SWF: FG, 36 governors talks collapse ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
alks between the Federal Government and the 36
Vol. 31 N0. 735 115
state governors aimed at reaching an out-of-court resolution of a lawsuit challenging the establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF, have
finally collapsed. The parties in the matter told a full panel of the Supreme Court yesterday at the resumed hearing of CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Tuesday, Tuesday,June December 7, 2011 3, 2013
Ex-military officer shoots son dead over electricity bill P.8
Scores killed as terrorists invade airport, NAF base 24-hour curfew imposed in Borno Jonathan summons security meeting DHQ confirms death of 24 insurgents in Maiduguri
ROTIMI FADEYI AND INUSA NDAHI
he insurgency in the North-East assumed another dimension yesterday, as the Boko Haram sect invaded the Maiduguri International Airport and the base of the Nigeria Air Force 79 Composite Group and set ablaze three de-
commissioned military aircraft and two helicopters. The insurgents, numbering about 300, also attacked other places in the troubled city including the base of the Nigeria Army 33 Artillery Battalion. The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, said 24 of the terrorists died during an exchange of fire with security CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Senators reject hike in electricity tariff Nebo
Power generation rises to 3,344mw P.4
TOP LEFT: An office block burnt at 33 Artillery battallion, Maiduguri by Boko Haram sect yesterday. BELOW LEFT: Section of NAF Base enveloped with smoke. TOP RIGHT: Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima inspecting some petrol tankers burnt at one of the filling stations along Maiduguri-Damaturu road. BELOW RIGHT: Razed shops in Sabon Gari village, Damboa Council Area of the state.
Sack threat: ASUU dares FG, says strike continues Vows not to succumb to â€˜political blackmailâ€™
Anambra: Obiano gets certificate of return
Oshiomhole apologises to widow, gives her job, N2m P.11
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Sack threat: ASUU dares FG, says strike continues EMMANUEL ONANI, CHRIS NJOKU, KEMI OLAITAN, HAKEEM GBADAMOSI, EMMA GBEMUDU AND WOLE ADEDEJI
he Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has dared the Federal Government to
carry out its threat of sacking lecturers who fail to resume on or before December 4. It said no amount of “political blackmail”, will cow its members into submission. ASUU, however, called on the Federal Government to activate its machinery
of implementation of the commitments made to the union. The union promised to end the protracted strike as soon as the implementation of outstanding agreements was done. ASUU’s position was made known yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing by
the National President, Dr. Nasir Fagge, and other national officers. Sounding rather confident and unruffled, Fagge accused the Federal Government of paving the way “for privatisation of education” in the country. He insisted that as academics, the university lec-
L-R: Former President, Trade Union Congress, Peter Esele; First Deputy National President, Sunday Salako; President, Bobboi Kaigama; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and President Goodluck Jonathan, during a meeting with TUC officials in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
turers “have a duty to defend the right of Nigerians to sound public education”. The national president conveyed the collective resolve of the union not to succumb to the “present threat”, stressing that doing so would amount to giving “up on Nigeria.” “We resisted Abacha’s dictatorship”… and “refused to succumb to Obasanjo/IMF attempts to weaken public in favour of private universities”, he recalled Fagge also noted that the union convinced the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua, “to keep faith with the interests of Nigeria’s youth and desist from privatising education.” He accused the Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, of “gross misrepresentation and ignorance of well-known trade union laws and practices”. ASUU challenged the public to ask the minister why the Federal Government did not “respond to ASUU’s letter, expressing the union’s understanding of the resolutions of November 4, 2013.” The resolutions read in part: “That the non-implementation of two of the nine items agreed in the 2009
agreement between Federal Government and ASUU are the main contentious issues; namely: “Funding for the revitalisation of public universities through the implementation of the Needs Assessment Report on public universities. Payment of earned allowances”. However, in a letter dated November 22, and signed by Fagge, ASUU sought clarification on “certain uncertainties”, before “making the relevant decision.” According to the letter obtained by National Mirror, the “uncertainties involve issues on which ASUU members nationwide have strong feelings. They are about certain gaps evident in government’s report.” ASUU’s requests, which government insists are fresh demands, include “that the N200 billion agreed upon as 2013 revitalisation fund for public universities should be deposited with the CBN and disbursed to the benefitting universities within two weeks. “That the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement in 2014 be included in the final document as agreed at the discussion with Your ExcelCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Scores killed as terrorists invade airport, NAF base
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forces, while two Air Force personnel were injured. The early morning raid took security operatives by surprise. The attack started about 3a.m. with sporadic gunshots, while rocket propelled grenades, RPGs, were also fired by the attackers. Explosives were planted at some of the targeted areas. The military had to deploy airstrikes to subdue the attackers with fighter planes taking to the skies over Maiduguri and Jere metropolis throughout the night till around 8a.m. National Mirror however learnt that over 20 security operatives were killed while two helicopters were burnt. Some staff quarters were also set on fire when the insurgents attacked the NAF 79 Composite Group base headquarters. The terrorists also attacked the newly-constructed trailer park along Damaturu- Maiduguri road, military check points as well as residential and public buildings, leading to the death of many people.
Our correspondent, who went round some of the areas affected by the attacks, including Gomari-AirportDamaturu road reports that the road was barricaded by military operatives near the Police Crack Station. Also, the base of the Nigeria Army 33 Artillery Battalion on Maiduguri-Damaturu road was attacked by the insurgents. Eyewitnesses residing close to the NAF base told our correspondents that the terrorists arrived the military base around 4a.m., called for early morning (Subhi) prayers in a nearby mosque and started chanting Allahu Akbar (God is Great) before they opened fire and threw bombs on the premises. They also said the terrorists were very brave as they stopped to pick up the bodies of their members, killed by the military, loaded then into their vehicles. Opposite the NAF base main gate, two residents were killed. A friend of one of the deceased said the terrorists entered their com-
pound and saw a Toyota Hilux loaded with bags of beans and asked the victim to provide the keys to the vehicle. “But when he said the keys were with the driver somewhere else, he was shot.” The terrorists also razed petrol filling stations on Maiduguri-Jimtilo-Damaturu federal highway and several vehicles waiting for service at different mechanics workshops along the road. One of the armoured vehicles belonging to the 7 Division was seized from the military by the attackers, but was later recovered when it was abandoned after it developed technical fault. Four residents of Kofa, on the outskirts of Gomari Airport ward, were shot dead by the insurgents, while they were trying to escape through Kofa village. Two Michika youths operating a patent medicine store were also killed. The Borno State Government, through the Secretary to the State Government,
Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jidda, confirmed the multiple attacks. The SSG said the state government after consultation with the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army, had imposed a 24-hour curfew on Maiduguri and its environs starting from 11a.m. yesterday. Jidda urged the residents to remain calm and be law abiding until the situation was put under control, assuring that the security agencies would ensure safety of lives and property of the citizenry. Spokesman of the 7 Division, Col. Mohammed Dole, also confirmed the multiple attacks and killings by the terrorists. He said: “In the early hours of Monday, December 2, 2013, Boko Haram terrorists attempted to gain access to military locations in Maiduguri metropolis. However, troops of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army have successfully repelled the insurgents and afflicted serious casualties on them.
“The situation around Jimtilo and Maiduguri International Airport General Areas are now calm and under control. Our troops, supported by Nigerian Air Force aircraft, are presently pursuing the terrorists towards the Maiduguri- Beneshiekh-Damaturu road. “Members of the general public are requested to remain calm and comply with the 24 hours curfew imposed by the Borno State Government. The curfew will be reviewed periodically as the situation improves.” When Governor Kashim Shettima visited the affected areas, journalists, policemen and State Security Service, SSS, officials were barred from entering the NAF base. But thick smoke still enveloped the whole base as the medical centre, commander’s office, club house, residential quarters, including 33 battalion staff quarters, offices and over 50 cars belonging to the military were completely razed. Shettima also visited the 33 mini- barracks where
a military officer said the terrorists attacked the barracks with sophisticated weapons, including anti-aircraft weapons. He said they arrived on motorcycles and escaped with nine vehicles belonging to the SSS. At the Divisional Police Headquarters, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, said he narrowly escaped death, adding that two vehicles were lost to the terrorists, while two officers sustained injuries and were taken to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. The DPO said the offices and the cells were completely razed as he had to order his men to take cover due to the superior fire power of the terrorists. “When we ran out of ammunition, we had to take cover, crawl and flee from the station. We lost the whole structure as well as property, but we were able to secure our armoury,” the DPO said. Our correspondent, who was on the governor’s entourage, noted that there CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
L-R: Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed and the Ebonyi State Governor Chief Martin Elechi, during a courtesy visit by the governors to the minister in Abuja yesterday.
L-R: Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, Mrs. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu; Deputy Head of Mission, Nigerian Embassy, Amb. Dokun Fagbohun and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, at the Nigeria-Spain Business and PHOTO: NAN Investment Forum in Madrid, yesterday.
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Former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Oni Idigbe (left) and Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Dr. Munirat Jinadu, at a symposium marking World Aids Day celebration in PHOTO: NAN Lagos, yesterday.
L-R: Former Kogi State Attorney-General, Dr. John Agbonika; his triplets, who were recently called to the Nigerian Bar, Louisa, John and Theresa, and their mother, during a thanksgiving mass at St.Peter Clever Catholic Church PHOTO: NAN Giri in Abuja on Sunday.
NASS kick against plan to increase electricity tariff …as power generations improves to 3,344mw UDEME AKPAN AND CHIDI UGWU
he National Assembly has condemned calls for another upward review of electricity tariff by the new owners of generation and distribution companies describing the move as insensitive. Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Philip Aduda, who stated this in Abuja in an interview with newsmen, noted that such move is unthinkable at this time. “It would be unreasonable for anyone to think of increasing electricity tariff when the last increase was done just recently. “Nigerians should not be subjected to another new tariff. The new investors should ensure steady and sufficient electricity to consumers, then after that, tariff issues would be considered.
“We are aware of the calls by the new owners of electricity companies that the tariff should be increased but we cannot allow that now. It is too early for another tariff increase. “These companies are just coming on board and I think they have to convince Nigerians that they can do the business and give them electricity first, but I can assure you that, we will look into the matter but it cannot happen at this time, Aduda said. He also disclosed that the committee has planned to meet all the stakeholders in the power sector, including the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and the new owners of the generation and distribution companies to know what their challenges are and what they intend to do to ensure Nigerians have light. He disclosed that the meeting would also afford
the National Assembly to know how well the TCN is investing the funds given to it. Meanwhile, electricity supply may have improved in different parts of the nation as generation now stands at 3,744.73megawatts, against the 3,344mw the nation recorded, especially after the shutdown of Okoloma pipeline which supplies gas to Afam power plant. This showed an increase of about 400mw. An authoritative government report, which made this known, stated that gas supply has since been supplied to the power plant. The report also stated that gas supply has also been increased to other thermal plants, including Egbin, which supply was reduced by half during the shutdown of the major gas pipeline. A top official of the Ministry of Power who preferred not to be named
said, “The restoration of gas supply to the plant has enabled us to increase electricity generation. “We hope that vandals would not attack the facility or other pipelines so that the improvement we are noticing can continue.” The recent poor supply of electricity in the country was attributed to many reasons, including low power generation, population explosion, lack of maintenance, low transmission, obsolete equipment, lack of meters, haphazard business models and low funding. The Managing Director of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe said the factors were largely responsible for power shortages. Uzoigwe said: “The government could not fund mandatory inspections and overhaul of generating plants. Most of our power stations are gas turbines plants. This type runs at speeds beyond 5000RPM and being thou-
sand degrees centigrade temperature. “If you visit Delta, Sapele or Afam power stations, you will notice several gas turbines lying idle. About three of them installed at Ijora power station by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s first regime to supply power to Dodan Barracks are also laying waste.” Uzoigwe said Kainji Dam Power station, which has an installed capacity of 760mw, presently has more than nine of its units down, with only 120mw available. “Other earlier power stations have been decommissioned and do not produce power anymore. Calabar power station is decommissioned, same as Oji,” he added. Uzoigwe said of the six units of 120mw each originally installed at Sapele power station, only one remains available and can generate or is available for a maximum of 90mw. He said: “The Egbin
power plant installed about 30 years ago is the only plant that is still showing good signs. With an initial installed capacity of 1,320mw, it has managed to remain available for 1, 080mw as at today. “One of its six units went down some years ago, losing 220mw. That unit is now under repair and will be back in a short while. Though its mandatory routine maintenance schedule had not been followed, the plant has been better managed than most other plants in the federation.” Uzoigwe, who decried recent vandalism of gas pipeline with its attendant effect on power generation, said this and other challenges culminated in reducing the nation’s power per person to about 17.6watts. This, he said is lower than what is obtainable in many nations. For instance, he said the United States has 1,402watts, while Japan and Australia have 774watts and 1,114watts respectively.
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Scores killed as terrorists invade airport, NAF base
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were three Boko Haram members’ corpses on the road opposite the NAF Base.
It was also gathered that the prompt intervention of the fighter jet from Yola, the Adamawa State capital,
SWF: FG, 36 governors talks collapse CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
the case that they could not reach amicable settlement. The apex court, which had encouraged the parties in the case to embrace out-of- court settlement in the matter, has now fixed March 24, next year, for definite hearing in the matter. That was after parties regularised all their processes. Parties are expected to adopt their briefs and adumbrate on salient issues therein at the next adjourned date. The decision to subject the matter to proper trial came almost four years after the case was filed. The issue of the establishment of SWF is an ancillary aspect of the main lawsuit before the court. Before yesterday’s sitting, the apex court had given parties in the suit opportunity to meet and settle the case out of court. On the last adjourned date, for instance, the court gave the Federal Government the final chance to settle amicably the legality or otherwise of the SWF account. The apex court told the
Federal Government’s legal team that the dispute on the revenue allocation was political and would better be resolved out of court. Justice Walter Onnonghen, had, however, warned that the court would have no choice than to proceed to hear the case if the Federal Government failed to take advantage the out-of-court settlement option for the last time. Before the case came up yesterday, the court had adjourned indefinitely to allow the two parties reach a compromise on the legal action. Justice Onnonghen led six other justices of the court to sit on the matter yesterday. Lead counsel to the governors, Chief Solomon Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), had accused the Federal Government of foot-dragging and reneging in the implementation of the outof-court settlement proposals by the two parties. The court, upon realising that plans to settle the matter out of court had collapsed, fixed a definite hearing date.
that saved the situation, as it dislodged the terrorists who fled towards BeneshiekhDamaturu road. Shettima told the Commander of the 79 Composite Group, NAF Base, Nuradeen Abiodun, that the state government would not be deterred by the attacks. He said that government would rebuild the structures destroyed. The governor added that the state government would continue to support the military in the fight against terrorism. The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, however confirmed the death of 24 insurgents during the dawn
attacks. This was contained in a statement by the Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, yesterday. According to the statement, the Nigerian security forces repelled the attack. The statement said military locations, including the Nigerian Air Force Base in Maiduguri, were targeted during the attack. It stated that three decommissioned military aircraft and two helicopters were incapacitated in the course of the attack. “Two Air Force personnel were also wounded
while 24 insurgents died during the exchange of fire. “Security forces are in pursuit of the terrorists in the Djemtillo General Area along the Maiduguri/Banishek axis,” the statement stated. It added that movement in Maiduguri and environs had been restricted and advised citizens to report any of the fleeing insurgents; most of whom he said could be identified with gunshot wounds whenever they were sighted. The statement also stated that normal flight operations to and from the Maiduguri airport, which was earlier disrupted temporar-
ily, had resumed. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said the attack did not affect the Maiduguri International Airport. FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said that the attack only affected some areas around the airport. “There was no bombing at the Maiduguri airport, but it only happened around the airport vicinity. “The airport has been closed for flights, and relevant security situation are on the ground to take full charge,” the Dati said.
L-R: Past President, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Dr. Abdullahi Suleiman; ASUU President, Dr. Nasir Fagge, and Vice-President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, during a press conference, tagged,” How not to manage the crisis in the university system” in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Sack threat: ASUU dares FG, says strike continues
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lency. “That a non-victimisation clause, which is normally captured in all interactions of this nature, be included in the final document, and “That a new memorandum of understanding shall be validly endorsed; signed by a representative of the government, preferably the Attorney- General of the Federation and a representative of ASUU, with the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, as witness.” While insisting that it did not make any fresh demands, ASUU promised to “bow only to what we as academics are convinced will serve the interest of Nigeria and its people, no matter their ethnic, religious or class origins.” The union called on “all Nigerians who care about our country to prevail on government to do what is just and noble as its pres-
ent approach will only compound the deepening yet avoidable crises” bedeviling the university system. It will be recalled that the Federal Government had, last week, ordered vice-chancellors of federal universities, to “immediately” reopen university campuses, for resumption of “academic and other allied activities.” It also directed the VCs to declare vacancies to enable the recruitment of new lecturers in the event that the striking teachers, whom it threatened to sack, failed to resume on or before December 4. Interestingly, the aforesaid date coincides with the funeral of the late former ASUU President, Prof. Festus Iyayi, who died on his way to attend a botched National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the union in Kano. Meanwhile, the Federal University of Technology
Owerri, FUTO, branch of the union yesterday threw caution to the wind as they mobbed journalists who came to the institution to monitor compliance with the Federal Government’s December 4 deadline. The angry union leaders, on sighting the journalists at the New SAAT Auditorium where union officials were addressing the lecturers, descended on a correspondent of National Mirror in Owerri, Imo State, Mr. Chris Njoku. One of the union officials grabbed the journalist by the collar while others were beating him and seized his bag, phone, money and notepad. It took the spirited efforts of passers-by who were piqued by the behaviour of the lecturers to prevent the journalist from being lynched. However, the lecturers remained adamant, saying that they would not call off the strike until the Federal
Government met their demands. At the University of Ibadan, the directive by the Federal Government may have suffered a setback as students stayed away from the campus. ASUU also lashed out at the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, for calling the union “enemy of the state.” The union appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to read the letter sent by the union to him in order to know that the union was not out to disrespect him but give him more credibility. When our correspondents visited the UI campus, there was no sign of resumption as all lecture rooms remained shut and no register opened for signatures. Rather, the union assembled its members in a congress where it resolved not to sign any register.
The Chairman of the chapter, Dr. Olusegun Ajiboye, said the union would ensure that government fund public universities. He added that the union respected the office of Mr. President, but noted that Okupe and other sycophant advisers were trying to ridicule the office through their unguarded utterances against the union. At the Niger Delta University, NDU, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, lecturers vowed not to suspend the fivemonth strike despite the government’s threat. Chairman of the chapter, Dr. Beke Sese, insisted that the lecturers would not return to the class under coercion on December 4 until their demands were met. Sese noted that the lecturers had firmly resolved to execute the strike action to its logical conclusion in spite of the
threats. The Federal Government had penultimate week issued a December 4 ultimatum to the ASUU to return to the classrooms or risk mass sack. President Jonathan had, at the weekend in Yenagoa, said the strike was more of subversion than a mere trade dispute. The ASUU chapter chairman said Wike, for reasons best known to him, had escalated the issues bordering on the strike action with the threat. Sese, however, said that the national leadership of ASUU could suspend the strike after its meeting with President Jonathan to iron out the knotty issues. He said: “Absolutely not. We are not resuming lectures. The strike is still on and our members are doubly resolved to execute the strike to its logical conclusion. CONTINUED ON PAGE 47>>
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
UK gets permission to land plane with Nigerian asylum seeker
he Federal Government has granted the United Kingdom permission to land plane carrying asylum seeker Isa Muaza, who has been fighting deportation. The man said to be ‘near death’ following a hunger strike was back in the UK after the Home Office flight deporting him had to turn around, BBC reported. Lawyers for Isa Muazu, who has refused food for “over 100 days”, said he was back at Harmondsworth detention centre. It was learnt that authorities in Nigerian did not clear the plane to land initially.
Muazu sought asylum in the UK, saying he would be killed by the Boko Haram Islamic extremists back in Nigeria. Labour said the government had questions to answer. The Home Office rejects his arguments and attempted to deport the 45-year-old on Friday after he lost a series of legal challenges. The privately-chartered jet carrying Muazu was in the air for a number of hours. He has been held in detention since he claimed asylum in July, saying he faced persecution from the Boko Haram. Muazu entered the coun-
try on a visitor’s visa in July 2007 and stayed without permission after it expired in January 2008. It is believed he then found work in south-east London and was detained on the day he claimed asylum, 25 July this year. Duncan Lewis Solicitors, representing Muazu, said his case was then fasttracked and his application was rejected in August. They said he had made himself ‘seriously ill’ in his protest, adding: ‘His hunger strike lasted for over 100 days.’ A claim that his detention was unlawful was rejected by the Court of Ap-
peal on 25 November, and two further last-minute appeals were also refused, his lawyers said. Shadow immigration minister David Hanson said Home Secretary, Theresa May, needed to ‘explain how this case has been handled.’ “How could the Home Office put a man in this medical condition on a long flight at taxpayers’ expense with no agreement from anyone that the plane could actually land? “Deportations should be carried out with competence and humanity - neither of those things seems to have happened in this case,” he said.
Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Dr. Anthony Anuforom (middle); President, Nigerian Meteorological Society, Prof. Abiodun Adeloye (3rd right) and some officials of the society at their 2013 Annual Conference in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Jonathan assures of equal development ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said his administration would ensure equal development across the country, stressing that such development would not be based on religion, ethnicity or other considerations.
Speaking during his investiture with the rank of Knight Grand Cross by the Noble Communion and Holy Apostolic Order of St. Hadrian of Canterbury at the Presidential Villa, Jonathan maintained that his administration was committed to improving the living condition of all Nigerians. According to him, the
investiture, especially coming from a religious body, would further challenge him to work hard for the progress and development of the nation. The President was decorated with the investiture by Archbishop Doye Teido Agama and assisted by Rt. Rev. Duke Akamisoko, Anglican Bishop of Kubwa, Abuja.
In his remarks, Agama noted that Jonathan in his position as the leader of the country known to be the giant of Africa has a responsibility, not only to keep the hopes and aspirations of Nigerians alive, but to also ensure that the spiritual destiny of Africans all over the world was realised.
Rep seeks casual leave for policemen over AIDS scourge OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA
hairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, has advocated a three-day casual leave for the rank and file of the Nigeria Police in order to stem the tide of HIV pandemic.
Elumelu spoke yesterday in Abuja at the official launch of a Strategic Plan Document for the Police Action Committee on AIDS. The occasion was in commemoration of this year’s World AIDS Day which is celebrated annually on December 1. He said as an itinerant officer, the sensitive nature of the job of an aver-
age policeman does not permit him to remain in a particular location for a long time. “Consequently, the possibility of being separated from their spouses is constantly high. It is therefore important for police officers to be conscious of the scourge of HIV/AIDS and also to bear it in mind that it has no cure at the mo-
ment,” he said. He also urged police officers to imbibe the culture of abstinence or sticking to one partner. Elumelu appealed to the police high command to formulate a policy that would enable police officers be granted compassionate leave to spend at least two or three days with their spouses in a month.
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Minister urges N’Assembly to pass bill against violence ADEOLA TUKURU ABUJA
inister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, has called on the Senate to, without delay; pass the Violence Against Persons Prohibition bill, so as to protect Nigerian women from violence, humiliation and debasement. The minister noted this yesterday at a press briefing in commemoration of the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women. According to her, violence against women is among the most potent obstacles to the advancement of women and is a fundamental violation of their basic human rights. She said the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women is observed globally on November 25 each year, which kicks off the campaign on the 16 days of activism. Hajia Maina estimated that an overview data of reported cases on Gender Based Violence (GBV) generated from 18 states of the federation and representing the six geo-political zones of the country in 2010, revealed 15.810 million cases of sexual violations among women. “That 33.188 million women are violated physically; 13, 778 million women are violated domestically; 8,
610 million women are violated using Harmful Traditional Practices (HTP); 2.190 million women are violated economically,” she said. The minister further said that most studies revealed that women were the most at risk among the victims of violations in private and public spaces. She said: “Gender Based Violence (GBV), most especially Violence Against Women (VAW), is a subject matter of human rights and liberties. This has taken a centre stage in global discourse with a significant determination for action to end it.” The minister added that the ministry is embarking on training and sensitisation of law enforcement officers on how to effectively protect victims of violence, advocacy visits to the National Assembly, the Inspector-General of Police and the Chief Justice of the Federation. “Raising public awareness on laws that protect women against violence, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill presently awaiting Senate passage in the National Assembly and the Gender Equal Opportunity Bill (GEOB) still in the Assembly. “Moreover, it has enormous social and economic implications and undercuts the contribution of women to development, peace and security.”
PDM has no alliance with APC, says National Chairman OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) has no consideration or intention to merge or align with any other political party in the country, contrary to insinuations in some sections of the media. The National Chairman of the party, Mallam Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, made this clarification yesterday through his Media Advisor, Alaba Yusuf, in response to a publication in a mainstream newspaper. Of the assertion that PDM was in a merger or alliance talks with the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Ibrahim stated unequivocally that: “It is the figment of the fer-
tile imagination of some political wishful thinkers or soothsayers. “PDM as the oldest political party in Nigeria today, is here to stay. The only committee we have put in place recently is our membership registration committee. We have already registered millions of members and are planning to register millions more. “Although, we welcome constructive dialogue with any political party to further good governance and genuine developmental interest of our country, but merger or alliance is not under consideration for PDM; now or in the foreseeable future.” Meanwhile, the party has slated its congresses and national convention for early next year.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Imoke suspends 20 exco members RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR
overnor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State yesterday announced indefinite suspension of 20 of his 40 executive members for their failure to attend an important public function. This was made known in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Michael Aniah and made available to journalists in Calabar. The statement stated that the governor approved the suspension of seven commissioners and 13 special advisers for failure to attend the
World’s AIDS Day anniversary walk on Sunday. The four-Kilometre World AIDS Day, which also heralds the inauguration of the state’s Annual Calabar Festival held on December1, was attended by Imoke and other cabinet members. According to the statement, the affected officials included the Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Attah Ochinke; Commissioner for Finance, Etim Takis Caifas; Commissioner for Women, Mrs. Edak Iwuchukwu and the Commissioner for Social Welfare, Mrs. Patricia Endeley. The Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Sandy
Onor, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. James Aniyom and Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr Elemi Etowa, were also affected. Others are the Special Adviser on Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Eja Dons Eseghe; Special Adviser on Tourism, Mr. Wilfred Usani, Special Adviser on Religious Affairs; Eyo Okpo Ene; Special Adviser on Special Duties and Mr. Fabian Okpa. The Special Adviser Forestry and Biodiversity, Ntufam Gabe Odu-Oji; Special Adviser on Investment, Dr. Gerald Adah; Special Adviser, Political and Legislative Matters,
Mr. Fred Osim; Special Adviser Legal, Mr Mark Obi, were also affected. Others are Special Adviser, NGO, Mrs. Margaret Johnson Ebokpo; Special Adviser on ICT , Mr Odo Effiong; Special Adviser on Mineral Resources, Mr Effiong Bassey; Special Adviser Strategy and Planning, Prof. Idem Temple and Special Adviser on Debt Management, Mrs Francisca Nkoyo Effiong. The announcement directed the affected cabinet members to hand over to their permanent secretaries or the most senior officers in their respective ministries and departments and agencies.
JTF recovers three bodies of drowned soldiers EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ndications emerged yesterday that the three bodies of the Joint Task Force (JTF) personnel who got drown in a boat mishap at the weekend at Nembe creek in Bayelsa State have been recovered. A security source, who confided in our correspondent, said the bodies of the two privates and one corporal were recovered by local divers in the area. It was learnt that the search for the rifles of the dead soldiers were on
Anambra poll: Detained INEC official gets N6m bail ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
Magistrate’s Court sitting in Wuse Zone 2 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday granted N6 million bail to an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chukwujekwu Okeke. Okeke is facing trial in connection with his alleged involvement in the misconduct that characterised the November 16 governorship election in some parts of Anambra State. The police had, on November 25, 2013, told the court that Okeke unlawfully breached his official duties at Idemili, where he
was deployed on November 16. It accused Okeke of deliberately withholding electoral materials designed for the elections thereby breaching electoral procedures. During yesterday’s hearing, the police applied for leave to further detain the accused person on the ground that investigation was yet to be concluded. He said the seven days earlier granted the police was insufficient because the investigation was disrupted by the supplementary election held last Saturday. In his ruling, Magistrate Usman Shuaibu upheld the objection by defence lawyer, Daniel Nwogbodo, and refused
Nwodo’s application for leave to further detain the accused person. He said the prosecution failed to provide cogent reason for its request for permission to further detain Okeke. He further held that the offence for which Okeke was being held was bailable. The magistrate consequently granted bail to the accused person. Specifically, the court ordered that Okeke should be allowed on bail for N6 million with one surety in like sum. The surety, the court said, must be a Grade Level 15 civil servant and must be a resident of the FCT. The court also ordered
Okeke to report on every work day between 10 am and 2pm at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) where his case is being investigated. He is to report at the FCID until the police complete their investigation. Okeke, it will be recalled, served as the Electoral Officer for Idemili North Local Government during the election. He was 54 years old. He was arraigned on November 25 by the police on a one count charge of dereliction of duty contrary to Section 123 (1) (2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2010. Further hearing has been fixed for January 8 next year.
going as at press time. The victims were on their way on for a relief duty in Nembe when the incident occurred, as the boat in which they were traveling capsized due to the high waves. An Army Captain, who led the delegation, reportedly swam to safety. Investigations revealed that the soldiers did not put on their safety vests before they embarked on the journey. The Media Coordinator, JTF, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, could not confirm the recovery of the bodies.
Multilateration: NAMA receives report on Niger-Delta area OLUSEGUN KOIKI
L-R: Diocesan Chairman, First African Church Mission (FACM), Ven. Tanimowo Adebari; Bishop of Agege Diocese, Rt. Rev. Michael Adewale Dare and Cathedral Vicar, Canon Samuel Iwatan, during the 2013 Adult Harvest of Jehovah Shammah Cathedral at Iju-Ishaga in Lagos State, on Sunday.
he Nigerian Airspace Management (NAMA) has said that the proposed deployment of multilateration surveillance system in the Niger Delta area by the Federal Government is still on course. NAMA stated this yesterday in Lagos when it received the report on CNS/ ATM Assessment of Low Level Flight Operations (helicopters) in that part of the country. A statement by NAMA Public Affairs General Manager, Mr. Supo Atobatele, stated that as part of its implementation plan, the agency earlier in the year commissioned NAV STAR Consulting of Canada to prepare a report for the sole purpose of assisting the agency in making decisions regarding the scope of control of low-level flight operations in the region. Atobatele stated that the report was based on the information provided by NAMA, its respective advisers and representatives and selected third parties. He said the estimates, assumptions and findings underlying the recommendations according to the firm, were inherently subject to significant economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Atobatele added: “The report is exclusively meant for the information
of senior management and key stakeholders of NAMA and its representatives. The preparation of the report and the analysis is at the request of NAMA in line with the International Air Transport Association’s, IATA, agreement for consulting services between NAMA and NAV STAR Consulting.” He noted that NAMA Managing Director, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, while receiving the report from the agency Director of Operations, Mr. John Oyegiri, said the technical input from the consulting firm would be scrutinised before launching into the next phase of the project, which is the implementation billed for 2014. Udoh described the report on the operation of helicopters in the Niger Delta as essential for the successful take off of the new surveillance system and noted that the step taken by the agency was in line with global practices before embarking on this safety critical project like the case in reference.
NAMA Boss M. Udoh
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Neighbours shocked as ex-military officer kills son in Akure HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
any people were shocked yesterday in Akure, Ondo State capital, as an ex-military officer, Dasilva Adedipe, allegedly shot dead his 24-year-old son, Ayo Adedipe, over an argument on electricity bill. It was gathered that an argument ensued between father and son over the settlement of electric-
ity bill, thus annoying the former, who went inside to pick his gun with which he shot the latter dead. A source, who described the incident as unfortunate, said the action of the father was a surprise to neighbours. Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Wole Ogodo, said that the wife of the deceased, Olaide, reported the matter to the police in Akure.
According to the wife, the incident happened on Maronu Street at Araromi area of Akure at about 9:am, adding that the exmilitary officer shot his son at a very close range. She claimed that the father, after realising that he had killed his son, carried the latter’s body out of the house to an unknown destination. The PPRO, however, said policemen swung into action immediately
the incident was reported and went after the assailant, but could discover the deceased’s body at Onigari village near Akure. The body was later taken to the state specialist hospital morgue in Akure for autopsy but the father has been on the run. The case has been transferred to the state’s Criminal Investigation Department, as the police promised to arrest the suspect for prosecution.
L-R: High Chief Popo Bolarinwa; Asoju Oba of Gbodofon, Chief Jimoh Buraimo; Chief Femi Adebiyi; Bishop, Osun Anglican Diocese, Reverend James Popoola; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Dean, All Saint Cathedral, Osogbo, Venerable Isaac Oluyamo, during a visit to the governor in Osogbo, yesterday.
Lack of basic law encourages rascality in government -Aregbesola ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
sun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday claimed that the act of not governing the country strictly on the basis of law encouraged and fostered culture of rascality in government. Aregbesola made the observation at the public presentation of the state’s Revenue Administration Law 2012 held at the Cen-
tre for Black Culture and International Understanding in Abeere, Osogbo. He said that the development led to a pervasive lawlessness in society, saying: “It is quite tragic that we have failed to realise the big problem this has posed to our development effort. Worst still, we are failing to take serious steps to address the situation.” The governor claimed that since the inception his administration, it
demonstrated the determination to qualitatively change the course of running the affairs of the state. He said: “We are resolved to transform the previously entrenched culture of disregard for the law to that in which the law will reign supreme. For, we know that there can be no qualitative development in a lawless environment.” The governor held that the history of democratic
development of Osun had trusted upon his administration the task of preparing the grounds for the state’s prosperous future. Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Mr. Ajibola Basiru, said the law has some distinctive features such as the establishment of the Osun State Board of Internal Revenue which would have a fiscal and ancillary autonomy thereby making it a professionally-run organisation.
‘OOUTH’s Medicine Dept may lose accreditation, if …’ FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (ARD) of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, has appealed to Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun to save the institution from total collapse. ARD’s President in the teaching hospital, Dr. El-
Zeki Somoye, made the appeal while speaking at a community medical outreach programme organised by his association yesterday in Sagamu. ARD, which bemoaned the state of equipment and facilities in the teaching hospital, also raised the alarm over imminent de-accreditation of the Medicine Department of the hospital unless the state government acts fast
to salvage the situation. Somoye, who revealed that the National PostGraduate Medical College had fortnight ago withdrew accreditation of the Medicine Department, further explained that if drastic measures were not put in place, more departments would lose accreditation. The president, however, attributed delayed payment in salaries as a
major factor which necessitated the frequent and protracted strike often experienced in the system. Speaking further, the president said the medical outreach programme, which included lectures and free medical testing, was an attempt by the body to give back to its immediate community. He said no fewer than 500 persons would benefit from the gesture.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Alleged graft: Hearing in suit against Fayose continues today ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
earing will continue today in the graft case filed against former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Ado Ekiti Division of the Federal High Court. The trial judge, Justice Adamu Hobon, adjourned the case for further hearing today in order to enable the prosecution present more documents to support his case. As hearing began in the substanstive case yesterday, EFCC counsel, Mr. Adebisi Adeniyi, presented the documents in support of his evidence before Justice Hobon through the first witness and EFCC operative, Mr. Abubakar Madaki. Fayose is standing trial for alleged diversion of N860 million public funds meant for Ekiti Poultry Project during his tenure as governor of the state. Madaki said that some documents recovered from the Chairman, Biological Concept Limited, (the alleged contractor/ consultant), Mr Gbenga James, and his friend during investigations revealed that the money meant for Ekiti Poultry Projects were diverted for private use by the former governor. The documents presented, which the judge admitted as evidence, included a voluntary statement of the accused persons written in his own handwriting; petitions letters; documents containing the names of the alleged beneficiaries the Public Relations proceeds; and documents recovered from Ekiti State government during investigation. Others included cheque stubs (the remaining leaf-lets of cheques for record-keeping); reports from Federal Ministry of Works; and acknowledgment letter confirming
the receiving of $50,000 by former deputy Governor, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi. A building plan designed by Grid Associates for the private home of the accused person at Ibadan and a copy of the agreement dated September 24, 2004 between Ekiti State Government and Biological Concept Ltd was also tendered and admitted as evidence. This was as Fayose, who is a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in the state yesterday accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of planning to disenfranchise numerous PDP supporters in the state ahead of the 2014 governorship election. Fayose’s spokesman, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, also alleged in a statement in Ado-Ekiti that APC was planning to acquire fake voters’ cards ahead of the governorship election to perpetrate fraud, as he called on the State Security Service (SSS), the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rise to the occasion. But APC dismissed the allegation. Its Interim State Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, said: “Voter’s card is a property of the INEC and the person whose name it bears. Fayose should know who to contact when such a thing happens. Let him inform the police and let the police arrest those who are selling and buying cards.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Monarch solicits FG’s support over pipeline vandalism FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he monarch and the people of Ogere Remo in Ikenne Local Government area of Ogun State yesterday solicited the assistance of the federal and state governments in their efforts toward winning the war against crime in the area. The community appealed to the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Abubakar Mohammed, to
use his good office to step up security in the area so as to overcome the challenges, especially petroleum pipeline vandalism and other crimes recorded along the toll gate axis of the LagosIbadan Expressway. At a press conference held in the palace of the monarch to mark his 30th year on the throne as the Ologere of Ogere, Oba Oladele Ogunbade said the call became necessary in view of the negative image such crimes has brought to
the town. It will be recalled that the state’s special military security outfit, “OP MESA” from the 35 Artillery Brigade, recently apprehended a herbalist and 27 others for allegedly vandalising NNPC pipeline in Ajura town along the Ogere-Siun road. The suspected vandals, who were arrested, based on tip-off, however, indicted men of the state police force from Ogere division of conniving with them in
their operations. But flanked by the Chairman of the anniversary planning committee, Dayo Onabowale, at the press conference, the monarch told journalists that those vandals were criminals who were attracted to the area by various commercial activities at the trailer park at the toll gate in the town as well as other criminals who were chased away from Sagamu during the town’s war against cultism.
“We have warned and will continue to warn our children not to participate in such illegal actions. As I have said, people are coming from other towns to perpetrate the crime. It is because it is the expressway; many people come into Ogere, robbers, good men and bad men.” “All what we are asking for is that we need the assistance of the police and the army. We are not saying that they are not doing enough; we are not saying
they are not efficient, but we want more assistance.” The monarch said the town had since put in place, a mechanism towards ensuring that none of the indigenes was involved in pipeline vandalism. Absolving sons and daughters of the town from the nefarious activities of vandals, the monarch also said the war against vandalism and cultism has, however, contributed to the rising incidence of armed robbery in the area.
Mega Trade Fair takes off Friday in Ibadan he much awaited to be a bigger, brighter and
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ibadan chapter at a congress over the ongoing strike in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Auto accident claims one in Osun ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
t least one person lost his life while 11 others sustained injuries in a lone auto accident that occurred along the Owode-Gbongan road in Osun State on Sunday evening. Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety
Corps (FRSC) in the state, Mr. Imoh Etuk, who disclosed this yesterday in Osogbo, said the cause of the accident was as a result of the burst tyre of a 16-passenger Mazda 2000 bus with registration number: Lagos XL 463MSN. He said when the incident occurred; the vehicle somersaulted twice, leading to the death of one person
while 11 other occupants of the vehicle were injured. The sector commandant, who said his men responded promptly to the accident, said: “The 11 victims are already at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo and the State Hospital, Asubiaro, in the capital city. He charged drivers to
riousness to combat the scourge.” The minister, who was represented by Mrs. Bolatito Olaitan, spoke at the opening of the third Ekiti Gender Summit 2013 in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. She said: “Governor Kayode Fayemi is gendersensitive. He has really fought for the restoration of women’s pride in Ekiti, ensuring that women are well placed in the society and treating any issue affecting them with dispatch, which remains the fastest ways to achieve national goals.”
Speaking at the event, wife of Ekiti State governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, lamented that there were still increasing reported cases of rape and domestic violence in the state despite the landmark achievements of the state government’s efforts in the fight against violence against women. The efforts included the enactment of Genderbased Violence Prohibition Law and the passage of Equal Opportunities Bill. She said: “The number of reported cases of sexual violence has increased, probably because people
avoid over-speeding this month, saying his men are strategically located in different parts of the state to prevent accidents before and after the Christmas celebration.” “The corps of the deceased driver is at the morgue of the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital and efforts are on to inform his relations of his death.”
Minister lauds Ekiti over gender issues ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
omen Affairs Minister, Hajia Zainab Maina, yesterday praised the efforts of the Ekiti State government and its stance in fighting against gender inequality and violence against women in the state. Maina said the Federal Government’s participation in several international conventions and treaties aimed at “protecting women’s dignity and removing customary, political and religious barriers against them underscored the se-
now know that the cases will be taken seriously and justice will be done unlike what obtained in the past.” Fayemi’s wife praised the victims for coming out boldly to report the cases, saying such had helped government in the fight against the scourge, which she described as frightening and embarrassing. She said: “The number of active cases in the courts is encouraging and we hope that victims of these violent sexual crimes will get justice and their cases will not be struck out on the grounds of frivolous technicalities.”
Mega Trade Fair that has been postponed twice will now takeoff this Friday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Disclosing this in Ibadan at the weekend during a media interactive session was the President of the Mega Trade Fair, Mr. Delight Owoyemi, who said the event was already in the dress rehearsal stage, adding that the opening ceremony of the 10-day event would come up on Friday. Owoyemi said the issue that necessitated the postponement of the trade fair from the original August date had turned out to be a blessing in disguise, adding that it will make the event wax stronger. “The postponement gave us room to network and bring on board some very important stakeholders,” he said. “And this has resulted in giving us what will turn out
better trade fair.” Fielding questions from journalists, Owoyemi commended the Ajimobi administration for creating an enabling environment for trade and investment in Oyo State, adding that the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, had done so much in his 30 months in the saddle to encourage the private sector. “The state government has done its own job of creating an enabling environment for the private sector and that is what we have taken a cue from,” he said. He told the journalists: “You need to go round this ancient city and see the kind of transformation that it has witnessed in the last two years. This trade fair is our humble contribution towards rebranding this state,” adding that the Ajimobi administration has done wonderfully well in this regard.
Ogun, MOAN to launch 2014 road emblem today
gun State government and the Mobile Advert Agency of Nigeria (MOAN) are to collectively launch the 2014 Encrypted Consolidated Road Emblem today at the NUJ Press Centre, Abeokuta, the state capital. The state government and the agency said they are collaborating to improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the former, as the state has appointed the President/ Chief Executive Officer of MOAN, Otunba Mike Eboziegbe, as the lead consultant to drive the procurement of the emblem by motorists in the Gate-
way State. A statement by the lead consultant said yesterday that both parties have appealed to various organisations in the state to attend the launch as the modalities for the procurement of the emblem would be unveiled on the occasion. It quoted the Special Adviser to the Governor on Revenue and Taxation, Mr. Adewale Ogunyomade, as saying that the occasion would further afford companies and individuals the opportunity to ask questions about the new emblem and other IGR sources in the state.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Obiano gets INEC’s certificate of return CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
he conclusion of the Anambra State governorship election whose result was released to the public on Sunday began yesterday as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented certificate of return to the winner, Chief Willie
Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke. The INEC presented the certificates of return to them at a ceremony held at the commission’s office in Awka, the state capital. Speaking during the presentation, which was attended by Governor Peter Obi, the National
Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh and other senior government officials, INEC Commissioner, Chief Lawrence Nworuku, thanked the people of Anambra State for conducting themselves orderly during the election. Handing over the certificate to Obiano, Nworuku said Anambra is a great state, which shamed
prophets of doom, who had falsely predicted that there would be violence and crisis during the poll. To Obiano, Nworuku said: “ On behalf of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, I hereby hand over the certificate of return in respect of the governorship election to you”. Speaking shortly after
he got the certificate of return, Obiano called on his opponents and other stakeholders to join hands with him in order to build a better Anambra State. Obiano, who assured that he would improve
I disarmed my kidnappers before they overpowered me –GUO Motors boss NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
L-R: Representative of the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Ngozi Emehelu; Guest Speaker, Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Anthony Ani, during the Law Week of the state’s branch of the Nigerian Bar Association in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
240 illegal drug dealers arrested in Ebonyi ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI
o fewer than 240 illegal drug dealers have been arrested by the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Ebonyi State. National Mirror gathered that women top the list of the suspects. The agency said that 250 kilogrammes of hard drugs were also sized this year, add-
ing that of the 240 suspects arrested, 20 were convicted. Addressing journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital, NDLEA Commandant, Mr. Raph Igwenagu, described the involvement of women in the illegal drug business as the most worrisome. Igwenagu believes that if urgent measures were not taken to tackle the challenge, there is tendency that their children would join the prohibited trade.
The commandant claimed that efforts by the agency to reduce the rate of drug abuse in the state had yielded the needed results, assuring that the agency would not slack in its drive to make the state free from illicit drug peddling. According to him, the offenders cut across all age groups. Igwenagu said: “We have had cases of younger and older women who are get-
ting involved, but the major group has been between 20 and 50 and there is large involvement of Ebonyi women in the act mostly from the rural areas.” He said that the agency had recorded tremendous successes in the area of arrests and seizure, rehabilitation and conviction, stressing that despite the successes made, the agency still has a lot to do in the area of sensitisation and awareness.
Enugu 2015: Peace Mass Transit boss defects to APC DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
opular transporter and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Enugu State, Chief Sam Onyishi, has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Though Onyishi who is the Managing Director of Peace Mass Transit Limited, could not personally confirm the development, his political lieutenants did. He was welcomed into the APC fold at a meeting of stakeholders of the party held on Sunday in Enugu.
Information gathered yesterday indicated that Onyishi officially defected to APC at a meeting held behind closed doors, where he also declared his interest to contest the next Enugu State governorship on the party’s platform. National Welfare Officer of APC, Emma Eneukwu, who presided over the meeting, confirmed the defection. “We have welcomed him to our fold. He went to a party he felt will serve his purpose better. May be he felt that PDP is being run like a cartel and decided
to look for a better platform” Eneukwu, who was the spokesman of defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), said. Commenting on the development, APC spokesman in the South-East, Osita Okechukwu, said dumping PDP by Onyishi was a clear signal that the party had lost focus. Okechukwu said: “As a patriot and man of the people, Sam Onyishi, having read the APC manifestoes, appreciated the difference between its progressive philosophy and the conservative philosophy of the PDP.
“Naturally, APC is the home of all social democrats and humanists like Sam. He is welcomed in our fold and luckily coming from Nsukka zone, our great party, after wide consultation, may make him the consensus candidate.” Other notable APC chieftains who received Onyishi at the meeting include Peter Okonkwo, Okechukwu Ezea and Valentine Nnaedozie. Ezea, who spoke with our correspondent on telephone, described Onyishi’s decision to pitch tent with APC as a welcome development.
on the success which Obi’s administration had been recording in the last eight years, said that for him, the work had just started. He thanked Jega for conducting a peaceful and successful election.
hairman of G.U.O Motors Limited, Chief Godwin Ubaka Okeke, yesterday told an Onitsha High Court presided over by Justice Chudi Nwankwo how he disarmed one of his kidnappers, Emeka Eze (a.k.a Emeka Nando). Eze, he said, was the second-in-command of the deadly gang that kidnapped him at the premises of the All Saints Anglican Church Cathedral, Onitsha, Anambra State, on August 23, 2009 before the suspects eventually overpowered him. He recalled that the suspects brutalised him, hit him with machetes, gunbutts and other objects before shooting him on the left leg while struggling with them. Okeke claimed that the wound that pained him most, apart from the bullet shot, was the machete cut inflicted on his left hand by the second defendant, Ifeanyi Okafor. Okeke, who spoke yesterday during a continuation of his cross-examination by Mr. D. U. Nwafor, counsel to second defendant, Ifeanyi Okafor, added that the suspects attacked him with different types of weapons and even bit him when he disarmed Eze. On the question about his written statement at the state Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters, Awkuzu, dated January 8, 2010 in which he wrote as follows, “They fired me on my left leg and gave me several machete cuts on my hand,” Okeke replied: “My Lord, I told this court few minutes ago that they attacked me with several weapons, hit me all over the body and even gave me human bite, but the only one that gave me this serious wound on my left hand
was the second defendant’s machete cut”. Also in another question put across to him by the defence counsel, D. U. Nwafor, which read thus: “From the time you were kidnapped at All Saints Church to the time you were released, did any of them give you cut in your hand?” and he answered: “To the best of my knowledge, my Lord, it was only that cut from the second defendant that gave me a serious wound, but the second defendant is here and he is in a better position to tell the court how many cuts he gave to me”. Another question from the defence counsel came up thus: “Did you make a statement to SARS at Awkuzu on January 8, 2010?”. Okeke replied: “I made several statements at Awkuzu, but I can’t remember their dates”. Again, Nwafor asked him: “How many statements did you make to the police altogether and he replied: “About four or five different statements, but I can’t remember all their contents because all my kidnappers were arrested on different dates”. At this stage, the defence counsel applied to tender a Certified True Copy (CTC) of Okeke’s statement to SARS dated January 8, 2010 as an exhibit, but the prosecution counsel, Mr. Chris Ajugwe, relying on Section 232 of the Evidence Act 2011, raised an objection on the ground that the proper foundation had not been laid in tendering a previous statement as evidence in court, more so when the defence counsel had not adduced any cogent reason for making such an application. Justice Nwankwo, who admitted the statement as evidence which he marked as Exhibit ‘C’, said the statement so admitted as evidence might not play much role at this early stage, adding that it could only be considered during the stage of judgement writing.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
How Oshiomhole’s children made him apologise to widow do State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, reportedly incurred the wrath of his children over the manner he addressed a widow, Mrs. Joy Ifije that was caught selling her wares on the road last week. National Mirror reliably gathered yesterday from close family members of the embattled governor, who was visibly angry with the trader’s open, daily display of impunity during an inspection around the state capital that the governor’s children made their father apologise for his behaviour. The children were said to have been touched by the widow’s plight and subsequently spoke to their father about her. Governor Oshiomhole, who had last weekend apologised for his harsh words on Mrs. Ifije, yesterday invited her to Government House, Benin City, where he announced a cash assistance of N2 million along with an instant employment in the state government’s agency tackling street trading. It will be recalled that Oshiomhole upbraided Mrs. Ifije for joining other traders to block Mission Road penultimate week before men of the Edo State War Against Indiscipline (WAI) seized her goods. But, speaking to the widow at a breakfast table yesterday, the governor gave the mother an offer of job in addition to the N2 million given to her to get a shop and be meaningfully engaged. The governor used the occasion to clarify that her job would be to join
Edo State’s WAI to further the agency’s campaign against street trading and also keep the state clean. Governor Oshiomhole said: “When you put your things on the road, a vehicle can run into you and they have killed many like that in the past. That was why I said if you are a widow do you want more people to be widowed? But when I said ‘go and die,’ that one was said in a fit of anger. And I am really sorry.” “I want you to join us. We would employ you and pay you salary. You would help us to campaign to other women not to trade on road sides. “We should not use poverty as a yardstick. We would also talk to taxi and bus drivers not to block roads when carrying passengers. You will assist me to talk to women and traders not to litter the roads and sidewalks so that people walking and driving can have free roads.” Responding, Mrs. Ifijeh thanked the governor for the gesture and apologizsed for blocking the road with her wares even as she admitted that she recognised that what she did was wrong. In a related development, the Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP) in Edo State has cautioned the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to stop playing to the gallery. In a statement titled; “Stop Playing to the Gallery,” signed by its Chairman, Dr. Samson Isibor and Secretary, Hon. Joseph Omorogbe, the CRPP said PDP should not politicise the widow’s illegal action that clearly contravened the state government law on street trading.
Ikunyi had defected to the opposition camp of the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, just six days after Rivers State governor, Chibuike Amaechi and some G7 governors defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ikunyi, a two-term, House member, who is
representing Andoni Constituency in the Assembly, yesterday announced his move to Wike’s camp during the Grassroots Development Initiatives (GDI) in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area and ward executives inauguration and thanksgiving held in Ogbu, where he declared his defection in a brief speech at the event.
SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
L-R: Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN); Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and Chief Ighoyota Amori, during a condolence visit to Amori over the death of his mother at Mosoga in Ethiope West Local Government of the state yesterday.
‘Why friction has persisted in NDDC’ GEORGE OJI ABUJA
ewly nominated Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia, yesterday said one of the major problems responsible for the constant friction within the management of the commission was the lack of appreciation of the roles and mandate of the commission by political appointees. He said the NDDC Act, 2000 clearly stipulates the functions of the commission as well as the powers and responsibilities of the various offices, but that fraction often results in the commission because some of the members of staff arrogate to themselves powers outside their statutory limits. Fielding questions from members of the Senate Committee on NDDC during his screening at the National Assembly yesterday, Dan-Abia noted that; “The Act that set up the commission sets put func-
tions for the commission,” stressing that; “We must understand our various roles in the commissions and if we do so, there will be less friction.” While responding to a question by one of the senators, the nominee regretted that 14 years after the commission was established, it was yet to live up to the dreams of the founding fathers. This was also as the Chairmanship-nominee for the commission; Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, at the event blamed the numerous woes bedeviling the commission on high level of waste and inefficiency, assuring that the next board of NDDC must evolve a change that will alter the status quo in the agency. Ewa-Henshaw said the new board of NDDC, when constituted would focus largely on infrastructural development. The screening was carried out by Senate Committee on the Niger Delta. He regretted that since the creation of the commission, it has only succeeded in implementing
scanty number of projects instead of living up to its responsibility of creating wealth, initiating developmental projects and serving as a catalyst for development of the region. Ewa-Henshaw, who was not questioned after his submission and self introduction, was described by Chairman of the committee, Senator James Manager, as a ‘bow and go material.’ Manager said the screening of the nominee from Ondo State, Benson Adegbenro, would be stood down yesterday in view of the sudden withdrawal of Dr. Benson Enikuomehin, who was initially nominated by Governor Olusegun Mimiko and was part of the list of nominees initially sent to the Senate. It was learnt that Enikuomehin’s name was withdrawn by Governor Mimiko acting on the advice of President Goodluck Jonathan over insinuations that he was part of the former board of NDDC that was dissolved on account of ineptitude. However, attempts by Senator Nurudeen Aba-
temi to question the nomination of Dan-Abia for the office of managing director, having been part of the same board that was dissolved in 2011 over allegations of corruption, were scaled down by Manager, who asked Dan-Abia to ‘skip the question.’ Abatemi was seeking to know why the nomination of Enikuomehin was withdrawn because he was part of the dissolved board and the same principle did not apply to Dan-Abia, who served on the same board with the former. He also sought to know why someone who served in that controversial board would return to head the commission. Earlier, Manager had noted that since the inception of NDDC, no board of the commission had served out its tenure on account of a myriad of issues including fraud, misconduct and abuse of office. He hope the next board would break the jinx by learning from the failure of the former boards.
Lawmaker’s defection: We’re not surprised –Deputy Speaker UDUAKABASI PATRICK
he recent defection of the Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Igbani Ikunyi, did not come as a surprise to other members of the state House of Assembly, as it
was a predictable move that was long expected from the defecting lawmaker. Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Leyii Kwanee, made this known while speaking to journalists at a reception in honour of Dumka Neebani,
who was a product of the Deputy Speaker’s grassroots Youths Sports Development Scheme upon his successful return from a professional football contract in the Mongolian football league. Kwanee said the defection was long expected since Hon. Ikunyi was a
political godson of a top PDP Chieftain in Abuja and is amenable to his influence. “We are not surprised because he is the godson of a prominent politician in the state, who is also a prominent member of the opposition camp.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Divorce: Blind man wants N300, 000 compensation from wife
A Special Adviser to Gombe State Government on Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), Alhaji Adamu Audi (left) and Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Kalamba-Gbeneol, at the inauguration of a primary healthcare centre in Bozonshulwa district of Dukku Local Government Area of Gombe State at the weekend.
Kaduna gov sued over appointment of commissioner A ZA MSUE KADUNA
aduna State governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, has been dragged before a state high court sitting in Kaduna to stop the appointment of one Mrs. Comfort Amwe, as a commissioner in the state. Amwe, a former local government chairman of Sanga Local Government area of the state, was one of the 15 commissioner-nominees recently screened and cleared by the state House of Assembly for appointment as a commissioner in the state. But her nomination and subsequent clearance by the state House of Assembly has led to protests by some people in her local government area, who alleged that she was indicted for corruption while working with the state’s Minis-
try of Finance. Moses Ada Anche, who filed the suit at the high court, is praying the court to restrain the governor from swearing in Mrs. Amwe as commissioner, saying she was not fit for such appointment. In his statement of claims, Anche, through his counsel, John Mudiaga Omughele, alleged that Mrs. Amwe is not fit to hold public office following her indictment along with others for defrauding the state government to the tune of N3.3 million when she was a staff of the ministry of finance from 1990 to 1993. According to Anche; “In 1993, the Kaduna State government instituted an investigative panel into colossal loss of government revenue, which made findings on several areas, but specifically on the Kafanchan Sub-Treasury, where Amwe, who is the third de-
fendant in the case, worked. The plaintiff further said that; “The white paper on the report of the investigative panel on the colossal loss of government revenue released in November 1994,” among others, recommended that the third respondent be sanctioned. He noted that because of that; “The third defendant did not leave the service of the Kaduna State government voluntarily, but was relieved of her appointment and does not enjoy any pension and is the person referred to in the white paper on the report on colossal loss of government revenue.” The plaintiff therefore; “Contends that the third respondent is unfit for appointment in public office as a commissioner or any other in view of the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy enacted at section 15 (5)
of the constitution that the state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power and the national ethics of integrity and dignity of labour enacted in section 23 of the 1999 Constitution. He further said that the first defendant (the governor) cannot validly nominate and appoint a person who was indicted by the same government of Kaduna State of involvement in acts of colossal loss of revenue to the state as commissioner as such would be contrary to section 15 of the constitution. He then prayed the court for a perpetual injunction, restraining the governor from appointing the third defendant as commissioner in the government of Kaduna State pending the determination of the matter. Hearing on the motion comes up on Thursday, December 5, 2013.
FG releases N170m to states for teachers’ development –Wike
upervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, yesterday said that the Federal Government has released N170 million to each state of the federation for teachers’ professional development. Wike said this during the flag-off of the 2013 Capacity Building Programme for basic education teachers and managers organised by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in Kaduna. The minister said the Federal Government was committed to teachers’ professional development, particularly at the basic educa-
tion level. “The programme aims at ensuring that teachers and education managers, who are directly involved in basic education delivery, are exposed to currents trends in education policies, management systems and teaching methodologies. “The money will also ensure that the training needs of each state are met, bearing in mind their different peculiarities. “It will ensure judicious utilisation of the FGN/ UBE intervention funds meant for teachers’ development programmes and
value for money.” Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Macjohn Nwabiala, Wike said previous efforts did not provide effective mechanism for teaching and learning. This, he added, led to the introduction of Cluster Schools Model Training for teachers and education managers of basic education. “This model was piloted by the commission in 19 states of the federation and tremendous results were recorded.” He urged SUBEB and other education stakeholders to
abide by the implementation guidelines and manuals of the cluster model to record success in the educational system. “SUBEB should ensure that training institutions selected, carry out the mentoring roles expected of them and should engage knowledgeable, experienced and competent hands as resource persons for the assignment.” He also tasked SUBEBs’ on transparency and accountability in the utilisation of the funds disbursed to them, assuring them of government support towards improving the education sector.
blind man, Shaibu Ibrahim, 56, yesterday urged a Grade 1 Area Court in Aso Pada, Nasarawa State, to order his wife, Lami, 38, to pay him N300, 000 in compensation before granting her a divorce. At the resumption of hearing of the case, Ibrahim told the court that since their marriage about 15 months ago, he had been giving her some money to keep for him. Ibrahim said he would agree to a divorce if she can marry another wife for him or give him N300, 000. “The money I gave her was to help us buy a house as we earlier agreed. “Although, I don’t really know how much I eventually gave to her, I think it should be up to N300, 000. “If she cannot give me the money, she should marry another woman for me.” Lami, however, denied her husband’s allegations, saying that he had never given her money to keep for him. After listening to the two
parties, the Presiding Officer, Malam Danladi Musa, directed them to go back home and resolve the issue of compensation. He adjourned the case to December 11. Musa had on November 14, when the case first came up, adjourned to December 2 for possible reconciliation after Lami urged the court to dissolve the marriage for alleged excessive sexual urge. She also told the court then that she was no longer interested in the 15-monthold marriage. “I urge the court to dissolve this marriage because I can’t stand his excessive sexual urge. He likes sex too much, I can’t bear it. “Most times, he will have sex with me from midnight till early hours of the morning, even when I am crying, he will not stop,” she alleged. She also told the court that her husband was uncontrollable anytime he wanted sex and that he would even want to have sex not minding the presence of my children.
‘National Assembly should provide legislative backing for ASUU’ OTHMAN SALIHU KANO
he National Assembly has been blamed partially for the lingering crisis between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government. Traditional title holder of Dansaran Kano in the Kano Emirate Council, Alhaji Muhammadu Gambo Danpass, in an interview with journalists in Kano, said top officials of the Federal Government do send their children abroad for schooling and so do not care if the sector is grounded in the country. He blamed the National Assembly for inadequate legislation that would deter government officials from enrolling their children and wards in foreign schools in preference to schools in the country. Danpass alleged that though, some of the legislators are equally guilty of sending their wards to seek education overseas, he said that was responsible for the decay in the nation’s education sector.
“Seriously speaking, the National Assembly would have to share in the blame, because if they have legislated that all government officials who have their children in schools abroad to the detriment of our own institutions should send them back home to enroll here, they would have found a solution to the ASUU issue. “It is sad that policymakers involved in the formulation and implementation of government policies on education are not serious in resolving the lingering crisis in the education sector because their children and wards do not attend schools in the country. “If they do not school here, their parents who run our education sector would care less about developments in the sector. This is what we are experiencing today. It is a very sad situation, because top government officials enroll their children in schools in Ghana, Benin Republic and Cote d’Ivoire, not to talk of the United Kingdom and the United States of America, among others.”
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Confab: Mixed grill over Nwabueze’s proposal
lder statesman and foremost constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN), seems to have stirred the hornets’ nest with his proposal of a Constitution Drafting Committee that will come up with a draft bill, which would be the main working document at the proposed National Conference. The onetime Minister of Education and Youth Development, and leader of a group of eminent Nigerians, The Patriots, made the proposal in his recent letter to President Goodluck Jonathan on the planned confab, entitled: “Nature and Character of the Proposed National Conference: Its Primal Purpose and Modus Operandi.” According to him, while the 13-member Presidential Advisory Committee headed by Senator Femi Okunrounmu is yet to come out with its recommendations regarding an agenda; structure and modalities; representation and timeframe for the conference, the Constitution Drafting Committee holds the key to the realisation of its objectives. The institution of the committee, he further expounded will help avoid the mistakes of the National Political Reform Conferenc, NPRC, convened by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005. According to him, the NPRC, which differed totally in nature and character from the proposed National Conference was dogged by crisis and ended in confusion because it was a product of defects in its character and structure.
The proposal Acknowledging that the task of fashioning out an appropriate legal framework for the proposed National Conference has been entrusted to a Presidential Advisory Committee, Nwabueze contended that given an existing legal order, a National Conference to adopt a people’s constitution and a referendum to approve it, must be authorised by a law enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by the President, as set out in the terms in The Patriots’ bill. He wrote: “There is no way a referendum can be held in the country under the existing legal order without an enabling law prescribing how it is to be conducted, its outcome and the force of the result in law. People cannot just troop out to vote in a referendum. Anything else outside the legal framework set out in The Patriots’ Bill can only take place by way of a revolution, such as happened in the eight African countries where the conference took
Apo killings: Senate report that exposed Boko Haram’s underbelly
Defection of G7 to APC, answer to prayers of Nigerians –Boroﬃce
FELIX NWANERI writes on the rejection by pro-North groups of the proposal by the leader of The Patriots, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, for the composition of a committee to raise a draft constitution to be deliberated at the planned national confab.
TOP STORY place outside the pre-existing legal order. It is doubtful, to say the least, whether such a revolution can take place in Nigeria, as things are at present. The impediments are too many and too great.”
He equally advised that rather expend much energy on whether the conference should be sovereign or not, the nation will do better if stakeholders get on with the job of working hard to ensure that the confab, operating under the legal framework set out in The Patriots’ bill, adopts a suitable new constitution for Nigeria. “Ensuring that the National Conference adopts a suitable new constitution for the
THE CONFERENCE, WHEN IT CONVENES, MUST HAVE BEFORE IT, A DRAFT NEW CONSTITUTION TO FORM THE BASIS OF ITS DELIBERATIONS; WITHOUT THIS, ITS MEETINGS ARE BOUND TO BECOME A TALK-SHOP AND WILL NOT ACCOMPLISH THEIR PRIMAL PURPOSE
country raises a problem perhaps more troublesome and more perplexing than the issue of fashioning out appropriate legal framework; the problem is not taken care of by fashioning out an appropriate legal framework. Unless the adoption of a suitable new constitution for the country is ensured and is realised, it (i.e. the conference) may become a talk-shop, as did the 2005 NPRC, without achieving its primal purpose, which is to give us a new constitution. “It would thus be a failure, as asserted by those opposed to the idea. To ensure the accomplishment of this primal purpose, the conference, when it convenes, must have before it, a draft new constitution to form the basis of its deliberations; without this, its meetings are bound to become a talkshop and will not accomplish their primal purpose. Clearly, a situation where every Nigerian or every member of the conference may submit a draft new constitution for consideration by the conference will result in the conference having before it too many draft constitutions, which may make it difficult for it to accomplish its primal purpose. “Thus, the problem boils down to the issue of a modus operandi for the conference. But, whilst the committee’s recommendations are awaited, it seems clear that we cannot run away from the imperative necessity of having a Constitution Drafting Committee. The Okurounmu Presidential Advisory Committee itself is not envisaged as a Constitution Drafting Committee, and is neither intended nor mandated by its terms of reference to function as one. The job requires a specialist committee of experts.” Citing an example with the 1979 Constitution, he stated that a “Constitution Drafting Committee was part of the modus operandi used in making the 1979 Constitution. The Federal Military Government (FMG) had in 1976, by an executive instrument, set up a Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) of 49 members (the 50th member, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, declined to serve) composed of prominent lawyers, men and women knowledgeable in the principles and practice of statescraft, and other seasoned experts/specialists (the 49 Wise Men, as they came to be known), to prepare a draft constitution. He added: “A draft was duly prepared by the committee. Thereafter, the FMG enacted a Decree establishing a Constituent Assembly – the Constituent Assembly Decree 1977 – corresponding more or less CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Defection of G7 to APC, answer to prayers Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice represents Ondo North Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, first on the platform of the Labour Party before joining the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and now the All progressives Congress, APC. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and founding Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA, under whose watch NASRDA launched two satellites - a low orbit earth observations microsatellite (NigeriaSat-1) in 2003 and a communication satellite (NigcomSat-1) in 2007, in this interview with OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU, bares his mind on the import of the defection of some governors on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the new PDP to the APC among other national issues. Excerpts: How would you react to the defection of the Group of Seven, G7 governors and the new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC? The defection of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors to All Progressives Congress, APC, is divine and it was an answer to the prayers of Nigerians, who have been groaning under the burden of bad governance laden with corruption and impunity of criminality under the ruling party. What we have is a dysfunctional government clinging on intimidation for survival. What we are seeing is an unfolding political evolution which is taking the dimension of a revolution. If the APC has not emerged, Nigeria would have witnessed a Nigerian spring. The APC has kept the hope of Nigerians for a brighter future alive. How do you think the defection and merger would affect the fortunes of both the PDP and the APC as the build up to the 2015 election gathers momentum? It is obvious this political development has destabilised the PDP, even though the leaders of the ruling party are pretending that it is inconsequential. If you realize the fact that the governors that defected control states with high concentration of voters in the North and the South, then the PDP is in trouble. The PDP has always relied on rigging in claiming electoral victory and with the emergence of the APC; there is a balance of power, which will make rigging very difficult. Prof. Attahiru Jega’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should be ready to meet the wrath of the people if it tries to play any funny game. A post-mortem of the elections conducted in recent times has revealed all the rigging strategies of INEC. The APC will counter them. I can assure you that the APC will take over the centre in 2015 and will control 29 of the 36 states. It is a boost to the chances and rating of the APC. I can tell you that it is going to be one of the game changer, in 2015. Forget about the noise the leadership of the ruling PDP has been making in the media that the governors and members of the nPDP are featherweights. That was just the desperate cries of a sinking party. With the new developments in the political landscape, don’t you think the Senate will witness a new paradigm shift? Will there be any new paradigm shift in the Senate? I don’t think so, but I think the Senate will reflect the reality of the political
situation in the country. What I want you to know is that what is happening now is part of a process and the trajectory of the evolution cannot be configured with certainty now. But there is no doubt that there will be mutual respect between the APC and the PDP in Senate and this balance of power will definitely affect the way the Senate conduct its affairs. I am sure the Senate will look at issues more in perspective now than before. With what happened in the Anambra State governorship election, do you have any hope that the 2015 elections will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people? The governorship election in Anambra State is an eye opener to the satanic plan of the PDP to use INEC to perpetuate itself in power. The dastardly act of INEC under the guidance of the ruling party has been exposed and there is no more hiding place for them. The international organizations are watching and are in doubt of Jega’s credibility. The credentials of righteousness and integrity which Jega brought to INEC have been drastically eroded. The APC has rejected the election and called for its cancellation. That is what we expect from Jega. Let me assure you that whatever may be the sinister plan of the PDP and INEC for 2015 will not succeed. We are going to enforce free, fair and credible election. What are your thoughts on the national conference proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan? A lot has been said about the National Conference that is almost going in to coma. Whatever may be the political undertone the conference is a waste of time, a waste of tax payers’ money and it is equally diversionary. The government should address more pressing problems confronting the nation. Nigerians have been stigmatized by impunity of criminality and corruption, we have been traumatized by insecurity to lives and property and we have been brutalized by political intimidation. The National Conference will not diagnose these malaises and neither will it prescribe treatment for them. When will our Universities reopen? When are we going to have steady power supply? When are we going to have good, motorable and save road and rail transportation system? When will our in-
dustries begin to work and provide employment for Nigerian youths? These are the issues that this present Federal Government should address instead of wasting our money on a national conference that will not yield any result. Do you think the conference has political undertone? I think sooner or later, Nigerians will be wiser to the fact whether there is ulterior motive behind the organisation of this national conference. The author of this project knows why all of a sudden he changed from his position of abhorrence to any conference whatsoever to setting up a Presidential Advisory Committee to work on the confab. Very soon, whether or not it has political undertone will be clear to all Nigerians. In your opinion, do you think the outcome of the proposed national confab should be subjected to National Assembly’s approval? The issue of subjecting the report of the National conference to the approval of the National Assembly is the prerogative of the author of the project. He made the pronouncement in the exercise of his executive power. It is final. Many permutations have been made about the implosion to be expected from the selection of the presidential candidate of the APC come 2015. What is your comment on this issue? That is the prayers and wishes of the ruling PDP, but I can and would want to assure you that there will be no implosion in the APC resulting from the selection of the party’s presidential candidate and the running mate. It will be democratic, smooth
and acceptable. Nigerians will hail it and the prophets of doom looking forward to implosion in the APC as a result of what they think will cause brouhaha will be shocked and disappointed. For the leadership of the APC, it is national interest above personal interest. It is not about any of the party’s leaders, but about salvaging the country and save it from the shackles of oppression that ruling PDP has subjected the country to in the last 15 years and I can assure you that that mission will be accomplished for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians. Do you think the centenary of our amalgamation is worth celebrating, considering the level of underdevelopment, insecurity and poverty in the country? The celebration of the centenary of the amalgamation of Nigeria as a country is a historical landmark which should invoke feelings of pride and gratitude in all Nigeri-
IT WAS AN ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS OF
NIGERIANS, WHO HAVE BEEN GROANING UNDER THE BURDEN OF BAD GOVERNANCE LADEN WITH CORRUPTION AND IMPUNITY OF CRIMINALITY UNDER THE RULING PARTY
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of Nigerians –Boroffice dying in foreign hospitals where they have gone to seek quality medical care? Are we celebrating the fact that we have one of the highest maternal mortality rate in the world? I leave Nigerians to judge if there is any reason to celebrate our centenary. Corruption has become endemic in Nigeria. Has the government been fighting the war against corruption the way it should be fought? Yes, I agree with you that corruption has become endemic and in fact, it is the bane of the nation’s socio-economic development. In my own opinion, I don’t think the Federal Government is fighting corruption as it should be doing and the problem is getting worse on daily basis. Corruption is everywhere. It seems that the government is handicapped and overwhelmed by the monstrosity of the problem. Of cause if a physician cannot cure himself how can he cure others?
ans if we have progressed as expected. One hundred years after amalgamation Nigeria is still a geographical expression and not a nation in the true sense of it. Religious and ethnic cleavages are getting wider and wider every day. Those countries that were at the same political take- off point with us are far ahead of us in all facets of development. Our infrastructures are still at the primitive level. If not, how can you explain the fact that we are still building narrow gauge single track rail line in this century? None of our airports is of international standard, none of our universities is among the best 500 in the world, we have the largest percentage of under fifteen children that are out of school according to UNESCO, the power sector is just waking up. We are churning out graduates year in year out without commensurate employment system put in place to absorb them. Security of lives and property is at the lowest ebb with the activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect, armed robbers and kidnappers; the catalogue of woes is endless! And if you look at the proposal for the celebration and the projects contained in it you will immediately realize that this is another money wasting exercise. Why can’t we commit the funds in the celebration budget to address the pressing needs in education, being mindful of Academic Staff of Universities Union, ASUU grievances? The platform for an enduring industrial development take-off is iron and steel, for over thirty years we have not establish a single reliable and stable steel rolling mill that can catalyze industrial development in the mode of India and South Korea. So what are we celebrating? Are we celebrating the fact that our elder statesmen are
It is like the Stella Oduah scandal is being swept under the carpet. What will the Senate do to ensure that justice is done? The Stella Oduah scandal is traumatic for the image of the nation. The Federal Government seems not to be ready to address it squarely and take the appropriate and necessary steps. Ever though the National Assembly has shown concern, it lacks the executive power to arrest, prosecute and pronounce judgement on the matter. The Senate Committee on Aviation will meet her and investigate the allegation and on the approval of the report from that committee by the Senate, it will be forwarded to the executive for appropriate action. The National Assembly is on course on this matter. We only hope the executive will have the political will to implement not only the Senate recommendation, but those of the House of Representatives and the probe panel raised by the President, and that is if that panel of enquiry was sincere in its assignment. President Goodluck Jonathan is sure to seek for re-election. Do you think he has done enough for Nigerians to entrust their future into his hands for another four years? The re- election bid of President Jonathan is his constitutional right, so he is in order to seek re-election, if he so desires. The issue of the justification of the bid for re-election should be left to Nigerians to decide whether it is justifiable or not. Let
THERE WILL BE NO
Group hails Amosun’s budget allocation for education
IMPLOSION IN THE
APC RESULTING FROM THE SELECTION OF THE PARTY’S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND THE RUNNING MATE. IT
WILL BE DEMOCRATIC, SMOOTH AND ACCEPTABLE Mr. President present to the Nigerian public his scorecard on his Transformation Agenda to enable Nigerians assess his performance vis a vis his re-election bid. Given that Nigerians seem to have lost confidence in the National Assembly, How would you rate the present National Assembly and the Senate in particular? I will rate the seventh National Assembly high, based on its performance on legislation and the effort to ensure that the annual budgets are implemented as passed by the National Assembly. You know that in an attempt to perform this function the National Assembly has been blackmailed and scandalized. Let me assure you that the National Assembly is concerned about the state of the nation and doing what is possible within its constitutional powers to move Nigeria forward in defining a visionary trajectory of socio-economic development for the nation. Given the recent experiences, especially at the last two elections conducted by INEC, the Delta South Senatorial by-election and the Anambra governorship election, how do you rate the chances of the APC in the 2015 election? The chances of the APC in 2015, it is very bright. The APC will control the centre and 29 states; a quick analysis will show you that the party that controls the North West, the South West and Rivers State will win the centre. The PDP may do well in Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi states. There are going to be surprises in Benue, Balyesa and Kogi states. Let me assure you that there will be no room for rigging in the 2015 election. If you conduct an opinion poll now across the nation, you will know that the PDP cannot win a free and fair election in Nigeria. It is a party that shot itself on the foot and excessive bleeding is now manifesting in political anemia. The prognosis is disastrous and the ruling party may end up being a party that is politically challenged. How well have you represented the people of Ondo North and delivered the dividends of democracy to them? I believe I have served my people well in bringing to them dividends of democracy. I have provided many communities with solar street light, solar powered water borehole, transformers, classrooms and employment for our youths. The projects are there for people to see and we plan to do more.
non-governmental organisation, NGO, Ogun Without Boundary, OWB, has commended the Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun for allotting the education sector the largest provision in the proposed 2014 budget. The NGO also urged all parents in the Gateway State to leverage on the state government’s education policy by ensuring that all their children of school age are enrolled. OWB, in a statement signed by its president, Debo Akinyemi, and made available to National Mirror, said that Governor Amosun had demonstrated determination to consolidate on the gains of his administration’s education policy and further position the state for socio-economic growth by still giving education the highest vote in the budget in spite of the dwindling revenue from the federation account. The group added: “It takes a government that understands the dynamics of socio-economic development to appropriately place education on the front burner of financial plans. Education is the most strategic and most potent tool to drive socio-economic growth. Through robust education, the state will be able to raise competent future professionals to drive the various sectors of our economy. And ultimately this will translate to overall development for our beloved state. That is why we want to congratulate the governor for getting it right again.” While expressing optimism that the budget will make it possible for the government to rehabilitate more dilapidated infrastructure and build new ones in schools in the state next year, the OWB said: “It is a known fact that facilities in the state’s public schools are stretched due to the increasing student population. The huge allocation to education in the 2014 budget by the Amosun-led administration therefore gives us hope that more old infrastructure will be refurbished and new ones built in our schools.” It would be recalled that the United Nations’ Scientific and Educational Commission has advocated for 26 per cent as the minimum budgetary allocation to education in annual budgetary allocation of governments at all levels, but allocation by governments in the country have always fallen short of the standard.
ASO ROCK FILE with
Akpabio’s sermon to aggrieved PDP governors T he governor of Akwa Ibom State and Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governors’ Forum, PDPGF, Godswill Akpabio, was at the Presidential Villa last week with some of his colleagues at the third edition of the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria, YouWiN programme of the Federal Government. Akpabio who visits the State House frequently is considered as one of the loyalists of President Goodluck Jonathan. A key player in the affairs of the PDP, Akpabio had a lot to say when he was asked about his views regarding the issue of his aggrieved colleagues in the party who have now defected to the opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC. He did not waste time to deliver what seems like a lecture on the kind of relationship that should exist between state governors and the President, whether or not they have disagreement or issues to be resolved. According to him, the exalted office of the President in particular must be respected and should not be denigrated or subject to any form of ridicule. He told his aggrieved colleagues that if the office of the president was not given its due respect, honour and dignity especially by governors, they would not have the moral right to ask for a different treatment in their respective states. The aggrieved governors include Rotimi Amaechi, Rivers, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Kano, Sule Lamido, Jigawa, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Kwara, Babangida Aliyu, Niger, Murtala Nyako, Adamawa and Aliyu Wamakko, Sokoto. Speaking further, Akpabio said: “I believe that you cannot be a good leader unless you are a good follower and I believe
also strongly that leadership comes from God. So the question of rebelling against leadership does not occur, because if I rebel against the leadership at the federal level, I should expect somebody also to rebel against my leadership at the state level or from my own local government.” “It is expected that as a governor, I should respect the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, so it is not important who occupies the position. I think what is important is to give respect to the institution of the presidency in Nigeria and that way, the international community can also respect Nigeria,” he added. According to him, there is no problem if certain politicians want to defect to another party, saying that it was a normal thing in politics that people move from one political party to the other. He noted that the issue was not about politicians going to another party.
The N42bn road projects T he roads for which the money was approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, are strategic and had been calling for government attention in the past years. The Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, while speaking on the project last week Wednesday disclosed that the roads when completed would enhance transportation, communication and socio- economic activities. The road projects include the IlorinJebba (93.6km) single carriage way in Kwara State awarded in favour of Messrs CGC Nigeria Limited in the sum of N14,587,233,292.17 with completion period of 24 months. Also listed in the project is the dualisation of Kano-Katsina road phase 1: Kano town at Dawanau roundabout-Katsina State border in Kano State in the sum of N14,078,252,565.88 with a completion period of 30 months. Similarly, the council awarded contract for the rehabilitation of Ilorin-OmuaranKabba road in Kwara/Kogi states in the sum of N8,217,373,106.17 with a completion period of 36 months. According to Onolememen, approval was also given for the rehabilitation of Tumu-Pindiga-Kashere (Gombe State)- Futuk-Yalo (Bauchi State) Bashar-Dengi (Pla-
President Goodluck Jonathan with Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe during the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House.
Asari-Dokubo and presidential jet saga
resident Goodluck Jonathan and leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Mr. Muhajid Asari- Dokubo are both from the SouthSouth region of the country and therefore share similar cultural background and with their son in the saddle as President, the people of the region have shown a lot of support to ensure the success of the administration. Asari-Dokubo, who had declared his support for Jonathan and his government and also strongly want the President to recontest for the 2015 election had it rough with the authorities in Republic of Benin last week as he was arrested by gendarmes in Cotonou, the capital of the French speaking African country. He was later released by the authorities and allowed to return to the country. However, shortly after his release, there were reports that a Presidential jet was dispatched to Cotonou to fly the NDPVF leader back to Nigeria But in a swift reaction, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati dismissed the reports
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as untrue. “There is no truth in the report that a presidential jet was used to convey Asari Dokubo. Again, what we see here is the attempt by people to just tell lies and try to package lies as the truth,” he said. Abati explained that such reports were packaged in an attempt to play politics with everything, and to blackmail and cause mischief. “I have read some reports in which they said “unconfirmed reports indicate..” Nobody has been able to say anything categorically and I think it is very sad that people, in an attempt to just play politics with anything at all, will start packaging lies hoping that gullible persons will believe them.” “An aircraft is not a ghost in the air. The movement of any aircraft is properly documented and people will see the aircraft if it lands anywhere, particularly the presidential aircraft.” According to Abati, nobody has been able to come up with any evidence that any presidential jet was sent to Benin Republic, adding: “I can tell you that President Jonathan did not send any presidential jet to Benin Republic.”
teau State) road and construction of YaloBashar-Dengi section) in Bauchi/Plateau states, in the sum of N3,076,381,622.74 with a completion period of 18 months. The rehabilitation of Mubi- MaihaSorao road with spur from Mubi-Bukula in Adamawa State was awarded in favour of Messrs De- Pacific Investment Limited in the sum of N2,997,940,010.26 with a completion period of 18 months. Also at the briefing, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that the council ratified the anticipatory approval of the President of contract for the provision of technical support with the hiring of tax consultant for the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, in order to explore ways to strengthen the non-oil revenue where it hopes to generate N2.95 trillion next year.
Presidential Villa’s visitors 1.
United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle 2. Namibian High Commissioner, Dr. Peingeonjabi Shipo 3. South African Special Envoy, Collins Chabane 4. Anambra State governor, Peter Obi 5. Professor Jerry Gana 6. Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio 7. Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji 8. Economic and Financial Crime (EFCC) Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde 9. Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke 10. Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam
Obi in defence of Anambra poll
efore the conduct of the supplementary election which took place in Anambra State last Saturday following the inconclusive November 16 gubernatorial election, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain and business mogul, Chief Arthur Eze, had accused the incumbent governor of the state, Peter Obi ,of manipulating the result of the election. Specifically, Eze alleged that Obi rigged the election in favour of his party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and its candidate, Willie Obiano, against the wishes of the people of the state. The business tycoon lamented that Obi ,who had not been able to govern Anambra State satisfactorily for eight years is seeking to bring Obiano to succeed him as governor. But Obi who was at the Presidential Villa last week denied the allegations by Eze, saying that he would never be part of rigging election or support any electoral fraud. “Let me tell you, in the election in Anambra State, I can go to any where as a christian and tell you there was no issue of
rigging. Those who wanted to rig were prevented from rigging and they are crying. “I cannot be part of rigging; I don’t have money to pay for people. You know those who spend money and I am not one of them.” “Go to the people of Anambra State, if you repeat that election ten times, they will never win. What are they even talking about cancellation? The regulation, the rules or the law says that you have to win at least 25 per cent in two-third of the local governments and in Anambra case, it is 14 local governments”, he said. According to him, only APGA can boast of such result, saying that the party won in 18 local governments while the PDP won in nine local governments and the All Progressives Congress, APC, secured seven local governments. He noted that all the results for APGA were not manipulated, stressing that the results obtained by other parties that are crying foul are doubtful.
MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-44
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Unjustified attack on schools takeover in Osun SOLA FASURE
n October 9, I was at the Heathrow Airport in London enroute Columbia, South Carolina, United States of America for a three-day Christian conference. While waiting for flight, I stumbled on an online medium stating that members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are attacking Governor Rauf Aregbesola for trying to Islamise Osun State, through the reclassification of schools. The National General Secretary of CAN, Rev Musa Asake, was reported to have called on Aregbesola to reverse the policy or face legal action. I have always had issues with CAN. In 1987, I was living in Ibadan and we were directed, through our various churches, to report at Saint James Cathedral on a Saturday morning. I joined other faithful in an interdenominational service of songs, a short prayer and some incoherent information on a looming clash with Moslems in the city and the need to be vigilant and stand for our faith. I left the venue, a bit puzzled, not quite knowing the purpose of the assembly. CAN later organised a rally and had used the congregation as bargaining chip. It would not have mattered if the military had stormed the venue and mowed us down. Many years later, I have had to decry CAN’s position on the ethno-religious vio-
lence in the North in which the body in a thinly veiled threat of reprisal asked Christians to defend themselves with arms. This is nothing but incitement to go to war. How could Christians be asked to carry guns and killing other people in self defence? I shuddered at the consideration of a Christian standing before the throne of judgement and being asked by God to defend the spilling of blood. A Christian should minister life and not death. But no one should be deceived by CAN; It is largely a body of attention seeking clerics who are out of tune with God’s instruction on how to relate in the secular world. They come across as Simon Peter wielding the sword and cutting off the ear of Malchus, the High Priest’s servant, in the failed bid to decapitate him. But this is a clear repudiation of biblical injunction that the weapons of our warfare are not worldly. The tendency to ‘fight’ for our faith and defend our God is a pitiable manifestation of weakness and lack of faith. God said he will defend us and fight our battles. I still don’t get the idea of Christian leaders thinking they can fight with secular weapon and win. Any God that needs humans to fight for him is weak. He can and will fight His battles. CAN is spiritually weak and that is why it has to resort to political means. Jesus in contrast refused to be drawn into politics. In his dying moments, he had to pray for his traducers. In 1975, the then military government took over mission schools and duly com-
IT IS MOST APPALLING THEREFORE THAT
SOME CHRISTIANS AND LEADERSHIP OF CAN
WILL RATHER HAVE THE SCHOOLS RUN DOWN AND BE CONTENT WITH A FALSE NOTION OF OWNERSHIP pensated the owners. This though did not strike me as the best judgement. If government wanted schools, it should build them. However, this is no longer the issue. That the schools now belong to government is a moot point. We are talking of 38 years ago. Are these people just waking up to realise that schools no longer belong to them? The consequence of the takeover is that they are now ‘public schools’ and not ‘Christian schools’. Their funding, admission, management and staffing have been done by the government since then. Children from Moslem and atheist homes have as much chance and right to be admitted as much as Christians. I attended Otapete Methodist Primary School in Ilesa from 1972 to 1978. My desk classmates at primary four and five were the late Simiat Olajuwon and Bilikisu Yesufu, both Moslems. Simia and I went to Methodist High School,
while Bili went to St Lawrence’s Grammar School. Of course there were other Muslim colleagues like Nurudeen Siyanbola and Muraina Audu. These are lovely people I still remember with nostalgia. I can remember vividly that it was at Otapete that I was taught of the founding of Islam, the prophet and his wife Khadijat and the Hegira flight from Mecca to Medina. There was no dispute over admitting Muslims or teaching pupils on Islam. One thing is clear: we had good education. However, public education has nosedived. Parents have lost confidence in them and private schools have emerged to take over. When Governor Rauf Aregbesola came into office 2010, it was public knowledge that only five per cent of pupils in SSS3 passed in WAEC and NECO examinations of that year to enable them matriculate into higher institutions. It is most appalling therefore that some Christians and leadership of CAN will rather have the schools run down and be content with a false notion of ownership. Governor Aregbesola should be commended for his bold initiative in schools restructuring with modern infrastructure, school uniforms, Opon Imo, and motivation of teachers.’ CAN and Baptists are fighting an unjust war. The schools are now public schools and run and maintained with taxpayers’ money. They are no longer Christian schools and not theirs anymore. They should stop living in denial. Fasure wrote from Osogbo.
MKO Airport: Ogbeni Aregbesola and posterity DOTUN BABAYEMI Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. —Harry S. Truman
had been out of town for few weeks deliberately scheduled my arrival in Osogbo on the eve of the quarterly interactive programme tagged “Ogbeni Till Daybreak” held in June this year. The programme, which is designed by the Osun State government, provides the governor the platform to render the account of stewardship while journalists and interested citizens are usually on hand to ask questions, challenge or praise the administration for good performance or on the need to sit up. As expected, the Osun Centre for Arts and Culture, Osogbo, was full to capacity but the enthusiasm and willingness to keep vigil with the governor showed a sign of understanding and acceptance of the current administration. The governor, in his usual style, did not disappoint as he took time to shed light on any grey areas related to developmental projects but what got me excited was his explanation on the proposed international airport his administration was working on and his team’s decision to name it after the late politician and philanthropist, Chief Moshood Olawale
Abiola. Abiola, though hailed from the Ogun State, but many, irrespective of their tribe, region or class benefitted from his benevolence and naming an airport after him in Osun, is a noble idea. Though I have in the news prior to that gathering of the proposed airport, it was quite re-assuring for to personally to hear it from the governor on how the administration intends to finance the project and the inherent gains of such massive project to the people. I am a citizen of the state as well as a stakeholder and having considered the economic benefits we all stand to gain, I have got no reason but to be excited about what the Aregbesola-led administration has been able to achieve so far. Despite the excitement regarding this laudable initiative, the opposition party however accused the government of wrongdoing in naming a federal government airport after Abiola, while also calling on the governor to abort the plan. The government, through its Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Sunday Akere, dismissed opposition claims saying “The MKO Abiola Airport is solely financed by the state government.” Akere’s submission seems to have stemmed the tide as regards the controversy over who will finance the said project as I am yet to see or read anything related to that debate. Events however took an unfortunate turn recently as news filtered in of a vio-
DESPITE THE EXCITEMENT REGARDING THIS
LAUDABLE INITIATIVE, THE OPPOSITION PARTY HOWEVER ACCUSED THE GOVERNMENT OF WRONGDOING IN NAMING A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AIRPORT AFTER ABIOLA,
lent clash involving indigenes of Ede and Ido-Osun in the Egbedore Local Government Area of the state over the sudden appearance of a signpost on the land being used for construction at Ido-Osun. Some disgruntled youths were said to have removed the signpost bearing the proposed International Airport and re-wrote it as Ido-Osun/Ede MKO Abiola International Airport. While the Police deserve commendation for restoring peace to the areas, it must be said that the fights over land on which the airport would be built should not be allowed to rear its ugly heads any longer. The airport belongs to every citizen of the state and all hands must be on deck to ensure a smooth completion of one of the best projects the state has ever undertaken. Already, construction works have started on the site and the company handling it, Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services, while assuring the
governor few days back that the airport would be ready in May 2014, disclosed that it would have the longest runway in the country when completed. The airport which is being built to accommodate Boeing 737 series and other big aircrafts, when completed, will not only improve the economic situation of the state but would open windows of opportunity for the state and citizen. Aregbesola and his team have done a lot in making the living condition of the people better since assumption of office through various developmental projects but the construction of the airport stands tall amongst the rest. Though great men like Obafemi Awolowo and MKO Abiola may have come and gone, their good works and legacies have outlived them and they are still being talked about today regarding the positive impact they made while here with us. At a time when it seems like what really matters to all office public holders in this part of the world is how to enrich themselves at public expense, Aregbesola’s works, no doubt, seems patterned after posterity. Babayemi wrote from Gbongan, Osun State Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Tuesday December 3, 2013
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Sack of Ghanaian minister over $1m ambition
hana is probably ahead of Nigeria in so many positive aspects of governance. She gained independence in 1957 before Nigeria. She had a focused, anti-imperialist, pan-African Head of State, Dr. Kwame Nkruma, at the time. Nigeria is yet to have one in the true sense of it till date. Under Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings as the country’s leader, subsequently, corrupt former Heads of State were executed. Nigeria never dreams of that. This time around, a minister was sacked for articulating an ambition to steal $1m dollars. President John Mahama gave the boot to the Deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Hammah, for allegedly making a statement that suggested that she was determined not to leave politics until she had made $1 million. Hammah was yet to actualize her intention when a tape in which she voiced the $1 million ambition and added: “If you have money, then you can control people”, leaked to the public. In criminal law, there are two important elements that are required to be present: a. The mental, intentional component; b. The physical, active aspect.
The Latin jargons are ‘Mens rea’ and ‘actus rea’, respectively. Indeed, the Ghana female minister’s $1 million ambition was tape-recorded by her driver. Some quotations from the tape included the following: “If you have money, then you can control people”. She was also quoted earlier as saying that corrupt politicians are the reflection of a corrupt society. The statement that wealthy people (or those who have money) control the society is largely true. Consider the game of politics in Nigeria. The concept of ‘god-father’ stems from the wealthy sponsoring candidates for elections and other kinds of political offices. No poor fellow, no matter how brilliant and educated, steps into the political arena successfully without the backing of what Nigerians call ‘money bags’. Is it not possible that Victoria Hammah was punished for speaking the plain but bitter truth? Our answer is that it is possible. Political expediency often demands that the truth be not articulated. The second quotation is probably an expression of political reality. When she stated that ‘corrupt politicians are the reflection of a corrupt society’, it probably implies that both the
December 3, 1997 In Ottawa, Canada, representatives from 121 countries signed ‘The Ottawa Treaty’ prohibiting the manufacture and deployment of antipersonnel landmines. The United States, People’s Republic of China and Russia did not sign the treaty, however. The Ottawa Treaty aims at eliminating anti-personnel landmines (APmines) around the world.
TRULY HAIL THEE UNDER PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN Ghanaian government and the Ghanaian people are corrupt. This second quotation can be true if we join this with the one that the wealthy dictates the tune in politics. Even when that assertion is not so amended, what did the larger society do to corrupt politicians? This kind of indictment of the government and the people of Ghana can be devastating. The tape was played on social media and a local radio station. Ms. Hammah was removed from office, just a day after the tape was made public. The local radio station and the social media were not castigated for making public the intention of the Ghanaian minister to embezzle public funds. Compare the scenario with Princess Stella Oduah’s authorization for the purchase of armoured cars worth N255 million. The Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, washed off
ON THIS DAY December 3, 2009 A suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, claimed the lives of 25 people, including three ministers of the Transitional Federal Government and injured about 60 others. The attack took place inside the meeting hall of the Hotel Shamo in Mogadishu during a ceremony involving medical students of the Benadir University. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber dressed as a woman.
her hands from the waiver of required custom duty for the armoured cars. The scandal that such purchase was made when the universities were closed for five months for lack of funds did not prompt the Minister of Aviation to resign. The President Goodluck Jonathan administration has also refused to sack the minister who was said to have played a major political campaign role for the Presidency in 2011. Recall that we were told that there was evidence that strongly suggested that some aspects of the car importation deal were shady. In Nigeria, the issue of intention and action are complete – ‘actus rea’ and ‘mens rea’. No criminal charge has been levied on Odua as yet. She is still waxing stronger in government. It is most probable that the whistle – blowers against the deal have been quietly reprimanded, whereas just an intention to be corrupt was punished with the sacking of a minister in Ghana. The difference is clear. In Nigeria, wholesale frauds are swept under the carpet, but the contrary is the case in Ghana. Nigeria, we truly hail thee under President Goodluck Jonathan.
December 3, 2012 At least 475 people were killed after Typhoon Bopha, made landfall in the Philippines. Typhoon Bopha (international designation: 1224, JTWC designation: 26W, PAGASA designation: Pablo) was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, making landfall as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 175 mph (280 km/h).
Release of guidelines for Micro, Takaful insurance excites stakeholders SUPER TUESDAY
Tuesday, Deember 3, 2013
he unveiling of the new National Automotive Policy by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, sometime in October, was greeted with applause by the Nigerian populace. It was rightly so, because like every policy of government, it was laced with well articulated projection about promoting investments in affordable made-in-Nigeria vehicles that will in future minimize the importation of vehicles. Articulating the policy, Aganga had said, “An automotive industry will create significant good quality employment and a wide range of technologically advanced manufacturing opportunities. This industrial base can then form the foundation for other modern advanced manufacturing activities. For example, commercial vehicle production will lead to the manufacture of agricultural, mining and railway equipment, military hardware and transport.” However, while still basking in the euphoria of the expected gains of the policy, the recent announcement by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, suggesting that come January 2014, potential car owners would have to grapple with a 70 per cent additional tariffs burden, a short-term downside, not envisaged a few months back. Prior to the announcement, the duty on fully built units of passenger cars was between 20 and 35 per cent, with that of commercial vehicles standing at 10 per cent. Now with the duty on passenger cars jacked up to 70 per cent and commercial at 30 per cent, using 35 per cent as the basis of assessment, the Federal Government may have increased tariffs on passenger cars by 100 per cent. Apart from the wave of criticisms from ordinary Nigerians who view the planned increment as a grand design to completely
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Stakeholders condemn new national carrier, want investors’ identities revealed
Anxiety trails planned hike in vehicle import tariff As with some policies of government in recent years, the planned 70 per cent increase in tariff on imported vehicles has been some anxiety among prospective buyers. OLUFEMI ADEOSUN examines how best to implement the new auto-policy without hurting the economy and by implication, worsening the poverty situation in the country.
emasculate the masses, those seriously opposed to the move are the auto dealers, particularly those dealing in used cars, popularly known as “Tokunbo”. According to them, they are the prime targets which government is hell bent to price out of business. Reacting to the new tariff, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, accused the Federal Government of insensibility to the plight of the Nigerian people, stressing that it was callous of government to come up with such increment barely two months that the policy was initiated without providing viable alternative. Omar, who spoke at a forum in Kaduna specifically, took a swipe at Okonjo-Iweala, the minister
Creating entrepreneurs, critical thinkers will solve Nigeria’s unemployment challenge –President, AUN 23
who announced the increment, describing her as an imperialist agent, who is implementing IMF and World Bank economic agenda in the country. According him, raising tariffs without providing an alternative would merely expose and put Nigerian people at the mercies of unscrupulous cars dealers who would exploit the situation to create artificial scarcity with its attendant effects on transportation. He had said, “It is lamentable that the Federal Government has again come up with a programme that has the tendency to inflict pains on the working people in Nigeria. We were told that Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance has announced a new tariff regime that
raises the charges on imported vehicles by 70 per cent. “While NLC is not opposed to new policy, we hold that coming up with a new tariff barely few weeks to its implementation without viable alternative is not proper. In the least, it would just leave Nigerian people under the grips of some unscrupulous dealers who would lash on the new tariff to create artificial scarcity.” Also commenting, an Abuja based auto dealer, Musa Ibrahim, said that the increment confirmed the aggregate opinion of the people that the present administration does not give a damn about the ordinary people. He explained that government could come up with the autoCONTINUED ON PAGE 20
Xmas: RIMIDAN warns of poor quality rice in markets
Housing shortage: Experts make case for rental houses 25
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Anxiety trails planned hike in vehicle import tariff CONTINUED FROM 19 policy without provision of infrastructure to cushion the effects because the interest of those at the corridors of powers would not be affected, claiming that they had the needed financial muscles to pay any amount as import duty. “The primary objective of government is to see to the welfare of the people. While that tenet is being upheld by governments of other nations, it is not so in Nigeria. At best, what we see at play from successive government is crash insensitivity to the plight of the people. “While the new policy may have been formulated with the good intention of rejuvenating the country’s automotive sector, government is putting the cart before the horse in its implementation. For, how best do you describe the action of government that plans 70 per cent increase in tariffs on imported vehicles comes January 2014 without any single car assembly plant in the country? How would government deal with the attendant effects on transportation system because the there is likelihood of demands outweighing supply? Until all these posers are addressed, the policy can be best described as anti-people. Reacting to a meeting between the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga and automobile importers/representatives of Equipment Manufacturers (QEMs) in which the former announced that an agreement had been reached on the implementation of the policy, the auto dealer noted that there was no difference between six and half a dozen. According to him, the big time importers and the QEMs belong to the same elitist class that stand to benefit from the policy at the expense of the ordinary Nigerians. In the same token, another auto dealer at Central Area Abuja, Mr. Ben Chukwu, accused government of insincerity, insisting that it would have considered how to sustain the existing automotive policy rather than implementing a new one which seeks to discourage importation of cars. Chukwu, who said that the new automotive policy when implemented would
WHILE THE NEW POLICY MAY HAVE BEEN FORMULATED WITH THE GOOD INTENTION OF
REJUVENATING THE COUNTRY’S AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR, GOVERNMENT IS PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE IN ITS IMPLEMENTATION definitely lead to an increase in the cost of auto cars, however called on government to put adequate measures in place to sustain the Tokunbo auto sellers. “Government is just being insincere; do they want to compare those of us selling “Tokunbo cars” with Cosharis, Toyota, Mandillas and the likes of them? If they increase the tax rate on the importation of cars, of course it will lead to increase in prices. “The kind of car I sell for N1million now will have to go for about N1.5million or more because I will have to pay the increased tax and will also want to make profit out of my transactions. But if the government wants to really address the naughty issues in the sector, they should do something about the auto industry in the country first rather
than banning and increasing tax rates on Tokunbo cars,” he said. Also commenting, Mr. Tony Maduaka, a civil servant lamented that the increase in tariffs had truncated his plans of buying a car before the middle of next year. He stated that he had been involved in contribution in the office in the last 6 months with the intention to use the money to order for a Toyota Camry, 1999 model comes early next year. According to him, his contact abroad from whom he intended to make the purchase had told him that if government goes ahead to implement the 70 per cent increase in tariffs, he might have to pay double the amount of N900,000 thousands initially charged. Lamenting, he stated, “This is my 14th
years in the service and due to some other commitments, coupled with the meagre monthly stipend, I have not been able to procure a car despite the long distance I have had to cover from my home to the office each day. Now my hope of getting one for myself is being marred due to the recently announced hike in tariffs. Another intending buyer, Mrs. Josephine Olaolu, challenged government for initiating policy that it could not subscribe to. She sought to know how many government officials patronise made-in-Nigeria goods in which the country has competitive edge, not to talk about vehicles manufacturing in which it lacks basic expertise. Olaolu, who accused those in government of hypocrisy, stated that people have had to constantly doubt the sincerity of government because it preaches one thing and does the other. Citing the issue of the two armoured cars purchased by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah as a case in point, she derisively asked if such cars would also be produced locally or government would, as usual, ask for a waiver, which ordinary Nigerians could not enjoy.
NDIC blames non-collection of failled bank deposits on low awareness TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND UDO ONYEKA UYO
he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, has lamented the poor response of depositors of failed banks to collect their insured deposits to low awareness. The Corporation said it was determined to reverse the ugly trend in its renewed awareness campaigns strategies as key component of its visionary drives as a re-branded, depositor-focused regulatory institution. Disclosing this yesterday at the Annual Workshop for Business Editors and Finance Cor-
respondents under the aegis of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, FICAN, at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the Corporation’s Executive Director, Operations, Prince Aghatise Erediauwa, noted that lack of public awareness about the Corporation’s mandate remained of one of the big challenges that would be frontally tackled as the Board and management embark on implementing the core values of the re-branding agenda. He said: “The major responsibility of NDIC is to ensure that depositors are promptly paid. But for you to be paid you have to come forward. Many of the depositors do not turn up to collect their insured deposits
and the money that is set aside remains there in the account at the CBN.” “In spite of the substantial budget that is allocated for public awareness, the level of awareness about NDIC and its activities is still less than satisfactory. We spend a lot of money advertising in the media, including the print, radio, television and other channels of communication, yet public awareness about what we do is still low,” Erediauwa added. According to him, unless the corporation is able to increase the percentage of insured deposits paid out to failed banks’ customers, it would not consider its performance excellent,
hence the determination to do more in awareness creation about its mandate. Expatiating, the Corporation’s Director pointed out that “we gauge our success as a deposit insurer on what percentage of the amount set aside has been paid out. But if people do not come out to collect their money no matter how well we perform on other functions of the corporation, we can still note say we have performed well. “Looking at all these challenges we felt that the role of the NDIC has evolved over time and to bring it in line with our functions it would be necessary to rebrand the NDIC, he said.
It will be recalled that the Corporation said it had paid a total of N6.82 billion to 528,212 insured depositors of closed banks as at June 20, 2013, compared to the N6.68 billion paid to 527,942 depositors as at December 31, 2011. This implies that in 18 months, the corporation paid only N140 million as insured deposits to 270 depositors. Erediauwa said the re-branding initiative was part of the Corporation’s strategic re-engineering measure aimed at reviewing the process, procedures and systems of the corporation in order to effectively discharge its statutory roles in the financial services sector.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Xmas: RIMIDAN warns of poor quality rice in markets MESHACK IDEHEN
he Chairman of Rice Millers Importers Association of Nigeria, RIMIDAN, Mr. Tunji Owoeye, has warned that the continued smuggling of low quality rice into the Nigerian market is frustrating efforts at increasing local production of rice
in line with recent government policy initiatives. This is just as price of imported rice soared ahead of the Yuletide season. He said rice farmers have also threatened to stop rice cultivation, as the millers and processors are no longer buying from them, saying processors stopped buying because they could no longer com-
pete with the smuggled imported rice. Speaking on Monday, Owoeye explained that the price of rice is soaring at a very alarming rate, as a good brand of 50 kilogramme presently costs N13,000, adding the reason could be the fear that prices of rice will further go up as Christmas and New Year festivities approach.
L-R: Senior Counsel, International Chamber of Commerce, ICC Court of Arbitration, Paris, Mr. Tunde Ogunseitan; Chairman, ICC Nigeria, ICCN, Mr. Babatunde Savage, and Secretary General, ICCN, Mrs. Olubunmi Osuntuyi, at the Dinner, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the ICC Court of Arbitration, in Lagos recently.
NCC allays stakeholders’ fear on licensing of InfraCos KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Nigerian Communications Commission has dispelled the fears among industry stakeholders that government would have equity in the six telecoms infrastructure companies, InfraCos, to be licensed by the regulator. The InfraCos, one of which is planned to be licensed to operator in each of the six geo-political zones in the country, are to facilitate the deployment of inter-city backbone infrastructure that would drive broadband service provisioning. Speaking at this year’s Telecoms Executive and Regulator’s Forum orgainsed by the association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria ATCON, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the firms would owned by private individuals. According to him, “Let me make it clear that there is nothing to fear about regarding the planned licensing of InfraCos. We have learnt that there are fears being expressed in some quarters that government subsidy to newly licensed infrastructure providers could negate liberalisation and competition thereby discouraging private investors does not exist. “We, therefore, want to assure everybody in the industry that
government has no equity in the infrastructure service providers but it is simply providing incentives to fast track the deployment of services in Nigeria,” he said. Meanwhile, in a communiqué issued by ATCON and signed by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Ajibola Olude, stakeholders at the forum agreed that that broadband is top of the agenda of world economies and Nigeria cannot be left out. The participants, who noted that to fast-track the success of the InfraCos, the of right of way challenges must be sorted out, also called for the need to telecoms infrastructure as national infrastructure and which must be protected. According to the communiqué, participants also agreed that multiple taxation too needs to be sorted out, even as they suggested that power distribution companies which already had right of way can be encouraged to join the competition to provide broadband access to their customers. It was also agreed that “The regulator should jumpstart the open access model and places a price cap on services offered; that the pricing of infrastructure providers will be published so as to curb unfair competition and that vertically structure firms/GSM firms cannot completely own infrastructure companies, so they cannot control the market.”
According to him, smuggled imported rice cost about N10,000 in the open market, while locally produced rice cost as much as N13, 000. The quality of the smuggled rice, according to him, is of low grade. The RIMIDAN chairman noted that despite the pledge by the Federal Government to protect local rice farmers by discouraging importation of rice that the smuggling of imported rice yet remains a booming business across the nation’s borders, a situation that has now prompted the local rice farmers to cry out for help from government. Bemoaning the fact that rice smugglers have overrun the Customs officials at the borders, he added that since the imported rice in the market do not go through official channels like the Customs and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), that all imaginable types are now smuggled in. “It is a situation of anything goes that is available in the markets place now; most of them (bags of rice) are re-bagged in Nigeria and of very low quality standards. Some rice in the market has become so tasteless, no matter how well the stew or soup is prepared.
“The fall out of current policy on rice policy therefore is an influx of sub standard rice into the Nigerian market and this is very dangerous to the health and well being of the Nigerian consumers”, he added. Speaking in the same vein, local growers under the aegis of Patriotic Rice Association of Nigeria, (PRAN), said massive and incessant smuggling of rice into Nigeria has thrown the rice industry into turmoil with severe consequences for government revenues, the economy and future plans for rice self-sufficiency. Chairman and Secretary of PRAN, Alhaji Habibu Maishinkafa, and Mr. Martins Okereke, told National Mirror given the free reign enjoyed by rice smugglers that a bleak future lies ahead of local rice growers and traders legitimately involved in rice trade. “The Nigerian rice industry seems to have been thrown into a turmoil since the import tariffs were increased exponentially effective January 2013. Matters got complicated further with the reported inability of Nigerian Customs to control smuggling of rice across the country’s borders with Benin.
FG commissions 2 x 15MVA injection substation at Apo CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Federal Government has commissioned a double 15MVA injection substation at Apo in Abuja as part of its projects to improve electricity distribution networks and adequate power supply across the country. In his address, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, Mr James Olotu at the commissioning ceremony yesterday assured Nigerians of improved power supply saying, “With these distribution projects, we assure Nigerians that the power will get to our individual homes and businesses.” Olotu also noted that four gen-
eration plants under the National integrated Power Projects, NIPPs, are now completed. “Four of the NIPPs are ready for commissioning. We are just doing housekeeping work in order to make sure that everything is according to contract and they are able to produce the kind of power that Nigerians want,” Olotu said. The 2 x 15MVA 33/11KV NIPP Injection Substation has two working feeders out of the six-capacity feeder which the Abuja Disco might be required to increase and connect the remaining four to its network in order to ensure customers get stable power supply. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who commissioned the substation tasked the new own-
er of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, KANN Consortium on optimal performance in enhancing power supply. Nebo said, “For Abuja disco, we expect the best, we expect you will pick the leadership. Abuja is the first one, and we ensure that we will have 24/7 power supply in the next few months and that is why all these projects are being commissioned.” Earlier, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Philip Aduda expressed hopes of improvement with the new substation decried poor power evacuation capacity of Abuja Disco saying, “I am aware that adequate power is given to Abuja disco but unfortunately to evacuate it becomes a problem.”
ActionAid cautions Nigeria on GM crops legislation TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
pparently concerned about the need to do a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the new drive for Genetically Modified, GM, crops in the country, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, has urged the Federal Government to conduct extensive researches on the new technologydriven farming concept before endorsing any pact with multinationals or organisations now promoting it in the country. The NGO, maintained this position when it appeared before the House Committee on Agriculture as part its public advocacy pro-
grammes during the deliberation on the concept before the Committee. Azubike Nwokoye, AAN’s Food and Agriculture Program Advisor, in his presentation before the Committee, argued that since majority of the Nigerians depend on agriculture as source of income and livelihoods, and smallholder food production is also key to food security, there was need for caution the part of government to critically weigh the benefits and the ills of the concept to the economy in the long run before endorsing it. Specifically, he listed some of the fears of the NGO and other experts in the new alliance as re-
lating to issue of land grabbing by foreign mechanised farmers and investors who will turn Nigeria into GM crops haven to the detriment of small holder farmers who may lose their land to foreigners, and the health effects GM food may have on the people, animals and the seeds on the soil, among others. Actionaid said part of the challenges that may be expected in the alliance is unprecedented access for multinational companies to resources in Africa and to have access to cash under the initiative, African governments have to make far-reaching changes to their land seed and farming policies.
Business & Finance
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
New charges: We’re prepared to Amazon testing unmanned drones for deliveries A meet NAMA today –Airlines OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he new Chairman of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Capt. Nogie Meggison, has said that the umbrella body of indigenous airline operators in the country is prepared to meet with the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, over the recent introduction of new charges for non-scheduled airline operators. He said that before the meeting with NAMA in Abuja today (Tuesday), all AON members were expected to meet in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, yesterday to iron out the grey areas in the new policy of the Government. Speaking with aviation correspondents in his office at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos yesterday, Meggison explained that the meeting would afford the AON members to speak with one voice, just as he assured
that NAMA would shift grounds for it on the new charges. NAMA had over a week ago introduced new charges to the nonscheduled operators. NAMA, in an Aeronautical Information Circular, AIC, to the airlines, said that henceforth, all foreign registered aircraft engaging in non-scheduled operations would pay $3,000 before departure as fee for every departure except round trips without changes in passenger manifest or return ferry. Also, all registered Nigerian aircraft that engage in non-scheduled operations would henceforth pay $2,500 prior to every departure. NAMA had said that the upward review was in compliant with Section 30(2) (9) and (s) of the Civil Aviation Act of 2006. The agency stressed that the fees were inclusive of landing, parking, navigation and terminal navigation charges, adding that the fees would be charged in respect of the first 10 hours after
which additional parking fees would apply Meggison said, “I am aware of the new charges introduced by NAMA recently. Since I came into office, I’ve had a meeting with NAMA management and I am equally going to Abuja today (yesterday) to have a pre-meeting with AON members. We want to speak with one voice and as a body. “I know NAMA is going to look at it again from the professional view. I have been in this industry for 32 years and the current Managing Director, NAMA, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh has been in the sector for 25 years. I know him, just as he knows me. I know that in the near future, both parties would work like professionals.” On the other vacate positions in the new executives, Meggison assured that elections would be conducted to fill the vacant positions, saying that those positions were not filled because no one obtained forms to vie for those positions.
L–R: Managing Director, Radac Communications/MultiChoice Mega Dealer, Mr. Ifeanyi Onyibo; General Manager, GOtv, Mrs. Elizabeth Amkpa; Marketing Manager, Mr. Dare Kafar and PR Manager, Miss Efe Obiomah at a press conference to unveil the GOtv festive offer, GOcarry am at the weekend.
Jonathan seeks investors in palm products industry
resident Goodluck Jonathan has called on stakeholders to explore available investment opportunities in palm produce industry in Nigeria taking advantage of investment friendly climate and various incentives that have been put in place by the present administration He made the call as declared open the 1st International Palm Produce Conference (IPPC) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The three-day conference which was jointly organised by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has as its theme “In-
vestment in oil palm and its derivatives, a panacea for economic growth and sustenance” In his address, read on his behalf by the Hon. Minister of State for industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, President Jonathan pointed out that the aim of the landmark conference was to bring together global stakeholders to share ideas on new technological development and ways of improving the quality and availability of palm produce in order to maximize the growing investment opportunities in both domestic and international palm produce trade. He expressed satisfaction with the timing of the conference because, according to him, it was holding at a time when the gov-
ernment has put in place all necessary policies to create enabling environment and framework for sustainable business and economic growth in agriculture commodities such as the oil palm where we have significant comparative advantage. He said, “As one of our cardinal goals under the Transformation Agenda, we are unrelenting in our effort to explore and unlock the enormous potentials of our agriculture. We are doing this through the rapid transformation of key agriculture value chains in order to meet our objective of adding additional 20 million metric tonnes of food to the domestic supply by 2015 and stimulate the creation of over 3.5 million jobs along the agriculture value chains.
mazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos says. The drones, called Octocopters, could deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order, he said. However, he added that it could take up to five years for the service to start. The US Federal Aviation Administration is yet to approve the use of unmanned drones for civilian purposes. “I know this looks like science fiction, but it’s not,” Mr Bezos told CBS television’s 60 Minutes programme. “We can do half-hour delivery... and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86 per cent of the items that we deliver.”
From a technology point of view, we’ll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place” The service will be called Prime Air and comes as Amazon is looking to improve its efficiency to boost growth. Amazon also posted a video on its website showing a drone picking up a package from one of its warehouses and delivering it to the doorstep of a customer’s house. However, it still has to wait for permission from US regulators. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of drones for police and government agencies, issuing about 1,400 permits over the past several years. Civilian air space is expected to be opened up to all kinds of drones in the US by 2015 and in Europe by 2016.
MTN rewards customer loyalty on Callertunez subscriptions KUNLE A ZEEZ
igeria’s largest telecoms service provider, MTN, has rewarded over 20 loyal subscribers, on its Callertunez service in line with its promise to continue its subscribers. One of the MTN subscribers who was rewarded was Ekechukwu Solomon, a young hair-stylist, operating in Orile-Iganmu, Lagos, who went home with highend Huawei smartphones for using the MTN Callertunez. Amarachi Ndukwe Adajare, Shittu Nosiru, Abdulsalami Ismail, Ubani Isaac, Francis Ifeanyi and Kemi Olayiwola, were amongst those who collected their prizes on Wednesday, while a total of 2,000 winners will emerge from the promo, in December. Caller tunes from songs such
as “Pull Over” by Kcee, “Skelewu” by Davido, “Baby Mi Da” by Tuface Idibia featuring Victor Olaiya, “You Will Never Know Failure Again” by Pastor Adeboye and “Miracle In My Life” by Ngozi Okeke and Comedy by Bovi, were the caller tunes that won prizes for the subscribers. While handing over the prizes to the lucky winners, the Manager, Value Added Services Proposition and Promotions, MTN, Omotayo George, reiterated MTN’s commitment towards rewarding customer loyalty as Yuletide begins. “MTN has resolved to bring smiles to the faces of many people this festive period through music and other melodious tunes. MTN has provided this platform so as to meet the customers at their passion points even as they are spread across the country,” she said.
Edo Fadama Office disburses N500m to beneficiaries
he Edo State Fadama Office said on Monday that it had disbursed more than N500 million to beneficiaries of the project from January 2011 to date. The state Project Coordinator, Mrs. Judith Momodu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin that 16,979 males and 10,897 females had so far benefitted from the project. Momodu said that the office had registered 151 Fadama Community Associations and 1, 566 Fadama Cooperative Groups, including two Fadama federated bodies as at November 2013. She explained that the state started disbursement in 2011 due to some challenges, adding that the project had provided support in the areas of productive activities, technical assistance and investment in assets.
She said the project has recorded huge success with a total number of 1,626 projects implemented across the state. “We have disbursed more than N500 million to beneficiaries of Fadama III project across the state. The office has also registered 151 Fadama Community Associations and 1,566 Fadama Users Groups. “The programme is financed by the World Bank, federal, state and local governments and beneficiary communities across the nation. “Each Fadama III state has a total amount of 7.85 million dollars to draw down within the period of five years of the project. “Any state that is not able to draw down her allocation may forfeit it to other states that are able to draw down their allocation and more within the project life,’’ she said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
How to solve Nigeria’s unemployment problem –President, AUN
Every year, American University Nigeria, AUN, organises jobs and career fair for graduating students and establish professionals with the aim of addressing unemployment. President of the university, Dr. Margee Ensign, tells MESHACK IDEHEN in this interview that Nigeria will become economically developed, if critical thinking in tertiary learning can be adopted in the country’s educational sector. What is AUN aiming to achieve with its annual jobs and career fair? In the main, a career fair aims to bring job seekers and employers together, and of course, everyone understands that the need for jobs and career fairs in the community, the state at national and international levels is definite, but AUN does so much beyond that. As a graduate student or even an establish professional, If you are unemployed, that affects so many areas of your life. Hence, the fair will provide a range of employment opportunities and gives new perspective. AUN jobs and career fairs also helps job seekers get prepared and become competitive in the job market. Employers of many types have positions to fill. That’s why it is important to have a career fair with a bunch of different employers with different needs. The career fair is opportunities to bring businesses together and for people who need employment to get out there. There always are people seeking employment, a better job or a different job.”It’s both good for the business and good for the job prospects. How would you describe the mission of the university, with the emphasis towards its objective of creating entrepreneurs that can drive Nigeria’s economy? The driving mission of AUN have and will always be towards fostering the creation of leaders committed to sustaining a global democracy in which people from all background share in the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, proficient in creating and applying technology to wise purpose, and dedicated to securing a humane and prosperous world. The emerging global economy belongs to and resides in Africa. AUN’s mission as a university that have long recognised that reality, includes becoming a place where students’ dreams become the continents future’ where lives are transformed for service and leadership to Africa and the world. The university will continually focus on remaining the Development University for Africa; retain and recruit faculty with the highest standards of academic excellence devoted to teaching, research and mentoring students to solve societal problems. Apart from providing a veritable platform for job seekers, potential entrepreneurs and employers to interact, what should job seekers and participants hope to achieve during these fairs? It is not only job seekers that usually avail themselves of the opportunities that these fairs provide. Those that are interested in self employment are also around
to assess information, resources and opportunities available. The opportunities also allow recruiters and employers to disseminate information to their target audience about career prospects and opportunities’ in their sectors. Remember this move is part of a corporate social responsibility that contributes to sustainable national development through educating the unemployed on job and career opportunities; while orientating participants at the same time on the alternative means of engagement through self employment and creating awareness of entrepreneurship opportunities in various sectors of the economy.” Career coaches, accomplished business owners and entrepreneurs are usually listed as key speakers who address participants comprising the unemployed; fresh graduates and even recruiters. Is the alleged decline in the quality of tertiary education in the country responsible for the increased challenged in getting employment? There is no doubt that to a large and reasonable extent that education; its standards and enforcement; at the tertiary level have reduced considerably in the past decades, and there should be no shying away from that reality or pretending about it. In any case, it has to be said that the decline in the quality and application of tertiary education in Nigeria is not just limited to the education sector alone. And may not be directly responsible for challenges in getting employment. However, this noticed decline in standard and mis -application of tertiary education knowledge has also greatly affected every facet of our national lives as a people, and it is obvious that we as a country are yet to get out of the woods Nevertheless, as far as the educational sector in Nigeria is concerned, I can opine that multiple factors can easily identified as being primarily responsible for Nigeria’s inability to reap or benefit from the innumerable advantages that the provision and application of qualitative tertiary education provides a nation. I can safely say also that the regular reversal of government policies concerning the sector; the inconsistent criteria for regulating and promoting education and skilled learning in Nigeria, alongside the unstable tenureship of the leadership of government ministries and agencies administering the sector, as some of the challenges the education sector is facing in Nigeria. Moreso, on the part of the universities or tertiary institutions themselves, the challenges of putting lasting structures in
AUN JOBS AND CAREER FAIRS ALSO HELPS JOB SEEKERS GET PREPARED AND BECOME
COMPETITIVE IN THE JOB MARKET.
EMPLOYERS OF MANY TYPES HAVE POSITIONS TO FILL. THAT’S WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A CAREER FAIR WITH A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT EMPLOYERS WITH DIFFERENT NEEDS place that can provide qualitative administration; the virus of corruption that has also found its way into some universities in Nigeria and the non display of commitment to responsibilities by academic and non academic workers within the system may have also contributed to the decline in the provision of quality tertiary education in Nigeria. Alongside that is the question of the incessant strike and industrial agitations by the various unions also within the education and university communities in Nigeria, coupled with the activities of anti social elements; like cultism and including the absence of adequate and qualified professors; the issues of poor remuneration and welfare packages commonplace amongst within tertiary institutions in Nigeria, and which have also made many of the lecturers and professors in some public owned tertiary institutions resort to the sales of handouts and other financially profiting, but not academically rewarding activities. These are some of the major challenges. Having highlighted some, if not all of the problems confronting tertiary education in Nigeria, what then can you say is the difference that the American University
Nigeria is bringing on board towards the development of tertiary education in Nigeria? As far as the American University Nigeria is concerned, the vision, mission and purpose of the university is daily manifested in the direction the university is going in the past few years since the university was established. In the quest towards making a difference in developing Nigeria, AUN’s emphasis is; and has been on the use and deployment of the latest technologies that is geared towards creating world class entrepreneurs, alongside global business and political leaders that can positively change the world. At the American University Nigeria, the vision of entrepreneurially developing Nigeria; and the quest to become a great centre of learning and research for Nigeria, West Africa and the continent, and also to be and remain a catalyst for development within the international community is strong and committed to. AUN is a development university, honouring the traditional roles of universities as custodians of universal education and learning, and as the repository and transmitter of culture and knowledge, and a melting pot for the creation of new knowledge.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Ways to improve employee’s productivity
ver given thought to how you can improve your productivity and that of your employees? Do you want to improve your work place productivity but you don’t know how to go about it? Here are some tips to help in that aspect. Make all employees accountable for their goals and their assignments- Don’t give generic orders; be specific. Delegate duties to individuals and make sure the individual understands the responsibility involved with the task; make sure he/she understands that the accountability of that task rests solely on his/her shoulders. Before you assign a task, know the facts of the situation and the facts about the staffers who will do the work. Make recommendations and give directions in specific terms with recognisable objectives. Give as few orders as
possible. Ensure that you follow up with them about progress at various stages- Don’t delegate duties and go to sleep; follow up on task delegated to ensure effective output. If you can’t follow up; then delegate the role or hire a supervisor to take your place. Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite. Effective leadership is not about making great speeches or being liked, leadership is defined by results, not by attributes. Avoid micro managing while managing people; remember they are humans, not machines- You must provide the best working environment for your employees if you are serious about improving productivity. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.
Don’t encourage overtime. Tell your people that the best way to impress you is to do a great job in the time allotted for it and then go home and relax. Encourage, reward, motivate and recognize all jobs well done- Nothing inspires an employee more than a big thank you hug from the boss; it makes an employee feel important and that employee will strive to repeat the feat that earned him/her the hug. Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. I want people moving and shaking the earth and they are going to make mistakes. Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish. Reward worthy failure – Experimentation. Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate
Employees during office hours
ealthcare management specialists being bought by Avon Healthcare Limited leads the pack in available job vacancies for this week. According to the company, positions for providers and clients service managers, case managers, care coordinators, preventive and wellness officers, managers for enrolment and eligibility and eligibility management officers are all on offer The position for the group head, marketing and insight, a marketing analyst, sales managers, senior sales executives, sales executive, group head, customers service client service manager, and manager, contact centre are also on offer. All interested applicants are to visit www.avonhealthcare.com for details of the various jobs and their description. International recruiter, John Snow Incorporated, in implementing the USAID deliver project, said positions for a senior logistics and logistics advisor in public health, and a direct
someone; don’t keep it secret. Reach out to all the employees working for you- Let them know their welfare is your concern; show them love and care, treat them like human beings. Kindness is more powerful than compulsion. The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity. Set realistic and achievable targets for the workers- Setting goals or targets for your employees improves their productivity, effectiveness and efficiency but make sure the goals are attainable. Remember, not even a machine is 100 percent efficient. Don’t expect the humans who work for you to be. Encourage team work for better results- Don’t allow your employees to work in isolation all the time. You must teach your employees the importance of inspiring each other even in your absence. Teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as a well motivated individual. The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison. The productivity of a work group seems to depend on how the group members set their own goals in relation to the goals of the organization.” – Ken Blanchard Make sure that people enjoy their work and are happy to come to work every day- In fact, make your working environment a happy environment. Encourage enthusiasm among your
workers. To be happy, make other people happy. If you are interested in balancing work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable.” – Donald Trump Do not let a task become monotonous and boring-Break work place monotony by strategically rotating people in different jobs, but according to their capability and expertise. My definition of an executive’s job is brief and straight to the point. It’s simply this: Getting things done through other people. Sponsor your employees for courses; send them to programs that will help them improve their skills. Examples are trainings meant to improve employee’s skills in sales, customer service, communication, public relations, and productivity. Do not primarily train men to work. Train them to serve willingly and intelligently. Do not waste too much time behind closed doors, spending hours in meetings when that time can be spent on delivering results- Schedule your time and stick to it. Effective time management is vital to increasing productivity. It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste. Make sure that you provide your employees with time saving and efficiency enhancing devices like- Laptops and tablet computers, smart phones and PDA, Access to latest applications and software, Bluetooth to stay connected. Source: www.forbes.com
Job vacancies delivery information capture coordinators for two states are available. Interested and qualified applicants are urged to send resumes and cover letters to ddic_ sc.jsi.com From new entrants into the beverage industry are positions for a general manager, a human resource and administration manager, a chief accountant, and deputy production manager. Other posts that are available are those for production analysts, production supervisor, accounting officers, automobile technicians amongst other. Candidates are urged to send resumes and cover letters to firstname.lastname@example.org A multinational operating in the oil and gas sector said the positions for a material coordinator, a junior material officer, instruments and control engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers amongst several others are on offer. All applications are to be sent email@example.com
From www.findjobafrica. com is the position for a General Manager that is expected to be based in Lagos and will be responsible for providing and implementing business strategies for the organisation. The incoming general manager will also provide leadership and guidance to key departments within the organisation. Drive business strategy to achieve short term and long term business objectives. Responsible for driving and ensuring actualisation of financial goals. Qualifications required are a bachelor’s degree in a business related field. Still from www. Findjobafrica.com is the post for the Head of Valuation in a firm in Lagos. The incoming will be responsible for the valuation of properties taking into consideration many factors, which collectively embrace the principles and practice of good property asset management and responsibility for the effective performance of valuation duties. He/she will also be responsible for assisting in the sourcing of
property information such as title deed descriptions, surveyor or general diagrams, municipal data on valuations on town planning zoning and market intelligence in relation to rental statistics and yields for various property types. Required as qualifications for the position is a bachelor’s degree in estate management or related field. Strong interpersonal and public relations skills. Excellent supervisory and leadership skills. Well organized. Problem solving abilities. Proactive Good attention to details and accuracy. Ability to relate at all levels, amongst other skills. The position for a Field Application Scientist (HID / Forensics) to be based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is available from Life Technologies. www.findjobafrica which is doing the recruiting said the field applications scientist are to work within the HID (Forensics) team to provide customer support and training to a growing number of customers as the business continues to develop in South Africa.
Other responsibilities are to ensure complete customer satisfaction by coordinating on-site technical support on entire worklow from sample collection to data analysis, such as lab setup consultancy, training, troubleshooting, and remote follow up in the territory of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) He/she will also be responsible for maintaining up to date technical expertise as develop a profound domain knowledge by establishing contacts to internal resources, third-party companies involved in the implementations, generate customers reference sites, and become strong internal Voice of Customer. Qualifications for the position are a PhD or comparable education in appropriate science subject with relevant experience. High degree of technical competence & confidence and ability to interface with the corresponding community of the markets to the highest level. Excellent communication & presentation skills. Willingness to travel internationally.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Real Estate & Environment firstname.lastname@example.org 08033312578
Police Housing Estate, Idimu, Lagos.
Considering high price tags placed on housing units in the market and low-income of majority of Nigerians, experts in the sector are making a case for alternative option, which is rental houses, to provide accommodation for this category of low-income people. They also suggest solutions to the nation’s housing shortage. DAYO AYEYEMI writes.
hile the Federal Government is battling with problems of housing shortage and seeking ways on how to house its citizens, especially the low-income and middle income earners, experts in the sector have called on the authorities to embark massively on rental houses to reduce homelessness among Nigerians. They base their suggestion on the premise that most low-income earners, owing to their low minimum wage of N17,000 and job insecurity, may not be able to afford high price tags on available houses in the market. Speaking with the National Mirror, First Vice President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Dr. Joshua Patunola-Ajayi, said the solution remains in rental houses, urging government to partner the private sector to build more houses for rental purposes. According to him, rent collected from such scheme would be used to pay the loan of private partners. He said, “I believe much in housing for rent. All these houses that government is building should not be sold. Government should make sure that
Housing shortage: Experts make case for rental houses
when the project is kick-starting, an estate surveyor is available so that as you are finishing the project, he is taking tenant to it and managing it. “The rent collected will be used to pay the loan of private partners. We should look for this area because not everybody can buy a house. The cleaners, where will they get money to buy houses? But they can rent a studio room and graduate to two-bedroom apartment later.” To boost supply, real estate developers were urged to give more attention to house-ownership/rental options for vibrant housing market. Justifying the call at different fora in Lagos, experts in the building environment explained that it was erroneous to think that all households would need owner-occupier housing, stating that rental housing has been and would continue to be the bulk provider of housing for the lower income groups. Speaking during the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria’s Housing Finance and Investment Conference and Exhibition, HOFEX 2013, penultimate week, Chief Executive Officer of MCS Consulting, Afolabi Imoukhuede, emphasised the
need for rental houses to bridge the nation’s deficit of 17 million units. He also canvassed functional design of houses, saying that house designs that minimise cost and enhance utility must be encouraged, while the market should target the low and middle income earners requiring housing. He said, “To boost housing supply, the following key elements should also guide developers: affordability, target market must be the low and middle-income earners that are the teeming population requiring housing; end-user driven initiatives through the use of cooperatives, trade groups etc.; house ownership/rental option -both options must be developed to promote a vibrant housing market.” In his presentation on “Critical Role of Real Estate Developers in Housing Supply Value-Chain,” Imoukhuede described a real estate developer as the intermediary between development end-users and the construction companies According to him, real estate developers are very central to a development process that is interactive, long-term and cooperative, adding that the output of the above definition will result in a “planned
TO BOOST SUPPLY, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS WERE URGED TO GIVE MORE ATTENTION TO HOUSE-OWNERSHIP/RENTAL OPTIONS FOR VIBRANT HOUSING MARKET
community,” that includes infrastructure planning and provision, often as joint effort of the developer and the public sector. “This provides economies of scale and balanced building mix: residential, commercial, retail and industrial,” he said. In Nigeria, he stated that reports had shown that private sector property developers contribute about 80 per cent of the total housing supply, pointing out that the negative draw-back was that housing units provided are usually out of the reach of the low-income families To increase supply, he maintained that the Land Use Act must be reviewed to allow easy access to land, and that access to construction finance and mortgages must be enhanced, while the public sector should invest in infrastructure provision to reduce cost of houses. He also canvassed reduction in the cost of building materials. He cited the case of United States of America during the post World War II, saying Americans suffered from severe housing shortage and that in 1949, the Housing Act was passed by Congress to allow “a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family” “Thus, the Congress passed legislation which actively subsidised the construction of new housing and highway by authorising billions of dollars for the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, the Veterans Administration and the Federal National Mortgage Association. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Housing shortage: Experts make case for rental houses CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 According to him, the Federal Housing Redevelopment Act 1954 guaranteed mortgages and subsidised veterans with loans at low interest, in addition to supporting urban renewal; and that the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 established the 40,000 mile national system of highways. The results of these initiatives by the American government, he said produced a government-subsidised mass exodus to new suburbs. He said, “With the Federal Government subsidised suburban growth, came the residential incentive for developers to promote suburban living by building outside the city, centres with the availability of relatively inexpensive land. “Soon, new metropolitan-area housing was in great demand; small-town suburbans grew into giant settlements…by the 1960s the suburban population of the United States dramatically increased from 35 million to 84 million.” Listing the importance of housing to the economy, Founder and President, First World Communities Limited, Brig.-Gen PMO Reis (rtd), said it contributes to the economy, GDP, through the economic impact of new housing development and consumption spending from housing services. He stated that housing-need indicators show that over 200,000 teachers, over 250,000 police personnel, over 500,000 public servants at state and federal levels, over 500,000 students, over 200,000 military personnel and millions in the informal sector require housing. Suggesting how the country can promote sustainable largescale affordable housing delivery, he stated that sector needed to be organised while a workable framework should be in place. According to him, the industry would need a non-operating regulator under the Ministry of Housing, but sufficiently independent, to ensure accreditation of development agents, monitoring of housing delivery, evaluation of housing delivery technologies and monitoring of the off-
take support. He said, “Affordability Gap Finance – An off-take support facility-will be used to deliver a maximum 40 per cent matching contribution on the delivery price of the house to the consumer, which would be repayable by the consumer at five per cent per annum over 10 years. “The facility will be administered by accredited PMI’s, who would be fund custodians. The Funds would be accumulated via Federal government occasional subvention, foreign investment, grants, dormant funds, unclaimed dividends, and funds under dispute.” Based on a sustainability review each year, he said the regulator would make a statement on the budget for off-take support for the year; while development agents under a mass housing scheme would be accredited by the regulator to ensure competence, compliance with approved building techniques, compliance with National House Building Standards and to avoid diversion of off-take support funds into premium housing. To earn access to the Federal Affordability Gap Finance, he explained that the state government would be required to contribute free/ cheap land for the mass
housing projects; standardise title documents and transfer costs and to ensure delivery of base infrastructure such as drains, sewage, roads and lighting for estates and new towns. “The states are also expected to support the developer in addressing local regulation and bureaucracy; and guaranteed purchase of at least 10 per cent of the delivered housing units within their state for citizens,” he said. Reis is of the opinion that policy development should remain the responsibility of the government ministry. According to him, construction industry is by nature labour intensive, employing extensive skilled labourers, pointing out that dearth of skilled manpower in the industry was due to minimal efforts directed towards capacity building in this sector. To achieve government’s goal of developing two million houses in the next three years, the founder of First World Limited said there must be a plan for providing
Why PPP projects failed in Nigeria –NIQS boss DAYO AYEYEMI
he President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, Mr. Agele Alufohai, has attributed deficient procurement and poor project packaging as the major cause of the failure of Public Private Partnerships, PPPs, in Nigeria. Alufohai, in his goodwill message at the 25th Biennial Conference/ General Meeting, on the theme: “Nigeria’s Quest for Investment and Growth: Releasing the Potential of Construction Sector Public Private Partnership”, held in Abuja recently, noted that Nigeria had not been able to properly initiate many PPP projects despite the crucial need for infrastructure. Noting that PPP can make a significant contribution to creating wealth and improving the living conditions of Nigerians, the NIQS boss posited that the problem with PPP in Nigeria could be eradicated when the government at different levels, investors and professional associations work
together to enhance the governance of the projects. He said, “PPP could help to reduce corruption in infrastructure procurement, because many parties are involved; the government, developers, financiers, users rather than just government and contractors that are involved in government procurement”. The NIQS President in his valedictory speech dedicated his tenure as the 21st President of the institute to Messrs Linus Tunde Adekunle and late Emmanuel Oforeh, confidants and mentors, whom he described as bosses who showed him the ropes of the profession. He also thanked his family, past presidents, and members of the NIQS for their invaluable support and encouragement. He pleaded with all members to continue to participate enthusiastically in the affairs of the Institute whether at the chapter or national level and urged the incoming president and National Executive Council to strive in moving the institute and the profession to even greater heights.
sufficient skilled manpower to execute the projects, adding that most of the employment generated by the projects would go to neighbouring country nationals if there is no plan in place. To enhance capacity building, Reis called for reactivation of technical and craft schools owned by the Federal Ministry of Lands and Urban Development to train workers in connection with the Ministries of Labour and Education. He also called for design and rollout of a comprehensive retraining exercise for existing artisans, tied to participation in the projects. He stated that with a well-planned government intervention, some of this infrastructure such as central sewage systems, power supply, connecting roadways, among others ,could be built into the shared infrastructure of the living environment. Government’s intervention in infrastructure development, he said, would reduce the cost of the individual house, and improve the quality of the living environment. To encourage sustainable housing delivery in Nigeria, Reis maintained that government would need to strive to create a condusive operating environment for all links in the value chain to prosper. According to him, such enabling environment must encompass building materials, import duty waivers, tax relief for local manufacturers, skilled labour, support in job sourcing, capacity building, regulation of workmen’s conditions of service, construction finance, guarantees to commercial banks to encourage lending for housing, judicial reforms to facilitate enforcement of contracts, housing off-take support, enactment of foreclosure laws and reform of housing finance to allow refinancing of mortgage facilities through securitisation or similar processes.
What you need to know about apartment leases –Expert
hen you rent an apartment, you and your landlord will probably sign a lease, a document that gives you the right to occupy your new home for as long as the lease remains in effect. After you sign a lease, you may decide you need to move out early and breaking your lease may incur penalties. Here, Ron Leshnower, an expert said there are certain things you need to know about apartment leases. Fixed-term lease versus month-tomonth rental agreement: Most of the time, landlords and tenants agree to a fixed term, such as a year, for a tenancy. When the time is up, both parties can agree to renew the lease for another fixed term. Find out why a longer lease term may -- or may not -- be advantageous to you. By contrast, a month-to-month rental agreement automatically renews unless the landlord or tenant decides to end it. Although this appears to offer greater flexibility, it may come at a price. Review the pros and cons of fixed-term leases and month-to-month rental agreements to determine which option is best for you. What you owe at lease-signing: Be prepared to pay around two to four times your monthly rent, if not more, along with signing your lease. From paying some rent
upfront, plus a security deposit, broker’s fee, moving fees, and more, you’ll certainly need to bring your wallet to your leasesigning. Here are more details about what you should expect to pay at lease signing. Lease guarantors: If you’re concerned that landlords won’t sign a lease with you because they’ll think you don’t earn enough income, you may be able to have a relative or friend help out by signing the lease as a guarantor. If you find your dream apartment, but the landlord is hesitant to rent it to you after a financial background check, you can ask about this option. Learn more about lease guarantors by getting the answers to frequently asked questions. Unfair lease rules: Often enough, tenants believe that a certain lease requirement is unfair. If you feel this way, you may very well be justified in not following the requirement. As an apartment tenant, keep in mind that a rule violation can put you at risk of losing your home, so it’s important to be able to articulate the reason you believe logic and the law are on your side when it comes to the validity of an apartment rule. Here’s some help with understanding why certain rules are unfair and what you can do to argue your way out of a violation.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
We are determined to win and retain the Copa Lagos and our preparation is geared towards that objective –SAND EAGLES COACH, AUDU ADAMU
Ameobi gets manager’s plaudit 29
ITTF Juniors: Team Nigeria beats Morocco YEMI OLUS
Enyeama, Ejide’s form thrills Shorunmu IKENWA NNABUOGOR WITH AGENCY REPORT
uper Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu, has expressed delight at the form of first and second choice keepers Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide, this must rank among the best of times for him, with his top two goalkeepers excelling in Europe. Enyeama is chasing the French record for clean sheets, having seen his net unshaken for 945 minutes. With another four minutes against Marseille, he will slide past PSG’s Salvatore Sirigu’s 948 minutes, although he will still be some two games behind the overall record. Ejide has run up six clean sheets for Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Israel, a run
Nigeria’s number one goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama is in his best form for French club Lille
which has taken them top of the table with 24 points. Both goalkeepers are enjoying their best spells in Europe since breaking into the national team at around the same time back in 2002, although Ejide made his debut a few months earlier than Enyeama. “I must say I am very proud,” Shorunmu, who was number one while Enyeama and Ejide understudied him, said yesterday. “To have two goalkeepers showing this kind of form can only be good for Nigeria. “They deserve all the praise they get because they have been working really hard and I pray they stay injury free, so that we can see the best of them at the World Cup.”
igeria’s boys’ team comprising Olajide Omotayo, Azeez Ogunlade and Olasunkanmi Oginni defeated the Moroccan team yesterday at the ongoing ITTF World Junior Championships in Rabat, Morocco. Omotayo, who recently won the men’s singles at the Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championship, beat Mohamed Bouzoubaa 11-5, 11-9, 11-8. Ogunlade also defeated Said Sarbi 11-3, 11-3, 11-7 while Oginni completed the victory with a 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 win over Mohamed Bouzoubaa. The girls’ team however succumbed to their third consecutive defeat against Brazil (3-0), having lost their games against Russia and Serbia two days ago. Team’s coach, Dotun
Omoniyi, commended the players for their efforts and the level of exposure gained in the tournament: “The boys and girls have really tried because this is the highest junior championship in the world,” Omoniyi said. “I hope that our ranking in the world junior event will improve in the end,” he added. Meanwhile, a member of the girls’ team, Tosin Oribamishe, has expressed excitement in the competition despite losing all her matches. “Coming from the world cadet championship and playing in my first world junior championships is a great achievement for me,” Oribamishe remarked. “This championship is very good for us but we need a lot of exposure. Table tennis here is big business but for us it is not so,” she added.
Lengthy ban stares Emenike
uper Eagles striker, Emmanuel Emenike, faces disciplinary action after the Fenerbahce forward appeared to have head-butted Besiktas captain Tomas Sivok during Saturday’s badtempered 3-3 home draw on Saturday. Emenike, who continued his impressive form for the Yellow Canaries by getting on the score sheet for his fifth League goal of the season, is expected to be handed a lengthy ban and possibly a fine when the Turkish Foot-
ball Federation meets this week to decide on incidents arising from the weekend’s matches. Mousa Sow struck inside the 37th minute to put the home side in front but sloppy defending by Fenerbahce allowed Hugo Almeida two goals in three minutes to hand Besiktas a 3-2 lead at half time. Emenike’s call for a penalty soon after was dismissed by referee Cuneyt Cakir, who saw nothing wrong with a tackle from Besiktas’ Tomas
Sivok in the box. Emenike then appeared to head-butt Sivok as he squared up with the defender to press home his point and was lucky to get away with just a yellow card. The bad-tempered contest match saw both sides reduced to 10 men with Fernerbahce’s Raul Meireles receiving a straight red card in the 30th minute while Necip Uysal was dismissed for a second booking in the 69th minute.
World Cup 2014: Iheanacho not in my plans–Keshi AFOLABI GAMBARI
ontrary to popular belief that Golden Eaglets star, Kelechi Iheanacho, deserves a place in Nigeria’s train to next year’s World Cup in Brazil, Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, has declared that the teenager is not ready for the biggest stage of football. Iheanacho scored six goals to help Nigeria to win the recent FIFA
U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, as well as creating many goals to earn reputation of fans, even as his prodigious talent resonated throughout the world during the tournament. But Keshi, who spoke yesterday on a radio programme monitored in Lagos, maintained that the leftfooted youngster should take what he called natural path to the top. “I quite agree that Kelechi is a fine player but the fact remains that
he has just started and should be given time to mature,” the Eagles’ gaffer said. “People should also not forget that every player that aspires to participate in the World Cup must not only be active in a club, but also be on top of his form. “As far as I know, Kelechi has no club at the moment and I think this I what should dominate his attention, rather than being distracted by calls for his invitation to the senior
national team. I am confident of his ability to excel as soon as he gets settled in a club.” Interestingly, the player’s father, Pa James Iheanacho, who also spoke on the programme, insisted that his son was ready if given a chance in the Eagles. “I am sure of my son and I am supremely confident that he can surprise the world in Brazil as football is in him,” the elderly man submitted.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Milestone thrills Kaka
C Milan star, Kaka, has reflected on the club’s first win since mid-October and delights in scoring his 99th goal for the Rossoneri. The Brazilian scored Milan’s final goal in the club’s 3-1 victory over Catania on Sunday evening to end a run of six domestic matches without a win. “I’m very happy that I’m able to play well and that the team wins,” he
said after the final whistle. “It was an important game for us. There are still lots of things to improve on.” “I’m happy. In reality I was waiting for Stephan El Shaarawy and Balotelli to arrive and to pass them the ball, but they didn’t arrive and I shot and I got my 99th goal.” The victory moves Milan up into the top half of the Serie A log, equal on points with Lazio, Parma and Atalanta.
AC Milan Coach, Massimilano Allegri will welcome legend Paolo Maldini to the club, the latter arrive as being speculated. Maldini was expected to replace Adriano Galliani, before the latter was confirmed yesterday as general manager. “I’ve known Paolo since I first arrived at Milan, but the situation is evolving and there’s no point talking about it now,” Allegri said, adding,
Gunners target Mulumbu
eports said Arsenal is pondering a January transfer swoop for West Bromwich Albion midfielder, Youssouf Mulumbu, as the Premier League leader looks to strengthen its ranks. The 26-year-old Congo international joined the Baggies at the start of the 009/10 season for a bargain transfer fee of £150,000 from Paris Saint-Germain and has proved to be a hit down
at the Hawthorns. However, it now appears he sees his future away from the Midlands club, who has made a solid start to the Premier League season under manager Steve Clarke. “I have had approaches from Arsenal,” Mulumbu said. “I could leave this European winter. This is the right time for me to set my sights higher. I’m ready to join a top-four club.
anchester United Manager, David Moyes, says the club has no plans to open contract talks with Wayne Rooney any time soon. The England international’s future at Old Trafford has been called into question on a regular basis in recent years and he was a target for Chelsea. Moyes is eager to avoid any potential distractions-with United playing catch-up in the defence of their Premier League title-and will shelve extension discussions until
Devils delay Rooney deal a more suitable time. “When will we talk to him about the contract? I don’t really know,” he said after seeing Rooney score a brace in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. “You will see him score a lot of great goals. But that was more of a sniff at goal, a mixup in the box and he was on the end of it. “His perfor mances have been great and he’s worked incredibly hard. And he deserves the rewards he is getting.”
AVB, great coach–Bale
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
ormer Spurs winger, Gareth Bale, has backed under-fire Tottenham Hotspur Manager Andre Villas-Boas. Bale, who joined Real Madrid from the North London outfit for a world record fee, has called on mentor Villas-Boas to be given more time to turn things around at White Hart Lane. The Portuguese manager has been heavily criticised in recent times, especially the past week following Spurs’ lacklustre performances that included a 6-0 loss at Manchester City. “Villas-Boas should be given time. He is a great manager and he
showed that last year,” Bale said. “Spurs have been very unlucky in front of goal. Sometimes they’ve created a lot of chances–the most in the league–but haven’t converted so many.
Real Madrid midfielder, Angel di Maria, took aim at club president Florentino Perez last week, indicating his frustration at being knocked out of the starting team. “It’s not making me comfortable to be left out and no one would be happy either,” the Argentina star said yesterday. Di Maria feels ousted by new arrival Gareth Bale and the unconditional support that the Welshman has enjoyed since he arrived, according to reports.
Donovan LA Galaxy Coach, Bruce Arena, has told Landon Donovan he would not leave on-loan next month after the forward was linked with a return to Everton. “Our players aren’t going anywhere,” Arena warned. “Our players have had a really tough run this year, with national teams. Certainly we can’t have them stressed further in a World Cup year,” the former USA coach added.
Manchester United goalkeeper, David de Gea, has pledged his long-term future to the club. The Spanish youth team keeper has also been linked with Barcelona this season. “I’ve always been able to train with a positive mentality and that has allowed me to push forward,” the lanky safe hands said. “Yes, I miss the weather and the climate of Spain and it’s different in England. But I am still living well.”
Bradley Latest reports said former Egypt Coach, Bob Bradley, has been interviewed for the Vancouver Whitecaps job. The reports said Bradley had talks with Whitecaps chief with a view to handling the side soonest. It is however unknown if the vastly experienced gaffer would readily assume the new job after his reported preference for a European job.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Why Bayern is successful–Muller In five years that Thomas Muller made his professional debut for Bayern Munich, the 24-year-old has racked up his fair share of achievements. A Bayern player since his youth days, Muller spoke to FIFA. com on his style of play, the brevity of life in football, Club World Cup and ambitions for the World Cup next year. What has changed for you after turning professional footballer in 2008? It’s hard to say, I’ve got older. Everything is very intense now. Thankfully I’ve never been injured and have managed to play four and half years almost uninterrupted. The summer break is always only a short respite from the game, which means individual seasons tend to roll into one. With the possible exception of winning the treble, what has been your best memory? The World Cup in 2010 and my first full season in the Bayern first team in 2009/10 were obviously amazing. Nobody could have predicted then how successful it would be for me. We reached the Champions League final and that was fantastic! Do you prefer to play up front, on the wing or in a central position? This year I’ve played in a few different positions, but it’s been like that for the last few seasons, so not that much has changed really. I’ve always played where the coach has put me. It also depends on the game itself and the opposition; different teams always defend differently. How would you describe your style of play? I’m a player that works very hard and will do everything to win and I think I know how to do that in football, what roles are required for each position. I try to complement my team-mates so that the whole teams functions well. A lot of people say that I do a few crazy things, but I don’t see it that way. To me, it all makes sense.
every continent there, and the football might be different to what we’re used to in Europe. You also have top teams from all over the world. We’re the favourites but we need to prove that first.
only thing that matters is what comes next. If you do that, there’s a risk you forget just how special an achievement it was when we won the treble. I do have that impression sometimes.
Do you hope for a final against Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro? It’s always nice to speak of finals and playing against a Brazilian team would be good as well.
Do you regret that you hardly have time to savour your successes? Regret is the wrong word. If you’re constantly winning things, your achievements mean less and less. If you win a lot of games, the expectation is that you not only win the next game but also dominate it. More and more is expected of us now, even after we’ve won so many trophies. But as a player it’s certainly difficult.
Would you dedicate any trophy you might win to Jupp Heynckes? Of course, he contributed a lot to our recent success. We won the treble under him, completely deservingly, and it’s because of that that we now have a chance to win this cup. It just happens to take place in December; there’s not much he could have done about that. Will you rather see the city in Morocco or remain in the hotel? If there’s a chance to have a look around, then I will. We see enough of hotel rooms throughout the rest of the year. What is your opinion on the use of technology in Morocco? I think it’s a good idea and it won’t hurt anyone. Nobody’s authority is being undermined; in fact it’s the opposite. It’s a great way of helping the referees. Do you think that this might be your only chance to win the Club World Cup trophy? No, not really. It’s actually my ambition to be able to compete for this trophy again in the future. That’s how it has to be at FC Bayern. How do you rate the team’s chances of reaching another Club World Cup? I think they look good. The treble doesn’t feel like a long time ago, but already there’s talk of the next set of trophies and sometimes that’s a bit too soon - the
What would the title of winners of the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 mean to you? Again, that’s hard to say. It’s a trophy that’s coveted right across the world, possibly more so elsewhere than it is in Germany. But if I’m competing in it–and getting there isn’t easy–then I absolutely want to win it as well. Lifting another trophy would crown our treble-winning season. The Club World Cup is the missing piece for us. We want this trophy too and I’m very motivated to win. Have you already begun thinking about possible opposition? We know there’ll be teams from
Do you notice that FC Bayern is becoming a bigger and bigger club with a global reputation? Hardly anything negative is said about us. A few years ago it was different: it was FC Hollywood or arrogant Bayern. You just don’t find that view anymore and we have a positive image across the world. Why is that the case? We play in the right way and we play good, clean and attractive football. Who is your favourite for the FIFA Ballon d’Or? There’s a reason that six players from FC Bayern have been nominated: it means our performances from last season have been recognised and honoured. So there’s every chance that it could be one of us that wins it. How do you rate Germany’s chances at the World Cup in 2014? We’re one of the favourites, of which there are maybe three or four. But football always involves an element of luck and predicting how it will finish is always difficult. Obviously we want to win the Trophy, but there’s no guarantee.
Ameobi gets manager’s plaudit
ewcastle United Manager, Alan Pardew, has said that Super Eagles striker, Shola Ameobi, is proving he is good enough to keep his place in the Toon Army. The striker has not always proved the most popular player on Tyneside but he is in fine form and keeping more established stars out of the team. “Shola has proved that if you put in the performances then you stay in the team,” Pardew said. “I thought he’s one of the best players on the pitch,” Pardew said. “Yet as we know he wouldn’t be a first pick of any fan at the start of the season. It’s strange
how seasons unfold but we’re unfolding very nicely at the minute.” Ameobi was named man-ofthe-match for his all-action display against ‘The Baggies’ and Pardew said he’s delighted to see the veteran striker finally performing on a regular basis. “He’s given me some consistency and I keep telling him that’s the only thing that’s held him back in his career,” the manager added. “He’s got a World Cup at the end of this season and therefore if he wants to get in the Nigerian World Cup team he needs consistency for us and at the minute he’s answering the question.”
‘We aren’t German Machines’
ayern Munich goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, says his mates are only human and not a machine after the side’s 2-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig in the Bundesliga. The victory was the Bavarians’ 18th on the bounce, with two goals from Arjen Robben the difference between the two sides at the Allianz Arena, but the 27-year-old was keen to temper expectations. “We are human beings and not machines,” Neuer said yesterday. “Sometimes it is okay if you play a game and just win but you cannot play brilliantly every week,” he added. Neuer
City boss eyes January lift
anchester City Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has set his sights on topping the Premier League table by the New Year. City currently trail leaders Arsenal by six points after a start which has brought seven wins from seven games at home, but have staggeringly failed to deliver on the road with just one victory in six away fixtures. The Chilean says he wants to be at least three points off the summit by January, but would prefer to be on top.
“At the moment, the race for the title is very open, but there could be many changes in the coming weeks,” Pellegrini said yesterday. “I can answer that question better after we finish the two games we are going to play away. “I have a lot of trust in this team. We have to play six more Premier League games during December. We hope we can do it. It will be very important for us. “It is a big challenge now because West Brom are a strong team playing at home.”
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
On the track with
YEMI OLUS email@example.com
Crisis rocks SA Athletics
Oduduru makes performance pledge Divine Oduduru
ising sprinter, Divine Oduduru, has promised not to disappoint his fans in the coming season. The 17-year old was honoured with the ‘Discovery of the Year’ award at the Nigerian Sports Award which took place at the Muson Center in Lagos last week. Oduduru is the reigning African Youth champion over 100m and
200m as well as the continent’s junior champion in the longer sprint. The Delta State athlete came into reckoning following his victory at the African Youth Athletics Championship (AYAC) and has not looked back ever since. He also emerged the national leading athlete in the 200m with a time of 21.13secs and is currently in camp alongside selected athletes who are
preparing for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. “I am very happy about the award because I wasn’t really expecting it. I just received a call and there I was. It was a pleasant surprise,” he said. “I am now motivated to do better because I want to receive another award next year. I was made to sit with state governors and other dignitaries which was an
First Bank commits to athletes
irst Bank’s Head of Sponsorship and Events, Bridget Oyefeso, says the institution will support and athletics in particular. The historic bank had chosen Nigeria’s leading sprinter, Blessing Okagbare, as its ambassador during the London 2012 Olympic Games. “First Bank is looking to leave footprints in other sports and activities,” Oyefeso said. “Our relationship with Okagbare is a testimony of our commitment to sports development. Over the years we have also supported and still support polo, golf, tennis and had something little to do with badminton.” Okagbare was recently honoured with the prestigious award of Athlete of the Year by the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), for her outstanding performance in the outgoing year. The Beijing 2008 bronze medallist recorded an incredible performance at the 2013 IAAF World Championship in Moscow where she won silver and bronze medals in the long jump and 200m, shattering 14-year jinx which plagued Nigeria in the process.
honour for me. So I look forward to surpassing my achievements in 2014.” The young athlete also encouraged his colleagues not to give up on their dreams, noting that reward awaited hard work. “I want to encourage other young athletes to train and work hard believing that they will surpass their targets,” he added.
Bolt, Calvert bag Jamaican honour
sain Bolt and Schillonie Calvert were the stars of a glittering Racers Track Club Zenith Awards held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel over the weekend. The second annual awards and fund-raising banquet showcased the Racers athletes who have strived for excellence and who have reached the zenith. Bolt, who is arguably
Schillonie Calvert (l) receiving her award at the weekend
the greatest sprinter of all time, received the award for the Most Outstanding Performances for 2012 and 2013, among several other awards. “I am fortunate to be here and be a part of this great club in the first place,” he said, stressing, “I have put in the work for the club, and for them to show that they appreciate it is always a good feeling.” Rosemarie Whyte, who ran 50.00 seconds in the 400m at Zagreg, was the Most Outstanding Performance for 2012. Calvert, 25, who was a part of the gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team at the 2013 Moscow World Championship, got the nod for the Most Outstanding Performance for 2013. “This boosts my confidence and I am overwhelmed,” she said.
A meeting at which the Board of Athletics South Africa (ASA) was dissolved is unconstitutional and invalid, according to the national governing body’s President, James Evans. The entire Board was sacked by a unanimous decision at the annual general meeting in Johannesburg and a seven-member interim Board appointed to run the sport for the next six months, after which another meeting would be called and elections held, but Evans claims his non-attendance rules out the move. He was at a Johannesburg High Court, along with Vice President Hendrick Ramaala, to uphold the November 28 decision to suspend five members of Provincial Boards. Evans claimed that he also sent a message to all ASA members warning the meeting would be postponed until the High Court case was concluded. “Undeterred, and while the High Court matter was being heard, and in the absence of the President and vice-president of ASA, who were at the High Court, certain members of ASA, led by the five provincial affiliates who had forced ASA into court, insisted on the AGM continuing,” he said. Evans said the High Court matter has been postponed until February 4 next year, when the final decision would be made, adding that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was due to visit the country next month to address the ongoing issues in the sport, which also saw ASA suspended by the National Olympic Committee earlier this year.
President James Evans
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
All state capitals are ripe for redevelopment –Expert Dr. Joshua Patunola-Ajayi is the second Vice-President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV). In this interview with DAYO AYEYEMI, the Lagos-based expert says the Lagos Tenancy Law has not yielded the expected result as a result of shortage of accommodation, among other issues. How has the Lagos Tenancy Law impacted your practice two years on? Though, it is being observed, the problem is that there is no much property for people to buy or rent. If you have many properties that are available, people will have options, it is then you can really see how much the law is being observed. In my office here, I think in the past six months, hardly have we let any house in Ikeja area. So how do we apply the law? There are not much properties coming in but many demands are coming up. Why is it like this? This is because there is no fund in the system. You know when there is no fund in the system, it is a big problem. What I mean is this and let me talk on the side that concerns me, Last year, when you see the budget; I don’t think the budget has up to one per cent allocation for the housing sector. Now I don’t know how much it has for infrastructure. If not much money is released to infrastructure and housing sectors, you hardly has money in the system. If in western Nigeria, if all roads are awarded at the same time and works are ongoing, you will youths and professionals there and there will be money. The money they are making will be used to build houses and everybody will benefit. There will be more infrastructures. I have been in this office since 1998, unless I move out of this place, will someone come and take the place? There is no new transaction. Let’s say there has been a new modern building that is cheaper than this one, I will quickly move there to boost my status. So there is no enough property and government cannot leave it for the private sector. Government still has to show the lead. How do you think will can overcome the challenge as a country? Government should come in by injecting funds into the sector and embark on infrastructure development. Government should also encourage Public Private Partnership and not to leave it for them. Why? Where will the private sector get the money? All state capitals are ripe for redevelopment. How do you mean? If you get to all state capitals, you can hardly see adequate and modern houses. Only a few has adequate houses. So all those old houses in the state capitals if the government do not want to go into new areas should be redeveloped. Redevelop a bungalow up to two or three storey building through partnership. PPP is the best option. But majority of the people will not be able to afford the price of houses.... Cuts in... I have my own formula, I believe much in housing for rent. All these houses that government is building should not be sold. Government should make sure that when the project is kick-starting, an es-
IF YOU GET TO ALL STATE CAPITALS, YOU CAN HARDLY SEE MODERN HOUSES. ONLY A FEW HAS ADEQUATE HOUSES. SO, ALL THOSE OLD HOUSES IN STATE CAPITALS, IF THE GOVERNMENT DO NOT WANT TO GO INTO NEW AREAS SHOULD BE REDEVELOPED tate surveyor is available so that as you are finishing the project, he is taking tenant to it and managing it. The rent collected will be used to pay the loan of private partners. We should look for this area because not everybody can buy a house. The cleaners, where will they get money to buy houses? But they can rent a studio room and graduate to two-bedroom apartment later. How can you describe the training estate surveyors and valuers receive now as against what they received in past years? The capacity training for estate surveyors and valuers is an ongoing thing; in fact, the training now is better and richer than our time. Major source of your information during our time was through textbooks and papers delivered from lectures and seminars; but now, training has gone beyond that as Internet is there and a lot of information. The only different is about individual and not in term of materials that are available; not in term of content of real estate education that is available but individual. Can you go and get the information? How do you mean? During the old time which you are refer-
ing to, people wanted the training and information, they would go out to read text books, did research and attended seminars; in fact those were the areas where they developed themselves. But now, the younger ones are not ready to personally develop themselves by reading textbooks and journals which are more available than before, they don’t want to search internet to collect information which are richer than before and make a better contents of the practice which are richer in modern international standards. So I don’t believe it is the training in itself that is not effective now but individuals. Your profession is now going into different specialties such as agency, project management and land use planning; hope it would not generate clash of interest among other professional bodies in the building industry? There is no clash or encroachment in our own profession and others in the industry Something like this came up during the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) meeting last week. Let me made it clear to you, before surveying and valuation started in Nigeria, do you know some people were already selling land and managing property because the profes-
sion started in the mid sixties. Most of the things were being done by land surveyors and lawyers, when the profession comes to take its job, what do you think? They would say estate surveyors are taking their jobs. So when there is a particular sector of profession, even if other people are doing it, it does not make it their business. Everybody has his own core of business, so when you say valuation, if anybody tells you his is doing valuation, that person is encroaching other people’s business. If anybody says, I am doing estate agency, he is encroaching our business; if anybody says I can prepare feasibility study of a building, he is encroaching our business. If anybody is saying I am the facility management of that building, he is encroaching our business. I want you to know that the profession in the building industry will continue to expand and everyday, you will see new areas coming up. So those new areas, sometime, you wonder if they belong to this person or that person. In the fifties, the architect would want you to believe he is the project manager, the estate surveyors believed that he is in best position to manage project, and along the line something came up which is the Project Management Institute, which is an international institution. It came to Nigeria, architects, surveyors and builders are members. Because PMI has come does not make the architect no more to be a project manager or a surveyor or builder, the only thing is that PMI is an aspect of construction industry that has its own content, curricular and practice which you must know before you claim you can do it. If you see me now telling the bricklayer that put the iron like this, set the block like this, I am going beyond my boundary because construction work management is another person’s work. You should know where your work stops and don’t encroach. In our office, we don’t do lease agreement because it is a lawyer’s job. It is not that I cannot do it, but it is not my job. After I have done the lease agreement, will I not put my name as solicitor or will I do the lease agreement without any signature? Many people will do it, and as ‘we are talking, an architect will still put to let.’ This is wrong! Let me shift to outside the building industry. When I was small, the person I know as the medical doctor in my village was the dispenser. There was a dispensary in my town, when you have bruises or headache, you go to the dispenser and he would give you drugs, treat you; but later, we outgrew the maternity and hospital came. We now saw that the doctor is different from the pharmacist who used to give us drugs. So that small job has expanded. Now you have laboratory technology, the thing is expanding. If the dentist is doing the work of ophthalmologist, he is not doing his work, but that small, old dispensing shop has developed into all these. There will continue to be new areas in all professions and when they come, we need to recognise that they have come. If there is need for the new areas be specialists’ areas, let them be, so that no one will claim is their areas.
Real Estate & Environment
Did heavy winter rains leave you wishing you had replaced your roof last summer? Expert at www.hometips.com, Don Vandervort, gives advice on how to install or replace a roof, with important “dos and don’ts” about proper roofing installation. • Don’t replace your roof if it doesn’t really need replacement: If you can give your roof two or three more years of life with simple repairs, you may as well delay the expense. Then again, if you think repairs won’t solve the problem and may drop you back into the drip-drip syndrome next winter, don’t postpone the inevitable. An asphaltfiber glass roof is over the hill when the shingles are brittle and worn on the surface. • Do explore your options: Don’t just settle for the easiest or most obvious choices of materials. Though conventional asphalt/fiberglass (“composition”) roofing is by far the most commonly used material, other options are available, including tile, concrete-masonry, and metal roofing. • Don’t add a layer of roofing on top of your existing roofing without checking the structure and condition, understanding the requirements of the new material, and consulting with your local building department. Though you can often add a second layer of asphalt-shingles directly on top of one existing layer, additional layers will add significantly to the weight of your roof. The structure must be able to handle the weight. • Do be sure your roof is applied over the type of surface recommended by the manufacturer: Some materials, such as asphalt/fiberglass shingles and tile, should be applied over a base of solid sheathing such as plywood. Others, such as wood shingles, require open sheathing (spaced boards) so the surface material can “breathe.” • Do ask your contractor, before old roofing material is torn off, to protect your house and yard: Have the crew lean plywood sheets against windows and doors and over the tops of tender shrubs and plantings. Be sure debris is hauled away promptly. • Do coordinate new gutters and downspouts with the roofing installation: The best types of gutters are those that are integrated into the roofing system. • Do install any new skylights before your new roofing is applied: Proper flashing is critical to ensuring that a skylight won’t leak, and it’s best to install the flashing during roof installation. • Do shop around for a contractor and solicit bids from at least three.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
esidents of Yakoyo/Odozi, Alagbole, Akute, Ojodu and Abiodun, Ifo Local Government of Ogun State have been compensate, against all odds. Contrary to outcry and outburst in some quarters that owners of properties demolished for the reconstruction and expansion of the 32-kilometre SangoIjoko-Akute-Alagbole road will wait endlessly, the Ogun State Government has walked the talk by commencing the payment of compensation for the affected citizens. According to the statement from the state agency in charge, the resident, have been going to Abeokuta, the state capital to collect compensation cheques from Bureau of Lands and Survey. The state government had begun the demolition of structures in these areas a few days ago to pave way for the reconstruction and expansion of the SangoIjoko/Ojodu-Abiodun road. “Though, some people thought that the state government was only interested in pulling down the structures and was not willing to pay owners compensation, with this development the residents of these areas had been smiling homes with their com-
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Demolition: Alagbole, Akute, Yakoyo residents receive compensation pensation,” the statement read. It stated that one of the affected owners, Mr. Olushola Adebayo from Akute-Ojodu who got his cheque expressed shock and satisfaction. He later enjoined others who are yet to collect their compensation to approach the Bureau of Lands and Survey to collect theirs without any further delay as the cheques are actually waiting for collection at Abeokuta, the state capital. In responding, the Special Adviser/Director General Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Adewale Oshinowo, in a statement signed by the Bureau’s Press Officer, Mr. Ademola Orunbon, affirmed that more than half of those affected had actually collected their cheques from the Bureau, urging the remaining others concerned to come forward and collect theirs. Oshinowo reiterated government’s commitment to care for its masses, urging the affected people to pick their cheques at
the Bureau of Lands and Survey, adding that they should realize that government really have best for them in term of infrastructural amenities in the area. Assuring the residents that the process of collecting the cheque was very easy and not stressful as people believes, he urged people of the area to support the government and the needs to
ipping your toes in the waters around Britain has grown marginally less inviting: in the last few years the seas have grown slightly colder. Against the background of a continued warming trend, this blip is explained by scientists as an example of the climate’s tendency sometimes to go “off trend”, and to show clear variations from the norm. UK researchers say the average UK coastal sea surface temperature in the last decade was lower in 2008-2012 than in 2003-2007, an example of shortterm variability which they say is at odds with temperature records which “continue to show an overall upward trend”. The finding - perhaps not surprising, given the slower pace of atmospheric warming in recent years - is reported by the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) and is published in its latest Report Card, which assesses how climate change is affecting UK waters. MCCIP, launched in 2005, is a partnership between scientists, the UK Government and its agencies, non-governmental organisations and industry. For the first time the report looks at Arctic sea-
embrace the attitudinal change towards government policies on urban renewal and infrastructural development in the state. “One must accept the need to rebuild the state through reconstruction and expansion of roads with all its unintended consequences and to let the government do more within its resources,” Oshinowo explained.
Alagbole-Akute Road, Ogun State
UK waters grow cooler and more acidic –Report
ice coverage, and agrees that a long-term decline is clearly apparent, with sea-ice extent retreating and the ice becoming thinner as temperatures rise. It says the overall warming trend of recent decades is expected to continue. It emphasises the importance of local-scale impacts, describing the movement of fish species and how non-native species are expanding their range. It says: “International commercial landings from the north-east Atlantic of species identified as warm-adapted (e.g. grey gurnard, red mullet, hake) have increased 250 per cent in the last 30 years, while landings of cold-adapted species (e.g. cod, haddock, whiting) have halved.” The report also identifies a possible trend to smaller fish: “Evidence is emerging that fish body-size is affected by climate change. For example, warm, lower-oxygen conditions favour smaller individuals, and by 2050 the average fish weight could be reduced by 14-24 per cent. “However, there are multiple drivers of changes in size distributions including the known effects of fishing.” One cause of change the report identifies with high confidence is growing ocean acidification. It says: “The current rate of increase in acidity... is probably more rapid now than any time in the last 300 million years.” The researchers say changes to primary fish production are expected throughout the UK, with southern regions (for instance the Celtic Sea and English Channel) becoming up to 10 per cent more productive and northern regions (like the central and northern North Sea) up to 20 per cent less so. But they acknowledge “some challenges” in identifying the impacts of climate change. These challenges are caused by difficulties in distinguishing both between short-term variability and long-term trends, and between climate influences and other pressures. Over 150 scientists from 55 UK science organisations contributed to the report, which covers a range of 30 marine and coastal topics.
‘UK property price recovery is not nationwide’
here is much talk of the UK’s residential property market having recovered from the collapse during the economic downturn but new research points out that outside London and the South East there is still some way to go. Outside of these two regions house prices still remain below levels recorded in 2008, according to an analysis by Countrywide plc, the UK’s largest property services group, of Land Registry data. It reveals that of the 326 local authority districts in England, house prices have surpassed their 2008 peak in only 71. Taking into account inflation, which ran at 14 per cent between 2008 and 2013, only in 11 local authorities, all of which are in London, did prices rise in real terms. In 56 per cent of local authorities house prices remain at least 5 per cent below peak levels and there are few signs of this changing, says the Countrywide report which also points out that the North/South house price divide has continued to widen with recent house price growth concentrated in those London and South Eastern local authorities where prices are already furthest above their previous peak. In November 2013, average house price growth in the 74 local authorities where prices are at least 10 per cent below 2008 levels, was just 0.1 per cent. Conversely in the 17, predominantly London, local authorities where house prices stand10 per cent or more
above their previous peak, prices increased by 1.2 per cent, equivalent to a 14 per cent increase over the year. There is substantial regional variation in the performance of housing markets. Across London, the South East and East of England house prices have surpassed their 2008 peak in 48 per cent of local authorities. Outside of these regions house price growth has been strongest in more affluent areas, however it is only in Richmondshire, Warwick, Cheshire West, Isles of Scilly and Cheltenham where house prices have exceeded 2008 levels. Even in many of the more affluent districts such as York, Bristol and Gloucester house prices remain below 2008 levels. House prices across much of the country remain considerably more affordable than in 2008, standing on average at 95 per cent of peak levels. The report says that at current rates it will take in excess of five years for prices to return to 2008 levels in the hardest hit local authorities of urban northern England. While house prices across England remain well below 2008 levels, the story in London couldn’t be more different. In all but three London boroughs prices have passed their 2008 peak. Data from the Land Registry shows that average London house prices are 9.3 per cent above 2008 levels, although in Westminster they stand 40 percent or £200,000 higher.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Higher lending in Northern Ireland confirms property market stability
he number of loans advanced for house purchase in Northern Ireland grew to its highest levels since 2009 in the third quarter of 2013, the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows. The data, according to report from Property Wire, shows there has been an increase in lending to first time buyers, home movers and remortgagors that has continued the upward trend in Northern Ireland over the last two quarters. A total of 2,800 loans worth £240 million were advanced to home owners for house purchase in Northern Ireland in the third quarter of 2013. This represented an increase of 22 per cent compared to both the previous quarter and the third quarter of 2012. A total of 1,600 loans were advanced to first-time buyers in the third quarter of 2013. This was an increase compared to the second quarter of 14 per cent and up 23 per cent compared to the third quarter last year. Loans to first time buyers had a total value of £120 million up from £110 million advanced in quarter
two and up 20 per cent compared to quarter three last year. First time buyers borrowed, on average, £70,000 this quarter, a slight dip from £71,050 last quarter. The amount borrowed by first time buyers relative to their income was 2.76 times their income compared to 2.81 times the last quarter but this still remains much lower than the UK average of 3.36. The majority of first time buyers in Northern Ireland, 75 per cent compared to the 40 per cent UK average, bought properties valued at less than £125,000, and therefore would have avoided paying any stamp duty. This proportion is considerably higher than the 7 per cent of first time buyers in Northern Ireland who were exempt from stamp duty in the third quarter of 2007. There has been a return to growth in home mover lending, with 1,100 loans advanced in the third quarter, up from 900 in the second quarter of 2013 and up from 1,000 in quarter three of 2012. The total value of loans to home movers was £120 million in the third quarter, an increase from £90 million
in quarter two of 2013 and larger than the £110 million advanced in the third quarter last year. Despite the increase in lending, home movers in Northern Ireland still only accounted for 39 per cent of the house purchase market in quarter two which is lower than the 55 per cent UK average. Lending for remortgages picked up a little in the third quarter in Northern Ireland, with £110 million advanced to borrowers, up 10 per cent compared to the second quarter of the year and the third quarter last year. ‘Higher lending across all borrower types is a positive sign that the recent stability we have seen in the market is helping to increase activity,’ said Brian McCormick, chair of the CML in Northern Ireland. ‘First time buyers have been a key driver in the first half of the year, and still continue on an upward trajectory. But, crucially, we have seen a pick up in the previously stagnated home mover and remortgage sectors, which is a good sign going forward,’ he added.
A UK property
any accidental landlords in the UK who have rented out their homes as they have been unable to sell during the economic downturn are simply not fulfilling their legal duties to maintain their rental properties, it is claimed. As a result are putting their tenants in potential danger and themselves at financial risk, according to AXA Business Insurance. According to Property Wire’s report, the phenomenon of the accidental landlord has grown rapidly over recent years as the economy has depressed the hous-
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Latest index shows UK prices up 0.6% in November
K house prices increased by 0.6 per cent in November and were 6.5 per cent higher than November 2012, taking the average home price to £174.556, according to the latest index. According to report from Property Wire, the data from the Nationwide Building Society, one of the UK’s biggest lenders, shows that prices are now just 6 per cent below the peak of the market in 2007. This takes the annual rate of increase to 6.5 per cent, the strongest pace since July 2010 as activity in the housing market has picked up strongly in the second half of 2013. Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, pointed out that the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase reached 66,735 in September, 34 per cent higher than the same period of 2012. ‘A large part of the improvement can be attributed to further improvements in the labour mar-
ket and the brighter economic outlook, which has helped to bolster sentiment amongst potential buyers,’ he explained. ‘Policy measures aimed at keeping down the cost and improving the availability of credit are also playing an important role. Indeed, mortgage rates have declined significantly from the already low levels prevailing last year,’ he said. ‘For example, Bank of England data indicates that the interest rate on two year fixed rate mortgages for those with a 10 per cent deposit has fallen from 5.6 per cent to 4.4 per cent over the past 12 months. For a buyer purchasing the typical UK home over 25 years, this equates to a reduction in monthly payments of around £110 or £1,320 per year at the current average house price,’ he added. According to Ian McGrail, managing director of FirstMortgage, the latest house price figures from Nationwide indicate that the economy really is on the way out of the recession. ‘This rise is representative of
‘UK property price recovery is not nationwide’
here is much talk of the UK’s residential property market having recovered from the collapse during the economic downturn but new research points out that outside London and the South East there is still some way to go. Outside of these two regions house prices still remain below levels recorded in 2008, according to an analysis by Countrywide plc, the UK’s largest property services group, of Land Registry data. It reveals that of the 326 local authority districts in England, house prices have surpassed their 2008 peak in only 71. Taking into account inflation, which ran at 14 per cent between 2008 and 2013, only in 11 local authorities, all of which are in London, did prices rise in real terms. In 56 per cent of local authorities house prices remain at least 5 per cent below peak levels and there are few signs of this chang-
ing, says the Countrywide report which also points out that the North/South house price divide has continued to widen with recent house price growth concentrated in those London and South Eastern local authorities where prices are already furthest above their previous peak. In November 2013, average house price growth in the 74 local authorities where prices are at least 10 per cent below 2008 levels, was just 0.1 per cent. Conversely in the 17, predominantly London, local authorities where house prices stand10 per cent or more above their previous peak, prices increased by 1.2 per cent, equivalent to a 14 per cent increase over the year. There is substantial regional variation in the performance of housing markets. Across London, the South East and East of England house prices have surpassed their 2008 peak in 48% of local authorities.
Warning to accidental landlords on safety registration ing market. AXA believes that around 70 per cent of residential landlords rent just one property and that up to a third of these are accidental landlords who can’t sell their property or who inherited rather than planned the ownership of the property. Its research has found that a third of those questioned get their boilers checked less than once a year, and 23 per cent only check every three years or less. Legally, a check is required every year. A similar number do not get other gas appliances checked every year, again, a legal require-
ment for rented properties. It also found that 65 per cent of those with a chimney in the property will get it swept less than once every three years yet the National Association of Chimney Sweeps recommends cleaning once a year for smokeless fuel, gas and oil and more regularly for other types of fuel. Nearly a third check the electrics in their rented property less than once in three years, and while a professional check is recommended once every five years by the Electrical Safety Council, a visual check by the landlord is
recommended much more regularly. Only 50 per cent landlords get their fire alarms checked every year and as well as the regular checks required to keep the property safe, landlords are also obliged to make sure furniture is fire proof, fire extinguishers are provided and fire escapes are kept accessible for tenants. ‘Accidental landlords are, as the name suggests, people who never really intended to take on a rental property. And it seems that many are not really aware of the responsibilities that come with
the role, leaving themselves and their tenants extremely vulnerable. Things like gas and electrics are potential killers and need to be taken seriously,’ said Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance. Meanwhile, the research also shows that around half of accidental landlords were also neglecting other key areas of maintenance with drains, guttering and pipe insulation left unchecked for at least three years. And nearly two thirds had not had the burglar alarm checked for three years or more.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Stakeholders condemn new national carrier, want investors’ identities revealed The planned formation of a new national carrier for the country by the Federal Government is already enmeshed in controversies as stakeholders and professionals in the aviation industry say there are more questions than answers, in the new project. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.
he defunct national carrier, Nigerian Airways was not just a pride of Nigeria, but the entire African continent. The carrier had properties and staff in virtually all the major countries of the world, flying to several international destination and was indeed an institution for others to learn from. However, unnecessary interference from Government, inept management and lack of adequate planning led to the airline’s collapse and what was once the pride of Africa became a problem to the Nigerian Government with the only option of liquidation and selling off its array of properties at give away prices available to the Government. Since the airline went off the radar, stakeholders and professionals in the Nigerian aviation industry claimed the country’s civil aviation sector has nose-dived with foreign carriers flying into multiple destinations in the country and carting away several billions of naira in ticket sales annually without reciprocity or any major challenge from any Nigerian carriers. In the last quarter of 2011, the Federal Government through the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah promised to bestow to the nation a new national carrier that would serve as a driver in the nation’s aviation industry; boost the image of the country in the global aviation sector and return the glorious days of the defunct, Nigerian Airways, which Nigerians patronised with pride. Although, the take-off for the new national carrier suffered several postponements, Oduah was determined to give the nation another national carrier before the end of 2013. Before the minister made public the government’s plans on the new carrier, she had sometime in 2012 set up a committee, which included the joint trade union forum to shop around the world and look for a recognised, viable and interested international carrier to partner with the government on the project with a December 2012 deadline for the new carrier to take off. The committee, according to information gathered had made contacts with foreign carriers like Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa Airways, Air France-KLM and a couple of others, but without success while the December 2012 date elapsed. Oduah, at a forum recently in Abuja, disclosed that all the necessary framework and legal requirements for the smooth roll out of the carrier were already in place,
The Boeing 737-400 aircraft
informing that unlike the former national carrier that was wholly government owned the new carrier would be private sector-driven. She said, “We are just waiting for the approval from presidency and the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to take off, so give or take, the new national carrier will take off before the end of the third quarter. “This one will be private sector-driven, will be managed by professionals who managed other carriers elsewhere in the world, and don’t forget that since it is going to be private sector-driven with private sector funds, there is no private sector corporate entity that will put in so much money in setting up a capital intensive business like aero plane business and will now leave it to mediocre to manage.” But it seems all that has changed now with the arrival of a refurbished 20 year old Boeing 747-400 aircraft with the registration number 5N-BLC that was operated the suspended Air Nigeria with a new livery (branding) ‘Nigerian Eagle’ about two weeks ago at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos. Before now, Oduah had said that the new national carrier would be named ‘Nigeria One,’ but the furor generated by the name might have made the Ministry to change the name. The arrival of the new national carrier has however brought about skepticism about the sincerity of the Government from the country’s aviation stakeholders who claimed that several things are still shrouded in secrecy by the Government. The new airline, it was gathered is to be formed from the assets of Aero Contractors, an old indigenous carrier, that have been taken over by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria on account of its huge unpaid loans and Air Nigeria, which has been sold by its erstwhile core investor.
However, the government has not come out to specify who the private sector investors are. Speaking on the issue, the former Director in the defunct Nigerian Airways and the President, Aviation Roundtable, ART, Capt Dele Ore, stated that now that Aero Contractors has been remodelled into “Nigerian Eagle,” stakeholders and professionals in the sector would like to know who, when and where the ‘’no objection approval” was given for the new carrier. Ore insisted that the new national carrier would be safe, but cannot prosper until the pension liabilities of the defunct former national carrier, Nigeria Airways were taken care of, stressing that the new airline is expected to step into the shoes of Nigeria Airways “whose shoes are too big for anyone to step into. “Because the Hon. Minister, Princess Stella Oduah has refused, failed and neglected to use her office to ensure payment of the full retirement benefits to former staff of Nigerian Airways many of who have been sent to untimely grave while others are incapacitated by afflictions and frustration: I am afraid it means the new carrier is inadvertently being built on very faulty and dangerous foundation. “Even the divine law of retribution would be upon such an airline and will therefore not survive, unless the right restitution is made by paying the aggrieved former staff and pensioners their entitlements in full.” Ore equally queried the status of registration; Air Transport License, ATL, and Air Operator’s Certificate, AOC, the Nigerian Eagle, transferability or otherwise of Aero Contractor AOC to Nigerian Eagle, recertification requirements of the new Nigerian Eagle, the identities of the investors in the new airline and the statutory role of the Asset Management Company
WHATEVER IT IS, EITHER BY A DEBT CONVERSION, BAIL-OUT, INTERVENTION FUNDING OR GUARANTY GIVEN BY GOVERNMENT, WE ARE DEFINITELY CREATING MASSIVE DEBT FOR OUR CHILDREN AND THOSE YET UNBORN
of Nigeria, AMCON, in the new carrier. He added, “New manuals that might have been approved for the new entity must have provoked the required training including indoctrination for all concerned. The new aircraft in the new livery must have been weighed before return to service to carry passengers bearing in mind the location where such re-weighing can take place. “We were made to believe that the proposed national carrier would be handled by private investors while the government would only provide the enabling environment for the investors: but however, we now know that about 10 other aircraft have been ordered from Bombardier Aircraft Manufacturing Company by the government for delivery to commence from March 2014 hopefully. “In the light of this, the equity ratio of our government and that of the investors remain a mystery. Whatever it is, either by a debt conversion, bail-out, intervention funding or merely guaranty given by government, we are definitely creating massive debt for our children and those yet unborn.” The Head, Zenith Travels, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo stated that the formation of a new national carrier for Nigeria by the Federal Government would further weaken the existing indigenous airlines that are already on the decline due to several factors. Ohunayo emphasised that if the plans of the Government eventually come to fruition, the yet to be launched national carrier would be given some protections and exclusivities that would naturally accompany the new status at the expense of the domestic carriers. He insisted that it would be wrong for the government to protect the liabilities of some indigenous carriers at the expense of the others, stressing that all the airlines should be given a level playing ground to operate in the country. He said, “We do not need a national carrier; neither do we need to protect families that have mismanaged their airlines.” A member of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, Mr. Adekunle Babafemi, described the proposed national carrier for Nigeria as a misadventure by the government. Babafemi insisted that national carrier was not the solution to the problem of traditional aviation in the country, recalling that Nigeria once had a national carrier, which was allegedly destroyed by the government and its appointees. He said what Nigeria requires are designated carriers while the government provides enabling working environments for them and called for cancellation of multiple entries for foreign carriers. He said, “Are we moving forward or backward? Tell me one developed country in the world with a national carrier. British Airways started as a government airline, and along the line, government separated itself from the running of the airline, so, it’s not a national carrier. Government should sit down and get whatever it is supposed to do right.”
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Dana awaits result of NCAA audits STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he management of Dana Air says it is awaiting the conclusion and eventual result of the ongoing audits of its operations and fleet by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. The spokesman for the airline, Mr. Sam Ogbogoro, in a statement stated that the agency has been carrying out intensive audits of its operations for sometime, adding that the management is awaiting their final consideration, closure of the audit, and its resumption of flight operations. Ogbogoro said that the management of the airline has continued to fully cooperate with the NCAA and looks forward to resuming full operations and continuing its customary outstanding services to its guests. To ensure it scaled the audit, Ogbogoro stated that the airline in the interim has undergone
dynamic changes and initiatives to better serve the safety and comfort needs of its guests by appointing new Chief Operating Officer, COO, Mr. Yvan Drewinsky who it said has over 30 years global aviation experience. He stated that Drewinsky has the mandate of the board to further sustain standards and quality of service within the airline. He added that the airline is committed to its proposed fleet renewal plans, noting that plans are underway to take delivery of additional aircraft to boost the fleet in readiness for enhanced customer and guest satisfaction, safety and choice in routes and travel times. “At Dana Air, the safety of our guests and crew is always a priority and we pledge to continue to offer our full cooperation to the NCAA and all other relevant agencies in ensuring safer skies as we strive to consistently deliver world-class air transport services as well as comfort to our
esteemed guests, the statement said. National Mirror gathered that NCAA auditors have for the past weeks visiting the airline and checking its books, but it was not yet clear if the outcome of the audit would be released to the public or when the airline would be allowed to return to service. It would be recalled that NCAA had on Sunday 6th October, 2013 announced the suspension of the airline following an air return it had on its Port Harcourt-Lagos route. NCAA had said then that it would immediately carry out mechanical and operational audits of the airline, but it took the management of NCAA about seven weeks to eventually commence the audit. NCAA however said that the delay in the commencement of the audit was due to the late arrival of its external auditors from the United States and Europe.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Airside firstname.lastname@example.org 08186007273
Welcoming another Nigerian ‘Air Waste’
any aviation stakeholders and professionals were taken aback last week when news filtered in that the Ministry of Aviation is preparing to launch a new carrier. The analysts were not surprised because of the re-launch of a new national carrier for the country, but were stunned by the overnight change of name from Nigeria One to Nigerian Eagle. Despite the assurance of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah that the new airline would be propelled by private investors while the Government will only provide enabling environments for it, it seems the music has changed as no one in the sector today knows any investor in the proposed new carrier beside Aero Contractors whose Government has taken over 60 per cent of its assets through the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON. However, Airside feels there
are more questions to be answered by the government on this new national carrier. Who are the investors in the new national carrier? If the national carrier is not wholly owned by the Federal Government, what is the percentage of Federal Government in the new airline? When was the Air Operators’ Certificate, AOC, approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA? Does the new airline has any technical partners? If yes, who are these technical partners? What are the route allocations to the airline and its effects on the other operators? How open was the bidding to the public? The expected Bombardier CRJ that will start arriving from March, 2014, how will they be funded? Was the money appropriated for by the National Assembly in the 2013 budget? Airside and other stakeholders will be glad if the Government can give answers to these questions and many more.
FAAN should light up the Airport road
L-R: Vice-President, Global Sales and Distribution, Arik Air, Mr. Trevor Henry, Sales Manager, Arik, Ms. Ibiyemi Odusi, and Group Executive Chairman, Peacock Group of Companies, Aare Segun Phillips, during a joint inspection tour of Ibadan GSA office of the travel agent office.
Partnership: Delta flights to relocate to Heathrow Terminal 3
elta and Virgin have announced a new joint venture 2014 summer schedule, offering more flight choices for travellers on both sides of the Atlantic. Starting from April 2, 1014, Delta is expected to begin co-locating some of its services from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Terminal 3. This includes its London to New York-JFK, London to Boston, and new London to Seattle services and this means the two airlines will co-locate on all its New York and Boston flights to London Heathrow. A media statement by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that the move will allow for convenient connections and a seamless customer experience for customers flying with Virgin and Delta from Terminal 3, including access to Virgin Atlantic’s Club-
house for business class passengers. Delta has also announced that it will also operate a second daily service between London Heathrow and Detroit Metropolitan Airport effective June 1, 2014. “A key reason for our joint venture was to offer customers more choice and convenient schedules, especially for our business travellers,” said Delta’s President, Ed Bastian. “With our Seattle service, Delta will add its sixth nonstop destination between London and the United States. Combined the Delta-Virgin partnership now offers our customers 33 daily nonstop flights across the Atlantic.” Besides, Virgin is also making significant schedule changes, by moving its VS1 service to Newark from a late afternoon departure to an early morning departure and has also retimed its Heathrow
to Boston service to depart two hours later in the afternoon. This timing offers more flexibility for the two airlines’ customers with Delta’s Heathrow to Boston service departing in the morning. In September, the airlines unveiled a new schedule for the competitive London to New York travel market following the decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation, DOT, to approve the carriers’ joint venture by granting antitrust immunity on routes between North America and the UK. This features convenient time slots – including six departures between the peak times of 1830 and 2230 from New York’s JFK to London’s Heathrow and a spread of seven daily flights from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK, including two late afternoon and early evening slots.
he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN is taking the back seat in its service delivery to the country’s airport users especially those using the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos. Although, street lights are mounted on the airport road from the domestic police station down to the international wing of the airport, but sadly, the stretch from the Strabag bus stop at night to the NCAA annex, the entire road is thrown
into darkness as the light are no longer functional. This has been the situation for over a year. Even though, FAAN senior management staff pass through the road regularly even at night, they have decided to turn blind eye to this safety measure. Airside appeals to FAAN to light up this road as this will go a long way in reducing accidents and even robbery at nights. FAAN should please do the ‘needful’ at least for us.
EgyptAir partners NGO to combat cancer
gyptAir said it has entered into a partnership with a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Help To Heal Foundation, to assist kids fight cancer, in an effort to promote better treatment for children living with Cancer. The General Manager, EgyptAir, Mr. Khaled El Rafie, said the airline is a longstanding sponsor of a similar project in Egypt and that the country has a world-class hospital known as 57357 that is specially established to treat children with cancer. As part of the agreement to support the initiative in Nigeria, El Rafie revealed that EgyptAir has accepted to work with the foundation to choose an existing hospital in Nigeria in an effort to upgrade its infrastructure mainly in the Pediatric Cancer Section, adding that the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, has been chosen for the exercise.
The Pediatric Section of the hospital is headed by Prof. Adebola O. Akinsule, who would represent the health institution, offer professional advice and help drive the process. “We have already agreed with him that we will upgrade the Cancer Section and invest to buy some missing materials, which are urgently needed,” he said. As part of activities to help with raising donations for the foundation, EgyptAir said it will sponsor a charity concert tagged; Pediatric Cancer Concert on the 7th December in Lagos where the gala dinner will hold to cap up activities. Help To Heal Foundation has the support of the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu who has also made a land available for citing of a state-ofthe-art hospital equipped with modern facilities specifically for the purpose of treating children with cancer.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
With the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) release of guidelines for the full take-off of takaful and micro-insurance business in the country as part of efforts to reach the grass roots, stakeholders said the industry is now set for boom time. MESHACK IDEHEN writes.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
s things currently stands based on statistics from operators in the nation’s insurance industry, Nigerian underwriting companies currently earns about 80 per cent of their premiums from corporate businesses through the insurance brokers. This situation, according to analysts, is because many of the corporate bodies in the country’s business environment are more enlightened about the need to take insurance, or are coerced to take it by regulators and government policies, leaving individuals and other less informed groups yet to maximise the potential that abounds in the sector. In that regard, it did not come as a surprise that NAICOM, which was already not satisfied with the insurance gap in the country currently standing at 94 per cent, is seeking to reduce that gap, using the instrumentality of the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) of the commission. Hence, the decision by the commission to work in partnership with other financial institutions to develop the guidelines that will usher in the takaful (a form of Islamic insurance) and micro-insurance in the country is causing ripples of excitement within the industry, with stakeholders explaining the anticipated boom time for the industry is at hand. Maintaining that NAICOM has gone beyond stakeholders expectation by releasing the guidelines for the practice of micro and takaful insurance, and insisting the move will also provided a framework that allows for the establishment of lasting takaful insurance operations, the Managing Director, Islamic Finance Institute of South Africa (IFISA), Sheikh Ziyaad Mohammad said that Takaful principle was such that the participants and the operators benefited. Mohammed explained the key business line in Takaful included the family, medi-
Former President NCRIB, Mrs. Laide Osijo
President, National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Ayodapo Shoderu
Release of guidelines for Micro, Takaful insurance excites stakeholders cal and property, saying the development is surely bound to raise awareness boost the sector and expand the industry, particularly amongst those in the northern part of the country. According to him, “Micro-insurance products are specially designed for the low income earners. Which requires them to pay a little premium, and which in return, offers them cover in times of losses or other unforeseen occurrences”. Corroborating the optimism expressed by Mohammed, Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, told National Mirror said the introduction of these guidelines for micro and takaful insurance would give the industry the posture of taking another big step after the recapitalisation in order to be fully attuned to the Nigerian financial industry reform initiatives. The insurance commissioner noted that the regulatory horizon has been broadened and, therefore, geared towards the attainment of a better future for the sector in particular and the growing economy in general. Beyond the level of Takaful and microinsurance, Daniel pointed out it was also imperative to emphasise the commitment of the commission to drive the Nigerian insurance industry to greater heights by providing strategic and far-reaching regulatory frameworks to reduce risks in the society and entrench local participation in the business of insurance. “This is the expectation that informed our decision to lower the capital requirement for the registration of insurance business at the micro level and to provide a framework that allows for the establishment of takaful operations,” Daniel said. He noted that recent climatic changes and the menace of floods to agricultural produce has made NAICOM very well poised
to improve the agricultural insurance system through a new perspective of climate insurance. Harping on the need for financial inclusion, and for every sector to make its contributions towards the success of the Federal Government’s economic advancement initiatives, Insurance Practitioner and former Executive Committee Member of Nigeria Insurers Association, (NIA), Mr. Ovie Agbons, said NAICOM has performed its duty in providing Takaful and micro insurance guidelines. He disclosed that only two per cent of the population in Nigeria has access to insurance services, and that many countries have succeeded in increasing their insurance penetration through micro and specialised insurance like takaful, “Nigeria needs to break this jinx”, he said. According to Agbons, Takaful and micro insurance are paramount to improve the peoples’ participation in insurance and the endless potential it provides, adding the achievements recorded during the research on Takaful and micro insurance showed that the target was very large and the opportunities it provides, limitless. Despite the optimism and excitement following the release of the guidelines, however the Managing Director of Rocky Insurance Brokers Limited, Mr. Lucky Igunbor, said the warning by the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, that Ngama, that NAICOM should ensure that only qualified people were issued guidelines to operate Takaful and micro insurance policies should be taken seriously. Ngama, had warned against unnecessary issuance of licences to potential operators of the takaful and micro insurance, saying it is his expectation that the operations of takaful and micro insurance
MICRO-INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE SPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR THE LOW INCOME EARNERS. WHICH REQUIRES THEM TO PAY A LITTLE PREMIUM, AND WHICH IN RETURN, OFFERS THEM COVER IN TIMES OF LOSSES OR OTHER UNFORESEEN OCCURRENCES
business would be properly rooted without delay. The warning, according to Igunbor,is borne out of fears that criminal elements within the system may take advantage of the wide acceptance of micro and Takaful insurance by the vulnerable in the society to perpetuate unwholesome activities; moreso,because the commission has lowered the capital requirements for the registration of Takaful and micro insurance businesses. Based on the guidelines for Takaful and micro insurance by NAICOM provided by the commission’s Deputy Director, Mr. Leo Akah, micro-insurance will be accessed by the low-income population; provided by licensed institutions, run in accordance with generally accepted insurance principles and funded by premiums. The product, according to him, must be simple, easily understood, accessible, valuable and efficient and excluded special risks such as third party liability risks, motor insurance, professional indemnity and other pecuniary risks with a sum insured higher than N1m. Also as part of the guidelines, All specialised micro-insurers shall have a provisional minimum paid-up capital requirement of N150m for life micro insurance business and N200m for general microinsurance business, and are to maintain 10 per cent of their minimum capital requirement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at all times. In the same vein, non-life micro-insurers are expected to maintain, at all times, a 50 per cent liquidity margin being the excess of the value of their admissible assets in Nigeria over their current liabilities in the country, while the nopremium-no-cover dictum, which means that the receipt of an insurance premium shall be a condition precedent for a valid contract under this policy shall be compulsorily applied. Akah explained the objectives of the guideline also includes the provision of minimum standards for the conduct of micro-insurance in the country, ensuring consumer protection, establishing general features of micro-insurance products, and establishing duties and responsibilities of the micro-insurance operators.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Stanbic IBTC counsels workers on retirement plans STORIES: MESHACK IDEHEN
he Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Pension, Dr. Demola Sogunle, has said the firm is encouraging workers to open a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) with the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) of their choice. He said such accounts is where their contributions will be deposited in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004, which charts a clear path for employees to maintain a stable standard of living even well after retirement. Sogunle said workers in Nigeria must start planning for retirement from the first day they start working so as not to be like people who are apprehensive about retirement because they do not plan for it early enough. Speaking in Lagos during the inaugural seminar on pre-retirement organised by Stanbic IBTC Pension, Sogun-
le assured that the PFA will continuously offer innovative customer value propositions, part of which include creating awareness about the benefits of retirement savings and helping workers plan for that retirement. He emphasised that planning for retirement should commence early in an individual’s working life as it typically takes many years to accumulate the necessary funds with which to live comfortably when the salary eventually ceases to arrive at the end of every month. According to him, the seminar, besides celebrating all who will soon become retired clients of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, will also provide an opportunity to address the concerns or anxieties you might have as retirement draws close. He said issues to be examined by seasoned professionals are preparation for retirement; how to access your retirement benefits; your health at retirement and investment opportu-
through integration and harmonisation could yield several benefits like bringing together scarce savings, viable investment projects and financial infrastructure Daniel said the theme of the conference, “An integrated and harmonised Insurance Industry in West Africa” could therefore not have come at a more auspicious time than now, adding the conference theme supports the ECOWAS Vision 2020 and aligned with the strategy for
nities for post-retirement,” he added. He r outlined the three crucial considerations which everyone must give a thought to for a secured future, saying the first being that no one will ever care about your retirement investments as much as you do, the second thought is that when making retirement investments, seek professional assistance, and third is even if you may have stopped working for money; your money should never stop working hard for you.
supporting regional integration of the financial sector in West Africa.
Custodian & Allied posts N2.3bn profit
he Chairman of Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc, Chief Ade Ojo has said the company posted a profit of N2.3 billion in the financial year end 2012 from N1.1 billion posted in 2011, representing 99 per cent increase. He said consequently that a dividend payout of 13 kobo for every 50 kobo ordinary shares was declared for the year out of which 5 kobo was paid as interim dividend, adding the company’s gross premium also grew to N11.8 billion in the year under review from N10 billion recorded in the preceding year while its actual claims stood at N3 billion. Speaking during the company’s 2012 yearly general meeting held in Lagos, he said the
performance highlighted the company’s determination to increase market share across business classes through a balanced growth focus that ensures its participation in all viable business in the sector despite the challenges and constraints of the operating environment. According to him, the company’s total assets stood at N41 billion from N20.2 billion while shareholders’ funds grew by 48 percent to N17.4 billion Ojo said Custodian remains focused on improving its systems, processes and operations to meet the challenges of commitment to excellent services delivery, new growth and evolving best practices. On his part, the Manag-
Closing sales tips every insurance agent should know
hether you sell life insurance, mortgage protection, disability and critical illness insurance, or annuities, the goal is the same: grow leads and increase sales. The good news is that you are in a sales career that offers multiple ways to grow your business relatively inexpensively. Here are tips every insurance agent should know to close more sales.
Listen more, talk less-
NAICOM lists benefits of harmonised insurance market in W/Africa
ommissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel has said that West African insurance companies stand to benefit more from an integrated and harmonised regional market rather than driving the market individually. Speaking in Lagos recently, during the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) conference, Daniel said West African financial markets are small and fragmented, and consolidating markets
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
ing Director of the company, Mr. Wole Oshin, said it was a particularly intense year for custodian and the insurance industry, saying the company had to grapple with various guidelines and regulations in particular, the International Financial reporting Standards (IFRS), which has 2012 as its adoption year. “This new reporting format is a departure from the past as it is more informative and user friendly for all stakeholders making it easier to compare insurance companies’ results,” he pointed out, noting that the company was able to conclude the merger with Crusader Nigeria Plc, ending a seven year negotiation process with strategic stockholders.
As tempting as it is to sit down and begin explaining all the benefits of your insurance policies and plans, the best thing you can do is let the prospect lead the discussion. Instead of pitching your product, sit down and ask the person you are speaking with about their lifestyle. Ask questions about their family and concerns for the future, and let them tell you what it is they are looking for. Your role is to be an insurance consultant, not an insurance salesman.
Don’t sell products, provide solutionsInstead of jumping into a sales pitch about the great discounts your agency offers on insurance plans, explain to the prospect how what you are offering can help solve a problem they currently have, or potential problem down the road. People are much more likely to purchase products that resolve problems and provide them with peace of mind. You will only be able to do this successfully if you understand the families’ needs and have followed rule number one.
Highlight benefits over featuresRather than focusing on the technical aspects of an insurance policy (although you do want to be sure the lead clearly understands this prior to purchase), first highlight how having insurance will help them in terms they can relate to. For example, explain how the policy help will pay the bills if they become disabled. Be sure to keep the lead and their needs at the center of the conversation.
Leave something to remember you byMost simple life insurance sales – especially lead driven sales – can be a one sit close, but occasionally families will need to weigh their options and put more thought into their final decision. This is certainly the case with annuity sales or more complex life insurance sales. Be sure you are prepared with specific company or product literature that you can leave behind.
At the very minimum, be prepared to leave a business card, because those who do buy may have questions after you leave and will need a way to get in touch with you, especially if or when they need to use the policy.
Set goals and deadlinesMake sure that your goals are specific. What number of appointments are you going to set this week? 10? 15? 20? How many of those appointments will result in a sale? Be sure your goals are realistic. Rather than aiming for a 100% close rate, aim to increase your insurance sales by 10%. Incremental goals are much more achievable and create an atmosphere of success. Don’t leave your goals open-ended. It’s not enough to say “I will increase sales by 10%.” Instead, give yourself a set deadline. “I will increase sales by 10% every month.”
Take advantage of networking opportunitiesTake advantage of the opportunity to attend trade shows, conferences and meetings, and network with other insurance professionals in your field. These are great places to make connections, learn from respected industry leaders and stay up to date on industry trends.
Ask for referralsHave a happy prospect that you’ve helped in the past? Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Word-of-mouth is still a viable, and free, lead generating tool.
Learn something new each dayDevote some time each day to improving your sales and marketing knowledge. Read a book, attend a webinar or listen to an audio book, and try to learn something new about your field.
Associate with successful professionalsSurround yourself with successful, positive people. If you are surrounded by people who are meeting their goals, it will help motivate you to achieve your own objectives. Talk to other professionals in the insurance business about what does and does not work, and ask about their experiences when they were in your shoes.
Love your JobIn order to be truly successful, you have to love your job and believe in the product you are selling. People who enjoy what they are doing experience less stress and a higher success rate. Source: www. SFGLife.com.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Equities regain vigour as index rises 0.3% JOHNSON OKANLAWON
rading in equities closed on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as investment in companies with good earnings lifted the benchmark index. The All Share Index gained 0.32 per cent to close at 39,045.07 points, as against the loss of 0.02 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 38,920.85 points. Market capitalisation rose N40bn to close at N12.488trn, in contrast to the decline of N3bn recorded on Friday to close at
N12.488trn. The NSE 30-Index appreciated 0.36 per cent to close at 39,045.07 points, while the Banking Index appreciated 0.46 per cent to close at 411.39 points. The Insurance Index was up 0.57 per cent to close at 143.83 points, while the Consumer Goods Index increased 0.34 per cent to close at 1,128.63 points. The Oil and Gas Index dropped 0.19 per cent to close at 296.22 points, but the Lotus Islamic Index was up 0.03 per cent to close at 2,767.78 points. The Industrial Index added 0.06 per cent to close
at 2,270.86 points, while the Alternative Securities Market remained unchanged. Jos Breweries Plc led the gainers’ table with 43 kobo or 9.98 per cent to close at N4.74 per share, followed by Union Dicon Salt Plc with 51 kobo or 9.96 per cent to close at N5.63 per share. Costain West Africa Plc increased eight kobo or 8.60 per cent to close at N1.01 per share, while Eterna Oil Plc gained 24 kobo or 5.76 per cent to close at N4.40 per share. Portland Paints Plc appreciated 28 kobo or 4.93 per cent to close at N5.96 per share.
On the flip side, Livestock Plc lost 29 kobo or 6.92 per cent to close at N3.90 per share, while Forte Oil Plc shed N5.70 or five per cent to close at N108.30 per share. Vitafoam Plc appreciated 23 kobo or five per cent to close at N4.37 per share, while Trans Express Plc dropped six kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at N1.16 per share. Continental Insurance Plc dipped five kobo or 4.35 per cent to close at N1.10 per share. A total of 289.1 million shares valued at N1.72bn were traded in 4,495 deals.
Oando extends ConocoPhillips acquisition till January JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ando Energy Resources (OER), the upstream business of Oando Plc has extended the closure date on its acquisition of ConocoPhillips (COP) Nigerian business from November 30, 2013 to January 31, 2014. A statement from the company yesterday affirmed its commitment to completing the acquisition. It noted that the availability of $815m in committed credit facilities from local and foreign banks and the already paid $435 million deposit, plac-
es OER in good stead to finalise the financing of the balance necessary to close the $1.68bn purchase. Oando has steadily focused on upstream diversification in an effort to increase annual free cash flows and increase value creation for shareholders. The company explained that the acquisition is expected to be a transformational milestone, making Oando the largest indigenous E&P Company in Nigeria with 50,000 boepd in production, 236 million in 2P reserves and over 500 million in contingent resources, an unprecedented achievement by an indigenous player in the Nige-
rian oil and gas space. OER and ConocoPhillips have agreed to an increase in the deposit by $15m making a total deposit of $450m by December 6, 2013. According to the company, the new agreement is testament to OER’s confidence and belief in closing the transaction, and also shows ConocoPhillips’ confidence in OER’s ability to close the deal. “ConocoPhillips agreeing to this new arrangement confirms the strong reassurance the company must have received from OER on its ability to close the transaction on or before January 31, 2014,” the
Access Bank appoints three directors
he Board of Directors of Access Bank Plc yesterday announced the appointment of new executives to form the management team which will oversee the next phase of the bank’s growth and evolution. A statement from the bank said the announcement signals the successful completion of the leadership transition that began with the appointment of Mr. Herbert Wigwe in April 2013 as the Group Managing Director/CEO Designate in preparation for the retirement of the Group Managing Direct/CEO, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. The statement said the executive management team led by Mr. Herbert Wigwe consists of accomplished professionals and reflects a well governed
selection process based on merit. According to the statement, Mr. Obinna Nwosu has been appointed the Group Deputy Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer. He brings on board his over two decades of banking experience garnered from Access Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank. Nwosu, who joined the bank in 2002, was a General Manager and Head, Retail Banking Division until December 2012 when he took a study leave for a Masters Degree in Public Policy at Columbia University, New York. His experience spans both banking operations and relationship management and is a highly regarded leader of people. He holds an MBA and a Second Class Upper De-
gree in Accountancy from University of Nigeria Nsukka and has attended several executive and leadership development programmes in leading institutions. He will be supported in this role by Mrs. Ojinika Olaghere who has been appointed the Executive Director, Operations and Information Technology. Mrs. Olaghere is fluent in several languages and has extensive experience in Banking Operations, Information Technology, Business Development and Enterprise Business Support. Similarly, Mr. Victor Etuokwu will continue to lead the Bank’s retail business as Executive Director, Personal Banking. Mr. Etuokwu has over 20 years of banking experience cutting across banking op-
company said. It stressed that OER received additional support from its parent company, Oando Plc, in the form of an amended loan agreement and associated repayment deed. The company stated that an additional loan amount of $15m repayable in cash on December 31, 2013 will fund the increase in the deposit required to be paid to ConocoPhillips. “The company has committed to increasing the purchase price by $10m on a monthly basis, which effectively offsets the value created by the oil and gas production from these assets,” it added.
erations, retail banking, internal control, business acquisition and integration. He joined the bank in 2002 from Citibank and was appointed an Executive Director in 2012. Etuokwu holds Bachelors of Science Degree and Masters of Business Administration from the Universities of Ibadan and Benin respectively. The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede who retires next month said “Further to the appointment of a first class banker, Mr Herbert Wigwe as my successor, the announcement of our reconstituted Executive Management Team effectively completes the succession process. Access Bank is now well positioned for even greater performance in the years ahead”.
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 to the proposed National Conference. As constituted under the enabling Decree, the Assembly had 230 members, of whom 20 were appointed by the FMG, seven were the Chairman of the CDC (Chief FRA Williams SAN) and the chairmen of its six sub-committees (I was one of the six), and the remaining 203 members were elected, not directly by the people, but by the local government councils acting as electoral colleges.”
Confab: Mixed grill over Nwabueze’s proposal
The Patriots and confab The Patriots had been in the vanguard of the call for a National Conference to address imbalance in the polity, as the unitary constitution/system of government presently in place under the guise of a federal system has failed to solve the country’s numerous problems. At its recent meeting with President Jonathan delegation, the group told him (Jonathan) that the convocation of a national conference was the fastest way to achieve the most needed transformation in the country. Nwabueze, who spoke on behalf of the group, said: “We have done our own research; and we are not perfect. But our own review is that we have in the country 389 ethnic nationalities. We need to bring these nationalities around a conference table to discuss how we are going to live together as one country in peace as one country with the aim of achieving national unity.” He added that Nigeria was not yet a nation but a state and the convening of the national conference should be seen as a matter of priority as soon as possible, in any event before the 2015 general elections. His words: “Nigeria is a wobbly state in part because it stands on a very weak foundation, which creates a necessity to transform it. The foundation of a polity or state, that is to say, its super-structure, is its constitution. A polity or state rests on a very weak foundation if the source of authority of its constitution, as the supreme law of the land, is not the people directly, acting in a constituent assembly or a national conference and a referendum; that is what characterises a constitution as a democratic one, otherwise called a Peoples’ Constitution.” He also noted that the argument of some members of the National Assembly that the conference was not necessary because of their existence does not hold water, as the 1999 Constitution was a schedule in Decree 24, and the only thing the President needs to do is repeal the decree and a brand new constitution would emerge for the country.
North kicks Genuine as Nwabueze’s idea seemed, some stakeholders from the northern part of the country have raised objections to it, saying it will amount to the Presidency acting the script by The Patriots. To these stakeholders, Nwabueze, by his proposal practically wanted Jonathan to turn a committee that had been meeting in his house into a Presidential Committee to draft a constitution that would form the basis of its deliberations and decisions and to be piloted through the conference just as was done in 1977/78 in the making of the 1979 Constitution. The apex Northern socio-political group, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, which raised doubt over the Constitution Drafting Committee proposal, argued that it would be foolhardy to for the President to commis-
sion Nwabueze to single-handedly produce a draft new constitution for Nigeria when he had earlier opted out of the conference on health ground. Rising from its National Working Committee, NWC, meeting in Kaduna on Tuesday, the group also questioned the pedigree of the constitutional lawyer, saying it does not include nationalistic struggle for Nigeria’s independence, as he spent most of his productive life outside the country. In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting chaired by Alhaji Aliko Mohammed (the group’s chairman), the ACF maintained that Nwabueze, who served a government put in place by a military regime cannot reasonably and morally question the legitimacy of the 1999 constitution simply because the framers worked under the watch of a military regime. The communiqué signed by Anthony Sani (National Publicity Secretary), read in part: “President Goodluck Jonathan had previously been against the convocation of a National Conference of any nature. He had on many occasions dismissed the idea with a sleight of hand. To the surprise of everyone, the President in his Independence Day speech of 1st October, 2013, announced the government’s decision to convene a National Conference/Dialogue, and set up an Advisory Committee to collect and collate the views of Nigerians on the agenda, participants and other modalities for the conference. “Prof. Nwabueze was one of the eminent persons announced by the President as a member of the Advisory Committee on the National Conference. Prof Nwabueze was he who promptly declined membership of the Advisory Committee. His press statement disclosed that he has been battling with prostate cancer and has been surviving by ‘consultation from time to time with treatment by a consultant oncologist at Charing Cross Hospital in London.’ “The elder statesman, who said he never expected to be appointed Chairman or member of the Committee, added that he ‘considered such appointment in the circumstances to be an appointment for younger person, not for an old man of 83 years afflicted by ill-health.’ “He, however, said ‘the patriot remain willing to work with the Advisory Committee, and to give it all necessary assistance, when called upon to do so.’ “Prof. Nwabueze, inspite of the reason for declining membership of the Advisory Committee, has now requested the President to commission him to single-handedly
THAT PROF. NWABUEZE AND SOME SECTIONS OF THIS COUNTRY HAVE MANAGED TO SELL THE IDEA OF THE
CONFERENCE... DOES NOT QUALIFY HIM TO SEEK TO DETERMINE THE OUTCOME OF THE CONFERENCE UP FRONT produce a draft new constitution for Nigeria which will become the sole working paper for the conference; and did so without any request from the Committee or the Presidency.” The ACF added that while Nwabueze and some sections of the country may have managed to sell the idea of the conference to the government, such does not qualify him to seek to determine the outcome of the conference, advising that that the Okunrounmu committee be allowed to its job. It said: “That Prof. Nwabueze and some sections of this country have managed to sell the idea of the conference to the government and to the good people of Nigeria does not qualify him to seek to determine the outcome of the conference up front. “More troubling would be the impression created in the minds of Nigerians that the conference is intended to produce a brand new constitution, whereas no sitting government has the constitutional right to discard the existing constitution in favor of a new one. We hope Prof. Nwabueze is not attempting to make the conference sovereign irrespective of the advice by the advisory committee.” In a similar reaction, the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, through its spokesman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said the proposal shows that the planned confab is hidden agenda being pursued by the Presidency. Abdullahi described Nwabueze’s guts as a “depiction of arrant arrogance,” saying he cannot not write the constitution alone, as constitution writing is a team work and comprehensive job that requires input from relevant stakeholders. He added that it was unfortunate that af-
ter years of complaints by Nigerians that the constitution was imposed and not people-oriented, a respected scholar and elder like Nwabueze would opt to further complicate issues and attempt to create more divisions, as events leading to his letter clearly suggest that he has ulterior motives. His words: “Prof. Nwabueze and whoever that he represents has a lot to worry about. He thinks that the problem of Nigeria is the unity of the North as it was left by the British and he sees no reason as to why such a North should still exist as so till now. “He kept nagging in that paper that the North remained a political unit and that that is the problem of Nigeria. He went on in that paper to suggest ways and means of how to divide the North, either along historical, religious, ethnic lines, etc., with specific mentioning of people’s names . In his paper, there is what he called the true North, the Middle Belt North, etc. So, you can see that that kind of person has a lot of bias in his mind and when he is asked to draft a constitution for Nigeria, you can then imagine what he would draft.”
Afenifere differs In a sharp contrast to the ACF’s position, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, said Nigeria would need Nwabueze’s services of in drafting a new constitution for the country after the proposed national conference. Spokesman for the group, Yinka Odumakin, who described former minister’s offer as a patriotic one, however noted that it should come after decisions have been made on the structure of the country. “Prof. Nwabueze’s offer is a patriotic offer of a citizen, who is one of the foremost authorities in constitutionalism and federalism in Nigeria. But where Afenifere stands is that there can’t be a draft constitution until the people of Nigeria have decided what they want; whether they want to be a federal republic, confederal republic or unitary republic. “When that is done, then we would need the services of the Nwabuezes of this world to draft a constitution based on decision of the Nigerian people on how they want to coexist. We should not put the cart before the horse. Definitely Nigeria will need the services of people like Prof. Ben Nwabueze to draft the constitution that can move the country forward.” He added that with the progress made by the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, Afenifere was confident that the National Conference will succeed in ushering in a new order. “We believe that the conference is on course. We are now waiting for the committee to submit its report. They have gone round the country without problems. Except for the little hitch that happened in Benin, there was no other incident. We are waiting to see what they will recommend,” he said. While the Presidency is yet to state its position on the offer by the foremost constitutional lawyer, many, like the Afenifere believe that the suggestions by the Law professor are not ones to be wished away against the backdrop that he had over time endeared himself to majority of Nigerians for his contributions to nation-building, particularly his immeasurable contribution to the 1979 Constitution.
PARLIAMENT The investigative report of the Senate Joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the alleged extra judicial killings in Apo, which was debated by the Senate last week turned out to be an eye-opener on the level of infiltration of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by the dreaded sect, including the maintenance of a cell in the city, writes GEORGE OJI.
ight from the onset, every indication pointed to the direction that the outcome of the report of the probe committee, set up by the Senate to look into the circumstances surrounding the killing of nine civilians in an uncompleted building in Apo by a combined team of security operatives, who had been on the trail of Boko Haram sect members, would end up very controversial. The joint investigative committee was the product of public outrage, which greeted the killing of alleged members of the Boko Haram in September. The resolution, which led to the setting up of the investigation committee by the Senate, was taken on September 24. This was consequent upon the adoption of the prayers contained in the motion sponsored by Senator Sahabi Yau’au (Zamfara North). The 20-member joint Senate investigation committee, which was headed by the chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Mohammed Magoro (Kebbi North) was initially given one week to complete its assignment. At the end of the initial one week, the committee asked for and was allowed further extension of time. It took the committee two months to complete and submit its report to the Senate. Last week, when the report was debated on the floor of the Senate, a minor drama played out. A member of the committee, Senator Mohammed Salleh (Kaduna Central), openly dissociated himself from the final report, which was laid by the investigation committee. In what was considered as his minority report, Salleh, while substantially identifying with the other contents of the report, however disagreed with the mode of operation embarked upon by the security agents who carried out the operation at the uncompleted building in Apo, which led to the death of the civilians. Salleh, who is a retired Army General, argued that the security operatives, having identified the said building as the den of Boko Haram ought to have first, carried out the operation during day time and not at night. Secondly, he said the operatives ought not to have shot at the alleged sect members, despite the established fact that they were armed. The lawmaker’s further argument was that the operatives should have allowed the sect members exhaust their ammuni-
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Apo killings: Senate report that exposed Boko Haram’s underbelly THE APO INCIDENCE
WAS AN URGENT AND NECESSARY OPERATION CARRIED OUT TO PREEMPT THE PLANNED ATTACK ON SOME LOCATIONS ON THE
22ND OF SEPTEMBER BY THE INSURGENTS
tion, after which, the security operatives would then go in and arrest them. Following this remarks, the chamber erupted in ridiculous laughter, even as some senators could hardly hid their disdain for Salleh, who they openly derided with disdainful sighs. Salleh’s presentation was severally criticized by both members of the committee and non members alike. For instance, one of the members of the committee, Senate Suleiman Adokwe (Nasarawa South) upbraided Salleh in very unkind terms. Adokwe described as ridiculous and unfortunate the submissions by Salleh. He noted that throughout the course of the investigations of the committee, Salleh played key roles and did not at any point raise any form of dissent on the process of the probe. Adokwe also described as double standard, the submissions made by Salleh, which he said was targeted at portraying the other members of the investigation committee as irresponsible. He urged the other senators to disregard the presentation of Salleh as not a true reflection of what took place during the assignment. The chairman of the joint investigation committee, Senator Magoro, who is even a more senior retired general was full of shock at the actions of Salleh. “It is with a heavy heart that I stand to challenge the depositions of Salleh regarding this report,” Magoro said as he punctured all the points raised by Salleh in his presentations. Magoro described as complete false, the claim by Salleh that he was not availed a copy of the committee’s final report before it was laid before the Senate. The chairman in addition corroborated the position of Adokwe that Salleh was an integral part of the investigation process and therefore could not have at the last minute disowned the work of committee. Indeed, Magoro noted that if anything, the said minority report by Salleh was an affirmation of the majority report. Magoro disclosed that even before the final report of the committee was laid before the Senate, Salleh asked for, and he, Magoro gave him a draft copy of the report. Quoting from Salleh’s report, Magoro said it was clear that Salleh lifted his own presentations from the contents of the committee’s
final report because; both the language and the contents of Salleh’s conclusions were indeed lifted from our report. It is instructive that out of the 20 senators who participated in the investigation, it was only Salleh that disagreed with the final report by not appending his signature to it. The final report of the committee, which was described by almost all the senators as very detailed and unbiased, was unanimously adopted by the Senate, including all the five-points recommendations contained therein. It was revealed in the report that, but for the timely action of the security agents who swooped on suspected members of Boko Haram at the uncompleted building in the Apo area of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja in September, the sect would have carried out a well coordinated and disastrous operation in some locations in the city on September 22, the same day the Kenyan shopping mall hostage operation was carried out by members of the terror group, Al-Shaabab. This was also as the report disclosed that, “there is a Boko Haram cell in Abuja planning to carry out terrorist activities in the area.” The 65-page report, which five paragraphs recommendations were all adopted by the Senate after a very exhaustive debate noted that, “if that planned operation had been successful, it would have provided a far-reaching moral boosting to the Boko Haram sect. “The Apo incidence was an urgent and necessary operation carried out to pre-empt the planned attack on some locations on the 22nd of September by the insurgents.” The report noted that the commotion, insecurity and disruption to government businesses and social services that could have occurred if the planned Boko Haram operation had succeeded was averted by the pre-emptive action of the security operatives. It further noted that the high political and diplomatic embarrassment the government and the people of Nigeria would have suffered if the planned Boko Haram operations had succeeded was also prevented. This was as the report also recognised that majority of the occupants of the uncompleted building cohabited with Boko Haram elements unknowingly. Even though the senators justified the actions of the security agents to stamp out the members of the Boko Haram, the lawmakers nonetheless criticised the operational mechanisms of the operatives as
leaving much to be desired. They urged that next time such actions are carried out by the operatives, efforts must be made to ensure that the operation is in line with best known practice and done in such a way as to reduce civilian casualty to its barest minimum. The report noted in its 29-page findings/ observations that the death of eight people and wounding of eleven others was not a case of extra judicial killing, but the outcome of hastily executed operation. The report noted in its findings that the influx of members of the Boko Haram into the FCT and its environs was noticed by the security agents through various sources, including electronic interceptions; the need to stop the sudden influx of terrorists in Abuja, the nation’s capital became urgent to avoid the calamity it portends. It said the operation at Apo was necessitated by electronic intercepts made by the Directorate of Security Service (DSS), which indicated plans to attack the FCT on September 22. It also added that the security agencies had enough and convincing intelligence to believe that some Boko Haram elements were embedded among the over 100 dwellers of the uncompleted building at Apo. It noted that the arrest of the duo of Kamal and Adamu and intelligence information derived from them while in the custody of the DSS actually confirmed increased activities of Boko Haram terrorists in Abuja, the seat of government. The report further disclosed that the categorical and damning evidence given by Kamal and Adamu, including the large cache of weapons allegedly buried in Gudu cemetery and the presence of members of the Boko Haram sect living in uncompleted building made it imperative for the security agencies to take action. It said that one Mohammed Adamu openly and categorically confessed that he joined the Boko Haram sect and that he often conveyed members to the uncompleted building for meetings three times in a week and that during the meeting he used to serve as watchman. This was as the said Adamu admitted that he was paid N5,000 every week, even as four arrested suspects in the custody of the DSS have confessed to be Boko Haram members. The report noted that those that were either killed or sustained gunshot injuries were those who attempted to run out of the building. It said Suleiman Musa, the sect leader was in the building during the raid, as Mohammed Adamu confessed seeing him, though could not be arrested as he slipped away in the confusion that ensured. It said the escape of Musa made the attempt to recover the weapons impossible, because he alone seems to have the knowledge of the site where the weapons were buried. This was as it was revealed that the said Musa, the sect leader is currently at large and is being trailed by the security agencies. The report also revealed that an AK 47 magazine loaded with live ammunition, CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
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Defection: Is a revolution brewing in the house?
For the first time in 14 years, a majority arm of the National Assembly in Nigeria will be dominated by an opposition party. The possibility is highly unsettling, the stakes are high and the odds may even be higher, as the House of Representatives resumes on an interesting note, TORDUE SALEM writes.
ubilation gripped the air in and around the hallowed Chambers of the National Assembly two weeks ago, when news flew in that Governors Chibuike Amaechi, Aliyu Wamakko, Murtala Nyako, Abdulfatah Ahmed and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, helmsmen of Rivers, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kwara and Kano states respectively had defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The cross-carpeting was long overdue. The governors and their followers, tired of the trademark chicanery, bullying and subterfuge of the ruling PDP, declared war on it, rejecting calls to discipline and insisting that certain concessions be made to them, including the recognition of Amaechi as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF. Amaechi had trounced Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang by three votes (19 to 16) to win the chairmanship of the NGF, but the Presidency sneeringly recognised the loser as the ‘winner’, fueling crisis in the PDP. But after a long battle with President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP leadership, the governors, lawmakers controlled by them and other dissident PDP chieftains, decamped to the APC. The decision of the big shots to jump ship has become a subject for frenzied debate. Two governors had dropped out however, they are Babangida Aliyu and Sule Lamido of Niger and Jigawa states respectively. The latter, a revolutionary turncoat that started out in the 60s as a fiery leftist politician, later joined the political right for exigencies. But on Thursday last week, Nyako announced to those who held doubts that the two governors would join the APC camp in January. Perhaps, subject to their last meeting with Jonathan, which took place at the weekend. The defections have powerfully resonated within the National Assembly. Though the elation is controlled for now, it would bubble up to frenzy in a few days when the defectors finally declare their party allegiances. As signs of what to come, a sharp division attended the House of Representatives’ approval of the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and the benchmark price of crude oil at $79 against the $76.5 agreed to by the Presidency and the Senate two weeks ago. A strong division among factions of the PDP had resurfaced in the Green Chamber as the two sides could not reach a compromise on the MTEF after arising from a 3hrexecutive session. Members of the new PDP, with an overwhelming support from the APC, however
carried the day, arriving at a $79 benchmark. The new PDP and APC got 79 votes while the old PDP garnered 62 votes. This contrasted with the figure passed by the Senate which stood unchanged from the proposed $76.50 it received from the executive. Adopting the recommendations of the report on the MTEF and FSP submitted by the committees on Finance, Budget and Research and Aid, Loans and Debt Management, the lawmakers also fixed the average crude oil production at 2,3883, 2,5007, and 2,5497 million barrels per day for 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The average exchange rate of N160 to a dollar was approved for the next three years with corporate tax fixed at 30 percent and Value Added Tax, VAT, at 5 percent respectively. Other recommendations include that, “the government should strengthen and consolidate its fiscal strategy to narrow the gap between projected and actual revenue for the period 2014-2016 curtailing oil theft and diversifying the economy to increase tax bases so as to increase tax revenue”. It also asked the executive that “the details of SURE-P projects to be executed be attached as an addendum to the annual budget estimates for approval by the National Assembly.” On the Excess Crude Account, ECA, the lawmakers approved “the distribution to the tiers of government of N666.9 billion from the ECA as proposed by the executive” and “augmentation from the ECA should be projected crude production fall below budgeted, provided there are funds in the account”. The opposition lawmakers have since argued that the M-TEF was brought to the House three months late by the President in breach of Section 11(1) of the 1999 Constitution. The section, as paraphrased, says that the M-TEF must be laid before the National Assembly, six months before the President would bring his budget estimates as directed in section 81(1) of the 1999 Constitution. The politics of this and the growing heat from the opposition, forced the President to postpone twice the presentation of his budget estimates. Now, the possibility that he would bring the estimates before the House closes for the year is in a limbo, while the M-TEF harmonisation committee itself may be in a crisis. Though the House set up a committee to
SHOULD THE DEFECTORS DECLARE FORMALLY FOR THE
APC, THEY WOULD BE ABOUT 192 AS AGAINST LESS THAN
141 MEMBERS OF THE PDP; THE REMAINDER WOULD BE SHARED BY
DPP, LP AND APGA harmonise with the Senate on the M-TEF, questions arose last week on the integrity of the committee from the House. Samson Okwu (PDP-Benue) kicked against its composition. Okwu though did not come out categorically, suspects that the committee which is loaded with opposition lawmakers would likely bungle the chance of ever harmonising positions with the Senate, as regards the benchmark. There are other things to be troubled about, in the coming weeks. Should the defectors declare formally for the APC, they would be about 192 as against less than 141 members of the PDP; the remainder would be shared by DPP, LP and APGA (Anambra faction). According to the House Rules 181, members can form a majority and decide the composition of the House. Should that happen, the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha would fall off the number two slot. Same goes for the Leader of the House, Mrs. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, who may swap position with the Minority Leader, yielding the Majority Leader slot to Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos State. Gbajabiamila, seems to be warming up for his possible position already. His chamber dress sense has for the moment even changed to Ankara. But the PDP die-hards are also kicking and spoiling for war. Okwu in a chat with National Mirror, said the PDP as a party would work to have the defectors’ seats declared vacant, in line with section 68(1g) of the 1999 Constitution. “The moment they defect, their seats will be declared vacant and the House would start a process of recall”, Okwu, a loyal supporter of Senate President David
Mark boasted last week. The Deputy Leader of the House, Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta), said he was unperturbed and that the issue of the APC forming a majority is a rumour that would be addressed in due time. “Don’t worry, just watch and see what we would do about them,” Ogor said. The deputy spokesman of the House also said last week that despite the defection of five PDP governors to the APC and lawmakers loyal to them, the composition of the House of Representatives is still intact until certain measures were exhausted. The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Victor Afam Ogene (APGA-Anambra), who stood in for the chairman, Zakari Mohammed (PDP Kwara), said this at a press briefing held at the National Assembly. Ogene at the briefing, said section 68(1g) of the 1999 Constitution, though allows for defection when there is a crisis in a party, such cross-carpeting must be activated on the floor of the House. He also said that by the Rules of the House, any party that has at least 181 people holds the majority and can decide the composition of the House. “According to our rules, to make a majority in the House, you must be 181”, he said. Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution states that: “A member of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if: (a) he becomes a member of another legislative house, (b) any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, would cause him to be disqualified for election as a member, (c) he ceases to be a citizen of Nigeria, (d) he becomes President, Vice-President, Governor, Deputy Governor or a Minister of the Government of the Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State or a Special Adviser,(e) save as otherwise prescribed by this constitution, he becomes a member of a commission or other body established by this Constitution or by any other law. “(f) without just cause he is absent from meetings of the House of which he is a member for a period amounting in the aggregate to more than one-third of the total number of days during which the House meets in anyone year. Subsection (g) however states: “being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.” The APC is likely to rely on subsection (g) to rebuff attempts to puncture its gains in the House, claiming that the nPDP group defected because of the crisis in the PDP. And the Speaker, who is also likely to announce his defection to APC, would rely on the tradition of the House to protect defectors from losing their seats in the event of defections. More defectors from Benue, Niger and Jigawa are expected to emerge in a few days, but the APC horde may have to watch out, because the PDP might just dust up the old trick of unleashing security agencies and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to cudgel opposition to submission in its desperation to deny the APC the glory of taking over the House and even the Senate. The Senate might in its trademark restraint, wait for the House to make the move before it follows. For now the Senate is 58 for PDP and 48 for the opposition, but a game changer is expected in the Red Chamber as well.
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With or without rebel govs, Jonathan’ll return in 2015 –Tukur •Says G5 govs will come back OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday boasted that with or without the rebel governors, President Goodluck Jonathan will be in Aso Villa in 2015. Tukur said this in Abuja when the Sokoto State chapter of the party paid him and members of the PDP National Working Committee, NWC, a courtesy call. Tukur specifically advised President Jonathan not to entertain fear in the coming presidential election as the Sokoto State PDP is solidly behind him,
adding that the defecting rebel governors will come back to PDP. His words: “Goodluck Jonathan, no fear, he will be there. Sokoto is behind you. When caliphate is behind you, believe me no fear. No fear, no shaking, PDP is our party, is a party of choice.” The national chairman also boasted that the ruling party will not miss the defected governors, adding that they will soon come back to PDP as the opposition party, where they defected to is not a bed of roses. Tukur said: “People can defect, it is their right, but soon they will find out that it is not cool in the place they are. They will soon come to the embrace of PDP.
“Sometimes when people have eaten and aresatisfied, you know what they will do? They will tell themselves, let’s try another place to see whether there is a better place. “We experience it before, is not new. Many of them left PDP before, is not new, but my advice is that people should not forget that no matter what they do, if they want to sit, learn to sit on their bottom. “They know that there is no other way, PDP is the party, if they go... they have done so before and we saw them coming back.
“If they believe they want to go they will not be missed, we cannot miss them. They enter a wrong party and when they take the wrong party, they will end up in wrong places.” He told the Sokoto PDP members that “our party is inclusive, we reassured you at the headquarters that we will accord every one of you with respect.” Speaking earlier, the leader of the Sokoto State PDP delegation, a former Minister of Communications, Alhaji Arzika Tambuwal, urged the NWC members to “immediately
constitute a caretaker committee to organise congresses for the election of new party executives at all levels in Sokoto State.” Tambuwal said they have observed recent political developments in the country and the overheating of the polity, created by the PDP rebel governors, Sokoto State inclusive, which resulted in the defection of the governors to the APC. He reminded that “in 2006, Governor Aliyu Wamakko resigned as deputy governor to avoid impeachment. The PDP in 2007 welcomed Wamakko back to
its fold and gave him the governorship ticket. In the last six years, he victimised most loyal PDP members he met in the party, managed the party like a one man sole proprietorship, and looked upon the national party headquarters with disdain. His recent defection is therefore not surprising.” While pledging loyalty to President Jonathan and the Tukur-led leadership of the party, Tambuwal said: “Wamakko has boasted that without him there is no PDP in Sokoto State. Today you know better.”
APC, no threat in 2015 poll, says Okorotie EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ormer Political Adviser to the Bayelsa State governor, Chief Thompson Okorotie, has insisted that the All Progressive Congress, APC, is no big threat to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2015 election. Speaking to National Mirror in Yenagoa, the politician, however, stated that the APC may give the PDP a good fight in the elections, but, emphasized that the opposition party would be defeated in the elections to prove the consistency and popularity of the ruling party. His words: “Don’t forget that for the President to win election he needs 25 per cent of votes in tho thirds of the states of the federation.
We will defeat the APC easily. The PDP will now have peace; let them go away with their trouble and let us see what they will make out with that departure.” The former Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the Second Republic described the APC as propagandists who operate on the pages of newspapers. Describing the defection of the governors and the former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva to the opposition APC of lacking in consequence, Okorotie added: “Do you see any trace of Timipre Sylva here? APC is still largely on paper. They are propagandists because they have the press on their side. As far as I am concerned they don’t even understand fully the terrain of their states.”
L-R: Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Commissioner in Charge of Anambra, Abia and Benue, Chief Lawrence Nwaruku; Anambra State governor Peter Obi; Governor-elect, Dr. Willie Obiano and Chairman, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh, at the presentation of Certificate of Return to Obiano at INEC office in Awka, yesterday.
Lagos PDP berates Fashola over dilapidated school OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
he Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has berated Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola for his indifference to the state of the dilapidation in public schools in the Centre of Excellence. The party, in a statement made available to National Mirror said that it had in its
possession enough evidence of the high level contract fraud and corruption in Lagos State public schools and called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to begin beaming its searchlights on the sector, saying that enough is enough. The party said that its latest reaction was provoked by the state government’s decision to victimise the head teacher of Ikeja Grammar School following
the media report which exposed the state of dilapidation in the school, opining that such line of action was unexpected of a government touted as progressive. It would be recalled that a national newspaper, (not National Mirror) had in recent times reported some schools in Lagos State, where pupils sit on the floor, one of which was Ikeja Grammar School. The PDP said: “Since
that revelation of dilapidated public schools in the state, the Lagos State government has been harassing head teachers for allowing the media access to their schools. “The government is thus only being hostile to public opinion. Rather than this vindictive posture, the Lagos State government is expected to fix the problems and not blame head teacher of those schools.”
Apo killings: Senate report that exposed Boko Haram’s underbelly CONTINUED FROM PAGE 42 not belonging to the security agencies was recovered from the scene of the incidence. Regarding the details of the ownership of the said uncompleted building, the committee explained that in the course of its investigations, it found out that the owner of the building was identified as one Mr. Adekunle Salisu, who confirmed the illegal occupation of the uncompleted building by some persons. It disclosed that evidence available to the security agencies indicated that most of the occupants of the building moved into Abuja not too long ago. The report noted that out of the 15 persons arrested during the incidence and taken into custody by the DSS, four of them have confessed to be Boko Haram members.
In the five paragraph recommendations by the committee, which were accepted by the senate, the red chamber resolved that governments at all levels should improve the quality of governance, especially in the areas of poverty reduction, quality healthcare, water supply, education and other social services, that government at all levels should tackle the problems of youth unemployment by creating programmes, which will focus on enhancing self employment. The other recommendations adopted by the Senate include the one that urges the security agencies to sustain on-going intelligence/military operations to facilitate identification of the Boko Haram elements especially, the leadership and their operational bases for the purpose of sustaining the clamp down on the insurgents.
In addition, the Senate resolved to encourage the Federal Government to continue to do all that is possible to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists, even as the re chamber called on the Federal Government to urge the security agencies to supervise more closely, security operations at the tactical level. The report, according Magoro, was the product of very rigorous and thorough investigations, which saw the committee members carry out on-the-spot visit to the scene of the incidence as well as interacting with a number of stakeholders and drawing inputs from interested members of the public who came to testify. The committee also invited a number of public officers to testify before it. Those invited included the Attorney General of the
Federation, AGF, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, the Minister of Interior, the National Security Adviser, NSA, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, the Director General of the State Security Service, the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission. Others were: the Chief Medical Director, Asokoro General Hospital, the Chairman, Apo Legislative Quarters Residents, the Chairman, Association of Keke Napep operators, Gariki, Abuja, the owner of the uncompleted building, the security guard at the uncompleted building, civil society organizations and faith-based organizations and any other individual and groups that had relevant information relating to the incident.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
UN implicates Assad in Syrian war crimes
“The president (Karzai) will never interfere in the affairs of the election commission nor he would allow others to do so” -AFGHAN PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN, AIMAL FAIZI
Somali lawmakers sack prime minister PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
omalia’s parliament yesterday sacked Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, citing his government’s poor performance over the past year. The prime minister, a political newcomer appointed in October last year, fell out with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over the composition of a new cabinet, prompting Monday’s no-confidence vote. Analysts and diplomats said a replacement must be appointed soon to end political paralysis after two decades of war and chaos in which the Horn of Africa state was carved up into clan fiefdoms and then ruled by al Shabaab militants. Western donors had worried the rift would disrupt efforts to shore up nascent institutions of state and defeat Islamists linked to al Qaeda who still control swathes of countryside. “(Shirdon) and his cabinet ministers had failed,” Somali legislator Ibrahim Suleiman told Reuters. “This toppled government had low capacity.” It could be months before a new cabinet is appointed and then approved by the parliament, which could jeopardize the modest security gains and the limited progress made on building a federal state.
“This is going to disorient the entire political structure,” said Abdi Aynte, director of Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies. President Mohamud had told Western diplomats the bid to remove Shirdon was prompted by the government’s poor performance, made worse by growing discontent among Somalis who want faster progress on delivering change. “Prime Minister Shirdon in many ways has become a scapegoat for a relative lack of progress - particularly measured against the huge expectations - since the government came to power,” said Paul Gabriel, an analyst for Global Risk Analysis. While progress has been made to bring Somalia back into the international fold and attract greater donor funds, many ordinary Somalis say their lives remain mired in poverty and violence while political corruption continues unabated. The political turmoil also follows a row about corruption related to the central bank. Mohamud’s task of picking a new premier will also be made harder by Somalia’s volatile clan dynamics. Nick Kay, the U.N.’s Special Representative to Somalia, said Mohamud must act quickly. “It is in all our interests that the
Members of the Somali parliament vote by a show of hands in Mogadishu
next PM and government is broadly inclusive, able to unite the country and capable of delivering what Somalia needs - peace, rule of law, economic growth and good public services,” Kay said in a statement. Parliament speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari said 184 lawmakers voted against the prime minister, while 65 members supported him. The prime minister’s deputies are expected to han-
Protesters gathering near a burning police vehicle set afire during clashes with security forces, near Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday. Photo: AP
tary tribunals for civilians would be scaled back, allowing them only in case of direct attack on military personnel or assets. Rights activists had previously objected to the military’s trial of some 10,000 civilians when it ran the country during the 17 months after Egypt’s 2011 revolt that ousted long time autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The document is now to be handed over to interim President Adly Mansour, who has a month to call for a nationwide referendum on it.
Africa’s elephants threatened by killings -Report As many as 20 percent of Africa’s elephants could be killed in the next 10 years if illegal poaching continues at the current rate, according to new data released yesterday at the opening of the Elephant Summit in Botswana. An estimated 22,000 elephants were illegally killed across Africa in 2012, slightly lower than the 25,000 elephants poached in 2011, according to a report by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES. The elephant killings took place at 42 sites across 27 Africa countries, said the CITES report. “With an estimated 22,000 African elephants illegally killed in 2012, we continue to face a critical situation. Current elephant poaching in Africa remains far too high, and could soon lead to local extinctions if the present killing rates continue.
dle his duties until a replacement is found. The Somali public viewed Shirdon as a weak politician but the former academic said he stood up to President Mohamud about too much power in the cabinet being wielded by Damul Jadid, a powerful Islamist faction which counts the president as a member and has links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt police clear protesters, agree on constitution olice fired tear gas to drive hundreds of supporters of Egypt’s ousted Islamist president from Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square on Sunday, as a panel tasked with amending the constitution adopted during his time in office agreed on changes to the text. The 50-member panel revising the Islamist-tilted charter adopted under former President Mohammed Morsi managed to resolve its differences after two days of clauseby-clause voting on the final draft. The text gives women and Christians “suitable representation” but says a future law must decide the details. It also calls for elections, either parliamentary or presidential, within 90 days after the draft constitution is adopted. The other election should be held up to six months later. The new charter would require future presidents to declare their financial assets annually, and allows lawmakers to vote out an elected president and call for early elections if they have a two-thirds majority. Members agreed that a contentious proposed article allowing mili-
If adopted by the public, a giant step in the roadmap announced by the military when it removed Morsi last summer will have been completed. Morsi supporters have been staging near daily protests to demand his reinstatement, in Cairo and across much of the country. But for hundreds of them to enter and take over Tahrir, even briefly as they did Sunday, constituted a major, albeit symbolic, propaganda coup for them. They would have attracted
many more like-minded protesters had they been able to gain a solid foothold in the square. It was the first time in more than a year that Islamists entered the central square in significant numbers. The location has been the near exclusive domain of liberal and secular protesters since shortly after Morsi took office in June 2012 as Egypt’s first freely elected president. Also in the background to Sunday’s events was scathing criticism of the military-backed government by a top rights group that called on authorities to immediately release five Morsi aides who have been kept at an undisclosed destination since their arrest on July 3, the day Morsi was ousted. Police in Tahrir acted quickly and appeared to surprise protesters, firing heavy tear gas to clear them from the central plaza barely minutes after they took it over and sending them to take refuge in side streets. After an initial salvo of some two dozen canisters, armoured police vans rushed to the square with sirens wailing.
S’Africa charges Czech gold dealer over violence A Czech gold and diamond dealer who has been evading police for eight years was charged with a gangland-style attempted murder and kidnapping in a South African court yesterday. Radovan Krejcir, 45, who is also wanted in the Czech Republic on multiple counts of fraud, pleaded not guilty as he applied for bail, and alleged he had been tortured with electric shocks while in police custody. South African media gave blanket coverage to his arrest last week amid reports that he had been running rings round police for years. National police chief Riah Phiyega took the unusual step of announcing his arrest in person.
Lebanese army to control troubled Tripoli for six months The Lebanese government has told the army to take over security in the restive coastal city of Tripoli for six months, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said yesterday. Ten people were killed in weekend clashes between Tripoli’s Alawite minority, which supports Syria’s Alawite President Bashar al-Assad, and majority Sunni Muslims who back his foes. Violence in the northern city has killed more than 100 people this year and paralyzed business activity there. Mikati, a Sunni from Tripoli, told Lebanon’s LBC television he had agreed with President Michel Suleiman and armed forces commander General Jean Qahwaji to “put Tripoli under the complete supervision of the army” for six months. The conflict in Tripoli, 30 km (19 miles) from the Syrian border, reflects the sectarian gulf in Lebanon over Syria’s civil war.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Ukraine opposition blocks govt offices, calls for general strike
Russian police break up sex-trafficking ring Six Moldovan women were freed yesterday from sexual slavery and one man was arrested after Russian police said they broke up a sex-trafficking ring. Police arrested a 45-yearold Moldovan man for his involvement in the operation, RIA Novosti reported. “After arriving in the Russian Federation, the group put [the women] in flats or houses in the Moscow region, took their documents and, with threats or beatings, forced them to work as prostitutes,” a statement from Russian police said. Police said the women were recruited in Moldova and promised jobs in cafes and bars in Russia.
Netanyahu talks tough on Iran before Vatican talks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Pope Francis yesterday as part of a visit to Rome during which he restated his firm opposition to a nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu was received for the first time for a short audience by the pontiff, who is expected to travel to the Middle East next year. Francis and Netanyahu met for 25 minutes for closed-door talks in the presence of an interpreter. The Israeli PM gave the pope a Spanish translation of his father Benzion Netanyahu’s book “The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain”. The dedication was made out to “Pope Francis, a great shepherd of our common heritage”.
Hong Kong confirms first human case of bird flu Hong Kong confirmed its first case of deadly H7N9 bird flu yesterday in a further sign that the virus is continuing to spread beyond mainland China’s borders. The case coincides with the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 300 people in Hong Kong and had a significant impact on the city’s travel and retail industry. A 36-year-old Indonesian domestic helper with a history of contact with poultry and travel to Shenzhen in mainland China just north of Hong Kong has been confirmed infected by H7N9 and has been hospitalized in critical condition, Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man told reporters late on Monday.
Rebel fighters seen during a battle in the capital Damascus, recently.
Photo: Getty Images
UN implicates Assad in Syrian war crimes
he UN’s human rights chief has said an inquiry has produced evidence that war crimes were authorised in Syria at the “highest level”, including by President Bashar al-Assad. It is the first time the UN’s human rights office has so directly implicated Assad. Commissioner Navi Pillay said her office held a list of others implicated by the inquiry. The UN’s commission of inquiry into Syria has produced “massive evidence... [of] very serious crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity,” Ms Pillay said. The evidence indicated responsibility “at the highest level of government, including the head of state”, she added. The inquiry has also previously reported it has evidence that rebel forces in Syria have been guilty of human rights abuses. The death toll in Syria’s civil war has risen to at least 125,835, more than a third of them civilians, but the real figure is probably much higher, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday. The pro-opposition monitoring group also appealed to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and “all people in the international community who have a conscience” to increase their efforts to end the 2-1/2 year war.
• Death toll now 125,835 The conflict began as peaceful protests against four decades of rule by President Bashar alAssad’s family, but under a fierce security force crackdown, turned into an armed insurgency whose sectarian dimensions have echoed across the Middle East. The Observatory, based in Britain but with a network of activists across Syria, put the number of children killed in the conflict so far at 6,627. It put the death toll among rebels fighting the Assad government at least 27,746 rebels, including more than 6,000 categorized as foreign fighters or unknown combatants. “The number is likely much higher but in many battles, the number of rebels killed is hidden, especially by the (al Qaeda-linked) Nusra Front and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Observatory, told Reuters. He said the observatory had documented 50,430 deaths among the Syrian armed forces and local militias supporting Assad, but said that number too was probably higher. “There are at least 40,000 more dead combatants but they were not included in the toll because
the cases were not documented well enough,” Abdelrahman said. Both Sunni and Shi’ite militants from around the region have joined the fight on opposite sides. Many Sunni Muslim countries support the rebels, who are led by Syria’s Sunni majority. Shi’ite Muslim states back Assad, who is from the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam. As well as Syrians, nearly 500 Shi’ite foreign militants have died fighting with Assad’s army, the Observatory said. Around half of those were from the powerful Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, whose military support for Assad has helped his forces make strategic territorial advances in central Syria. “The Observatory calls for ... serious efforts (by the international community) to stop the killing in Syria and help its people transition to a democratic state with freedom, justice and equality,” it said in a statement. The United Nations does not give regular casualty counts for Syria. It has said for months that more than 100,000 have died. International efforts have largely concentrated on a planned peace conference in Geneva next
krainian protesters blockaded the main government building yesterday, trying to bring down President Viktor Yanukovich with a general strike after hundreds of thousands demonstrated against his decision to abandon an EU integration pact. Demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, which saw violent clashes with the police, drew as many as 350,000 people, the biggest public rally in the ex-Soviet state since the “orange revolution” overturned a stolen election nine years ago. Yanukovich’s decision to abandon a trade pact with the European Union and instead seek closer economic ties with Russia has stirred deep passions in a country where many people yearn to join the European mainstream and escape Moscow’s orbit. “We have no other choice but to defend ourselves and the gains we have made,” said Taras Revunets, a protester at Kiev’s city hall, which hundreds of demonstrators occupied on Sunday and have turned into an operational hub. He said the protesters could not rule out a government military crackdown, but were prepared to endure it. Ukraine is divided between those who see stability in close ties with Russia and those who look westwards and see a more prosperous future with the European Union. Since election in February 2010, Yanukovich has sought to straddle the divide, reassuring Ukrainians he could pursue close ties with Europe while managing relations with Moscow.
Thai PM says protesters’ demands unacceptable
hailand’s prime minister said yesterday she is willing to do anything it takes to end violent protests against her government and restore peace, but cannot accept the opposition’s “unconstitutional” demand to hand power to an unelected council. Yingluck Shinawatra’s comments, broadcast in a televised news conference, highlighted the unusual political deadlock Thailand finds itself in with no clear solution in sight even as violence on the streets continues to rise. The protests aimed at toppling Yingluck’s government have renewed fears of prolonged instability in one of Southeast Asia’s biggest economies and comes just ahead of the peak holiday tourist
season. At least three people were killed and more than 200 injured in the past three days of violence, which capped a week of massive street rallies that drew crowds of more than 100,000 at their peak. “If there’s anything I can do to bring peace back to the Thai people I am happy to do it,” Yingluck said, striking a conciliatory but firm tone. “The government is more than willing to have talks, but I myself cannot see a way out of this problem that is within the law and in the constitution.” Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who met with Yingluck on Sunday night, has said he will not be satisfied with Yingluck’s resignation
or new elections. Instead, he wants an unelected “people’s council” to pick a new prime minister who would replace Yingluck, even though she was elected with an overwhelming majority. His demand has been criticized by many as undemocratic. “I don’t know how we can proceed” with Suthep’s demand, she said. “We don’t know how to make it happen. Right now we don’t see any way to resolve the problem under the constitution,” she said in the brief 12-minute news conference. She cited Suthep’s repeated statements that he won’t be satisfied even if she steps down to end the deadlock, and implied that she was willing to hold fresh elec-
tions if that helps. “I am not against either resignation or dissolution of parliament if this
solution will stop the protests,” she said. “The government is not trying to cling to power.”
Anti-government protesters wave Thai national flag during a Photo: AP protest rally in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Hollywood actor, Walker, dies in ‘street car race’
he supercar that actor Paul Walker was in when he died may have been racing another vehicle when the fatal crash occurred, it was claimed. Police are investigating tip-offs from possible witnesses that the Porsche driver Roger Rodas was in the middle of a street race at the time. Detectives are now appealing for anyone who may have video of the car to come forward as sources close to the investigation reveal high speed may have been a primary cause of the horrifying crash, according to U.S. website TMZ. It is understood the fatal incident took place in an area popular with street racers and rumours are circulating that the red Carrera GT had been racing before the incident. The new twist in the case comes as Paul Walker Snr, the Fast & Furious film actor’s father, paid and
emotional tribute to his son, saying: ‘His heart was so big. I was proud of him every day of his life.’ Choking on his tears, Mr Walker told website JustJared: ‘I’m just glad, that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him. And he would say the same thing to me.’ Describing how friends and relatives had rallied around to support the family in their time of grief, he added: ‘You can’t beat friends at a time like this. His brothers are all taking it pretty hard.’ Mr Walker also told how his son had been determined to cut back on filming commitments to spend more time with his daughter just before he died. He said: ‘He told me “I want to take a hiatus”, his daughter Meadow is just 15 and “I don’t have much more time to be with her” and then boom, he got another movie. He would say, “I don’t know what to do.” Yesterday co-star Tyrese Gibson wept as he visited
the crash site to lay flowers. Hundreds of fans have turned the site into a makeshift shrine. Meanwhile, a haunting clip of tragic actor Paul Walker promising there would be ‘just one more’ funeral in the next Fast & Furious film was leaked online just three days before he died in a horrific car crash, it has emerged. In the teaser scene, from Fast & Furious 7 but released as an extra on the DVD and Blu-ray versions of Fast & Furious 6, Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, makes the remark to co-star Tyrese Gibson’s character, Roman Pierce, at the funeral of Han and Gisele. Standing in the graveyard, Gibson turns to Walker and says: ‘Promise me Brian, no more funerals.’ ‘Just one more,’ responds Walker, a reference to Jason Statham’s villainous character Ian Shaw. The clip was leaked on film website Movies.com
on November 27. Fast & Furious 6 is to be released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 10 in the U.S. Walker was killed with friend Roger Rodas, 38, when the Porsche Carrera GT they were driving smashed into a tree during a charity event in Santa Clarita, California. Authorities have confirmed that speed was a factor in the crash - although it will take time to determine how fast they were travelling. ‘There aren’t any tears shed (they’re all too manly for that), but Vin Diesel does croak out “You were always my brother Han. He put you in the grave, so now I’ll do the same to him”,’ movies.com reported. Sheriff ’s deputy Peter Gomez said investigators continue to work to determine how fast the car was travelling and what caused it to lose control, Fox News reported. They will be investigating whether the driver was distracted or if he swerved to avoid something in the road.
The remains of the Porsche Carrera GT lie where the vehicle came to rest
Sack threat: ASUU dares FG, says strike continues “Moreover, it is just an attempt by the (Supervising) Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, to unnecessarily pour petrol on a dying flame for reasons best known to him. “Because after the union met with Mr. President for 13 hours, I can tell you that ASUU nationwide appreciated the understanding and humility of the President to directly negotiate with our union and we were all predisposed to a speedy suspension of the strike.” However, academic activities resumed at the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, Ondo State. Students and some lec-
turers of the institution, who complied with the directive by the management of the school to resume, were seen moving from one department to the other for lectures. Our correspondent noticed that though lectures had not started fully in all the departments of the school, students were seen in classes receiving lectures in some of the faculties which include arts, education and social sciences. National Mirror learnt that the timetable for lectures and other academic activities had been released by the school authorities for the second semester of the 2012/2013 academic session. It was gathered that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof.
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pute had not done anything good to the students, parents, government, the education sector, the economy and the society in general. The VC pleaded with ASUU and other stakeholders to resolve the dispute. Speaking on the two contending factions of ASUU in the university and the alleged involvement of the institution’s management in the division, Ambali exonerated the university’s authorities in the division. He said the manageCHANGE OF NAME
ORIM: Formerly known as Vera Ngbe Sylvester Orim (Miss) now wish to be known and addressed as Vera Nwawodiyoung Adeoye-Adejobi (Mrs.) All former documents remain valid. All Academic and general public take note.
ment had commenced the process of bringing the two sides together to form one single body in the interest of all. “As a management, we have ASUU, NASU, SSA and other unions on campus serving the general interests of their individual members and smooth labour atmosphere in our university. “All I know is that the ASUU factions are fighting for one common goal. There is only a thin line of difference but I can tell you it will soon come to an end,” Ambali added. CHANGE OF NAME
ABDULRAHMAN-OLUSI: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Abdulrahman-Olusi Tina, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Omorogbe Tina. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE CHRISTIAN CHARITY EMPOWERMENT ASSOCIATION
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 1 of 1990.
THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Rev. Fr. Prof. Johnson Ojiako 2. Rev. Fr. Joseph Nwilo 3. Sr. Anthonia Eziekwem
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
- Chairman. - Treasurer. - Secretary.
1. To aid the sick and the aging. 2. To empower the less privileged, the handicapped, the poor and the orphans. 3. Formation and information for capacity building with respect to unemployment and the practice of charity. 4. Consultancy and procurement of free services for the needy. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the registrargeneral, corporate affairs commission, plot 420 Tigris crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi street Maltama Abuja within 28 days from the date of this publication.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (240) Thank the LORD for what he gave you, what he took away, and all you have left. – Roy English Be Grateful Daily! Gratitude is the attitude of champions. Many people are grounded in life because all they do daily is to complain and murmur. Murmuring is an irritant and those who constantly engage in it are very difficult to live with. A grateful heart will hardly be sad. The great medicine for depression and discouragement is concerted gratitude for the things that are currently working in our lives. No life can be totally barren, and the more we firm up our decisions to keep giving thanks for the positive things we can see in our lives, the more we tend to enlarge our world, filled with more and more positive things that makes life worth living. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: email@example.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile
Policeman arrested for death of man from cannibal website
German policeman has been arrested after the choppedup body of a man he met on a fetishist website for cannibalism was found buried in his garden, police in the eastern city of Dresden said on Friday. “The victim had been fantasizing about being killed and eaten by someone else since his youth,” Dresden police chief Dieter Kroll told a news con-
ference. It was not immediately clear whether any act of cannibalism had taken place. The investigation recalled the case of Armin Meiwes, dubbed the “Cannibal of Rothenburg”, who killed and ate a man who had advertised on the Internet for someone to kill him “and leave no trace”. Meiwes, who filmed the act, received a life sentence in 2006.
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‘World’s ugliest dog’ dies in New Jersey
lwood, the Chihuahua and Chinese Crested mix whose unusual appearance won him the 2007 title of World’s Ugliest Dog, has died unexpectedly at the age of 8, his owner said on Saturday. “It was very sudden,” said a tearful Karen Quigley, 52, of Sewell, New Jersey, who adopted Elwood in 2006. The homely but lovable 5-pound (2.3-kg) canine died Thursday, on Thanksgiving morning. “He was in my arms,” Quigley said. She said the veterinarian believed he might have had some kind of cancer. Elwood was dark and practically hairless - except for a tuft of white hair on his forehead - and had a long, protruding tongue. A breeder had deemed Elwood too ugly to sell and was planning to euthanize him, but he was taken in
by one of the breeder’s friends. Quigley adopted him in when he was 9 months old. After winning the annual “World’s Ugliest Dog” contest held in California, he developed a legion of fans who sent him letters
The world’s ugliest dog
and postcards. This led Quigley to write “Everyone Loves Elwood,” a children’s book about self-acceptance. Elwood had “a magical power to make people smile and laugh” that made him very attractive, especially to children, said Quigley.
Elwood would pose for photos with people at charitable events. “He was the most beautiful dog I’ve ever seen ... “ said Quigley, who has rescued other dogs as well. “He taught children it’s OK to be different.”
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Community Mirror Evil people lurk around everywhere but charlatans will never rule Oyo State any longer.
NURTW boss advises members to steer clear of politicians 50
OYO STATE GOVERNOR; SENATOR ABIOLA AJIMOBI
Emirate terminates village Land tussle: Monarch asks court Bida head’s appointment to restrain Lagos AG H T PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
he traditional ruler of Mopo Ijebu in Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, Chief Lamoriu Isiaka has prayed a Lagos high Court for an order restraining the Attorney General of Lagos state from encroaching into his ancestral piece of land measuring 48.032 hectares. Besides, the traditional ruler along with Mr. Maliki Balogun suing for themselves and on behalf of the Mopo Ijebu community sought the court for an order
nullifying the purported revocation of their right of occupancy by gazette No: 20-26 dated May 5, 1993. Also, joined as defendants are New Town Development Authority and a property firm, Ajayi Apata Property and Investment Co. Limited. The claimants sought an order granting them all that parts of land situate, lying and being at Mopo Ijebu, Lagos state and restraining the defendants, their servants, agents, privies from committing further act of trespass on the parcel of land. Specifically, the
claimants urged the court to award them damages against the defendants in the sum of N100 million. Although the 1st and 2nd defendants did not file any processes in court, the 3rd defendant, (Ajayi Apata Property and Investment Co. Limited) in its motion on notice brought pursuant to order 38 rule 8, order 39 rule 1 of the High Court of Lagos state (Civil Procedure), Rules 2012, asked the court to restrain the claimants from constructing shanties or fence on the disputed land. The claimants in its statement of claim stated that sometime in October,
2012 agents of the 1st and 2nd defendants stormed the land in dispute with at least 50 mobile policemen and the Lagos State task force team, claiming that the land had been acquired by the Lagos State government. The claimants stated that agents of the 2nd defendant then distributed ‘stop work order’ notices purportedly from the General Manager of the 2nd defendant, claiming that the land in question belonged to one Ajayi Apata Property and Investment Co. Limited, a commercial private property development company.
ead of Doko village in Bida Emirate Council of Niger State, Alhaji Mohammadu Dazhi Kpanje Gana, has been removed from office over alleged misconduct and misbehaviours towards the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar. In a letter dated October 9, 2013, with reference no. BEC/176/ Vol/211 addressed to the traditional ruler by the emirate council, it was stated that the governor of Niger State, Muazu Babaginda Aliyu has approved the recommendation for his sack from office. The letter reads in part, “In view of the above, you are directed to comply with this directive henceforth. You also should maintain peace in Doko to avoid any embarrassment against you by the security agencies.” But, the deposed village head through his legal counsel, Dr. S.E. Mosugo filed a case at the Bida High Court, challenging the emirate council and the
Niger State government over his removal. The plaintiff is seeking the order of the court to declare his removal as illegal, null and void. In a 55-paragraph affidavit to support his claim, he described the report of a selected few elders of Doko village which informed the Bida emirate council’s decision as baseless and ill motivated. Gana stated that he was not given the opportunity to be heard by the 3-man committee set up by the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs before the termination of his appointment as the Etsu Dazhi of Doko. The embattled village head is also asking the court to restrain the defendants from tampering with his use of the title of Etsu Dazhi of Doko. It was gathered that crisis began in the area since 2010, when some elites from the community petitioned the Emir, requesting for the sacking of the village head over what they described as misrule and arrogance.
Cult member docked for alleged intimidation
Special Adviser on Community Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bindawa (5th left) and others during the handing over of working materials to 11 voluntary grave yards rehabilitation groups at Musawa Local Government Area in Katsina, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Businessman kidnapped in Ebonyi ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI
nknown gunmen yesterday kidnapped a 38-yearold man identified as Chimezie Oti Benson at the Ekeh market square, Ishiagu Community, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The victim who deals in hot drinks and other food items hails from hails
from Ndigbuka, Ihie community. Confirming the incident, the Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Chris Ayanwu said available information from the victim’s servants; Obinna Okafor and Godswill, had it that the kidnappers invaded Chimezie’s shop inside Ekeh market with sophisticated weapons and abducted the victim. According to the PPRO,
the kidnappers shot sporadically into the air to disperse customers and other traders in the vicinity before taking hold of the victim, dump him into their and zoomed off. The Command spokesperson said teams of the anti kidnapping squad of the command and other police personnel have cordoned off all entries and exit points within the community adding that for-
est and criminal hideout within the area would be combed to ensure that the businessman is rescued. “We will also seek collaboration with the police command in Imo and Abia States as the community share boundaries with the states. We urge citizens of the community and other neighbouring communities to avail the police of useful information that could lead to the arrest of the criminals.”
self-acclaimed cult member, Victor Achaga, 27, of Aso C, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, was on Monday arraigned in a Grade 1 Area Court, Aso Pada, Mararaba for alleged criminal intimidation. The Police Prosecutor, Friday Adaji, told the court that Charity Duke of the same address reported the matter on November 27 at the ‘A’ Division Police Headquarters, Mararaba. “On November 27 at about 9.45 a.m., while Duke was discussing with one of her debtors, one Simon Achaga, interfered
and without any tangible reason started insulting and intimidating her. He said that he is a cultist and will deal with her,” Adaji alleged. He said the offence contravened provision of Section 397 of the Penal Code. If convicted on the charge, the accused can be sentenced to seven years in prison term or an option of fine or both. However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. The judge, Mr Albert Maga, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100,000 and a surety in like sum.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
NURTW boss advises members to steer clear of politicians HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
embers of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, ((NURTW) in Ondo State have been warned to be wary of unscrupulous politicians who may want to use them to achieve their selfish interests. Chairman of the union in the state, Chief Obayoriade Oladutele gave this warning yesterday in Akure, Ondo State capital after a prayer session organised for members of the drivers union at its secretariat in Akure. Obayoriade urged members of the union to sustain the newlyfound peace in the union
by avoiding all acts of criminality capable of breaching the trust repose in them by the public. He said, “We should always abide by the ethics of our noble union and be faithful to one another in all our actions and deeds. We should also remember, that injury to one is injury to all, hence the crucial need to strive to be our brothers’ keepers at all times”. He noted that that crisis in the union was instigated by some politicians in the state who employed some people who are not members of the union to unleash terror on the union. He stated that his ordeal on the issue of fake ticket was masterminded by some unscrupulous
elements in the union in order to tarnish his image; thanking God for exonerating him over the allegation. The chairman however pledged to continue to work towards the development of the union in the state with a promise not to punish anyone for his ordeal. He said “The good lord has fought for me. The investigation revealed that I knew nothing about the allegation and I see no need or reason for making enemies over the issue again. I just want to call members of the union together so that we can work hand in hand for the development of the union and for peace to reign in the state. “I want to implore our
members not to romance with politicians; we have no business with politicians and don’t let them use you as a political tool to achieve their selfish interest. We are responsible and law abiding people.” He, however, promised that cases of the suspended members will be visited in no distant time in order to bring peace to the union but said some of the suspended members with charges will remain suspended until the charges against them are cleared. He noted that those causing trouble in the union are not bonafide members of the union saying arrangements are in place to recognise those who are members of the union.
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Lawmaker inaugurates N20m projects for constituency IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
ouse member representing Akwanga South constituency in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Philip Aruwa Gyunka, has inaugurated over N20million worth of projects for the people of his constituency. The inauguration was part of the ongoing meet the people tour, organised by the Nasarawa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The inaugurated projects include motorised water boreholes and transformers. While inaugurating the projects, the state lawmaker, who is the chairman house committee on finance, called on his constituents to always insist on a new system of accountability based on collective prosperity and common good rather than besieging political leaders for personal patronage. The lawmaker who disclosed that he provided
the 500KVA transformers to Buku, Kurmin Tagwaye, Anguwan Tiv and other communities in Akwanga main town is to ameliorate the sufferings experienced by residents due to overloading of limited transformers and to extend power supply to communities which hitherto had none. He noted that “the provision of such basic amenities by community leaders should not be borne out of the desire to build ones political profile but be seen as a corresponding binding moral obligation.” During the event, a former deputy governor in the state, Mr. John Michael Abdul, said although the PDP lost the governorship election to the ruling APC in the last general election, they are however still very strong and are prepared to give the APC a good fight in the forthcoming general election and called on PDP faithful in the state to remain steadfast and committed to the party despite its itchy challenge.
Mothailatu church holds adoption service
Cattle rearing by the road along Lagos-Ibadan expressway recently.
PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Farmer sues telecom company over breach of contract KEMI OLAITAN
n Ibadan based farmer, Alhaji Muniru Oladayo Ola, has dragged the first indigenous telecommunication service provider in Nigeria, Globacom, before an Ibadan high court; praying for N190 million damages. Oladayo in suit number I/885/2013 instituted on his behalf by Mr Ayo Faleti,
his counsel, is praying the court to declare that the unilateral decision of the defendant change the payment plan of his phone number 08056070178 from pre-paid plan to business plan is wrongful and a breach of contract. He also want the court to declare that the defendant’s action of opening up his line for other people’s use simultaneously with him is a breach of his right as entrenched in section
37 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A declaration that the blockade of his line by the defendant without any lawful justification thereby depriving him the use and enjoyment of same is unwarranted, illegal and wrongful. Oladayo also prayed the court for an order on the defendant to immediately reverse the strange payment plan imposed on him as well as the illegal
charges he paid for calls he never made. When the case came up for mention, counsel to the claimant urged the court to grant the application by setting down the case for hearing; saying the claimant had filed 10 paragraph affidavits in support of the application. The presiding judge, Justice Iyabo Oyelaran, granted that the case be set for hearing and adjourned the case to January 22, 2014.
he Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide will hold its 2013 adoption service at its International Sub-headquarters, Dalemo, Alakuko area of Lagos State on Sunday. The Primate and founder of the church, His Most Eminence Archbishop (Dr) Motailatu Akinadewo will preside over the service. Also, acclaimed scholar and gynecologist, Professor Joseph Otubu who specialises in reproductive endocrinology and
infertility is expected to deliver the word of God at the service which commences at 10am. According to the Supervising Head, His Eminence Elder (Dr) Israel Akinadewo, in a statement released in Lagos yesterday said that renowned religious leaders and important personalities drawn from Nigeria and overseas will grace the occasion. The theme of the anniversary service is: “Celebration of Spiritual Rebirth: The future of Aladura Churches”
NSCDC nabs six for stealing electrical installation RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR
igeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, NSCDC yesterday paraded a six-man gang in Calabar for allegedly vandalizing and stealing electrical cables belonging to Port-Harcourt Electrical Distribution Company. Parading the suspects before newsmen at the command premises in Calabar
South, NSCDC State Commandant, Dr Benito Eze said the vandals were caught in the act on November 30, 2013. According to Benito; “we were able to arrest the vandals following a tip off by residents of the area. They were caught redhanded and further investigation revealed that they function as a cartel, as they have people who encourage them to steal and sell to them.”
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Robbers kill bus driver in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
gang of armed robbers on Sunday night shot dead a commercial bus driver for knocking down one of them during an operation along the Katsina-Kano Road.
The bus driver, Sada Muhammad, who hailed from Dankyandi village in Malumfashi Local Government area of the state, was conveying some passengers at about 10pm when the incident occurred. One of the passengers
who spoke to journalists yesterday on condition of anonymity, said the driver rammed into the armed robbers minutes after leaving one of the motor parks in Kano State. He said the armed robbers did not erect any road block but that some of
them were flashing their flashlight when the bus got to the spot. The passenger said: “The driver was speeding at the time he got to the spot where the robbers were operating and that one of them, who was standing on the middle
of the road, was knocked down in the process. “The action angered the robbers and one of them, who was standing some few meters away, fired at the direction of the driver. “The impact made the driver to slow down a bit as he had been hit by bul-
Why Gombe introduced eightseater tricycle for transportation –Commissioner
lets. The rest of the robbers then rushed to the car and riddled the driver’s body with bullets.” He, however, said the armed robbers did not harm any of the passengers and that they did not take any of their belongings. Attempts to speak with the Katsina State Police Command spokesman, Aminu Abubakar, on the incident failed as he did not respond to repeated calls to his mobile telephones.
Nasarawa initiates moves to ease traffic in Lafia
DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
he Gombe State Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Hassan Mohammed, has defended the government’s decision which introduced an eight-seater tricycle for city transportation. Mohammed said the eight-seater tricycle was introduced to prevent criminals from using smaller tricycles to carry out violent attacks as is the experience in some states. According to him, it was a deliberate action to include the eight-seater tricycle in the Tolba Empowerment Scheme because of the state government’s interest in enhancing robust security of lives and property. Addressing journalists after the launch of the scheme by Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, the commissioner said that although security was considered topmost, the eight-seater tricycle would yield higher dividends than the three-seater tricycle which could only convey three passengers at a time. He said tricycles, buses, taxi cabs and tractors bought under the empowerment scheme were comprehensively insured and in the event of damage as a result of accident, they would be replaced by their manufacturers. Mohammed added that the taxi cabs were fully air-conditioned and owners or beneficiaries would enjoy a three-year maintenance guarantee.
IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
L-R: Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido; Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah and former Minister of Education, Prof. Ruquayyatu Rufa’i, at Malam Amino International Airport in Kano Jigawa, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
‘Katsina spent N96bn on 2,199km roads’ JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
total of 2,199. 84 kilometre of roads worth N96.5 billion have been constructed by the administration of Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema. The Commissioner for Works, Housing and
Transport, Abdul’Aziz Kaita, told journalists yesterday in Katsina that the construction covered the life span of the governor’s administration - from 2007 till date. Kaita said from 2007 to 2011, the three senatorial zones of Katsina, Funtua and Daura had collective road construction of 1,
171.76km worth over N60.9 billion. He said 247km road worth N16.7 billion was constructed in Katsina Senatorial Zone from 2011 till date, while over N19 billion was spent on the construction of over 600km roads in Daura and Funtua senatorial zones. The commissioner said:
“The state government prioritised the road construction to attract investors so as to boost economic growth in the long run. “The roads were among the projects the state government executed without borrowing money from any commercial bank.”
Gombe Anglican Diocese asks Jega to remain focused DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
espite casting doubts on the ability of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct credible election in Anambra State recently, the Gombe Anglican Diocese has called on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to remain forthright. In a communiqué issued yesterday by the Bishop, Rt. Rev. Henry C
Ndukuba, after the second session of its fifth synod, the diocese called on Jega to initiate and promote programmes that would ensure credible elections in future. It also called on all Nigerians to have confidence in INEC’s electoral processes despite the commission’s shortfalls in the Anambra State governorship election. The Synod also called on Nigerians to disregard the prediction that the
country would disintegrate in 2015 by engaging in prayers and activities that would promote the nation’s unity and peaceful co-existence. It said all Nigerians should participate in the proposed National Dialogue, stressing that there should be no no-go areas concerning all aspects of the Nigerian life during deliberation of the country’s future at the conference. On the security situation in the North-East,
the synod applauded the creation of the new army division for the sub-region and the recent extension of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. It said the extension of the state of emergency had improved security situation in the affected states and called on security operatives to sustain their efforts in combating insurgency and remain guided by the rules of engagement.
he Nasarawa State Government is planning to ease traffic flow in Lafia, the state capital. The state government is planning to begin work on the Bye-pass Road and the major park in Lafia as part of the measures to achieve the goal. The Bye-pass Road, which is about 30 kilometres long, is in the western part of the city. It begins from Azurba Bashai on Jos Road and terminates at Akunza Roundabout along Makurdi road, while the motor park is to be sited on land mass of about 19 hectres, about five kilomtres South of Lafia on Makurdi Road. Addressing journalists yesterday after inspecting the land for the proposed projects, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura directed that compensations for owners of the lands should be paid within the nest one month. He directed his commissioners for Lands and Urban Development, Works and Transport to put their heads together and come up with the details of costs involved in compensating the owners. Al-Makura equally directed relevant authorities to give a 30-day notice to inhabitants and illegal occupants of the places to vacate or government would be compelled to apply force to eject any person or group of persons that might resist the notification.
he Senate Committee on Special Duties has solicited the cooperation of stakeholders in disaster management with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to tackle the increasing challenges of disasters in the country. The Senate Committee which was at the head office of NEMA in Abuja on oversight visit also assured its support towards the amendment of the law that established the Agency
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Disaster management: Senate Committee urges cooperation with NEMA to address some identified lapses and make it more operational. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clever Marcus Ikisikpo who led other members on the oversight function, said the 2012 flood that devastated many communities was a sad experience that has awaken national consciousness
for proactive measures against disasters. However, he said agencies having responsibilities on disaster forecast should try to be more accurate in their predictions and avail NEMA with the alerts immediately for quick responses. He commended NEMA for its disaster awareness activities and the adoption of
other proactive measures to reduce the impacts of disasters in the communities. “There is need for disaster forecasting for early actions but the predictions should be accurate enough to avoid unnecessary panic”, he said. After inspecting some of the facilities at the Agency
by the Committee, Senator Ikisikpo said the progress made by NEMA should be replicated in the states to step down disaster management to the grassroots. Also speaking, Vice Chairman of the Committee Senator Victor Lar urged NEMA to equip its zonal offices with more operational tools for immediate responses to di-
sasters in the areas. The Senate Committee was received on behalf of the Director General Muhammad Sani Sidi by the Director of Finance and Accounts Mr. Hakeem Akinbola who led other members of the management staff in briefing the Committee on activities of the Agency. Other members of the Senate Committee that accompanied the Chairman and his vice were Senators Roberts Boroffice and Kabiru Gaya.
As NEMA establishes DRR Department L ABARAN SALEH
t was the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon who said that “The more governments, UN agencies, organizations, businesses and civil society understand risk and vulnerability, the better equipped they will be to mitigate disasters when they strike and save more lives.” In deliberate efforts to strengthen community resilience against disasters, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has established a new Department of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) to harness resources towards the increase of local capacities at the grassroots. The department is headed by Mr Aliyu Baffale Sambo as the acting Director. The new department was approved by the governing board in conformity with the standards of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). It is expected to enhance the organizational structure of the Agency and enable greater service delivery in the efficient and effective coordination of disaster management in the country. Through the new department, NEMA will accord more attention to strengthening of volunteerism in disaster management, promote initiatives for partnership with international and local stakeholders to develop and implement programmes and activities that will identify hazards, reduce the risks and increase resilience in the communities. It will also serve the functions of enlisting the supports of external donors/ development partners to strengthen national reduction capacities. Other functions of the department include the coordination in development and implementation of the National
Action plan for Disaster Risk Reduction in Nigeria, facilitate national institutional capacity building programmes to address specific gaps of various stakeholders based on the results of baseline assessment and studies. Experts in disaster management always claim that “There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ disaster, only natural hazards. The concept behind Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is aimed to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones, through an ethic of prevention. Disasters often follow natural hazards. A disaster’s severity depends on how much impact a hazard has on society and the environment. The scale of the impact in turn depends on the choices we make for our lives and for our environment. These choices relate to how we grow our food, where and how we build our homes, what kind of government we have, how our financial system works and even what we teach in schools. Each decision and action makes us more vulnerable to disasters - or more resilient to them. According to the United Nations Office for the Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Disaster risk reduction is about choices. It is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and reduce the causal factors of disasters. Reducing exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events are all examples of disaster risk reduction. Labaran Saleh Member, Journalists Against Disaster Initiative, Abuja
An accident scene where a site crane skidded off a light rail bridge under construction and fell into a ditch at Orile Iganmu in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
NURTW taking giant strides towards emergency management MOSHOOD ISAH
he idea of emergency management cuts across various facets of endeavor. Emergency abound anywhere and anytime. In times of emergency, victims find themselves at the mercy of God and perhaps any individual in a position to help. Thus, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have been up and doing especially when it comes to victims of road accident and disasters. NEMA has been a wonderful succor to the society and its activities cannot be overemphasized. In a bid to compliment the activities of NEMA and widen the horizon of disaster management, other union and agencies have come out to cover other areas of emergency management. Most notable is the initiation of the Emergency Transport Scheme ETS, by National Union of Road Transport Workers; NURTW dated back 2004 in Jigawa state. The aim of the ETS is to ensure that pregnant women due for labour, get adequate medical attention. Since 2004, the National Union of Road Transport
Workers have been collaborating with development partners to implement the ETS in northern Nigeria through the participation of its members that serve as volunteer drivers to transport pregnant women experiencing maternal complications, to healthcare facilities for medical attention without delay. The scheme is encouraged by the rampant cases of maternal and infant mortality especially in rural areas. There is no gainsaying that, one of the major causes of maternal mortality is the unnecessary delayed encountered before the woman gets adequate medical attention. One of the key reasons for the appallingly elevated rate of maternal mortality in the north is the fact that Nigeria’s northern states have largely rural populations, with many women living many miles away from their nearest health Centre and access to emergency professional healthcare. Poor road networks and a poorly-organized and resourced ambulance service merely serve to exacerbate the problem. Thus the NURTW, undertook this noble course as part of its cooperate social responsibility in order to
help reduce maternal and infant mortality and more so, contribute to the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs. Between 2010 when NURTW got maximum support from, PRRIN-MNCH and 2013, a total 19,811 pregnant women have been transported freely to various medical facilities for adequate attention. The ETS service for now cuts across four northern states of Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, Zamfara. The union is making maximum efforts to engage governmental and non- governmental organization in other to widen the scope of the scheme to other states of the federation. In order to ensure the viability and sustainability of the scheme, the NURTW last year, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PRRINN-MNCH. The initiation of the ETS by NURTW served as a panacea for the maternal mortality scourge and thus other bodies to follow suit. Partnership for Transforming Health Systems Phase II (PATHS2), last year also came up with a similar scheme and thousands of lives have been saved afterwards. The PATHS2 scheme is also working in partnership with the Nige-
rian government and other stakeholders to improve the planning, financing and delivery of sustainable health services for those most in need, particularly poor women and children. In addition to this work at federal level, PATHS2 works in five focal states, including Kaduna, Kano and Jigawa in the less-affluent north of Nigeria. The scheme cooperates with Nigeria’s powerful and well-organized transport union to use taxi drivers as volunteer ambulance drivers, using their own vehicles to get pregnant women to a hospital or clinic during an obstetric emergency. Under the Emergency Transport Scheme, taxi drivers are given training on safe driving practice and on understanding the danger signs in pregnancy. This helps them to keep women calm and safe during the trip, which is often hastily arranged after a panicked midnight call to the driver’s mobile phone. In return, drivers who volunteer get special privileges in their day jobs, such as being promoted to the front of taxi ranks by union supervisors. Moshood Isah Sapele Street, Garki II, Abuja
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Mobilising farmers for sustainable agriculture in Nigeria Irrigation has been described as the fulcrum of sustaining the rice transformation agenda of President Jonathan’s administration and boosting Nigeria’s economic power through locally produced agricultural goods. This article takes a look at the consequences of last year’s flooding on agriculture.
An agricultural farm on flood plains
r. Olukayode Oyeleye, the Special Assistant on Media and Strategy, Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja, posits correctly in the National Mirror of 25th October 2013 that food security is an index of economic power. Consequently, a strategic approach to management of the agricultural sector is imperative for any nation. Dr. Olukayode’s article centred (on) around how the Goodluck Jonathan administration has profited from nature by mobilizing local farmers to make use of the un-intended consequences of the perennial flooding of the last two years to embark on fadama cultivation using available flood waters. The flood waters and the nutrients it carries were used for the cultivation rice during the dry season, resulting in the production of a third of annual rice import. The result is outstanding; leading to strategic thinking and plans to develop a programme which is to be systematically implemented. This is a welcome development as the power of irrigation is now clearly evident. Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the land or soil. It has several applications, but the one of interest is in boosting agricultural produce. Agriculture that relies only on direct rain-
IN N IGERIA,
SCHEMES WERE COMMENCED BUT NEVER COMPLETED , OTHERS WERE COMPLETED BUT HAVE THEIR OPERATIONS IMPAIRED fall is referred to as rain-fed or dryland farming, in contrast to irrigated agriculture. Irrigation is an age old practice that has sustained and empowered many civilizations to flourish. Perennial irrigation was practised in the Mesopotamian plain whereby crops were regularly watered throughout the growing season by coaxing water through a matrix of small channels formed in the field. Ancient Egyptians practiced Basin irrigation using the flooding of the Nile to inundate land plots which had been surrounded by dykes. The flood water was held until the fertile sediment had settled before the surplus was returned to the watercourse. Several other civilizations depended on irrigation to ensure food security. In Nigeria, several irrigation schemes were commenced but never completed, others were completed but have their operations impaired by shortage of power for the associated pumps and mechanical equipment. Currently, efforts to revive one irrigation scheme and complete two others have faltered due to funding by the Federal Government. These are Lower Anambra River Irrigation Scheme in Anambra
State, Hadejia Valley Irrigation Scheme in Jigawa State and Zauro Polder Irrigation Scheme in Kebbi State, all handled by Aim Consultants. The Lower Anambra River Irrigation Project is located at Omor in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State. It has about 3,850 hectares of irrigated paddy field
cultivated for rice by about 4,000 farm families. The project has capacity to produce over 30,000 tonnes of rice annually. It has about 40 kilometers of headrace, 570.4 kilometers of secondary, tertiary and distribution canals. 307 kilometers of secondary and farm roads and equipped with 7 megawatts (MW) transformer sub-station, 3 numbers electric motor driven pumps. A rice mill complex with units for parboiling, milling, de-stoning, and bagging capacity sufficient to produce over 10,000 metric tonnes of high quality rice annually. The Hadejia valley irrigation project handled by Aim Consultants is situated within Auyo, Kaugama, Miga and Kafin Hausa of Hadejia Local Government Area of Jigawa State. It is situated between Hadejia and Kafin Hausa Rivers. The potential irrigable area of the project is 25,000 hectares divided into two phases for ease of construction namely, HVIP phases 1 and 11, each covering an area of 12,500 hectares of farmlands. The project was first awarded in 1981 but the contract was suspended in 1984 due to financial constrains after completion of head works consisting of a barrage 1 km long of earth-filled diversion dam, 9.25 meter high across Hadejia River, bounded by a 12 km long South dyke and a 12 km long North dyke. Construction works on the project took off again in 1992 and was subdivided into two stages, phase 1, stage 1 (about 7,013 hectares gross and 6,175 ha net of farmlands); and phase 1, stage II (about 5,500 hectares gross). Work on the project was suspended again due to financial constraints in 1996 with only 1,979 hectares, feeder
canal, main canal and head works completed. Work recommenced for phase 1, stage 1 i.e. 4,196 ha in December, 2001. Currently, 3,331 ha of irrigable land out of 4,196 ha of phase 1 stage 1 has been completed and work stalled due to funding. The Zauro Irrigation Project was originally conceived in 1969 as a joint venture between the state government and the federal ministry of agriculture and water resources. A dam would be situated in the floodplain of the Rima River between Argungu and Birnin Kebbi, irrigating 10,572 hectares of farmland. Crops would include rice, maize, wheat, barley and vegetables such as cow peas, onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes. The dam would also benefit the fishing industry, important in the state. The project would include construction of a reservoir and canals used to irrigate and drain polders, with areas of farmland protected from flooding by dikes. After a review of the original design, it was changed in order to reduce water loss from evaporation in the dry season, and also reduce costs, by replacing the open channels with an aquifer recharge system, using wells to draw water from the aquifer for irrigation. The risk of damage from flooding would be mitigated by the Goronyo Dam upstream in Sokoto State, which would also provide water in the dry season. Currently, the project is at a standstill due to funding. In summary, sustained and committed funding is required of any government in Nigeria to achieve the goal of sustainable agriculture. This feature was written by Dumiye Yusuf of AIM Consultants Lagos.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Physically challenged children
Birth defects: Checking child deformity through advocacy The increasing incidences of birth defects have become a source of concern to health authorities in Nigeria. But stakeholders say the situation is compounded by the lack of public awareness and sensitisation campaign among expectant mothers on the benefits of folic acid during pregnancy.
xperts are quite worried on the high rate of babies born with congenital abnormalities in the country. They observe that 73 out of 1,000 live births have congenital abnormalities. They however, note that a baby with a congenital abnormality called spinal bifida (nonformation of part of a baby’s spinal cord), may not grow up to become a normal person. Therefore, they say that the issue requires urgent attention and sustained enlightenment campaigns like those of polio and other killer diseases. Dr. Olubunmi Lawan, a paediatrician at the National Hospital, Abuja, identified two major forms of congenital abnormalities. These are spinal bifida and hydrocephalus (water in the brain), both of which are neurotic defects (affecting the brain and spinal cord). “Indeed, congenital abnormalities should be getting similar attention as polio in Nigeria. A neurotic defect is one of the congenital abnormalities that affect the brain and the spinal cord. We have different types of neurotic defects; we have what we call spinal bifida; spinal which stands for the spine and bifida meaning there is a split. This means that at the embryonic stage between the first four weeks of pregnancy, when most
women do not even know they are pregnant, there is a defect; part of the spinal cord of the foetus did not form. We also have what we call encephalitis (inflammation of the brain); at that embryonic stage, there is an opening at the back of the head or in front of the baby’s head that allows the protrusion of the meninges (the covering of the brain) or the part of the brain itself. In most cases, that part of the brain has some defects; the most severe of them is what we call anencephaly (the absence of the skull). This one is the worst scenario, it is not compactable with life; so, most of these births are stillbirths, while some of the affected babies die shortly after birth,” she said. Lawan, who is the President, Spinal Bifida and Hydrocephalus Care Foundation of Nigeria, said that mothers as well as their congenitally-abnormal children often went through difficult times. “A child with spinal bifida will go through a lot of stress; beginning from the day he or she is born. One of the major issues which a child with spinal bifida faces is incontinence of urine; the nerve supply to the limbs and bladder is weakened; affected children cannot control their urine or faeces and most of them cannot
A child with leg deformity
CHILD WITH SPINAL BIFIDA WOULD
REQUIRE SURGICAL INTERVENTION .
ACCESS TO NEUROSURGEONS IS ALSO A PROBLEM IN
walk. A child with spinal bifida would require surgical intervention. Having access to neurosurgeons is also a problem in Nigeria; in a country of over 160 million people, we have only 38 neurosurgeons,’’
she added. To check congenital abnormalities, Lawan underscored the need for pre-conception care for would-be mothers and use of folic acid by women of childbearing age, even before they get pregnant.
Although the cause of 50 per cent of congenital abnormalities is largely unknown, the paediatrician said that the use of folic acid by women of childbearing age would reduce the risks by 70 per cent. “If we can reduce the risks by 70 per cent via pre-conception use of folic acid, I think it is a good mark. Folic acid does not only reduce the risk of developing spinal bifida, it also reduces other birth defects,’’ she said. Lawan urged the Federal Government to insist on the fortification of foods with folic acid, just as it did with Vitamin A. Sharing similar sentiments, Dr. Adeyemi Okunowo, a consultant obstetrician, also advised women to take folic acid daily, in order to reduce risks of birth deformities. Okunowo, who is a consultant at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), said that all women of child-bearing age should take a daily dose of folic acid supplement, to prevent Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) in babies. “Folic acid is important in helping a foetus to develop properly during pregnancy and it reduces the risks of the baby developing NTDs. Folic acid should be taken, beginning from three months before conception until 12 weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid is a form of Vitamin B9 and it is needed to help make new cells and for growth. This is why it is so important for women to take it; it would help their babies develop and grow properly during pregnancy. Getting enough folic acid before and during pregnancy prevents most NTDs like spinal bifida, which happens in the first 28 days of pregnancy,” he said. Okunowo said that though some diets contained folic acid, they could not act as a substitute to the actual ingestion of folic acid supplements. Investigations showed that women need only N730 to buy folic acid which they ought to take, three months before pregnancy to childbirth. Concerned analysts, therefore, stress that the fact that most women are not taking this affordable and available drug is an indication that they have yet to be properly sensitised to its importance. They, however, appealed to the government and relevant health agencies to embark on an aggressive enlightenment campaign in order to reduce the high rate of congenital abnormalities in newborns. “If 73 out of 1,000 live-births are abnormal and reports indicate that six million babies are born annually; that, in essence, means that 438,000 babies with abnormalities are born every year,’’ they added. The analysts also want the Federal Government to establish a department within the Federal Ministry of Health to manage issues relating to birth defects. This feature is by Ifeanyi Nwoko of News Agency of Nigeria
LONGEST TIME SPENT LIVING UNDERWATER Vol. 03 No. 735
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
ast week the UK’s Competition Commission confirmed that the four largest accountancy firms got £600 million annually in fees from the FTSE (Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange). It means that Britain’s mid-tier accountancy firms have failed to penetrate the juicy market or make a dent in the dominance of the listed company audits by the “Big Four” – PricewaterhouseCoopers; KPMG; Deloitte and Ernst & Young between 2003 and 2013. According to its spokesperson on BBC’s “Hard Talk,” the Commission commenced its investigation following a reference and complaint (petition) last year from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) which was concerned that there was not sufficiently transparent competition among auditors. The main bone of contention was that big companies hardly changed their auditors. Even the Bank of England
Richard Presley (USA) spent 69 days 19 min in a module underwater at a lagoon in Key Largo, Florida, USA from 6 May to 14 July 1992. The test was carried out as part of a mission entitled Project Atlantis which had as its aim to explore the human factors of living in an undersea environment.
NOTHING TO FEAR
Guest Bashorun JK Columnist Randle had retained the same auditors (PricewaterhouseCoopers) for 250 years!! This has prompted the City accountancy watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council to propose compelling companies to put their audits to tender at least once every ten years “to lubricate the profession by encouraging more movement in the market.” The raw statistics are most chilling –of the 150 companies that have remained constantly in the FTSE 350 for the decade, 103 had not changed auditors. However, eleven companies switched from midtier firms to “Big Four” firms. Sadly, only a puny four companies opted to change their auditors from the “Big Four” to smaller firms. Indeed, last year auditors from outside the “magic circle” signed off the books of only thirteen companies in the FTSE. This was exactly the same situation in 2000; 2001; 2002; and 2003. Mattes were not helped by the front page report in “The Times” newspaper on August 14, 2013 with the shocking headline: “ F i r m investigating BBC payoffs wined and dined top executive”. BBC executives who approved six-figure payoffs for colleagues accepted lavish hospitality from the company that was appointed by the corporation to investigate some of its most controversial severance deals. Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the Director-General is facing calls to reconsider his decision to ask KPMG to carry out the investigation after it emerged the company spent thousands of pounds on concert tickets, champagne and meals for key figures involved in the payoffs. Zarin Patel, who stepped down last month as the BBC’s chief financial officer – accepted concert tickets on at least four occasions from KPMG, which has been the BBC’s auditor since 1995. Ms Patel and
WHO APPROVED SIXFIGURE PAYOFFS FOR COLLEAGUES ACCEPTED LAVISH HOSPITALITY FROM THE COMPANY THAT WAS APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE SOME OF ITS MOST CONTROVERSIAL
SEVERANCE DEALS. Lucy Adams, the human resources director, attended a dinner at a top London restaurant paid for by the company. The two executives were responsible for approving payoffs of more than £500,000. Mark Byford, the former deputy director-general, received £1.02million and Pat Loughrey, the former director of regions, £866,000. These payoffs were condemned last month by the National Audit Office (NAO), which said that the BBC had “put public trust at risk” by repeatedly breaching policy to give executives golden handshakes far in excess of their contractual entitlement. Lord Hall announced that he had asked KPMG to investigate “other cases in recent years where guidelines may have been breached”. He acted after being accused of engaging in a cover-up for ordering only a “verbal briefing” on payrolls to ex-
ecutives who left in disgrace. Peter Fincham, a former Controller of BBC One, received £500,000 even though he resigned after being criticised over a documentary trailer that misrepresented the Queen. Lesley Douglas, a former Controller of Radio 2, reportedly received a six-figure sum after resigning over a scandal involving voicemail messages left by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross. Ross Wilson, the Conservative MP for Reading East, wrote to Amyas Morse, the Auditor-General, asking him to consider whether KPMG, as the BBC’s auditors for 18 years, should have “picked up on and highlighted the widespread breach of policies in the granting of severance payment”. He added: “I am concerned that KPMG might not be a suitable party to carry out such a review.” A KPMG spokesman said: “An audit only looks at whether payments have been accounted for and disclosed appropriately in the financial statements, not whether there have been any breaches of policy. Occasional proportionate hospitality is a normal part of working life. KPMG’s independence as auditors is regularly reviewed by the company’s audit committee.” A spokesman said: “As the BBC’s auditors, appointed by the Secretary for State, it is entirely appropriate for KPMG to carry out this additional review of severance payments. The BBC has strict guidelines in relation to accepting corporate hospitality and no guidelines have been broken. Neither Zarin Patel nor Lucy Adams was involved in appointing KPMG to review severance payments.” Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said his officers would consult the Crown Prosecution Service over whether to investigate a complaint from Mr. Wilson that BBC managers may have been guilty of misconduct in a public office over payoffs. However, when the “Senior Elders from Nigeria” turned up at the World Bank / IMF Meeting in Washington, DC USA to protest the dominance of the accountancy profession by the “Big Four”, the new President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim was an excellent listener at the breakfast meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Central Park, New York City. He pleaded that, he needed time to study the petition properly. Besides, he would need to consult with President of the IMF, Mrs. Christine Lagarde. For the time being, all he could do was to direct our attention to the “BREAKING NEWS” on Bloomberg TV:
Toure beats Mikel, Moses to BBC award
he Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, has won the 2013 BBC African Footballer of the Year award. Toure, who had been nominated in each of the past four years, beat Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Vic-
tor Moses, John Mikel Obi and Jonathan Pitroipa to this year’s crown. “I think I’ve been nominated for five years in a row and finally winning the award is amazing,” the 30-year-old said shortly after being presented with the prize.
“It’s a fantastic achievement because I don’t think there have ever been as many quality African players in top-level international football as there are now in Aubameyang, Pitroipa, Mikel, Moses, Salomon Kalou, Gervinho. “I also think African football is
improving and that means a lot to us. As an African, I’m very happy.” The shortlist for the award was drawn up by 44 football experts across Africa, who based their choices on players’ skill, technical ability, teamwork, consistency and fair play.
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