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ASUU shuns FG’s resumption deadline ...as varsities set new dates TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE AND DHIKRU AKIOLA Wike

Vol. 31 N0. 740 115

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embers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, yesterday

90 world leaders arrive S’Africa for Madiba memorial

shunned the December 9 ultimatum given the union by government as CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Tuesday, Tuesday,June December 7, 2011 10, 2013

P.46

N150 N150

Anti-corruption war:

Jonathan not sincere, says Tambuwal ISE-OLUWA IGE, TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE AND EZEKIEL TITUS

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peaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday launched

a scathing attack against President Goodluck Jonathan accusing him of insincerity in his administration’s fight against corruption. Tambuwal, who advanced reasons for blaming

LET THE EXECUTIVE HAVE THE WILL FOR REFERRING THESE MATTERS FROM THE OFFICE OF MR. PRESIDENT TO EFCC AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN. BUT IF THE BODY LANGUAGE IS NOT CORRECT, THIS IS WHAT YOU GET

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Ibori’s former banker jailed in London for money laundering P.4

FG changes tactics against Boko Haram insurgency P.12

L-R: President, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Obinna Ufudo; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Chairman, Transcorp, Mr. Tony Elumelu and Executive Director, Business Development, NSE, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, during the Facts Behind the Figures presentation by Transcorp at the NSE floor in Lagos yesterday.

Why we attended meeting with President –Wamakko

P.2,44 ‘Tukur remains PDP chairman’ Ooni warns against distortion of Yoruba history P.8

CJN laments underfunding of judiciary Mukhtar

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News

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Why we attended meeting with President –Wamakko ROTIMI FADEYI AND JAMES DANJUMA

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okoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko has said that they were no longer members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, despite the fact that he and Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso attended last Sunday’s reconciliatory meeting with President Gooduck Jonathan. Wamakko insisted that they were members of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Other aggrieved PDP governors who have also defected to the APC are governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara). Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting which started about 10 p.m. on Sunday

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the President for the growing spate of corruption in the country, wondered why the Presidency would be setting up committees to investigate cases of corruption. He said that the Executive had no business investigating cases of corruption. The Speaker said what was expected of the executive was to refer “these matters to the EFCC and I trust the EFCC, they will do a good job. “I tell you, let the Executive have the will for referring these matters from the office of Mr. President to EFCC and you will see what will happen. But if the body language is not correct, this is what you get,” he said. The occasion was a roundtable organised by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in Abuja to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day. Tambuwal was reacting to views expressed by individuals and institutions on various issues including the ongoing moves by the National Assembly to pass a bill legalising operation of foreign bank accounts by public officials and the various probes embarked upon by the National Assembly which had not produced any concrete results. The NBA President, Sir Okey Wali (SAN), had start-

and ended at 2.45 a.m. yesterday, Wamakko explained that they briefed the President about their position that the five governors that had defected to APC were no longer in the PDP. This was just as indications have emerged that a former deputy governor during the second term tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua as governor of Katsina State, Ambassador Abdullahi Aminchi, is set to dump the PDP. Also reported to be towing similar lines are former Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Alhaji Sayyadi Rumah, and past PDP Chairman in the state, Maiwada Daudawa. National Mirror gathered through them that the governor was yet to make formal pronouncements on this development. But sources close to them told National Mirror that they have had fruitful

discussions with the APC and it was only a matter of time before they moved en masse with their supporters to the opposition party. A political associate of Aminchi, Murtala Abdullahi, told National Mirror

of his principal’s intention that the former Nigerian’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia had held a closed-door meeting with them and had informed them of his decision to dump the PDP. Wamakko said: “On be-

half of the five of us, I have already briefed Mr. President of our position as G5 that we are no longer in the PDP mainstream and that we are already in another party. “But as a President of

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L-R: Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr. Sam Saba; President, Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN) and Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, at the International Anti-Corruption Day Celebration in Abuja yesterday.

Jonathan not sincere, says Tambuwal ed the drama when he said that Nigerians were tired of probes by the lawmakers with nothing to show for it. The Code of Conduct Bureau Chairman, Mr. Sam Saba, had said that passing a bill legalising operation of foreign account would amount to encouraging corruption in the country. But the Speaker, who had earlier said that the mandate of the legislature was to make laws and hold public officials accountable by exposing corruption and wasteful management of public resources, disagreed with both the NBA and the Code of Conduct Bureau. Tambuwal said the setting up of various probe panels by the National Assembly was not a departure from its constitutional duty and that if there were no concrete results, he said both the Executive and the Judiciary should be blamed. He specifically accused EFCC of failing to act on the reports of virtually all the probe panels that had exposed corruption in various strata of the society even as he accused it of engaging in corrupt activities. The Speaker said it was not correct for EFCC to tell the whole world that it was already acting on the reports of various probe panels set up by the National Assembly.

this country, if he calls us, we will come and listen to him and respect him as a leader of our country, otherwise what we had there was mostly a PDP affair. “We had to tell the Presi-

He said: “The report you have been implementing is the Aig Imokhuede report, not that of the House of Representatives. “For instance, the last the House heard from you on the subsidy report was when you requested me, the Speaker, to request some of my members to come and help you do your work, asking for explanations on some of the recommendations. I said no, it is not part of our job. We have done our bit, go ahead and do yours. “Of course, the pension scam is there. The scam in the aviation sector is the most recent one. “There is also that of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission, where trillions of naira from private citizens were suspected to have been mismanaged and is being mismanaged. “When we commissioned an inquiry into it, what interested you more particularly, was the allegation that our members refused to travel after taking $4,000 estacode, and they are still facing trial. “An officer was found culpable, and as a result of this, the National Assembly, jointly passed an appropriation law, denying that agency funding. That is still there. “I cannot recall reading anywhere or hearing from

any commentary that the DG of SEC was ever invited by the EFCC or that any officer of SEC was ever invited by the EFCC. “Still on this matter, we received a report from the Public Accounts Committee of the House that it is like the Finance Ministry, the Budget Office and the Accountant General of the Federation’s office found a leeway of funding SEC through service-wide vote. “We are quietly investigating that and we will get to the root of that matter. “I know as a fact that the grants you (EFCC) receive from donor agencies have never been budgeted for. That is corruption.” Tambuwal argued that it was not every corruption cases that must be reported to the EFCC. “Some cases are very clear. What happened in the aviation sector recently, do you need an angel from heaven to report to the EFCC that something went wrong there? “I am not aware that anything was done by either the EFCC or ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission), or any other security agency. “At best, what we have is that the National Security Adviser, NSA, who should have been bothered about and more seriously inter-

ested and concerned about the security situation in this country, is being given an assignment to investigate what is clearly obvious. I beg your pardon.” Turning to the Presidency again, Tambuwal said: “When I raised the issue of operation of the Bureau of Public Procurement in my budget speech, and advised Mr. President to stop using the Executive Council as a clearing house for the award of contracts, so many people came out to be attacking my person, and that I was disrespectful to the office of the President. “The fact of the matter is that the position of the law that is, the Bureau of Public Procurement Act, is that there should be a council to be established by the President. “That position of the law is not being respected and that is the reason we kept in abeyance, the amendment proposed to the law by the President. We said no, go and do what the law says before you come to us. “Those who made the law know that the Director General cannot do the job alone, which is why the laws says there should be a council.” He also blamed the Executive for the poor funding of the agencies. He noted that even when the Legislature approves funds for these agencies; it is

for the Executive to release these funds. Reacting to the public concern raised over the bill to allow public officers operate foreign bank accounts, Tambuwal said there was nothing wrong in what the lawmakers were doing. Meanwhile, the ICPC has described corruption as the most dangerous phenomenon that has deters growth and development of Nigeria. The agency also blamed public office holders for abuse of office for personal gains. The North-East zonal Director of the Agency, Mr. Bulama Naji Ali, made the observation yesterday in Bauchi on the occasion of the World Corruption Day. Ali, who said that corruption is being celebrated in public offices, regretted, that the paradox of sleaze has created permanent poverty following the misuse of the nation’s resources, resulting in such vices as the Boko-Haram insurgency, oil theft and kidnapping which are barriers to meaningful development. Ali attributed corruption in the polity to failure of the past anti-corruption measures where there was no stiff penalty hence the need for a significant paradigm shift in fighting the menace by government.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Bardeh; Vice President Namadi Sambo; wife of the Commander, Presidential Air Fleet (PAF), Mrs. Mercy Ebong; Commander, Presidential Air Fleet, Air Vice¸Marshal Uko Ebong and President Goodluck Jonathan, after the decoration of Ebong with his new rank in Abuja yesterday. Founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN (right) and President, Computer Registration Council of Nigeria, Alhaja Sekinat Yusuf, at the launch of ABUAD’s Centre of Excellence on Cyber Security, Science and Research in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend.

L-R: Chief Operating Officer, Horwath Dafinone (Chartered Accountants), Dr. Daphne Terri Dafinone; Managing Partner, Chief Ede Dafinone and Managing Partner, Mr. Igho Dafinone, during a cocktail party to honour usher-in the new management team in Lagos recently.

Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah welcomes the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union, Dr. Hamadoun Toure to the Nigerian stand at the just-ended ITU Telecom 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.

National News

FG won’t interfere with process of national conference –Jonathan ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said the Federal Government has no intention of interfering with the structure and process

of the proposed national conference According to him, the conference would be concluded before 2015 elections, saying that the Presidential Advisory Committee on the national dialogue would soon

present its report to him, having concluded its nationwide consultations. Speaking at an audience with leaders of Ohaneze Ndigbo from the SouthEast Geo-Political Zone at the Presidential Villa, Jonathan said that his admin-

istration would allow Nigerians to determine the framework, content and process of the dialogue. “If you listen to the radio, watch television and read on-line, you will realise that Nigerians are talking. We listen and read

the commentaries. But all the discussions and ideas need to be harmonised. We must come to a point where we can move in one direction,’’ the President said. On the time-frame for the conference, Jonathan explained that the process

Money laundering: Ibori’s former banker jailed in London JOHNSON OKANLAWON WITH AGENCY REPORT

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ormer Goldman Sachs banker, Elias Preko was sentenced to four and half years in prison by a London court yesterday for laundering $5m on behalf of former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori. Ibori is serving 13 years in a British jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 counts of fraud and moneylaundering. Harvard graduate Preko, 54, became the fifth of Ibori’s associates to be jailed for assisting his corruption after the ex-governor’s wife, mistress, sister and lawyer were all convicted by British courts in previous trials.

The cases have been tried in London because some of the money was laundered in Britain and some of the defendants were based there. Attempts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to prosecute Ibori, dating back to 2007, have foundered. A jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court unanimously convicted Preko, a Ghanaian national, of two offences of money-laundering between March 2003 and April 2008 when he was arrested. He was charged with assisting Ibori in channelling stolen money through a web of offshore trusts and shell companies. Preko had left Goldman

Sachs before he committed the offences and the bank is not accused of any wrongdoing. The court heard Preko tried to open accounts on Ibori’s behalf when he still worked there but this was not authorised by the bank. Ibori, Delta State governor from 1999 to 2007, was in his heyday a power broker at the heart of Nigeria’s ruling party. After he left office and lost immunity from prosecution, his fortunes ebbed and flowed according to political developments in Abuja until he was extradited from Dubai to Britain in 2011. “The evidence against you in this case was very clear. You knew what Mr. Ibori was doing and you were actively assisting

him,” Judge Anthony Pitts told Preko in his sentencing remarks. “You are a man of considerable ability and intelligence, highly educated, capable of making lots of money perfectly legitimately,” he added. The court had heard that in a decade at Goldman Sachs, where he was in charge of private clients in sub-Saharan Africa, Preko had made $12m in salary and received a severance payment of $3m when he left the bank. “You had the ability to walk away (from Ibori). You chose to involve yourself with him as a professional man, against the code of upstanding conduct for men in your position,” Pitts

said. The judge noted that the sums Preko had helped launder were “relatively small amounts in a case where the amounts are almost beyond belief.” Ibori’s total fortune is not known. During his sentencing in April 2012, Pitts put the amount of stolen money covered by his guilty pleas at 50 million pounds ($82 million) but said this may be a ludicrously low fraction of his total booty. In a three-week hearing this year, prosecutors sought a court order for the confiscation of 90 million pounds in assets that they said were the proceeds of Ibori’s crimes, but the hearing ended inconclusively and will restart next year.

would definitely be completed well before the 2015 elections. The President and ministers, who were in attendance at the meeting, also briefed the South East leaders on the present administration’s developmental efforts in various sectors, including aviation, agriculture, transportation and power. President Jonathan assured the delegation that his administration would do all within its powers to ensure that projects such as the Second Niger Bridge, the rehabilitation of South East roads and expansion of the national rail network to the zone are completed on schedule. The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, congratulated the President for initiating the national dialogue. He pledged the South East’s support for the process and assured that Ndigbo would make meaningful contributions to move the country forward in unity.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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ASUU shuns FG’s resumption deadline

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

they continued the strike, leaving the few students returning to school confused. Going by its earlier decision not to honour the directive by the Federal Government to resume or get sacked until its requests are completely acceded to, members of the National Executive Council of ASUU continued with the strike in many of the universities. At the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Akoka; the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo; and the University of Ibadan, for instance, there were no academic activities. At UNILAG, where some lecturers had initially threatened to resume work irrespective of directive from the national leadership of the union, lecture rooms were still under lock. The authorities of the university had set its own resumption date to January 6, 2014 for the commencement of academic activities. Although the university had since Monday, December 2 opened its online portal for returning students to complete their registration and other administrative activities, students were yet to return to school. The situation was worse at LASU where students were not spotted on the campus. National Mirror gathered that the situation might be connected with the strike recently embarked upon by the university’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Universities, SSANU, whose members are protesting what they described as draconian policy of the state government on staff welfare and other sundry issues. At UI, students and lecturers were yet to return even as the school authorities had announced January 4, 2014 as resumption date. An official bulletin of the university signed by the institution’s Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, said students were expected back on campus between Saturday, January 4 and Sunday 5, 2014. He noted that lectures would commence the following day and last for 11 weeks, to be followed by one week of revision before

examination would take place. The situation was slightly different at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Investigations revealed that many students had returned to campus following the directive by the university that activities would resume yesterday. A student of the institution on condition of anonymity told National Mirror that some lecturers at the engineering and science-based departments held lectures while lecturers in other departments shun classrooms. But the chapter’s Chairman of ASUU, Prof. Adegbola Akinola, said as far as he knew, no lecturer of the institution went to class let alone held lectures. He pointed out that since it was not the union that closed the school, it was normal for students to resume as directed by the university management. However, according to him, one thing that is very clear is that ASUU will not resume until the Federal Government does the needful as a way of resolving the crisis permanently. Similarly, the Chairman of Joint Campus Committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS JCC) in Ogun State, Okikiola Ogunsola, told National Mirror that none of the universities in Ogun State, including Olabisi Onabanjo University, AgoIwoye; Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, and the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun was opened for academic work. Lecturers at Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola, and Adamawa State University (ADSU), Mubi had also not resumed yesterday. They said they would continue with the strike except the leadership of the union at the national level says otherwise. The story was the same at the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, ATBU, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, ABU, University of Maiduguri, UNIMAID, as well as Bayero University, Kano, BUK. Lecturers in those institutions have also resolved to continue with the strike notwithstanding the sack threat.

The lecture rooms were empty and students were also not bothered to go to school since they were not clear about the resumption issue. It was also gathered that some of the universities had declared different dates for resumption to give both the Federal and ASUU more time to resolve their differences. A senior staff at ABU

said “We cannot just announce the re-opening of the institution without hearing from ASUU.” Lecturers at ATBU refused to resume to work on Monday. Alhaji Zailani Bappa, the Principal Public Relations Officer of the university, however said the lecturers were expected to resume on Wednesday and not Monday.

He said the decision to ask the lecturers to resume on Wednesday came up after the Senate held a meeting on December 5. The Federal Government had asked respective university councils to conduct meetings to decide when to ask their lecturers to resume and also when to ask the students to resume. “The council met on De-

cember 5 and came up with a resolution that all lecturers should resume by December 11,” he said. He added that by the end of Wednesday, the council would decide on the next line of action and if a substantial number of the lecturers turned up for work, then the council would fix a date for the resumption of the students.

Fresher’s and direct entry students being screened for registration at the University of Ibadan even as members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities refused to call off strike, yesterday. Inset: Deserted classroom PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Why we attended meeting with President –Wamakko CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

dent and Chairman of the BoT, Chief Tony Anenih, our position. We can’t just be going about talking, we had to come and tell them the truth where the truth must be told and that is why we came here.” Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Akwa Ibom State governor and Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Godswill Akpabio, said the meeting was part of the dialogue the President had months back at the time we had the G7 governors. “The last time we met, we met with the G2 governors and today we had the G3 and so it is part of the continuing dialogue to ensure harmony and peace in the party and Mr. President is not relenting.” Akpabio who estated the hope of bringing the G5 back to the PDP fold said that the President was consulting with all the party big-wigs, particularly, the aggrieved governors, with a view to bringing everybody on board and ensuring harmony and unity of the party. Commenting on Wammako’s decision to leave the PDP, Akpabio said: “I know that the governor of Sokoto State is just one member of

the PDP in Sokoto and if he says he is leaving the PDP, I am sure there are still thousands of other members of PDP who will say we are staying within the PDP. “So you can’t say all hope is lost. How can all hope be lost? The party is very robust, large and as much as possible we are interested in keeping our leaders together.” He added that it was for that reason that the leadership of the PDP will continue to dialogue, saying: “We have narrowed down few issues which we are taking up with Mr. President and the governors are also going to discuss. You saw the number of governors today, …I think 17 or 18 governors and you can be sure that the number will keep increasing.” Present at the meeting on Sunday were Vice President Namadi Sambo; Chief Anenih and National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd). Other PDP governors at the meeting were Theodore Orji (Abia), Idris Wada (Kogi), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Sullivan Chime (Enugu) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger).

Others include Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Martins Elechi (Ebonyi), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), acting governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Garba Umar. Past Katsina deputy governor, agric Minister set to dump PDP The former deputy to the late Yar’Adua was said to have been dissatisfied with the manner his Funtua people are deliberately being marginalised by the PDP-led Katsina State government in terms of state and federal appointments and citing of projects. Abdullahi also said that Aminchi was also not happy with the citing of the Federal Polytechnic in Katsina zone at the expense of Funtua, adding: “All recent appointments at the federal level were given to only people from Katsina Central while the other two other zones were marginalised,” a development he said pointed to the fact that they were no longer welcomed and had to leave. Efforts by National Mirror to reach Aminchi, however, were unsuccessful as calls and text messages to his GSM line went unanswered. Also, the lines of both Rumah

and Daudawa were unavailable at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, the Sokoto State Executive Council yesterday approved mass defection of the people of the state to the All Progressives Congress, APC. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the council took the decision at its enlarged meeting, presided over by Governor Aliyu Wamakko. Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting in Sokoto, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Danladi Bako, said commissioners, special advisers, local government chairmen and members of the new PDP in the state had unanimously agreed to move along with Wamakko to the APC. He said: “This decision is the product of over thirty meetings in the state in the last one month. “Today’s meeting analysed the progress made so far by the state government and the 23 local governments. “This is with the view to taking stock and forge a way forward to further improve the living standard of the people of the state.”


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News

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anti-apartheid struggle: South Africa unfair to Nigeria –Fashola MURITALA AYINLA

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agos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday decried the treatment meted out to Nigerians by the South African government, saying in spite of the nation’s efforts at helping to get rid of the terrible apartheid policy, the country favours Europeans more than Nigerians. The governor noted that Nigerians are still subjected to the rigour of seeking for visa and other requirements before entering the country, even when their British counterparts don’t need to provide such before entering the country. While eulogising the virtues of the former South African president, who died last Thursday, Fashola said the success of a free South Africa is Nigeria’s crowning glory because of Nigeria’s immense contribution to the enthronement of social justice in the country. He said Nigeria did this by championing antiapartheid campaigns and sponsoring anti-apartheid movements across Africa. Addressing journalists on the death of the former president at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, Fashola called on President Goodluck Jonathan to redefine Nigeria’s role as Africa’s leader. Governor Fashola, going down memory lane said: “I remember we did not go for Commonwealth Games because of South Africa. I remember we took drastic measures against foreign collaborators of apartheid regime and nationalised their assets. “Brigadier-General Joe Garba was our Foreign Affairs Minister and Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi was the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. There was no home that the anti-apartheid campaign was not in then. “Our university halls were named after Mozambique and all of these places. We funded all of these organisations in Angola and Zimbabwe, among others. “The tragic irony is

that we are the ones being driven out of South Africa. The British can enter South Africa. We have to take a visa. These are deep questions, because they hurt me. People like Fela Anikulapo nearly lost their voices, singing about freedom. “As our President is going for Mandela’s burial, I hope he will play leadership roles we deserve or we should ask ourselves if we have really lost in all of these, what is the way back? As I said, history has been revised and our voice is not heard on the international stage. “This is our glory because we contributed so much to this cause, and perhaps we ask ourselves what the investment payoff has been.” The governor described the flood of tributes on Mandela’s death from other continents, especially, the then proapartheid countries, as an irony, saying that the part of the world that supported the enthronement of the apartheid policy and who jailed the African statesmen are now the one eulogising him. He added: “Tribute to Mandela, either during his life or after his death, cannot really be too much. We are privileged to share this planet with him. There are more questions to answer. When you look at the part of the world where ovation is now loudest, it was the part of the world the pain was the most vicious. “In a very cruel irony, history is being revised. The people, who collaborated with the government that enthroned apartheid at that time, are the people that are paying the biggest tribute now. “But I ask myself; is this not the time for deep reflection? I doubt if any African country expended as much time, as much money and as much commitment as the Nigerian government. “I was a teenager then in 1976, when the antiapartheid campaign really gained momentum in every home in this country. Nigeria paid a huge price for what South Africa has become today. I remember the anti-apart-

heid campaign was at the core of Nigerian foreign policy.” On the leadership quality in Africa, the governor called for self-examination of leaders, saying Mandela has proved to the world that African leaders are not inferior. “I do not believe them. They believe we are inferior. I do not believe that. Mandela has proved we are not. There is nothing wrong with our genes. There is nothing wrong with our blood. It is just our attitude and disposition we must re-examine.” “Beyond that, there is nothing we cannot do. I believe there must be some inspiration from there, if any is needed. Really, it is to put spring on our heels so that we can reach the sky,” the governor added.

National Na Nat N atttiiio a onal Mir Mirror rror rro or or www.nationalmirroronline.net almir miirrrror mir mi ro orronllin o iine n ne e.ne net net ne

Osun civil societies coalition mourns Mandela ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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he Osun Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC) has joined the whole world to mourn the passing away of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela, who was known for his tireless campaign against apartheid. Mandela, according to the coalition, was the first South African black president to unify the country to ensure that an egalitarian society is achieved. The coalition in a press statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Com-

rade Ismaeel Uthman, yesterday, described the late Mandela as an epitome of humility, justice and equality. Uthman said Mandela was an embodiment of selflessness and courage, who has inspired generations on the campaign for human dignity and an egalitarian society. According to him, Mandela’s death is a great loss to the world, most especially to human rights community, adding that the antiapartheid icon enjoyed universal mourning for his contribution to world peace.

“Mandela demonstrated equality and egalitarianism in his lifetime. He was a hero of all time and he will forever remain a source of inspiration to generations unborn. He was a liberator, who worked tirelessly for the good of Africa as a continent. “Mandela sacrificed his freedom for, not only South Africans, but the Africans generally. He spent 27 of his useful years in prison to ensure a just and fair society for the blacks, who had been segregated by the apartheid policy”, Uthman stated.

L-R: Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello; Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello and Governor Babatunde Fashola, briefing journalists on the passing away of Nelson Mandela in Lagos, yesterday.

Learn from Mandela’s qualities, group tells Jonathan

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leading human rights group in Nigeria, Centre for Social Justice and Equity of Nigeria (CESJEN) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to learn from the leadership qualities and style of the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela that has set a standard for other leaders in Africa. The group said the leadership qualities and style bequeathed to the continent should be emulated by all leaders as a mark of honour for the late foremost African leader. CESJEN also called on President Jonathan to reconsider his 2015 presidential ambition, which almost torn his party - the Peoples Democratic Party

(PDP) apart in the interest of the unity and peaceful co-existence of the nation in 2015. The group urged him to follow the footstep of the late Mandela. All this was contained in a condolence message issued and signed by the Executive Director of the group, Comrade Kamorudeen Adekunle Adeoti, to the family of the late Mandela, the people of South Africa and the African continent, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Osogbo yesterday. CESJEN described the death of Mandela as a great loss to humanity, particularly, the African continent, stating that he was a bridge builder, a hero of the African struggle against

injustice, oppression, selfless service, Africa politics without bitterness and reconciliator. He added that Mandela was a genuine freedom fighter and a rare gem of the last and present century, saying that Mandela’s principle of an egalitarian society and politics without bloodletting and politics of human development would forever be remembered and that he would be equally remembered for his love for the poor, old, sick and the black race. Comrade Adeoti, who further described Mandela as a role model for African leaders, said President Jonathan should shelve his sit-tight agenda, noting that; “Madiba’s vision can also be linked directly with

those of other great black heroes like Matins Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, Tafa Balewa and our own MKO Abiola.” He added that only few politicians share the vision of Mandela’s development in Nigeria, but “we thank God for giving us the likes of Mandela in the person of Rauf Aregbesola, who shares similarities with the great pan-African, Nelson Mandela. Adeoti concluded that people of the world, particularly the African people, would forever miss the large-hearted revolutionary and liberator per-excellence, praying that may his soul rest in the bosom of the lord.


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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50,000 Nigerians languishing in prison abroad – DLARC OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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iaspora Legal Aid and Rehabilitation Centre (DLARC) yesterday said that over 50, 000 Nigerians are currently detained in prison facilities abroad. In a communiqué issued after a roundtable meeting of stakeholders on the plight of some Nigerians in diaspora, issues of illegal immigration, drug peddling, traffic offences and even minor domestic issues were largely responsible for the imprisonment of these persons. The meeting noted that due to the economic hardship in the country, coupled with the politics of patronage which subsumes the issue of merit and objective criteria for reward, several Nigerians were frustrated out of the country and often suffered untold discrimination and were maltreated by their host government. Organised in conjunction with All Nigerian Nationals

in the Diaspora and Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, the meeting addressed the perennial problems associated with Nigerians in the Diaspora; in particular Nigerians languishing in prisons abroad suffering various forms of abuses. In the 13-point communiqué, it was resolved that the sovereign rights of every nation must be respected and that such host countries have a duty in accordance with United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect the rights of migrants from discrimination, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment in accordance with Article 27, 9, 5 of UNDHR. The communiqué was signed by Dr Ifedi Okwenna, Executive Secretary, DLARC; Dr Peter Mozie Global Chairman (All Nigerian Nationals in the Diaspora); Dr (Mrs) Sarah Jibril, Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and

Values and Mrs Nela AndemRabana (SAN), Chairperson Communiqué Committee. The communiqué noted that according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, an estimate of 214 million persons (migrants) currently live outside their country of origin and that all

these migrants who legally move to other countries have duly exercised their right of movement guaranteed by Article 12(2) UN International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. Noting that the sovereign rights of every nation must be respected, they pointed

ABUJA

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he Federal Government has conferred citizenship status on 217 foreigners with a warning to abide by the nation’s laws or risk severe reprimand. The government said the recipients had been found worthy after a thorough screening process. Of the 217 nationals presented with certificates of citizenship, 129 were awarded Certificates of Naturalisation while 88 were given Certificates of Registration.

Performing the event yesterday, Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, said only deserving persons were awarded the citizenship, adding that conferment ceremony became obligatory in order to allow the “new Nigerians” fraternize with other Nigerians. He urged the recipients to respect national symbols, anthem, pledge and other national values as citizens, explaining that the approval of their application was in accordance with relevant constitutional provisions. Moro also tasked them

to rise to the challenge of defending Nigeria when the need arises, urging them to immediately begin to contribute their quota towards resolving the security challenges confronting the nation. Earlier, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Fatima Bamidele, said as Nigerians, the recipients should not relent in contributing their quota to the development of the nation. The event featured an administration of oath and recitation of the National pledge by a legal officer in

the ministry as well as presentation of national flags to the new citizens. Curiously, however, about 20 names were missing from the list of those to be presented with certificates due to what a source in the ministry attributed to lack of proper planning and organisation by the directorate in charge of such issues. Some names of the nationals were also not spelt correctly, but an official said those affected should report to the ministry today to immediately rectify the anomaly.

Poor budget allocation portends danger for nation’s judiciary –CJN ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, yesterday raised the alarm over the dwindling financial state of the judiciary, saying its effect on justice system portends danger for the country. Justice Muhktar, however, urged the government to address the problem, saying judicial officers, unlike other public officers, could not embark on strike to protest their plight. The alarm coincided with

a fresh appeal by President Goodluck Jonathan to Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its strike. The CJN and the President spoke at the opening of the 2013 All Nigeria Judges’ conference organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja. The conference, which started yesterday, was themed: “Towards Labour and Industrial Harmony in the Judiciary.” Justice Muhktar, who underscored the apparent need for proper funding of the judiciary, said “a situation where

amounts to approximately US21 Billion, and their contribution in the improvement of the nation’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) governments ought to develop deliberate policies and strategies for harnessing the skills and resources in the Diaspora for the benefit of our country.

L-R: Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed; Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, Bukola Saraki and the state House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Rasaq Atunwa, during a one-day summit for unemployed youths in Ilorin, yesterday.

FG confers citizenship status on 217 foreigners OMEIZA AJAYI

out that host countries have a duty in accordance with UNUDHR, rights of migrants are protected from discrimination, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment. The meeting observed that in view of the remittance from Nigerians in the Diaspora annually which

the head of a state judiciary continues to go cap in hand to beg for funds to run and maintain the courts leaves much to be desired”. She said Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution is clear and unambiguous on the issue of funding the judiciary. The section provides: “any amount standing to the credit of the judiciary in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State shall be paid directly to the Heads of the Courts concerned”. The CJN reiterated that the non-compliance with the constitutional provision is a negation of the Oath of Of-

fice of Governor of a State as contained in the seventh schedule to the 1999 Constitution. Similarly, she said the federal courts were underfunded. Justice Mukhtar said: “Let me also state sir that even the federal courts, which hitherto enjoyed some measure of robust financial independence, are groaning under the heavy budgetary cuts”. She noted that in the face of challenges encountered in running the judiciary, “there is a continued reduction in the budgetary allocation to the judiciary every year.

EFCC records 1,000 convictions in 10 years – Lamorde

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he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recorded over 1,000 convictions in the last 10 years, commission’s chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, has said. Lamorde spoke yesterday at the 2013 International Anti-Corruption Day in Abuja with the theme: “Zero corruption, 100 per cent development.” He said the agency had handled high-profile cases, saying that the commission had relentlessly checked public corruption through vigorous law-enforcement activities. Lamorde said: “In 10 years of existence, EFCC has recorded over a thousand convictions. Significantly, the commission has recorded over 90 convictions this year. “This is quite heartwarming, giving the constraints that permeate the entire judicial process where cases drag endlessly. “Nevertheless, I salute the courage of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who has launched an audacious reform programme for the judiciary. “However, if we are to check the leakages in public resource utilisation and ensure the maximisation of

available resources for developmental objectives, the emphasis must not only be on enforcement activities. “In addition, we must embrace a forward-looking preventive strategy, the concept of risk assessment is perfectly a synchronism to this victory. “Risk assessment hinges on the prevention of strategic objectives and as an agency; we have always recognised the place of prevention in the anti-corruption fight.” Represented by Mr. Chile Okosoma, Lamorde said: “The fight against corruption in Nigeria is irreversible”. In its presentation, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) said that it was better and easier to sensitise the public officers against corruption than prosecuting them of corruption. CCB Acting Chairman, Mr. Yakubu Tuktur, said the bureau received a total of 96 petitions of cases of breaches of the code of conduct by public servants in the last one year. Represented by the bureau’s secretary, Mr. Sani Bako, Tuktur said that CCB had verified “almost all the governors, their deputies, ministers and commissioners in the country”.


8

South West

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Creation of new LGs: Fayemi to engage INEC for referendum ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

E Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Obas, Oba Adamo Babalola (left), with other royal fathers, in a prayer session for Governor Kayode Fayemi (1st right), his wife, Erelu Bisi; Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu and Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Princess Ronke Okusanya, at the second Ekiti State Festival of Culture and Arts Expo, in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.

Ooni forsees danger in distortion of Yoruba history ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, yesterday lamented the colossal damage that the distortion of the history of the Yoruba race was doing to the people’s cultural values. Oba Sijuwade, who said some traditional rulers daily twisted, concocted, reconfigured and rewrote historical antecedents “only for personal egos, selfish reasons and individual satisfaction, charged Yoruba people to put such to order. He said: “Until we can put such people to order, it will be impossible to have lasting peace in Yorubaland.” The monarch spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, during the presentation and launching of the

book; “Ekiti Historical and Royal Compendium.” He lauded the compendium initiative saying: “Books like this will at all times put a stop to the effort of any mischief maker or any do-gooder who would want to tamper with the properly documented historical origin, antecedents and acclaimed pedigree of Ekiti people.” He lauded the compendium, which according to him, aims to “preserve and showcase the rich historical concept of all kingdoms and communities in Ekiti State. The rest of Yorubaland will find the compendium particularly instructive”. Speaking at the event, Chairman of the occasion and presenter of the book, Chief Afe Babalola, urged Oba Sijuwade to maintain peace with brother mon-

archs in the interest of unity. Babalola, legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, said: “Based on the point your imperial majesty just raised concerning distortion of history, I want to advise that Kabiyesi should make peace with all your brother Obas. “This is the only way we can be united and enjoy peace”. He said the compilation process whereby monarchs put down the history of their domains makes the compendium unique, saying: “Giving account of history by the traditional rulers rather than the one written by some authors would reduce the controversies trailing our history. “One thing is valid here; nobody knows the history of parents more than the

children.” Babalola lamented that whittling down of the traditional rulers’ powers by the constitution and the incursion of colonialists into Africa, debased the institution and reduced its relevance. In his remark, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who described the book as a rich collection of history of all the 131towns in the state, said his government’s intention is to establish a modern museum that would conserve the state’s historical documents and artifacts. Fayemi, who described the compendium as “bequeathing an enduring legacy to this and future generations”, said it was a process of redeeming history that had been relegated into the background and almost going into extinction.

N4.7bn fraud: Babalakin gets nod to challenge competence of charges KENNY ODUNUKAN

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hairman, Bi-Courtney Limited, Wale Babalakin, yesterday heaved a sigh of relief as an Ikeja High Court ruled that he could not be formally re-arraigned until the hearing and determination of his application challenging the N4.7 billion fraud charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Justice Lateef LawalAkapo, who made the order, also granted a similar

indulgence to Babalakin’s co-defendant, Mr. Alex Okoh. Babalakin is facing trial alongside Okoh, Stabilini Vision Limited, Bi-Courtney Limited and Renix Nigeria Limited for alleged fraud involving the transfer of N4.7billion on behalf of the convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori. The EFCC alleged that Babalakin and his codefendant fraudulently assisted Ibori to transfer huge sums of money through various parties to Erin Aviation account

in Mauritius for the purchase of a Challenger Jet aircraft. The defendants, who were however billed for a fresh arraignment before the new trial judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, after the former trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo was moved to the Commercial Division of the High Court, resisted the arraignment on the basis of their pending applications challenging the court’s jurisdiction. At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Babalakin’s counsel, Mr.

Wale Akoni (SAN), argued that the arraignment should not be allowed to go on and that his client should be excused from entering the dock until the court decided on the preliminary objection he had filed challenging the competence of the charges. He said one of the prayers in the said application, which was about to be heard by the former trial judge, was that Babalakin’s physical appearance be dispensed with pending the determination of the application.

kiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, yesterday said that the state government would engage the services of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the level of referendum for the proposed creation of new councils in the state. Fayemi said a bill to that effect would soon be forwarded to the state’s House of Assembly to commence the process. The governor, who spoke while receiving the report of the an advisory committee of the Ministry of Justice saddled with the responsibility of giving legal advice to the governor on the issue, said a panel that would superintendent over the guidelines would soon be constituted. Fayemi said: “One issue that resonated strongly during our just concluded tour of all the 132 towns is the creation of LCDAs. We are going to set up a panel that would superintendent over the guidelines to guard against legal encumbranc-

es.

“But we are very happy that the timing is appropriate, I mean, it comes at a time when the constitution is undergoing a review process. As a government, we must listen to the yearnings of our people. But we pray that this process is not subjected to political machination”. Speaking earlier, the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, who chaired the Legal Advisory Committee, said the responsibility of the body, which it had discharged was to advise on whether the state government could create councils and if the answer was in the affirmative, what concrete steps should be taken. Fapohunda, who said sections 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 162 of the 1999 Constitution, empowered the state government to create local council development areas (LCDAs). He listed the conditions and the processes for such creation that the state government must follow as outlined in the constitution.

Court voids NYSC’s power to deny graduates mobilisation K AYODE KETEFE

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Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has declared as unlawful the decision by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to deny Nigerian graduates participation in the compulsory one-year national youth service for not possessing credit passes in O’ Level Mathematics. This was the judgement delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris in a suit instituted by a Nigerian graduate from a foreign intitution, Mr. Terna Tarka, who was allegedly denied mobilisation on the grounds that he does not have a credit pass in Mathematics in his O’ Level certificate examination. In enforcing the policy, the NYSC had allegedly claimed that it was relying on a directive from the Ministry of Education which purportedly halted mobilisation of all graduates without credit passes in Mathematics. After being denied mobilisation on the said

grounds, Tarka filed this action, through his lawyer, Mr. Adekunle Oyesanya, SAN, to contest the policy. The defendants in the suit are Chairman, National Directorate of the National Youth Service Corps and the Minister of Education, as second and third defendants respectively. In his judgement, Justice Idris said nothing in the NYSC’s powers as provided under Sections 2 (i) (b) of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap N84, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 empowers the corps to deny anybody mobilisation for lacking credit pass in Mathematics. The court further said that the policy the NYSC is relying on is not recognised by law. Justice Idris consequently gave an order compelling the NYSC to register the plaintiff in the next batch of the NYSC scheme or in the alternative to exempt the plaintiff from participating in the scheme and issue him with a certificate of exemption.


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Souh West

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

9

Alleged fraud: Court begins trial of Skye Bank January 28 WALE IGBINTADE

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Lagos High Court yesterday fixed January 28, 2013 to begin trial of Skye Bank Plc in a suit filed by an author, Odafe Atogun, over €6,000 Western Union Money Transfer sent to him from Ireland. The trial judge, Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile, adjourned the matter after counsel to parties informed the court that all pending applications had been resolved and that they were ready to begin the trial. The claimant had through his lawyer, Pascal Ememonu, accused the bank of negligence by paying €6,000 meant for him to an impostor. But the bank, in a counter affidavit, contended that the High Court of Lagos State lacked the jurisdiction and competence to adjudicate on the suit being a claim arising from money transfer agreement between one Kevin Fuller and Western Union in the Republic of Ireland. However, the court in its ruling observed that “It is

the breach of the duty of care of the defendant that is in issue not the contract between Kevin Fuller and the defendant.” Besides the court held that all the arguments proffered by the bank were misconceived, saying: “It is a Nigerian person suing a Nigerian bank for actions that occurred in Nigeria.” The claimant had alleged that on November 3, 2008, one Kelvin Fuller, who is the sales Executive of Hudson Killeen, sent €6,000 to him through Western Union Money Transfer from Ireland and to be received in Abuja for the purpose of establishing a printing press in Nigeria. The claimant added that before sending the money, Kelvin Fuller filled a Western Union Money Transfer form which included questions on the city and country where the money was to be collected. He said Kelvin Fuller further disclosed to him the money transfer control number and the test questions and answers which would enable him collect the money from any bank

operating Western Union Money Transfer in Abuja only. However, since Nigerian banks do not offer Western Union Money Transfer to their customers after 4:0pm and the alleged €6,000 was sent at about 5.28pm Nigerian time, the claimant decided not to go to the bank on the day the money was sent.

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the Western Union Money Transfer office in Ireland discovered that the money was paid out at 6.22pm Nigerian time on November 3, 2008 by the defendant’s branch office at 1, Forestry Road Benin City, Nigeria to a wrong person who impersonated as the claimant. He accused the bank of negligence by paying the money to an impostor at

6.22pm which was outside banking hours, a violation of regulatory guidelines by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). But the bank, in its statement of defence, prayed the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction. The bank averred that it was not indebted to the claimant for general or special damages as alleged.

Deji’s demise: Traders protest in Akure against closure of shops HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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raders yesterday stormed the streets of Akure, the Ondo State capital, to protest against the continual closure of the popular Oja Oba market. All markets and shops in the city have been closed for seven days as part of traditional rites to honour the late Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida, who joined his ancestors on December 1, 2013. The traders disrupted vehicular moment for about four hours. They blocked all the major roads with chairs, tables, stones, tires and oth-

THE JOB SHOW

he official unemployment rate is defined as the number of unemployed persons divided by the total labor force (which is the sum of unemployed persons and employed persons). Unemployment is an economic condition in which individuals actively seeking jobs remain un-hired. While this would seem to be straight forward, there are several complications in both measuring unemployment within a country and in comparing unemployment rates from country to country. You may think there are no jobs to be found, but there are. You just haven’t found them yet, probably because you’re looking in the wrong places. Checking job boards doesn’t count as job hunting especially since only 7.5% of jobs are filled through job boards. You have to maximize your search now and subscribe free to The Jobshow. Wherever you are in the world, you can attempt Job tests, chat on one with a counselor and get fresh job details daily. We’ve all been in the situation of looking at someone else’s job and wishing ours was half as interesting. So, to give you some food for thought, we’ve pulled together 10 of the most weird and wonderful jobs from around the world to give you some food for thought. Why haven’t I got a job? Well, that really is the question. And it’s a question that many of us just can’t answer 100%. We’re not all born with a desire to get THAT job and some of us struggle to work out what career or job would suit us. So we’re here to help. The first step to getting a job that’s right for you is to work out your personality

But a few minutes past eight the next day, the claimant allegedly went to Ecobank Plc on Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, to collect the money only to be told that the money transfer control number did not exist or might have been used. The claimant alleged that after about two months of continuous enquiry,

er heavy objects, threatening not to vacate the roads until an alternative work is provided for them. Security agents, however, trooped out to control vehicular movement to avert complete traffic jams in the state capital. The traders, who had stocked their shops in readiness for the Christmas and New Year sales, groaned over the situation, as majority of the market women claimed that the seven-day closure had affected their businesses. Some of the traders said that they had incurred debts from the loans they obtained from financial institutions

as the interest on the loans was already accumulating. A trader, who simply identified herself as Akinsemola, said: “This cannot go on, we are not against the tradition and customs to honour our late king, but we must not, at the same time, suffer. “All economic activities have been halted since last week and many of us obtained loan from SEAP, LAPO (finance house) to stock our shops for Chrisman and New Year sales, but where will the refund of the loans come from when we are not allowed to open our shops for customers.” The traders, however,

opted to erect tents at the Democracy Park across the Oja Oba market in order to serve as an alternative. They urged relevant authorities to allow them to move their wares from their various shops to the Democracy Park for sale. The place has been serving as motor park for shops owners and customers who visited the market in order to facilitate free movement vehicles on the road. The Commissioner for Transport, Nicholas Tofowomo and his Local Government Affairs counterpart, Bamiduro Dada, appealed to the traders to vacate the roads.

UNEMPLOYMENT IS THE WORLD GREATEST ENEMY

type. Then you can decide on a job that will fit you. Are you feeling a bit stuck in a rut? Maybe you’ve never had a job or perhaps you’re looking for something different. Whatever your reason for looking into career options, it’s easy to think people with jobs they love are just lucky. They’re not. They have just worked out what type of person they are and have tailored their career choices to their personalities. For few years, we have followed and monitored the instability of job placement and frustration around employment. Most especially, fresh graduates in all corners of the country. We concluded, creating jobs should be a Public Private Partnership approach. It is believed from our guests that, over 20million Nigerians are jobless and we asked ourselves a simple question. Why can’t Employers and Job seekers connect on a platform, which will enable jobseekers have a fair playing ground to apply for ANY jobs. Welcome to a world of stress free job hurting and staff searching. Rule the world of Employment by listening and watching the Job show. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive free job directory. Job seekers, employees and employer in Africa via The Jobshow. We offer a free listing service to every job agency and companies. We are not recruitment agency, but a MUST for you to be ready at all time to receive job alerts on the show and allow you send your CV/RESUME to the employer directly without our influence. As long as you can listen, watch and access our website, then you can apply and send your CV from anywhere in the world.

Whatever yourr reason for looking for a job – whether you are aiming for promotion in your current company, are seeking a better job opportunity or have just finished your studies – the most important tool you need is a professional CV which showcases your skills, experiences and abilities. Unemployment can only be your enemy if you fail to follow basic principles of employment. It does not hurt or reduces your confidence, but strengthen you more to see how seeking challenges as one mountain that will pass. Get the courage of David and you will combat any goliath! Join me on City105.1FM every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Bimbola Adewole cv@thejobshow.net 01-3428341

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10

South East

CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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t a ke h o l d e r s in Anambra State politics, particularly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and key chairmanship aspirants, yesterday condemned the uncertainty trailing the promise made by the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) to conduct local government election on December 21. State Chairman of the PDP, Prince Ken Emeakayi, Anambra State LP Chairman, Chief Osita Oraegbunam and Mr. C. A.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Opposition parties decry uncertainties surrounding Anambra LG polls C. Nnorom, Onitsha South chairmanship aspirant and host of the chieftains of the 25 political parties that have shown interest to participate in the election, said they won’t tolerate any attempt to postpone the local government poll again. It will be recalled that Sir Sylvester Okonkwo, who currently oversees ANSIEC, had at a meeting held yesterday with chairmen and secretaries of political parties enrolled for the election

in Awka, said the exercise will only hold on December 21, if the commission is able to collect the current voters’ register from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Okonkwo, who had in his speech explained how the local government poll, which was last conducted in the state in 1998 was shifted from the earlier dates of October 5 to December 14 and now to December 21, 2013, said they are waiting for the

officer that went to Abuja to collect the voters’ register to return with it, so that the election could be conducted. “As soon as he comes back, we will swing into action, I want to assure you that we are ready and all the election materials have been procured and they are on ground,” Okonkwo stressed. Reacting to this development, Emeakayi, who said it is not good that local government polls has not been conducted

in the state for almost 15 years now, made a vow to fight anybody that will frustrate the election from been conducted. Nnorom, who said they are no longer happy with what is happening now, urged ANSIEC to ensure that the election is conducted as scheduled. He took ANSIEC to task over the way the election issue is being handled, saying it this was the sixth time the election is being rescheduled. “We are no longer

happy with what is happening and each time there has been promises that local government election will be conducted and we incur a lot of expenses, we are tired of all this postponements.” Oraegbunam had, in his speech, warned against any attempt to make the election fail, advising the commissioner in charge to always carry the party officials along when fixing date for the election.

APC accuses PDP governors of deceit ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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eaders of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) have accused governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of deceit in their dealings with the people. They, however, said that more PDP governors will defect to the APC to enable the party wrest power from the ruling party in 2015. Speaking to journalists in Abakaliki, a chieftain of the party and the interim national Deputy Financial Secretary of the APC, Sunday Jacob Chukwu, said with the defection of the five aggrieved PDP governors to the APC will afford APC the opportunity of bringing about the needed change in the country. Chukwu said the remaining PDP governors, who are desirous of change, cannot afford to remain in the party, saying that they would soon follow the path of the defected governors.

“From what is happening, from tomorrow, you will see what is going to happen at the national level. If other governors say they want to remain in PDP, they are lying. They must follow others to bring about the needed change. “We are still expecting more governors in APC. I believe before the end of this year, some other governors will join APC. “It is only APC that welcomes change in this country by accommodating those who are ready to effect the change. APC constitutes men and women who have their people at heart and who have come together for the future of the country”, he said. He added that the PDP governors left the party because it could no longer provide the needed platform for change even as he said that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was too autocratic to listen to the yearnings of the governors, which warranted their defect from the party.

L-R: Member, Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Don Uzogbado; Coordinator, Advanced Partnership for Good Governance (APAGG), Mr Emeka Mbadugha and bursary beneficiary, Miss Chidinma Ikechukwu, during the disbursement of bursary awards to students of Oji River Local Government Area at Oji, yesterday.

2015: Youths insist on Igbo presidency DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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ifferent Igbo youth organisations from the South-East geopolitical zone of the country, yesterday insisted that the South-East must produce a presidential candidate of Igbo origin in the 2015 general elections. Their insistence was despite efforts by some of their leaders to impose President Goodluck Jona-

Uwazuruike lays foundation of N10m Ojukwu bookshop in Onitsha NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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eader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, on Sunday performed the foundation stone laying ceremony of the movement’s N10 million Ojukwu International Heroes Bookshop in the commercial city of Onit-

sha, Anambra State. The project, which is expected to be completed by next year, was initiated by members of Region Four of MASSOB, led by its Regional Administrator, Chief Arinze Igbani. Addressing the members at the ceremony, Uwazuruike, who was represented at the occasion by MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Comrade Uchenna Madu,

charged them to keep the struggle alive, even in the face of brutality and molestation by agents of the Nigerian government. Uwazuruike, who also expressed optimism that Biafra will be realised in due course, urged Ndigbo in the northern part of the country to return home and concentrate on their means of livelihood at home, now that the roads to the region are still open.

than on them in the election. They also vowed to stop the Igbo political elite’s posturing and penchant for eye-service before President Goodluck Jonathan. They said political gladiators from the zone, who are promoting Jonathan’s candidacy and strategising to collect the president’s campaign vote for the zone are not doing so not out of any good intention or support for the Igbo masses.

The groups said they have concluded plans to convene a summit of world Igbo youths in January to make their position known to all that they are not part of the Igbo elite endorsing President Jonathan. National Coordinator of the proposed summit, Mr. Ndubuisi Igwekani, who briefed journalists in Enugu yesterday said; “Igbo must produce a presidential candidate for the 2015 election under any

of the political platforms, but that does not foreclose discussions or alliances, but we don’t want any candidate imposed on us. We must field a presidential candidate for 2015.” Igwekani, who said they are not campaigning for anybody or political party, said even if Ndigbo will vote for Jonathan, it must be borne out of discussion and not an individual telling the rest of us what to do.

Obi presents another 100 buses to schools CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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nambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday presented another batch of 100 buses to public and mission secondary schools in the state. This new gesture brought to 300, the buses presented to schools in the state out of the 500 purchased by the governor. Obi, who distributed

the buses to the benefiting schools at a ceremony held at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, assured that all public and mission schools in the state would receive the vehicles before the end of his tenure. He said the schools would, in addition, receive generators and computers, as well as be provided with school clinics and other necessary facilities to make the learning environment attractive. The governor had dur-

ing the occasion, presented a cheque of N1 million each to four indigenes of Anambra State from different universities, who graduated with First Class in their various disciplines. He also said the government would assist the benefiting graduates to secure employment in accordance with the policy of his government of rewarding excellence and hard work as a way of encouraging the children of the state to excel in their various fields.


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South South

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Baby factory: Police return siezed property to Port Harcourt doctor SAM OLUWALANA

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ost of the property seized by a team of policemen that raided the home of a Port Harcourt-based medical practitioner, Dr Chinyere Emeka Precious, have been returned to her. The doctor said during a chat with journalists that she was grateful to the police authorities for ordering the policemen, who stormed her home in August under the guise that she was trading on babies, to return the items to her. The doctor is now expecting that all the monies and her jewelries taken away by the policemen would be returned as well. The Chief Medical Director of God’s Gift Clinic and Maternity, Elelenwo, had earlier claimed that on August 3, 2013, that armed policemen stormed her premises at about 2:0am and forcibly gained entry, damaged gates, doors and many other items, after shooting sporadically into the air. She said she and all those in her house were arrested and taken away by the policemen who demanded a bribe of N100 million from her which was later reduced to N50 million. She alleged that she was accused of running a baby factory and kidnapping, but she said there was no evidence backing up the allegations. According to a petition addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, Abubakar Mohammed, three policemen (Godson Amadi and Vitalis Ibe),

led by Livinus Iwu, a Superintendent of Police, detained and tortured the doctor and extorted N25 million from her, while threatening to kill her if she made a fuss. She was forced to issue cheques in her name to the policemen while in detention. The doctor, however, expressed gratitude to the police authority for facilitating the release of her belongings that the policemen seized, claiming that her jewelries, food items, drinks and cash were still with the policemen. Following the petition, the three policemen were arrested for disciplinary action by their superior. Iwu was moved out of Port Harcourt to the North. He and the other two policemen involved in the act are currently undergoing orderly room trial. Despite this development, however, the doctor said she was still pursuing her case against the police as she vowed to pursue the case abuse of her fundamental right against the policemen whom he said painted her in bad light in the eyes of the public. She is claiming N500 million as damages from the Force. The doctor’s two workers, Atanga Fidelis and Daniel Etim, who identified themselves as the office assistant and driver, were also paraded in August by the police for allegedly running a baby factory in Elelenwo. They said that they were tortured by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Rivers State to testify against their employer to enable them (police) establish false charges against her.

A road show organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Niger Delta Anti-Corruption Network to mark the 2013 World Anti-Corruption Day in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Rivers crisis: Ex-Obio/Akpor LG boss ‘holds council hostage’ SAM OLUWALANA

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he crisis rocking the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State deepened yesterday as the new management installed by Governor Chibuike Amaechi accused the former council Chairman, Timothy Nsirim, of disobeying the government’s order which dissolved his administration and asked him to hand over to the Head of Personnel. Nsirim has also been accused of holding the local government hostage. The state government had on November 28, 2013, dissolved the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, a decision already being resisted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Nsirim. But the council’s Head of Personnel Management (HPM), Azubuike Singer, yesterday advised the people as well as business concerns not to honour any directive or instruction

from Nsirim any longer as the council remained dissolved. Members of the dissolved council, including Nsirim, his deputy, Solomon Eke and the 17 councilors, have refused to leave office, claiming that the dissolution was a violation of a judgement delivered by a Port Harcourt High Court, which restrained Governor Amaechi from interfering in matters of the Obio/Akpor council. Addressing journalists yesterday, HPM noted that Nsirim’s refusal to hand the local government’s papers over to him had stalled activities at the council secretariat as workers could not embark on relevant activities. Appealing to the dissolved council to obey the law and rather challenge the government’s decision in court, Singer warned people doing business in the council area to desist from dealing with the dissolved council, even as he warned against entertain-

ing tax collectors as the local government had not sent anybody out to demand for tax and levy payments. He said: “I have come to state here clearly that the people of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, banks and other private business organisations operating in the area should not regard or honour any document signed by Hon Timothy Nsirim and in view of this, I want to advise that all those who are doing business in the area should not honour any individual who has come in the name of revenue collection because I understand that some people are going about impounding people’s vehicles, seizing property in the name of revenue collection. “Please I want to use this opportunity to warn that since the dissolution council has not authorised any person to collect revenue on its behalf. We are, therefore, saying that all those who have not paid their levies

and taxes for the year 2013 should go straight to the designated banks and pay their revenues, not to any individual. “I therefore use this medium again to appeal to all aggrieved persons to go to the court and present their matters and allow the civil service to continue rather than disorganising the civil service. Workers are scattered here and there, they are not allowed to do their works. This is not proper, civil service has to go on, and government’s job must go on. People depend on what they are paid at the end of the month, there are a lot of dependants and it is not proper if salary is not paid. So, I want to advise workers also to go about their normal duties as arrangement to pay their salaries is being made. “You can see that here with me are directors of the council, Nsirim is holding the council hostage and I will advise him to go to court for the resolution of his grievances.”

over the alleged insensitive posture of the firm to the plight of the fishing communities. “Our community is seriously impacted by the oil spill from Agip’s platform on the sea, thus disrupting our fishing activities. “This is why we are calling on Agip to come to the aid of the community with relief materials and compensation. “As far as this spill is concerned, the attitude of

Agip toward the impacted communities remains unacceptable. “I am aware that the fishermen at Mbikiri in TwonBrass, Okpoama, Odioama and Dieama are seriously affected too,” Omubo said. Meanwhile, the spokesman for NAOC, Mr Tajudeen Adigun, could not be reached for comments on the development as several calls and text messages put to his mobile phone were also not answered.

Agip begins oil spill clean-up in Bayelsa

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he Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) yesterday began recovery and clean-up of crude discharged into the Atlantic Ocean from its oil export terminal off Bayelsa coastline on November 27, 2013 Residents along the coastline told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that spill response workers deployed by Agip were seen in the waterways and along

the coastline. They said that workers deployed to the sea used plastic materials called “boom” to keep the floating oil from spreading. Eni, the Italian Energy firm and parent company of the NAOC, had said that it was investigating the cause of the oil discharge as the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had reported the spill to the company.

The oil workers, sited at Odioama, were operating with three boats for the clean-up operation. While one of the boats contained a large plastic container for recovering crude from the water surface, another boat conveyed personnel while the third carried materials. Residents of the affected fishing settlements complained that NAOC officials had not contacted them to know the extent

of damage the spill had caused to their fishing activities. The Chairman of Bayelsa State chapter of the Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Elizabeth Egbe, told NAN that the oil leak had compelled 3,000 fishermen to suspend fishing. Also speaking, the President of the Ewoama community in Brass Local Government Area, Mr. Ebipre Omubo, expressed regret


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North

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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FG changes tactics against Boko Haram insurgency •Introduces diplomacy, aggressive media campaign •Sect ambushes motorists in Borno

INUSA NDAHI AND UBONG UKPONG

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he Presidency yesterday disclosed a change of tactics in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency, having realised that military force alone could not stop the challenge. National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) stated this in a speech he delivered at the Strategic Communications held at the National Defence College (MDC) in Abuja. Dasuki said: “Nigeria realises that military action on its own will not

counter terror if not accompanied by a robust public diplomacy aimed defeating the ideology of hate and building consensus against violent extremism. “That is why strategic communication is an essential part of our counter-terrorism operations. Nigeria will continuously update its strategic communication needs to reflect current challenges occasioned by terrorism. “In all areas of strategic communication programmes, focus will be placed on unity and indivisibility of Nigeria as a nation; democracy and the fundamental freedom of

worship and belief; public safety and good governance and zero tolerance for violent extremism.” The NSA, who was represented by Amb Clement Layiwola Lasehinde, added: “Our strategic communication goals are targeted primarily at our people. We seek to create a nation in constant conversation with itself, employing communication to heal wounds and build trust as we confront violent extremism.” In his opening remark, the Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral Ndidi Patrick Agholor, said the workshop was one of the initiatives organised to broaden and strengthen the existing counter-insur-

gency strategies for effectiveness. Agholor said: “Strategic communication entail all efforts to create, strengthen and preserve conditions favourable for the advancement of national interests, policies, and objectives, by understanding and engaging key audiences through the use of coordinated programmes, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the actions of all instruments of national power. “With the presence of some security experts from the United Kingdom and the United States including Albany Associates of London, it demonstrates that our

partnership is working. We feel this is the beginning of the fulfillment made by Mr. President in November when he was speaking with United State President Barack Obama about collaboration to tackle terrorism”. Declaring the event open, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila, recalled that the idea of the workshop originated from the request made recently by the United Nations for the use of the College’s facility to help develop AFISMA strategic communications plan and was optimistic that the outcome would help Nigeria to overcome the menace of terrorism. Meanwhile, terrorists suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect yesterday ambushed motorists along the troubled Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu Road where they set ablaze

two trucks loaded with oranges and Toyota Hilux vehicles, after abducting the drivers to an unknown destination. The new attack came barely 24 hours after some gunmen suspected to be members of the sect ambushed motorists on the Gwoza-Firgi-Ngurosoya Federal Highway. The incident led to the death of five passengers, including a man that was on his way to Maiduguri to attend his brother’s wedding. Our correspondent gathered that the incident took place few kilometres away from Limanti/Bullabulin Ngarwa communities where series of bloody attacks masterminded by Boko Haram sect took place in recent times. Spokesman of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Col. Mohammed Dole, confirmed the incident, but promised to issue a statement on the matter when the division compiled its report.

JNI sets up Fatwa Committee, 12 others in Kaduna A ZA MSUE KADUNA

T L-R: Former Plateau State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Pauline Tallen; Chief Solomon Lar’s widow, Prof. Mary Lar; her daughters and son-in-law, Dr. Edward Ihejirika, at a memorial lecture in honour of the late former governor of old Plateau State in Abuja, yesterday.

Plateau police parade three suspects for murder •TWO

others for child trafficking

ABRAHAM JAMES JOS

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arely one month after security agents arrested five suspects for allegedly trading in human parts in Jos, the Plateau State Police Command yesterday paraded three suspected murderers (Auwalu Sani, Nafiu Usman and Alhaji Aminu Sale) and two suspected child traffickers - Chundun Labi and Elizabeth Zakari. Auwalu, who confessed to the crime, said he conspired with Usman to sell one nine-year-old Umi Salma to Alhaji Sale, who is yet to pay them N400, 000 for the deal, when he sent the girl, whose body

the police reported was found in an uncompleted building in Fillin Sukuwa area of Jos with the mouth, tongue and private part missing, on an errand. They duo also confessed that they had earlier sold one 12-yearold Hajara Abubakar, who was also killed and dumped in Fillin Sukuwa area to the same Alhaji Sale for N300,000 which they shared N150,000 each. The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Olakpe, however, said that the command was determined to curb crime to its barest minimum, as he also paraded Chundun Labi and Elizabeth Zakari for alleg-

edly deceiving one Mrs. Juliana Zakari, who was delivered of a baby boy through caesarian session, that the governor’s wife was visiting Bokkos Local Government Area to assist all women who had their babies through caesarian session and as a result, they took the one week baby away to an unknown destination. Olakpe said that Chundun Ladi had earlier lied to her husband that she was seven months pregnant; hence she stole the baby to show to her husband that she had put to bed. The suspects were arrested with the baby at Bukuru in Jos South Local Government Area.

The police boss also paraded other suspects - Ponsak Lumzing, Vongbol Bitrus and Nampak Chiroma - for unlawful possession of some AK 47 rifles. The suspects said that they were on a mission to assist their neighbouring village which they claimed was under severe attack by some Fulani herdsmen. One Awalu was paraded for allegedly snatching a Toyota Corolla from a woman at Zarmanganda. Two other suspects, Aminu Umar and Afisu Bashar, were paraded for allegedly breaking into the workshop of one Mohammed Bashir and stole a Honda Halla car.

he Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) yesterday in Kaduna inaugurated the Fatwa Committee saddled with the responsibility of interpreting Islamic jurisprudence and recommending appropriate punishment against offenders. The committee was among the 13 others majority of which are headed by high ranking traditional rulers in the North. Speaking at the JNI headquarters, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, said setting up the committee became necessary as part of major efforts to unite Muslims. Sultan Abubakar said: “The work of Islam should be taken seriously, as our religion has problems and we should fight towards embracing peace and unity among ourselves to achieve what has been before. “I urged the appointees to tighten their belts as they accept this wondrous task to serve in the differ-

ent committees, and make sure that they discharge their duties diligently.” Also speaking, the Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said JNI had gone a long way in propagating the ideals of Islam, unity of the Ummah and protecting the overall interests of Muslims in the country since its inception in 1961. He said: “In order to achieve the enormous objectives of JNI, the organisation carefully studied the happenings locally and globally and formerly formed the standing committees, which are headed by our distinguished emirs, with a representative from each of the states of the federation. “Each of the committees is to collaborate with relevant stakeholders for support or counterpart funding and further articulate a blue print for JNI.” However, JNI Public Relations Officer, Umar Zaria, explained that the Fatwa Committee was set up to look into current Islamic issues that did not have clear interpretations in Islamic jurisprudence.


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SUPER TUESDAY

13

Politics

Intrigue, plots that preceded new NDDC board confirmation

Defecting with a governor is political suicide for any lawmaker –PDP National Secretary

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Single tenure: Ekweremadu stokes fresh controversy FELIX NWANERI writes on the fresh controversies surrounding the plan by the Senate to revisit the single tenure proposal for the president and governors in the constitution amendment exercise.

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repeat of the 2007 scenario when an attempt to amend the country’s constitution failed, following the insertion of the controversial ‘Third Term’ clause is in the offing, given the condemnations that have trailed the recent revelation by the Deputy President of the Senate and Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Senator Ike Ekweremadu that the National Assembly may revisit the single term proposal. Ekweremadu had, while briefing journalist on the progress of work on the constitution amendment exercise in Lagos, penultimate weekend, reiterated the need to adopt the single term option for elected executives, saying it remains the nation’s viable solution to perennial succession crisis. This is not the first time the tenure issue will surface in the present political dispensation. The idea, it would be recalled, was first muted by President Jonathan in 2011. The agenda was then brought to the notice of Nigerians by the media, but was later confirmed by the President through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati. He then explained that his clamour for a single tenure was borne out of patriotic zeal as well as the fact that the two terms provided for in the 1999 Constitution has not guaranteed stability in the polity and institutionalisation of the country’s democracy. He further noted that besides inter and intra party squabbles which affect the growth of political parties in the country, acrimony which usually follows the issue of election and re-election at federal and state levels overheats the polity. These, he maintained, made him to conclude that a single tenure would help the executive concentrate on governance and development as well as cut cost of election. About N130 billion was spent in the 2011 elections. The President also assured then that he fervently believed that adopting the single tenure will actualise his Transformation Agenda, adding that the interest and wellbeing of Nigeria was more than the ambition of an individual.

Jonathan

Ekweremadu

I THINK THE MISTAKE WE MADE IN OUR RECOMMENDATIONS WAS WHEN WE SAID THAT THE INCUMBENTS WOULD NOT BENEFIT FROM IT;

I THINK THERE

WAS SOME KIND OF COALITION OF FORCES TO DEFEAT IT Mantu

TOP STORY Abati’s words: “Nothing can be more untrue. The energy that has been devoted to speculations on the content of the likely bill is akin to an attempt to force the abortion of a non-existent pregnancy. The details of the bill will be clear in terms of its provisions when it is forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration. The President makes it clear that his push for a single tenure for the office of the president and that of the governors is not borne out of any personal interest. “The proposed amendment will not have anything to do with him as a person; what he owes Nigerians is good governance, and he is singularly committed to this. Besides,

it is trite law that the envisaged amendment cannot have a retroactive effect. This means that whatever single-term tenure that is enacted into law by the National Assembly will take effect from 2015.” Despite the explanations and assurance, the opposition political parties, however rebuffed the proposal, insisting that it was self-serving and secondary compared to the myriad of problems facing the country at that time.

Re-emergence tenure elongation debacle At a time when many had thought the tenure debate had been rested, Ekweremadu, in resuscitating it, said it was sad that the nation didn’t take the opportunity at the time the issue came up, adding that other countries had used the same method to stabilise their democracies. His words: “When the matter came up at the level of our committee, we were

mindful of the political atmosphere. We also tried to draw inspiration from what happened in other jurisdictions, especially within the Latin America in the 1970s. “They had the kind of circumstances we now find ourselves in, where the transition from one president to another was a major issue and was causing all sorts of crises in their region. So, they decided to amend their constitution at that time to create single term in many of those countries in order to stabilize their democracy. And it was for a transition period. Now, most of them are amending their constitution to go back to two terms, after they had stabilised the system. “So, we felt it was something we could recommend to our country. And if you look at what is going on now, all the problems we are having in Nigeria, both the nPDP, APC and all that; they are all issues of succession. And I believe that the matter is something that could be revisited.” Ekweremadu, however admitted that the Senate Committee on Constitution Review might have made a mistake in expecting that the incumbents would willingly sacrifice their second term ambitions to enable the idea of a single term to succeed. “I think the mistake we made in our recommendations was when we said that the incumbents would not benefit from it; I think there was some kind of coalition of forces to defeat it,” he said, adding that a single term could work “if the players, the stakeholders in the polity are able to come together and believe strongly as I do that it is one way to deal with the situation, it could be a win-win situation for everybody.” He further said: “Now everybody has been elected for four years. So, let everybody complete the four-year tenure for which he or she has been elected. Then we can, through the Doctrine of Necessity do some kind of a transition of two years. In which case, those who are now the present occupants like the President and the governors will now do maybe another two years that will end in 2017. “Some of these people who are fighting the President, I hear that their complaint is that if the President gets a second term when they are gone, that he would start chasing them. So, if we all agree that will be a way to solve the problem, after the two years, both the President and these other governors would now exit. So, the fear will not be there and we believe that it will bring down the temperature of politics. “We do not have much problem with legislative elections. We can go ahead to hold CONTINUED ON PAGE 41


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Politics

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Defecting with a governor is political suicide for any His ascension into office has been controversial, yet Prof. Wale Oladipo, the National Secretary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has continued to trudge on. In this interview with OBIORA IFOH, Oladipo believes that the ruling party may be going through a difficult phase, as a result of the myriad crises confronting it from different angles, but will surely come out stronger. He also warned the five governors that recently defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, not to count their chickens yet as their popularity in their various states is yet to be tested. Excerpts: The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is undergoing a very challenging time now with the defection of five of its governors to the opposition All progressives Congress, APC, and the party perhaps is at its most vulnerable state since its creation. How secure is the future for PDP? Well, I don’t agree that we are at our most vulnerable in our history. If you recalled in 2003, a sitting vice-president and about 19 governors of the party, connived and plotted against the reelection bid of the then president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The PDP managed it and the president was re-elected massively by Nigerians. The problem with politicians is that we always over-rate ourselves. The fact that you are a state governor does not mean that you control that state. That is the truth. In the 2003 elections between Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Baba Bisi Akande, the Alliance for Democracy, AD, and its leaders were so sure that they were just coasting home like that, but to their surprise, the people and not the politicians, had already deserted them and the most important factor is the ordinary people who vote, ordinary electors, they are the important segment of any political system. This President (Goodluck Jonathan) is doing a wonderful job; we all know that he is transforming this country, if he is interested in running again, even if he is not interested, I know that most Nigerians will clamour for him to continue. That is what they are saying loud and clear. This President will be re-elected, I can assure you. And if you look at demographics and the voting pattern of the past, unfortunately, the last presidential election cut this country into two. Recall it; you can draw the electoral map, those who have confirmed that they have left now, what did they contribute to the election in 2011? Almost nothing, except Rivers State and Rivers State did not vote for President Goodluck Jonathan because of Rotimi Amaechi. Rivers State voted for President Jonathan in 2011 because they believed in Jonathan, that is the proof. Rivers State will always vote for Jonathan, you can be sure of this. You

need to have been there to see the crowd that jubilated over the exit of Amaechi, which confirms to you that President Jonathan will win again and win very well, irrespective of whether someone wants to go and come again. The whole thing is becoming comic and funny; I wondered why some politicians are without shame. Why you will go and start prostrating for everybody at a gathering, embracing that gathering, now that you realize that nobody is moving with you in your state, you now start singing another thing. That is something I cannot do, for Christ’s sake, this is not a question of arrogance, I am a professor, and I respect myself. If I say I am done with you, I am done with you. But for pecuniary gains, you go to them in the afternoon, in the evening you find out that nobody is going with you because you did not consult your constituency, you now start clamouring you want to be in two places at the same time. With the defection of five of your governors and most federal lawmakers, it appears the PDP is the new minority in the National Assembly. How do you react to that? First, that is not the truth and by the time people start to be counted, you will see that it is not true. Secondly, if you look at the National Assembly, it is ferociously independent, even when our party gave a directive, that a certain person should be the speaker, remember that it was another person that emerged as a speaker, not because of political partisan considerations, but because of cultural and other considerations. The fact that a governor is leaving a place will not make senators in his state to leave or to follow him. What if the governor is the potential rival of that senator in 2015? All these things will come into play and remember, some of them are governors whose terms are ending. Most of them will be on their way home, I am sorry to say. The rest, most of them are first term people and they know that for them to win election in their states, they need to be in PDP. The fact that someone is completing his own two terms and wants to go, possibly to political oblivion, does not mean that others should commit political suicide and I can assure you that the senators and members of the House of Representatives are men and women with good brains and sound political judgement, who would not dare commit political suicide. I can assure you, they will look before they leap and we will retain the numbers. The House of Representatives and the Senate are very independent, they don’t depend on whether you are PDP or APC, they work together and we will encourage them to continue to work together for the good of this country, irrespective of whether someone is decamping in the afternoon and coming back in the night. Your party has threatened to declare the seats of any lawmaker who crosscarpets vacant. Is the party still bent on doing that? Well, one, why don’t you let us cross the bridge when we get there? Two, our

Oladipo

THE FACT THAT SOMEONE IS COMPLETING HIS OWN TWO TERMS AND WANTS TO GO, POSSIBLY TO

POLITICAL OBLIVION, DOES NOT MEAN THAT OTHERS SHOULD COMMIT POLITICAL SUICIDE party has very well laid down rules and regulations and we have organs that deal with such. Such organs will have to address that when we get there, we are not there yet. Given the controversies that trailed your emergence as the national secretary, how prepared are you for the job? I think I should even be asking you that. The greatest problem we had, with all humility before I came, was in two fold. One, from the beginning, the post

of the national secretary was given to the South-West, to address imbalances in the polity, to bring the South-West into the fold. Unfortunately few people took a decision of who to occupy that position on behalf of the South-West. We SouthWesterners are not comfortable with a situation where we are not winning elections for the PDP. Unfortunately some of our leaders don’t care, as long as the Federal Government belongs to PDP, they are ready to come to Abuja and collect. But some of us who have honour felt that, that is a shameful thing to do, that if you don’t sow, you should not reap. We decided to sow, sowing means that we should present people who represent something at home. People who will allow the PDP to win in the South-West, that is the problem. Some people came here, they are just here, they don’t have connection with home, and they just have connection with a few people who believe that once they are here that their bread is buttered. The court decided otherwise that this position must be given to the SouthWest, and the South-West must decide who occupies it, that is the crux of the matter. And the South-West did exactly that. They even went to the extent of taking their decision to court which


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Politics

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

lawmaker –PDP National Secretary South-West is that we should come here and work in harmony with other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, which is exactly what we are doing. The second assignment given to me by the South-West was that the interest of Mr. President, should be protected by this office, and I promise you, I will do that till the end, because it is a sacred mission given to me by all the leaders and members of the PDP in the SouthWest. I took this position on honour. One, I will work harmoniously with the national chairman and other members of the National Working Committee; I will defend the interest of Mr. President. All these noise within our party is a product of absolute disloyalty. I remain loyal to the President, I remain loyal to the national chairman, I remain loyal to other members of the National Working Committee and I remained loyal to the promise I made to the South-West that I will defend their interest. Our interest is in two fold, one, we must win next year’s elections in Ekiti and Osun states and we must win the presidential election in 2015 for Mr. President. We are determined and that is the standard I want people to use to judge my performance in this office. Is there conflict between me and the national chairman or other members of the National Working Committee, am I defending the interest of Mr. President as defined to me by the South-West? Those are the measurements I want people to adopt in assessing my performance in this office.

was sanctioned by the court, that affirmation by the court has never been appealed by anybody. You have 30 days to appeal such a decision, it was never appealed. Now there is a judgement that said that the removal of somebody was not okay. That court decision has been appealed at the Supreme Court and like the so-called new PDP, like they said, you know when the court decided that they should stop using the name, they appealed and what happened when they appealed, the status quo remained. Now that the decision that somebody was not regularly removed has been appealed, what should happen, the status quo also should remain. So, there is no controversy anywhere, people should stop confusing Nigerians. I am not a lawyer, but we all have brains and they are the people themselves who said that since they appealed, they will continue to be new PDP. If others now appealed what is favourable to you, shouldn’t they continue to enjoy the benefit of that appeal? It is as simple as that. As for how prepared I am, I am very well prepared. The important thing is for you to know your mission. The problem here before is that people are confusing their mission with their personal intention. The mission given to us by the

How hopeful are you that the PDP will overcome its crisis? There will always be crisis in political parties, it is our own that you are seeing now, wait, just wait, at least we will overcome our own very soon. God is already separating the good from the bad. That is the truth. Those who are selfish, who believe only in themselves, who will do anything, who will prostrate for the enemy in the afternoon and in the night start making calls and begging to be taken back. So, God is already doing the separation, what are we talking about? And the South-West is determined and focused; we will start mega rallies anytime from now in the South-West in support of Dr. Bamanga Tukur, in support

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE CRISIS IN POLITICAL

PARTIES, IT IS OUR OWN THAT YOU ARE SEEING

NOW, WAIT, JUST WAIT, AT LEAST WE WILL OVERCOME OUR OWN VERY SOON. GOD IS

ALREADY SEPARATING THE GOOD FROM THE BAD. THAT IS THE TRUTH

of President Jonathan and in support of the PDP. Those who are not ready to work, who only want to sit here and reap where they did not sow, who want to give positions to their families and not the teeming masses who are working for this party on the field, will surely be identified and put in their proper place. In any case you are aware that the party has made some pronouncements on this crisis, the party has taken some farreaching decisions. So I wouldn’t want to comment on people who are no longer members of our party or those who are suspended. If you are not a member of a party, I don’t think you can occupy any position in that party. If a position is given to a geo-political zone and the geopolitical zone has duly nominated somebody, that person should continue to enjoy the benefit of that office. So, there is no controversy in this office right now, none at all. Based on your optimism, how prepared is the South-West PDP for the task ahead of it, given the wrangling in some of the state chapters of the party in the zone? I will take the case of Ekiti State, you were here, I just received one of the aspirants for governorship there. Before him, I have received about seven to eight others from the same state. You see, particularly the Yorubas, they don’t mind losing but they want to lose in a fair game. Fairness is the bedrock of our culture. Once you are seen to be fair to people, people are ready to go along with you. There may be wrangling now, but I can assure you that the good people of Ekiti State, the Fountain of Knowledge, they are tired of the comedy that is going on in Ekiti right now, they are tired of how their commonwealth is being looted and taken to Lagos, they are prepared for change. All we need to do and we are going to do it, is to provide a level playing field for all our aspirants. Conduct clean primaries, whoever wins, the party will back such a person and we will make sure that we win. The same thing is happening in Osun State, as I speak with you, arrangement is being made for a mega rally in Osun. By the special grace of God, I am going to represent the national chairman at that rally, where far-reaching decisions will be taken on disloyal members. We now know them; at least they showed their faces in the afternoon even though they are trying to hide in the night. We saw them prostrating everywhere for a pot of porridge that may never come. Luckily, we have a very wonderful state chairman in that place, very active young man that is doing very well and the members of his state working committee. We are going to back them up and I am assuring you that our people are tired of these impostors, who came not through elections. Remember that the two gentlemen ruling and lording it over the people of Ekiti and Osun states, they never won any election, they were pronounced and put there by the court. It was in response to that, that the electoral law was modified so that no court again can declare somebody as a governor of a state, the best the court can do is to order a re-run election.

15

INEC defends register used in Anambra guber election OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

A

mid raging controversy over the conduct of last month’s gubernatorial election in Anambra State, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega has defended the integrity of the voters’ register used in the election. Jega, who spoke yesterday in Abuja at the 4th Quarterly Meeting with Political Parties, dismissed criticisms of the register, saying the commission did its best to ensure its fidelity. He said despite “partisan” doubts about the credibility of the register and calls by some politicians for the cancellation of the results of the polls; the register has the requisite integrity and can compare favourably with anyone on the continent. Jega was however quick to add that the register that was used in the election was not exactly perfect but that it is not as bad as some politicians who lost the election have “strenuously” made it to look. His words: “As we are all aware, complaints were made about the register of voters in the aftermath of the Anambra governorship election, with at least one political party/candidate alleging that the register was lacking in integrity and calling for the cancellation of the election essentially on account of this. “Let me use this opportunity to categorically affirm that while our register of voters is not perfect, it has requisite integrity and it compares favourably with any register of voters on our continent. It is certainly not as bad as some are strenuously trying to make it appear.” He said nonetheless, INEC has to keep on improving upon it and that it plans to keep doing so through the continuous voters’ registration processes. He said the registration process provides an opportunity for registering all those who have become 18 years old since the last registration and it also provides an opportunity for all those with missing essential biometric details on the electronic register to be recaptured. The meeting also briefed political parties on some of INEC’s planned activities in the coming year, especially its preparations for the continuous registration of voters nationwide, to update the register of voters preparatory to the 2015 general elections. The All Progressives Congress APC had alleged that the commission used a different voters’ register for the governorship election in Anambra State, claiming that the register was completely different from the ones it gave to the party before the poll. “We don’t have the voters’ register used for the election. We saw the first voters’ register and the second one, but the third one, which was used for the election, was not given to us. It was an orchestrated plan to disfranchise the people of Anambra State,” said Bisi Akande, a former governor and the interim National Chairman of the APC.


16

Politics

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The N212bn Lekki deep seaport

ASO ROCK FILE

W

with

Rotimi FADEYI

When three Nigerian scholars were honoured by FG

L

ast Thursday was a day of honour and glory for three Nigerian scholars who were awarded the Nigerian National Order of Merit, NNOM, for their outstanding contributions in the areas of science, humanities and engineering. The scholars, Professors Seth Sunday Ajayi, Francis Abiola Irele and Hilary Inyang Inyang were full of joy as they received the award at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa In addition to the award, each of them would receive a cash prize of N10 million. Ajayi received the award in the science category, Irele in humanities while the award in the engineering/technology category went to Inyang. Although President Goodluck Jonathan was out of the country during the investiture ceremony, he was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the event which was attended by families and friends of the recipients. Jonathan in the address read by Sambo stressed that the survival and collective future of the country depend on the national and global development efforts in science, technology, economics and other fields of endeavour. The President noted that the award was one of the most prestigious awards and the highest bestowed on Nigerian citizens at home and in the Diaspora for creative, intellectual and academic contributions of national and global significance. He stated that since it was established 34 years ago, only 70 Nigerians have been honoured with the award, which he said demonstrated the quality of the merit driven evaluation procedure applied in the selection of awardees. According to him, the three recipients of the award have not only made contributions as a matter of their callings but have also individually recorded excellence in their different fields of endeavour. He urged the recipients to consolidate on their service to the political, economic and strategic development of the nation. While enjoining all Nigerians, especially the

youths to emulate the good examples of the recipients and rededicate themselves to excellence, Jonathan stressed that it was only through hard work that the nation can progress on the path of becoming one of the leading nations of the world. Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian National Merit Award, NNMA, Professor Oluwafeyisola Adegoke, noted that the three scholars deserved the award as they have distinguished themselves nationally and globally in their chosen fields. He urged them to continue to be beacon of promise and hope for the younger generations of budding researchers and other Nigerians.

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1

Former Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule 2 Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih 3 United States Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield 4 Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Foaud Abdulaziz Rajeh 5 Professor Seth Sunday Ajayi, 6 Professor Francis Abiola Irele 7 Professor Hilary Inyang Inyang 8 Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio 9 Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema 10 Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan 11 Commander, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), General David M. Rodriguez 12 United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle

Nocturnal meeting with aggrieved PDP governors

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t was another round of nocturnal meeting at the Presidential Villa with two of the seven aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who are yet to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC. The two governors, Aliyu Babangida (Niger) and Sule Lamido (Jigawa) have said that they are staying put in the PDP to continue discussions with the party leadership to find lasting a solution to their grievances, rather than go with their colleagues to another political party. The other five aggrieved governors who had defected to the APC were Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto). President Goodluck Jonathan met with Aliyu and Lamido with other key leaders

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of the party including Vice President Namadi Sambo and Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Chief Tony Anenih in attendance Anenih later told journalists after the meeting that discussions would continue with the two aggrieved governors to ensure amicable resolution of the contentious issues. Earlier before the meeting of the President with the two aggrieved governors, there was a meeting of PDP governors with Vice President Namadi Sambo and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim at another venue inside the Presidential Villa. Although details of the meeting were not disclosed, the issue of defection of the five PDP governors to the APC was top on the agenda.

hen the construction of the Lekki deep seaport in Lagos estimated to cost $1.35 million (about N212 billion) is completed in the next four years, it would be Nigeria’s first deep seaport since independence and would also serve to decongest the Apapa Port. The Federal Executive Council, FEC, wrapped up the contract for the construction and development of the port at its weekly meeting last week at the Presidential Villa. The project, expected to increase commercial activities, would be executed through a Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement. The contract was awarded in favour of Messrs Lekki Ports LFTZ Enterprise, under the concession agreement dated April 21, 2011 The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, while speaking on the specific details of the contract, said $800 million out of the project cost would be funded through debt financing while the balance of $554.5 million would be contributed by equity. Umar said the equities in the deep sea-

port project would make the Federal Government to contribute 20 per cent while 18.5 per cent would be contributed by the Lagos State government and 61.85 per cent would come from the private sector. Umar said the seaport would be concessioned to the private firm for 45 years, after which it would automatically revert to the Federal Government at the end of the concession period. He said: “The economic benefits of the port to the country need not to be over emphasised. Not less than $9.3 billionn will accrue to Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, made up of $2.6 billion from marine services and royalties and then $6.7 billion share of profits from the investments. “Other benefits include the ripple effects of operation of the port from Custom charges and other economic benefits, which will not be less than $379 billion over the period of 45 years. “The port will create no less than 162,000 jobs and will help in facilitating the decongestion of existing ports, particularly in Lagos and indeed safe our road infrastructure.”

United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle; Commander, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), General David Rodriguez; Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, Linda ThomasGreenfield and Vice President Namadi Sambo during a meeting at the State House.

Before 189 Nigerians die in Saudi prisons

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he Saudi Arabian authorities are now considering exchange of prisoners with the Nigerian government considering the fact that a total of 189 Nigerians are currently in prisons in the holy land. Many Muslim faithful in Nigeria travel to Saudi Arabia on annual pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina to perform religious rites. Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Foaud Abdulaziz Rajeh, who was at the Presidential Villa last week, explained that although there are over 1.7 million Nigerians in Saudi Arabia, the country still have record of 189 of them who are in jail. The ambassador who was on a courtesy visit to Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the Saudi Arabian government was looking forward towards information sharing, training and exchange of prisoners. It was not only the gloomy picture of Nigerians in Saudi Arabian jails, the ambassador also brought a cheering report, as he disclosed that Nigerian businessmen particularly from Kogi and Sokoto states have attracted Saudi investors to engage in business relationship of up to $3 billion in areas related to sugar and agriculture. According to him, 95 per cent of Nigerians in Saudi Arabia have also been granted citizenship and have enjoyed good relationship with other citizens.

Rajeh added that on his assumption of office as ambassador in Nigeria, he increased scholarship offered to Nigerians for higher education and bachelors’ degrees in Islamic Studies and Arabic from 220 to 750, saying that the scholarships also cover other courses including medicine, engineering and agriculture. In his remarks, Sambo called for increased bilateral ties between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia as both countries have had long-standing diplomatic ties, stressing the need for the establishment of a bi-national commission by the two countries, while also expressing Nigeria’s concern over the deportation of some of her citizens On the prisons exchange request, Sambo noted the existence of the framework and that Ministries Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of government would follow up to ensure its actualization The Vice President also said terrorism was a global phenomenon and that countries should put their acts together to cooperate in order to arrest the menace. He expressed his support to the request by the Saudi authorities for greater cooperation in socio-economic and security situations and appreciated the support of the Islamic Development Bank, IDB, to Nigeria.

MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-44


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Views

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

17

Will Prof. Julius Ihonvbere run? NASAMU JACOBSON

I

knew him in 2005 when I accompanied then Etsako Central Council boss, Barrister Pascal Ugbome, to his Asokoro District, Abuja, residence. He was President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Special Adviser on Project Monitoring and Evaluation. That first meeting, made a lasting impression as he came across as simple, humble, intelligent, accommodating and too friendly for a man of his status. I thought it was uncommon to find such a complete gentleman as Professor Julius Ihonvbere among the very high in our society. A couple of years later, I was to become an admirer and supporter when he ventured into the murky waters of politics in the quest for the governorship of Edo State. For me, Professor Ihonvbere was a fit and proper person to occupy the highest political office in the state judging from his antecedents. He had been invited by Obasanjo from the Ford Foundation, New York, USA, to bring new impetus to his government. With a war chest no other aspirant could put together, Ihonvbere prosecuted his ambition with the full support and backing of the people. He was, however, to receive his ‘baptism of fire’ in the hands of the rulers when, on eve of the 2006 gubernatorial primaries, another candidate was handpicked by his party leaders leaving him in the lurch. That primary was a sham.

Undaunted, Professor Ihonvbere ingratiated himself into the hearts of the people through his concern for the old, young, male, female, market women, youths and farmers. Most people had thought the governorship ticket that eluded him would be taken for granted in 2012. It was not to be. And the man changed platform. As it is usually said, all that is now history. When Comrade Adams Oshiomhole appointed Prof. Julius Ihonvbere as Secretary to the State Government in November 2013, many at home and abroad hailed the governor for making the right choice. Those who knew Ihonvbere said he would bring his vast wealth of experience as an intellectual and leader to bear on the job. I do not think he has disappointed. The social media seem to be engaged in an agenda of promoting the perceived political interest of Prof. Ihonvbere towards 2015. A facebook post last week asked users’ comments on: ‘’Prof. Julius Ihonvbere for Senate 2015’’. The various comments that followed are as diverse as the backgrounds of the posters and reflect the new pastime for many whose only need and use of the social media is venting their frustrations on other users. Majority of the comments were positive remarks on the integrity of Julius Ihonvbere. My comment was simply that ‘’I will comment in the newspapers’’. Recently, I came across a book which I had received from Prof. Julius Ihonvbere at our first meeting in his Abuja residence

IF IHONVBERE WISHES TO REPRESENT EDO NORTH IN THE SENATE IN 2015, I AM CERTAIN HE WILL GARNER ENOUGH VOTES

TO TAKE HIM THERE. BUT

?

WILL HE RUN

in 2005 but was unable to find the time to read until now. The book, titled, “The best is yet to come: Portrait of a Scholar-Activist’’, is edited by Kayode Fayemi (Governor of Ekiti State) and Pita Agbese and contains essays in honour of Ihonvbere. Many of them eulogise his scholarship and scholarly achievements not only at the Universities of Ife and Port Harcourt but also at his alma mater, University of Toronto, Canada and in the USA, especially at the Ford Foundation. By far, the one that interests me most is the piece written by Dr. Kayode Fayemi who captured very eloquently the activist in Prof. Ihonvbere, a quality required for successful navigation and survival in politics. Fayemi said: “Julius Ihonvbere is a born leader of people. In his quest to improve the human condition, his life has been nothing but a dedication to people of all races, genders, classes, creeds and religions, and the defence of humanity and the common good.’’ For Fayemi, not many of us in Nigeria

in the era of military dictatorship when the late Maximum Ruler reigned would have known the role Ihonvbere and Fayemi played in the fight to get late Gen. Sani Abacha to jettison his transmutation ambition. These two academics in collaboration with a few others, organised pro-democracy movement abroad, set up and ran “Radio Freedom” that was later renamed “Radio Kudirat” wife of the winner of the June 1993 presidential election, Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola. While working at the Ford Foundation, Ihonvbere facilitated access to grants by pro-democracy groups in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. Having fought a greater part of his life for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria, can it be said that Prof. Julius Ihonvbere achieved his full potential in his quest for a better life for our people through the appointments he has held? Is it enough that he has acted as ‘’conductor’’ rather than ‘’driver’’ of the bus load of democracy dividends for our people? I submit that unless we elect Ihonvbere to a high position where he has representative powers to exercise on our behalf, we will not have done justice to him for the great risks he took in furtherance of the democracy we are enjoying today. If Ihonvbere wishes to represent Edo North in the Senate in 2015, I am certain he will garner enough votes to take him there. But will he run? Nasamu Jacobson, a commentator and analyst wrote from Benin City.

A widow and the point we miss BLESSING YAKUBU

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hose who accuse Governor Adams Oshiomhole, of dehumanising and traumatising the now famed Benin widow are strident in their view that the she did not deserve to be so upbraided. They point to the fact of the widow’s profuse supplications are enough atonement to have melted the Comrade’s heart, even if made of iron and steel. Some have also expressed indignation at Oshiomhole’s words that clearly suggest they would give vent to their anger by throwing pebbles at him if ever they come in physical contact. There is a point in all of this as Comrade Oshiomhole, a human being, infallible as we all are, admitted he failed to reign in his anger at a law-breaker caught in the act. But what would his accusers have wished he did? Is it that he failed to observe the injunction of Jesus Christ who told the woman accused of adultery in the Bible ‘’Go and sin no more’’? It is heart-warming that the governor has since taken steps to remedy the damage his upbraid of Mrs. Joy Ifije, may have caused, and also the slur on his image as a humane, caring administrator presiding over the lives and livelihood of all of us, including widows and widowers. Profuse apologies have been offered and genuinely accepted in a manner that should humble Oshiomhole’s critics, including those who have attempted to gain political mileage from a mere human foible. Suddenly, Governor Oshiomhole has thrown up the is-

sue of widows and widowhood, awakening some political hawks from a slumber they and their torn-umbrella platform may not recover from easily. The controversy the incident has generated also clearly shows that we, the people, are beginning to imbibe Oshiomhole’s often restated idea that as masters of the servants elected into public office, we owe a duty to ourselves to interrogate those in power. He had said several times that we must speak to power in a manner that would not only keep those in office reminded that we are the masters but also tell them the way we will like to be governed. The case of the widow is a good example of how the people live particularly in Edo State. We are unarguably a lawless people who like to be handled with iron fists. Those who reside in Benin City know that it will take only a tough, no nonsense governor to change the place as well as attitudes towards orderliness and cleanliness for the better. We require an unrelenting, hard and uncompromising implementation of laws, rules and regulations. All genuine efforts by the government to make the state better will come to nothing if the citizens do not contribute their quota to the sustenance of such efforts. Examples will suffice here. Traffic lights have been erected at intersections/ junctions on major streets in Benin City. How many drivers, especially those driving commercial buses, obey them to make for order on our roads? It is only in Benin that taxis and buses stop to pick and drop passengers on middle of the road and every other per-

THE CASE OF THE WIDOW IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW THE PEOPLE LIVE PARTICULARLY IN

EDO STATE. WE ARE

UNARGUABLY A LAWLESS PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO BE HANDLED WITH IRON FISTS.

son must stop and move at their pleasure. Street lights and other beautification projects have been destroyed or vandalised. Pedestrian walk ways on Mission Road, Oba Market Road and New Benin have become market stalls, while pedestrians have been pushed onto the roads to compete with vehicles. Monthly environmental sanitation exercises on last Saturdays of every month are rarely observed as we think the exercise is a waste of time towards keeping our surroundings clean. But when some of the state’s citizens’ travel to other state capitals they come back with tales of how clean they are and how orderly traffic flows. It takes human efforts to make laws work. In Edo State, it would appear we make deliberate effort to circumvent traffic and environmental laws. It was in the knowledge of our being adverse to change that brought Governor Oshiomhole to the streets leading to the encounter with the widow. Have we asked why the governor has to personally monitor the streets

to ensure we comply with rules and regulations? That is the point we miss. Two critical agencies, taskforce on War against Indiscipline (WAI) and Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) created by this administration must be alive to their responsibilities, not just in the enforcement of relevant laws but also in public education and enlightenment. Their staff should be properly trained as many of them, do not even know the laws and regulations they are meant to enforce. The governor does not have to be on the streets to monitor compliance. Relevant ministerial, departmental or agency heads have a responsibility to ensure that policies, regulations and laws relevant to their ministries, departments and agencies are implemented. The case of the widow, rather than dampen the enthusiasm of Comrade Oshiomhole and his team to do what is right without fear or favour, should spur them to intensify efforts at cleaning up our state capital. The case of Mrs. Joy Ifije’s has served as enough enlightenment and education to the people. It should be a case of no retreat, no surrender. Blessing Yakubu, a public affairs commentator, writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa 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.


18

Editorial

Tuesday December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM

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ACTING MD/CEO

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

N

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Jonathan’s administration and human rights

igeria will today join the rest of the world to mark Human Rights Day. The United Nations General Assembly, in 1950, proclaimed December 10 of every year as Human Rights Day to draw global attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. The UDHR itself is a declaration adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. In Nigeria, however, despite official claims to the contrary, there are tell-tale signs that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has not performed satisfactorily in the sphere of respect for human rights; even when the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a government agency that ought to champion the protection of the rights of Nigerians, is in place. The United States’ ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices’, 2012, for example, recently pinpointed pervasive impunity and corruption in the government of President Jonathan. “Impunity remained widespread at all levels of government”, a portion of the re-

port stated. It accused the nation’s security services of perpetrating killings, beatings, arbitrary detention, and destruction of property. “During the year, Joint Task Forces (JTFs), composed of elements of the military, police and other security services, conducted raids on militant groups and criminal suspects in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto and Yobe states, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries to alleged criminals, militants, and civilians”, the report said. It also recognised killings and bombings by the Boko Haram sect, kidnappings and other attacks throughout the country, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and widespread destruction of property as some of the most serious human rights problems in Nigeria in 2012. President Jonathan, however, in an interview with newsmen in Paris, France, shortly before his departure to Nigeria at the end of a two-day summit on peace and security in Africa, recently, said reports of human rights abuses by the JTF were over-blown by the media and that most of the reported torture and killings were carried out by the Boko Haram group and not the military. “The issue of human rights abuses is blown out of proportion. Whenever they have major encounter, Boko Haram destroy at will, they kill at will, some of these

December 10, 1948 The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws.

THE JONATHAN

GOVERNMENT SHOULD REFLECT ON THE FOREGOING, PARTICULARLY ON A DAY LIKE THIS, AND MAKE AMENDS destructions that are being ascribed to the Nigerian Army are actually by the Boko Haram sect’’, he said But the Boko Haram insurgence and military presence in parts of the North and elsewhere aside, civil society groups, particularly the Kaduna-based ‘Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria’ led by Shehu Sani, have summarised worsening human rights violations under the Jonathan administration to include the cruel use of state security apparatus to intimidate striking university teachers and brutally suppress their right to protest, as was evident in the University of Abuja and Bayero University, Kano; security attack on newly employed school teachers in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital; repressive crackdown on the leadership of the G7 governors, thus denying them their right to freedom of assembly, as well as persistent threats to demolish offices and residence used for their gatherings; withdrawal of security details from entitled

ON THIS DAY December 10, 1968 Four Kokubunji branch employees of the Nihon Shintaku Ginko bank transporting 294,307,500 yen (about $817,520) in the trunk of a company car were conned by a fake uniformed officer who stopped them and warned that a dynamite about to explode was planted in the transport car. When the four employees stepped aside for safety, the con man entered the car, drove off and disappeared with the cash.

elected public office holders for expressing dissenting views and perpetuating the presence of the military on the streets and the misuse of such institution to molest, intimidate, traumatize and humiliate Nigerians at check points. Others are escalating incidents of arbitrary arrests, search and detentions by non civil forces; use of political party machinery to blackmail, intimidate and emasculate critical political voices; increasing use of security excuses to deny Nigerians the right to protest; use of sponsored machineries in form of youths and women groups to defame and malign critics; grounding and threats of decertification of planes used by dissenting state governors; unlawful demolition of houses on security grounds; arbitrary and massive deportation of nationals of other African nations on security grounds and the sacking of ministers for political reasons, among others. Indeed, all these are of public knowledge. They are glaring infractions of human rights that the President needs to also defend. For, it is not sufficient for a government to mouth its reverence for human rights. A government’s actions and body language speak volumes about its respect for, or intolerance of human rights. The Jonathan government should reflect on the foregoing, particularly on a day like this, and make amends.

December 10, 1994 Rwandan Genocide: Military advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General and head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the UN, Maurice Baril, recommended that the UN multi-national forces in Zaire should stand down. The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 genocidal mass slaughter of an estimated 800,000 people in the East African state of Rwanda.


Friendly, short-term policies needed to boost insurance in Nigeria –Olamerun SUPER TUESDAY

Nigeria’s safety performance may embarrass Aliu at ICAO –Capt. Pam

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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

Aero Contractors

E-dividend refers to the payment of dividend into a shareholder’s nominated bank through a direct credit rather than issuing a cheque or warrant. But efforts to mandate the policy in Nigeria by the regulator have not yielded result since 2008. JOHNSON OKANLAWON writes:

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hen the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, led by Ms Arunma Oteh postponed the deadline of June 3, 2013 for transitioning to edividend payment in the country, it was yielding to pressure from some shareholders who insisted that the commission does not have the power to prevent investors from getting their dividends.

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Five years after, e-dividend still a pipe dream SEC had in April, this year directed investors and shareholders of public companies to forward their bank account details to their registrars and stockbrokers to facilitate the electronic payment of future dividends on or before June 3, 2013. But shareholders have disagreed with the directive, saying that SEC has no right to put them in a tight corner, as many structures have to be in place before SEC’s decision to cancel dividend warrants. A shareholder, Mr. Adebayo Adeleke, said the decision by SEC may not reduce unclaimed dividends, as most of shareholders don’t have current accounts to give registrars. He added that SEC would have settled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to accept savings account to be used instead of putting them in a tight corner. He said, “SEC does not have powers to prevent investors/ shareholders from getting their dividend.

There is a section in the Investments and Securities Act that protects investors or shareholders to claim their dividend for a period of 12 years and any alteration to this must be done by the National Assembly and not SEC.” The National Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, Mr. Sunny Nwosu, said the move by the SEC might cause more panic in the market. “We do not believe that the action of the SEC in this regard is in the right direction because it seems the commission is not taking the plight of investors into consideration before coming up with such a decision,” he said. To the President of Nigeria Solidarity Shareholder Association, NSSA, Mr. Timothy Adesiyan, the e-dividend campaign should be welcomed by all shareholders, saying that he has been receiving dividends from companies through the electronic payment. On the notion that banks don’t

accept savings account for dividend payment, he said, “Though I don’t have savings account, but many of the banks now accept the account and none of my members has ever complained of the electronic payment system. Some shareholders do condemn the policy generally without being affected.” On February 28, 2008 when the commission led by the then Director General, Mallam Musa Al Faki launched the electronic payment system (e-dividend) in the country, it was applauded and supported by various stakeholders such as the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the CBN, Nigerian InterBank Settlement System, capital market operators and shareholders’ associations amongst others. As at then, the value of unclaimed dividends stood at N19 billion. First Registrars had about N4 billion unclaimed dividends, Oceanic Registrars N2 billion,

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

IRS

Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 KanoLagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00

CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

Insecurity linked to corruption in Nigerian ports

Getting jobs through knowing employers needs

Climate change: Who will save Nigeria’s forests?

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Five years after, e-dividend still a pipe dream CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 Sterling Registrars N2.5 billion and Union Registrars N2 billion. The figures of unclaimed dividends soared to N52 billion in 2011 and N60 billion in 2012, according to Oteh. This means that the amount of dividends declared by quoted companies, but remained unclaimed by the end of 2012 grew 215.8 per cent in six year from N19 billion in 2008 to N60 billion. The enabling laws, says that dividend, once declared, becomes statute bared (reverts to the firm that offered it, where it remains unclaimed for 12 years). In 2003, the unclaimed dividend rose to N6.4 billion. It dropped in 2004, but by 2008 it was N19.9 billion, before galloping 70.4 per cent by the end of 2010 to N33.9 billion. National Mirror investigation revealed that the reason for the accumulation of unclaimed dividends is ignorance or when shareholders change their forwarding addresses without informing the companies’ registrars thus, failing to receive the dividend warrants. Others include shareholders who died intestate and without information on next of kin, multiple applications by applicants during the investment process and deliberate actions to deny investors their benefit through various schemes by some registrars and companies that lack liquidity to pay. National Mirror learnt that the low value of dividend currently being paid to shareholders is further increasing the amount of unclaimed dividend in the vaults of the companies. Several retail shareholders are ignoring the dividend companies have declared because the value is negligible. Some are N50, N100 and N500. And that is why many shareholders don’t care or find time to change to e-dividend where the amount will be automatically credited directly into their accounts within 24 hours of payment by concerned companies. A shareholder, Mr. Jude Ugochukwu, for example, was paid a dividend of N83.00 as dividend for 1,000 units of Nestle Nigeria Plc for the financial year ended December 31, 2011. But he was unable to claim the money due to its meagre value. “How do you expect me to go to the bank to present a cheque of N83.70 when the transport fare to the bank is even higher than the value of the money,” she claimed. Another shareholder, Mrs. Gbemi Olujobi, was not in the country when the dividend warrant from National Aviation Handling Company Plc was posted to his house. By the time he arrived, he could not claim the money because the warrant must be presented to the bank within six months. “If I had opened an e-dividend account, the money would have been transferred into my account,”s he noted. Commenting on the development, Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses Owners of Nigeria, ASHON, Mr. Emeka Madubuike, said the issue of unclaimed dividend has been a long-term problem and the position taken by the SEC is to solve the problem and not to complicate it. In his view, the Chief Executive Officer of Lambeth Trust and Investment Company Limited, Mr. David Adonri, stated that the transition to e-dividend is long overdue, adding that the position of the SEC is not to deny investors/shareholders their dividend but to ensure that they comply with

Okonjo-Iweala

Oteh

Ndanusa

Onyema

THE EFFECTIVE WAY, IS THAT, THE REGISTRARS SHOULD SEND E-DIVIDEND FORMS TO ALL THE SHAREHOLDERS TO FILL IN THEIR SAVING OR CURRENT ACCOUNTS AND SEND IT BACK TO THEM BY POST OR BY E-MAIL

the development to reduce unclaimed dividends. He therefore advised investors to comply expeditiously so that all problems associated with payment of dividends can be eliminated. On the need for each shareholder to open an account with a bank, Mr. Adegboyega Gabriel who has 2,000 units of Zenith Bank shares said that the major problem is the time to waste for filing of e-dividend forms. To him, with introduction of e-dividend, the regulator is trying to assist investors to get their payment as at when due, but he has not time to go to the registrar office to fill the form due to the fact that the value is negligible. Some are N50, N100 and N500. Another shareholder, Mr. Semiu Akindele said, “We are still lagging behind in Nigeria in this modern day of information technology. The effective way, is that, the registrars should send e-dividend forms to all the shareholders to fill in their saving or current accounts and send it back to them

by post or by e-mail. “There is no need of getting endorsement from any bank. It is another avenue for the bank to charge money to sign a form. I did it last two year at First Bank and I was charged N600 for confirmation. Our system is outdated when you compared with what is happening in modern world. We still have a long way to go.” To a student investor at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Mr. Rasaq Iyanda, it will be very appreciated if a specimen of the form can be posted on net. When National Mirror checked the website of some quoted companies, it was stated that investors can fill in the e-dividend payment form on line. For instance, Oando Nigeria Plc said, “A shareholder who has a bank account (Savings or Current Account) with any bank, can gives his/her accurate account details to the company (by completing the mandate form) and his/her dividend paid directly into that account.” Also, Meristem Registrars Limited said,

“E-dividend payment is one stop solution to unclaimed dividend. Shareholders should take advantage of it.” A Chartered Accountant and Stockbroker, Mr. Matthew Ogagavworia agreed to e-dividend policy but argued that the initial timing is unacceptable! “How can you give one month’s notice for shareholders to supply their bank details with registrars or stockbrokers,” he asked. According to him, the postponement of the deadline is good because some shareholders could be out of the country. He therefore advocated for a six to 12-month time frame. To ease the problem, Ogagavworia pointed out that the SEC should set up a databank such that when an investor completes the account form with his stockbroking firm or a company registrar, such information is available to all others, to enable them pay the dividend. The President of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Alhaji Olushekun Ariyo, noted that the postponement will allow SEC and other stakeholders in the capital market to educate investors to open bank accounts. But he urged the commission to put a control mechanism in place to ensure that companies pay dividends as at when due. He said, “What if the investors open the account and the company or the registrar don’t pay the money into the account on payment date? E-Dividend is good but it does not guarantee payment.” The SEC’s Board Chairman, Mr. Suleyman Ndanusa disclosed that companies get incentives on unclaimed dividend. “If a company declares maybe last year N2 billion and this year they are declaring N5 billion, people will applaud them for that and want to buy their stocks. But now I think both the regulators and the market are doing better in trying to see some of those tricks,” he said. According to him, many companies usually do a profiling of the shareholders, as after they declare N5 billion as dividend, if they see that the noise makers and the sophisticated shareholders of the company are to take about N2.5 billion, they will go and borrow that amount to pay them. He added that while those that are in Diaspora and villages that are not readily available to demand their money, the company will device all kind of reasons not to pay them. He said the reason why companies are doing this is that the law requires them to declare dividends, and if they do not have cash they have to borrow, adding that it’s better for them to borrow N2.5 billion instead of N5 billion because of the interest factor. “Therefore, that is why we proposed that once you declare dividend whether you pay or not, that cash must leave your system. Let it stand there as a critical test of whether or not you have the liquidity to justify such huge dividend, why didn’t you declare N1 billion dividend, why N5 billion. You are getting the benefit of N5 billion dividend in the market, but you are only paying N1 billion, “he said. Ndanusa stressed that in the United States, some of the states have unclaimed dividend because people die or relocate but they found a way of ensuring that these monies were not just kept by the companies.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business & Finance

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Insecurity linked to corruption in Nigerian ports CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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Corruption Risk Assessment ,CRA, report on the Nigerian ports sector released by a coalition of anti- corruption agencies has indicated that the problem of security in the nation’s ports is strongly connected to the issue of corruption. Head, Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-corruption Reforms, TUGAR, Mrs. Lilian Ekeanyanwu, who gave the presentation of the findings in Abuja yesterday, said the current report was a result of a six months project, carried out by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other related Offences Commission, ICPC, and was supported by UNDP and the Maritime Anticorruption Network. Ekeanyanwu, said the report also identified weak internal ethics infrastructure as major problems in the ports, noting that lack of codes of conduct, weak enforcement, and absence of mechanism for investigating complaints also create avoidable delay. “The problem of security in the ports is strongly connected to the issue of corruption. The findings show that insecurity in the

ports leads to further reduction of the available port resources: working time is often limited daylight hours; additional unpredictability and insecurity and uncertainty easily may lead to attempt to ‘purchase’ security by paying a bribe or otherwise corrupting the Port Administration” The report which also noted increased pressure on some facilities poses corruption risks, recommends proper clarification of port agencies’ procedures and the strengthening of their coordination to reduce the regulator burden on clients and limit the demand for bribes, adding that that port agency staff enjoy wide range of discretionary powers to the detriment of fast processing of documents without consequences. Speaking during the occasion, the Chairman of ICPC, Ekpo Nta said the CRA is a corruption prevention tool which is applied in collaboration with organizations’ management to identify vulnerable areas that are prone to corruption and develop integrity plans that would strengthen accountability and transparency in the ports sector. According to ICPC boss, CRA is a major function of the ICPC

Bankers’ committee to increase collaboration on economic growth UDO ONYEKA

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he Bankers’ Committee has assured Nigerians and other stakeholders in the banking sector of its continuous collaboration to promote an efficient and stable economy for the country. The Chairman of the Bankers’ Committee and Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi said this at the end of the committee’s 5th annual retreat held in Calabar on Sunday. The CBN governor also disclosed that part of the 2014 action plan of the committee would be to deliver price stability, financial stability, financial inclusion and economic growth. He also explained that the committee has revalidated its goals to include the modernisation of the payment system; shared services and infrastructure for the financial industry to reduce cost; increased funding of small and medium enterprises; agriculture; power and telecommunication sectors. “Modernisation of the financial services industry infrastructure and payment system is critical to reduce cost of services to the banking public. “We will continue to explore and develop areas of collaboration in shared services and infra-

structure to reduce the operating cost structure of the industry,” he added. Responding to a question on the scarcity of lower denomination and increase in the volume of dirty banknotes in the economy, Sanusi explained: “As a result of all the noise around N5, 000 and coins, that process was stopped. We did not print the new notes. I know some people think we have already printed, but we did not print the new notes and we did not award the contracts for the new notes. “Then, our printers have to go back to the production of old notes. I think that would soon be a matter of the past. We have re-ordered for banknotes and I think they have started arriving and probably you would have seen some improvements on that by now.” Earlier, at the opening ceremony of the retreat, Sanusi urged members of the committee to build the Nigerian banking system to become the best in the world. Going back memory lane, the governor recalled how at the maiden retreat held in Enugu in 2009, the committee was confronted with a banking system that was in serious crisis. He traced series of unpopular but courageous decisions and steps that were taken to rescue the Nigerian banking system and place it in its current enviable state.

contained in Section 6 (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2,000, which mandates the commission ‘to examine the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies and where, in the opinion of the commission, such practices systems or procedures aid or facilitates fraud or corruption, to direct and

supervise a review. Also speaking at the event, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of transport, Mr. Nebolisa Emordi, stated that the identified problems are not new adding that the ministry had engage stakeholders in several meetings with a view to addressing the challenges. He said in a bid to reform the

ports, a number of measures have been put in place aimed at stamping out unethical practices in the ports operations. “I wish to state that as part of effort to reform the ports, a number of measures have been put in place aimed at stamping out unethical practices in the ports operations”.

L-R: Sales Manager, 3M Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Nigeria Ltd, Mr. David Ogunniyi; Director/General Manager, Mr. Gregory Peter and Business Development Operations Safety and Protection, Mr. Bimbo Olaniyi, during the media briefing on cause and control of road accident in Lagos at the weekend. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

FG to support ICAO on aviation industry’s standardisation TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan at the weekend said the Federal Government would continue to support the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, in its sustained efforts to make air travels safer globally by adhering strictly to standards set for operators in the aviation industry. The President gave the assurance during the reception held in honour of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s, ICAO’s, President-elect, Dr. Bernard Aliu and President in Council, Mr. Robert Gonzalez, in Abuja, saying that Nigeria is proud to have one of its citizens elected to head the global aviation industry regulatory body.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim Pius, President Jonathan, who expressed the nation’s gratitude to the ICAO members for Aliu’s election, said the leadership position was well deserved given his excellent performance in the aviation industry globally. He said: “He couldn’t have achieved this without the tremendous support of his predecessor Dr. Gonzalez. It is worth mentioning that the election of Aliu as ICAO’s President was also made possible by his excellence performance in the aviation industry globally. His works at ICAO over the years was exemplary that he has become an asset to the body. It is noteworthy that as member of ICAO Nigeria has made useful

contribution to the body. “May I use this opportunity to reassure the ICAO Council of Nigeria’s continued support. The Government and good people of Nigeria are certainly with you. We congratulate the outing President Gonzalez for his achievements and hope for his continued support for Dr. Aliu as he assumes office. Tonight we are here to celebrate the man that has made our nation proud”, President Jonathan added. In her remarks, Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, restated government’s commitment to ensure that facilities and guidelines in the nation’s aviation industry conform to global best practices and ensure safety of air passengers as the implementation of the Aviation Policy progresses in the years ahead.

NIMET advocates scientific applications, to check natural disasters OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Director-General of Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMet, Dr. Anthony Anuforom has said that application of scientific knowledge and collaborative efforts among individual institutions and organisations are some options that can be employed to reduce the impact of natural disasters in the country. Anuforom stated this over the weekend in Abuja at the 2013 International Conference of the Nigerian Meteorological Society, NMEtS. Anuforom acknowledged the increased intensity of occurrence

of disasters, but also noted that there was no known technology to arrest the forces of climate disaster anywhere in the world. He emphasised that climate change and the associated extreme weather conditions were global phenomena, which occur with increasing frequency and intensity. He explained that disaster as a global occurrence may affect any country irrespective of their technological might. While expressing delight in NIMEt’s rebranding focus of commercialization, realignment and consolidation, which has led to improved meteorological in-

frastructure, Anuforom declared that the Federal Government’s transformation agenda was yielding tangible benefits for NIMet and for Nigeria. Earlier in his welcome address, President of NIMETS, Prof. Abiodun Adeloye emphasised the timeliness of the conference as it coincides with the presentation in Stockholm by scientists of the dangers of global warming and how the burning of fossil fuel and deforestation have now led to warming of the entire globe. He expressed the hope that the report would be used by policy makers to guide vital decisions on climate issues.


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WTO: Nigeria credited for role in first global trade deal OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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orld leaders at the weekend lauded Nigeria for helping to facilitate the first ever global trade reform agreement, which has the potential to add $1 trillion to the global economy. Delegations from many countries said the success recorded after five-days negotiation in Bali, Indonesia, was in continuation of the work done at the World Trade Organisation’s Eight Ministerial Conference in Geneva, where it was agreed that the WTO should end the fruitless years of negotiations and identify key elements of the Doha Round where agreements could be reached with a view to delivering a package in those areas. The world’s trade ministers agreed that the ‘helpful’ leadership of the Nigerian Minister of

Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga (who chaired the MC8), drew the path for success at the just concluded Ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9). The Swiss delegation commended Nigeria’s leadership of the MC8, which they said had helped in no small way to reach the MC9 consensus. The delegation, who have again invited the Nigerian Industry, Trade and Investment Minister to Davos in January, said members would want to continue engagement with Aganga in view of the quality of leadership he had displayed, adding that his wealth of experience would help in the completion of many of the outstanding issues. “The fact that Minister Aganga, who is the past chair, is well versed and experienced in global issues, helped a great deal to reach a consensus. It is a good thing that the positive conclu-

sion today started from MC8, the Rwandan Minister of Trade and Investment, Francois Kanimba, said. On her part, the Minister for Trade and Industry for Botswana, Hon. Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, said one of the important outcomes of the MC8 was the courage to focus on key deliverables after over 10 years of negotiating the Doha issues. “Minister Aganga, who chaired the MC8, is one of the key people helping Nigeria, and Africa as a whole, on all fronts. He has been instrumental in trying to bring together divergent views to achieve convergence in a way that everybody’s interest is protected with permissible flexibilities,” she said. The entire 159 member countries of the WTO came to Bali for the MC9, knowing well that it was either a deal was struck regarding the three packages on the table or the WTO lost its integrity.

L-R: Managing Director, M-net Africa, Mrs. Biola Alabi and Chairman, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Adewunmi Ogunsanya, during the AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards nomination announcement on Saturday.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Katsina spends N25.2bn on agric in 7 years JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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ore than N25.2 billion has been expended in the development of the agricultural sector in Katsina State from 2007 to date. The state Commissioner of Agriculture, Musa Funtua stated this yesterday while briefing newsmen on the performance of his ministry within the said period. Funtua said the amount expended covered several sectors including livestock, veterinary, irrigation, agriculture services as well as agricultural extensions. He said the Ministry spent the sum of N1.9 billion in 2007, N2.7 billion in 2008, N2.2 billion

in 2009 and N5.3 billion in 2010 in the development of agriculture. He said the sum of N3.2 billion was expended in 2011, N5.2 billion in 2012 and N4.5 billion in 2013 and that fertiliser and related products were subsidised for farmers in the billions of naira during the same period. Funtua said a major project presently being carried out under the ministry was the Songhai Katsina Initiative which is modelled after the one in PortoNovo, Benin Republic. He said 60 youth have received training in Benin to replicate the initiative in the state and that the sum of N3.4 billion spread over three years would be spent by the two tiers of government on the project.

Mainstreet appointed collecting bank for NSITF UDO ONYEKA

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ainstreet Bank has been appointed collecting bank for Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund ,NSITF, Employee Compensation Acts ,ECA, nationwide. This is coming on the heels of the Federal government’s determination, to halt the disturbing trend of non-compensation of employees involved in workplace accidents. In a statement the bank said by this appointment NSITF empowers Mainstreet Bank Limited to receive remittances under the NSITF Employee Compensation Acts ,ECA, scheme from employers of labour both public and private sector organisations at any Mainstreet Bank branch nationwide. Executive Director, Operations and IT Anogwi Anyanwu, while welcoming the appointment of Mainstreet Bank as NSITF Employee Compensation

Acts collector nationwide said, “Mainstreet Bank has built a tradition of service excellence and the NSITF mandate, as well as various others, are strong testimonials of our renewed resolve to consistently offer our stakeholders the best deal.” Speaking further, he said, “The bank recently deployed one of the latest and most robust core banking application, Finacle 10, to improve our products and services, and especially to delight stakeholders with innovative solutions to their business needs. I can assure employers and the general public that Mainstreet Bank is ready to support NSITF achieve its mandate in Employee Compensation Acts collections. NSITF, the successor to the defunct National Provident Fund is the sole government agency statutorily vested with the function of providing social security, social protection for the poor, the aged, the disabled and disadvantaged members of the population.

FG seeks stakeholders’ inputs to draft M&E Policy framework Expert advocates money making through internet TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday canvassed stakeholders’ inputs in the draft National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy with a view to ensuring that its contents reflect broad issues that would facilitate ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring that the country gets value for capital budgets implementation at all levels of governance. Making the appeal in his keynote address at the one-day National Validation Workshop organised to validate the draft document in Abuja, the Supervising Minister for National Planning, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, explained that contributions of experts to the draft document were necessary to fine-tune

it and make it presentable to the relevant authorities for approval and subsequent legislation by the National Assembly. The minister, who lauded the Federal Public Administration Reform Programme, FEPAR, for partnering with the government in getting the draft policy framework ready for validation by stakeholders, explained that the step being undertaken by the government was required to shift from the old unproductive and inefficient public spending to entrench a more prudent, transparent, accountable and performance culture in the public sector. Amb. Yuguda said: “Today’s one day workshop is another opportunity to validate the draft policy document particularly from a wider scope of stakeholders. We are expecting relevant contribu-

tions from the stakeholders present here to improve the quality of the document so far. “Let me also inform you that the buck does not stop here for this draft policy document. The National Planning Commission is determined to ensure this document is adopted at the highest decision making body in the land as steps are being taken to ensure that the documents goes to the Economic Management and Implementation Team, EMIT, the National Economic Council, NEC and the Federal Executive Council to receive approval at the Federal level. “Also, once the Executive adopts the document, there are proposals to present the document to the National Assembly to give it the necessary legal backing”, the Minister added.

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non-governmental organisation, ‘Avenue to wealth’, otherwise known as A2W has proffered solution to cybercrime in the country, saying the best way out is to teach and educate the youths on other ways to make money through internet services, in a legitimate way. The Managing Director of the organisation, Mr. Adeolu Akinyemi. in an interview with journalists in Ado Ekiti during his courtesy call on the state governor explained that it was high time the Nigeria’s government paid attention to youth development by creating avenues through which they could be engaged so that they could be useful for themselves and the their country. Adeolu, who declared that

A2W, has come to serve as catalyst in a bid to further complement the government’s efforts at wealth creation opportunities for the people. According to him, A2W’s major mission was helping people in the areas of empowering and assisting them to identify their objectives and also growing them, “because everybody in life is gifted, everybody in life has one defect or the other. “My submission is that no one is physically challenged or handicapped depending on how you are able to make use of your own God-given gift deposited in you. Where you are today is your fault. Where you’ll be tomorrow is your choice. If you decide not to decide, you have decided. Nobody was born to lose; we were all born to choose,” he averred.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jobs & Career

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Getting jobs through knowing employers’ needs As the year comes to an end, countless vacancies are sure to abound without job seekers being aware of the openings. Worse still, many employment hopefuls do not know what employers want from them; a situation which constitutes major stumbling block in the job search effort, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.

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hile recruiters continually maintain the present system of tertiary education in Nigeria is not preparing graduates well enough to cope with real life business and management situations, and that employment remain relatively scarce, they also concur that jobs still exist and are available for those that know exactly what employers want from them. Either in choosing to gain some experience with which to successfully run a business, or pursuing a professional career, the experts say that the small gap that once existed between employers and job seekers in the county has now been turned into a major gulf between both resulting in a situation where most job seekers are a loss about what employers actually require from them in order to pick up fallow vacancies. Director General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) Mr Gbenga Oshinowo says that knowing what employers want is the very first step towards securing gainful employment. He notes also that the speculations about countless vacancies abound in the economy despite the high unemployment rate may be true, since the connection between most employers and employment hopefuls are very minimal. The NECA DG urges both job seekers to always try to latch on the needs of companies and recruiting organisations, saying by doing so that the job seekers are also placing themselves in a position of strength as far as getting a job is concerned. In that aspect, the Managing Director of FindjobsAfrica.com, Mr. Funto Akinkugbe, told National Mirror that a little effort on the part of the employers and job seekers in the quest to connect with each other will greatly reduce unemployment in the country. He said many vacant job positions remain unfilled, because jobseekers do not know how to connect with employers, or know what the employers want for any particular position. Simply put, he said that employers are looking for evidence that job seekers have the skills and qualities needed to perform well in any role in which interests have been indicated by them. Insisting that jobs are available for employment hopefuls that know where to look and know what potential employers are looking for, Akinkugbe said when applying for a new role, a new job or even that was important to think about these points as the major thing that every employer want. Human Capital Development Expert, Mr. Kunle Rotimi, said in addition to qualifications and technical skills which employers want to see that employability skills, which are almost universal across all employers, are also crucial”. He said though most job seekers are not aware, that employers will always want to see teamwork in play, problem solving and communication skills, which

President CIPN, Victor Famuyibo

Oshinowo

includes the ability to listen, speak, and write, alongside analytical, computer skills and the ability to take initiatives that borders on planning or organising, self-management and the ability to learn. “No employer will see these skills and not want to engage such job seeker’’. According to Rotimi, positions can even be created by employers to fit a potential employee that may have these set of skills, adding that usually, most employers are confident that these skills will enable any potential employee to perform well in the role. Training Consultant, and Managing Director of Team Building Nigeria, Mr. Yinka Olugbodi, says, that certain attributes that employer are on the lookout for include values, personality traits,

which may include integrity, commitment, loyalty, enthusiasm, reliability, good self-esteem, sense of humour, motivation, willingness to learn and flexibility and adaptability. Olugbodi pointed out that employers expect job seekers to know what their (employers) needs are and how they can fill them, adding it is critical to job hunting success particularly in seasons of economic recession when jobs are difficult to come by that job seekers emphasise what they can bring to the company and how they can assist the employers to move the organisation, considering that once jobseekers know what the employers are looking for, they can tailor their curriculum vitae and other documents to tally with the employer requirements.

IF THE JOB SEEKERS DON’T KNOW WHAT THE EMPLOYER IS LOOKING FOR, HOW CAN HE OR SHE PROPERLY COMMUNICATE TO THE EMPLOYERS WHY THEY ARE THE MOST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE FOR THE POSITION?

Nevertheless, other experts note that due to the high unemployment rate in the country that most job seekers apply for all and any vacant position they come across, with the hope of being invited by employers. Recruitment Expert, Mr. Sunny Agboju thinks this is a wrong approach, explaining that it was important for job seekers to know what employers are looking for in their next hiring before applying. Agboju said it was important for those looking for jobs, to know what they are looking for in the workplace, adding that they must make conscious efforts and apply to the company or organisations they love to work with, considering that such moves have advantages like having great co-workers, decent salaries and a culture where newly employed fits in easily. “If the job seekers don’t know what the employer is looking for, how can he or she properly communicate to the employers why they are the most qualified candidate for the position? Understanding what the employer is looking for ahead any interview invite, is so the candidate can be sure to communicate all of the information that is likely to be most relevant to the employer”, he said. “Employers are at home with present or potential job seekers that have the ability to work well with others”, said Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, (CIPM), Mr. Sunday Adeyemi. “It is considered as an important and crucial skill by employers, considering that most workers spend a lot of time at work”, he explained. The CIPM registrar added that relevant work experience, creative problemsolving skills also come in handy, when employers will have to make the decision on which job seeker to employ, because experience allows a job seeker to hit the ground running, and many managers do not have time to mentor and train people as it used to be in the past.

ANAN advocates capacity building for professionals MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Association of National Accountants of Nigeria has advocated specialisation for the development of capacity among professionals. ANAN, in a statement in Lagos, quoted an Associate Professor, Dr. May Nwoye, as saying at the 18th annual conference of the association held in Abuja that women professionals should be fully integrated in their various professions if the nation intended to achieve economic growth. She said, “We have an obligation to act as a respected voice and our position is not only as professional accountants but as an organisation whose members play a very significant role in the eco-

nomic development of the nation.” Meanwhile, the association has established its women wing named Professional Women Accountants to guide Nigeria to a sound economy. Nwoye said that PROWAN should not be seen as a parallel body to ANAN, pointing out that “instead, it can add more value to the overall body.” She said that a strong association of women accountants would engender national connections among fellow women in other professional bodies. She said the women would use voice to push for a change in gender diversity to ensure that integrity remained one of the essential pillars of ANAN. She urged the women accountants to abide strictly with the code of professional ethics.

Nwoye said, “When a woman holds to her principle, they say that the woman is stubborn. Women, either as a result of intimidation or lack of confidence, shy away from what their minds expect them to do. Before you can call yourself a professional, you must have a mastery of your profession.” Nwoye advised women to dress in such a way that their dressing would not be a distraction to the issues at hand. She urged them not to allow their skills to be outdated and should build expertise to stay in the industry. “There has been a consistent call to look at women as agents of change. The other area to unlock women’s potential is your power of positive thinking by believing in yourself,” Nwoye added.


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Jobs & Career

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Must-know job interview questions for fresh graduates

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ob search is a new experience to all fresh graduates no matter how much preparation had in college. Majority of new graduates agrees there’s nothing like afirst job interview, soit’s natural to feel nervous. One thing to remember is though is to always prepare, hereare likely tips to get through that process. Tell me something about yourself-Recruiters says this question is one of the toughest questions for applicants. If you answer it correctly, you can get a second interview or perhaps even a job offer. Take this opportunity to share your positive accomplishments at school. For instance, tell the hiring officer that you contributed heavily to the growth of your school organisation’s business contacts as its finance head. This will let a potential employer know that you have the leadership potential that most companies are

looking for. Discuss a previous situation wherein you have to resolve a situation- Many recruiters ask this question to determine an applicant’s behavior in specific situations. Hiring managers would love to hear something concrete because it lets them predict your future actions in stress-filled and tense environments. For instance, you could say that you increased the number of members of your school organization by 50 percent by placing the application booth where most students pass by during lunch. Prospective employers are looking for fresh graduates who have the potential to carry their school accomplishments in the real world. What is your ideal employer?-Instead of dropping a company name or describing a boss, share the ideal working relationship bosses love. For instance,

you could say that you’d love to work with a manager who is upfront and honest when pointing out mistakes and achievements. Apart from that, you could also say that you want an organisation that tells you exactly what you have to do to get a promotion or salary raise. Tell us your strengths and weaknesses- Most companies would frame this differently, but at the end of the day, they want to know how your strengths would contribute positively to your job and company. For instance, if you’re applying as a programmer, you can say that your detail-oriented approach helped you tremendously during your internship. Tell the recruiting officer that you spotted codes in programming languages other interns missed during practicum. Be specific as possible because companies want tangible skills that can be applied

Employees during office hours

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s it usually is towards the end of the year, many people switch or leave jobs, hence employment hopefuls are urged to update their curriculum vitae, and take advantage of job openings that are bound to come up. This week, the position for a General Manager, Construction from www.findjobafrica.com is available and will be based in Lagos The General Manager, construction is to provide overall direction for the organization ensuring contracts delivery, growth, profitability and effectiveness in business and operational performance. Other roles are to assume responsibility for contracts delivery ensuring that quality, cost and other projections are monitored, drive the implementation of the business strategies, policies, procedures and processes and oversee the overall performance of the business evidenced by growth in revenue, profitability and cost savings He/she is also to foster effective

to the job you’re applying for. To know how to answer interview questions regarding weakness, tell the interviewer that you’re trying to improve your knowledge of programming courses by taking online classes. Employers know you’re just a fresh graduate, so they have realistic expectations about your abilities. When can you start?- Employers ask this question to test applicants if they really know what they’re getting into. It may sound ridiculous, but many fresh graduates actually say “I don’t know” in response to this. If you really want the job, ask the re-

cruiting officer when the company needs you. Better yet, tell them you need at least two weeks because you have to complete your employment requirements before the official start date. Although most recent graduates consider themselves disadvantaged as far as work experience is concerned, you have to remember that all applicants are gauged based on two things—integrity and sincerity. If you’re qualified, enthusiastic, and willing to learn, you have a big chance of getting hired even with zero work experience. Source: Yahoojobs.com

‘Pension, gratuity are legitimate rights’ MESHACK IDEHEN

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rade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has said pension and gratuity are legitimate rights of employees that should not be tempered with, declaring that attempt by some employers and political class to surreptitiously discontinue gratuity payment must be resisted. TUC lamented that the controversy trailing the payment of gratuity arose because its payment was not clearly stated in the Pension Reforms Act, PRA, 2004, calling on government at all levels take advantage of the 2013 Pension Reform Bill to clearly and unambiguously restore gratuity. Chairman of Rivers State Council of TUC, Mr. Chika

Onuegbu, spoke while presenting a paper on the Contributory Pension Scheme and Pension Reform Act 2004, saying Government at all levels should take advantage of the 2013 Pension Reform Bill to clearly and unambiguously restore gratuity. He argued that a key part of that workers right was the right to pension and gratuity, saying Pension and gratuity are essentially deferred compensation or payments to employees’ payable upon retirement or severance in line with the conditions of service, collective bargaining agreement and/or the law. According to him, they are part of employees’ salary which is set aside to meet the basic financial needs of the employees upon retirement.

Job vacancies business relationships with strategic alliance partners, Initiate and develop the business strategies, policies and processes that will support achievement of strategic goals and objectives and Monitor and support the business Managers to enable them deliver on their individual plans, achieve set targets and improve overall performance Qualifications are minimum of first degree in Engineering, Building Technology or other relevant discipline is required. Highway Construction experience is mandatory relevant Nigerian or international professional qualification with at least 5 years in a senior management position. Also on job vacancies this week, are positions from USAID Nigeria, including vacancies for a logistics and communications manager, monitoring and evaluation specialist, abudget and operations manager and for programme assistants. USAID is the United States of America agency for international development, and interested applicants are advised to visitnigeria.

usembassy.gov for details. From the United Africa Company (UACN) Nigeria Plc are positions for a financial controller to be based in Jos, Plateau state, a financial accountant, an internal auditor and a quality assurance manager, all to be based in Jos. Visiting www.uacnplc.com ,or sending resumes to careers@uacnplc.com are some steps that can be taken to getting employed in that organisation. A Communications Specialist to work for DFID (Department for International Development) and the State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capacity (SPARC) is alsorequired. Interested applicants and professionals can send resumes to hr@sparc_nigeria.com before august 9th. Save the Children, an international non-governmentalorganisation that said it creates lasting changes in the lives of children, said it requires the services of a Deputy Country Director, aFinance Manager for Lagos and Kaduna offices, aFood Security and LivelihoodOfficer, Monitoring

and EvaluationCoordinator and a Campaign Coordinatoramongst other positions. To apply, visit www.savethechildren.net/jobs to get full listing of other available openings in the organisation. For candidates interested in the oil and gas sector? Applications can be sent to construction. recruitment@saipem.com for vacancies for a civil superintendent, amechanical superintendent, an electrical superintendent and a commissioning manager. All the positions come with relevant degrees and years of experience. A senior technical officer, aprocurement manager, acontract and grant manager and stateprogramme manager are some of the current vacancies that the Society for Family Health (FHI) requires. Qualified and interested applicants are urged to send their applications to www.fhi360.org/ careercenter to be considered. The position for a Principal Results Officer (www.findjobafrica. com) is also on offer. To be based in Tunis, some of the duties and

responsibilities are developing, supporting and maintaining the group’s results measurement framework (RMF), coordinating and reviewing data collection for indicators at all four levels and ensuring overall coherence and conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis on the organisation performance against indicators and targets. Qualifications are a master’s degree preferably in economics, statistics, development studies or political sciences; minimum of six years of relevant experience, excellent technical, analytical skills and established operational track record of achieving results, Strong IT skills and familiarity with database management tools. A Regional Directorto be based in Nairobi, Kenya is needed by Amnesty International (www.findjobafrica.com). The Regional Director will develop and adapt global strategies and lead multifunctional team to develop and deliver effective research, campaigns, communications, growth, fundraising and relationship plans.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

25

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Real Estate & Environment dayoayeyemi@yahoo.com 08033312578

Climate change: Who will save Nigeria’s forests? Nigeria is ranked among countries with the highest rate of depletion of its pristine forests. The concern of stakeholders in the face of climate change and global warming during the 6th Annual National Consultation on Environment is that a disaster is looming if nothing is done to check it. SINA FADARE, reports.

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erhaps the most pertinent question, which all the participants were forced to ask after the 6th Annual National Consultation on Environment organised by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN recently in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State was: who will save Nigeria’s forests from extinction? The three-day event, which was well attended by all the stakeholders in the environmental circles and civil organisations was declared opened by Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, speaking on the deforestation going on in Ekiti North, the governor who spoke through the Commissioner for Environment in the state, Dr. Eniola Ajayi said, “We are putting up a task force that will involve saw millers, the timber traders and the forest guard in the state to be headed by somebody in the ministry. It is going to be a joint effort. It will not be that govt is saying do not do illegal deforestation, it will be like say this is our common wealth, let us protect it together”. Fayemi noted that, “we are about to review our forestry governance law in Ekiti, this year. It is going to be funded by European Union and it is going to be administered by the Food and Agricultural organisation of the United Nation. This is to help us look into our law that has been obsolete. The existing law has nothing to do with charcoal production, which they are doing in the northern part of Ekiti state. They are using our forest to make charcoal and taking it to other states at the detriment of the forest.” He argued that: “In the past nobody is using bamboo trees aside for scaffoldings, but today, there are so many uses found in it in making furniture. There is also a lot of bamboo exploitation going on as well, therefore we are looking into the law and the area they are deficient and looking on to how to have proper forestry governance, in a way that everybody will feel the sense of belonging.” In his welcome address, the Executive Director of ERA/ FoEN, Dr Godwin Ojo, regretted the grave impact that unchecked industrialisation process have wrought on ‘‘our forests and bio- diversity valuation that will pave the way to marketisation and speculation’’.

Illegal logging in Nigeria’s forest

IT IS AN INCONTROVERTIBLE FACT THAT THE ENVIRONMENT IS THE SUSTAINER OF MAN AND ALL FORMS OF LIFE ON EARTH. IT ENCASES THE FOOD

WE EAT, WATER WE DRINK, AND AIR WE BREATHE… DAILY TO STAY ALIVE He lamented that Nigeria is ranked among countries with the highest rate of deforestation of its pristine forest. Adding that a disaster is looming and all hands should be on deck to check it. Ojo who went memory lane said, “Since the inception of ERA/ FoEN in 1993, we have relentlessly campaigned for environmental protection and poverty reduction in our society. We have worked to highlight and reduce the unjustifiable social disparity and inequalities in our nation which ranked among the highest in the world.” He explained that the theme of the conference was carefully chosen by the National Environment Consultation, NEC, to be ”our forest, our life”, so as to be attuned with the reality on ground.”It is a wakeup call for Nigerians to realise that the time has come when we must collectively salvage our forest in order to preserve life forms, biodiversity and our food sources for the present and future generations. He emphasised that ERA/ FoEN’s advocacy strategy is to reject and resist all forms of false solutions that will open up the forests to marketisation, speculation, hedge funds and carbon stocks. ‘‘We believe in collective struggle for social change and to save the forest be-

cause our forest is our life’’, he said. In his keynote address, Professor Margaret Okorodudu-Fubara of the Obafemi Awolowo University, noted that every year, about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted due to the violation of the environment, adding that 20,000 children under the age of five years die daily from hunger. She gave kudos to ERA/FoEN for bringing together critical stakeholders and experts to examine the issues of deforestation and forest degradation with a view to sharpening focus on capacities and infrastructure that directly provide support to alternative, rights-based community-driven forms of forest management’ She said, “It is an incontrovertible fact that the environment is the sustainer of man and all forms of life on Earth. It encases the food we eat, water we drink, and air we breathe…daily to stay alive.” The don noted that, “it is in the public interest that the rights of all Nigerians to the land of Nigeria be asserted and preserved by law; ….it is also in the public interest that the rights of all Nigerians to use and enjoy land in Nigeria and the natural fruits thereof in sufficient quantity to enable them to provide for the sustenance of themselves and their

families should be assured, protected and preserved” She argued that deforestation has been a recurrent decimal in the history of Nigeria, therefore “if you always do what you always do, you will always get what you always get.” According to her, “There must be a radical paradigm shift. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living. We must embrace a universal responsibility, every man, woman and child must identify with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. She regretted that “In virtually all developing countries, the quest for development has resulted in massive logging for timber for domestic consumption and export, turning most forest lands into cash crop farm. The problem of illegal logging is rampart in these countries, regardless of the disastrous consequence it portends for the environment and life “The problem of illegal logging is not only a dent on good governance, but it destroys forest ecosystems, distorts timber markets, acts as a disincentive to sustainable forest management and robs forest owners and governments of huge revenues due to them from forestry activities. Many lives we know are dependent on the forests and the forests are homes to millions of indigenous peoples in many parts of the world.” “There must be a paradigm shift in our values, governance institutions, and ways of living. Fortunately, the emergence of a global civil society is creating new opportunities to build a democratic and humane world, and will also doveCONTINUED ON PAGE 26


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Real Estate & Environment CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25

tail into building inclusive sustainable governance for forests, biodiversity and livelihoods.” Mr. Tunde Akanni of Lagos State University, LASU in his paper entitled “Media role in channelling national action for effective forest management” noted that the media has a vital role to play in educating, enlightening and inform the public the importance of preserving our forest for collective gains. According to him, ‘‘Increased environmental awareness may contribute to an increased public mistrust of forest management professionals. But it can also lead to greater understanding about what professionals do for nature conservation and ecological services.” “The new environmental groups established in the late 1960s, unlike their older counterparts otherwise referred to as “conservation groups” take greater advantage of the mass media as their primary forum for their claims-making. “They reckon with media publicity as a key to their own continued buoyancy and even legitimacy. Unlike the older groups that indulged more in legislative lobby, they realize that the media could serve very well in helping to affect desired political actions and also as a means of improving the climate of opinion for environmental issues through long-term educational and propaganda campaigns”. He emphasised that the role of the media cannot be underestimated if there will be any meaningful discussion on the cannibalisation of the environment stressing that “any shortfall in public understanding of the current state and probable future of the environment could be solved by continuous and massive press coverage’’. For him,“The media is capable of addressing any shortfall in public understanding of the state and probable future of the environment whether or not the concerned journalists are advocacy or objectivity inclined’’. If the environment would be spared of its present abuse by all, Mr. Leslie Adogame in his paper, entitled ‘‘Deforestation and Climate change –induced conflicts’’ emphasized the hazards of deforestation. “Deforestation has negative implications on the environment in terms of soil erosion, loss of biodiversity ecosystems, loss of wide life and increased desertification. Twenty million hectares of tropical forests are being destroyed, releasing two billion tons of carbon dioxide.” Adogame noted that forests have a vital role to play in the fight against global warming, adding that if forest are cleared or disturbed, carbon that ought to be absorbed by the forest is release as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which at the long run will be disadvantage to human beings. He argued that hope has not totally lost to protect our forest from further damage if all hands are on deck to save the environment. This according to him will be in the area of discouraging people from abusing the forest providing alternative economic generating income for the people instead of relying on the cutting of the trees. Also, he noted that there is need for

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Climate change: Who will save Nigeria’s forests?

L-R Ekiti State Commissioner for Environment Dr. Eniola Ajayi, Executive Director of ERA/FoEN Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo and National Co-coordinator, Climate Change Network, Mr. Surveyor Efik during the conference.

ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo (left) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi during the conference.

flexible mechanism to cope with climate change like provision of agricultural subsidies to farmers and herders during floods and droughts. “There is need to create ecosystem and conservation service that will enable the people to stay where they are without creating new jobs and thereby provide livelihood that can make communities more economically resilient to climate change,” he said. In his presentation, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, a political ecologist and Director of ERA/FoEN pointed out that, “in the last two decades or so, distressing daily news reports have highlighted the earths’ burden of environmental degradation, expanding deserts, increased carbon dioxide levels, rising temperatures, melting glaciers, and disappearing species, and which poses serious threats to survival on planet earth”. Ojo regretted that, “globally, about 300 million people in rural communities depend on forests for their livelihoods. Their lands are expropriated through land grabbing for monoculture tree plantations, logging, coal, bitumen, oil and gas, hydroelectricity dams, leading to massive deforestation and destruction very often with support of govern-

ments”. He emphasised that the solution to deforestation cannot be underestimated adding that structural change is required that would ensure participatory Community Based Forests Management Schemes with roles, responsibilities and benefits sharing systems put in place to properly manage forests and slow down the pace of deforestation He therefore canvassed for an energy democracy that will decentralise “our energy sources in ways that distribute economic and social power more widely to get renewable energy in more people’s hands rather than concentrating it in the hands of shareholders and executives. At the end of the deliberation it was agreed that unconstrained industrialization processes promoted by transnational corporations and governments of the global north continue to destroy forests and displace local forest dependent communities across Nigeria. The impact of indiscriminate logging is rife across Nigeria, particularly in Ekiti State, where huge trees and forests that provided food, livelihood support and served as buffer against harsh climatic conditions have been cleared. It also emphasised that Nigeria is

DEFORESTATION HAS NEGATIVE IMPLICATIONS ON THE ENVIRONMENT IN TERMS OF SOIL

EROSION, LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY ECOSYSTEMS, LOSS OF WIDE LIFE AND INCREASED DESERTIFICATION

yet to demonstrate the political will to confront the climate change challenge as evidenced by faulty policies and the foray into corporation-driven initiatives like REDD that is rife with human rights abuses robbing local communities of their lands and livelihoods. “The Nigerian government seems to be in a hurry to embrace REDD, which we consider as a false solution to climate change even when it is very clear that the scheme has many obvious leakages in methodologies with no critical engagement by local communities that are being primed for an initiative they do not understand,” participants said. The intellectual gathering also observed that the reckless despoliation of the environment by extractive industry actors operating in the Niger Delta and other industrial actors across the country has continued unabated with grave impacts on man and the environment, adding that, “Government agencies charged with guaranteeing the protection and preservation of forests and forest resources have largely failed in the discharge of their duties, and the enforcement of relevant statutes and judicial pronouncements. They have also ignored local communities that they are supposed to collaborate within the discharge of their duties.” Against the backdrop of these challenges, the participants recommend that, “Nigerian government should come up with a holistic environmental policy hinged on the protection of local livelihoods and local economies, and aimed at driving a green economic recovery, pointing out that REDD must be rejected by African leaders especially Nigeria because it does not cut emissions at source. Rather, it rewards polluters and makes forest-based communities mere labourers in their own lands. Forests should be removed from the carbon markets.” The gathering equally challenged government not to subscribe to the FAO definition, which includes plantations. Forest is a body of diverse ecosystems, which supports biological diversity and not mere monoculture plantations and should wean off fossil fuels and adopt community-owned energy models that are non-grid and environment-friendly. In its communiqué issued at the end of the conference, the participants among other things noted that local communities should be the fulcrum of Environmental Governance at community levels through the formation of Community Environment Defence Committees, CEDC, adding that government weans itself from fossil fuel-driven economy and invest in renewable and other safe and clean alternatives. A timeline to face-out fossil fuels should also be set. “Revision of the Land Use Act of 1979 and all obsolete and unfriendly laws that dispossess local people of their lands and natural patrimony. Lands forcefully expropriated from local people for the purpose of monoculture plantations and agro-fuels be returned to them while Governments, NGOs and CSOs should establish effective systems to monitor and block the entry of GMOs into Nigeria’s food chain.”


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Sport

I will not expect Nigerians to dwell too much on the opposition, it is best to prepare adequately –FORMER SUPER EAGLES’ COACH, CLEMENS WESTERHOF

Stars no-show mars African Masters 30

Brazil 2014: ‘Our success depends on preparation’ EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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igeria coach, Stephen Keshi, has declared that Super Eagles’ success or otherwise in next Summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil will depend on the team’s preparation. Speaking to BBC Sport, Keshi

disagreed that Nigeria is in a fair group after last Friday’s draw held in Salvador. Super Eagles face Iran in Group F before taking on Bosnia-Herzegovina and will finish against Argentina in a bid to reach the last 16, as they did in both 1994 and 1998.. Nigerians eexpect the African champions to reach the knockout

Keshi (right) and Black Stars of Ghana coach, Kwesi Appiah, at the Brazil 2014 World Cup draw held in Salvador last Friday.

stage in Brazil, but Keshi knows he has his work cut out. “I am not in the group that feels the draw was an easy one,” said Keshi immediately after the draw Friday. “That would be a mistake to make because all the 32 teams in the pot were worth their places and would be formidable to tackle in the finals. “There is no way we are going to look at any team and under-rate that team. They qualified just like we did, and no team would be coming determined to simply make up the number. “ Super Eagles have not won a match at the World Cup since beating Bulgaria in 1998, which is the last time Nigeria made it to the knock-out stages.

“We are happy to be here. To be among the 32 best teams in the world is a thing of joy, and our people back home, passionate football fans all, are excited “For me, winning always depends on how well you prepare. Even the weather that some people are already saying will favour the African teams against the European teams may not matter much when the competition starts. “It is preparation that matters. I remember how, in 1994, we thrashed Bulgaria 3-0 in our very first match at the World Cup finals, and they went ahead to reach the semi-finals while we lost out in the Round of 16,” Keshi said.

...NSC DG wants adequate planning JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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irector-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, has said that for the country to record an improved performance in the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil next year, Super Eagles must prepare adequately ahead of the global showpiece. Elegbeleye who spoke to National Mirror in Abuja yesterday, on the draw which pits Nigeria with Argentina, Iran and Bosnia Hezogovenia, said though it is a

great thing that the country’s senior national team got a good draw they should not relax or underrate their opponents. While charging the Super Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to commence preparation immediately for the World Cup in order to qualify from their group, the NSC DG said, “The fact is that we have to be careful of those so-called smaller countries because they fought hard to qualify for the world cup.” He added, “The good thing is that the Super Eagles would be meeting the group and World Cup favourites, Argentina, in

the last match of the group and maybe, by then they would have gathered the maximum six points from the first two matches, which will then make them approach the last match with less pressure and more confidence” Elegbelye, however, expressed confidence in the ability of the Super Eagles to do well at the World Cup, while maintaining that with what Stephen Keshi has done to the team especially after leading them to win the Nations Cup in South Africa, Nigeria could surprise the world at the global soccer competition.

Eagles to battle distance S uper Eagles will battle potential exhaustion from extensive travel, covering about 3,871kms during the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. Nigeria will face Group F opponents, Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina in Curitiba, Cuiabá and Porto Alegre respectively. Stephen Keshi’s men will make a trip of 1,726kms from Curitiba (venue of their first group game against Iran on June 16) to Cuiabá where

they will take on Bosnia-Herzegovina in their second group game on June 21. Four days later, the Nigerian contingent will then embark on an even longer journey that will involve the navigation of 2,145kms from Cuiabá to Porto Alegre where they will be saddled with the task of stopping the Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina. Overall, the Nigerian team will be expected to cover 3,871kms for their group games alone.

Mikel

Ronaldo

Ronaldo, Ribery, Messi in final Ballon d’Or shortlist

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he world soccer ruling body yesterday released names of the final three contenders for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the Best Player of 2013 and for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2013. In alphabetical order, the FIFA Ballon d’Or men’s nominees are: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Franck Ribéry (France), while Nadine Angerer (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA) will contest the women’s award. The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football awards were also announced. In alphabetical order, the contenders are: Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Man-

chester United FC former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/ FC Bayern München former coach) and Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award, and Ralf Kellermann (Germany/VfL Wolfsburg), Silvia Neid (Germany/German national team) and Pia Sundhage (Sweden/Swedish national team) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award. In a statement, FIFA said all the nominees were confirmed after a voting process which was open to the captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams of its 209 member associations as well as to international media representatives selected by FIFA and France Football voted for candidates.


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ronaldo nears goals record

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eal Madrid winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, can set a new record for goals scored in a Champions League group stage when already-qualified Spanish club visits FC Copenhagen today. The Portuguese has scored eight goals in just four European appearances this season to equal the record jointly held by Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Filippo Inzaghi, Hernan Crespo

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Taekwondo: Nigeria shines in Classics

and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has also scored eight times for Paris Saint-Germain this season. But he has missed Madrid’s last three games due to a slight muscular injury and suspension respectively, even as Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that he will return in midweek despite Madrid having already sealed their place in the last 16.

YEMI OLUS

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igeria has won eight gold six silver and 16 bronze medals to emerge victorious at the maiden Lagos international Taekwondo Classics. Mali and Niger Republic took joint second on the medal table with 1 gold and 1 silver respectively while Gabon and Ghana emerged joint forth on the medals table with 1 silver medal each . Event Co-ordinator, Tayo Popoola, commended the Lagos

State government for sponsoring the progamme, even as she commended the participants at the four-day tournament which on December 7. “Gratitude also goes to Lagos State Commissioner for Sports, Hon.Waheed Enitan Oshodi, for facilitating the International Classics that included the taekwondo event. Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger Republic and Togo took part in the exercise dominated by the host country.

Beach V’ball: Team Nigeria set for Ghana

Vidic, Devils’ A trio doubtful for Shakhtar

JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

Ronaldo

Lahm set for City

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ayern Munich captain, Philipp Lahm, could return for today’s home game with Manchester City, having missed the last few weeks with a hamstring injury. Winger Franck Ribery showed he is back at his best after a rib injury with two goals and two assists in an outstanding display. Despite becoming the first German team to win the treble of European, league and cup titles under Jupp Heynckes last season, his successor Pep Guardiola is ensuring

Bayern maintain its high standards. “The coach never lets up,” centre-back Jerome Boateng said yesterday. Bayern faces more international competition after the City game as the team travels to Morocco to play in the Club World Cup and will want to finish the Champions League group campaign on a high. “The team is happy, we have a great mentality, but we have to keep playing at that level,” Ribery said yesterday.

Nemanja Vidic

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anchester United’s quartet of Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Chris Smalling and Marouane Fellaini all sat out training yesterday morning ahead of the club’s UEFA Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk at Old Trafford today. United needs a point to secure top spot in Group A and avoid most of Europe’s heavyweights in the last 16, but the Manager David Moyes is also hopeful of a morale-boosting performance at Old Trafford after successive home Premier League defeats.

With Michael Carrick also ruled out by an Achilles injury and Darren Fletcher not registered for European competition, Moyes will be counting the bodies ahead of this clash. On Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle, Moyes said: “I need to make sure I’m getting the best out of the players and we are performing as well as we possibly can. “I do think we can play better but there were a lot of games last year where Manchester United didn’t play particularly well and maybe, in a game like that, sneaked it with a goal.”

head of Beach Vo l l e y b a l l Open Championship organised for member countries in West Africa, Team Nigeria will depart for Ghana today to participate in the event. Officials said yesterday in Abuja that four players and two officials would represent Nigeria in the five-day championship. Chairman of the Beach Volleyball Commission of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation

(NVBF), Musa Nimrod, said the federation had prepared the players adequately. “Currently Nigeria is number two in Volleyball game in the senior cadre while South Africa tops the latest ranking due to their participation in the last Olympics,” Nimrod added. “Nigeria is number one in the continent at the U-21, 19 and 17 levels and I am confident that our team will do well. “Most especially, it will prepare them for bigger competitions.”

Pellegrini easy on Bayern

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Lahm

anchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed he will field a weakened side against Bayern Munich today as he prepares to face Arsenal next week. With City having already qualified for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, Pellegrini claims next weekend’s Premier League clash with league leaders Arsenal holds more importance for City. Pellegrini confirmed Joe Hart will start in goal ahead of Costel Pantilimon and that he plans to rest a number of other key players for the trip to the Allianz Arena. “Joe Hart will play against Bayern

Munich, sure,” Pellegrini admitted yesterday. “Of course, if you ask me at this moment, the game against Arsenal next weekend is more important than the game against Bayern Munich.

Pellegrini

Hart

Today’s fixtures Man United

vs

Shakhtar

Sociedad

vs

Leverkusen

Galatasaray

vs

Juventus

Copenhagen

vs

Madrid

Plzen

vs

CSKA

Bayern

vs

Man City

Olympiakos

vs

Anderlecht

Benfica

vs

PSG


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

29

Why Club World Cup is vital–Robben Bayern Munich talisman, Arjen Robben, was decisive in leading the German team to the UEFA Champions League title in May, setting up one goal and scoring the winner that ultimately secured the team’s place at the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013. The 29-year-old winger spoke to FIFA.com on the significance of the looming Club World Cup, the Netherlands’ chances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and sundry issues How big a role would Jupp Heynckes have played in the title if you win? We won the Champions League with Jupp Heynckes, so because of that it would be his title too. What is the appeal of the Club World Cup? It’s a contest between the best teams from every continent from all over the world. Even if football in Europe is perhaps on a different level, it’s still a great tournament to play in. It’s also a global advertisement for football. It brings different playing cul-

tures together and that’s great. Do you remember any previous Club World Cup matches, such as those played by Feyenoord or Ajax? I think Ajax won the Champions League once and then beat a Brazilian team in the Club World Cup. I was still a kid then, but it was very special because a Dutch team was playing in the tournament. I was about ten years old, and the idea of being a world champion was massive to me at that age. Is the tournament also important as a global advertisement for FC Bayern? Yes, of course. Our success last year was a great advertisement for the team, but this would definitely be a bonus. We really want to show what we’re capable of there, and that can only be a positive thing for the club and all its players. Have you noticed an increase in interest for Bayern internationally? I’ve definitely noticed that. It has a

lot to do with our successes last season but also those of previous years, when you look at our performances. The whole club has made such great strides in recent years, so it’s normal to expect people to take notice. Has the image of the club also changed during that time? I noticed it a little in Holland too. Ten years ago, Bayern were not nearly such a popular club, but since Van Gaal’s era and the period after that, things changed completely and we have a lot of fans there now. How important is it to finish the year on a high at the Club World Cup before the winter break? It’s definitely important, but if it doesn’t work out, we’ll carry on again after the break. There’ll be a lot to play for then. From March and April the next round of trophies will start to be handed out and we want to be there for that. Will you settle another old score in the Brazil 2014 final? You can’t compare the two, but if things work out, maybe I can retire. So much has to happen first for Holland to reach the final. Who are your favourites for the World Cup? For me, it’s still Brazil, Germany and Spain, although there are still a few other dangerous teams. And the Netherlands… I don’t think so, but I’m positive. At home, everyone wants to hear that we’ll go there and become world champions, but we’ve got to be realistic. There are some teams that are better than us right now, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s positive for us, as we can spend the next few months until the World Cup improving, taking small steps and then we’ll see what happens. Who are your favourites to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or? I’m already very proud just to be among the 23 players, as it’s a great list full of great players. Ronaldo and Messi are two guys in a class of their own, but which of them will win, I don’t know.

Arjen Robben

Youth Games: LOC axes age cheats, threatens sanctions JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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bout 20 states were affected on Sunday when the Screening Sub-Committee for the maiden National Youth Games (NYG) disqualified over-aged athletes from participating in the games. Chairman of the screening committee, Mallam Ibrahim Mohammed, who confirmed this to the National Mirror in Abuja yesterday, however, declined listing

the affected states. Mohammed said the athletes were immediately ejected from their camps as deterrent to other cheats. “We have refrained from exposing the culprits in the media because this is the maiden edition of the games,” the chairman said. “Rules have been given and we said Under-17; by the law and policy of education in Nigeria 2009/2010, every child under-17 must be in the school. But the

affected states brought seasoned and over-aged athletes. “That win-at-all-cost syndrome should be stopped in us, let us go to the right age so that we can produce the right athletes for this country and in the near future we will be champion of the world.” Mohammed, who is also the President of School Sports Federation of Nigeria, regretted that states directors of sports did not understand essence of the competition.

Demspey

Demspey seeks Ghana’s scalp

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SA striker, Clint Dempsey, hopes his country will end Ghana’s dominance over the Americans in next year’s World Cup finals when they clash in their Group G opening game. The Stars and Stripes’ dream of progressing to the quarter-final in South Africa 2010 was shut by the Black Stars as the Bob Bradleycoach side lost 2-1 after extra-time, the USA’s second defeat in a row to Ghana after losing by the same scoreline in the Group stage at the 2006 finals hosted by Germany. “We’ve played them the last two finals and maybe it’s an opportu-

nity for us to get them back,” Demspey, who now plays for Seattle Sounders, said yesterday. “We feel hard done by because the last two times we played them they crushed our dreams of going further in the World Cup. We are due for a win this time.” Ghana will begin camping for the 2014 Brazil World Cup finals on May 25, a week after all the major European Leagues have come to an end next year, the Ghana Football Association confirmed yesterday. Ghana is in Group G alongside Germany, Portugal and USA.

NYG to produce elite athletes – Minister

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he Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has assured Nigerians that talent discovered at end of the ongoing 1st National Youth Games (NYG) will be groomed until they reach their optimal level and consequently serve as a pool from which athletes would be drawn to represent the country at international tournaments. Abdullahi, who is also the Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) stated this yesterday while visiting the venues of the ongoing NYG during an on-the spot assessment of the games. The Minister said this is against the backdrop of encouragement and support received from President Goodluck Jonathan to organise this type of games that will bring together thousands of our budding youths from different parts of the country to participate and compete against one another. The first point of call yesterday, was the Velodrome at Package A of the Abuja National Stadium where Abdullahi joined many spectators to watch the boxing event; the match between Duniya Hammed of Kastina State and Bulius Enoch of the FCT in the 52-54kg weight category. The next point of call was the weightlifting gymnasium where he watched the para-power lifters

doing their preliminaries. Speaking on the issue of screening, the minister noted that issues bothering on age limit will arise, adding that the most important thing however, is to ensure that any athlete competing in the games is actually U-17. “If we have any athlete above this age bracket competing, no matter how good the athlete is in the games then the purpose of the games would have been defeated,” he said.

FIFA shifts Costa Rica 2014 final

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IFA announced yesterday, that due to the possible second round of elections in Costa Rica, the final of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will be brought forward one day. The match for third place as well as the final will now be played on Friday, 4 April instead of Saturday, 5 April 2014. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) has informed FIFA about the possible round of elections and about the requirements of the democratic electoral processes of the Costa Rican Government, which forbid the organisation of major public events in the 24 hours preceding the elections, including football matches.


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

On the track with

YEMI OLUS danyella172003@yahoo.com

Tandoh refutes Classics shift L agos State Director of Sports, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, says the athletics event of the Lagos State International Classics has been slated to take place next year and not cancelled as speculated in

some quarters. The classics series was introduced by the Lagos State government this year across various sports as table tennis, squash, swimming, chess, basketball with the final event, tae-

kwondo, held last weekend. Athletics was initially billed to hold in September but was cancelled without any reason, much to the disappointment of athletes who had registered for the

international tournament. “I am a part of the team working with the Honourable Commissioner, Wahid Enitan Oshodi, on the classics,” the DOS said. “I think there was a problem of the availability of the international athletes at that point in

time. So we felt that there no point having that competition if we did not have a good representation of the international athletes. “It will be done at the time that we will have better representation of international athletes.”

Tandoh

Ohuruogu sets Indoors target

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eigning 400m world champion, Christine Ohuruogu, is ready for the World Indoors in Sopot, Poland, in March, although in the 4x400m re-

Stars no-show mars African Masters

Ohuruogu

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and others ran. So I am disappointed that they did not run this time. They should have been here to add glamour,” he stressed. President of the Nigeria Athletics Masters, Gloria Obajimi, however, defended the athletes who stayed away, saying they communicated reasons for their absence. “Mary Onyali couldn’t be here because her schedule is very tight, working with the Director General of the National Sports Commission,” Obajimi explained. “Falilat Ogunkoya is in camp with the athletes who are preparing for the Commonwealth Games and has not been training for some time.” But one of the former athletes who pleaded anonymity told National

European Championships. I don’t know in what capacity I’ll be doing the Europeans. Everything depends on how fit I am. It’s hard to peak for both,” she added. In spite of her achievements, the former Commonwealth Games champion, who is on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, does not currently feel on top of running in her family, let alone the world. “Sometimes you stop and celebrate too much then get passed and I don’t want to do that,” the Nigerian-born British athlete further said.

Sharp awaits gold prize

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Former athlete Mary Onyali-Omagbemi was a notable absentee at the Masters event in Lagos

he absence of former athletes Mary Onyali, Falilat Ogunkoya and Yususf Alli at the African Athletics Masters last weekend in Lagos robbed the competition of the expected glamour. Many had expected the track of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos to be literally set ablaze as the former stars rekindled the rivalry of yesteryears at the two day championship, but a near-empty stadium stared spectators who thronged the venue. An athletics coach who won the 100m, Dennis Inyang, could not hide his disappointment at the development. “Two years ago, a number of us ran together at the national championships,” Inyang recalled. “In 2010, the late Sunday Bada, Yusuf Alli

lay rather than the individual event. It is four months since her second world title, adding to the gold won in Osaka, Japan, six years earlier and five years since her career high at the Olympics. She also hopes to be fit for next year’s Commonwealth Games and European Championships “As defending champion in the relay it would be nice to do that but I’m taking the slowly approach in getting back,” Ohuruogu said. “I’ve a feeling that I’ll be doing both the Commonwealth Games and

Mirror that the absentees may have protested against the NSC and Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for not supporting the event. “Our action is intentional because we are not happy with the way we were treated by the NSC and AFN,” the ex-athlete said, adding, “The officials are aware of this event yet didn’t do anything about it.” World Masters Association Vice President, Sergi Beckers, however commended the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for going on with the championship in the face of financial hurdles. “It’s the first time Nigeria has hosted and the LOC struggled with funding,” the Belgian said. “I think they did their best under the circumstances,” he added.

uropean 800m champion, Lynsey Sharp, is still waiting for her gold medal, six months after being awarded it. The Scot finished second behind Yelena Arzhakova in the 2012 European Championships final, but the Russian rival was then banned for doping. In June, European Athletics amended the records to show Sharp as the win-

Sharp

ner. “I’ve heard nothing from European Athletics, not even to do with the ban or being upgraded,” Sharp said yesterday. “People have said ‘is it because they’re waiting for Arzhakova to give her medal back?’ But all the medals were engraved so it’s not as if she can just pass that to me. I don’t think this is a surprise, I think it happens

all the time.” The 23-year old says Scottish Athletics have done all they can to secure the medal on her behalf. “I am eager to get hold of the gold that is rightly mine,” she submitted. Sharp is the daughter of Scottish sprinter Cameron Sharp, a European 200m silver medallist and Commonwealth gold medallist in the 4x100m.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

31

Lagos real estate picks up as land value in VI soars

Residential apartments in Ikoyi remain most expensive –Experts DAYO AYEYEMI

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espite the economic crisis of 2009 to 2011 that created lull in every sector of the economy, Lagos real estate market is picking up again. This is evident in the seemingly reduction of voids in the choice properties and multiple developments of new commercial developments in Victoria Island and sales prices of luxury apartments reaching new highs in Ikoyi neighbourhoods. According to the latest analysis and review of Lagos real estate market fourth quarter of 2013 by MCO Real Estate in partnership with 3Invest Limited, a good proxy for tracking the buoyancy of the construction sector is cement sales which are rising faster than nominal Gross Domestic Products, GDP, growth rates. The report pointed out that construction sector is being driven by government spending on infrastructure along with private investment at the lower end of the market. On prime Lagos Island land price movement over a two-year period from Third quarter (Q3) of 2011 to Q3 of 2013, the report stated that Victoria Island (VI) has remained the most expensive land on the Island, crossing the $2,000 per square metre mark with values currently averaging $2,049 (N312,596) per square metre. VI is closely followed by Ikoyi at an average price of $1,700 (N257,208) per square metre, according to the MCO and 3Invest Limited report. The report said, “Banana Island values which are similar to prices at Eko Atlantic have appreciated by 17 per cent over the last year and by 79 per cent over the last 2 years showing the strongest price appreciation among its peers. “Lekki Phase 1 has shown the least price appreciation over the past two years, falling by 4 per cent since September 2011.

Continued availability of cheaper parcels of land further away from the core Phase 1 areas around the Admiralty Road, the report has adduced as reason for lack of price appreciation in land in Lekki Phase 1. However, the practitioners in the sector have reacted to the report, saying that parcels of land in Banana Island remain the most expensive in Lagos Island when referring to residential properties. According to the Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos Chapter, Mr. Stephen Jagun, Banana Island is the most expensive followed by Ikoyi in terms of per square

meter of land and rental values. He attributed high concentration of the rich to high land and rental values of properties in Banana Island. He stated that, in terms of commercial properties, VI took the led closely followed by Lekki. In the same vein, a Lecturer in the Department of Estate Surveying, University of Lagos, Professor Olugbenga Nubi, stated that in that last three to four years, Ikoyi has remained the most expensive, pointing out that most of the houses in the neighbourhood are luxury apartment. “When you talk of commercial properties, VI is higher,” he said.

The report by MCO said, “The Lagos real estate market has finally recovered from the lows of the global credit crunch and is showing increasing strength entering into 2014. Interest rates remain high, however the trend is towards falling inflation rates setting the scene for a potential reduction in bank lending rates come 2014. “Economic reforms instituted by the government over the last few years are starting to take effect and along with positive macroeconomic fundamentals across Africa are drawing increasing inward investment into Africa in general and Nigeria in particular.”

Proposed floating houses for Makoko waterfront community of Lagos as a way of adaptating to the challenge of climate change.

Private sectors to invest N220bn in 4th Mainland Bridge –Commissioner

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rivate investors will finance the construction of a N220 billion Fourth Mainland Bridge in Lagos, the state’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze, has

Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos

said. Speaking at the 2013 Seminar/ Luncheon of the Financial Services Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Akabueze said the federal

or states government would not be financing the bridge as private sector investors have already made plans to invest N220 billion in the construction of the bridge. However, he did not mention

names of firms jostling for investment in the infrastructure project. On the state’s budget and performance, the commissioner said Lagos State requires a larger budget than it currently operates. He said, “Lagos State has consistently recorded good budgetary performance, more than any other state government in Nigeria. We have tried to make the people to own the budget, and make it works for them because effective budgetary systems and implementation have contributed significantly to socio-economic development in Lagos. According to him, investment in infrastructure simultaneously tackles a number of challenges such as job creation, poverty reduction, lower cost of operations for manufacturing and commercial enterprises. It would be recalled that recently, the Federal Government

carried out the repairs of Third Mainland Bridge phase 11 and the replacement of its eight expansion joints as the sum of N1.055bn. Completed in 1990 to bring succour to the travelling public, Third Mainland 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 bridge starts from Oworonshoki which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and LagosIbadan Expressway, and ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island. There is also a link midway through the bridge that leads to the Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba. The bridge was built by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and opened by former military President Ibrahim Babangida in 1990.


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Real Estate & Environment

Your home is the best place for you to relax and take a rest from the busy life you had the whole day. Having a home bar would be a good source of enjoyment for you, your friends and your family. You can enjoy any drinks you want for as long as you have enough stocks. But before you think of all the fun you will get, experts at www.homedesignlover.com advised you to think on how your bar should be designed. Also, there are some things that you would need to consider in creating your own bar. To give you a guide in doing that, here are some tips in designing your home bar.

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now its function: Before you even start drafting, you should know how your bar will be used. Assess your entertaining habits so you will know the things that you need to place in your bar. It would be good if you design it for everyday use even if you will not be using it every day. Choose your location: There are different locations where you can place your bar. Some people place it in the kitchen. Some has it in the basement. There are home bars located in recreation rooms. One way to help you decide on where to place the bar is considering plumbing requirements, power sources and availability of space. Draft a plan: As always, you should be able to know what you really want for your home bar. Draft a layout and design it. Look at your space and determine the size of your bar and the kind of design that suits it. Make sure that your bar will not make your space look crowded. You can get ideas from bars in your area or check some magazines and other designs online. Take into account your budget: Consider your budget in designing for a customized bar. If you do not have the carpentry skills, then hire someone to do it for you. The design of your bar depends on the space you have. You can make is simple especially if your space is small. You can add more curves and designs if your space is bigger. See to it that you have decided the types of bar you really want. It doesn’t need a lot of materials to work on the bar. And the design also depends on how much is your budget. Choose bar design: There are different designs for your home bar. You need to choose what suits your space. You can have a portable bar that can be moved to different locations and be put away when it is not used. You can have a wet bar where you can have a sink in it. You may have a full back bar to store bottles and others which has a more professional look. Wall shelves can be paired with this. If you want to store bottle and cans of beer, you would also need refrigeration or you may want to have built-in ice machines. It is up to you to choose the kind of bar you want. Bar texture and tone: Decide on the

texture you want for your bar. You can have a classic wooden bar if you want. You may also use tiles or stone for the countertop. Choose the colors that will make your bar look inviting and would look right in your room. You should consider the tone in the area if it has a uniform tone or contrasting colors. You can also have a sleek look for your counter. Think of bar size and shape: The length and shape of your bar depends on the space you have. You can make it straight, L-shaped, curved or round. You may consult designers for this or look for some designs in the Internet or in magazines. You can also use a cabinet bar which is a stand-alone cabinet with drinks, glasses and bar tools inside it. A standard bar might be apt for you which is a stand-alone counter with a back bar. Or you can opt for a standalone back bar which is a back bar with extra counter space for mixing drinks. Just bear in mind that the standard dimension for home bars is about 41-44 inches tall and 24 inches deep with bar stools which is 29-32 inches tall. Bar stool and seating: Decide on the type of seating you want. It can be a plain bar stool, one with a back, a high stool design or a fancy stool. Let it complement with the design of your home. Let it match with the furniture you used for the dining area. Or you can actually make it unique as long as it still goes with your home design concept. Make sure that the spaces between each stool are 28 inches to allow comfortable seating and movement. Bar storage area: You would need a space for storing your beers and wine. Have that inside your bars. You can also place wall shelves for your wines. If you want to have a refrigerator, you can place one, too. Determine your needed storage space so that you can make one that is enough for everything. Liven up your bar: To enliven your bar, add some dramatic lighting using pin lights. You can have recessed lightings, too. Decorate it with accessories like a lighted bar sign if you want. Or you can place anything that would show your personality. Hanging glass racks can add beauty to your home bar. You can add some framed wall pictures and other decorations.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Real Estate & Environment

33

Our clean energy projects have created 45,000 jobs –SMEFunds boss Mr. Femi Oye is the Chief Executive Officer of SMEFunds. In this interview with OLUFEMI ADEOSUN, he speaks on the energy crisis in the country and the efforts of his group to leverage on the various alternative energy sources available in the country to bridge the gap. SMEFunds recently emerged the best clean energy investment opportunity in West Africa. How is your organisation able to attain this level of recognition in view of stiff competition from other organisations with similar interest? SMEFunds is an organisation that understood early the importance of energy to the development and growth of small businesses. We are of the belief that energy is very vital to any thriving economy. Thus, when we started supporting small businesses few years ago, we found out that over 60 per cent of the revenue, including profit generated by small businesses went into servicing over bloated, very expensive energy needs. Some of these needs, which they hitherto not expected to bear, at least in a developed economy with the needed infrastructure, include cost of buying diesel, Petrol and the likes. As part of our efforts to bridge the gap, SMEfunds formed a strategic partnership with the United Nations to actually develop low cost, home grown, African based solution to our own problem and we started that over five years ago. The West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF) and USAID award that we recently got in Accra, Ghana is not by accident, but a recognition bestowed on us as a result of the hard work and the critical understanding of the need of developing country, the need of those middle class, and the need of the missing middle class in the economy. In specific term, which of the projects won SMEfunds the award and of what impact is it in addressing the energy needs of the ordinary people in the country? Our clean cook stove project, which actually coverts waste to energy actually won the award. The award came as a challenge. It is gratifying to note that within two years that the project came on stream, it attracted a lot of attentions because it was designed and developed by the people and for the people. Another unique think about this project is that most of the people that convert the waste to the energy that we currently sell and distribute, sell below the market rate of petrol and kerosene today. These are women and simple rural folks who understand the importance of energy. We are championing a shift from the conventional fossil fuel to clean energy. This is so because various studies have shown and we have also experienced it in many ways, the harmful effects of fossil fuel our health and the environment.

Oye

WE ARE CHAMPIONING A SHIFT FROM THE

CONVENTIONAL FOSSIL FUEL TO CLEAN ENERGY.

THIS IS SO BECAUSE VARIOUS STUDIES HAVE

SHOWN AND WE HAVE ALSO EXPERIENCED IT IN MANY WAYS, THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF FOSSIL FUEL OUR HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT Many people ingest the smoke and a lot of people develop cancer, high blood pressure and respiratory problem. Since we started, we have been able to develop a thriving business model that connects the government and the international community, and of course the people which is the local community themselves, under a platform. Together, these three tiers were able to collaborate and come up with a solution that people have widely endorsed, and that is actually what gave us the courage to begin to invest more in new technology, in research and development in the industry, in expanding innovative network and of course in creating micro finance model for the people to take them out of the grip of poverty.. Renewable energy has been proven to be better, cost effective and sustainable than the fossil fuel. Can you give an insight into your ongoing Bio-fuel project? Of course, the bio fuel project is also one of the major areas of our investments. This waste-to- energy project enables us to get bio-ethanol from saw-dust and water

hyacinth. The sawdust is available all over the country and we have two operational facilities bio refineries in Epe, Lagos State that process it. The third one is being developed in Abuja. We have just acquired over 40 hectares of land for the Abuja project. It is being developed and hopefully it should become operational by the second quarter of 2014. From what you have said so far, one can discern that most of your projects are pro-poor and rural-based. What is your relationship with the people and how many of them have been empowered through your projects? The relationship that is critical is the need to identify our critical support base, which are the common folks that suffer energy depriversation. We understood from the conception of our projects that there could not be a being without life passing through it. We also realised that energy poverty that we experience in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, could be sorted out be looking within, employing local technology and leveraging on abundance human

and material resources available to us. For over 200years, we have tried to move gradually from nature, to creating the disaster that we are currently seeing. We call it urbanisation, industrialisation, development. But from the COP 18 which took place in Doha, it has been redesigned and defined that if only we want to live in the future of our dream, if only we want to hand over posterity to the younger generations, we need to begin to think beyond development; we need to begin to think beyond globalisation or beyond industrialisation. This is because, when Europe and America were developing, nobody knew anything about the impact of our development on our habitat, on our environment, and on our co-existence. A Company wants to make so much money, and in the process, it exploits the natural resources, the natural habitat, the natural creature that God has given to us not minding the impact of this on our environment. Today we have made all the money, development is here, but then we are fast losing our world. The global warming that we have experienced and still experiencing and has served as an eye opener and we now understood that the only solution to end energy crisis, to end energy poverty is to come back to nature. And where is the nature that is what the SMEfunds has focused on in the last three years. What we have been doing at cheaper, cost effective way to convert the waste that we have in our environment into affordable and clean energy that we can use. A typical example is the bio ethanol plant that we are setting up, the “bio gel” that came out of that ethanol can actually burn without any carbon and we can see the direct effect on the number of emission that we are able to capture. How have all of these impacted positively on the people and the country as a whole? We have been able to help a whole lot of people based on the number and the volume of carbon that we have been able to sequent and reduce from the volume of solar panels that we have installed, from the volume of ethanol fuel that we have been able to replace kerosene with. Apart from that, we have some cars in Lagos now that run on 10per cent of this same fuel We have also developed strategy, technology and solution that can actually cut emission in Nigeria alone by an average of 14 to 15% every 10 years. Also, unlike in any other development, we engage the community of our pilot project and they willingly submit the wastes from their farmlands to us and within that same community, we are able to process it, create jobs for them. We have also designed it in such a way that makes them be part owner to the project we are creating. That is the real definition of socio enterprise. Our projects as at today have created about 45,000 direct jobs. 60 percent of these people are women, and we have also created over 200,000 indirect jobs. We have over 80 people working in each of our plants.


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Why PPP projects failed in Nigeria –NIQS ...Aliyu takes oath of office as president

DAYO AYEYEMI

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ack of transparency, deficient procurement and poor project packaging have been identified by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveying, NIQS, as causes of the failure of Private-PublicPartnerships (PPPs) in Nigeria. These problems, according to the institute were highly correlated, noting that Nigeria has not been able to successfully initiate and complete many PPP projects considering the critical need for infrastructure, size of the population, economy and its absorptive capacity. In a communiqué issued at the end of its 25th biennial conference with the theme, “Nigeria’s Quest for Investment and Growth: Releasing the Potential of Infrastructure Public Private Partnership”, the institute urged that the existing problems with PPPs demand that the government at the federal and sub-federal levels, investors and professional associations work together to enhance the governance of PPP. It explained that PPP has the potential to make a significant contribution to closing the country’s infrastructural gap, create wealth and improve life quality. Meanwhile, Alhaji Murtala Muhammad Aliyu has been elected as the new president of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyor. Other executives elected are

Mercy Iyortyer as Deputy President; Gbemibo Ogunfidodo as Vice President; Femi Balogun as Secretary General; Ruya Fadason as Rreasurer; Jide Oke as Secretary, Marketing/Corporate Affairs; Kolapo Adeyemi as Secretary, International Affairs; Ejike Anonike as Secretary, Professional Development/Library and Abubakar Alkali as Assistant Secretary Genera. In his acceptance speech, Aliyu reeled out his action plans and promised a fruitful working relationship among members In the communiqué, the institute noted that the gap between

the country’s current infrastructure endowment and what is required to attract investment, undertake competitive economic activities and provide jobs is estimated at $2.9trillion. The communiqué read, “Though PPPs will finance only 15 to 20 per cent of the required infrastructure investment, the projects financed through PPPs are likely to be high-profile critical infrastructure that can make Nigerian economy significantly more productive and enhance its capacity to attract other investments. Listing one of its advantages if explore, NIQS pointed out that

PPPs could help to reduce corruption in infrastructure procurement because many more parties are involved rather than just government and contractors that are involved in government procurement. It added that PPPs had improved the capacity of the public sector in many countries to deliver infrastructure assets and services. Among other recommendations, the NIQS said advocacy, MDAs’ capacity building, viable funding and government investment in PPPS would boost participation of the PPP in infrastructural development.

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Measures to speed up delivery of new homes in UK announced

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ew measures will speed up the delivery of new homes in the UK by cutting down unnecessary planning processes and providing more certainty about where sensible development should take place. According to Property Wire report, Housing minister Nick Boles has outlined proposals that will boost house building and support businesses keen to expand by removing delays from the planning system, stopping burdensome conditions and cutting the costly red tape often faced by applicants. He said that the changes will also provide more certainty for communities and developers by proposing to make it a legal requirement for local authorities to have a local plan in place as this will ensure that councils engage with local people about where homes, businesses and services for their area should be located in the future. The measures mean that when

a council has failed to deal with details required by a condition on a planning permission on time it will be treated as approved. They will also strengthen the requirement for councils to justify conditions which require more infor-

mation before work can start. Other measures will be consulted on including how to improve plan making and making it a statutory requirement for a council to put a local plan in place, shaping where develop-

ment should and shouldn’t go, and how to cut the number of applications where unnecessary statutory consultations take place while keeping the same level of environmental protections in place.

Unleashing economic power of forest lands through producer organisations DAYO AYEYEMI

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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orest and farm producers, along with representatives from governments and non-governmental organisations from 42 countries have drawn up a ‘road map’ for supporting forest producer organisations as the socially just and environmentally sustainable way of addressing global deforestation The plan, published at the weekend, was an outcome of a conference, aptly named ‘Strength in numbers’, which

took place in Guilin, China from 25-28 November. It gathered 150 participants from many forestrelated sectors, countries and regions to discuss the role of producer organisations in sustainably managing forests and generating income at local, national and regional levels. It was the first such meeting to focus on the important role of forest producer organisations. Governments and investors rarely recognise this role despite the fact that there are around one billion smallholders, indigenous people and local community members owning

one quarter of the world’s forests and generating US$75–100 billion per year in goods and services. “As a group, local forest producers play a major role in global trade, and yet are often overlooked when we talk about the role of the private sector in forest landscape management and restoration,” says Chris Buss, Deputy Director of IUCN’s Forest and Climate Change Programme. Many of the obstacles that producers face can be overcome by forming organisations and supporting each other at a practical and political level.

Steady improvement in property prices in Ireland –Data

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esidential property prices in Ireland have increased nationally by 6.1 per cent in the year to October, signalling a steady improvement, according to data from the Central Statistical Office. This compares with an increase of 3.6 per cent in September and a decrease of 8.1 per cent recorded in the 12 months to October 2012 showing that the recovery is moving forward. Residential property prices grew by 1.8 per cent in the month of October. The same increase was recorded in the previous month and a decrease of 0.6 per cent was recorded in October of last year. In Dublin residential property prices grew by 2.3 per cent in October and were 15 per cent higher than a year ago. Dublin house prices grew by 2 per cent in the month and were 14.6 per cent higher compared to a year earlier. Dublin apartment prices were 18 per cent higher when compared with the same month of 2012. However, a CSO spokesman said that it should be noted that the sub-indices for apartments are based on low volumes of observed transactions and consequently suffer from greater volatility than other series. The price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland rose by 1.5% in October compared with a decrease of 0.9 per cent in October last year. Prices were 0.3% lower than in October 2012. Although prices are now moving upwards there is still some way to go before they recover from the economic downturn. For example, house prices in Dublin are 48 per cent lower than at their highest level in early 2007. Apartments in Dublin are 56 per cent lower than they were in February 2007. Residential property prices in Dublin are 50% lower than at their highest level in February 2007. The fall in the price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland is somewhat lower at 47 per cent. Overall, the national index is 47per cent lower than its highest level in 2007.

Enda Kenny


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Aviation

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Director, Nigerian Aviation Safety Initiative, NASI, Capt. Dung Pam, is a pilot with several years of experience and in now based in the United Kingdom. In this interview with OLUSEGUN KOIKI, speaks on some issues in the Nigerian aviation industry, including the recent election of Dr. Babatunde Aliu as the President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, his likely challenges and the need for African countries to work together to achieve their set goals. Excerpts: The Nigeria’s representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, Council, Dr. Babatunde Aliu was recently appointed as its President, as an expert in the sector, what is your view about this appointment? The Nigeria aviation safety initiative, NASI, joins the country and the entire African nations to congratulate Dr. Babatunde Bernard Aliu on his election as the second African after Algeria’s Taïeb Chérif to achieve the Presidency of the ICAO council. It is a testament to Aliu’s personal credibility, hard work and dedication that he has emerged victorious over other similarly well deserving and qualified candidates. Considering that ICAO currently has 191 member countries, but the council can only accommodate 36 members. These 36 members are further divided into three parts based on their level of importance. Nigeria falls into the second of three classes of members of the Council. Nigeria is considered to have strategic importance as a market. So this could be regarded as a spectacular feat. It has also brought pride and respect to Nigeria that once again we are able to produce a candidate that is deemed fit and competent to head an agency of a global organisation such as the United Nations. In a few weeks, the euphoria of this election will die down and then it will be time to face the business of performing the duties of his esteemed office. That is almost all there is with regards to good news with this spectacular feat. This position comes with a wider scope of responsibility. Some people expect him to use his goodwill and connection to better Nigerian aviation industry as he is now the President of ICAO Council. But the question we should ask ourselves is that; has Dr. Aliu actually contributed to the growth and development of the country’s aviation sector in the past years? For the last eight years, Aliu’s primary role in ICAO has been as Nigeria’s representative as well as contributing to stabilising the African Civil Aviation Commission, AFCAC. NASI believes he was instrumental in Nigeria’s attainment of America’s Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, Category One Status and other improvements we have witnessed in recent times in the country. What does it entails to be the President of ICAO? In this new role, he is saddled with implementing ICAO’s strategy and obligation to its 191 member states. Knowing that his success will be determined by the performance of his new constituency of 191 member states, it is indeed an arduous task for him to perform. It is obvious that he will not have the liberty of focusing only on Nigeria and Africa as it was the case previously. Some experts in the sector have said that despite being the President of ICAO Council, African aviation industry may still be the weeping aviation in-

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Nigeria’s safety performance may embarrass Aliu at ICAO –Capt. Pam Chérif from Algeria as the council President. His tenure had no significant effect on Africa’s aviation safety record or development. What is the composition of the ICAO Council? A sedulous look at the composition of the ‘first class’ of ICAO’s council membership is a group of seven countries that have quasi-permanent representation on the council. These countries have well developed airlines and are major manufacturers/ suppliers of aerospace aviation equipment. Is it a mere coincidence that their financially contributions account for at least 65 per cent of the United Nations budget. These countries and their contribution respective contributions are; United States, 22 per cent;, Japan, 11 per cent; Germany, 7.1 per cent; France, 5.6 per cent; United Kingdom, 5.2 per cent; China, 5.1 per cent and Italy with 4.5 per cent. Apart from China and Germany, all these countries are facing serious economic conditions as a result of the last financial meltdown. They will expect to get their moneys’ worth from the UN. So, it is possible that this is a scenario of ‘he who pays the piper dictates the tune.’ After all, the objective of all shades of diplomacy is the preservation of national interest.

Pam

I FEAR THAT NIGERIA’S CURRENT SAFETY PERFORMANCE MAY RATHER BE A SOURCE OF EMBARRASSMENT TO OUR REPRESENTATIVE IN

ICAO. HE WILL BE

SUPERINTENDING OVER SAFETY AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF OVER

191 COUNTRIES ONLY

TO FIND THAT THE WORST PERFORMERS ARE THOSE FROM HIS

SUB-SAHARAN

CONSTITUENCY dustry in the world, what is your take on this? My pessimism is borne out of the historical antecedents that those who fund such global organisations including the United Nations, eventually drive the agenda to be implemented by the organisation. For consecutively 16 years, January 1, 1992 to December 31, 2006 the United Nations, whose primary mandate is global ‘Peace and Security’ was headed by two renowned African statesmen; Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan. However, at that same period Africa experienced some of the most horrific conflicts and widespread insecurity in its modern history. Africa was the only continent in the World to record increased poverty in the last 20 year. On ICAO, I want to say it here that the President of the council does not determine its decisions. He is a spokesman who is expected to communicate and oversee the implementation of the decisions taken by the council. For six years; 2003-2006, we had Taïeb

What does this implies on the continent and Aliu? This could also translate into a huge challenge for Aliu as the entire African countries contribute less than five per cent in global aviation and yet it is indicted with an accident rate more than 10 times the global average. Certainly, he will want to mitigate the stigmatised position. This is not going to be fixed overnight. This will not be solved by ICAO, not even with an African at the helm of affairs. I fear that Nigeria’s current safety performance may rather be a source of embarrassment to our representative in ICAO. He will be superintending over safety and economic performance of over 191 countries only to find that the worst performers are those from his Sub-Saharan constituency. In view of the scenario you painted above, what should the continent do to develop the aviation industry and what should be the role of a regional body such as AFCAC? African countries need to support and work with each other beginning to effect solutions to their problems. This has to begin at the regional level. The vehicle for the success of this strategy is the African Civil Aviation Commission, AFCAC, which is a specialised arm of the African Union. The African Airlines Association, AFRAA, is finding it difficult to assert its position in commercial aviation because of low patronage. Africa has well over 150 airlines, but only 40 are members of AFRAA. The lack of co-operation and synergy within our African stakeholders is unfortunate and disappointing. NASI is of the opinion that Aliu will better serve the cause of achieving safe and sustainable civil aviation in Africa by being at the forefront of a body such as the African Union, AU or AFCAC than being a rubber stamp for the interests of the countries that fund and dictate the agenda of the UN. We expect to have him back when his three years term with ICAO is over. For now, we expect him to be the bridge that will effectively build a symbiotic partnership between ICAO, International Air Transport Association, IATA, AU and AFRAA. We can all help in the quest for creating a safe and sustainable aviation industry in Africa by supporting each other in doing what is right.


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Aviation

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NAMA wins second consecutive service delivery award AON and internal wrangling Airside

shegzzy4live2000@yahoo.co.uk 08186007273

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he Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, said that it has been elected by Nigerians as the most outstanding public institution in the Transport and Aviation Sector in the country for the year 2012/2013. The poll was reportedly carried out by the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group in the country. An online media statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, NAMA, Mr. Supo Atobatele stated that the agency also came tops in other categories of awards from votes cast by Nigerians across the country. Atobatele stated that apart from winning the Excellence Award in Service Delivery, NAMA was also voted the overall

4th Most Outstanding Public Institution in Nigeria. The award ceremony, which took place in Abuja last week, was attended by a high delegation of NAMA officials including the Director of Human Resources, Dr. Uwem Akangson, Director of Operations; Mr. John Onyegiri; Director of Administration, Dr Aminu Saleh, and the General Manager, Planning, Statistics and Research, Mrs. Mart ha Sule. Receiving the awards on behalf of the Managing Director, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh, the Director of Human Resources, Dr. Uwem Akangson, commended the organisers for a good exercise, adding that this recognition by Nigerians would spur the agency to continue to strive for excellence in air navigation service provision.

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NAMA boss, Nnamdi Udoh

Atobatele added that the formal presentation of the awards to Udoh at the agency’s Lagos head office was witnessed by the former Assistant Secretary General of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Alhaji Mohammed Tukur and the Managing Director of Capital Airlines, Mr. Amos Akpan.

he Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, has been bedeviled with several challenges in recent time. Apart from the fact that the erstwhile executives sat tight in the positions from 14 years without a single election, AON as was formerly composed was full of stakeholders without any stake in the sector. But, recently in a bid to change the tide, a group of active airline operators sprang up, removed the executive, and eventually conducted elections into two positions; Chairman and Vice Chairman with a promise to conduct elections into other positions in the next two weeks. However, barely 24 hours after the election, news filtered out that another group allegedly led by a leading carrier in the sector, dissociated itself from the process. The body was said to be astonished at the way and manner

the elections were conducted by the election committee and in order to show its grievances, it went ahead to form another pressure group with the same acronym as AON. The new group calls itself Aircraft Owners of Nigeria, AON. What a divided house! It is sad that this is happening at this present time when the body is trying to rebrand itself and make itself more vibrant. Airside feels a divided house in AON will only give the government the leeway to foster on it unfavourable policies that may affect its growth. And since they can’t speak with one voice, the operators will be the losers in the long run. Rather than continue to display unnecessary egos, Airside thinks the two warring factions should iron out their differences in private and embrace each other in the open. A word is enough for the wise.

Time for NCAA to mow its lawns

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he Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has the most beautiful edifice among all the other agencies in the country’s aviation sector and its annex office along the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, is a cynosure of all eyes among the agencies. But Airside observes recently that the annex office of the regulatory agency is may be

L-R: The Vice President, Guest Experience, Etihad Airways, Fiona Morrisson; Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner; Vice President, Guest Services, Aubrey Tiedt and the Graduate Manager of the airline, Ahmed Al Sawalhi all celebrate the airline’s success at the World Travel Awards recently in United States of America.

Elit’Avia attains IS-BAO stage 3 accreditation

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lit’Avia, a fully-integrated provider of business aircraft charter, management and operation services, announced that it has earned stage 3 International Standard – Business Aircraft Operations, IS-BAO, accreditation from the International Business Aviation Council, IBAC. IS-BAO requires flight departments to analyse processes and identify strengths or weaknesses in day-to-day operations. Additionally, it provides managers with tools and best practices to foster a culture where safety, efficiency and a commitment to continuous improvement are integrated into all operations. A performance-based assessment, IS-BAO stage 3 is the final step in a rigorous five-year process. Each stage is concluded with an impartial third party audit. Upon completion of stage 3, ISBAO recipients have implement-

ed document-supported continuous risk mitigation processes, including feedback and tracking mechanisms. Successfully achieving stage 3 specifically requires an in-depth forensic audit, including a detailed analysis of operational performance data. Elit’Avia now joins a small and distinguished group of fewer than 100 operators worldwide who have successfully earned ISBAO stage 3 accreditation. As one of the few European operators regularly serving clients in Central Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe, Elit’Avia stated it believes that IS-BAO standards will contribute to the overall elevation of safety and reliability in these emerging markets. The company achieved IS-BAO stage 3 thanks to the professionalism of its team – management, pilots, crews and maintenance staff – who consistently apply Safety Management System, SMS, prac-

tices across all fields of operation. “I am very proud of our team, IS-BAO stage 3 provides a compass for the application of best practices and risk mitigation, even in the most challenging environments. Attaining the highest level of IS-BAO accreditation acknowledges that a full commitment to continuous improvement is embedded in our business culture. “We are now benchmarking Elit’Avia against the world’s best business aircraft operators. Our clients will benefit from consistently high quality service, reduced risk and higher resale value for their managed aircraft. Earning this top industry designation would not have been possible without the exceptional efforts of our entire team who proudly reflect the dedication to excellence embodied by IS-BAO,” says the Chief Executive Officer, Elit’Avia, Michel Coulomb.

gradually becoming a haven for reptiles as the grass within the complex are steadily becoming taller than the erected buildings in the annex. Airside thinks as the regulator of the industry, NCAA should not only regulate other agencies and companies within the sector, but should also police its own activities too by starting from mowing the over-grown lawns. Time to act is now.

Etihad Airways clinches ‘Airline of the Year’

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ne of the foreign carriers flying into Nigeria and the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, has been recognised as the ‘Airline of the Year’ by Global Traveler, GT, magazine in the United States of America, USA. The publication’s Advisory Board selected Etihad Airways for the prestigious title, with the airline also winning the awards for ‘Best Airline for First Class and Best Airport Lounges,’ voted for by Global Traveller readers. Online media statement signed by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that the Advisory Board of GT applauded the airline for its superior levels of inflight service that included Chef in Diamond First Class, a Food and Beverage Manager in Pearl Business Class, and the airline’s renowned Flying Nanny. The statement added that the airline also received the praise for the impressive and rapid expansion of the airline’s network, fleet, and services. The Chief Executive officer of

the airline, Mr. James Hogan said of the award, “The Global Traveler awards recognise the very best that the travel industry has to offer and we are delighted that in our 10th year of operations, Etihad Airways has been chosen as the Airline of the Year. “The three Global Traveler awards reflect the growing presence Etihad Airways has in the USA and that American air travelers enjoy and appreciate the increased levels of service and hospitality delivered by Etihad Airways in the air and on the ground.” Etihad Airways currently flies to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Daily return flights between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles will start on June 1, 2014 with more US destinations to be announced. Etihad Airways offers Diamond First and Pearl Business Class guests access to its luxurious premium lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport with other Etihad Airways lounges set to open in the US in 2014.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insurance

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Friendly, short-term policies needed to boost insurance in Nigeria –Olamerun

writers, should please take note that the future lies in the hand of the company that embraces the agency workforce.

The new President of the Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria, (ARIAN), Mr. Gbadebo Olamerun, told MESHACK IDEHEN in this interview how a developed agency system can drive insurance growth in the country, amongst other issues. What plans do you have for the insurance sector as the new ARIAN president? As the new president of ARIAN, My plan is straight and direct. My mandate is to make the insurance agency business easy; however, collaborating and partnering with other stakeholders in and out of the industry, especially our regulatory body, the National Insurance Commission, and other bodies like the Nigerian Insurers Association, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, to foster the deepening of insurance in Nigeria. NAICOM is developing takaful and micro-insurance. What role do agents need to play in this new development? Without mincing words, agents should be in the heart of this new initiative. I’m so glad that NAICOM has duly carried us along on takaful and micro-insurance; we have the logistical power and capacity to deliver on these products. I’ve heard people say, “If you can sell successfully as an agent, there is no other product you cannot sell.” So, takaful or micro-insurance will not be an exemption of the success story so far. What are the requirements needed to be an insurance agent? The requirements are very easy; our regulatory body (NAICOM) agreed with ARIAN in her wisdom to reduce the amount payable for registration from N11, 000 per agent to N1, 000 only in order to encourage massive registration of agents all over Nigeria. Secondly, N2, 000 membership fees payable to ARIAN; and thirdly, a CIIN proficiency test certificate. Fourthly, a letter from an underwriter and lastly, proof of tax payment. What is the relevance of an insurance agent to the underwriting business? The relevance of an agent in the underwriting business cannot be over emphasized because the agent is the grass roots pillar of the business, which is also synonymous with the underwriting business in Nigeria. Without the agency, there is no underwriter, and without the underwriter, there is no agency; so, it is a win-win scenario for both parties. As we speak, agents have the largest number of personnel that market insurance business in Nigeria. We market both corporate and individual businesses; however, we major in the individual business all over Nigeria.

What is responsible for the low level of insurance development in the country? Low public perception, which has led to low insurance penetration in Nigeria, is one. But currently, NAICOM is working with other stakeholders in the industry to ensure that insurance penetration in Nigeria increases. What policies should insurance firms introduce in the industry to attract patronage? Client-friendly, client-oriented policies with a friendly surrender value. The market is becoming very dynamic, the era where long-term insurance policies are the king is gradually fading out; short-term investment plans coupled with security benefits, are gradually taking over.

Olamerun

How do you plan to flush out quacks and unregistered members among the insurance agents? It is very unfortunate that we have over 20,000 agents transacting insurance business in Nigeria, but only 2,000 of them are registered with NAICOM. Essentially, the little success story in the industry is the drive of NAICOM and ARIAN to register agents with little or no support from many underwriters. The few underwriters that have keyed into this initiative so far are actually the major players in the insurance industry; the likes of AIICO Insurance Plc, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc and very few others that are keying into the registration of agents. Without mincing words, with reinforced collaboration with NAICOM, any underwriter with an unregistered agent will be playing to the gallery. Sincerely speaking, I implore my distin-

THE RELEVANCE OF AN AGENT IN THE UNDERWRITING BUSINESS CANNOT BE OVER EMPHASIZED BECAUSE THE AGENT IS THE GRASS ROOTS PILLAR OF THE BUSINESS,

WHICH IS ALSO SYNONYMOUS WITH THE UNDERWRITING

BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

guished underwriters to please help us to make things work for them; because the insurance agency business is becoming very dynamic and it is attracting new players from home and abroad. So, all agents must be registered so we can have a statistical base and strength to project into the future. How many insurance agents do we have in the country? We have over 20,000 agents transacting insurance business, but currently, we have a little above 2,000 registered with NAICOM, which is extremely very low compared to the number of agents prospecting on the field. Ten per cent is never a pass mark, so, we are imploring and pleading with all the stakeholders to join hands with NAICOM to increase the number of registered licensed agents in Nigeria; it is to the advantage of every one of us. Life, I know for sure, is subject to change; it will not continue like this, it will definitely get to a time that if you are not registered with NAICOM, you won’t have the access to market as an insurance agent. My bosses, the under-

How can the retail market be developed in the industry? The retail market can be developed in Nigeria if we make the approach specific. No matter how big or endowed a man is, if your mind is not laid on a thing, it becomes difficult to achieve it. If all the stakeholders can be specific in their approach in insurance retail development, then change is inevitable. What is the way forward for the insurance sector in Nigeria? The way forward for the insurance sector is to enhance the market to run on its own through some of these incentives: merger and acquisition, promoting micro insurance and creating awareness, increasing the public perception about insurance, which has contributed to low penetration. We have over 170 million individuals in Nigeria, which means the market for retail is enormous; so, retail business is the future. Strong market supervision by the regulatory body will enhance claims’ settlement, market conduct and increase the public perception. Training and retraining of practitioners must be a continuous exercise, especially the personnel that can deliver on the retail business.

Pension: How assets erased N2.6trn deficit MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, has said the value of pension assets has risen from a deficit of N2.6tn under the old scheme to N3.73tn under Contributory Pension Scheme within the nine years of the existence of the scheme. According to a statement from PenCom, Anohu-Amazu stated this while highlighting the successes of the Contributory Pension Scheme, saying the

CPS was sustainable, fully funded and privately managed by operators licensed by PenCom. She stated that the legal and institutional frameworks established by the commission has led to the registration of over 5.8 million members and the pool of pension assets generated had aided the deepening of Nigeria’s financial sector. According to her, the assets have also provided a platform for the provision of infrastructure and the development of the real sector, thereby reinforcing the transformation agenda of the country.


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Insurance

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Design attractive products, HMOs charged STORIES: MESHACK IDEHEN

H

ealth Management Organisation (HMO), has charged HMOs to design attractive products that meet the needs of the people in order deepen health insurance penetration in Nigeria. The Managing Director of Avon Healthcare Limited, a licensed Health Management Organisation Mrs. Adesimbo Ukiri, while speaking in Lagos, said if HMOs could focus on innovation, particularly in the area of product development, the populace would find health insurance more attractive. She said innovation should play a leading and pivotal role in the evolution of health Insurance and the drive to achieve universal health coverage in Nigeria, saying with a population of about 170 million people, the ability to innovate and come up with different products to meet the needs and affordability requirements of the wide and diverse market segments that exist in the country is

Ukiri

crucial. She said at the moment, a comparison of the Health plans offered by most HMOs will reveal a similar set of four plans. They may be called different names but the four plans are essentially the same at their core. “There needs to be a concerted effort industry wide, from all HMOs, to move away from this trend if we are to progress beyond the current 4 per cent health insurance market penetration statistics that is often quoted for the country,” she stressed. Ukiri also called for innovation in the area of channel devel-

opment which, saying this is a requirement for offering health insurance products to previously unserved market segments, thereby opening up new opportunities for the entire industry. She observed the fact that the informal private sector had largely been ignored by health insurance companies till date and the focus of most HMOs had been on a maturing and over served corporate market segment. According to her,“ we find that there is room for innovation in the use of marketing channels and the way HMO products are being offered to the market. There are a limited number of people who can be reached when industry players rely heavily on their sales staff. This has meant there is a large proportion of the informal private sector segment who would like to avail themselves of Health Insurance services but have been unable to do so” she added. She reiterated that Avon HMO will continue to play a key role in innovating to make healthcare accessible and available to all Nigerians.

Leadway Assurance grows retail insurance business

L

eadway Assurance Company Limited has said it is taking on and coaching new Independent Business Associates (IBAs) to focus on the retail insurance business, as part of concerted efforts towards entrepreneurial engagement, insurance penetration and awareness creation, the insurance company has informed. Head of Retail (General Business Commercial), Mr. Tunji Amokade, told journalists’ recently that the company is taking advantage of the huge potential in the insurance market to invite entrepreneurial members of the public to join its retail commercial team via a platform known as “The Opportunity”. He pointed out that with insurance penetration in Nigeria at less than one per cent, especially for retail business, Leadway rec-

ognises the huge potential in the retail insurance market and plans to work with over 1000 associates within the next few months, coaching them to grow market share in the retail insurance business territory. Amokade further explained that while the new associates may not necessarily have prior experience, they must train to become IBAs, over the next year. He added that IBAs will receive training on practical insurance, sales leadership and personal effectiveness in the classroom and on-the-job throughout their career. This is being done in collaboration with BPMSE Consulting to accelerate acceptability and growth through the distribution of best-for-value retail insurance solutions for the individual and SMEs. He emphasised that Leadway

A

Insurance companies have failed to support agric, says expert

n insurance expert, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu, has disclosed that government policies in the past prevented many insurance companies to take up agriculture insurance in the country. He said this has changed with the introduction of the Agriculture Transformation Agenda of the present administration. He made this disclosure at the unveiling of the Sustainable Food Security (SUFOS) award being put together by Azure Consult, a communication research and human development organisation. According to him, “Over time, before 2007, we had about 105 insurance companies in Nigeria

out of these 105 companies, we had only one agric insurance company which is Nigerian Agricultural Insurance company (NAIC) “After the consolidation in the insurance industry in 2007 the companies we had came down to about 49 insurance companies in Nigeria, yet , we still had one insurance company which is government owned.” He added “Government gives aids to farmers that want to take up insurance, but now the idea

MD, Leadway Assurance, Mr. Hassan Odukale

Assurance Company Limited is one of the leading insurance companies in Nigeria, with a reputation for service efficiency and customer reliability, adding for over 40 years, that Leadway has honoured its underwriting commitments and has earned its reputation of excellence in claims handling.

is being thrown open that every other insurance companies can move into agric insurance, this idea is coming from the government transformation for agriculture . He noted practitioners are set to key into the reform in the agriculture industry now as serious discussion is going on in the sector on how to fashion a platform that will create enabling environment for every operator in the sector to handle agriculture insurance.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Travel insurance: tips on finding the best deals

T

ravelling is fully integrated in business and other parts of everyday lives; henceit pays to shop around for the best deals on travel insurance prior to holidays and business trips. Here are a few tips to help in that regards. Never buy from a travel agent, tour operator or airline- This will almost certainly cost you more. Be sensible about the excess-That is the amount that you, the policyholder, have to pay towards any claim. If, for example, you claim for £600, and the excess is £150, the insurer pays out £450. If you set the excess high, the policy will be cheaper, but may not be worth having. Check what is already covered by your home insurance policy or bank--Home policies often include insurance for personal possessions when away from home, so you can opt out of having baggage cover and save money. You may also have a credit card or current account that includes travel insurance but check that the cover is sufficient for your needs – such “free” insurance can sometimes be very basic. Choose annual cover if you travel more than three times a year-- if you travel three times or more a year then getting an annual policy that covers the entire year’s travel for one fee is likely to cost you less than buying separate single-trip policies. Look out for age limits and medical exclusions---Many policies, particularly the cheapest, will not insure anyone aged over 65, however fit and active. Most standard policies will also not cover any pre-existing conditions. So, for example, if you are asthmatic and suffer an attack on holiday that requires medical

treatment, your policy will not pay out. Tell your insurer about any ongoing medical conditions and answer questions honestly. Some insurers may then agree to cover certain conditions for a small extra premium or, if your condition warrants it, refer you to a specialist insurer. Even horse riding is adventurous---Many policies exclude “risky activities”, which can be horse riding, scuba diving, jet skiing or mountain climbing. If you are going on a skiing holiday make sure the policy includes comprehensive winter sports cover. Independent travellers should opt for scheduled airline failure cover--If you tend to make your own flight and accommodation arrangements, rather than booking a package, it’s important your insurance includes scheduled airline and end-supplier failure cover, which protects you if an airline, villa company or ferry firm goes bust after you’ve booked your holiday. Note that even five-star policies may not cover airline failures. Get an EHIC card---If you are heading to Europe, get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which gives you access to state-provided healthcare, at a reduced cost or sometimes free, when temporarily visiting an EU country, and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Some travel insurance policies will waive the excess for medical claims if you use your EHIC to get medical treatment while travelling in the EU. The easiest way to apply for, or renew, an EHIC – which is valid for up to five years – is at ehic.org.uk. Source: moneysupermarket. com .

Core life insurance tips

B

uying life insurance for the first time can be overwhelming. You’ll run into a lot of terms that you may not understand at first. The good news is those terms are not very difficult to figure out once you do a little research. Know why you need life insurance-Life insurance is a serious investment that shouldn’t be made on the spur of the moment. Don’t buy a policy just because someone says you should. Many people hear ads about life insurance so many times that they begin to feel an instinctive concern about needing life insurance. The truth is, however, not everyone needs life insurance. Understand the type of policy you need-There are two basic types of life insurance policies: life and whole life. Term life insurance policies last for a specified period of time. Term life is

less expensive than whole life because it usually expires before the benefits are used. Know when to choose termIf you are in a situation your dependents will not rely on you financially forever, your best bet is probably a term life policy. For example, many parents choose term life policies that are in effect until their children move out and become financially independent. Once kids are, there is no reason to continue paying for life insurance. Your beneficiaries will rely on your contributions. Know how much to buy-Understanding the potential needs of your beneficiaries can also help you decide how much insurance you should have. Don’t follow any “rule of thumb” guidelines you may read. Your needs are specific to you. Your decision will depend on the math. Source: forbes.com.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

39

Index rises 0.02% as bulls regain vigour JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

rading in equities closed on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as investment in some companies with good earnings boosted the benchmark index. Specifically, the All Share Index appreciated by 0.02 per cent to close at 38,747.51 points, as against the decline of 0.33 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 38,738.15 points. Market capitalisation gained N3bn to close at N12.393trn, in contrast to the decrease of N40bn re-

corded on Friday to close at N12.390trn. On the sectorial indices, the NSE 30-Index gained 0.12 per cent to close at 1,789.81 points, while the Banking Index appreciated 0.39 per cent to close at 407.36 points. The Insurance Index lost 1.42 per cent to close at 145.47 points, while the Consumer Goods Index shed 0.11 per cent to close at 1,093.14 points. The Oil and Gas Index rose 0.11 per cent to close at 302.58 points, while the Lotus Islamic Index increased 0.10 per cent to close at 2,739.54 points. The Industrial Goods

Index was up 0.59 per cent to close at 2,328.07 points, while the Alternative Securities Market closed flat. Curtville Plc led the gainers’ table with three kobo or 4.84 per cent to close at 65 kobo per share, followed by Prestige Insurance Plc with three kobo or 4.84 per cent to close at 65 kobo per share. Nigeria Police Force Microfinance Bank Plc appreciated three kobo or 4.05 per cent to close at 77 kobo per share, while Vitafoam Plc rose 18 kobo or four per cent to close at N4.68 per share. ABC Transport Plc gained three kobo or 3.85 per cent to close at 81 kobo

per share. Conversely, Costain West Africa Plc lost nine kobo or 7.38 per cent to close at N1.13 per share, while Integrated Insurance Plc shed three kobo or five per cent to close at 57 kobo per share. Mansard Insurance Plc was down 12 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at N2.29 per share, while Livestock Plc fell 22 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at 22 kobo per share. Portland Paints Plc dropped 31 kobo or 4.96 per cent to close at N5.94 per share. A total of 676.4 million shares valued at N3.49bn were exchanged in 4,776 deals.

Source: NSE

Transcorp targets N102bn profit in 5 years JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he President of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, Mr. Obinna Ufudo has said that the company targeting a profit after tax of N102bn profit in the next five years. Speaking at the company’s Facts Behind the Figures on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, forecast a revenue of N289bn in the same year. Ufodo stated that the company has embarked on two phase turnaround agenda, which include restructuring, stabilisation and business diversification. According to him, part of the transformation initiatives expected to

turnaround the fortune of stakeholders, is the reorganisation of capital to reduce negative reserves of N29bn to zero. He said, “Dispute with Unity Kapital on ownership in THTSL was successfully resolved in 2013 which has cleared any uncertainty allowing the company to focus on expansion plans for THTS”. Ufudo pointed out that rewarding and renegotiation of OPL 281 to Transcorp by the Department of Petroleum Resources has helped the company in developing its flagship oil and gas asset. He noted that till date, the company has been able to successfully resolve 10 cases from 16 cases that were outstanding as at 2011, adding that this has

significantly reduced the contingent liabilities of the company by over N7.3bn, allowing management to focus on growing the business. He added the reconstitution of board of directors with accomplished professionals has helped in providing strategic leadership for the company going forward. The President explained that the company acquisition and successful takeover of Ughelli Power Plc will lead to imncrease output from 160mw at takeover to 286mw within one month of takeover. He stated Transcorp aims to be a dorminant player in Nigeria’s evolving power industry by increasing output progressively at Ughelli power plant to

about 2,000mw. “We will continue to sustain the trust of our key stakeholders by delivering sound financial returns, diversifying our portfolio mix in the Energy, Agribusiness and Hospitality sectors and adhering to best corporate governance practices. “In the coming months we will accelerate the pace of execution of our corporate strategy towards even stronger results for the rest of the year,” he said. The company’s Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu said that the ongoing initiatives will strengthen the various subsidiaries, besides investments in new areas within the core areas, noting that the company is set to reward investors on their investment.

China data supports world share markets, as euro rises

S

tock markets worldwide rose yesterday and the euro climbed to a six-week high against the dollar after Chinese trade and inflation data boosted optimism about the global economy. Gains in United States stocks were limited as investors looked to speeches from top Federal Reserve officials later in the day for clues on whether Friday’s strong US jobs data could prompt the US central bank to start reducing bond buying this month. China’s exports handily beat forecasts in November, adding to evidence of a stabilization in the world’s second-largest economy,

while an unexpected drop in consumer inflation eased fears of any imminent policy tightening. The latest solid data from major economies has boosted confidence that the global economy is recovering well enough to withstand a scale-back in Fed stimulus, though uncertainty about the timing and impact of a move could keep a lid on markets into year’s end. “The strong labor data out of the US and the robust trade balance numbers from China suggest that global growth may be better than consensus view,” said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset

Management in New York. The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 countries, rose 0.4 per cent. The Dow Jones industrial average finance/ markets/index slipped 0.29 point, or 0.00 per cent, at 16,019.91 points, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 2.57 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 1,807.66 points. The NASDAQ Composite Index was up 7.02 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 4,069.54 points. European shares .FTEU3 edged up 0.06 percent, while Tokyo’s Nikkei climbed 2.3 per cent. The Fed will start reducing its massive bond-buy-

ing program no later than March, according to a Reuters poll on Friday after the strong jobs data, with a handful of Wall Street firms expecting it to take action as early as December. The Fed has had considerable success in persuading investors that tapering is not tightening, and that interest rates will remain low for a long time to come. The euro rose as high as $1.3729, according to Reuters data, as short-term interest rates in the euro zone money market edged up after the European Central Bank last week dented speculation of any imminent easing.

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 38,747.51 points Market capitalisation 12.40 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

COURTVILLE

0.62

0.65

0.03

% CHANGE 4.84

PRESTIGE

0.62

0.65

0.03

4.84

NPFMCRFBK

0.74

0.77

0.03

4.05

VITAFOAM

4.50

4.68

0.18

4.00

ABCTRANS

0.78

0.81

0.03

3.85

CILEASING

0.52

0.54

0.02

3.85

TRANSEXPR

1.20

1.24

0.04

3.33

UPL

3.82

3.90

0.08

2.09

WAPCO

103.95

106.00

2.05

1.97

ETERNA

4.18

4.26

0.08

1.91

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

COSTAIN

1.22

1.13

-0.09

-7.38

INTENEGINS

0.60

0.57

-0.03

-5.00

MANSARD

2.41

2.29

-0.12

-4.98

LIVESTOCK

4.42

4.20

-0.22

-4.98

PORTPAINT

6.25

5.94

-0.31

-4.96

RTBRISCOE

1.42

1.35

-0.07

-4.93

STERLNBANK

2.28

2.19

-0.09

-3.95

OASISINS

0.52

0.50

-0.02

-3.85

UNITYBNK

0.55

0.53

-0.02

-3.64

CCNN

10.05

9.73

-0.32

-3.18

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

22,057.31

11.50

07-Nov-13

182-Day

30,000.00

11.59

07-Nov-13

182-Day

47,786.39

13.05

07-Nov-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

178-Day

86,709.13

12.35

07-Nov-13

175-Day

95,368.69

12.35

07-Nov-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$350m

N/A

$343m

04-Nov-13

$400m

N/A

$399m

30-Oct-13


40

Capital Market

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at December 9, 2013 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 legislative elections in 2015. When we do the legislative election in 2015 and then do the executive election in 2017, you can see that we have two-year gap for the INEC to have a breathing space to prepare well as is the case is the USA, Senegal, and many other African countries. I think it is something we have to reflect on and see if it is something that can help to resolve some of the challenges we are having now. And I do hope that if we are able to do that, and then we all agree to it, in fact it is going to solve most of the security situations because I believe some of them are related to the politically charged atmosphere. “Somehow, everybody will benefit from it, the President, the governors, and others. All we need to do is to exercise patience and give them two more years and they will all exit. If they leave we can start on a clean slate. People will now know that if I am president or governor, I have a certain number of years that if I am not going to begin to hunt the president or the trying to stop others who want to run against him. The same thing will happen in the states.”

Single tenure: Ekweremadu stokes fresh controversy

Tinubu

Hard sell Though Ekweremadu’s explanation for the need to revisit the proposal seem justifiable, many are however of the view that his committee would be facing a Herculean task in getting support for the proposal, as opposition have continued to mount against his position across the country. To most stakeholders, including former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; political parties and groups like the All Progressives Congress, APC; Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, and the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, the proposal, is just another tenure elongation plot. Dismissing the proposal, Tinubu, who is one of the national leaders of the APC said though the idea of bringing back the controversial single tenure elongation had not been officially raised, it remained an exercise in futility as it would never materialise. He said: “I heard from rumour another move for an elongation of tenure but I dare say forget it, it is dead on arrival. If the National Assembly is pursuing a constitutional amendment, then why do you need another proposal for amendment? ” On its part, the APC said attempts to push for tenure elongation for President Jonathan and state governors will fail. The interim National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who revealed that the party saw it coming when President Jonathan inaugurated an advisory committee to advise him on the modalities for a national dialogue, said: “We saw this coming. When we alerted Nigerians that President Jonathan’s National Conference was a Greek gift aimed at deferring the 2015 elections, we were called all sorts of names. “The truth is now gradually coming out. We however wish to assure the Deputy Senate President and his masters that the idea of tenure extension will suffer the same fate as former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term ambition.” The CNPP in its own reaction urged the Director General of State Security Service, SSS, and other relevant security agencies to urgently investigate Ekweremadu for his treasonable statement. In a statement signed by Osita Okechukwu, its National Publicity Secretary, the CNPP said that foisting the rejected sevenyear single tenure through the back door

41

Okechukwu

of the Doctrine of Necessity will be a grave disservice to Nigeria, and portends more danger than the four year double tenure. The group, which is the umbrella body of political parties in the country described Ekweremadu’s suggestion as sheer criminal subversion of the highest order, saying: “CNPP is of the candid view that Nigeria has witnessed general elections, as imperfect as they were in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and heaven did not fall; therefore Senator Ekweremadu, as a senior officer of the state owe us a duty to explain why the 2015 general elections will end up crisis.” Similarly, the ACF through its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, said: “The re-submission by the Deputy Senate President in favour of single term tenure for president and governors is in bad taste, precisely because the Senate has voted against it.” He reiterated the group’s position that the proposal will encourage laziness among political leaders, saying: “You will recall that ACF has said such a provision would kill motivation and reward for hard work and performance since the good and the reckless presidents and governors would be in the same bracket.”

Reps back out Affirming its earlier position that the single tenure proposal will not scale through, the House of Representatives through the chairman of its Committee on Information, Zakari Mohammed, said they have no plan to “smuggle” single tenure into the ongoing constitution amendment process, as Nigerians did not give them the mandate to include such in the amendment process. He said: “We never contemplated it; it’s not in our thinking, and it can’t be in our

Sani

agenda. We can’t support anything outside what our people want. When we sat with our people in the 360 constituencies during the public sessions, they did not give us that mandate. We cannot on our own smuggle it. It won’t be honourable and at the same time generations coming will not forgive us for promoting an egocentric idea, which is perpetrated to benefit a few. “Our law for two tenures of four years each is key for any good governance to be achieved. So, if they have that at the Senate, that is their idea, but as for us in the House, there is no such thing.” The House, it would be recalled, had during the presentation of the recommendations of its committee on the constitution amendment, opted for the retention of the four-year two-term provision for the president and governors in the 1999 Constitution. The lower legislative chamber had then contended that its position was informed by the choice of Nigerians during the public hearings in the 360 federal constituencies across the country.

Credibility question The varying positions of both chambers of the National Assembly on the proposal have raised questions over the credibility of the public hearings conducted by the legislators on the constitution amendment. Both Houses have claimed that their respective positions on the issue were informed by the views of Nigerians during the hearings, but some political analysts are of the opinion that there is more to the re-visitation of the proposal than meets the eye. According to these analysts, the proposal, good as it sounds, should not be a priority of the lawmakers as they attempt to amend cer-

WE SAW THIS COMING. WHEN WE ALERTED NIGERIANS THAT PRESIDENT JONATHAN’S NATIONAL CONFERENCE WAS A GREEK GIFT AIMED AT DEFERRING THE 2015 ELECTIONS, WE WERE CALLED ALL SORTS OF NAMES

tain portions of the imperfect constitution bequeathed to the country by the military. They therefore noted that the proposal was wrongheaded because almost every segment of the country has raised meaningful voice against it, popping questions on how beneficial an unnecessary diversion would be to the people who are becoming more politically sophisticated by the day. National Chairman of the United Peoples Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, who shared this view, described the proposal as a legislative fraud which must be rejected by Nigerians. He added that the recommendation, if allowed to see the light of the day, will throw the nation into unimaginable confusion and chaos that could truncate the nation’s democracy. The UPP chairman maintained that the recommendation does not represent a majority opinion of Nigerians and the political parties that submitted memoranda to the committee, adding that it poses a threat to other serious amendments like the electoral reforms and could cause the entire exercise to be another monumental waste of public funds, time and energy, just like the Senator Ibrahim Mantu-led Constitutional Review Committee, which he said, smuggled in the third term clause at the last minute to cause the baby and bath water to be thrown away. His words: “If it is to be effective from 2015, it simply means there will be anarchy because there is nothing you will tell the entire South-South people that the scheme is not targeted at them. And they are still the custodians of the lifeline of Nigeria’s economy. So, taking that kind of risk and hoping to declare state of emergency and get out of it in one year or so, is risk that is not worth it. Okorie said tenure debate was a major constitutional change that would require a referendum, because according to him, it would mean tampering with the presidential system of government opted for by Nigerians. “When previous constitutional review was almost concluded was when Senator Ibrahim Mantu, did the same job that Ekweremadu is doing now, the third term thing was smuggled into the entire document and the brouhaha that the thing generated ended up throwing the baby away with the bath water, and so there was nothing. All the money spent, the efforts, memoranda, public hearing in all the states of the federation came to nothing. “Now there are major amendments; electoral reform, all sorts of things expected from this exercise. This people have now introduced this very controversial aspect that will definitely throw the entire exercise out because Nigerians will not accept this fraud. So, let them just drop that thing now so that the rest of the things they have done can see the light of day. The only answer is to have a credible election that will bring in people that will be accountable to the electorate, it does not matter whether it is two terms or one term,” he said. Another political school, which dismissed the proposal, was of the view that single tenure will not only encourage corruption, but discourage good performance as it “lacks the basic elements of motivation and incentives needed in any management of human affairs for performance.” But, while the consensus seems that the proposal should be discarded, a few Nigerians however believe that its pros and cons should be thoroughly weighed before such action is taken.


42

Politics

THE

PARLIAMENT The screening and confirmation of the new board members of the NDDC last week by the Senate provided an insight into the nature of the politics that lies ahead of the red chamber of the National Assembly in the light of the recent political alignments and realignments within the PDP and APC, writes GEORGE OJI.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Intrigue, plots that preceded new NDDC board confirmation

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he staunch opposition to the nominees from Rivers State in the new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, by two senators from that state was not unexpected. What was perhaps surprising was the ease, with which the Senate jettisoned its own time-tested tradition and confirmed the nominees, according to the senators, in the interest of the country. The NDDC is an interventionist commission, established by the administration of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000 to address the infrastructural deficits in the oil-producing Niger Delta region of the country. In the list of the nominees, forwarded to the Senate by President Goodluck Jonathan for confirmation as members of the new board of the commission in line with section 2(1) of the NDDC Act, 2000, were Itotenaan Henry Ogiri and Ephraim Sobere Etete from Rivers State listed as Executive Director, Finance and Administration and member respectively. While Ogiri made the list as representative of the South-South geo political zone in the board, Etete was considered as a representative of Rivers State. Also on the list submitted by the President for confirmation were Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, Cross River State, as chairman and Barrister Bassey DanAbia, Akwa Ibom State, as the Managing Director. The other members of the new board included Engr. Tuoyo Omatsulu, Executive Director Projects, (Delta State), Ball Turofade Oyarede (Bayelsa), Etim Iyang Jnr. (Akwa Ibom, member), Ada Paul Andeshi (Cross River, member) and Tom Amioku (Delta State, member). The rest are Samuel Okezie Nwogu (Abia State, member), Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian (Imo State, member), Maj. Gen. Suleiman Said (North Central, Niger member) and Alhaji Abdumalik Mahmud (North East, Bauchi, member). Expectedly, immediately the list was sent to the Senate, Senators Magnus Abe (Rivers South-East and Wilson Ake (Rivers West) filed objections to the Rivers State nominees to the commission. The two senators are die-hard supporters of Governor Chibuike Amaechi. Ake, who argued against the confirmation of the two Rivers State nominees last week when the report of the James Manager-led Senate Committee on Niger Delta, which screened the nominees was debated on the floor of the Senate, explained that their point of objection was based on the fact that as was the practice

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mark

Abe

in the past, this time around, the President did not consult with the Rivers State government before making the appointments. “The nomination of the two candidates did not follow the right procedure. What happened in the Rivers nomination is something I have never seen before. It did not follow the normal procedure of selecting a representative,” Ake explained. According to him, “the position of Executive Director was given to Rivers State as an oil producing state and they are made to rotate it, it has been the tradition.” Continuing, the lawmaker noted that “in most cases, references are made to the state before nomination. If we are not oil producing and not producing enough quantity we would not have been given the position. It is unfair not to have contacted the state.” Unfortunately, Abe was absent in the plenary that Tuesday to lend his usually forceful voice to Ake’s arguments. But citing the tradition of the Senate that all nominees must receive the support of at least two of the senators from their state before the nomination is approved, Ake urged his colleagues to reject the Rivers State nominees to the board because the nomination did not enjoy the support of two senators from the state. Going by the tradition of the Senate, (though unwritten), the Rivers State nominees would have naturally failed to scale through the screening process. But the senators were able to see through the political lacing in the objections raised by Ake and Abe. Currently, there is no love lost between Governor Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan. This is even as Amaechi had consistently mounted opposition to the second term ambition of Jonathan and had even gone a step ahead by dumping the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and jumped ship to pitch camps with the opposition All Progressives Congress,APC. So, it was very clear to all the senators that what was at play was the local politics of Rivers State, and the senators took a decision not to be swayed by the political differences between the governor and President in their consideration of the

nominees. Contributor after contributor insisted that the Senate would not mortgage merit and excellence on the altar of tradition on the matter. For instance, the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), in his contributions made the point that the Senate had always respected and had been guided by its rules and traditions. In doing that, he observed that the red chamber had also not allowed petty politics to influence its actions. While acknowledging that the issue raised by Ake concerning the tradition of the Senate that any appointee needs at least the backing of two senators from his state before the nomination can scale through was fundamental, Ningi noted that such objections must be logical, legal and administrative in nature before it can stand. He cautioned that the senators must at all times isolate, and not allow their relationships with either the President or governor influence their positions regarding political nominees. The lawmaker expressed his objections to the opposition raised by Ake and Abe in the instant case because according to him, the nominees were eminently qualified for the appointments. He therefore urged that the Senate should go ahead and confirm the nominees. In her contributions, Senator Esther Usman Nenadi (Kaduna South) urged that two issues should guide the Senate in taking a decision on the two nominees.

UNTIL SUCH A TIME WE ARE READY TO DO AWAY WITH SUCH PRINCIPLES AS FEDERAL CHARACTER, ZONING

AND DO THINGS BASED TO MERIT, IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR US AS A NATION TO PROGRESS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

According to her, the first issue should be whether the nominees were from Rivers State, to which she affirmed. Secondly, whether the nominees were qualified, to which she observed that they are, “over qualified.” The lawmaker also raised the rhetorical question: “Are we going to continually sacrifice excellence on the altar of politics? To which she answered in the negative. She then asked her colleague senators to then go ahead and confirm the nominees. It was Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara North) who came out straight to address the crux of the main issue. He made the point like previous speakers that the nominees were no doubt eminently qualified for the appointment. However, according to him, “the crux of the matter is that the governor and government of Rivers State has joined the ranks of progressive governors, therefore, they should exercise patience till 2015, they will then have the opportunity and right to nominate whosoever they want. My colleagues from Rivers State, you should exercise patience until 2015.” Continuing, the lawmaker counseled that, “until such a time we are ready to do away with such principles as federal character, zoning and do things based to merit, it will be very difficult for us as a nation to progress in the right direction.” Marafa said as a senator that comes from a state that is not in power at the center, he had experienced countless number of frustrations. According to him, when federal appointments like ministers, ambassador and board members are made from the state, there was usually no recourse to the state government to make any form of inputs, stressing, “my brothers from Rivers State, welcome to the club.” Consequently, Marafa affirmed that “we cannot in all honesty oppose this nomination.” Most of the senators who contributed to the debate before the final confirmation was made, were of the view that the Senate should not mortgage merit and excellence on the altar of tradition. While conceding to the tradition of Senate that all nominees must enjoy the support of two of the senators from their states, the point was made that in the instant case, what played out was the local politics of the state. The senators agreed that since the nominees were eminently qualified for the appointment, it would be unjust for the Senate to deny them the opportunity to serve the commission. Moreover, the point was made by the senators that there was no basis for the two senators to also oppose the nomination of Mr. Ogiri, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration because, although the nominee is from Rivers State, the appointment was for the South-South zone. The Senate President in his brief remarks before putting the issue to vote, took time to explain the origin of the tradition of insisting that all nominations CONTINUED ON PAGE 43


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Politics

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

THE

PARLIAMENT The House of Representatives took a bold step a month ago, initiating a process to ignore the assent of the President on thirty-six bills and go ahead and declare them law. It was a patriotic step, but in this report, TORDUE SALEM wonders if the Green Chamber can bite the bullet and see the process through.

Can Reps override Jonathan’s veto on 36 bills?

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he meaning of the Latin word ‘veto’ means “I forbid” or “I reject”. The power of Heads of States to reject pieces of legislation from Parliaments, hardly challenged, has been exercised since the 6th century when the concept was adopted by Rome. The United States Constitution adopted the veto on March 4, 1789, and it was first exercised on April 5, 1794. But the first override of a Presidential veto in the United States came 56 years after it was adopted by the Constitution of the United States, specifically, on March 3, 1845. It was the 11th President of the United States, James K. Polk (1845—1849), whose veto was overridden. The Indian Parliament has not overridden a President’s veto in more than two decades, but the Nigerian National Assembly overrode its first veto of a President in the year 2000. It was on the Niger Delta Development Commission Bill. The President was not willing to sign the bill into law; the Senate and the House, belligerent at the time, decided to override his veto and promptly, the Commission was established. Section 58(1) of the 1999 Constitution states that: “the power of the National Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and, except as otherwise provided by this subsection(5) of this section, assented to by the President. But subsection 5, however warns that “Where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required”. A motion to override President Goodluck Jonathan’s veto on thirty-six bills was adopted and referred to the House of Representatives Committee on Rules and Business a few days ago. The Motion was sponsored by Hon. Yakubu Dogara (PDPBauchi). The piece of legislation entitled: “Urgent Need for both Houses of the National Assembly to Activate their Constitutional Powers under Section 58 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution in Relation to Bills Over which the President has failed to Exercise his Constitutional Responsibilities and Powers under Section 58(l) (4) of the Constitution”, elicited an intense debate. While presenting his motion, Dogara noted “the pedestrian’ fact that the Constitution is supreme and its provisions have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

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Jonathan

Tambuwal

He noted further that “ Section 58 (1) (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) requires that all Bills passed by the two Houses of the National Assembly be transmitted to the President for assent”. He however regretted that over 30 bills sent to the President since the 6th Assembly were yet to be assented to. He said he was aware, “pursuant to the said Section 58 (1) (4) of the Constitution, a total of 36 bills have been transmitted to the President for assent which are still pending or left to stagnate in his office without exercising his Constitutional powers”. He said he was “concerned that allowing the bills to stagnate without any indication from the President as to whether he assents or withholds assent is a manifest violation of the provision of Section 58 (1) (4) of the Constitution which makes it mandatory for the President to within 30 days of the presentation of such bills to him, signify that he assents or that he withholds assent”. According to the lawmaker, he was “alarmed that the refusal by the President to perform his constitutional responsibilities and powers under Section58 (1) (4) of the Constitution has denied the public the benefits of new legislations as they continue to struggle with obsolete laws”. He warned that “if nothing is done to check this violation of the Constitution, the 7th Assembly would be the only Assembly, since the advent of democracy, with the inglorious history of not successfully translating most of its bills into law”: He therefore, called on the House to “activate its powers under Section58 (1) (5) of the Constitution in view of the failure and/ or refusal by the President to exercise his constitutional responsibilities and powers under Section58 (4) of the Constitution

THE REFUSAL BY THE PRESIDENT TO PERFORM HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS UNDER

SECTION58 (1) (4) OF THE CONSTITUTION HAS DENIED THE PUBLIC THE BENEFITS OF NEW LEGISLATIONS AS THEY CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE WITH OBSOLETE LAWS The lawmaker who listed Discrimination Against People Living with Deformities, among several other bills vetoed by Jonathan, warned that if the two chambers did not override the President’s veto, a bad precedence would have been set for the worst in the future. His words: “Mr Speaker, my dear colleagues, this is not about politics. This is about the development of our democracy and the future of our children.” The lawmaker regretted that in a few years, a presidency fond of mouthing platitudes and making flowery promises would ignore such number of important bills. Dogara’s passion was shared by the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Leo’ Okuweh Ogor, (PDP-Delta).

Ogor said: “It is clear that this House has constitutional powers under section 58, to go ahead and override the President’s veto on those bills”. But pro-presidency lawmakers came to a fierce defence of Jonathan. Hon. Kingsley Chinda (Rivers-PDP) saw the motion as a mere witch-hunt, as he insisted that the said section 58(5) of the 1999 Constitution provided a caveat to any override action. According to him, the House needed to be patient for both chambers of the National Assembly to pass the bills again by twothirds, before opting for an override. The lawmaker saw the motion as a hurried stratagem to undermine the authority of President Jonathan. The lawmaker hammered on this point until he was “ruled out of order” by Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. The chairman of the Special Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Albert SamTsokwa (PDP-Taraba) though supported the motion, picked holes in it. According to him, there was no doubt that the House at that point was constitutionally right to override the veto of the President on the bills, he however said there was no need for the mover to seek permission for the function to be exercised by parliament. But further submissions however revealed that some of the bills were passed by the Sixth Assembly under Dimeji Bankole, while others, though were passed under Jonathan, information as to whether they were rejected had not been received. Other members took turns to lambast themselves and the House as an institution, for failing in its duty to exercise the parliament’s full powers under the constitution, by taking count of the 30 days stipulated in the constitution and acting swiftly as soon as they lapsed on any Bill. In the light of the clarifications, a motion that would have had the House exercise its powers by fiat, turned to another exercise in investigation, as the Speaker referred the motion to the Business and Rules Committee for investigation. The Speaker did not specify the timeline for the exercise, raising suspicions. But characteristically, the investigation, as should be expected would very likely drag to next year, as the House would soon go into a recess mode. The question is: Does the House not have proper records on bills passed and assented to? Why did the motion come so late? And when will the House eschew petty politicking and be strict in hemming in the Presidency?

Intrigue, plots that preceded new NDDC board confirmation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 42 must enjoy the support of two senators from the state. Said Mark: “The reason or origin why we said two senators must agree to any nomination is that senators complained that people did not make any reference at all before making nominees and that governors were bringing nominees who had total disrespect for senators, that

was the basis. “The reason we said if the nominees make no reference to their senators and think they can be brought here and said let my people go, that will not happen.” Regarding the case of the Ogiri, the zonal representative, Mark said: “For the benefit of the senators, a state representative is different from somebody who is representing an entire zone. In that case you will need everybody from

the zone to agree with you before you can sustain an objection. The man who is a zonal representative is not there to talk for his state alone.” Making a final case for the confirmation of the nominees, the Senate President said: “These people are eminently qualified for the job they have been given and in the interest of the nation, we should let this go. If they were not qualified, it will be a different thing.”


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

PDP crisis: Tukur will not be sacked says Jonathan OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday assured the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur that no amount of pressure mounted from any quarter whatsoever will make him lose his job. The PDP also dispelled the rumours that its chairman, Tukur has thrown in the towel as requested by the presidency. In an almost two hour meeting with members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday, President Jonathan also assured the party leaders that the five governors who left the party in November will soon

rejoin the party as discussion is still ongoing. The meeting ended at about 8.30 pm. The governors elected on the platform of the PDP had on Sunday night agreed that Tukur must be relieved of his office for peace to be achieved in the party. Fourteen governors including those of Abia, Ebonyi, Kogi, Kebbi, Bauchi, Enugu, Katsina, Cross Rivers, Plateau, Delta, Taraba, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna and the deputy governor of Niger State, who attended the meeting of the PDP governors held at the Akwa Ibom Governor’s Lodge unanimously agreed to persuade the President to dispense with Tukur. The meeting ended at about 9.30 pm and all the governors headed straight to the Presidential Villa

to inform President Jonathan on the decision of the forum. Afterwards, the governors held a five-hour meeting with the President. The five aggrieved governors, who recently defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC, were reported to have informed President Jonathan that they have no intention of returning to the PDP.

The G5 governors, who joined the APC are Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara. President Jonathan told the NWC members that on his return from South Africa, an enlarged meeting with the aggrieved members of the party will be

convened so as to resolve all the contentious issues. Confirming the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a telephone chat also said that the news that Tukur has resigned his appointment was a ruse and only another propaganda stunt by the opposition parties. He said: “There is no truth about that news. Our

chairman has not resigned and will not resign. “Yes, the President had a meeting with the NWC and the issue of resignation of Tukur was not in the agenda of the meeting. “Yes, it is a known fact that the PDP has some challenges, but we are getting over it. I can tell you that all the governors that left will come back and many more will join the party.”

PDP Canada chapter laments rift in party FELIX NWANERI

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he Canada chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has lamented the turn of events within the party, saying the rift that led some governors to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC, was not a healthy development. The chapter in a statement signed by its chairman, Mr. Michael Daramola, said it specifically view the on-going rift within the party, which led a group of its members to split, to form a group called new PDP as unnecessary and unhealthy for the nation’s political advancement. In the statement entitled: “The state of political affairs in Nigeria: Where we stand,” the chapter said: “We, members of the PDP Canada chapter, have observed with keen interest the series of political developments in our dear country, Nigeria, particularly within our great party under the able leadership of our National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and we, without hesitation, express heartfelt regret and disdain on the unholy and unhealthy turn of events within the largest political party in Africa. “The thinking that informed this decision by the group, led by Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, was too hasty, even though the group has the constitutional right to express its dissent at any time. Similarly, our chapter believes

that adequate internal resolution mechanisms as enunciated in our party’s constitution ought to have been employed by the Alhaji Baraje-led group to find amicable panacea to whatever may be their grievances. And we would want the group to toe the line of peace.” The chapter stated that since the rift started, it observed the unhealthy political moves going on, apparently to heat up the polity, warning that they could derail the hard-earned democracy and the political progression the country has achieved since the PDP took over the reign of governance in Nigeria since 1999. The chapter also said that the recent call for the resignation of Tukur was not only uncalled for “but a too far step against speedy and amicable resolution of the rift.” According to the chapter, the reasons adduced for Tukur’s resignation was “unfathomable and unnecessary,” adding that the leadership of the faction was part of the convention where Tukur was duly elected with resounding vote by the delegates. Appealing to aggrieved PDP members to accept the hand of fellowship extended by Tukur, the chapter urged the party to do all within its power to woo and invite members of the faction for dialogue with the hope of resolving the rift and engender peace and stability within PDP.”

L-R: Governors Liyel Imoke of Rivers State; Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State; Idris Wada of Kogi State and others after a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, yesterday.

Ohanaeze adopts APGA as party for Ndigbo NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he Pan- Igbo cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said it has adopted the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, as the political party for Ndigbo and as such, would remain resolute not to join forces with the All Progressives Congress, APC and other existing parties in the country. The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, Elder Chris Eluemuno, who disclosed this yesterday in Awka, said that the Igbo race needed to have its own political platform like the

Yorubas which he said, established the APC. “If Igbos must have its fair share in the scheme of things in this country, it must have its own political party under which it will negotiate on any matter,” Eluemuno declared. He described APGA as an Igbo party which all Igbos must work hard for its success, stressing that the need for Ndigbo to maintain a political platform cannot be over-emphasized, now that APGA has been able to provide such a platform for all Igbos to identify with. He said that the just concluded Anambra State gubernatorial election result was a reflection of the will of the people of Anambra

State, even as he admitted that although the people of the state loved Senator Chris Ngige, they did not want to follow him to the APC which had been identified with the Yorubas. Elder Eluemuno also condemned the attack on the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, by the Yoruba press, adding that the minister’s offence was that she elevated Enugu Airport to an international status and some people were not happy with that. He therefore called on the President not to be intimidated by the attack, adding that Ohaneze Ndigbo would always give support to the Aviation Minister. He said: “We want to

warn that if anything happens to that woman, the nation would not be at rest. She has done so much for the country and we cannot destroy what she had done over night”. He also called for a stronger co-operation between the South-South and SouthEast zones of the country. On 2015 presidential election, Eluemuno called on all and sundry to support President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term in office, adding that the President had done so much for the South-East and the nation in general so much so that he deserved their maximum support for a second term in office, to enable him complete his programmes.

2014 budget: Senator Adeyeye blasts Jonathan ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, and lawmaker representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Prof. Olusola Adeyeye yesterday hit -hard on President Goodluck Jonathan, saying his lukewarm attitude towards the presentation of the 2014 budget has caused retrogression to the development of the country.

Senator Adeyeye, who made the assertion while speaking with newsmen in Osogbo shortly after he presented a sum of N50 million to the people of his constituency as empowerment fee, frowned at the foot-dragging attitude of the president on the budget issue and called on stakeholders to please call him to order before the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led government destroys the future of the country.

Adeyeye said: “The delay in his presentation of the 2014 budget was due to ‘presidential rascality and inefficiency and President Jonathan has only succeeded in creating more chaos, dis-affection and segregation in the country, instead of finding ways of uniting those he governs. “Honestly, that’s part of the chaos we are talking about, the president is giving one excuse or the other for not presenting the budget, for me, it was an exer-

cise of presidential rascality and inefficiency. “Everything is wrong with the PDP, the people of Nigeria can see that what we have in Nigeria is leadership without vision, people are saying enough is enough.” While affirming that the APC would chase away the PDP government very soon, Adeyeye said that this could be evident from the fact that “280 of the 360 members of the House of Representatives are


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

45

World News

90 world leaders arrive in S’Africa for Mandela’s memorial service

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“The fact that international leaders are making their way to South Africa at such short notice reflects the special place President Mandela holds in the hearts of people around the globe” – SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENCY MINISTER COLLINS CHABANE

French troops disarm fighters in Central African Republic PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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rench troops in Central African Republic manned checkpoints in the capital Bangui yeterday and searched for weapons in an operation to disarm rival Muslim and Christian fighters responsible for hundreds of killings since last week. Shooting erupted near the airport after gunmen refused to hand over their weapons, as France said it was prepared to use force if fighters rejected calls to disarm or return to barracks. France boosted its military presence in its former colony to 1,600 troops over the weekend as waves of inter-religious violence swept across the country. At least 459 people have been killed in Bangui alone since Thursday, according to local Red Cross officials. “This is not an easy job, but our soldiers are ... well prepared,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio. He said the order to disarm had been broadcast on local radio in Bangui, adding: “If that is not enough, force is going to be employed.” Chronically unstable Central African Republic has spiralled into chaos since mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March and embarked on months of looting, raping and killing. Seleka’s leader, Michel Djotodia, installed as CAR’s interim president, has lost control of his loose band of fighters. Christian militias and gunmen

loyal to ousted president Francois Bozize attacked Bangui on Thursday, the same day the U.N. Security Council authorized France to use lethal force to help African peacekeepers already struggling to restore order. In an early test of France’s resolve, its forces traded fire with suspected Seleka fighters near the airport yesterday. It was not immediately known whether there had been casualties, and a spokesman for the French army joint staff in Paris called the incident “insignificant”. “For the moment, it’s very clearly positive,” Colonel Gilles Jaron said, adding that French troops had already arrested 10 men and seized weapons. “Many armed elements who held positions in Bangui have left their positions to go back to their barracks,” he said. The arrival of French troops has been broadly welcomed in a city slowly emerging from a reign of terror that saw fighters, both Christian and Muslim, go door-todoor murdering civilians as they cowered inside. “Yesterday we couldn’t even come here to cross this road because the Seleka came and set up a base here,” said a woman who gave her name only as Armelle. “Thank God the French came ... If there’s peace, things will get better.” As French warplanes and helicopters flew low overhead, Bangui residents reappeared on the streets and some shops and market stalls reopened for the first time since

A French sniper holding his rifle in Bangui, on Sunday

last week. However, the United Nations said it had counted some 72,000 people displaced by the violence currently staying in various sites around the city, including at the airport, where French troops and African peacekeepers have their base. “There are still conflicts in some neighbourhoods. There’s still killing,” said Amy Martin, head of the U.N. aid agency OCHA in Bangui. “For now, we don’t have the sentiment that people are ready to go home. As relative calm returned to Bangui, information from elsewhere in the country, cut off from the capital since last week, began to trickle in. A humanitarian worker in the town of Bossangoa said the number of dead there from several days

Nigerian murdered in U.S. while trying to sell his PlayStation 4

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2-year-old Nigerian murdered in US while trying to sell his PlayStation 4 A man has been arrested after a 22-year-old Nigerian was shot dead as he went to deliver a PlayStation 4 to an online buyer. Ronnie Collins, 21, of San Francisco, is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted robbery, said police Sergeant Danielle Newman. The victim, Ikenna Uwakah of Daly City, was shot multiple times at about 3.30pm on Sunday at the location where he had agreed to meet the person and sell the gaming device, police said. Uwakah was a student at Santa Monica College and was home for Christmas, his brother, Obinna Uwakah, said.

Police said Uwakah had been shot before he got out of his car. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died a short time later.

Uwakah

Photo: Reuters

of violence between Seleka and Christian “anti-balaka” militias formed in response to the violence had risen to 38. In Bozoum, in the northwest, U.N. officials received reports of dozens of dead, and there was also violence in the nearby town of Bocaranga. Humanitarian agencies and rights groups said the latest figures only reflected bodies that had been officially counted, and that the final death toll was likely to be significantly higher. “We’ve spoken to a lot of people who have just buried their relatives in the back yard because they couldn’t get out or didn’t see the point of calling the Red Cross,” said Joanna Mariner, a crisis expert with Amnesty International in Bangui.

‘Aid agencies paid Somalia’s al-Shabaab during famine’

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id agencies paid Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants for access to areas under their control in the 2011 famine, according to a joint report by two think tanks. In many cases al-Shabaab insisted on distributing the aid and kept much of it for itself, the report said. Some of the groups are still paying al-Shabaab to operate in the large parts of Somalia it still holds, it adds. More than 250,000 people died during the famine, caused by a drought. The disaster affected more than 13 million people across the Horn of Africa and triggered a

major refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing the rural areas controlled by al-Shabaab. The militant group had banned several international aid agencies. Many people walked over the border to camps in Kenya and Ethiopia or to Somalia’s government-controlled capital, Mogadishu. The report - by the Overseas Development Institute and the Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies - details how al-Shabaab demanded from the agencies what it described as “registration fees” of up to $10,000 (£6,100).

WORLD BULLETIN Several flights cancelled as heavy snow besieges US East Coast A plodding storm that dumped heavy snow on the unsuspecting Mid-Atlantic region left roads slippery and slushy in the Northeast for yesterday’s commute while travel disruptions continued rippling across the country days after the same system first began wreaking havoc in the skies. The storm that coated parts of Texas in ice struck with unexpected force Sunday on the East Coast, blanketing some spots in a foot of snow, grinding highways to a halt, causing power outages, and closing schools or delaying start times. The federal government was allowing workers to arrive up to two hours later than normal Monday or take unscheduled leave as freezing rain fell. “Getting snow and ice off the car was the hardest thing,” said Brian Holmes, 63, of Alexandria, Va.

Thai government proposes February 2 elections Thailand’s government said yesterday it has proposed new elections be held Feb. 2, hours after the prime minister dissolved the lower house of parliament in a bid to calm the country’s deepening political crisis. Spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi told The Associated Press that the date was proposed during a Cabinet meeting in Bangkok. Thailand’s Election Commission must formally approve the date. Jinthong Intarasri, a spokeswoman for commission, said electoral officials will meet with the government in the next few days to discuss it. The surprise moves came as more than 150,000 protesters vowing to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government marched peacefully through the capital’s streets for a “final showdown.”

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood head appears in court The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has appeared in court for the first time since his arrest in August. Mohammed Badie was seized along with other Brotherhood figures after the Egyptian army ousted the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July. Hundreds of Mr Morsi’s supporters were killed in clashes following the ousting. Mr Badie, who is the movement’s General Guide, denied the Brotherhood had acted violently . He is facing charges of inciting violence and murder over the deaths of eight anti-Brotherhood protesters outside the movement’s headquarters in Cairo. Mr Badie was in court in Cairo along with other Brotherhood figures. He asked why the death of his son and the burning down of Brotherhood offices were not being investigated instead.


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World News

South Africans have flocked to see “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” since the death of the anti-apartheid hero at 95 last week, seizing what they see as a chance to reflect on his life. The 150-minute biopic starring British actor Idris Elba as Mandela opened in South Africa just days before the nation’s first black president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate died at his Johannesburg home on Thursday. South Africa’s main cinema chain suspended screening the day after Mandela’s death, but has since put on additional showings to meet increased demand as the country girds for memorial ceremonies, with nearly 90 world leaders attending, that will fete Mandela as one of history’s great peacemakers. “After his death, I felt I owed it to him to just go watch and understand more about his life,” said 28-year-old Church Shikwambana, who saw the film in the capital, Pretoria. The movie, based on Mandela’s 1994 autobiography, had its royal premiere in London on Thursday, attended by two of Mandela’s daughters and Britain’s Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.

UK lawmakers pay tribute to him Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes to Nelson Mandela in a special session of Britain’s parliament on Monday, hailing the anti-apartheid icon’s “belief in human dignity” and ability to forgive. British lawmakers normally reserve tributes for their own statesmen, but they packed into the House of Commons to pay their respects to South Africa’s first black president, who died Thursday aged 95. Cameron told parliament that Mandela had shown his character “not only in the determination with which he fought, but in the grace with which he won”. “What sustained him throughout all was a belief in human dignity, that no one is naturally superior over anyone else,” Cameron said. “Nearly three decades in prison could so easily have left him bitter. On his release he could have meted out vengeance on those who had done him so much wrong. But perhaps the most remarkable chapter of Mandela’s story is how he took the opposite path.” Cameron said the best way Britain could honour Mandela would be to make further efforts to eradicate poverty.

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NELSON MANDELA (1918–2013)

WORLD BULLETIN

South Africans flock theatres to watch his movie

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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early 90 leaders from across the world, some of them locked in enmity, flew to South Africa yesterday for memorials to Nelson Mandela that will hail one of humanity’s great peacemakers. Officials said yesterday that U.S. President Barack Obama and Raul Castro from Cuba, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Britain’s David Cameron are among those attending today’s main ceremony in Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium - a turnout that reflects the global appeal of South Africa’s first black leader, who died on Thursday aged 95. “The whole world is coming to South Africa,” foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said, playing down concerns about logistics and security of such a large event organized at such short notice. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would also be there, Monyela said, raising the possibility of a first face-to-face meeting with Obama. However, Rouhani’s name was not on an initial official list of attendees. Israel, once an ally of the apartheid rulers who kept Mandela behind bars for 27 years, is sending neither its prime minister nor president, Israeli officials said. Much of the logistical plan is based on South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 soccer World Cup. Even though Pretoria refused to discuss Mandela’s funeral arrangements before his death, it has been laying the preparations for years. “We’re obviously not starting from scratch in terms of organization,” Monyela said. “We’ve got a system that kicks into play whenever you’ve got events of this magnitude.” Besides security, the memorial at the 95,000-seat stadium near Soweto presents officials with a diplomatic minefield - trying to avoid a chance standoff in the rest rooms, say, between Mugabe and Tony Blair, the former British prime minister whom he has denounced as a “little boy” and a “liar”. Those close to Madiba, the clan name by which Mandela was known, say he would have wanted handshakes, not head-butts. “Tomorrow, people should all be honouring their relationship with Madiba. If it means shaking hands with the enemy, yes, I would like to see that,” Zelda la Grange, his former personal assistant for more than a decade, told Reuters. “That is what Nelson Mandela was and actually is - bringing people together despite their differences.”

90 world leaders arrive in S’Africa for his memorial service

Workers standing back, yesterday, after carrying one of the heavy bulletproof glass panels that will surround the back of the stage on the field at the FNB stadium where the memorial service for Nelson Mandela will take place today, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: AP

On the day, diplomacy is unlikely to detract from the outpouring of emotion expected at the seven-hour ceremony at the gigantic bowlshaped Soccer City, a stadium steeped in Mandela history. It was there that the Nobel peace prize winner made his last public appearance three years ago, waving to fans from the back of a golf cart at the World Cup final. It was also there, 20 years earlier, that he addressed tens of thousands of supporters two days after his release from prison, eliciting a deafening roar from the crowd with a clenched fist raised to the sky and a single word: “Amandla”, the Zulu and Xhosa word for power. Since his death, South Africa has been gripped by mass emotions unrivalled since the day Mandela was freed from jail, and his victory in the first all-race elections four years later, in 1994. On Sunday, worshippers filled churches, mosques, synagogues and community halls, offering praise and prayers for a man celebrated as “Father of the Nation” and a global beacon of integrity, rectitude and reconciliation. Tributes flowed in from around the world and across political and religious divides.

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama departing Joint Base Andrews in Washington en route to Johannesburg, yesterday, to attend the memorial service Mandela. Photo: Reuters

Besides Obama, three former U.S. presidents - Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush - will also be in Johannesburg. Top hotels are struggling to deal with the avalanche of high-profile celebrity Mandela mourners. “We’re fully booked,” said an employee of the five-star Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, which has 54 luxury rooms set in lush gardens. “We’ve even had to convert some treatment rooms to cope.” After Tuesday’s event, Mandela’s remains will lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was sworn in as president

in 1994. He will then be buried on Sunday, December 15, in Qunu, his ancestral home in the rolling, windswept hills of the Eastern Cape province, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg. Only a few world leaders are due to attend the Qunu ceremony, which is likely to be a more intimate family affair. As soon as President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela’s death in a televised address to South Africa’s 52 million people, the army cordoned off large parts of Qunu, while con-

Mandela addressed UK Queen by her first name

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South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth ride in a carriage outside Buckingham Palace on the first day of a state visit to Britain, in this July 9, 1996. Photo: Reuters

ot many men call Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II “Elizabeth”, much less dare to comment on her dress style or weight. Nelson Mandela was one of them. As global leaders gathered to pay homage this week to South Africa’s anti-apartheid legend who died on Thursday, one former close aide recalled the cheeky lese majeste of a statesmen who charmed enemies, celebrities

and ordinary people alike. “When he paid visits to Queen Elizabeth, it was always very entertaining to see their interaction, because he called her ‘Elizabeth’...no one else in the world, I think, calls her ‘Elizabeth’,” Zelda la Grange, who was Mandela’s personal assistant for more than a decade, told Reuters. “He would comment on her dress and her weight, you don’t do that with the Queen,” said la Grange, who accompanied Man-

dela on his trips and meetings with foreign leaders. Far from being offended, la Grange recalled, the British sovereign “quite enjoyed it”. “She really adored him,” she added. Queen Elizabeth will not be attending the state funeral for Mandela scheduled for next Sunday at his ancestral home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, but she will be represented by her son, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

World News

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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NELSONMANDELA (1918–2013) He was a magician –Tutu Daughter Makaziwe tells of final moments

Everybody was saying we would go up in flames,” the archbishop emeritus told a memorial service for Mandela in Johannesburg. “He really was like a magician with a magic wand, turning us into this glorious, multi-coloured rainbow people. “This repulsive caterpillar, South Africa, that used to be the world’s pariah, he turned into a beautiful, beautiful butterfly. “That is what we are celebrating,” Tutu told hundreds of mourners of all races who filled the memorial venue for an emotional service. Tutu said the world must not mourn his old friend’s death, but rather celebrate his life and ex-

ample. “He emerged from that crucible of suffering and being dehumanised, breaking rocks... sewing post office bags, working in the quarry,” during his 27-year incarceration under the apartheid regime’s racial laws. “But instead of being consumed by hate and a lust for revenge, (he became) a stalwart for reconciliation... and forgiveness.” The moving gathering ended with singer Johnny Clegg performing the track “Asimbonanga” he had written for Mandela in 1976. The title means “We’ve never seen him” and refers to the long years Mandela spent in jail when all images of him were banned.

Tutu

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elson Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe has told the BBC about the “wonderful” final hours of the former president, who died aged 95 last Thursday. Ms Mandela said his wife Graca, the children and grandchildren were all there to say goodbye. South Africa is observing a series of commemorations over the next week, leading up to the funeral on Sunday. More than 100 current or former heads of state or government will attend the funeral or Tuesday’s national memorial. Makaziwe Mandela told the BBC’s Komla Dumor: “Until the last moment he had us, you know... The children were there, the grandchildren were there, Graca was there, so we are always around him and even at the last moment, we were sitting with him on Thursday the whole day.” She said: “I think from last week, Friday until Thursday, it was a wonderful time, if you can say the process of death is wonderful. But Tata [Nelson Mandela] had a wonderful time, because we were there. “When the doctors told us I think Thursday morning... that there was nothing that they could do, and said to me ‘Maki call everybody that is here that wants to see him and say bye bye’, it was a most wonderful day for us because the grandchildren were there, we were there.” Ms Mandela paid tribute to the doctors for the 24-hour care. She said: “It was like there were soldiers guarding this

period of the king - yes my father comes from royalty without them knowing they were actually practising our rituals and culture, they were there in silence and when we as family members come in they would excuse themselves and just a few of them would be there to give us the time to be around my dad’s bed.” Ms Mandela said that, for the past few months, she would tell her father that she loved him and that would see him again tomorrow. “And maybe he would open his eyes for just a second and close those eyes,” she said. Ms Mandela said she believed her father had fought not just for political freedom but also for spiritual freedom. “He talks about the fact that it takes courage to forgive. Forgiveness is a very difficult thing,” she said. “I think he knew that if he didn’t forgive, he would be forever imprisoned spiritually. The lesson we can take from his life is to have the courage to forgive other people. “None of us are born hating another - we are taught to hate and if you can teach a human being to hate you can also teach a human being to love, to embrace and to forgive.” South Africa’s parliament is now meeting in special session to pay tribute to Mr Mandela, with family members in the gallery. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said there was a “sweeping feeling of sorrow” worldwide following Mr Mandela’s death, but the most important thing was how

those left behind dealt with his legacy. “The litmus test is whether inheritors of his dream... will be able to make the dream for which he lived come to pass in the fullness of time,” Motlanthe said. The foreign ministry says that 91 current heads of state or government have confirmed they are coming to South Africa, along with “10 former heads of state, 86 heads of delegations and 75 eminent persons”. US President Barack Obama, Francois Hollande of France and UK PM David Cameron will be among those attending Tuesday’s memorial. Three former US presidents, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, will also be there. Obama and Bush are already on their way to South Africa on presidential jet Air Force One, along with their wives and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. On Saturday, Cuban state media announced that Presi-

dent Raul Castro would be one of those attending Mr Mandela’s funeral. Under Castro’s brother Fidel, Cuba was a staunch critic of apartheid, and Mr Mandela had expressed gratitude for his support. Tuesday’s memorial service is likely to be one of the biggest gatherings of international dignitaries in recent years. They will join a 95,000-strong crowd at the memorial service at Soweto’s FNB stadium, where Nelson Mandela made his final major public appearance during the 2010 football World Cup. Among those also on the list are UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, German President Joachim Gauck, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and India’s President Pranab Mukherjee. Leading celebrities in the anti-apartheid movement Peter Gabriel and Bono are also expected to attend.

Makaziwe Mandela

Israeli top leaders won’t attend Mandela’s funeral I srael, once an ally of South Africa’s former apartheid rulers, will not be represented by its prime minister or president at the funeral of Nelson Mandela, officials said yesterday, citing costs and health reasons. Palestinians, who hail South Africa’s first black CONFIRMATION OF NAME

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leader as an inspiration in a conflict with what they call Israeli “apartheid”, will be represented by President Mahmoud Abbas - one of about 70 world leaders South Africa expects to welcome. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyaCHANGE OF NAME

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This is to confirm that Mr. Adekunle Soji Olumide is also the same person known as Mr. Adekunle Adesoji Olumide. All pervious document remain valid, General public take note.

ADEGBITE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss. Adegbite Idowu Mistura, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Bello Idowu Mistura. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t EDIKA: Formerly known as Edika Marcellina Ogechi, now wish to be known and addressed as Lawrence Marcellina Ogechi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t ISIDIENU: Formerly known as Miss Isidienu Scholastica Ogbonna, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Nnazie Scholastica Ogbonna. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

hu, who hailed Mandela as “a freedom fighter who rejected violence”, will not attend Tuesday’s ceremony in Johannesburg due to the costs of travel and security, aides said. President Shimon Peres, who is 90, had been advised by his doctors not to make the trip. “The president is recovering from flu and doctors advised him not to fly,” a spokesman for Peres said. A Foreign Ministry ofCHANGE OF NAME

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MATHEW: Formerly known and addressed as Hammed Gbenga Mathew (Mr), now wish to be known and addressed as Adeniran Gbenga Hammed (Mr). All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

ficial said the speaker of parliament or a cabinet minister could represent Israel at the funeral. Like Mandela, Peres is a winner of the Nobel peace prize. As defense minister in the 1970s, he was also involved in military and trade ties with South Africa’s white rulers. In 2010, he denied a newspaper report that Israel had offered to provide the apartheid state with nuclear weapons in 1975. CHANGE OF NAME

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NDUNWA: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Bridget Ndunwa, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Bridget Chizoba Okechukwu Anyanwu. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

Grandson Mandla Mandela, marching with people outside his grandfather’s home in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday Photo: AP

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EFFIONG: Formerly known and addressed as Effiong Noel Albert Nyakoo, now wish to be known and addressed as Eden Noel Albert Dodavah. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME t ADEGBEMI: Formerly known as Miss Adetoun Oluyemi Adegbemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Akodu Adetoun Oluyemi. All former documents remain valid general public take note.


Cocktail

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (244) Whichever stage of life you’re in, and whatever your situation, you will face challenges. – John Edmund Haggai Turn Challenges To Progress! Once we face the reality squarely that challenges will come to us in life, we will be better prepared to keep forging ahead no matter what. Everyone who experience miracles has the tales of obstacles. No star in life exists without at least a scar. There can be no glory without a story. What is given is given. It is given that challenges will come our way in life. When we fail, it is usually not because of the challenges is negative. We all know that what is breaking some people down is the same thing helping some people to break records. You can turn your challenges to progress. You can! DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

Man finds $50K worth of bonds in trashed xmas tree box

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lorida man Anthony Garofalo is happy that he finally got around to opening a Christmas tree box he snagged off the side of the road three years ago because it ended up having $50,000 worth of U.S. bonds inside. Garofalo, a single father, had been stashing the box until his son would be old enough to appreciate the tree that he thought was inside.

“I happened to see a Christmas tree in a box, said ‘Christmas tree.’ And so it was all taped up and sealed, so I figured well, he was only one month old at the time, this is three years ago and I figured, I would just save the tree until he could appreciate Christmas,” Garofalo said. If he ends up keeping the small fortune, it will be a big help for his 3-year-old son Rory.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Reindeer recovered after escaping from Santa

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reindeer that ran away from Santa during the annual lighting celebration in Dillon, Colo., on Thursday was found after leading members of the local police department on an overnight chase. While Santa was inside the La Riva building visiting children, the renegade reindeer was able to jump the wall of its enclosure and make its escape. Officers from the Dillon Police Department tracked the deer through the town and eventually located it on the other side of the Dillon Reservoir after it had apparently swum across. The reindeer was brought back to the enclosure by Dillon Police Officer Bryan Wagner and Summit County Animal Control Officer JJ Swirka after they were able to enlist the help of a second reindeer to corral the one

that had escaped. According to a report about the incident: “The reindeer are now in prep-

aration for the upcoming flight around the world on Christmas Eve. The reindeers made a prom-

The escaped reindeer Photo: CBS

ise to return next year to again add to the season’s festivities and delight of Children.”


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Community Mirror Katsina to spend N92m on rehabilitation of dams 50

Mandela became president and unlike typical African and certain world leaders, voluntarily ceded power to South Africans . AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNOR; GODSWILL AKPABIO

Prince nabbed over N7bn fraud FRANCIS SUBERU

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ne of the executive members of the now liquidated Gulf Bank Plc; Prince Adekunle Adeyeba Johnson has been arrested by police detectives attached to the Special Fraud Unit, Lagos over his alleged involvement in N7billion fraud. According to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC report,

Prince Adekunle is suspected to be the ringleader in the collapse of Gulf Bank Plc. He is suspected to be involved in the insiders’ abuses that led to the bank’s liquidation. In a statement signed by SFU spokesperson, DSP Ngozi Isintume-Agu, the fraud was characterised by manipulation of records, suppression of information, criminal concealment, misrepresentations and forgeries of public documents,

leading to colossal loss of funds of the defunct bank. The complainant, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC alleged that Prince Adekunle Adeyeba Johnson as a major shareholder and a director in the defunct bank used his position to defraud the bank of over N2.5billion. It was gathered that he did this by fraudulently structuring the credits obtained by him in such a way that their details

were never disclosed to the board of the bank. Ngozi in the statement said: “In view of the above, The Nigeria Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU) invited the suspect for interview which he avoided twice before he was apprehended at Yaba area on Sunday, December 8, 2013. “While SFU is making efforts to locate and invite other principal suspects, Prince Adekunle Adeyeba Johnson will be arraigned in court, soon.”

Group of hunters at the conferment of chieftaincy titles on three sons of Mwaghavul by the Mishkaham Mwaghavul at Mangu Local Government of Plateau State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

School donates medical equipment to LASUTH AISHA TITILAYO

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ne of the country’s leading private schools, Taqwa Private Schools, as part of its corporate social responsibility, has donated medical equipment to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), describing quality healthcare delivery as everybody’s concern. Making the donation of the Vital Signs Monitor equipment to LASUTH on Monday, the Proprietress of Taqwa Private Schools, Alhaja Maryam Alimi stated that it is part of

activities commemorating the school’s founders’ day for this year. Alhaja Maryam said: “With the high level of poverty among the citizenry and the dwindling resources available to government, it has become obvious that government alone cannot provide all the needed social services without the support of good-spirited people and organisations. Handing over the equipment to LASUTH’s management, the Chairman, Taqwa School’s Governing Board, Alhaji Lere Alimi, urged other public-spirited individuals and corporate

bodies to render their assistance in providing quality healthcare delivery to the citizen. He said: “It is a collective duty for us all to help humanity and we urge people to always take time to visit hospitals, motherless babies home and prisons in order to learn to help others and appreciate God’s favours. It is our belief that the hospital will use it in the best way to save lives.” Chairman, LASUTH’s Board, Dr. Olatunde Williams applauded Taqwa Schools, saying the teaching hospital appreciated the gesture;

even as he appealed to like-minds to emulate Taqwa schools. According to the Assistant Director of LASUTH’s Nursing Services, Mrs. Modupe Sode, the life-saving equipment donated by the school has multiple functions especially for critically-ill patients in monitoring vital parameters such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature and other vital signs in lifethreatening situations like childbirth complications, head injury, burns and others.

Lagos disowns Ajeromi/ Ifelodun over demolition of club house FRANCIS SUBERU

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agos State government has filed an application before a Lagos High Court stating that it did not direct Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government to demolish Apapa Diamond club house. In a motion on Notice dated November 13, 2013 filed by Mrs. O V Fagbayi from the Chambers of the Attorney General of Lagos State, the State added that it has no interest in the suit filed by the trustees of Apapa Diamond club against Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government. Consequently, it urged the court in the interest of justice to strike out its name and that of the commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Lagos State, commissioner, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs from the suit (3rd to 6th defendants). The applicants stated that the claimants’ suit did not disclose any reasonable cause of action against the 3rd to 6th defendants. The trustees of Apapa Diamond club had in suit No- LD/556/13 demanded for the sum of N20, 000,000 as general damages jointly and severally against the defendants for alleged trespass and illegal demolition of the club house. Sued along with the Local Government are, the Chairman of the Local Government, Kamal Bayewu, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Lagos State, commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Lagos State, commissioner, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State and the Ministry of

Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. The claimants through their lawyer, Adeola Adeleke are also asking for an interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from harassing or ejecting them from a property located at No-20 Commentary Street Ago-Hausa Ajegunle-Apapa, Lagos. The claimants are asking for a declaration that they are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of the tenancy which still subsist and existed between them and the 1st and 2nd defendants. The claimants stated that they rented the property in dispute from Ojo Local Government Area in 1994 and had since been in full possession. Besides, the claimants added that by virtue of a tenancy agreement duly executed between the claimant and the 1st defendant dated December 27, 1994, they carried out repairs and rehabilitation of the property at a very huge sum of money. The claimants added that they have been paying their rents consistently to Ojo Local Government which subsequently gave birth to Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government. They further stated that to their dismay, the 1st and 2nd defendants came up one morning and issued a quit notice dated June 30, 2009 not minding the juristic status of the claimant. The claimants added that the 1st defendant also filed a suit against the President of the Club, Mr. Muyiwa Badmus for and on behalf of the club. The added that on Saturday June29, 2013 during environmental sanitation exercise when nobody was around the 1st defendant forcefully entered the premises and destroyed the club house.


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Community Mirror

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Railway workers kick against privatisation of Korean Railway FRANCIS SUBERU

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Cultural display by the Veleng dancers at the conferment of chieftaincy titles on three sons of Mwaghavul by the Mishkaham Mwaghavul at Mangu Local Government of Plateau State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Katsina to spend N92m on rehabilitation of dams JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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he sum of N92.3 million has been earmarked by the Katsina State Government for the rehabilitation of three dams to boost irrigation activities in the state. The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Musa Funtua who stated this yesterday to newsmen, said the dams are situated at Kusada, Kusa and Tafoki villages. Funtua said the

rehabilitation of the dams would commence before the end of the year, and that all facilities would be provided to farmers for irrigation activities at the site of the dams. He further said government would spend the sum of N33. 1 million to expand irrigation farming at Jibia dam before the year ends. Funtua said between January and now, government has constructed wash boreholes and tube wells at

28 existing irrigation sites as well provided pumping water machines to farmers. He said that, “In each community, we constructed 35 wash boreholes and tube wells and gave out to farmers at subsidised prices.” He said government attaches priority to irrigation activities to stop rural-urban migration and boost production of food; saying government recently purchased 340 tractors, which they give out to farmers on loan.

According to Funtua, a loan of N250 million has been given to members of All Farmers Association of Nigeria in the state for the development of the sector; adding that another sum of N68 million is being spent monthly to buy grains from farmers and selling same at reduced cost to the people. He said the state would continue to accord priority to agriculture as it is the main stay of the state’s economy.

Ayetoro chief sues for peace AYO ESAN

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he Baale of Ayetoro in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, Chief Paul Abiodun Adeniji Odutala, has appealed to the people of the community to embrace peace and wait for the determination of an appeal against the judgement of a high court which ceded the community to Alagbeji descendants. The Baale assured the people that his family,

Bada Odutala family has appealed the judgement of Hon. Justice O.A. Onafowokan of Ogun State High Court, Ijebu-Ode which granted ownership of the community to Alagbeji descendants from Itele and made the Odutala family customary tenants. Speaking with journalists, Odutala said his family has filed an appeal and stay of execution of the judgement at the Appeal Court. According to him, the

appeal has been filed at the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan and in the notice of appeal; the family is seeking an order setting aside the judgement of the High Court delivered by Hon. Justice O.A. Onafowokan on October 8, 2013. He said the ground of appeal is that the learned judge erred in law in holding that the appellants, Bada Odutala family are customary tenants to the respondent family, the Adogun Atele family without oral and documentary

evidence to back same. Odutala who said his family is dissatisfied with the judgement however appealled to the people of the community to remain peaceful and law abiding saying, “on our part we shall continue to be law abiding and pursue our matter legally until we get our right back”. “We believe that the judgement has robbed us of our right and we are ready to pursue the matter legally to the highest level,” he said.

n the spirit of solidarity with the railway workers in another clime, the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR) has protested against the planned privatisation of the Korean Railway. The protest of the NUR was contained in a letter signed by its President-General, Comrade Raphael B. Okoro, and addressed to the Ambassador of the Korean Embassy in Nigeria. A copy of the letter which was made available to the media reads in part: “In total solidarity with our compatriots in the employ of Korean Railway, we of the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR) do hereby declare our total support and cooperation with the Korean Railway Workers’ Union as they match against privatisation of the Korean Railway”. “The voice of the people, which is the voice of God, must be heard in matters that concern

them. The workers of Korean Railway should be given eminent recognition in the schemes of things that concern their welfare at workplace. Any policy attempt by the Korean Government that is not in agreement with the yearnings of the people must not arise if truly the government cares about the fate of its citizenry”. The protest, which is being coordinated by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), is planned to hold in Korea and all its embassies worldwide through its national affiliates on Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Comrade Raphael Okoro emphasised that privatisation has been antiworker, vicious, and cruel to the people wherefrom the government gets its mandate of governance. “We will not hesitate to move to the next legitimate level of mobilising Railway workers in Nigeria and all over the world against the planned privatisation of Korean Railway which brings no good to our compatriots in Korea”, Okoro added.

‘Lagos Countdown 2013’ excites residents TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

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ome residents in Lagos State have expressed excitement and enthusiasm at the year-end cross over initiative of the Lagos State Government, tagged, Lagos Countdown as the 2013 edition of the event formally began weekend. Cross section of the residents, who converged on the popular Bar Beach, Victoria Island, on Saturday to witness the Lagos Seafood Festival, said they looked forward to exciting moments all through the period of the countdown event. A financial analyst, Mr. Michael Abiodun, said he anticipated lots of fun, stressing that “Seafood Festival has set the right tone for the Lagos Countdown 2013 going by what I have seen here today.” He added that for Lagos, renowned as ‘Centre of Excellence’, it was obvious that this year’s countdown

event would usher-in the New Year with much fun. He described the Lagos Countdown as a welcome initiative. Another resident, Mrs. Felicia Adegoke, recalled with nostalgia the television clips of last year’s breath-taking fireworks display she watched on television; promising that she and her family would not miss the real live event this year. “I didn’t have time to take my kids to the Countdown Village (Bar Beach) last year; we only watched the fireworks on television. But, this year I will surely take them there to have fun,” Adegoke said. Speaking on the commencement of Lagos Countdown 2013, the Managing Director, Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), Mr. George Noah, assured participants of the best form of all-round fun as never before.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

FCT workers protest, want minister axed OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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orkers of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) under the auspices of the Joint Union Action Committee (JUAC-FCDA), yesterday staged a protest against the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, faulting what they described as his nonchalance towards their career development. They also demanded the removal of the minister. The workers, who were scheduled to meet with the Permanent Secretary in the FCT, Engr. John Obinna Chukwu today, said the meeting would serve to effectively put an

end to the ‘excesses of the minister.’ They had blocked the entrance to the minister’s office, displaying placards with several inscriptions such as; “Bala must go, Staff welfare is zero.” They were also chanting; “We no go gree o” when Mr. Chukwu came out to address them along with other senior aides of the minister. The protesters, who besieged the entrance of the FCT minister’s office early in the morning, searched vehicles exiting the FCT minister’s wing of the premises that housed the FCTA and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, trying to avoid a situation whereby aides of the minister would ferry him out in any of the vehicles with

tinted glasses. Chairman of the union, Comrade Ajao Adejumo, who led the workers, accused the minister of undermining the career path of his colleagues explaining that most of those who are due for promotion have been denied such. According to him, the administration has willfully refused to train the workers to keep them updated with new development in their fields for optimal output, even as he argued that the posture of the minister is a disincentive to the workers. The union leader accused the administration

for linking staff promotions, training and other incentives to biometric data capture, which he noted has been completed and the staff cleared, yet they were not promoted nor sent for relevant training. “Members of staff, who have been cleared by the biometrics exercise, should be paid and training should not be tied to biometrics; promotion should not be tied to biometrics. It should be released and the issue of hazard allowance must be addressed,” he said. Addressing the workers, Chukwu said the ad-

ministration was not unaware of their demands and had even before the protest, entered into discussion with the union leaders. He, however, asked the workers to give the administration one week to settle the issue. “Most of your requests, I have seen and you don’t talk in an environment that is not condusive. I appeal to you all to give us today so that we discuss with the union. “We do not discuss in the market place and I am sure all of you are responsible workers. I know all of you are law abid-

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ing responsible officers. Workers have the right to assembly; nobody is saying we will deny you your right. “All of us have a moral duty to better the territory, please do not allow yourselves to be misguided. I am a civil servant like you, just give me today so that we can address the matter with your union members,” he pleaded. National Mirror sources said should their demands not be met today, the protest is likely to go on for three days after which they would embark on an indefinite strike.

FG pledges readiness to support LG functionaries ADEOLA TUKURU

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etermined to ensure good governance and in consideration of the challenges facing local government administration in the country, the Federal Government has pledged its readiness to give support to local government functionaries in the country. Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, gave this assurance yesterday at the forum of key functionaries of local governments in the country, organised by the ministry in collaboration with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).

According to him, the ministry was re-established by President Goodluck Jonathan in February 2013, to among other things, discharge very special assignments to conduct and coordinate harmonious relationship among the three tiers of government and relevant international bodies. He said: “This programme aims to ensure that participatory development approaches are adopted at sub-national levels for effective local development. “I reiterate that globally, local councils are the pivots of change and of addressing challenges to become opportunities for development.

Niger commences N1.1bn housing units at 3-arms zone PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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iger State government will soon commence the construction of 30 housing units at the three-arm zone of the several hectares of land it secured in the outskirts of Minna, the state capital, at N1.1 billion next week. Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Dr Peter Salle Sarki, who made the disclosure at a post-executive council meeting in Minna yesterday, said the whole project would gulp over N3.1 billion.

Sarki said money for the first phase of the project was realised from proceeds of the sale of some government houses, while the balance of N2 billion for the remaining 60 units have been provided for in 2014 budget of the ministry. According to him, the breakdown of the housing project showed that 30 units will be in the five-bedroom detached bungalow category, 30 units Type ‘A’ in four-bedroom detached bungalow category, while the remaining 30 units , Type ‘B’ will also be in four-bedroom detached bungalow category.

L-R: Representative of the FCT Minister, Alhaji Yusuf Tsajabu; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mr Mustafa Bello and Director, Media and Publication, Mr Joel Attah, at the ninth National Conference on Investments in Abuja, yesterday.

NDLEA arrests 16 suspects with 96.55kg of hemp

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he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday said it has arrested 16 suspects in Niger State for being in possession of 96.55 kilogrammes of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp. State Commander of the agency, Alhaji Abdullahi Abdul, told journalists in Minna that the

arrests were made in various parts of the state in November. “The Niger command of the NDLEA carried out a number of raids and routine stop-and-search operations in November 2013. “The operations led to the arrest of 16 suspects and the seizure of 96.55 kilogramme of dried weeds

suspected to be cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) and one kilogramme of psychotropic substances,” he said. Abdul said about 800 grammes of seeds of Indian hemp was also impounded from an illicit hemp farmer in Babana, a border town with Benin Republic in Kainji Local Government Area. He added that the quan-

tity of seeds recovered showed that marijuana was being cultivated in the border town or somewhere near the town. Abdul said the command was working on a lead with a view aimed to achieve a major breakthrough in its counter narcotic efforts by identifying and destroying marijuana farms in the area.

Police recover eight cars, arrest 40 suspects in Kaduna

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he Kaduna State police command yesterday said it has arrested 40 suspects and recovered eight cars and several ammunition in a raid by the command’s officers and men. State Police Public Relations Officer, Aminu Lawan, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Kaduna that

the high rate of car theft necessitated the need to comb some ‘black spots’ notorious for car snatching in the city. “There was what we call strategic plan that the command put in place to ensure combing of some black spots that had been identified in the command. “Such operation yield-

ed positive results in which quite a number of suspects were arrested and a lot of recoveries made. “Some stolen vehicles were recovered; about eight and a lot of guns, both automatic and locally made guns and some other exhibits too. “Not less than 40 suspects were arrested and

they were all screened and charged to various courts and some of them are still undergoing trials and some have been convicted.” He assured the public of the command’s resolve to end car theft, adding that more strategies are in place to stamp out various criminal activities in the state.


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Tuesday, December 10 , 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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This is to inform the general public that Romanus G. O. Agbawo parcel of land document situated at Akpuoga Nike Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State Reg. as 53/53/1520 C of O got lost. If found contact Ministry of Lands and Urban Development Enugu.

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PUBLIC NOTICE BOSOM OF LOVE INTERNATIONAL CHURCHES

The general public is hereby informed that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for Registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE:

1. Pastor Salem Krissaleh Alhassan- President 2. Pastor Telvin Cephas Alhassan 3. Alhassan Unissa

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to all creatures. 2. To encourage youth and the society in general to study the scripture (Bible) and abide by the word. Any objections to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent off Agui Ironsi street, Maitama Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

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SOBOWALE: Formerly Miss Sobowale Adebukola Opeyemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Olaniyan Adebukola Opeyemi. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

This is to notify the general public that the above named Organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja,for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20,LFN, 2004.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1 .Ovuomarhoma Godfrey Ejovwo 2. Obarojephan Wilson Erhijiguen 3. Bezi Ann Egoyevwowovweyan

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To offer scholarship progranmes grants and donations to students across all levels of the education sector. 2. To organize educations competitions for students across the sector. 3. To empower members of the public and other stakeholders through innovative programmes. 4. To offer interactive programmes such as seminars,symposia,awards etc to stakeholders in the education sector. 5.To constantly assist in providing solution to the problem confronting educational sector. Any objection to this Registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission,plot 420,Tigris Crescent,off Aguyi Ironsi Street,maitama Abuja within 28 days from the day of this publication.

PUBLIC NOTICE COMFORT ZONE ASSEMBLY WORLD WIDE

PUBLIC NOTICE DUNAMIS CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD

Pst. Abiaeme J. Uchenna (Chairman) Evang. Comfort Abiaeme Dean Victor Okoye Mrs Chinwe Chukwudi

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

a) To turn the World into God’s Kingdom b) To reach the unreached in the world through the preaching of kingdom message c) To liberate soul from hell

Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar general, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi ironsi Street, Maitama Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: PST. ABIAEME J. UCHENNA, CHAIRMAN HEAD OFFICE 12 ABIASTREET, UGBENEABAKPANIKE, ENUGU, ENUGUSTATE

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PUBLIC NOTICE RESTORE HOPE FOR NIGERIA YOUTHS FOUNDATION

SIGNED: SECRETARY

THE TRUSTEES ARE:

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ADEJUMO: Formerly Mrs Adejumo Olanike Omowumi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ajao Olanike Omowumi. All former documents remain valid. LAUTECH Ogbomoso and general public should please take note.

SIGNED: OVUOMARHOMA GODFREY EJOVWO (PRESIDENT). 5,SOETAN CRESCENT ASERO ESTATE, ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE. E-mail : info@restorehopefoundation.org www.restoredhopefoundation.org

The general public is hereby notified that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for Registration under Part ‘C’ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990.

a) b) c) d)

LOSS OF DOCUMENT t

This is to inform the General Public that the above named ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration, under Part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act N0: 1 1990.

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

Pastor Nwachukwu Chidiegwu Kelvin Deaconess Mary Nwachukwu Chinyere Sister Nwachukwu Chinonso Confidence Pastor Dioha Ndubuisi Kingsley Brother Mark Goodness Amarachi

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To Preach Christ, To Teach the Principle of the Kingdom of God and to minister healing and deliverance to the captives of Satan. Any objection to the above registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitaima Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: PASTOR NWACHUKWU CHIDIEGWU KELVIN FOUNDER/PRESIDENT

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Formerly known and addressed as Noel Albert Nyakno now known and addressed as Noel Dodavah Edeh. Formerly known and addressed as Francesca Forrester Etukudoh now known and addressed asFrancesca Dodava Eden. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE MORDECAI CARE FOUNDATION OF NIGERIA.

This is to notify the general public that the above named foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja,for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20,LFN, 2004.

THE TRUSTEES ARE:

1. Pastor. Isaac Kayode Adeyemo 2. Mrs Esther Radeseun Adeyemo 3. Matron Roseline Moyosore Ogunsola 4. Dr Abolaji Dada 5. Dr Mrs Dolapo Eunice Oyebola

CEO/founder President Co-founder Vice President Member Member Secretary.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. Helping the orphan and needy generally 2. Raising help spiritually through discipleship,financially,and materially 3. Raising them as faithful leaders for tomorrow 4.To make people receive spiritual teaching of the word and get stable mentally,emotionally,physically and financially balance 5. To bring all people all tribes to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ

Any objection to this Registration should be forwarded to the RegistrarGeneral, Corporate Affairs Commission,plot 420,Tigris Crescent,off Aguyi Ironsi Street,maitama Abuja within 28 days from the day of this publication. SIGNED: PRESIDENT

PUBLIC NOTICE FOURUA CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

This is to inform the general public that the above named Fellowship has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Chukwuemeka Nwachukwu. 2. Uchenna Okocha . 3. Confidence Nwakuduh. 4. Umunna Okengwu 5. Kelechi Imebuogu.

6. Walter Nwankwo. 7. Ikedichi Ufomadu. 8. Senator Nnaji. 9. Dr. Charles Ayoka. 10. Madam Lilly Ufomadu.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To preach the gospel 2. To reconcile sinners to Christ. 3. To pray for the unsaved. Any objection to this Registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: BARR. SENATOR NNAJI.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Emergency Update

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Nigeria lost N2.6trn to 2012 flood disaster, says NEMA

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igeria recorded about N2.6 trillion to the 2012 flood disaster, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mohammad Sani-Sidi, said on Wednesday in Abuja. Speaking at the presentation of the 2012 Flood Post Disaster Need Assessments, PDNA, and Disaster Risk Management to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,SGF, Pius Anyim, the Director General said the loss was recorded in the education, health, housing, agricultural, commerce, oil, industry, water, sanitation, transport, electricity and environment sectors of the economy. Identifying the housing sector as the sector that recorded the highest damage, he said this was closely followed by agriculture. He told the SGF that the agency had taken a number of pre-flood actions, proactive measures and post-flood response measures to address the impact of the 2012 flood disaster, adding that NEMA, with the support of development partners, led the process of the PDNA and undertook a number of post-PDNA Operationalisation Committee. “The partners oversaw development and validation of the 2012 National Flood Recovery Action Plan and a National Disaster Recovery Strategy and Framework,’’ he said, adding that the agency would be developing a national integrated flood warning system linking warning to preparedness, response and recovery. To ensure effective response and recovery from future flood disasters, Mr. Sani-Sidi suggested that humanitarian coordination should be strengthened, while NEMA should be empowered to effectively play its role in disaster manage-

ment in the country. The SGF said that the Federal Government would do its best to implement the recommendations of the report, pointing out that with the report government was confident it now has an acceptable document across the globe on the Nigerian Post Disaster Need Assessment 2012 flood conduct and outcomes. “The document also could have put areas where partners can indeed complement the local effort to ensure that necessary strategies are put in place for managing future disaster,’’ he said. Mr. Anyim said that government was committed to ensuring that measures were put in place to avert future occurrences and to minimise the impact when they occur. Meanwhile the National Emergency Management Agency, North East Zone has confirmed that 300 people were displaced during the December 1 insurgent attack at some military formations in Maiduguri. The confirmation is contained in a statement signed by Information Officer of the agency, Mr Abdulkadir Ibrahim in Yola. “NEMA has carried out assessment on the victims of recent attack at the 33 Artillery barrack in Maiduguri. “After the assessment, 300 people were confirmed internally displaced and emergency relief materials like beds, blankets and mosquito nets have been given to them. “The victims had their residential buildings destroyed in the attack,” Ibrahim said. The officer said that the gesture was in fulfilment of the agency’s mandate of providing succour to victims of attacks.

Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi Director General NEMA

A scene of multiple accident along Onitsha-Owerri expressway, recently.

Role of media in disaster management ABDULLAHI YUNUSA

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t was an interactive session that will forever remain indelible in my memory. The meeting had in attendance major spokespersons of security and response agencies on one hand and media practitioners that have shown keen interest on covering and reporting security situations in the country. As a representative of Journalists Against Disaster Initiative (JADI), I was glad to serve as one of the repertoires at the occasion. The event provided me an ample of opportunity of not just meeting cerebral media men, but had a one on one encounter with the big personality superintending over Nigeria’s intelligence community, in the person of Col. SamboDasuki (rtd) who is the chief host and guest speaker at the forum. Apart from setting the tone for the healthy but tough debate between the media practitioners and security spokespersons over challenges of reporting security issues, Dasuki’shumble disposition completely changed my long held erroneous perception of our elite. He did not behave like those who see themselves as demigods and therefore have no single regards for common men. Sincerely speaking, Dasuki proved incurable cynic like myself wrong that most political elite are snubs as many are wont us to believe. For an event that was slated for 10 am, the NSA had already reported earlier than the time only to meet a relatively empty meeting room. Surprisingly, Col Dasuki isn’t a typical example of a Nigerian “Big Man or Oga At the Top” who would have ordinarily called off the meeting. No, he never contemplated that, rather he returned to his office

for a while to return later. Those meeting him for the first time were struck by his rare display of humility. Obviously, his resolve to have waited patiently for expected guests to arrive underscores his commitment and readiness to frontally address rising insurgency and other security challenges in some parts of the country, which he strongly believe the media have greater roles to play in building public confidence and boosting the morale of security personnel. When the stage was finally set for the event to kick off, the organizers wasted no time in ushering the proverbial big masquerade into the meeting room. The NSA walked in, and the occasion began immediately. Though a man of few words, who would rather work behind the scene for success of operation than granting press interview, he urged the participants to feel free to offer their minds on issues they are convinced about. According to him, the media parley was a platform to rub minds on topical issues that pertain winning the war against insurgency and other criminal activities across the country. He reminded participants that all individual efforts are geared towards achieving common goal and therefore, there shouldn’t be room for mutual suspicion and rivalry. Through his presentation, you could really tell that the NSA truly understands the job he is saddled with. He spoke seamlessly and brilliantly on issues and impressed on those present to promote national interest above other considerations. He was faultlessly frank in his submission and cautioned participants against passing the buck in our resolve to make Nigeria a more secure, safe and friendly nation.

The NSA who appealed to media practitioners to promote national interest,security consciousness and peace for the attainment of national goals and aspirations, dismissed critics of the maximum security deployed during the Anambra State governorship election, saying it was to ensure public safety. He stressed more on the need for improved and sustained working relationship among stakeholders in the nation’s security sector for more results, saying that the media remains a critical partner in addressing insecurity. While commending Nigerian media for its contributions towards the sustenance of democracy in the country, Sambo urged it to be professional and guard against becoming willing tools in the hands of trouble-shooters in their quest to promote their selfish ambitions. He said: “The nation is at a very critical stage: we should be wary of individuals and groups whose selfish agenda may affect our security through dirty politicking, negative activism and other acts of criminality. There are many lessons to be learnt from happening across the globe so that our nation will remain peaceful

and well-secured.” On the role of the military during elections, Dasuki, who maintained that while it is not the responsibility of security agencies to monitor electoral officials during election, noted that security officers are only mandated to provide maximum security for the protection of lives and property.He added that: “As security agencies we are not to be partisan and bias but professional in our conducts.” Undoubtedly, the NSA’s brilliant submissions at the event are strong indications that he has both the managerial and intelligence acumen needed to overcome the prevailing security problems in some parts of the country. According to him, efforts should be channeled into fighting insurgency and not on trivial issues that would further divide us as people. The strategic media interface which was the first of its kind, was an eye opener for representatives of security establishments, media and a select number of civil society bodies to work towards the goal of promoting and protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria. Abdullahi Yunusa wrote in from Imane, Kogi state. meetprofwills@yahoo.com

Col Sambo Dasuki rtd stressing a point at the interactive session


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Features

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sosoliso: A plane crash and efforts to remember the dead On December 10, 2003, 61 students of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja perished in an aircrash involving a Sosoliso aircraft at Port Harcourt International airport. That disaster shook the entire nation and left grieving parents devastated. In this piece, Ochuko Momoh reflects on the tragedy and efforts to remember those who died.

A Sosoliso aircraft undergoing check

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xactly eight years ago today, 61 students of the Loyola Jesuit College (LJC) were headed home for the Christmas holidays when the Sosoliso aircraft conveying them crashed in Port Harcourt. These students, who had left their school and friends less than two hours earlier, were barely minutes away from re-uniting with their families when tragedy struck. The crash claimed all lives on board, except two (one LJC student and another passenger). It was an overwhelming catastrophe that cast a shadow in the lives of everyone involved and the nation as a whole. The scope of that tragedy and the sharp poignancy of its hurt are sufficient triggers to provoke a crisis of faith in those less toughened by the imperatives of love and deep belief in the omniscience of God. But even when we cannot understand why those 60 children were taken away from us, we have taken solace in God’s words that His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. Eight years may have passed and the scars are gradually healing but we will never forget our children who left us in the most

Charred remains of the aircraft

HOWEVER DEEP OUR PAIN AS PARENTS, THE TRAGEDY OF DECEMBER 10, 2005 WAS NOT ONLY FOR THE PTA BUT ALSO FOR THE LOYOLA JESUIT COLLEGE. heart-breaking manner. Yet while they live forever in our hearts, we want their memories to enrich the lives of others as we demonstrate that abiding bond between parents and children is aptly captured in the motto of the LJC PTA: “For the sake of our precious jewels”! However deep our pain as parents, the tragedy of December 10, 2005 was not only for the PTA but also for the Loyola Jesuit College. Having 60 promising lives, 10 percent of its entire student population, cut short in one fell swoop, was too much for any school to bear. Yet out of that tragedy, a new Jesuit Memorial College has emerged, on the same ground that our children perished in Port Harcourt. Also, there is now an annual memorial drama of LJC Abuja in honour and memory of their departed senior colleagues. At a moment like this, we cannot but draw strength from the courage and resilience of Kechi

Okwuchi, the only survivor of that tragic incident, who continues to remind us of the obligations that the living still owe the dead. Kechi experienced the tragedy and lives it every day but has refused to allow it to define her and the future. However, as we mark the 8th anniversary of this tragedy today, our unceasing prayers go out to the parents and guardians of the 60 children as well as the Port Harcourt branch of the LJC Parents Teachers Association,PTA, management and staff of Loyola Jesuit College, and indeed all Nigerians. For reasons beyond our knowledge those beautiful children came to us; and for reasons also beyond our comprehension, they left. Today in their memory, we have decided to express gratitude instead of grief at the privilege of experiencing their warm companionship. However fleeting their friendship and love, gratitude is a preferable healing force and the path of positive faith. Certainly, those young spirits would wish this path for us because to live forever in the hearts of those who bore and nurtured them is really not to die. It is from this backdrop of love that the Abuja branch of the Loyola Jesuit College PTA has decided to take a practical step and build other monuments in their memory. These monuments are to externalise the depth of our timeless ties to them. Our purpose is to erect structures that will be an enduring legacy and serve a prac-

tical purpose for the host school in loving memory of the LJC-60. For us, a day like this also offers opportunity to reflect on some of the challenges of our country, especially with regards to the education of our children. We believe the PTA, alumni associations and other public-spirited institutions should get involved by coming together to provide solutions to some common problems in our schools. That is the spirit which defines communities that care. December 10, 2015 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Sosoloso crash and the Abuja branch of the LJC PTA has chosen to commemorate the lives of our 60 children with a worthy project, the “Loyola Jesuit 60 Angels Memorial Buildings” - a staff residence of 60 units of 2 bedroom flats comprising 5 blocks with 12 flats each –as a lasting legacy in the school. The architectural concept of the proposed monument will be deliberately designed to speak to the minds and hearts of the stakeholders who lost their loved ones and also be a reminder and warning to our society to hold fast to enduring values. We have marked out January 30 next year for the ceremony and cheque presentation. We hope President Goodluck Jonathan,as guest of honour would join us as we take a practical step in the bid to redefine the role of parents in the schools their children attend. We are also grateful that the Bishop of Sokoto, His Lordship Matthew Hassan Kukah has graciously accepted our invitation as the guest speaker to engage the interconnection between education and aviation. However, to achieve our objective for immortalising our departed 60 students, the LJC-PTA has set out to raise N500m by taxing

ourselves and seeking the support of public-spirited individuals and credible institutions. Interested corporate bodies may alternatively opt to undertake erecting a building worth N100m that would be credited to them. We know we have set for ourselves a big task but it is a deliberate attempt to awaken that spirit of generousity and sense of community that define our people for the sake of our precious jewels. At this existential level on a day such as this, the least we can do is to create a symbol, a structure, a totem that honours our fallen students. Definitely, this cannot, and will not annul the hurt we still feel. Nor will it bring back the dead. But this gesture will signify faith in the past and future. Most importantly, it will serve as a healing gesture for our grieving colleagues who lost their children in such a tragic manner. We therefore appeal to moral and political leaders, educationists and believers in the power of the future to donate generously to this project. After all, as the French philosopher and Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, incidentally a member of the Society of Jesus, owners of the Loyola Jesuit College, put it, “We are not just human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Taking to heart the core of this rather radical perspective will surely provoke a shift in the understanding and a new appreciation of life’s journey. What is more; it may force us to deepen and reassess our relationships with others. It will definitely help us to appreciate; perhaps like no other perspectives will that we are building a monument to 60 LJC spirits that will never die.

A grieving mother with photos of her children


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Features

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Counterfeit drugs being burnt

Confiscated illicit drugs

Inset; Ahmed

Day Customs, NAFDAC made bonfire of counterfeit drugs The continued importation of counterfeit drugs through the country’s porous borders has continued to pose huge challenge to the relevant authorities. James Danjuma reports that the Nigerian Customs recently seized and destroyed huge quantities of illicit drugs in Katsina,even as NAFDAC warns culprits to desist from the illegal trade.

A

n articulated vehicle slowly snaked its way through one of the dusty roads from neigbouring Niger Republic into one of the border council areas in Katsina State. Inside were large consignments of assorted drugs which the driver and occupants had traveled for hundreds of miles to smuggle into Nigeria. They had managed to enter into the council area and would have ultimately moved them into the market, before they were abruptly stopped by some Customs officers. The driver and some occupants of the vehicle came down and approached them and after some discussions, offered to give them N5 million just to look the other way for the vehicle to pass. In spite of the huge temptation, the Customs officials refused to budge and arrested both the vehicle and occupants for coming into the country with contraband goods. The incident which occurred early this year had a related one that had happened last year. In the last incident, Customs official had nabbed three suspects for smuggling illicit drugs worth over N50 million at one of the border areas. The suspects had concealed the drugs in sacks and cottons loaded in an articulated truck; they also offered a N5 million bribe and immediately brought N2 million with an undertaking to bring the

balance some days later. According to the Controller in-charge of the Customs Federal Operation Unit, Zone ‘B’, Maina Ahmed, such is hazards and temptations officials of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, often face when patrolling the nation’s porous borders. Ahmed however said that they do not record success all the time, while trying to arrest smugglers and confiscating their illicit goods, as they always fight back and lives were sometimes lost in the process. He spoke some days ago at the handing over and joint destruction of some seized drugs to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, by the Kaduna/ Katsina area command of the NCS. He said the high rate of illicit drugs smuggling was as result of non adherence to international bilateral laws by some of the countries sharing borders with Nigeria. He called on the state and council areas to intensify efforts at educating the public on dangers of illicit drugs, and for parents to check activities of their children to ensure they do not patronise illicit drug traffickers. Incidentally, the smuggled drugs from the incident early this year were among several others that were destroyed by government officials at the occasion. The state, like several others

EXPERTS ESTIMATE THAT MANY

OF THE ARMED ROBBERIES, THUG RELATED ACTIVITIES, RAPES,

MURDERS, AND OTHER SOCIAL VICES, RESULT FROM DRUGS CONSUMPTION.

sharing common boundaries with neighboring countries, is faced with the challenge of illicit drugs smuggling due to the porosity of the borders. But the challenge is not limited to Nigeria, as illicit drugs smuggling is a multi-billion dollar business on a global scale. According to reports, most countries prohibit the trade of specific drugs unless under license, with unscrupulous elements often finding ways to smuggle them in order to make money. In many countries, drug smuggling is regarded as one of most serious of offences which carries penalties that include lengthy periods of imprisonment, fines, flogging, and even death. In many nations also, illegal drug smuggling is thought to be directly linked to violent crimes such as murder and other related vices. According to reports, this is especially true in developing countries, such as Nigeria, but also an issue in many developed countries across the globe. For example, in the United States in the 1990s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, estimated that five percent of murders were drug-related. Mexico, which is known to have one of the highest drug-related cases in the world, recorded 90 percent of killings during the early part of the past decade. Some years ago, it was reported that in the United Kingdom drugs use was responsible for majority of crimes, including 85

percent for shoplifting, 70percent of burglaries and 54 percent of robberies. Though actual figures for Nigeria are often not available, experts estimate that many of the armed robberies, thug related activities, rapes, murders, and other social vices, result from drugs consumption. And more often than not, such drugs are smuggled through the nation’s borders and are not registered by NAFDAC or allowed for scrutiny by relevant security agencies. Speaking on the occasion, the Customs Area Controller in charge of Kaduna/Katsina command, Yarima Gadam, lamented the rate at which the state is becoming a depot for illicit drugs trade. He said, “The activities of deviants who smuggle restricted drugs and other harmful substances into the state for onward transportation to other parts of the country have tended to turn our peaceful and progressive state into a depot for these dangerous drugs.” He however assured that efforts were being made to rid Kaduna and the country of illicit drugs by arresting the culprits, confiscating the drugs and prosecuting them.” He added that the public destruction of the confiscated drugs represented a significant milestone in the collective efforts to deal decisively with the menace of drugs smuggling in the country. A summary of the siezed and destroyed drugs include 3,426 car-

55

tons of tramdol, mixa grip and buzuka; 8,307 packets of Viagra and sundrex; 16,312 rolls of vika plus and rudrex; 10,332 sachets of animal tablets and Viagra power; 170 bottles of ORT and animal injection; and 2,210 boxes of human injection, among others. The Customs Area Controller said the drugs had a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N595.8 million. In his address, the NAFDAC Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, said relevant international organisations have rated global drug counterfeiting as one of the most lucrative of businesses worth from $75 to $200 billion. Orhii said the lucrative nature of the business has made drug counterfeiting more attractive and less risky to the more risky and illicit narcotic trade in the face of the crackdown on the trade by counties like the United States and Mexico. Represented by Mr. Sariel Ankruma, the DG said counterfeiting at the global level was encouraged by globalisation, weak legislation against pharmaceutical crime, availability and affordability of the drugs. He said drug counterfeiting in Nigeria was being encouraged due to large population, large market size, low local production capacity, high purchasing power, porous borders of 924,000Km2, as well as high unemployment and underemployment. He said the situation has made Nigeria a choice destination for counterfeiters on the African continent that target medicines like anti-malarial and anti-diabetic drugs, among others. Orhii said that recent efforts to check importation of finished counterfeit drugs have forced counterfeiters to operate by importing packaging materials. “They usually package material of fast moving and costly regulated products that are then used to locally package fake products. It was also discovered that counterfeiters have shifted from shipment of container loads of drugs through the sea to clandestine importation of small portable packages of medicines through airports. They also use factories duly registered by NAFDAC to produce fake counterfeit and substandard regulated products,’he said. He therefore called on Nigerians to be vigilant and report any clandestine production sites for quick action, even as he warned landlords of warehouses against stocking counterfeit and other regulated products.” Orhii assured that NAFDAC would continue to partner with relevant agencies, including the NCS, to combat the problem of drug counterfeiting in the country.


WORLD RECORD

Smallest Stop-Motion Film Vol. 03 No. 740

N150

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Comprising 242 individual frames with a frame size of only 45 nanometres by 25 nanometres (45 x 25 billionths of a metre), the smallest stop-motion film was created by IBM Research Laboratories in San Jose, California, USA, from 29 January to 6 February 2013.

Mandela was angry with Nigeria

“It is better to help a friend pay his fine, than tell a lie to help him cover a crime.” t was literally a life-long ambition to meet the old man in person. I was finally in a position to call old friends to render favours, and in early 2007 I succeeded. I was told I could see Mandela for only 30 minutes at his home, but I needed to get there one hour earlier. An old South African friend and course mate, who helped, suggested I asked questions or matters I wanted to discuss with him and send them in advance. I did not think that was the type of meeting I wanted, so I did not. Mandela was surprised when he was told I worked at the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but had spent six months trying to see him. Why did you not go through your colleagues here? I told him the visit was not official. I just wanted to meet him. How are my Nigerian brothers and sisters, he asked. He will not let me take the initiative. ‘You know I am not very happy with Ni-

I

Guest Columnist

Hakeem

Baba-Ahmed

geria. I have made that very clear on many occasions’. I knew of course that he led our suspension from the Commonwealth after the hanging of the late Ken Saro-Wiwa and his Ogoni compatriots. It was also no secret that South African governments including one he headed had considerably cooled off towards Nigeria, and by the time I was meeting him, Nigeria was a dirty word in most cities in South Africa. I mentioned that Nigerian people had very strong and positive dispositions towards South Africa, and many were puzzled that people who marched all the way with South Africans can be despised by the people. Yes, he responded. Nigeria stood by us more than any nation, but you let yourselves down and Africa and the black race. He spoke with passion and anger at a nation which has one-quarter of the black race, and had everything to be great, but is known principally for its dictators and criminals. “Your country, used to be respected. After your suspension from the Commonwealth, many western countries approached me to help in isolating Nigeria so that it will be easier to bring down your military dictators. I consulted many African leaders, and all were unanimous in their advice. They told me to stay clear of Nigeria, that you will fix your problems. ‘But, you have not. The world will not respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. The black people of the world need Nigeria to be great as a source of pride and confidence. Nigerians love freedom and hate oppression. Why do you do it to yourselves”? He remembered Tafawa Balewa, the first leader who gave his party, ANC, financial contribution. I suggested that all Africans are bitter at their leaders. With due respect, I said, his presidency had not changed lives of black South Africans much, and his succes-

YOU SHOULD ENCOURAGE LEADERS TO EMERGE WHO WILL NOT CONFUSE PUBLIC OFFICE WITH SOURCES OF MAKING PERSONAL WEALTH. CORRUPT PEOPLE DO NOT MAKE GOOD LEADERS sors are not likely to do so. Yes, he agreed, but we raised hopes that others can do so. “Your leaders have no respect for their people. They believe that their personal interests are the peoples’ interests. They take people’s resources and turn it into personal wealth. There is a level of poverty in Nigeria that should be unacceptable. I cannot understand why Nigerians are not angrier than they are”, he continued. Since it was obvious that he was intent on pouring his heart out, I decided to let him speak. ‘What do young Nigerians think about your leaders, their country and Africa? Do you teach them history? Do you have lessons on how your past leaders stood by us and gave large amounts of money? You know I hear from Angolans and Mozambicans and Zimbabweans how your people opened their hearts and their homes to them. I was in prison then, but we know how your leaders punished western companies who supported Apartheid’. I reminded him that we had elected governments since 1999, and he knew some of our leaders in person. Yes, he did. “But what about the corruption and the crimes” he asked? “Your elections are like wars. Now we hear that you cannot be president in Nigeria unless

you are Muslim or Christian. Some people tell me your country may break up. Please don’t let it happen”. He sat back, mellowed down and apologised. He then asked me a lot of personal questions, and in particular what I was doing to improve the capacity of the Nigerian people to build the nation to be a source of pride to the black race. “Let me tell you what I think you need to do, you should encourage leaders to emerge who will not confuse public office with sources of making personal wealth. Corrupt people do not make good leaders. Then you have to spend a lot of your resources for education. Educate children of the poor, so that they can get out of poverty. Poverty does not breed confidence. Only confident people can bring changes”. Like South Africa today, sir, I quipped. He paused. “It will be difficult for the world to understand that it will take generations to eliminate the structural roots and effects of Apartheid’. But, you created the impression that the political compromises and concessions will lead to a dramatic change in the fortunes of black people’. ‘Dramatic?’ he asked. “In many ways we achieved dramatic results’. Sports are important to South Africans. It gave them confidence to believe things are possible. And it united them”. But it created a false sense of progress, and people here think it is all a gimmick by white people to create a diversion. “It is not a diversion. It is real. South Africans will have to come to terms with the reality that their country is a multi-racial, multi-cultural nation with rich and poor. Any effort to reduce the gulf between the races and classes is useful”, he insisted. Then he was back to Nigeria. People had said to him that South Africa could become an alternative beacon of hope and inspiration for the black race and Africa. He told them it was always going to be Nigeria. Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa can provide a tripod for real change but young Africans need to capture that vision. But it will be more useful to me if you go back to Nigeria and work to give young people good education. Teach them the value of hard work and sacrifice, and discourage them from crimes which are destroying your image as a good people”. Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed,wrote from Lagos.

Sport Extra

W

Golf: Woods surrenders to foxy Johnson

orld number one, Tiger Woods, lost to Zach Johnson at the first extra hole of a play-off as the latter clinched the World Challenge title following a dramatic finish at Sherwood Country Club.

Woods appeared to be on course for a sixth victory at the event he hosts in California as he led by four shots through ten holes of the final round. But Johnson produced some superb golf down the stretch to reel in his man with a birdie

at the par-three 17th drawing him level with long-time leader Woods at 13-under-par. Having played another superb bunker shot, Woods had left himself about four feet to extend the play-off but could only watch on in disbelief as his

effort lipped out. It meant Johnson clinched the title for the first time after two runner-up finishes in what is the last edition of the tournament to be played at Sherwood. “Zach got me,” Woods conceded.

Tiger Woods

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