Roads.

the local companies that is the deliberate policy of this administration. To that extent, I want to say that this administration has continued to encourage indigenous contractors and manufacturers, and will stop doing it. However there is need for the NSE to do more than what it currently doing in order to be able to enforce standard in the profession.” According to the minister, one of the pre-requisite to continue to gain government patronage was for indigenous companies to continue to exude competence in the handling of projects given to them. To be on top of their game, he noted that there was an

urgent need for enforcement of standard not just in construction but also in consultancy, explaining that more often than not, poor consultancy was capable of inflicting more damage to government in terms of cost and abandonment of projects. He hinted that Nigerian engineers would play prominent roles in the proposed Integrated Infrastructure Development Master Plan, saying that,” Just we are about to commence the process of developing the integrated master plan that will drive infrastructure development in this country in the next 30 year, I want to assure you that you will be involved in this particular initiative.”

N11.5bn erosion control projects: FG reads riot act to contractors

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he Federal Government has tasked contractors and consultants handling its soil erosion and flood control projects to perform speedily on their contracts to ensure prompt commissioning. Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Mailafia made the call at a meeting with contractors, consultants and officials responsible for the execution of 15 projects in the South-East. She stated that with the spate of flood occurrence in the country, government would no longer take excuses for delaying or prolonging job completion, arguing that had claimed thorough knowledge of the project terrains and inherent challenges before they quoted for and were awarded the works. In particular, she scolded those who collected advance payments and failed to execute their projects according to agreements, insisting that those categories of contractors were doing a disservice to the Federal Government, the nation and the Project Communities. She emphasised that engaging in undue prolongation of the tenure of projects was not a good hallmark of a contractor that understand the dictate of the job The Minister therefore warned that if there were no marked improvements in the progress of works at the sites before the end of November, Government would invoke relevant clauses in the contracts to determine them and blacklist the concerned contractors. She informed them that several mechanisms and measures had been put in place to monitor and assess progress of work at the various projects warning them that no payment would be made to any con-

tractor without visible, verifiable reports of actual performance and progress, no matter entreaties, blackmail or influence peddling. According to the minister, in doing so, her action actions would be guided by her oath to serve the country with her best endeavours and principles of integrity, honesty and selflessness. Mailafia however, assured that contractors and consultants who did well would be rewarded, while those who cheated would see the effect of the prayers of Nigerians who were cheated. “I cannot sit here and approve payment of over 1 billion naira in the last one year and not see the commissioning of the projects. I have not taken, received or asked for a penny from any one of you. I have never asked anyone of you to see me before I acted on your files, nor have I ever asked anyone to see me after granting approvals for any of all these projects, which were awarded even before I assumed duties here. “And, I will not be stampeded by any means by anybody into payments that I am not convinced any person is entitled to,” she fumed. Besides the marching order giving to the contractors, the minister also urged supervisory officials to be alive to their responsibilities, and ensure that they were not compromised in supervising and reporting on projects under their charge. In his earlier remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Funds office, Dr. John MacNwabialo stated that the 15 projects were inherited by the current Minister and Permanent Secretary when they assumed duties in their present posts. He said the projects were very dear to Govern-

ment, and that the fund wished to use them as reference points for excellence and best practice in project implementation in the country. Given update on the projects, he stated some were at various stages of progress or completion. He called on the meeting to identify impediments to progress so that solutions could be proffered to ensure that the projects were speedily concluded in accordance with the contractual specifications and completion schedules. Some of the projects under review include, Channelisation of Iyi Okwu & Iyiudele Stream in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State; Abia State University Gully Erosion Site, Abia State; Oruruala Oguduasa Gully Erosion Site, Abia State; Peple Aguwa and Akpu Road Gully Erosion, Abia State; Nanka Recent Landslide Project Phase 1, Anambra State; Nkisi Water Works Erosion Control, Onitsha North LGA, Anambra State. Others include, Sakamori/Nwangene Flood Control/Dredging Project, Onitsha, Anambra State; Okpolo/Ire Ojoto Erosion Site, Anambra State;Flood/ Erosion and road Improvement Measures at Alor Town, Idemili LGA, Anambra State; Ajali Owa Gully and Erosion site Ezenawu LGA, Enugu State. Also under review are, Eguenyi Mpu-Ezza-Umuorma-Azunkow Erosion; Obinagu-Akpulu EnuguezeUmuonma-Azunkwo Erosion; Umuoza-Ugiri Erosion Control at Isiala-Mbano, Imo State; Nekede (Umumbazu) Gully Erosion Control Owerri West LGA, Imo State; and St. Kizito Sec. School Umuchima Gully Erosion Control, Ideato South LGA, Imo State. Some of the contractors who spoke at the forum assured the minister that several Projects were already on the verge of completion.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Style, fabrics take the lead when buying curtains Buying curtains seems like a no brainer. You do a little measuring, go into the store, pick out what you like, and you’re good to go, experts at homemakersdaily.com share their experience.

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here are a lot of factors that go into the purchase of curtains and you have to get a lot of them right in order to choose a winner. So if you’re thinking about buying curtains, keep these 12 things in mind: • Length: The length will depend on what else is near the curtain. If your bed is under a window, you might want shorter curtains so they don’t get in the way. If the curtains go behind a couch, maybe shorter is better, too. If it’s a curtain for the kitchen window over your sink, you’re obviously not going to want it to go to the floor! • Style: There are several different options and it pretty much just depends on the look you want for the room. If you’re wanting a light, airy look, you probably won’t want heavy drapes. If you have a privacy issue, you won’t want sheers. • Fabric: This is a really important point, especially if you have kids or pets. My family room/dining room curtains are silky and they’re hard to spot clean – not a Culled from www.homemakersdaily.com

IF YOU HAVE BLINDS OR SHADES, YOU CAN BUY “CHEATER CURTAINS” WHICH COVER THE EDGE OF THE WINDOW AND DON’T ACTUALLY CLOSE great choice for the dining room • Dry clean only or machine washable: I made a big mistake when I bought our family room curtains – I didn’t check the fabric content and they were dry clean only! When we first got them, each panel was horribly creased. But because they were dry clean only, I couldn’t throw them in the washer. I also couldn’t toss them in the dryer because they required low heat. • Rod: Keep in mind that curtain rods can eat up a big part of the budget. Sometimes the curtains themselves aren’t that expensive but the rods are the budget buster. The sheer curtains in my bedroom are on inexpensive café rods. The grommet top curtains in my living room are on a rod my husband made out of closet poles. Actually, the window is so wide we couldn’t find a

rod we could afford which is why he made one. And the curtains in our family room/ dining room are on curtain rods he made out of plumbing hardware. Very affordable compared to buying pre-made for six widerthan-usual windows. • Rod colour: This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker unless you’re OCD, but if the grommets in your curtain are brass, you might want a brass rod. If all the metal in the room is chrome, you might want a chrome rod. It doesn’t bother everyone if the metals don’t match, but if they bother you, watch for that! • Cost: We’ve been lucky in that we’ve found most of our curtains on clearance. The family room curtains were only about $10 a panel. We got them at Bed, Bath & Beyond. But we did have to go to two stores

to get enough. If you have the ability and time, you might be able to save money by making curtains yourself. • Tie Backs: If your curtains slide open, you’re good to go. But if you want to tie them back, don’t forget to purchase tie backs or hold backs. • Additional window coverings. If you have blinds or shades, you can buy “cheater curtains” which cover the edge of the window and don���t actually close. Sometimes blinds look harsh and the cheater curtain can warm things up. • Window size: Don’t guess – ever! That rarely turns out well. Measure the width and the height of the windows. • Number of panels: When we bought our family room curtains, we tried to get by with two panels on the extra wide windows but that wasn’t enough. We went back and bought six more panels which are what we should have done in the first place, and most of the time you’ll need at least two panels per window.


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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NTDA, Lekki residents explore ways to regulate physical developments within estate STORIES: DAYO AYEYEMI

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s part of the ongoing efforts to ensure infrastructure on government schemes are functional and well maintained, the General Manager, Lagos’ New Towns Development Authority (NTDA), Dr.Yemi Isiba, has urged residents to come together under a common umbrella to further the development of the scheme. Isiba gave the appeal during a stakeholder meeting with Lekki Peninsula Phase I Residential Association (LERA) and other residents associations within the scheme. Speaking further, the general manager highlighted the fact that if residents fail to react positively to the increasing rate of deterioration of the scheme, things might get out of hand considering the pace of development within the scheme and the rate at which the Lagos metropolis is growing. According to Isiba, a review of the Lekki Master Plan to accommodate observed changes in usage pattern is necessitated by the dynamics of economics and development, adding that “there is clearly no alternative to keeping the scheme in good condition other than to institutionalise the management of the estate” Emphasising the need to put in place enduring institutions to address the emerging scenario, Isiba explained that the authority envisages worse scenario in terms of rapid development and urbanisation within the scheme and cannot therefore continue to ignore the challenge of ensuring that infrastructure on government schemes are kept functional

L-R: Acting. Executive Director, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mr. Alade Adeleke; its President, Chief Philip Asiodu; and Chairman , Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, at the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the NCF in Lagos at the weekend.

and jointly maintained. He stated that what he noticed when he came on board was the disparity and uneven development between the southern and northern part of the scheme to the extent that residents of former was accusing the authority of neglect. The general manager added that the major focus of NTDA is to provide well laid out new towns with functional infrastructure and move on to the task of creating the next new town. He said, “However the focus has since changed because the fast rate of development in these schemes necessitated the need for sustainability of the schemes. “Now we know that it is not just enough to just design and leave scheme, we have the duty to put in place an enduring institution to sustain the created schemes.”

Isiba appealed to all stakeholders to join hands and intervene on issues of security, infrastructure, maintenance, neighbourhood monitoring, traffic management, provision of recreational facility amongst others. He hinted that the authority has delineated the Master Plan of Lekki Peninsula Phase I into eleven zones to make it effectively manageable, urging residents to think of what they can do to improve their neighbourhood by putting an enduring structure in place rather than waiting for government’s intervention all the time. Speaking on the importance of having a structure in place, the general manager said, “It is cumbersome to give authority to each association from all the zones rather if all the zones come together un-

der the umbrella of a structured authority such as LERA then it becomes easier to establish a line of authority which derives its legitimacy from government.” In his reaction the Chairman of the Lekki Peninsula Phase I Residential Association (LERA), Chief Oluwole Akala, expressed optimism that the collaboration between NTDA and the association would culminate in many visible developments on the scheme, appealing to residents to embrace the initiative and give necessary support to the association in order to ensure that the scheme develops, leading to increase in the value of properties within the scheme. Also speaking at the forum, Head, Town Planning Services of NTDA, Mrs Adenike Aloba, explained that Lekki Peninsula Phase I is the biggest established scheme so far consisting of 1047 hectares. According to her, the scheme was initially designed as a work, live and play environment but the effects of urbanisation and demand for residential plots had since transformed the scheme. The Chief Legal Officer of NTDA, Mrs Folashade Thomas Orogan also informed the residents that the authority in conjunction with the association over the past few months proposed a draft handbook for regulating Lekki Peninsula Phase I for the residents which has been submitted for the approval of Governor Babatunde Fashola after which it will be produced and distributed to all residents and stakeholders. While discussing the contents of the proposed handbook with the stakeholders, she also reiterated the need for intervention on the rate at which certain areas on the scheme is emerging as commercial areas.

Stakeholders seek robust funding, policy for healthcare waste management

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he Federal and State Ministries of Environment and Health have been urged to develop a predictable and sustainable funding mechanism for Healthcare Waste Management programmes in the country. Besides, they were called on the need for urgent adoption of the Draft National Policy and Strategic Plan on Healthcare Waste Management and development of appropriate legislative/regulatory frameworks for sound healthcare waste management. These were among other recommendations made during the National Healthcare Waste Management Summit (NHCWMS) organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) held at Women Development Centre in Abuja last week. The summit was aimed at creating awareness on the status of Healthcare Waste Management in the country and to explore best practices and available technologies to ensure it is managed in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner.

Its theme is, “Sustainable Healthcare Waste Management: Our collective and shared responsibility.” Participants at the summit noted that dearth of national legislative framework on waste management in Nigeria and delay in finalising the adoption of the draft National HealthCare Waste Management Policy and Strategic Plan. Delivering the key-note address, Minister of Environment Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia represented by the Director, Planning, Research & Statistics, Mrs. Olabisi Jaji, expressed profound gratitude to all partners and organisations for providing financial and technical support towards the national summit. She noted that the partnership would further strengthen collaboration among stakeholders on issues relevant to sound management of healthcare wastes in the country. She stressed need for other players to complement government commitment, stating that Public-Private-Partnership in medical waste management can bring greater efficiencies in the sector and improve quality of service. She informed participants that Feder-

Mailafa,

al Ministries of Environment and Health have jointly developed a draft National Healthcare Waste Management Policy and Strategic Plan in consultation with relevant stakeholders to provide guidance and standards for the management of healthcare wastes in the country. She expressed hope that the summit would inspire policy makers and the legislature to design proactive policies, and laws that will assist in managing healthcare waste in a sound environ-

mental manner. In his welcome address, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Taye Haruna ,who was represented the Director of the Pollution Control and Environmental Health Department, Mrs. Olufunke Babade, highlighted the importance of national healthcare waste management as a global issue and the on-going government policy initiatives targeted at addressing its challenges, while ascribing unsafe HCWM practices as major causes of human exposure to environmental risks and related infections in Nigeria. He, therefore, called on participants to work hard towards realising the objectives of the summit. Goodwill messages were presented by the representative of the Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Dr. Edemma Udoh, representative of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Ola Oresanya, Commissioner of Environment for Plateau State, Mrs. Sarah Yusuf; Country Representative AIDSTAR-One, Dr. A.O. Sowande and the representative of Shell Petroleum Development Cooperation, Justice O. Derefac


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Onoh’s property splits family, retired judge DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he name, Chief Christian Chukwuma Onoh rings a bell not only in Enugu State but in the South east region of Nigeria. Though now late, CC as he was fondly called, led the agitation for liberation of Wawa people in the present day Enugu and Ebonyi states from the then dominance of their brothers in Anambra, Imo and Abia states. The late Onoh, a lawyer by training grew up from a humbly family in Ngwo where coal was first mined and latter became a politician of repute. He also was the first indigenous chairman of Nigeria Coal Corporation, became the highest individual landed property owner in the coal city and died fighting for liberation of the suppressed. When the late CC Onoh was making the property investment in Enugu, Lagos and Abuja, he probably did not anticipate it would became a cause of discord among his family members but that is what it has now turned out to become even with the man’s allocation of shares to his family members and will before death that the property proceeds be used to maintain his children and children’s children. But as it is today, wife of the late Wawa leader who was former governor of old Anambra State, Her Excellency Chief Mrs. Caroline Onoh, even at her old age is now in court as a last battle to save the properties, mostly houses, that her late husband, C C Onoh, laboured to leave as legacy when he was alive. Mrs. Onoh is bitter with a retired high court Judge of Enugu State, Hon. Justice F. Ken Ezeike, who she described as friend to her late husband, but who as she alleged, used a back door of pretence to settle out of court her family’s related law suits but turned around to create wider gulf in the Onoh family and exploited the same opportunity to sell off some of the Onoh proper-

Some of the property at the GRA, Enugu.

ties in Old GRA Enugu and even collected car gifts among others. In the suit that Mrs. Onoh is the applicant with 9 respondents including Rockonoh Property Co. Ltd, her two sons, Justice Ezeike, a suspended court Director Vincent Anek, among others; Mrs Onoh is praying the court to set aside the report/awards of a purported arbitration/reconciliation panel constituted by retired Justice Ezeike. She further prayed that it would be in the interest of justice to grant her application since a situation of miscarriage of Justice has been occasioned to her and the report will create more chaos in her family than bring any peace and also the fact that the report will be impossible to implement. Mrs. Onoh stated that whereas she was aware of agreement reached at the chambers of the

Chief Judge of Enugu state, Justice Innocent Umezulike, for all parties in the different law suits involving Rockonoh property to make an out of court amicable settlement to be presided over by retired Justice Ezeike, they never agreed to submit to arbitration panel. Mrs. Onoh also alleged that both Justice Ezeike and the Secretary of the panel, Vincent Aneke requested from Rockonoh properties to be paid a staggering sum of N5 million each to the six members of the panel. “Among the litany of discoveries of misconduct/irregularities on the part of the purported arbitration panel is that the 2nd and 3rd respondents conspired to sell of the property belong to the 1st respondent in order to settle the exorbitant bill demanded by the purported Ezeike led arbitration

panel for services rendered.” She again alleged that to her surprise her son and 2nd respondent to the suit, Dr. Josef Onoh, made a gift of NISSAN Infiniti jeep with registration No MILIKI and Chassis No FN3AA08C35N809537 to Justice Ezeike in order to curry his favour, adding that even in the purported report/award of the panel, it encroached into her deed of gift that was outside their purview and said the deed of gift was not sealed when indeed it was sealed. On investigation, Justice Ezeike denied that he received car gift from Josef Onoh but rather said he bought the jeep from an Abuja auto shop. Reminded that the same jeep in question he said he bought in Abuja has the same chassis number with that of Dr. Onoh, the retired Judge said that

UK residential property prices increase by 0.6%

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K house prices increased by 0.6 per cent in October taking the average price of a home to £164,153, the latest data from the Nationwide published at the weekend had showed. According to Property Wire, it means that average prices are now just 0.9% below what they were a year ago and the monthly increase has more than offset the price fall of 0.4% recorded in September. The data also shows that

monthly price changes have failed to establish a strong trend in either direction over the past six months, with three months of increases and three months of price declines since May 2012. ‘The annual pace of change continues to display a picture of relative stability, with house prices down just 0.9% compared to October 2011. This maintains the pattern that has been evident since late 2010, with annual price growth remaining in a narrow

band between plus 1.5% and minus 1.5% on all but two occasions over the past two years,’ said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist. Although the UK has emerged from recession Gardner said that economic conditions still provide a challenging backdrop for the nation’s housing market. ‘Indeed, UK economic output is still slightly below the level prevailing twelve months ago and more than 3% below its 2008 level.

Therefore, while the data on economic growth suggests that the UK economy has not been performing quite as poorly as feared, there is little doubt that it remains extremely fragile,’ he explained. ‘With households and the public sector focused on repairing their finances rather than spending, the economic recovery is likely to remain fairly sluggish, especially since headwinds look set to intensify in the quarters ahead. In particular, clouds are gathering

his son in-law bought it from Dr. Onoh He did not to present the original documents of the jeep which Dr. Onoh produced before our reporter. On the sale of 38billion Riverlane, Onoh Quaters, GRA, Enugu, Justice Ezeike denied knowledge of the sale, alleging that some lawyers who were members of the panel went behind him to make the deal with Mr. GB Onoh, heir of the late CC Onoh. He however accepted that only N3 million was paid into his account as his fee for the arbitration against the N5 million each that he demanded for every member of the panel. Ezeike said that GB Onoh refused to give his younger brother, Dr. Josef Onoh part of the N30 million realised from the sale of the land in Onoh quarters and threatened that since he is receiving attack for the job he did, he may be forced to demand for N25million as his service charge. “C C. Onoh was very close to me since 1564. He made me judge and I did not protest against the N3 million fee because of the sentiment I have for C.C Onoh. GB for over 17 years collected rent on RockOnoh property and did not give a penny to his younger brother Josef and the money in question is in the excess of one billion naira. Josef on his part forged many documents and sold many of the houses. All of them were culpable in the report and I said I will never recommend for the balkanization of Onoh property. I rather recommended for an independent manager who can share the proceeds favourably,” said Justice Ezeike. Secretary of the panel, Mr. Vincent Aneke, a director with the state high court is alleged to have overseen the sale of the property, collected 10per cent as agent and the money subsequently paid into his First Bank account at Presidential road, Enugu. Aneke refused all efforts made at him to react to the allegations, insisting that the matter is in court. over the global outlook. Eurozone business surveys point to a further slowdown in our key trading partners on the continent, while the US economy is also struggling to gain momentum. This threatens to hold back exports at a time when the UK is looking to international trade to drive its economy forward,’ he added. He also pointed out that although the UK economy has been adding jobs in recent quarters, even in the midst of recession, conditions remain very difficult for households. ‘Wage growth is still not keeping up with the cost of living.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Aviation

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

35

Proposed National carrier will fail –Stakeholders

Many stakeholders and professionals in the Nigerian aviation industry insist the proposed national carrier by the Federal Government would be a failure, saying that it is a misadventure by the government. OLUSEGUN KOIKI, in this report, highlights their reasons.

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igeria Airways was a pride for Nigeria. it flew to virtually all the major countries of the world. It was a way Nigeria as a country defined itself, along with its national flag painted on the tail end of its every aircraft. The airline looked proud and elegant, a perfect symbol of statehood. Today, Nigeria Airways doesn’t exist. It was plagued with safety and reliability issues, and finally shut down in 2003 after the government refused to rescue it from staggering debts and mismanagement. At the time, most laymen didn’t realise that national airlines often have spotty track records. But it’s a common problem found all over the world as they are usually dwarfed with overregulation, overstaffing, excessive debt, political interference and poor management. But today, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation is determined to bestow to Nigeria again, a national carrier that will serve as a driver in the nation’s aviation industry, boost the image of this country in the global aviation sector and return the glorious days of the defunct, Nigeria Airways, which Nigerians patronised with pride. To make the proposal fruitful, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah has set up a committee, which included the joint trade union forum to shop around the world and look for a recognised, viable and interested international carrier to partner with the government on the project. So far, information reaching National Mirror indicated that the committee has made contacts with foreign carriers like Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa Airways, Air France-KLM and a couple of others, but without success while the December 2012 date for the commencement of the national carrier is ticking away. However, unlike the former Nigeria Airways where the government controlled its operations 100 per cent, the government is saying that the ownership structure of the new airline will have zero government control in terms of management and equity holding, but its controlling shares would be owned by Nigeria, who will become stakeholders through the sale of Initial Public Offer (IPO). The government argued that the partner airline will have management control and 49 per cent stake holding. “What is clear now is that government will not play any role in its ownership and control; it will be owned by Nigerians through IPO, although the template of that is still being worked on,” the Special Adviser, Media to Oduah, Mr. Joe Obi said. Despite these explanations, some stakeholders and professionals in the sector still believe the idea of a national carrier for Nigeria would be a failure just like the former Nigeria Airways, which according to former President Olusegun Obasanjo had 29 aircraft in its fleet in 1979 only to reduce to two, which were struggling to remain in the air as at 1999. The antagonists of the project insisted that no developed aviation industry in the globe today has a national carrier, rather, what they have is national flag carriers,

Defunct Nigerian airways

ARE WE MOVING FORWARD OR BACKWARD? TELL ME ONE DEVELOPED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WITH A NATIONAL CARRIER. BRITISH AIRWAYS STARTED AS A GOVERNMENT AIRLINE, AND ALONG THE LINE, GOVERNMENT SEPARATED ITSELF FROM THE RUNNING OF THE AIRLINE. which are owned by the public while the governments create enabling environment for them to strive and operate profitably without external interference. A member of the Aviation round Table (ART), Engr. Babatunde Obadofin, described the proposed national carrier for Nigeria as a misadventure by the government. Obadofin insisted that national carrier is not the solution to the problem of traditional aviation in this country, recalling that Nigeria once had a national carrier, which was allegedly destroyed by the government and its appointees. He said what Nigeria requires are designated carriers while the government provides enabling working environments for them and called for cancellation of multiple entries for foreign carriers. He said, “Are we moving forward or backward? Tell me one developed country in the world with a national carrier. British Airways started as a government airline, and along the line, government separated itself from the running of the airline, so, it’s not a national carrier. Government should sit down and get whatever it is supposed to do right. “I am not in support of any national carrier; rather, we should have designated carriers and empower them to carry the image of this country to wherever they are flying into. Give them the platform on which they can compete successfully with other established carriers in the world. “There should be guidelines for the airlines to operate while government will be more or less like a grandfather to the airlines so that they will be able to enjoy the privileges in which you are giving them. That is the way I see it. National carrier is not just a question of funding alone. There should be something for the designated carriers that would motivate them to match the onslaught of foreign carriers.” He also identified policy summersaults as the bane of the country, stressing that the idea of another government might be totally different from reestablishing a national carrier for the country.

Oduah

Besides, a director in First Nation Airways, Capt. Chimara Imediegwu said until the government stops multiple entries for foreign carriers, the proposed national carrier would be a failure. He emphasized that Nigeria does not have the financial wherewithal to compete with foreign carriers even with its proposed national carriers, noting that the system was no longer in vogue in developed aviation industries. A union leader, who does not want his name mentioned, told National Mirror that despite the former Nigeria Airways and its woeful performance, Nigeria still deserves a national carrier to boost its image when it flies abroad. “That is what Nigerians need, something they can identify with that is their own and be proud of,” he said. Having said these, the union leader still feared that the proposed national carrier would be a failure. He mentioned corrup-

tion as one of the stumbling blocks to the success of the proposed carriers. “Majority of those who managed Nigeria airways were Nigerians, they ran Nigeria airways aground because of their selfish interest. The corruption was so high on the airline. “Also, a situation where by over 60 per cent of passengers on a plane are boarding on complimentary tickets can not make the airline breakeven. We may have the technical equipment to maintain the aircraft, but most of the spare parts are imported into the country, which is a capital flight to Nigeria because those things are not manufactured in the country.” Also, he mentioned absence of maintenance hangar as another albatross to the success of the planned national carrier. He emphasised that most of the facilities in the Nigeria Airways hangar were sold to Arik Air at a give away price and queried if the country was going to start afresh in the area of maintenance facilities. “Also, the bureaucracy involved in managing an airline. Most of the airlines in the globe strive because they take on-thespot decision whenever there is a snag on an aircraft, but when it comes to the government, it will have to go through different processes and stages. You will have to write and by the time approvals come, it would have been too late,” he said. He said the only way the project could work was for the government to only create an enabling environment for investors and reach an agreement with the aircraft manufacturers to give the aircraft to investors at reduced and more affordable rates. “Yes, it is government, but managed by private concerns. What the private concerns will do now is to release the money. This is possible, but unfortunately, there is insincerity from us. We are smart, but our smartness is on the negative aspect. The aircraft can be given to them on hire purchase to the investors and Nigerians can buy into it in form of shares and it will belong to everybody. “There should be a consortium of investors as they do abroad. Aircraft business is not a one man business. That is the only way we can move forward and make it a success. Governments all over the world have no business being in business. The national carrier project can work in Nigeria if we want it to work, but most collects money from the government to marry more wives, which is absurd. I will not advise that government should go all out to do it alone, but should create an enabling environment for investors to operate.”


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‘Expatriates may take over Nigerian aviation industry’ STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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takeholders in the Nigerian aviation industry have expressed fears that expatriates may one day take over the running and management of the country’s aviation sector if operators and government do not invest in training and retraining of technical personnel. Grp. Capt. John Obakpolor[rtd] expressed this fear last week at the International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Aeronautical Division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers held at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex, Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos. Obakpolor advised that in order to address the trend, the Federal Government and the Ministry of Aviation must come up with an all encompassing analytical policy on the training of young professionals in all the technical fields so as to enhance manpower development and production.

Udoh

Also, Chief Consultant of Aeroconsult, Engr. Babatunde Obadofin noted that it was time for the Ministry of Aviation to be pro-active in this direction by ensuring the development of local content-especially skilled manpower, rather dwelling on issues of less importance. He emphasised that by the

time the aged professional workforce leave the service, the industry would be thrown into a big dilemma. The way out, he noted was for the government to heed the call for the development of a forward looking policy aimed at developing the local contents for the industry, stressing that aviation plays a very important role in driving the economy of the nation. In an address read on behalf of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA)],Engr. Nnamdi Udoh by the Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Bola Bido, noted that the importance of aviation to the economic drive of the nation could not be overemphasised bearing in mind that the industry accounted for the provision of 7million jobs in Africa and generated over $64billion annually. This, he pointed out was why the government must invest heavily in aviation, especially in the area of skilled manpower development.

Etihad Airways expands services to East Asia

Inside view of the recently

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tihad Airways has announced the commencement of code-share services to Hong Kong in February, 2013 in partnership with Air Seychelles, subject to regulatory approval. The three return services per week between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong the airline said would be operated by its equity and code-share partner, Air Seychelles. An online statement signed by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that the new code-share supplements Etihad Airways’ expansion in mainland China, following the launch of its first service to Beijing in March 2008, and more recently to Chengdu in

December 2011 and Shanghai in March earlier this year. The Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Mr. James Hogan said Hong Kong is a fast growing economy, which booming middle class have brought a remarkable increase in the number of travellers in recent years. He explained that the proposed new service will connect two of the world’s leading international financial and tourism centres, a move he believed would will stimulate the growth of commerce and trade between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China, the UAE’s second largest trading partner. The flight schedule will pro-

vide leisure and business passengers from Hong Kong with seamless connectivity through Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, to key destinations across the GCC and to primary European destinations including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Ireland. The schedule also allows two-way connectivity between Hong Kong and the Seychelles, supporting a booming tourism industry on the archipelago. “With our 40 per cent equity stake in Air Seychelles, it makes strong commercial sense for us to work together on opportunities where cooperation is possible. The resulting synergies bring about significant efficiency benefits for both Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles,” Hogan added. Etihad Cargo, a division of Etihad Airways, operates a three times a week service from its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport to Hong Kong. Picture for page 2, 2nd lead: The ticketing hall of the recently remodelled Benin Airport, Benin by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah

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Airside shegzzy4live2000@yahoo.co.uk 08186007273

Between FAAN and BASL, who owns GAT?

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he battle for the soul of Nigerian aviation industry is being fought by two bigwigs who are keen in taking over the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Lagos. The battle is between BiCourtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two (MMA2), and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) While the Ministry of Aviation led by its minister, Princess Stella Oduah insisted that the recently commissioned terminal was not part of the concession agreement the government had with BASL, BASL on the other hand is claiming that the terminal

was part of the agreement right from the outset. At present, the case is reported to be at the in the Supreme Court, but before judgement is delivered on the issue, both parties are accusing the other of violation of agreement. Airside advises here that the two giants should find an amicable way of resolving the issue without putting the industry into disrepute and safeguard the future of the industry. While Airside will not support monopoly of any sort from any quarters, it equally wants open and unbiased agreements reached with investors to be respected and implemented to the letter.

That stoway could’ve been a suicide bomber

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he discovery of an unidentified deceased stowaway on Arik Air last week by the personnel of the airline on routine checks has, once again, brought to fore the issue of insecurity at the nation’s airports. Although, stowaway is a problem in the global aviation industry, but before now, the security situation in the Nigeria’s aviation industry has been very porous over the years without any form of improvement from the government. The only improvement noticed in recent time by Airside was the prevention by the genuine users of the airport from gaining access to the terminal while jobless people and wanderers regularly gain unhindered access to restricted areas of the

airport, especially the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. It is a well known fact that a stowaway person could not have gained access to the airside of the airport without the aid of security personnel attached to the airport, staff of the ground handling agents or both. With the present security situation in the country, can we really trust those who the security of the nation is bestowed upon? The stowaway could have been a suicide bomber ! Airside thinks the time is ripe for those saddled with ensuring safety at our airports, including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to wake up to their responsibilities before the whole airport users are swept away. Time to act is now.

BA’s first Airbus A380 ‘Super-jumbo’ aircraft reaches milestone

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he building of British Airways’ first Airbus A380 ‘Super-jumbo’ aircraft reached a major milestone last week, with the installation of the four giant Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The engines, which each produce 70,000 lbs of thrust (or approximately 30,000 horsepower, the equivalent of 300 family cars), were attached to aircraft ‘MSN095,’ the first of 12 A380s the airline has on order. The aircraft is due to be delivered to British Airways in July next year. British Airways’ director of engineering, Garry Copeland in a statement by the media consultant to the airline in Nigeria stated that “We are de-

lighted to see the aircraft taking shape, and can’t wait for it to join the British Airways fleet. This delivery is the latest step in a huge investment to upgrade the fleet and improve the inflight experience for our customers.” Having been constructed at Rolls-Royce Derby plant, the engines were transported to Toulouse via road and ferry. Each engine, weighing six tonnes and with a diameter measuring almost 10 feet, took a team of five Airbus engineers to install. These aircraft, form part of a £5bn investment by British Airways in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.


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Insurance

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Risk surveyors call for increased disaster management in Nigeria

Flooded houses

At a time when the nation is ravaged by flood, with its attendant material and human loss, which could have been minimised through effective disaster recovery plan backed by implementation of solutions in timely and efficient manner by various levels of government; risk surveyors, insurance professionals and operators in the commerce, manufacturing and energy sectors gather to rub minds on how to manage disasters in the country. OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO reports.

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he world has continued to witness climate change and other natural disasters, with Nigeria not being an exception. Just last month, vast stretches of Africa’s most populous nation have been submerged as major rivers like the Niger, the continent’s third longest, burst their banks leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. At least, more than a hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands of hectares of farmland have been submerged since the start of July, raising concerns about food security. With disasters, natural and manmade are becoming overwhelming, both in frequency and severity, stakeholders in the insurance industry especially the Risk Surveyors Association of Nigeria (RISAN) have identified the need for them to join hands together to help the country cope with challenges of high profile risks and threats of disasters. RISAN also highlighted the need for Risk Surveyors to rise up to the occasion by acquiring more knowledge in other to reduce the burden of risk bearers thus the introduction of Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MPCD) for its members. It is noteworthy to state that insurance risk surveyors determine the possible financial risk posed by offering insurance cover for items, properties or sites. They provide underwriters with detailed reports about necessary improvements to reduce the risk or if insurance can be offered. These reports form the basis of the terms and conditions for the insurance policies. Speaking at the 2012 annual conference of RISAN held recently in Lagos, President of the association, Engr. Jacob Adeo-

TODAY, THERE IS A GREATER NEED FOR ALL OF US TO JOIN HANDS TOGETHER TO HELP THE COUNTRY COPE WITH THE CHALLENGES OF HIGH PROFILE RISKS AND THREATS OF DISASTERS sun said risk surveyors are trained to add value in risk assessment, loss prevention and risk reduction in the interest of all stakeholders which include the insured’s, insurers and the public. Highlighting the major operational challenges facing the risk surveyors within the industry, Adeosun stated that there is the need for RISAN and the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) to agree on an equitable scale of fees to resolve the existing impasse. He said, “Risk surveyors need to be approximately remunerated to retain the services of experienced hands in the industry. There is need for payment of survey fees as at when due noting that the quantum of unpaid receivables is capable of imparing the efficiency of service delivery which is not in the best interest of anyone. “We have a duty to chart a new course for Nigeria through our individual actions and collective conduct. The fight against corruption, efforts to improve productiv-

ity and knowledge must be firmly rooted at individual, association and corporate levels”, he said. Chairman of the occasion and NIA President, Mr. Remi Olowude said the launching of MCPD programme is coming at a very auspicious time when the nation, and in fact, the entire world are bedeviled by high incidence of unprecedented natural disasters. According to him, from Nigeria to East Asia, the Caribbean to the United States of America, the story is same: millions of people have been displaced by flood and hurricane. “Today we live in daily fear of terrorist acts in various forms, including piracy, kidnapping and sophisticated armed robbery. The phenomena of global warming, oil spillage and explosions have ravaged our environment. “All these have resulted in unfortunate loss of lives and massive destruction of property worth billions of dollars” Olowude stressed that the growing menace of risk in business and industry has, since the beginning of the 21st century, forced investors and regulatory authorities all over the world to pay greater attention to enterprise or corporate risk management. This he said has engendered risk-based capitalisation and risk-based supervision in the financial services industry, especially insurance and banking. “The MPCD programme should be supported by all stakeholders especially now that disasters, natural and manmade are becoming overwhelmingly, both in frequency and severity” He encouraged the risk surveyors to

37

embrace the MCPD to update their professional competencies and get acquainted with modern equipment and technology, lest they become outmoded and stagnated in a fast-changing world. He added that risk managers and surveyors must, at all times, strive to earn the confidence and respect of their clients through the quality of the reports they deliver. “Today there is a greater need for all of us to join hands together to help the country cope with the challenges of high profile risks and threats of disasters. I am therefore calling for nationwide collaboration of all bodies and agencies in the public and private sectors. “In particular, I would like to see joint programmes by RISAN, Risk and Insurance Managers Society of Nigeria (RIMSON), Institute of loss adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN), Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) and the NIA”. The NIA boss urges the bodies to reach out to the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), the fire services as well as the agencies involved in metrological services and engineering constructions. He pointed out that considering that their objectives, functions and interest are interrelated, it is important that they jointly cultivate and share knowledge, equipment and technology in a way that will enable them anticipate and manage disasters effectively. “It is high time they developed studies and systems that would address the human element of disasters. In addition, the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) and some universities in the country should deepen the study of risk management and disaster management and recovery. “On our part at NIA, we will continue to encourage insurance companies to embrace risk-based capital in order to strengthen their operations. Our members will renew our commitment to charging the right premium to be able to cover the emerging risks and protect the nation adequately. “As the immediate victims of natural disasters are invariably the poor, we are channelling greater effort to developing micro insurance, which will inculcate the culture of risk management on this segment of our society, and provide succour in times of distress”, he added. In Paper Presented by Evaristus Uzamere, CEO of Safety Engineering and Fire Consultants (Nigeria) Limited on Mitigation of Explosion and Fire in Oil Industry and the Effect on Community said insurance has sometimes been identified as a mitigation strategy, but it is not entirely accurate. It is rather a mechanism for spreading the financial risk posed by hazards. Thus, it is a recovery preparedness measure that reimburses the policyholder for the monetary value of property that has been damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile, the General Manager, Group Insurance, Dangote Groups of Companies Raymond Akalonu, disclosed that insurers are to pay over N7 billion claims on the fire incident that occurred at the Dangote Sugar refinery on July 7, 2012. He said: “In recent times, the recurring issues of fire devastation and the resultant disruption in business activities leading to losses in revenue and continuing costs are of immense concern to the business community, hence the appropriateness of this topic at this time.


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Insurance

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NCRIB commissions N400m secretariat today STORIES BY OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO

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Send a text: 07080735854

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L-R: Immediate past President of the Risk Surveyors Association (RISAN), Chief Lebi Omoboyowa receiving a Fellowship plaque from the newly inaugurated president of the Association, Engineer Jacob Adeosun, while former Commissioner for Insurance, Chief Dipo Bailey, watches at the conference and investure of RISAN held in Lagos, recently

opment. The book will be formally presented by Mr Remi Olowude while Chief Sonny Odogwu is the Chairman of the occasion. Osijo had earlier pledged to work with stakeholders to create a better image and move the sector forward. She said, “We shall become more proactive on issues affecting our practice by reaching out to all notable institutions whose actions or inactions may affect us. “We shall also improve on the industry’s relationship between the council and other arms of the industry such as the Chartered Insurance Institute

of Nigeria, the Nigerian Insurers Association, the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria and the National Insurance Commission. “Our aim is to establish and maintain a central organization for Insurance Brokers and generally do all such things as may, from time to time, elevate their status safeguard and advance their interest and procure their general efficiency and proper professional conduct, with a view to ensuring for the community, the existence of a class of Insurance Brokers who can be relied upon as being trustworthy and duly qualified to perform their responsible duties among others.

Miss insurance to spend N4.1 million on project

iss Insurance 2012/2013, Onyeka Okolie of Goldlink Insurance Plc has revealed that the total budget for her pet project, which begins with a tour to public Secondary schools in Lagos, is N4.1 million. Okolie, who disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists recently in Lagos said her pet project focuses on youth empowerment which entails enlightenment on functional education and dangers of drug abuse. She emerged winner of the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CIIN) Miss Insurance contest. She noted that the Miss Insurance pageant has continued to present a veritable platform for Insurance awareness campaign, as well as social engineering. According to her, the pet projects of the successive queens remain an invaluable avenue for achieving part of the objectives of the pageant. She said, “It is therefore with great optimism that I embrace the challenges thrust on my shoulders by virtue of my emergence as Miss Insurance 2012/2013 of the great Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. She said, “My objective is to empower the youth in preparation for leadership, creat a sense of responsibility in the youth through a drug-free environment, build youth self-confidence through effective expression in essay writing and debates on insurance topics while I encourage the youth to choose a career in Insurance.

Problems with Insurance? Flood insurance misconceptions: 8 facts you should know

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or brokers in the insurance industry, history will be made as the umbrella body, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers will on Tuesday take a significant leap on its 50 years existence with the official commissioning of its ultra modern secretariat complex valued at about N400 million. The commissioning will be performed by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala while the commissioner for Insurance, Mr Fola Daniel will be the special guest of honour. In a statement made by the President of the Council, Barrister Laide Osijo recently, the Council will also formally launch its historical book entitled Insurance Broking in Nigeria: Issue and Practice, a material she described as a compendium for all insurance practitioners. Osijo said the erection of the NCRIB Secretariat had been a long term desire of the past presidents and patriachs of the profession to bequeath a lasting lagacy to the coming generation of practitioners. On the NCRIB book, Osijo noted that it was a convergence of history about past and contemporary practitioners and trends in the industry that would enhance the knowledge base of members and that it had debut at the most auspicious time when the industry is in dire need of reference materials for practitioner’s intellectual and professional devel-

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“During the visits I will be giving branded and customised gifts to the students. like stationery, sports kits, exercise books, T-shirts, fez caps and other reading materials on drug free education. The insurance queen added that she will be taking some of the students on excursion to insurance companies after securing the consent of the companies; organizing Inter-school Essay Writing competition on insurance related topics and organising a ‘youth empowerment day’. She said she would also be discussing with key personnel of selected schools on the possibility of the founding of a school Insurance Learning and Safety Club to ensure that the baton of knowledge gained by the students through the pet project is passed onto upcoming ones. The project will be beneficial to the insurance industry as it will reveal the involvement of the industry in social responsibility and community development and create more awareness about the benefits of Insurance. The insurance branded gifts will also promote the brands of the sponsors and the banners of sponsors will be displayed at the venues among others. The yearly Miss Insurance Dance is an important event in the calendar of activities of the CIIN and is anchored on the premise of promoting a firm anchorage of insurance awareness on social interaction, the efficacy of beauty

and brain The contest also derives its strength from the courage demonstrated by the young ladies in accepting the challenge of projecting the feminine gender, in particular and humanity as a whole. The winner, who in her capacity would fly the banner of the CIIN and the insurance industry as a whole, must be a combination of overwhelming positive qualities and should be able to project the industry in positive light wherever she goes. Over the years, the Miss Insurance Pageant has remained an objective measure of the accomplished insurance beauty.

Onyeka

f you don’t think your home is at risk for flooding, think again. Flood insurance is one of the most misunderstood types of insurance coverage Here are eight facts to clear up some of the most common misconceptions about coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program No flood coverage under home insurance Many people still assume standard renters and home insurance covers floods, says Larry Case, executive vice president of the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents. But you must purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home and belongings from flood damage. Most flood insurance is provided through the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can buy federal flood insurance from companies and agents certified to sell it if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance has caps The amount of coverage you can buy through the NFIP is capped at $250,000 for a home’s structure and $100,000 for contents. If you want more coverage, you have to buy excess flood insurance, which is sold by private insurance companies. The excess policy covers the cost of flood damage over and above the $250,000/$100,000 caps. Coverage limited in basements The distinctions can be tricky, so read the policy for details. Some structural elements in the basement are covered, such as central air conditioners, foundation walls, electrical outlets, furnaces and hot water heaters. However, carpeting and floor tile are not covered. Some appliances in the basement are covered, such as washers and dryers, portable air conditioners and freezers. But refrigerators are not covered. Most personal belongings--including furniture, clothing and electronic equipment--are not covered when they’re in the basement. Building and contents insurance required A standard home insurance policy automatically covers personal belongings up to a certain percentage of the home’s insured value. With flood insurance, you must purchase contents coverage as well as building coverage to get both. No additional living expenses provided If your home is destroyed by fire, homeowner insurance pays for the cost to rent comparable living quarters until the house is rebuilt. But flood insurance does not include coverage for additional living expenses. You typically foot the bill to rent a place to live while your home is being repaired after a flood. However, when the president of the United States issues a major disaster declaration and homes are uninhabitable, FEMA can help affected homeowners and renters with alternative living expenses, says Gina Cortez, a FEMA spokesperson. This assistance may last up to 18 months. No replacement cost coverage for personal belongings


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Capital Market

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

39

Lagos tax authority probes NSE STORIES: JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he Lagos State Internal Revenue is currently assessing the Nigerian Stock Exchange on the amount of tax to be remiitted for the 2010 and 2011 financial year. The Exchange paid N367.9m to the state’s revenue service for default in taxes between 2004 and 2009, according to the NSE’s annual report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2011. The report disclosed that the amount represents tax liability for Pay As You Earn, PAYE, development levy and withholding tax. According to the report, a tax investigation was

carried out on the NSE by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service and the tax liability payable on PAYE, development levy and withholding tax between 2004 and 2009 tax assessment year was N367.9m. Meanwhile, the report stated that the Council members of the Exchange got N31.14m, as sitting allowance for the 2011 financial year, while they incurred expenses valued at N9.106m in the course of the year. According to the report, the Council sitting allowance stood at N31.14m in 2011, compared to N53.08m recorded in the 2010 financial year. Other Council expenses dropped to N9.106m, from N12.31m recorded in 2010. Further analysis

showed that the executives of the NSE received emoluments totaling N145.29m, up by 5.98 per cent from N137.1m paid them in 2010. The report further stated that the NSE paid its auditors N26.5m for the 2011 financial year, same as the previous year. It showed that the NSE received N526.8m from quoted companies as listing feing fees, up by 16.16 per cent from N453.5m recorded in 2010, while entrance levy received stood at N690.12m, down from N1.045bn recorded in 2010. Transaction levy accruable to the NSE stood at N1.854bn, down from N2.355bn recorded in 2010, while other fees accruable to it stood at N96.02m, compared to N157.6m in 2010.

Initial listing fees are one-time fees paid by entities for the purpose of listing their shares on the floor of the Exchange and are recognised in income once the shares are listed, while annual listing fees represent the annual fees charged on companies quoted on the Exchange based on average annual capitalisation of companies and is accounted for on accrual basis. Entrance levy represents the fee charged on companies sourcing funds from the capital market and is based on the amount of funds being sought, while transaction levy is based on value of shares traded on the floor of the NSE charged on the investors at 0.50 per cent of sales and is accounted for on an accrual basis.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 2 NOVEMBER & 5 NOVEMBER 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

2 -No v -1 2

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 7,342,308 points Market capitalisation 23,066.74 trillion

Equities gain 0.2% as bulls regain vigour

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rading in equities closed on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as investors’ appetite mostly on consumers’ goods halted last Friday’s bearish trend. Specifically, the All Share Index rose by 0.15 per cent to close at 26,600.10 points, in contrast to the decline of 0.16 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 26, 559.55 points. Market capitalisation gained N13bn to close at N8.48trn, as against the decrease of N14bn recorded on Friday to close at N8.46trn.

The Consumer Goods Index led the sectorial indices by 1.32 per cent to close at 2,298.35 points, followed by the Insurance Index with 0.34 per cent to close at 134.49 points. The Lotus Islamic Index appreciated by 0.24 per cent to close at 1,667.92 points, while the Oil and Gas Index increased by 0.31 per cent to close at 156.45 points. The NSE 30-Index settled at 1,254.20 points, up by 0.2 per cent, but the Banking Index dropped by 0.75 per cent to close at 422.27 points over profit taking.

Fidson Healthcare Plc led the gainers’ table with nine kobo or 8.57 per cent to close at N1.14 per share, followed by Ikeja Hotel Plc with five kobo or 4.90 per cent to close at N1.07 per share. Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc gained 25 kobo or 4.35 per cent to close at N6.00 per share, while Wapic Insurance Plc increased by two kobo or 4.00 per cent to close at 52 kobo per share. Continental Insurance Plc appreciated by three kobo or 3.95 per cent to close at 79 kobo per share. On the flip side, AIICO Insurance Plc lost five

Stanbic IBTC grosses N64bn in nine months

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tanbic IBTC Bank has declared gross earnings of N64bn for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, representing a 35 per cent increase when compared to N47.4bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s unaudited results showed profit before tax of N9.0bn, an increase of 13 per cent in the review period when compared to N8.0bn posted in the corresponding period of 2011. Profit after tax increased by 23 percent to N7.0bn, from N5.7bn in the 2011 nine months.

Speaking on the result, the Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mrs. Sola David-Borha attributed the performance to the continuing improvements in the group’s operations driven by the aggressive branch expansion programme which has continued to propel growth in transactional volumes and activities. She stated, “We continued to grow our revenues and business operations responsibly as evidenced by a 35 per cent and 23 per cent growth in gross revenue and profitability respectively. Our expanded

network ensured the continued growth in transactional volumes and activities and a steady growth in our deposit book. “As we continue to leverage on our growing points of representation and pursue our diversified business models, our revenues should continue to witness positive growth. We maintained our traditionally strong capital and liquidity positions throughout the period, and we are focused on maximising the operational efficiency of the group.” According to her, the

kobo or 7.25 per cent to close at 64 kobo per share, while Custodian Insurance Plc dipped by nine kobo or 6.47 per cent to close at N1.30 per share. Wema Bank Plc shed three kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at 58 kobo per share, while Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc depreciated by five kobo or 4.90 per cent to close at 97 kobo per share. RT Briscoe Plc declined by eight kobo or 4.73 per cent to close at N1.61 per share. A total of 188.7 million shares valued at N1.47bn were exchanged in 4,046 deals. bank’s gross loans and advances rose by 12 per cent year-on-year and three per cent year-todate to N273.9bn, as against N247.2bn in September 2011 and N266.1bn in December 2011. She explained further that steady growth was recorded in total asset size, which increased by 14 per cent to N634.2bn in the review period, from N554.5bn posted in the 2011 nine months. On the bank’s adoption of a holding company structure, she said that the process was very close to completion, as it’s awaiting final regulatory approval.

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Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

FIDSON

1.05

1.14

0.09

8.57

IKEJAHOTEL

1.02

1.07

0.05

4.90

FORTISMFB

5.75

6.00

0.25

4.35

WAPIC

0.50

0.52

0.02

4.00

CONTINSURE

0.76

0.79

0.03

3.95

NEM

0.52

0.54

0.02

3.85

PZ

26.00

27.00

1.00

3.85

REDSTAREX

2.90

3.01

0.11

3.79

NB

128.55

132.50

3.95

3.07

MANSARD

1.75

1.80

0.05

2.86

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

AIICO

0.69

0.64

0.05

-7.25

CUSTODYINS

1.39

1.30

0.09

-6.47

WEMABANK

0.61

0.58

0.03

-4.92

NEIMETH

1.02

0.97

0.05

-4.90

RTBRISCOE

1.69

1.61

0.08

-4.73

PORTPAINT

4.29

4.12

0.17

-3.96

JAPAULOIL

0.57

0.55

0.02

-3.51

NAHCO

5.80

5.60

0.20

-3.45

IPWA

0.58

0.56

0.02

-3.45

UNITYBNK

0.59

0.57

0.02

-3.39

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

58-Day

16,631.94

14.20

1-Nov-12

59-Day

10,000

14.00

1-Nov-12

66 -Day

32,227.06

14.20

8-Nov-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91Days

32,057.31

14.50

8-Nov-12

118-Day

50,000.00

13.87

8-Nov-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$50m

N/A

$50m

8-Nov-12

$100m

N/A

$43m

8-Nov-12


40

Capital Market

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at November 5, 2012 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


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Politics

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

CONTINUED FROM 13 ing the Electoral College votes. As such, election will be decided by votes from these states, since winning these states is an opportunity for a party to gain electoral votes. Hence, they become the battlefields of presidential candidates. In today’s election the battlegrounds are Colorado (8), Florida (29), Iowa (7), Nevada (8), North Carolina (4), Ohio (25), Pennsylvania (12), Wisconsin (17), Virginia (15), New Hampshire (6). In all the 10 swing states, there are 123 electoral votes for grabs. Florida is a major decider in today’s election as it is the biggest presidential battleground. The state does not lean to either the Democrats or Republicans. Florida is so crucial that the state decided the eventual winner of the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The race was so close to call such that it led to a recount that ended when the Supreme Court controversially ordered its stoppage. Ohio’s 25 votes also have the potential to determine who wins today’s election. This informed why both candidates have been falling over each other to win the state. So much money has been spent on adverts in the state. Romney and Obama have spent $9 and $6 million on television adverts, respectively in the state in the last few days. Both candidates equally made several stops to woo the voters in the build up to the poll in Ohio. Even their running mates, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan campaigned severally in the state, which since 1960, has not backed a losing presidential candidate. According to different polls, Obama has a slight edge over Romney in the state. The Obama bailout policy is working for the Democrat candidate in this swing state. The president won the state four years ago. “I need you, Ohio. America needs you, Ohio,” Obama said at one of his campaigns last week. Romney has two options to win the presidency: a win of Ohio’s 25 votes or overwhelmingly victories in all the nine swing states.

The candidates The focus of the election is on two candidates: Democrats Obama and Republican Romney.

Barack Obama Obama is the Democrat presidential candidate. The U.S. 44th president was born August 4, 1961 in Hawaii. He is the first African-American president. Columbia University, after his graduation, he worked as a community organiser in Chicago. In 1991, he attended Harvard Law School and became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He later taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. In politics, Obama was elected for the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and served till 2004. He set his eyes on Washington and ran for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat which he won in 2004. Obama could not complete his six-year tenure when he resigned to contest for the U.S. presidency in 2007. He defeated Republican John McCain in 2008. He is seeking re-election. Obama is married to Michelle with two kids, Malia and Sasha.

Mitt Romney Politics runs in Romney’s blood. He had contested for Senate, was elected as governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and set his eyes on the presidency. This is not the first time he will set his

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Dead heat in race for White House a voucher just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.” The president also believes that Americans do not need a champion in Washington. “The folks at the very top don’t need another champion in Washington. The people who need a champion in Washington are the Americans whose letters I read at night; the men and women I meet on the trail every day… When these Americans do well, America does well. That’s the change we need right now. It’s time to finish what we’ve started – to educate our kids, train our workers, create new jobs, new energy, and new opportunity – to make sure that no matter who you are, where you come from, or how you started out, this is the country where you can make it if you try,” he said.

Romney’s vision Johnson

Stein

BY CONVENTION, ANY CANDIDATE THAT WINS WITH EVEN A VOTE AUTOMATICALLY WINS THE ENTIRE ELECTORAL VOTES IN A GIVEN STATE eyes on the White House. He made an attempt in 2008, but failed to get the Republican nomination until 2012. His father, George Romney, a former governor of Michigan, also ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 but failed. Romney graduated from Brigham Young University in 1971 and got dual degrees from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. As a businessman, he helped found Bain Capital, an investment firm that bought and sold companies after turning them around. He helped organise the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Romney, born in 1947, married Ann in 1969 and has five sons.

Others There are other presidential candidates, but nothing much is expected from the third-party candidates Gary Johnson, 59, the former governor of New Mexico is the presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party. Virgil Goode, 66, a former Virginia congressman is the candidate of the Constitution Party. Jill Stein, 62, a physician, is the candidate of Green Party.

Obama’s vision Obama anchors his vision on change. His words: “Change is an America where people of every age have the skills and education that good jobs require. We took on banks that had been overcharging for student loans for decades, and made college more affordable for millions. Now we’ll recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that high-tech, high-wage jobs don’t end up in China, and train 2 million workers at community colleges for the skills local businesses need right now. “Change is an America that’s home to the next generation of manufacturing and

Goodie

innovation. I’m not the candidate who said we should “let Detroit go bankrupt,” I’m the president who bet on American workers and American ingenuity. Now I want a tax code that stops rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas, and starts rewarding companies that create jobs here; one that stops subsidising oil company profits, and keeps supporting clean energy jobs and technology that will cut our oil imports in half.” He also promised not to give room for America’s enemies. “Change is an America that turns the page on a decade of war to do some nation-building here at home. So long as I’m commander-in-chief, we’ll pursue our enemies with the strongest military in the world. But it’s time to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay down our debt and rebuild America – our roads and bridges and schools,” he said. On economy, Obama said: “Change is an America where we reduce our deficit by cutting spending where we can, and asking the wealthiest Americans to go back to the income tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president. I’ve worked with Republicans to cut a trillion dollars of spending, and I’ll do more. I’ll work with anyone of any party to move this country forward. But I won’t agree to eliminate health insurance for millions of poor, elderly, or disabled on Medicaid, or turn Medicare into

The Republican candidate said he has put forward an economic recovery plan consisting of five central elements that will in four years create 12 million jobs. He said: “We will produce more of the energy we need to heat our homes, fill our cars, and make our economy grow. We will stop President Obama’s war on coal, his disdain for oil, and his effort to crimp natural gas by federal regulation of the very technology that produces it. We will support nuclear and renewables, but phase out subsidies once an industry is on its feet. We will invest in energy science and research to make discoveries that can actually change our energy world. By 2020, we will achieve North American energy independence. “We will re-train our work force for the jobs of tomorrow and ensure that every child receives a quality education no matter where they live, including especially our inner cities. We will eliminate redundancy and empower the 50 states and the private sector to develop effective programmes of their own. We will make trade work for America. We’ll open more markets to American agriculture, products, and services. And we will finally hold accountable any nation that doesn’t play by the rules. I will stand up for the rights and interests of American workers and employers. “We will restore fiscal sanity to Washington by bringing an end to the federal spending and borrowing binge that in just four years has added more debt held by the public than almost all previous administrations combined. We will put America on track to a balanced budget by eliminating unnecessary programmes, by sending programmes back to states where they can be managed with less abuse and less cost, and by shrinking the bureaucracy of Washington. “We will champion small business, the great engine of job creation in our country, by reforming the tax code and updating and reshaping regulations that have suffocated economic growth.” Romney also said he is offering a contrast to what is seen in Washington today. “The most important task for any president is set out in the preamble to our Constitution, providing for the common defence,” he said, adding: “As commander-in-chief, I will roll back the president’s deep and arbitrary cuts to our military. Our soldiers should never lack the tools they need to complete their mission and come home safely.” As it is, the race is tight but Obama might be lucky to have a narrow lead.


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Politics

Alhaji Shettima Yerima, an activist and president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, in this interview with OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU, x-rays Nigeria at 52 and concludes that the present state of the nation is far from the dream of its founding founders. He also speaks on others critical issues of leadership, calls for national conference and corruption. Excerpts:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria’s future’ll be

Nigeria just clocked 52 as an independent nation, how would you assess the nation’s strides so far? The journey has been so rough in the sense that it’s unfortunate that at 52, Nigeria is still crawling. It is so unfortunate that at 52, Nigeria’s unity is being threatened. It is unfortunate that at 52, Nigeria is so backward in terms of development. It is also bad that at 52, the issue of suspicion is becoming so glaring that the members of the ethnic nationalities do not see themselves as Nigerians but rather as Yorubas, Hausas, Igbos and Ijaws. Soon Nigeria will clock 100 years, but we still have the problem of unity. It means that we need to go back to the root of the whole matter, which is beyond the issue of independence. We must go back to see how we went wrong at the inception of forming a nation and amalgamating a country called Nigeria in 1914. So, I think there is nothing to write home about at 52. It should rather be a moment for us to reflect on the past and present situation.

From your perspective, it seems Nigeria’s major problem is leadership. How would you compare the present crop of leaders with the Ahmadu Bellos, Nnamdi Azikiwes and Obafemi Awolowos, vis-a -sis the level of commitment and sacrifice and putting national interest above personal interest? In fairness to our heroes past, there was really nothing to compare about, because, then if you remember vividly, the founding fathers were able to do a lot of things. Most of these characters that are parading the corridors of power today benefited from the good works of our founding fathers. Some of them learnt a lot from them, but they never worked with those things, some of them had better environment, going to school without paying, with secu-

Yerima

NM

Looking back at the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of modern Nigeria, would you say wherever they are now they are happy with the situation Nigeria has found herself today? Certainly they cannot be happy in the sense that wherever they are in their graves I am sure they are restless. This wasn’t the kind of Nigeria that was the dream of our founding founders like Aminu Kano, Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe and the rest. And lately, when you look at people like Chief MKO Abiola, who died for the same struggle of democracy and the likes of Yar’Adua and the rest, this is not the kind of Nigeria they dreamt of. This is not the kind of Nigeria the present generation looked forward to. Something went wrong, so I am sure wherever they are they are, they will be restless, shedding tears for this country. the danger we stand to face is far unimaginable to some of us, who don’t even see what their dreams were before they made that sacrifice, so I think the journey is still far. From the kind of leaders that we produce, the kind of things they do, common sense will tell you that this people really don’t have vision for Nigeria. If you sit down with them, you will find out that they are empty upstairs, they have nothing to offer. So, it becomes a sort of terrible situation, but having said that, despite the gory picture I have painted, I am still optimistic and believe strongly that there would be light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that something better will come, it might not be in my generation, but definitely the Almighty Allah will not let us remain where we are. Something must happen drastically and innocent Nigerians must survive, no matter what. It requires sacrifices and I believe that we are going to do our best. I also believe that we cannot do it alone, I stronly believe that God will definitely intervene when the time comes.

TUESDAY INTERVIEW

WE ARE ONLY PRETENDING IN NIGERIA TO RUN A FEDERAL SYSTEM; THE THREE TIERS OF GOVERNMENT IDEA IS ONLY IN OUR HEADS, IT IS NO LONGER FUNCTIONING rity guaranteed and they did not suffer like our generation that has to fight for everything. We have to struggle to go to school, to pay school fees, when education was given to them on a platter of gold, it was easy for them to leave school and have options of jobs to choose from. So, to me, there is no basis for comparison between our present leaders and our founding fathers who sacrificed so much for this country. How can you compare the present bunch of impostors, who went to school abroad because their parents were in corridors of power and were later imposed on us, without knowing anything about the history and culture of the country? With this lurid picture that you have painted, what do you think is the way out? We need to sit down and talk, we need to dialogue, we need to discuss our differences in order to have a strong united Nigeria. We cannot have that Nigeria until we have that dialogue we are looking for. Those who are benefiting

from the system are the same people using the media and money to diffuse the calls for a sovereign national conference, saying that if we sit to talk, Nigeria will break. But the truth of the matter is that nobody wants to opt out of Nigeria if there is justice, equity and respect for one another. Without that, whether you refuse to allow people to sit or you use any means to frustrate them or to frustrate that idea of sitting down, a day will come that with your bullets and everything, you cannot stop Nigerians from being what they want to be and if they chose to go their separate ways, they will go. So, I think the best way to save the country now is for those who have ears to listen very well. It is not about amending the so-called constitution. Majority of the people In the National Assembly lack integrity. I make bold to say that. Although there are some of them with integrity, about 80 per cent lack integrity and they think that it is their job to mislead the people, saying that sovereignty has been given to them, while in the real sense; sovereignty lies with the people and not any institution. We are not challenging the legal document, but its legitimacy, as all over the world, there is no where a parliament makes constitution for the people. The people make the constitution and pass it to the government, whether through the parliament, executive or any other means. There is a difference between law making and constitution making. What we have been doing is to amend, patch the document that emanated from Decree 25 of 1999, handed down by the military. There have been arguments for and against a national conference, but should we agree to sit down and talk, how do you think the representatives of each ethnic nationality will emerge? People will have to go back to their various zones. It is a thing that will start with the people of the various constituencies. The people will sit down and decide who represents them. They have their leaders and they know their leaders,


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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in jeopardy, unless... – Yerima

their leaders don’t have to be senators or members of the House of Representatives. They don’t have to be traditional rulers, governors or president. Within the communities, they know who their leaders are. We don’t need any election; people on their own within the communities will do that. This is why I differ on the so called presidential system of government that we run. If we run a regional government, some of these characters who go to Abuja to lead us, might not be in Abuja because within the communities, we would be able to access them. People will know the antecedents of those who want represent them and not just somebody sitting down in Abuja and deciding who represents the people of Sokoto or Uyo in the National Assembly.

What do you think is wrong with our federal system of government? The problem with the federal system of government is that we have a situation where the centre is so strong; we run it more like a military system of government. The centre is so strong that even some of them in the government have admitted in recent times that the centre is too strong, that it makes the president of the country the most powerful in the universe. And in reality, we are not even running a federal system. The federal system allows for states on their own to grow, not where the centre takes charge of everything and leave little or nothing to the states. We are only pretending in Nigeria to run a federal system; the three tiers of government idea is only in our heads, it is no longer functioning; the federal on the one hand is a threat to the state, the state on the other hand has consumed the local government. If you are a local government chairman, you must do what the state wants. It is so bad to the extent that the allocation meant for the local governments have been cornered by the states. The states have refused to give the local government any breathing space to even be creative and develop, so that the people in the grass root will feel the impact of governance. In such situation, where is the true federal system of government here? We must decentralise the centre before things will flow and how can you decentralise that system? You cannot decentralise it with these characters there, you cannot decentralise that centre with this constitution, and that is why today you find people like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and the rest of them still at the centre. I was talking to one of the past head of states, from my place, and I told him: ‘look at the way this government is going’ and he said: Yerima, ‘I commend you guys, because when I look at the way you guys are doing it, you guys are taking great risk to oppose government policies because government moves like a train, if somebody is in power, you must let go.” He said so because he was once in power and he knew the kind of power he wielded. Today the president has all the powers to do anything he wants, take the whole 160 million Nigerians for granted and nobody can do anything.The kind of leaders we keep recycling are those with low IQ , empty upstairs, those with no vision. At over 70, going to 80, somebody is a party national chairman and you and I know that the moment you pass 60, you don’t think normal again, you begin to think like a baby, and those are the same people we are looking up to. The future is bleak and until the present generation rise up and take the mantle of leadership, the future of this country is in jeopardy. Do you support the agitation for a return to regionalism? I believe in it because if we go back to the regional system of government, I believe other countries practicing regional system of government and make the centre less attractive, we would have lesser problems. I am not saying we are going to have zero corruption, no, but to some extent, we would be able to checkmate the excessive of these characters in power at the moment. It is easy for us to push them off at our regional levels before they go to the parliament to decide our faith. But what do we have now? A situation where somebody would sit down in Abuja and impose leaders on the people and there is nothing the people can do about it.

Corruption has been the bane of Nigeria’s development. How do you think this cankerworm can be tackled? Corruption is worse, it is higher than you can ever imagine because the fact of the matter is, despite our thought about the leaders even in the rural level, the masses are so corrupt minded now. The poor people are looking for any means to survive, so as a result of this, the rate of crime is higher day by day because they too have lives to live and they look at you, just yesterday you are together with them in the community, suffering together and all of a sudden because you became a councilor, you no longer belong to their class. Do you think the government of the day has the wherewithal to fight corruption? The president lacks the political will, because he is a product of corruption. There is nothing this government can do about it. There is nothing, no matter how faithful Jonathan is, no matter how good Jonathan is, he cannot, if he is not corrupt, the next person to him is corrupt, if he is not corrupt, his family is corrupt, and so either way he can’t be in all places at the same time. Today everybody is subjected to be a beggar until you are a politician, you need to go to political office to influence things and also make so much money. Businessmen are bound to have setbacks until they belong to one political party or the other before they can survive, everything has been politicised. For you to survive as a businessman in this environment, you must identify with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the government. On your own, you cannot excel. What is your take on the call for truce and dialogue by the Boko Haram sect? I have never supported the idea of dialogue, because my

WE ARE NOT CHALLENGING THE LEGAL DOCUMENT, BUT ITS LEGITIMACY... THERE IS NO WHERE A PARLIAMENT MAKES CONSTITUTION FOR THE PEOPLE.

THE PEOPLE MAKE

THE CONSTITUTION AND PASS IT TO THE GOVERNMENT

position is that you get confused the more you talk about this dialogue. Who are you dialoguing with, when people are not forth coming for the dialogue and some people are at the background, instigating that there must be dialogue because the crisis is escalating. The more they do it, the more they fuel the crisis so that there will be strike at the end of the day. You will discover that even those who are the authentic group, the violence that other groups are unleashing in their names is more than even the one they are doing on their own. So, who are you dialoguing with now? How would you react to the agitation by other geopolitical zones, except the South-West to produce the president in 2015? Perherps, it is pertinent to first react to the agitation of the Middle belt or succinctly put; the North Central geopolitical zone. They are the genesis of our problems. If you look at it very well, we have only Muhammadu Buhari and Aliyu Shagari and Sani Abacha from the North who are not from the Middle Belt. The others, from Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida to Abdulsalami Abubakar are from the Middle Belt and between the three; they spent about 20 years amongst them and pushed the country into the mess we are now. To answer your question, as a Nigerian who believes in equity and justice, I would even have preferred an Igbo man becoming the president of Nigeria in 2015, in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness to all. Going by the situation right now, they have been so marginalised for long, history tells me this issue of my own becoming the president does not in any way favour anybody, history tells me even recently, in the South-South today, it is the minority of the minority that is benefitting from the South-South presidency. The Efiks are not benefiting, the Urhobos and the Itsekiris are totally out of it. The minority among the minority today are in power and they are the ones enjoying the favour and the thing is too much in their hands that they have bought the whole Abuja and they are now saying that ‘if it is not our man, everybody should go.’ If everybody return to their tents, how would they manage the property they are acquiring all over the country? Somebody who could not even speak and does not know his left from his right is in control of billions of naira. So, what we should focus on now is a good president. For me if the needed messiah will come from Anambra in the South-East, it is welcomed by me. What Nigeria wants is food on the table, affordable education, jobs and conducive environment. The issue is not about our own, the issue is about commitment to Nigeria, that’s what we are looking for, the moment any leader appears and say it is about us, I will fight him with my last blood even if he is from my village. It is about Nigeria here. When we followed Jonathan in the days of the vacuum occasioned by the ill-health of late President Umaru Yar’Adua, leading to the ‘Doctrine of Necessity,’ we were not mindful of where he came from, but unfortunately, today most of those who fought that fight are perceived to be enemies of this government; those who were never part of it, who never dreamt that it was possible are the people who are benefitting from the government. At 52, how would you rate the performance of the judiciary and the legislature? There is nothing to write home about the judiciary, it has not done anything spectacular, except corruption; from one corruption to another, a lot of things have fallen out of place. Yes, there are some of them who are very progressive but their views are the minority because of the way the system is. It is not independent as one of the arms of government. There has been glaring executive interference in the functioning of the judiciary, more so as they are still tied to the Federal Government’s apron strings in terms of budgeting. As for the National Assembly, it is trying to assert its authority and trying to escape the shackles of the executive, but it still has a long way to go in realising its total autonomy and fulfilling the mandate that the Nigerian people have given to it.


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Politics

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RALLIES IN PIX

President Barack Obama meeting a cheering crowd at a campaign event at the Fifth Third Arena on the University of Cincinnati campus, on Sunday, in Cincinnati. PHOTO: AP

A crowd of supporters listening to former President Bill Clinton speak at a campaign event for President Barack Obama yesterday at Market Square in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Children chanting “four more years” as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during an election campaign rally in Aurora, Colorado, on Sunday PHOTO: REUTERS

A supporter holding up a sign as he is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama during an election campaign rally in Aurora, Colorado PHOTO: REUTERS

Mitt Romney holding a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday.

PHOTO: THE NEW YORK TIMES

Paul D. Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, and his children spelled out “Ohio” at a rally, on Sunday PHOTO: THE NEW YORK TIMES

Supporters of U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney attending a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida yesterday. PHOTO: AP

Supporters of U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney attend a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, yesterday PHOTO: REUTERS


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Community Mirror Man begs kidnappers to release his mother

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NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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here was pandemonium yesterday in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, as dare-devil armed robbers, operating on a motorcycle shot and killed a driver attached to a new generation bank. The incident, which would have degenerated into a wild protest by those who witnessed the brutal killing, occurred around 4.30pm and it was the coincidental arrival of several truck-loads of policemen on patrol that saved the situation. According to an eye witness account, the driver of a Toyota Corolla car with two women marketing executives was driving along Modebe Avenue when the robbers, apparently on their trail, suddenly double-crossed the vehicle and waved the driver to stop. According to the source, in a twinkle of an eye, one of the robbers pulled out a gun concealed inside a polythene bag and fired immediately while shouting “where is the money?” The source hinted that the driver lost control of the vehicle as soon as the fired bullet hit him and the car fell into a ditch. But, the robbers fired again, hitting him in the head and forced the women to open the car boot for them, as they thought the car was loaded with money. Out of anger that they didn’t find cartons of money, they fired again at the

“What we must do as independent people is to give our monarchs their traditional authority and place of honour.” OSUN STATE GOVERNOR, RAUF AREGBESOLA

Robbers kill bank driver in Onitsha driver, killing him instantly. One of the victims, who managed to call her colleagues after the tragic incident, said: “They have killed Iyke. They thought we had cash on us, but they didn’t know we just went on marketing. They were shouting - “where is the main money?” when they

shot him. They collected other personal effects from us before zooming off on their bike. The bullet they fired passed through my ear as Iyke’s blood splashed on my body.” Shortly after, the Chief Medical Director of the nearby hospital where the driver was

rushed to, Dr. Atuchukwu came downstairs and pronounced him dead. The crowd that accompanied Iyke’s body to the hospital at this point went berserk, cursing the robbers and lamenting the helplessness of Onitsha residents in security issues while there are

policemen and vigilante groups everywhere. The Anambra State police spokesman, Ralph Uzoigwe confirmed the incident and said the Onitsha Area Commander; Benjamine Wordu has already detailed his men to work round the clock to apprehend the robbers.

A cultural troupe entertaining guests during the National Good Governance Tour, in Jos recently.

PHOTO: NAN

Rubber exploration can boost Nigeria’s economy Suspected ritualist arrested for AKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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private organisation, Rubber Estate Nigeria Limited has revealed that Nigeria’s economy could receive an appreciable boost through maximum exploration of rubber plantation in the country. The Managing Director of the organisation, Eric Hocepied disclosed this during a tour of rubber plantations in Araromi Obu, Ondo State and Iludun in Ogun State; saying Nigerian economy could be improved upon with maximum rubber production. Hocepied disclosed that stakeholders in the industry have concluded all arrangements to partner with a France-based financial institution, the Agence Francaise Development (AFD) for the development of the country’s rubber sector to boost its economy.

He said the organisation will assist in organising out growers that would help in increasing the production in the country, saying Nigeria have capacity for production of 18 million hectares of rubber annually, out of which a paltry 13, 500 hectares are being cultivated presently. However, the management of the Rubber Estates Nigeria Limited which have rubber plantations in Ondo, Ede, Ogun and Delta states, said the involvement of out growers would facilitate a drastic improvement in the production capacity of the country. According to Hocepied, the entire rubber producing countries in Africa only produced four per cent of the total world production, while Taiwan, with 27 per cent, is the largest rubber producer in the world. He pointed out that Ivory Coast is the largest producer of rubber in

Africa as it produced 50 per cent of the total production, while Nigeria produced only 11 per cent. He, however, explained that many of the rubber farms in the country were owned by the organisation with few of them being owned by local farmers around the plantations but said the organisation had commenced a programme known as out grower programme which is aimed at encouraging local farmers around its plantations, to engage in planting rubber trees. He disclosed that the programme had produced about 880 out growers, while 2300 hectares of land were planted from 2006 to 2011. He said the involvement of AFD in the out grower programme would make finance available and also increase the participation of out growers from the present 15 per cent to the maximum level it could attain.

plucking off boy’s eyes FRANCIS SUBERU

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he police in Matari area of Bauchi have arrested a suspected ritualist, Tukur Adamu, for allegedly plucking off the eyes of a seven-yearold boy. Adamu is a neighbour to his victim, Augustine Bello. Spokesman for the victim’s family, Yakubu Bello, told reporters in Jos yesterday that the suspect committed the offence at Matari village, on the border between Plateau and Bauchi, on October 17, 2012, at about 5p.m. According to him: “On the fateful day, the suspect came into the victim’s family compound under the pretext of fetching a herbal flower. But after fetching the flower, the suspect cajoled the

minor into the bush as he was then alone in the compound. “When his grandmother who had gone to the farm to fetch firewood came back, she could not find the boy in the house and immediately started searching for him. A search party was dispatched to look for him within the neighbourhood , but little Augustine was only traced the following morning with his two eyes removed, even as his intestines were bulging out from a deep cut,’’ Bello said. The visibly distraught Bello said that the Ward Head of Matari village, Musa Mai-Ungwa, has been informed of the incident; adding that “the traditional ruler directed the family to take the boy to a primary health centre in the village.”


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Community Mirror

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Man begs kidnappers to release his mother CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

A

Lagos based businessman, and indigene of Anambra State, Mr. Uche Ughanze has appealed to those who kidnapped his 80-year old mother, Mrs. Roselyn Ughanze, to release her dead or alive. He regretted that since June this year when his

mother was kidnapped in Alor, Idemili South Local Government, as she was returning from church, nothing tangible has been heard from her abductors. Speaking to journalists on the incident, Ughanze said he is afraid for his mother’s life as her kidnappers, who initially called him to ask for N100m ransom have suddenly stopped contacting

him when they learnt that he lodged a complaint with the police. Ughanze stated that the problem has made him restless, to the extent that he is now finding it difficult to concentrate on his business, from where he could raise the money to pay the ransom demanded by the kidnappers.

He lamented that the continued absence of his mother in the family has become traumatic to him, hence his appeal to the kidnappers to release her to him, even if she is dead. Ughanze, who spoke through his lawyer, said that a lot of efforts have been spent in the search for his mother and her

gold coloured Honda CRV car with a customised number plate, Psalm 37, which was stolen by the armed men numbering about six during the operation. Ughanze, also called on the Inspector General of Police to use his special squad to assist in securing the release of his mother; even as he said

he had confidence in the ability of the Inspector General of Police to resolve the matter. His words: “I will be very happy if the IGP assists me, it will really portray the police as impartial. Those who are fighting me are powerful, but with the IGP getting involved, I am sure we will get justice.”

700 beneficiaries acquire basic entrepreneurship skills in Imo CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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eputy Speaker Federal House of Re p re s e n t at ive Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has advised the 700 beneficiaries of his empowerment programme to ensure they apply the skills and knowledge gained from the training exercise to earn better living. Speaking at the end of a 3 day training programme in Owerri last weekend, Ihedioha said that the candidates who participated in the training were painstakingly selected from the 305 wards in Imo State based on balance and equity. He said that the measure would go a long way in boosting food crops production to deepen food security in the country and create job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths. According to him the basic philosophy behind the programme was to train both women and youths to acquire basic

agriculture skills with emphasis on practical and demonstration farming. He urged the beneficiaries to ensure they return to their communities to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained from the exercise for their own benefit and that of other Nigerians. Ihedioha said that adequate arrangement had been made to ensure that the participants were provided with some seedlings, other basic materials and stipends with which to commence the application of knowledge. He promised to put in place effective monitoring measures to make sure participants apply the right knowledge gained in the exercise, adding that the constituency empowerment programme would be sustained in phases while arrangement have been concluded to organise another skill acquisition programme in the state to be held in the three zones of Orlu, Okigwe and Owerri respectfully.

Commuters stranded at CMS Bus Stop as a result of the traffic jam in Lagos, recently.

Transport union expels principal officers to avert anarchy FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Road

Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has expelled two of its principal officers in Ogun state for gross act of irresponsibility that are

Lions club to distribute eye glasses, freebies to Lagosians L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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he Lions club, Maryland District has declared its intention to provide free eye screening as well as free eye glasses to at least 200 Lagosians; even as it promised to continuously donate, food items, medicine and bedding materials to the needy in Lagos. The newly installed president of the club, Lion Adewale Afolabi who made the disclosure during his investiture as the presi-

dent of the club for the year 2012/2013; called on well meaning Nigerians to assist the club in raising funds so that it can bring smiles to the faces of the needy. He said: “We plan to reconstruct and upgrade the library of a secondary school in Shomolu. We also want to build boreholes with over head tanks at the popular Olaleye Market in Shomolu and we want to continuously donate care packages like toilet rolls, bar soaps and detergents, antiseptic liquid soaps to the less privileged.” Meanwhile, district gov-

PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

ernor of the club, , Lion Stella Agbogun urged Nigerians to focus on Reading Action Programme (RAP) to wipe out illiteracy in the country, as she said one out of four people in the world are illiterates. “In 2003, the Lion club international officially adopted the Lions service for children programme. The programme aimed at helping the world’s future generation. Every Lion and Leo club has a role in this effort by assessing the needs of children in their community and coordinate resources to address the

needs,” she said. Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Kayode Musa urged Nigerians to always give support to organsations that usually impact positively on the lives of the less privileged as he said this will motivate them to do more. Also speaking, the immediate past president of the club, Lion Akeem Mabogaje urged the incoming president to keep the flag of the club flying by keying into the district core projects and engaging in life changing activities for the people.

capable of causing confusion and public disaffection in the state. The two principal officers, the state Deputy Chairman, Jimoh Salami and State Treasurer, Mathew Alani Awaye were expelled from the union for alleged act of misconduct and gross violation of the oath of office. Community Mirror gathered that in the letter of expulsion, dated 30th October, 2012 and signed by the National Secretary General of RTEAN, Comrade Garba Navom, the union accused the two principal officers of fraud and persistently scheming to distabilise the state executive and indirectly causing disturbance of peace in Ogun state, contrary to Article 14c section 3D of the association. Aside from the allega-

tion of fraud, the union also stated that it expelled the duo of Salami and Awaye in order to avert anarchy in Ogun State because of their rebellion against its National President, Femi Ajewole in which course they were said to have been molibilising support. The letter reads in part: “in view of the above, the executive deemed it fit and pass vote of no confidence on the duo. The executive takes this decision in order to stop anarchy in the state”. Community Mirror however, gathered that the decision to expel both Salami and Awaye was finally ratified at the National Congress of the RTEAN held last week Tuesday which prompted the NEC to issue the letter, stressing that their expulsion took immediate effect.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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World News

Profile of US presidential candidates

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“Child abuse is an absolutely hateful and abhorrent crime and these allegations (alleged child abuse in Wales) are truly dreadful and they mustn’t be left hanging in the air, so I’m taking action today” - BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON

US president favoured in his ancestral Kenyan village

WORLD BULLETIN

‘Sudan’s Bashir to get health check in Saudi Arabia’

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t President Barack Obama’s ancestral village in Kenya, witch doctor John Dimo tossed some shells, bones and other items to determine who will win Tuesday’s election. After throwing the objects like so many dice outside his hut in Kogelo village, Dimo, who says he is 105 years old, points to a white shell and declares: “Obama is very far ahead and is definitely going to win.” It’s not a surprising result in Kogelo, Obama’s late father’s hometown in western Kenya, where expectations of an Obama election victory over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney were high yesterday. While pollsters in the U.S. are using interviews, statistical analysis and the technology to predict the outcome of the election in America — one that is expected to be close — Dimo uses techniques he learned from his father, and is confident of his predictions. Obama is the son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya and has five Kenyan half-brothers and a halfsister. Half-brother Malik Obama said Sunday the family sees no reason why Obama shouldn’t be elected for a second term. He was speaking during a sports tournament he organizes every year in honor of their late father, Barack Obama Sr. Meanwhile, President Obama’s Kenyan half-brother says the leader’s African family is optimistic that he will win Tuesday’s election. Malik Obama told The Associated Press Sunday that the family sees no reason why Obama shouldn’t be elected for a second term. He was speaking during a sports tournament that he organises every year in honour of their late father, Barack Obama, Sr. Villagers at Obama’s father’s home town of Kogelo have high expectations that Obama will win. At the St. Richard catholic church, Okech Ogombe, 53, a church elder, said he prayed for Obama’s re-election.

Kenyan witch-doctor John Dimo, 105 years old, interpreting the result after throwing shells, bones, and other magic items to predict the outcome of the U.S. election, in front of his hut in the village of Kogelo, yesterday PHOTO: AP

Blake Warner, of Edmond, Okla., marking his ballot during early voting in Oklahoma City, on Friday

Obama leads in US early voting results PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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ith early voting still under way in several states yesterday, President Barack Obama seems to have the edge over his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, as results show Democratic voters are outnumbering Republicans in five swing states that could decide the 2012 election. More than 29 million Americans have already voted, and the Obama and Romney campaigns have already begun disagreeing on who is winning. Republicans said they see hope in early voting results in key states, which mostly shows Democrats casting more early ballots but not at the pace that Obama set in his victory in 2008 over Republican John McCain by 7 percentage points. Democratic voters are outnumbering Republicans in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio, according to multiple reports, while Republicans are ahead in Colorado, a state Obama won in 2008. While it may appear that the president has the edge, the race is still too close to call, as several national polls show the two men neck-and-neck just 24 hours before the general election.

Florida More than 4 million people have cast early or absentee ballots in Florida; the Demo-

crats have a tiny advantage. Four years ago, Obama had a 9-point lead in early voting. However, each party has seen a boost; approximately 246,000 more Democrats cast early votes while 87,000 more Republicans cast absentee ballots. Early voting in Florida is quite messy, as it was scheduled to end Saturday, but a lawsuit from the Florida Democratic Party seeks to secure additional early-voting time for some counties in South Florida – mostly Democraticleaning – because of long lines and wait times.

Iowa Obama’s 11-point lead among early voters in Iowa is smaller than in 2008, according to USA Today. The paper said 40,000 Democrats did not return their mail ballots while only 21,000 Republicans failed to do the same.

North Carolina Democrats also dominated early voting in North Carolina, where more than 2.5 million ballots were cast. Registered Democrats secured almost 48 percent of those with Republicans holding nearly 32 percent. That 16 percentage point edge is low compared to the 21-point early-voting edge Democrats held in 2008.

Ohio More than 1.6 million early voters have turned out in the Buckeye State. Voters in Ohio

PHOTO: AP

aren’t required to register by party, and instead, the state classifies them according to the primary in which they most recently voted. If an individual didn’t vote in the most recent primary, he or she is listed as a nonparty voter. Public polls showed that Obama has held a consistent lead among likely voters in Ohio, a state he won by 5 percentage points four years ago.

Nevada Early voting finished Friday in Nevada, and according to USA Today, Obama has a 7-point lead. Registered Democrats also outnumbered registered Republicans in that state and more than 701,845 early votes were cast. Reports are that the early vote amounted to 56 percent of the registered voters in the state. Romney will now need to break into the Democrats’ margins in Clark County, score at least a tie in Washoe County and bring out the votes in rural Nevada, USA Today reported a memo from the Republican National Committee stated.

Colorado The race in Colorado is very close and more than 1.6 million voters have cast early ballots. Republicans hold a very slight advantage in party registration among early voters, 36.9 percent to 34.6 percent. In 2008, it was the Democrats who had a tiny advantage, and Obama won the state.

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will visit Saudi Arabia where he will receive a medical checkup, state media said yesterday, after an official said the 68-year-old ruler had undergone throat surgery in August. Bashir, who has ruled Sudan for 23 years, has held fewer public rallies in the past few months, prompting Sudanese newspapers and blogs to speculate about his health. Last month, a government official said he had undergone surgery on his vocal cords in Qatar in August but was in good health. State news agency SUNA said on Monday Bashir would meet the king and other officials on his trip to Saudi Arabia but did not say when the visit would take place. “During the visit, the president will undergo a normal medical checkup related to the inflammation of his vocal cords,” SUNA said, quoting the presidency.

South Sudan expels UN official

The United Nations mission in South Sudan says a U.N. human rights officer has been forced to leave the country In a statement Sunday, U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary General for South Sudan Hilde Johnson said she wrote the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 25 asking for clarification on the decision. The U.N. mission was informed of the expulsion nearly two weeks ago by the ministry. Johnson said she also met with President Salva Kiir on Sunday but that “in spite of the mission’s efforts, the order has not been rescinded.” Foreign Affairs spokesman Wol Mayar Ariech refused to say why the person was expelled.

South Korea shuts nuclear reactors South Korea has shut down two nuclear reactors after it was revealed that some parts used had not been properly vetted, an official says. Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-woo said these were “non-core” parts and were not a safety threat. They included fuses, cooling fans and power switches that did not have the required nuclear industry certificates. The shutdown means there could be “unprecedented” power shortages in the next few months, Mr Hong said. The more than 5,000 parts could be used in other industries but needed international certification for nuclear power plant usage, he said.


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Briefs 184 women vie for Congressional seats In today’s Congressional election, the two major political parties have more women candidates running for Congress than ever before. “Not since the so-called ‘Year of the Woman’ in 1992 have we seen such a leap in the number of women stepping forward to contend for congressional seats,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Centre for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University. In all, 184 women are running for Congress in the major parties this year, up from 152 in 2010. Eighteen women (12 Democrats, six Republicans) are running for Senate seats, while 166 women (118 Democrats, 48 Republicans) are on the ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives. Women are even squaring off against each other for 14 of the 468 available congressional seats. Such is the case in Maryland’s District 4, where Republican Faith Loudon is challenging Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards. “I do want to be a role model for my granddaughters,” Loudon said in-between talking to voters near a local polling station. “I think because I am doing this, I know that there are a lot of women that are encouraged and are going to step forth in the future.” As Maryland’s only female member in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Edwards notes the campaign trail is a “really tough environment.”

Obama’s wife appeals to Americans Michelle Obama yesterday made a passionate appeal to Americans to elect her husband, Barack for another term in the White House. In a electronic mail sent to supporters, a copy of which was sent to our correspondent, Michele stated: “I didn’t want this to get lost in the excitement of everything that will happen tomorrow, so I wanted to take a moment, right now, to say two simple words that I cannot say enough to all of you who have travelled this journey with us: Thank you. “Thank you for the kindness, warmth, and love that you have shown me, Barack, and especially our girls -- your support and your prayers mean the world to us. Thank you for the hard work and energy and passion that you have poured into this campaign -- from all those hours knocking on doors and making calls to all those times you dug a little deeper and gave what you could when it was needed the most. “Like me, you have done all this because you love this country, and you care deeply about the world we’re leaving for our kids and grandkids. And you’ve done it because, for these last four years, you have had a chance to see the man I’ve known for the past 23 years: A man of honour and integrity who knows what he believes and stays true to his values. He is an honest man who knows the facts and gives them to us straight -- a man whose strength and resolve to build a better tomorrow has never wavered.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

America is about to roar back –Romney America needs Obama to move forward, says Biden

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epublican Mitt Romney and Vice President Joe Biden yesterday stormed Virginia, one of the battle ground states, soliciting for support. Virginia has 15 electoral votes. Romney urged supporters in Lynchburg, yesterday to help turn out the vote in the critical swing state. He said: “We’re only one day away from a fresh start. I need you to reach across the street to your neighbour who has the other candidate’s sign in their yard.”

The Republican candidate told the crowd that another term for Obama could be disastrous. “Unless we change course, by the way, we may be headed for another recession. But with the right leadership, America is about to come roaring back. Tomorrow we begin a new tomorrow,” Romney assured At the event attended by National Mirror, Romney attacked President Barack Obama’s policies, accusing him of being highly partisan and ineffective.

U.S. President Barack Obama and rocker Bruce Springsteen waving to a crowd of 18,000 people during a rally on the last day of campaigning in the general election yesterday in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo: Getty Images

Obama, Romney in deadlocked race for White House

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resident Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney go to the poll today with no clear winner for the 270 electoral votes. The race is in dead heat which has forced the two leading candidates and their surrogates for mad rush of votes in the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, Iowa and Wisconsin. In the national polls conducted by FOX News, Politico/GWU/Battleground, CNN/Opinion Research, and Rasmussen Reports, the two candidates tied with 46, 48, 49, 49 per cent pair respectively. In the Pew Research, NBC News/Wall St. Journal, ABC News/Wash Post, CBS News/NY Times, National Journal and IBD/TIPP Obama was leading Romney with between 1 and 5 points margin while the Republican candidate is ahead of the President in Gallup and NPR polls with 1 and 5 points. In the CNN’s final poll, “Fifty-three percent of women are saying they plan to vote for President Obama compared to only 44% of men. That works out to a nine-point gender gap, which would be the largest since 1996,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “On age, Obama is getting less support among younger voters than he did four years ago. But he manages a tie with Governor Romney among senior citizens - a group he lost to Senator McCain by eight points.” According to the survey, Romney leads Obama 57%-40% among white voters. Obama tops Romney 56%-40% among voters making less than $50,000 per year, with Romney holding a 52%-47% edge among those making more than $50,000 per year. The poll also indicates geographical divides,

with the president leading in the Northeast, Midwest, and urban areas, and Romney ahead in the South, West, and suburban and rural areas. It’s not just the horserace number that’s dividing American voters. The president’s favourable rating stands at 52% in the poll, with Romney at 51%. Fifty-one percent say they agree with Obama on important issues and 50% say the same thing about Romney. Fifty-six percent say that Obama has the personal qualities a president should have, with 55% feeling the same about the Republican nominee. In the last 24 hours, Obama and Romney with their campaign surrogates, including their wives and the vice presidential candidates, made stops in Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Former President Bill Clinton also campaigned on behalf of Obama in Pennsylvania. Unlike in 2008 when Obama enjoyed a comfortable lead, the president is in a tough contest with Romney. Obama and Romney have made passionate appeals to voters to cast their lots on them. “Four years ago, we had incredible turnout and I know people were excited and energized about the prospect of making history,” Obama said. “We have to preserve the gains we’ve made and keep moving forward.” “If we don’t turn out the vote, we could lose a lot of the gains we’ve already made,” Obama pleaded with listeners of The Rickey Smiley Morning Show. “We have one job left,” and that’s getting people out to vote, Romney told supporters in Sanford, Fla. The crowd chanted “One more day!”

“You hoped the president would bring people together to solve great problems. He hasn’t; I will,” Romney said. “I not only promise change, I have a record of achieving it,” he said, making reference to the success recorded in his business career, experience heading the Winter Olympic and governorship in Massachusetts. At another rally, the Democrat running mate, Vice President Biden, who was joined with his wife, Jill, explained that America needs Obama to move forward. He spoke at Claude Moore Park in Sterling. Biden said: “The American people have a decision to make. We can continue to move forward or we can go back the very politics that got us in this mess in the first place. “But all kidding aside, the differences are really stark. In my generation, I cannot think of any election where the differences are more stark.”

New York voters to get extra day

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ndication emerged yesterday that some New York voters may get an extra day to vote if disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy prevent enough people from casting ballots. The State Board of Elections spokesman, Thomas Connolly, said county election officials could ask the board to allow polls to reopen for another day if Tuesday’s turnout is below 25 per cent. “To my knowledge, this has never happened in New York,” Connolly said. “Will the turnout be low? It’s hard to say -- probably, it all depends if people have other priorities.” “The state elections board would consider a county’s request and, if approved, another voting day would be scheduled within 20 days of Election Day,” Connolly said. Election officials relocated and consolidated 40 polling sites and another 30 will be powered by portable generators, officials said. The New York City Board of Elections decided to temporarily relocate or combine some polling locations serving143,000 voters across the five boroughs because of last week’s storm damage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday. Bloomberg said he was concerned about polls being opened on time, and poll workers and voters knowing where to go. “The difficulties they’ve had in planning for Tuesday further underscores that,” he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

World News

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Profile of US presidential candidates Barack Obama

Mitt Romney

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n November 4, 2008, 47-year-old Barack Obama was elected to be the 44th President of the United States, after a hard-fought two-year presidential campaign. He was sworn in as President on January 20, 2009. On October 9, 2009, the Nobel Committee announced that President Barack Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 2, 2004, after serving 7 years as an Illinois state senator. He’s the author of two best-selling books. Obama was named by Time magazine in 2005, 2007 and 2008 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Personal Data: • •

• •

Birth - August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii Education - B.A. in international relations, 1983, Columbia University. J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was the first black Editor of the Harvard Law Review Family - Married on October 18, 1992 to Michelle Robinson, a Chicago native, also a Harvard Law School graduate. Two young daughters, Malia and Sasha. Faith - Christian, United Church of Christ Obama returns to their Chicago home from D.C. every weekend. Obama is a Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears fan, and an avid basketball player.

Growing Up Barack Obama: Born Barack Hussein Obama, Jr, son of a Kenyaborn Harvard-educated economist and Ann Dunham, a caucasian anthropologist, was 2 years old when his father left them. His father (deceased in 1982) returned to Kenya, and only saw his son once more. His mother remarried, and moved Barack to Indonesia. He returned to Hawaii at age 10 to live with his maternal grandparents. He graduated from the respected Punahou School with honors. As a teenager, he scooped ice cream at Baskins-Robbins, and has admitted to dabbling in marijuana and cocaine. His mother died of cancer in 1995.

Notable: On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama declared his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic nomination for the presidency. Obama first rose to national prominence when he delivered an inspiring keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. On June 3, 2008, Obama accumulated enough Democratic convention delegates votes to become the presumptive party nominee for the presidential race. In 2004, Sen. Obama signed a $1.9 million deal to author 3 books. The first, “The Audacity of Hope,”, discusses his political convictions. His 1995 autobiography was a bestseller.

The Obama Persona: Barack Obama is an independent-minded leader with an even-keel temperament, charismatic speaking skills and a knack for consensus-building. He’s also a talented, introspective writer. His values are strongly shaped by his expertise as a Constitutional law professor and civil rights attorney, and by Christianity. While private by nature, Obama mingles easily with others, but is most comfortable addressing large crowds. Obama is known for being unafraid to speak and hear hard truths when necessary. Although armed with shrewd political sensibilities, he’s sometimes slow to recognize viable threats to his agenda.

Major Areas of Interest: Sen. Obama’s areas of special legislative interest have been in support for working families, public education, health care, economic growth and jobs creation, and ending the Iraq War. As an Illinois state senator, he

Obama

worked passionately for ethics reforms and criminal justice reform. In 2002, Obama publicly opposed the Bush Administration’s push for the Iraq War, but supported war in Afghanistan.

Senate Committees in the 110th Congress: • • • • • • •

Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs Subcommittee on International Economic Policy Subcommittee on Asians and Pacific Affairs Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs

Practical, Progressive Thinking on the Issues: In 2002, Barack Obama publicly opposed the Iraq War, and continues to call for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. He urges universal health care, and if elected president, promises implementation by the end of his first term. Barack Obama’s voting record and stances as US Senator and Illinois State Senator reflect a “practical, common sense progressive” thinker who emphasizes increased support for teachers, college affordability, and restoration of meaningful federal support of veterans. Obama opposes privatization of Social Security.

Prior Experience: Barack Obama served 7 years as an Illinois State Senator, resigning to assume U.S. Senate responsibilities. He also worked as a community organizer and a civil rights attorney. Obama was also a Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law at University of Chicago Law School. After law school, he aggressively organized one of the largest voter registration drives in Chicago history to help Bill Clinton’s 1992 election.

illard Mitt Romney, who failed in his 2008 bid for the Republican presidential nomination to Arizona Senator John McCain, has successfully entered the 2012 Republican presidential race as the front-runner to face the incumbent President Barack Obama. Born on March 12, 1947 in Michigan, aged 65, Romney is a powerful American businessman and he has served as the former oneterm and 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. Hailing from a political family, his father, George Romney also ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968. He studied law and business from Harvard and is married to Ann Davies since 1969 and has five children. Romney has been trying to establish himself as a powerful political leader since 1994 when he attempted to unseat Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy eventually losing but his profile gained recognition among Republicans. As the former Governor, he signed into law a complete healthcare overhaul that required all Massachusetts residents to obtain health insurance and provided subsidies to those who could not afford it or who did not receive it from their employers. In his 2008 campaign, he cast himself as a conservative political outsider and in his speech frequently invoked his father and his family, which had brought him to this point. He has been laying the groundwork for 2012 presidential campaign by using his Free and Strong America political action committee (PAC) to raise money for other Republican candidates and pay his existing political staff`s salaries and consulting fees. In March 2010, Romney released his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, in which he has written about his belief in American exceptionalism, and presents his economic and geopolitical views. Romney formally announced his campaign in June 2011, at Stratham, New Hampshire, when he criticized President Obama`s handling of the country’s economy. After a string of Primary wins, his Republican challengers left the race one by one, giving him the official nomination on 28th August to contest against Barack Obama in November 06 presidential polls. In an effort to raise his credibility as a world statesman, Romney has visited the UK, Israel, and Poland leaders since July 2012. He hopes his background in business can motivate Americans to vote in his favour and he can manage to recover the US economy. Romney stirred up a controversy in mid-September when in a video, he was seen speaking before a group of supporters in which he stated that 47 percent of the nation pays no income tax, are dependent on the federal government, see themselves as victims, and will support President Obama unconditionally. Later, he confessed by saying, “I said something that`s just completely wrong.” In three of the power-packed presidential election debates, Romney emerged as more energetic than Obama in the first debate. In the next two debates, he maintained an overall edge. Romney is a proud recipient of five honorary doctorates in business, law, public administration, public service and humanities.

Memorable Quotes: “You can’t have No Child Left Behind if you leave the money behind.” “I do agree that the Democrats have been intellectually lazy in failing to take the core ideals of the Democratic Party and adapting them to circumstances.... It’s not just a matter of sticking in a quote from the Bible into a stock speech.” “There has yet to be a serious conversation about health care on the floor of the United States Senate.” “...as parents, we need to find the time and the energy to step in and find ways to help our kids love reading. We can read to them, talk to them about what they’re reading and make time for this by turning off the TV ourselves. Libraries can help parents with this. Knowing the constraints we face from busy schedules and a TV culture, we need to think outside the box here - to dream big like we always have in America.

Romney


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Lawyers want speedy trial of oil subsidy fraudsters WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he Federal Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have been urged to ensure speedy and conclusive prosecution of high profile corruption cases in the oil industry across

the country. Also, the age-long tradition of strictly using seniority as the yardstick for appointment of chief judges by the National Judicial Council (NJC) should be made to also become the operational law given the teeth by the states’ Houses of Assembly. The Christian Lawyers

Fellowship of Nigeria (CLAFON) South-West region made these calls after its conference held in Ilorin, in a communiqué signed by its National President, Sunny Akanni, National Secretary, Arome Okwori and South-West regional Coordinator, Obinna Nnameka Okereke. According to CLAFON,

“The Federal Government is urged to look at the Boko Haram and other related security issues and ensure that the overall interest of Nigerians are taken into consideration. “The bombing of St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Kaduna be urgently investigated and all culprits be made to face the wrath of

the law. The Presidency should ensure that all indicted individuals are brought to book.” CLAFON also requested President Goodluck Jonathan to, as a matter of urgency, sign into law, the Bill for an Act to prohibit same sex marriage and related matters in the country. However, the associa-

tion commended the Nigerian Police for the speedy and timely arrest of the culprits involved in the University of Port Harcourt’s students’ killings and urged the Rivers State government as well as law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in the prosecution of those already arrested.

Hoodlums disrupt church service, beat up pastor, worshipers WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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L-R: District Head, Doka, Alhaji Bala Mohammed and caretaker Chairman, Zango Kataf Local Government, Kaduna, Mr. Dominic Yahaya, at a seminar on Land Development in Kaduna Urban Area, in Kaduna, recently.

Fuel scarcity: NANS urges govt to enforce N97 per litre price JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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he National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday attributed the current fuel scarcity across the country to ‘flagrant disregard of the official N97 per litre price of the product by marketers.’ The body asked the Federal Government to compel them to comply with the price regime so as to save Nigerians from further hardship. The students body also decried what it called the politicisation of the various panel reports in the oil sector, particularly the Aig Imooukhude report, which it said is capable of sending the wrong signal to other investors. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Jos, NANS President, Comrade Dauda Mohammed, urged the Federal Government to consider the implementation of the various reports in the oil sector so as to sanitise the sector for the good of Nigerians. He said since the government has not come out

to say that the product is not available in the country, there was no reason why Nigerians should continue to suffer because of ‘outrageous hike and artificial’ creation of the product by certain people. His words: In January this year after the fuel subsidy battle which eventually pegged petrol at N97 per litre, there was availability of the product because marketers sold at uniform price. The Federal Government has not come out to say that it does not have the product, so why the scarcity? So, we want the Federal Government to enforce the N97 per litre price of petrol across the country to end the present scarcity. “A situation whereby government does not sanction marketers who sell above the official pump price is responsible for the outrageous price and artificial scarcity of the product which has subjected Nigerians to immense suffering across the country. “So, we believe that Nigerians will be out of the difficult situation if the Federal Government mus-

ters the will to enforce the N97 price regime across the country without further delay.” The NANS president added: “We want to say that the present politicisation of the subsidy probe, particularly the Aig Imoukhude panel report is sending a wrong signal to Nigerians and the international community. “We call on President Goodluck Jonathan to be weary of those individuals who are out to use the opportunity he has given

them to serve in the probe panel to embark on ego trips and other self serving purposes. We are shocked by the findings of the various committees on the management of the petroleum sector of our country. The recent being the Nuhu Ribadu report that is now in the public domain. We hereby call on President Goodluck Jonathan to take a critical look into the recommendations and ensure adequate implementation.”

he floor and walls of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Oluyemo area in Offa, Kwara State, were littered with bloodstains on Sunday, when a group of young boys stormed and disrupted the early morning service of the church, beating the pastor and members to a pulp. National Mirror was told that the boys were angry that the church had the audacity to complain about their playing football in the open church premises even when service was going on. It was said that the footballers had earlier been asked by the church to stay off their premises, especially whenever church services were ongoing, which the lads rebuffed. When the church realised that they lacked the power to stop the footballers from playing in their premises, they reported the matter to the Offa Divisional Police Station. On Sunday, when the Sunday school was going

on, the boys came and the church went to call the police to come to their aid. A plainclothes policeman was said to have been sent to accompany the church delegation, a development that infuriated the boys, according to sources. National Mirror was told that as soon as the policeman introduced himself and ordered the footballers to leave, they descended on him, beat him up and turn his clothes to shreds. It was said that it took the church members to free the policeman from the irate boys. That, however, did not satisfy the boys, who went away to reinforce and marched on the church later. They allegedly beat up the members and the pastor who later scampered to safety. In the end, the church was left with bloodstains on the floor and walls. Secretary of the Church, Elder Ajibade Adeyemi, who was said to have confirmed the incident to local newspapers, could not be immediately reached in Offa at the time of filing this report.

Parties’ coalition wants autonomy for INEC DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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he appointment and removal of the chairman and board members of the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) should be carried out by the National Judicial Commission if the electoral umpire has to operate autonomously. This was the position of a coalition of 40 registered political parties that bared their minds in Gombe through their spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Shittu, at

a Constitutional Amendment Forum organised for media practitioners from the North-East zone by the Democratic Governance Development Project. According to the spokesman, such an amendment, if entrenched in the nation’s constitution, would also guarantee financial autonomy to INEC and absolve them from control and manipulation from the executives. Shittu said the nation’s political trend called for the scraping of State Independent Electoral Commissions

to pave way for free, fair and credible elections while local government councils should be granted autonomy to save them from control by the governors. He also suggested the removal of immunity clause for governors while elected officials who defect from one party to another should automatically lose their seats. Also speaking at the forum, the Co-coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition in Nigeria, Zainab Atta, called for amendment in the constitution to grant

more autonomy to INEC. Atta stressed the need for amendment of relevant sections of the constitution to address issues of gender as it affects women in terms of citizenship, inheritance, reproductive health, political and economic rights.

Jega


Cocktail

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

Bald head men are better leaders --Study

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (37)

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” –Mother Teresa * * * Love Is The Key Love! Love!! Love!!! Love is what makes the world go round. Love is powerful. Love never fails. Love is the key that unlocks the heart of any mortal being. I always believe that everyone needs love. As a matter of fact everyone has an invisible placard hanging on his or her neck saying, “Love me!.” I need love. You need love. That’s it! I believe that all experiences of life has come to teach us love. Love is the peak of revelation. My deepest desire in life is to know how to progressively love God, love my fellow being as I love myself. But I have also noticed that no one can really love without pain. Perhaps that’s why people love so little. The motivation should be that if we can really love, we will become so powerful and relevant in the universe just like God who is Love! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

Crocodile C dil terrorising ii G Gaza S Strip i

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crocodile has been roaming the sewers below Gaza Strip, and efforts to capture it have so far been unsuccessful, officials say. The crocodile, which is more than 5 feet long, has been living in the sewers for about two years, al-Arabiya reported Sunday. “The crocodile most likely escaped from one of the nearby zoos and sought

refuge in the sewers,” said Rajab al-Ankah, head of the Northern Gaza Sewage Station.” Ankahsaidthecrocodilehas escaped capture several times. “The nets were set up to capture the crocodile, but it managed to escape. The slippery ground in the area around the swamps near Beit Lahia in northern Gaza made the escape easier and the crocodile disappeared once more,” he said.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Elephant in zoo imitates human speech

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n elephant in a South Korean zoo is using his trunk to pick up not only food, but also human vocabulary. An international team of scientists confirmed Friday what the Everland Zoo has been saying for years: Their 5.5-ton tusker Koshik has an unusual and possibly unprecedented talent. The 22-year-old Asian elephant can reproduce five Korean words by tucking his trunk inside his mouth to modulate sound, the scientists said in a joint paper published online in Current Biology. They said he may have started imitating human speech because he was lonely. Koshik can reproduce “annyeong” (hello), “anja” (sit down), “aniya” (no), “nuwo” (lie down) and “joa” (good), the paper says. One of the researchers said there is no conclusive evidence that Koshik understands the sounds he makes, although the elephant does respond to words like “anja.” Everland Zoo officials in the city of Yongin said Koshik also can imitate “ajik”

(not yet), but the researchers haven’t confirmed the accomplishment. Koshik is particularly good with vowels, with a rate of similarity of 67 percent, the researchers said. For consonants he scores only 21 percent. Researchers said the clearest scientific evidence that Koshik is deliberately imitating human speech is that the sound frequency of his words matches that of his trainers. Vocal imitation of other species has been found in

mockingbirds, parrots and mynahs. But the paper says Koshik’s case represents “a wholly novel method of vocal production” because he uses his trunk to reproduce human speech. In 1983, zoo officials in Kazakhstan reportedly claimed that a teenage elephant named Batyr could reproduce Russian to utter 20 phrases, including “Batyr is good.” But there was no scientific study on the claim. Researchers believe Koshik learned to reproduce

words out of a desire to bond with his trainers after he was separated from two other elephants at age 5. Koshik emerged as a star among animal enthusiasts and children in South Korea after Everland Zoo claimed in 2006 that he could imitate words, two years after his trainers noticed the phenomenon. His growing reputation prompted Austrian biologist Angela Stoeger-Horwath and German biophysicist Daniel Mietchen to study him in 2010, zoo officials said.

Koshik, a 22-year-old Asian elephant, puts his trunk in his mouth to modulate sound next to his chief trainer Kim Jong-gab at the Everland amusement park in Yongin, South Korea. PHOTO: AP


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Features

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Foot bridges: When pedestrians There have been constant complaints and observations that most pedestrians in Lagos are averse to making use of footbridges constructed on many of the highways in the metropolis. Such recalcitrant attitude has led to many avoidable fatal road mishaps, yet those who are mostly at risk continue to shun these bridges. FRANCIS SUBERU went to town to find out why and reports:

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any citizens have met their deaths while running across the expressways, even as some hit-and-run incidents occur because pedestrians failed to use zebra crossings or footbridges. Pedestrian crossings are meant to provide safe means for crossing the expressways and prevent obstruction of free traffic flow but despite the importance of these bridges, many Lagos residents detest using them, even when they are aware that many drivers in the metropolis are very reckless. Even when these footbridges dot strategic spots across the city, it has been observed over time that, more than 80 percent of pedestrians who cross the expressways on a daily basis prefer not using them. This trend is not peculiar to any area of Lagos, but is rife in places such as Oshodi, Ilasamaja, Cele, Orile, Anthony; Obanikoro to Ojota highways and bus stops among others. Some pedestrians who spoke to our correspondent attributed the trend to poor security and the dilapidated state of the bridges. Some also complained that the footbridges are not convenient for the old and aged, physically challenged and pregnant women as they are too steep and dangerous. While for others, it was sheer waste of precious time navigating the bridges. In confirmation of these fears expressed by many pedestrians, National Mirror observed that aside the sturdy bridges at Ojota, Obanikoro, Palmgrove, Onipanu and Oshodi , many others recently built by the Lagos State Government, pose risks and have become eyesore. The worst of the bridges are found at Mushin/Yaba area and on Oshodi/ Mile 2 expressway. The notorious ones on Oshodi/Mile2 include that at Charity Bus stop and the Cele-Ilasa foot bridges. They are not only dilapidated but vibrant to the din of human traffic. At Ojota, where compliance to use of footbridge is enforced, a pedestrian, Teniola Falolu, said he was only complying because there were officers of Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, around to enforce compliance. He said: “Since I know that if you

A dilapidated foot bridge in Lagos.

try to cross the expressway, you will be arrested by (KAI) for not using the pedestrian bridge, I decided to be using it and I found it reasonable. People who fail to use the footbridges are not only harassed; they are forced to part with bribe money before being allowed to go. So I use the bridge to avoid embarrassment.” On his part, a truck pusher at Ketu, who requested anonymity, blamed the government for his refusal to use the bridge, saying the plight of truck pushers and physically challenged was not taken into consideration before building them. He said the footbridges are not meant for those who carry heavy loads or are on wheelchairs, as the staircases will not allow for movement of the wheels. He said: “How do you expect me to carry this truck and climb the bridge? It will be very difficult. Even if there is no load in the truck, it will still be difficult to take the bridge. I know it is dangerous to run across the road, but we have mastered the art of meandering through the traffic. The KAI officers used to arrest us but now we move far away from them to find way round the barriers they created and cross the road. For us, the option of taking the bridge is totally out of the question. At Ilesa, a pedestrian, Austine Uche, claimed that many people have genuine reasons for not using the footbridges, as some of them pose more danger than crossing the expressway, saying

WHERE THE BRIDGES ARE RELATIVELY STRONG AND

STURDY, THEY HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO MARKETS, WHERE TRADERS DISPLAY THEIR WARES INDISCRIMINATELY many of them are dilapidated and have become death traps. “If you have been on any of these bridges, you will stop blaming people for not using them. How do they want them to use the bridge when they are not safe? Before enforcement on their use begins, the authorities ought to make sure the bridges were well built and safe. “It is the responsibility of the government to provide a safer structure before ordering people to use them. Any time I go through Ilasamaja, I found myself crossing the highway because I can get myself to climb the footbridge there. To me, it is a death trap. As far as I am concerned, all bridges in Lagos are death traps. To make them safe, they should be regularly checked

Some pedestrians risking their lives to cross the highway at Palmgrove, Lagos.

People running across the highway on Ikorodu road near a pedestrian bridge at Onipanu Lagos. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Features

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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detest them at their own risk

A typical pedestrian bridge.

from time for structural defects to ensure they are safe,” Austine said. On Lagos Island where the bridges are relatively strong and sturdy, they have been turned into markets, where traders display their wares indiscriminately. At CMS Bus stop where barriers were constructed on the highway to compel use of the bridges, can one hardly find space to walk on the bridge as petty goods vendors, trading in all kinds of wares including biros, shoes, clothes, bags, belts etc have taken over the space meant for pedestrians. At the other end of the bridge, beggars line up in ranks as though they are on rampage. It was equally observed that many of these bridges are littered with refuse and human wastes. They are very unkempt except for few ones where some physically challenged and beggars help to sweep the staircases. However, it is not all gloom, as there are many good and modern footbridges even as many pedestrians still refuse to use them. For instance, all the new footbridges constructed within the metropolis have concrete culverts and durable aluminum with staircases that are not so steep. There are even places such as Oshodi, where there are pedestrian bridges with motoring steeps. Similarly, unlike the old ones, the new bridges have sun shields and good lighting system to illuminate them at

ALL THE NEW FOOTBRIDGES CONSTRUCTED WITHIN THE METROPOLIS HAVE CONCRETE CULVERTS AND DURABLE ALUMINUM WITH STAIRCASES THAT ARE NOT SO STEEP nights, so as to prevent marauders and street urchins from carrying out nefarious activities on users. Most of them are also manned by security belonging to the KAI and some other taskforces. According to a pedestrian at Onipanu Lagos, Kayode Oshowo, though some people have genuine reasons for not using the footbridges, it is still safer to use them. He said “Whatever may be the argument as to why many refuse to use the bridges, I believe they serve as a way of reducing the pedestrians’ contact with moving traffic on the roads. This will not only help in reducing traffic gridlock, it will equally help in reducing road accidents. Another pedestrian, Kola Opemipo who spoke at Oshodi said: “I will not blame the state government for try-

ing to force people to use the pedestrian bridges. When the government builds roads with pedestrian bridges on them, people should make use of them and if they are not, they will become useless. It is not safe for people to run across the road that is why the bridges were built. I only want to implore the government to maintain the ones they have built so that there is no touting and trading on them and to make them safe for people. I usually use the bridges but I deliberately ignore using them, especially when there are no security agents to enforce the rule and I sometimes fear for the unsafe state of the bridges”. Mariam Alani who spoke to National Mirror at Fadeyi Area, advised the Lagos State Government to put better strategy in place to ensure the enforcement of using the bridges, saying it needs to create a section in the Works Ministry dedicated to problems associated with pedestrian traffic. She said: “This is an aspect of our daily life that is being neglected and treated with levity by the government, as it affects the poorest of the poor. The Nigerian Society of Engineers and Civil Society Organisations, should serve as watch dogs to ensure that safety and quality are not sacrificed in service delivery to the people when constructing and maintaining the bridges.” Also speaking on the development, a lawyer, Akinroju Mathew, said indiscipline was responsible for the problem, as people have apathy for respecting rules and orders, especially traffic laws. “People have decided not to use the bridges. Government spent time and money to build them, yet people chose to cross the highways. If we must have the Nigeria of our dream, we must individually be disciplined,” he said. When contacted, KAI Marshall General, Mr. Danjuma Meigeri said he had been instructed not to talk to journalists on the issue, especially in the absence of his public relations officer and since the latter was not on hand, he declined comments. But even in the face of these observations and criticisms, there is a general consensus that the bridges are not enough for a growing mega polis like Lagos. For example, it has been observed that these footbridges are built very far from each other, thereby forcing pedestrians to either trek long distances to from the residences or bus stops in order to cross them. It is not unusual finding that the distance from one pedestrian bridge to another is more than two kilometres. In such circumstance, the pedestrians are tempted to risk crossing the ever busy highways despite the dangers inherent in this. There is therefore a call for government to look into this with a view to constructing more of the bridges at very convenient locations in the metropolis and highways.


WORLD RECORD

First all-weather clock

Vol. 02 No. 485

N150

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

As sundials were dependent on light and good weather conditions, the Egyptians created water clocks in the 15th century BC to tell the time in all conditions, 24 hours a day. Essentially the first all-weather clock, the device, known as a clepsydra (“water thief”), was a large pot that leaked water through a hole in the bottom at a steady, measurable rate.

Many controversies of Ribadu report

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s expected, the report of the Petrol Revenue Special Task Force headed by the erstwhile Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was submitted last week as demanded by President Goodluck Jonathan. The submission of the report was as dramatic as the controversies that trailed the committee’s work when the draft of its findings was first leaked to the media. Going by the anticident of the anti-corruption crusader as the chairman of the panel, one would not have expected anything less than the deft moves to expose the leakages that have been part of oil business which had gone on for years as normal.

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eferee Mark Clattenburg will miss a second round of Premier League matches as the FA and Metropolitan Police investigate alleged “inappropriate language”. Chelsea accused the referee of using an offensive racial term during the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United last month.

TALKINGPOINT Seyi Fasugba

seyifasugba@yahoo.com 08053069514 (sms only)

The report, part of which the media had access to even before handing over to the government and which Ribadu confirmed as the original work of the committee, is a detailed story of how corruption has taken over the collective wealth, but which from all indications is yet to bless the majority of the people who willingly mandated government to manage the resources on their behalf. From what was revealed from the leaked report, there is no doubting the fact that all is not well not even with the staggering revelation of how N28.73 billion from signature bonuses paid by oil firms was declared missing. This might be a tip of the iceberg from what had existed even before the Goodluck Jonathan administration and which has continued to exist since this government came on board. While one may be tempted to commend the determination of the President in initiating the probe of the rot in this critical aspect of the nation’s economy, it must, however, be reiterated that the political will to clean the Augean stable is, indeed, needed now more than ever before. The key question that must be answered sincerely by those in government is; to what extent are they prepared to step on toes of the cabal, that is, those who sat on this over the years and who are not ready to let go? This, exactly, is what will define the real char-

THE ROT UNCOVERED BY THE COMMITTEE’S REPORT MUST NOT BE SWEPT UNDER THE

CARPET, BUT MUST BE EXAMINED WITH A VIEW TO BLOCKING THE LEAKAGES acter of this administration and perhaps make the national cake available to the majority of Nigerians who have been deprived the awesome benefits of a normal living in the midst of plenty. And when it comes to facing the bitter truth, there is usually sharp disagreement which clearly manifested in the drama that characterised the submission of the panel report. In works of this nature, there are bound to be divergent views, but the maturity with which such issues are channeled and handled, is also vital to the overall wellbeing of the key operators in the system. The drama that played out before President Goodluck Jonathan while the panel was about to submit the report, was a clear manifestation of clash of interests and how the committee must have

worked at cross-purposes. Apart from using a wrong platform to express a different opinion, the attack by members, launched on the work which was expected to be a collective responsibility and the weighty issues raised by Messrs Stephen Oronsaye and Ben Oti deserve a better examination in order to authenticate the findings contained in the reports. President Jonathan’s remark, as widely reported, may have, however, provided the reasons for the agitations of the aggrieved members of the panel. While urging them to submit their individual reports which sound logical and a reasonable thing to do, President Jonathan said; ‘oil business is always too oily’ making reference to the controversy stirred by the members. Definitely, there can’t be smoke without fire, meaning that the protest by members of the committee could not have been an impromptu, but premeditated even before the submission. Oronsaye’s grouse, as stated before President Jonathan, was that the committee was rushed to submit the report, which was not ready, but just to comply with the directive. Meanwhile, he too was accused of not being part of the committee’s work from the inception and thus was in the dark on the details and the findings of the committee. Not only that, Ribadu said they are both beneficiaries of appointments from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, a situation which questions where their loyalty lies in a matter of this nature and magnitude. But in spite of their protest, the rot uncovered by the committee’s report must not be swept under the carpet but must be closely examined with a view to blocking the leakages in a way that the resources being siphoned and wasted can benefit the masses of Nigerians for whom they are meant for in the first instance.

Sport Extra

Ref Clattenburg still in the cold Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) General Manager, Mike Riley, was happy for Clattenburg to officiate. Riley told BBC Sport, “PGMOL was fully prepared to appoint Mark to matches this weekend. However,

having discussed this with him, we both consider that it is in Mark’s best interests that he has this week away from officiating duties while he prepares to help the FA and police with their enquiries.” Last week Chelsea said the

complaint was made following a thorough investigation, which they claimed was led by outside legal counsel and used information from interviews with Blues’ players and staff. Clattenburg maintains he is innocent and neither of his assistants, nor the fourth official, are backing Chelsea’s allegations.

Mark Clattenburg

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012