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Recruitment: How MDAs circumvent Federal Character

Eagles get condition to secure Abuja land

Mark indicts military, paramilitary, CEOs



Vol. 31 N0. 570 115


he Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Prof. Oba Abdulrahman, yesterday said that ministries,

departments and agencies, MDAs, of government hide under the guise of recruiting casual staff, temporary CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>



Tuesday, Tuesday,June March 7, 2011 5, 2013

N150 N150

Again, gunmen kill MOPOL commander outrage trails Kwara CP’s murder Chime places N10m ransom on assassins OBASANJO LAMENTS DEARTH OF CULTURAL VALUES




Ekiti guber poll:

Supreme Court decides Fayemi, Oni’s fate on May 31 P.7


arely 24 hours after the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chinweike Asadu, was killed by gunmen in his home town, AmorjiNike, Enugu State, suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect have shot dead the Commandant of the Police Mobile Training Camp in Borno State, Mr. Umaru Ali Jenga. Also, a traffic warden in Gwange ward of Maiduguri metropolis, Borno State, was killed in the attack. The slain commandant, 45, according to an eyewitness, was shot at his CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Cult clash claims another LASU student



19 killed as Kenyans vote in presidential poll L-R: Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Akinlawon Mabogunje; President Olusegun Obasanjo and his wife, Bola, at the two-day regional summit on ‘Women and Youth in Promotion of Cultural Security and Development in Africa’ in Abeokuta, Ogun State, yesterday.

Airplane crashes in Congo’s Goma city, 36 die P.47

Convicted pension thief, Yusufu, slumps in court Jang sacks Justice Naron, NJC begins sitting on Talba


Two-year-old baby cured of HIV




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

National Mirror

Tuesday, March 5, 2013



Photo News

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

L-R: Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama; Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio and Osun State Governor, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, during the launch of Project HOPE in Accra, Ghana, yesterday.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Republic of Namibia, Mr. Erastus Negonga; Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina and Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Republic of Namibia, Rosalia Nghidinwa, at the Commonwealth National women meeting held in New York, the United States, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Ogun State Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun; visiting Vatican Ambassador to Nigeria, Most Reverend Augustine Kasujja and Governor Ibikunle Amosun during a visit by the cleric to the governor in Abeokuta, yesterday.

Emir of Ningi, Alhaji Yunusa Danyaya (3rd right), representative of the Alaafin of Oyo, Amb. Ayandotun Ayanlakin (2nd right) and others, during a visit by the Alaafin’s representative to the emir in Bauchi State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

National News

FG inaugurates National Enterprise Development Programme .. targets 3.5 million jobs in two years AYO OLESIN


he Federal Government yesterday inaugurated the National Enterprise Development Programme geared towards create 3.5 million new jobs across the country with the next two years through the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said in Abuja that NEDEP had been developed with the objective of harnessing the opportunities in the MSME sector to drive inclusive economic growth through skills training and development, job creation and wealth generation. The minister, who spoke during the first stakeholders’ meeting on NEDEP, also added that the Federal Government would set up an SME Council, comprising the Federal, state and local Governments to streamline and harmonise all SME development activities across the country in order to achieve maximum impact. He said, “If we are going

to develop our economy and turn our quantity advantage into productive advantage, one of the most important sectors that we have to focus on is the MSME sector. Despite the little support the MSME sector has received over the years, the sector currently contributes to about 75 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and employs more than 45 per cent of our people. Even developed economies rely heavily on MSMEs for job creation, wealth generation and inclusive economic growth. Aganga who noted that MSME development needed a coordinated approach to be successful, said the current initiative is being driven by his ministry and its three parastatals - the Bank of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria and the Industrial Training Fund. He pointed out that the NEDEP initiative was based on similar enterprise development models in Asia, Africa and the One Local Government One Product (OLOP) pilot projects in Kano and Niger states. “Our objective is that

within the next two years of implementing NEDEP, the programme will generate 3.5 million jobs and an estimated five million direct and indirect jobs,” he said. In order to ensure the successful implementation of the programme, Aganga said that the Ministry of Trade and Investment was partnering 17 state governments to provide specialised training and access to cheap funds to enable more MSMEs to increase their capacity to create jobs and generate wealth. He noted that the Ministry of Trade and Investment had already set up a monitoring and evaluation team, which would work with the National Bureau of Statistics to verify and validate all data relating to the number of jobs that would be created through NEDEP. He said, “Already, we have the support of 17 state governments that have been working with BOI, ITF and SMEDAN, in the area of MSMEs development, skills training and acquisition, as well as business services development. “Part of our strategy is to create new clusters of busi-

nesses based on competitive and comparative advantages already identified through the One Local Government One Product initiative and raw materials mapping in the 774 local government areas of the federation. In addition to this, unemployed youths will be recruited and trained as volunteers in all the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory.” Speaking during the event, the Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, commended the Ministry of Trade and In-

vestment for its NEDEP initiative and for carrying all relevant stakeholders along, adding that the Youths Development Ministry would collaborate with the trade and investment ministry to ensure the successful implementation of the programme. He said, “I must commend the Minister of Trade and Investment for this laudable initiative and for carrying all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government along.

Over the years, there has been a serious missing gap in terms of coordinating MSMEs’ activities and job creation efforts by MDAs. As a result of this, little has been achieved. “Therefore, there is a need for greater collaboration between MDAs and I am happy to partner the trade and investment ministry as part of the Federal Government’s integrated approach towards addressing the problem of youth unemployment.”

Christian group donates $50,000 to Boko Haram victims JOEL AJAYI ABUJA


he Christians Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN) yesterday donated $50,000 to victims of Boko Haram insurgency, even as it flayed President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for its failure to bring the sect’s activities under check. The association advised Jonathan to seek support from international leaders, particularly from United States President

Barack Obama to find a lasting solution to the Boko Haram menace. CANAN President, Dr. James Fadele, spoke at a joint media briefing with the Christian Association Nigerian (CAN) in Abuja. He said Nigerian Christians in America had taken notice of the impact of the actions of the Boko Haram sect. Fadele said: “We have heard that CAN is setting up a Relief Fund where Nigerians can donate money and materials to support the victims. For instance,

victims’ children can benefit from scholarships taken out from such fund. Towards such a fund, CANAN is making an initial widow’s mite contribution of $50,000 “If backers of terrorists are raising the money to perpetuate acts of terror, supporters of and advocates for peace can no longer look the other way. We want to join CAN and other stakeholders to consider the apparent financial plight of the Boko Haram victims and lend a helping hand.”

National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Convicted pension thief, Yusufu, slumps in court EMMANUEL ONANI AND AND JAMES ABRAHAM


mild drama ensued yesterday at a Federal High Court, Abuja, when the convicted pension thief, Mr. John Yakubu Yusufu, slumped in the dock, shortly after the commencement of his trial. Yusufu, a former assistant director, was convicted on January 28 for stealing about N23bn pension funds meant for police retirees but the controversial two year sentence with an option of N750,000 fine handed down by the judge is now a subject of an inquiry by the National Judicial Council. The convict has however been held in Kuje Prison since January 30, when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, re-arraigned him on a fresh four-count charge bordering on his failure to disclose his assets as they relate to his interest in a company called SY -A Global Services Limited. When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, counsel for the accused person, Mr. Theodore Maiyaki, told the court of his intention to withdraw an application for bail dated February 18 to allow for a similar one dated January 31.

Maiyaki’s second application sought to replace Section 340 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC, with Section 118 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act, CPA. While both applications were not opposed by the anti-graft agency, its counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, however, raised objection to the application by the accused “to be admitted to bail on liberal terms”. Jacobs predicated his objection to the convict’s bail bargain on “the criminal antecedent of the accused person”, saying, “the accused had been convicted previously of criminal breach of trust”. He added: “The criminal record of the accused/applicant will not encourage exercise of discretion of bail on his favour. “And when this is considered with the proof of evidence and gravity of the offence, the court will conveniently allow this trial to go on, while the accused person remains in custody pending trial.” The prosecution pledged its commitment towards an accelerated hearing and determination of the case, stressing that it would conclude its case in two days. It urged the court to reject the application and remand the accused in custody pending trial.

The trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello, adjourned ruling on bail application to March 11 and asked the

prosecution to call its first witness. The first prosecution witness had hardly given his

name as Mustapher Sani Gadanya when Maiyaki made an oral application for Yusufu to sit down.

First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, planting a tree at the launch of tree planting, landscaping and beautification of Airport Road in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Again, gunmen kill MOPOL commander CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Lagos Bridge residence on Sunday evening by three armed men in a tricycle. The attackers later fled towards Bama Road where they also shot a traffic warden at his duty post. The eyewitness said: “We were sitting under the shed, when gunmen in a tricycle attacked the residence of the police officer near the Lagos Bridge. And people started running for safety across the bridge before soldiers came in their patrol vehicles to chase the gunmen that fled towards Bama road, after they killed the police officer in front of his house at about 4:30p.m. yesterday (Sunday) evening.” The incident came on the heels of a failed attempt by the Boko Haram to takeover a military formation in Monguno area of the state, which led to the killing of 20 members of the sect and

a soldier. Confirming the separate incidents, the spokesman of the Borno State Police Command, Gideon Jibrin, said there were multiple attacks in Gwange ward of Maiduguri where a police officer and a traffic warden were killed on Sunday. He added that no arrests had been made. However, outrage has continued to trail the killing of Asadu with the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP and the pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, raising the alarm over worsening insecurity in the country.

Chime’s N10m ransom Also, Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime yesterday placed a N10m reward for anybody who could give clue to arrest of the masterminds of Asadu’s killers.

Chime also accepted that there had been upsurge in crime in Enugu State recently with the peculiar trait of the criminals retrieving guns from their victims after assassination. A police orderly to the governor’s son, Nnamdi, was reportedly assassinated recently in Enugu State and his gun removed from him. The governor, however, said that people should not condemn security agencies for making no arrest since the assassination of the CP last Saturday night. He explained that security issues were not usually addressed in the public and in a hasty manner. Chime was speaking yesterday when he paid a condolence visit to the family of Asadu at their residence in Amorji-Nike, Enugu State. He was accompanied by

the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tonye Ebitibituwa; the Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Eugene Odo; State Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Vita Abbah and other government functionaries. Chime, after signing the condolence register, said that the state government had procured new security equipment, including patrol vans, to combat growing insecurity in the state. He said: “Well I agree with you the trend is most embarrassing not just to the police, but to the nation. “For a CP to be killed in such a manner to me is quite unfortunate and the state government has decided to show the seriousness of what has happened. “It has followed a pattern. What they do now is to follow and kill people with escorts; they kill and

collect the guns. I think it has taken a pattern. “So, we are paying a ransom of N10m to anybody that will give us information that will lead to the arrest of the culprits to show the seriousness. It’s quite embarrassing. “I won’t say no arrests have been made, but security matters are not discussed in public. We have acquired patrol vehicles, they are being fitted now and they are parked in Government House. In the next one week, they should be with the police.” But the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, said that no arrest had been made, stressing, however, that the police were on top of the incident. He added that even if arrests had been made, it would be too early to make that open until investigations were

Interestingly, no sooner had the judge acceded to the request than a shout of “Jesus, Jesus” reverberated from a woman suspected to be the accused wife as Yusufu slumped in the dock. Maiyaki also rushed to the dock to the aid of Yusufu, who was now shaking and sweating profusely. Conscious of the implication of continuing with trial in the face of this, Justice Bello, therefore, adjourned the case till April 22. He, however, told the most senior prison official in court: “You can see the condition of the accused; so you should allow him access to medical attention.” In a counter-affidavit to the bail application, deposed to by one Ateb Godwin, the EFCC averred that: “Upon further investigations, it was revealed that the accused/ applicant has some assets which he willingly and deliberately failed to declare while filing the declaration of assets form. “That the offence for which the accused/applicant person is being charged is a felony, an offence punishable with imprisonment term of up to five years. “That there has been a lot of public and media outcry against the accused/ applicant in relation to the sentence imposed on CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>

concluded. The relatives of the late CP from Onuiyi-Nsukka have been visiting the Enugu residence including the deceased’s elder brother who was guarded into a cab that drove him back to Nsukka. The deceased children all sat helplessly as sympathisers trooped in and out of their home.

CP died 65 days to retirement Fresh facts also emerged yesterday that the slain commissioner of police was assassinated 65 days to his retirement from service. The Kwara State Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abdul Bube, disclosed this to National Mirror yesterday. Bube described his slain boss as “a dedicated, fatherly and lovely officer” who related with both officers and men of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 8>>



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Recruitment: How MDAs circumvent Federal Character CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

staff and replacement of substitute staff to circumvent the federal character principles. The FCC principles require recruiting agencies to first inform the commission and publicly declare such vacant positions open before embarking on recruitments. He stated that such recruitments, which are often done secretly, contravened extant guidelines of the FCC. Abdulrahman made the disclosure in his presentation before the Senate Joint Committee on Federal Character and Labour, Em-

ployment and Productivity, which opened a two-day public hearing on the employment irregularities in federal establishments in Nigeria in the last two years. He said: “Now, MDAs that are engaged in recruitment cause these problems by practising what we have identified as clandestine recruitment exercise without due consultations and in non-compliance with the guidelines provided by the Federal Character Commission. “Some of the employing agencies hide under the guise of recruiting casual staff, temporary staff and engage in replacement of

substitutes.” The FCC boss also blamed the current insecurity in some parts of the country on employment irregularities, noting that: “If employment is wrongly conducted and done in violation of the federal character principle, it is a serious threat to national unity and there is the tendency to generate disappointment among groups, which may lead to break down of law and order in society.” He described those engaging in irregularities in employment as greedy and lacking in patriotism. He urged the heads of agencies of government to borrow a

leaf from the commission and find ways of identifying such people and flushing them out of the system. Abdulrahman said the FCC had through its internal vigilance been able to fish out some bad eggs within its system and that currently, a junior staff in the commission who connived with one of the uniformed bodies is already serving a prison term. The Senate President, David Mark, at the hearing also indicted the heads of MDAs as well as military and paramilitary organisations for perpetrating recruitment irregularities.

Mark stated that recruitment irregularities showed that employment into federal establishments had been reserved for only the highest bidders. He said it also showed the manifestation of corrupt society where there was no equity and fairness, leading to frustration, declining productivity and corruption. The Senate President regretted that most heads of federal establishments secure for their relations unwarranted advantage and favours, which they were not ordinarily legally or morally entitled to. He urged those who had petitioned the Senate over recruitment irregularities to be bold and come forward

to substantiate their claims, stressing that that was the only way they could make the job of the probe committee easy and fruitful. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Customs Service yesterday said that it had apprehended an 11-man syndicate in Owerri, the Imo State capital, which specialised in defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians by promising to offer them jobs in the service. Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Gabar Makarfi, said the syndicate operates in collaboration with some customs officials and that those personnel have already been placed on suspension pending the time their cases would be finally decided.

NBA opts out of lawyers’ suit KAYODE KETEFE


Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo (left) and Acting Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, at the pre-bid conference for investors in Afam Power Plc and Kaduna Distribution Company, yesterday.

he Lagos branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, yesterday urged a Federal High Court in Lagos to strike out its name from a suit filed by some lawyers, to challenge the increment in the practising fees for all lawyers in the country. Lagos branch is a co-defendant in a suit instituted by five lawyers in which the branch Chairman, Mr. Taiwo Taiwo, is also

named a co-defendant. The NBA President, Mr. Okey Wali, SAN, the General Council of the Bar; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke and the Chairman, Ikeja NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani, are the other defendants in the suit. The five lawyers who instituted the suit are Mr. Seth Amaefule, Miss Amaka Aneke, Mr. Celestine Nwankwo, Mr. Charles OlaOni, and Mr. Tayo Arojo.

Convicted pension thief, Yusufu, slumps in court CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

him in Charge M0: FCT/ CR/64/2012. “That if the accused/applicant is released on bail, he will interfere with further investigation in the case.” In the fresh charge, the anti-corruption commission is alleging that Yusufu failed to declare his interest in N250m domiciled in a fixed deposit account with Zenith Bank and another N10m traced to First Bank of Nigeria Plc; all in the name of SY -A Global Services Limited. Also, the former assistant director is being accused of not declaring his interest in the N29m fixed on his instruction by one Danjuma Mele in his company’s account with Diamond Bank. The offence is punishable under Section 27 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc.) ACT CAP E1 2004. Counts two and four of

the fresh charge read: “That you John Yakubu Yusufu on or about Febuary 14, 2012 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets and liability in the declaration of assets forms filed by you, by not declaring your interest in the N250m you lodged in a fixed deposit account with the Zenith Bank in the name of SY -A Global Services Limited, a company in which you are the sole signatory to its account and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27(3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act CAP E1 2004. “That you John Yakubu Yusufu on or about February 14, 2012 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets and liability in the declaration of assets form filled by you, by not declaring your interest

in the N29m which was fixed on your instruction by one Danjuma Mele in his company account in the name of Jidag Technical Services Ltd with Diamond Bank and for your benefit and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc) Act CAP E1 2004.” Meanwhile, the fact-finding committee investigating allegations made against Justice Abubakar Talba of an Abuja High Court may begin sitting this week. Our correspondent learnt that membership of the investigative committee is kept under wraps, ostensibly to avoid undue pressure and distraction from some quarters. It will be recalled that National Judicial Council, NJC, had at its emergency meeting of February 20 set up a committee to probe what

many have termed “slap-onthe-wrist” judgement delivered by Justice Talba against Yusufu. The NJC on the same date also suspended Justices Charles Archibong of the Federal High Court, Lagos, and Thomas Naron of the Plateau State Judiciary. Archibong has already been compulsorily retired by President Goodluck Jonathan in line with NJC’s recommendation, and Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang yesterday approved the compulsory retirement of Justice Naron. Jang in a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, James Mannok, said that the retirement followed the NJC’s recommendation which investigated a petition against Justice Naron as member of the first panel of the Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal in Osun State and subsequently recommended his retire-

ment for misconduct. The governor in response to the NJC’s letter signed by the CJN approved the retirement of Justice Naron from March 4, 2013. Yusufu was convicted over an offence bordering on an “illegal act” of stealing about N23bn pension funds meant for police retirees. He specifically pleaded guilty to counts 18, 19 and 20, where he was alleged to have connived with others still standing trial to convert N24.2bn, N1.3bn and N1.7bn respectively. Consequently, the court sentenced him to two years imprisonment with an option of N750,000. He paid the fine and walked away. Members of the committee are, therefore, expected to probe the EFCC’s agreement with the convict for a “custodial sentence”, which was not implemented by the trial judge, who was said to have been intimated of the

said deal. In another development, the NJC has scheduled a meeting for March 13 and 14 to consider pending petitions against some judicial officers. Judicial reforms and independence are some of the other issues that may top the agenda of the two-day meeting to be held in Abuja. Efforts by our correspondent to get the names of judges under investigation failed, as the source, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “I can’t give you their names and I will advise you be patient till the meeting holds. “One thing I will tell you is that the NJC under the leadership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, will leave no stone unturned in an effort to sanitise the judiciary. “Don’t forget that she is incorruptible and very disciplined.”

National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5 , 2013


Obasanjo, African leaders lament dearth of cultural values •Nigeria lucky to have him –NSGF



ctivities lined up to mark the 76th birthday celebration of the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, continued yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital with a regional summit that exam-

ined the roles of women and youths in the promotion of cultural security and development in Africa. The event, organised by the Centre for Human Security, CHS, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL, in conjunction with the UNESCO Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, IACIU, also examined

the investment in women and youths in the promotion of cultural security and development. Government officials from Nigeria as well as other African countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ghana, among others, participated in the event. They emphasised the need to save African cultural values and norms before it goes

Stranded shop owners at the shut Ladipo Market in Oshodi area of Lagos, yesterday.

into extinction in the face of global threats. Obasanjo in his remark at the event lamented the invasion of African culture by the Western civilisation, warning that urgent priority must be given to the promotion of African norms and values. Stressing the crucial roles of women and youths, the former president warned that the future of the continent would be endangered if adequate investment and at-


Ekiti guber poll: Oni asks S’Court to reinstate him EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA


usted governor of Ekiti State, Chief Olusegun Oni, has asked the Supreme Court to make a “consequential order” reinstating him to his former position as chief executive of the South-West state. In the alternative, the former National Vice-Chairman, South-West, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, urged the apex court to direct that the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Omirin Adewale, be sworn-in, pending the determination of all pending issues. Oni’s prayers were contained in a written address in support of his appeal against his removal by the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal, which was headed by the suspended President of the appellate court, Justice Ayo Isa Salami. Adopting his written address yesterday, Oni’s counsel, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, predicated his appellant’s brief of arguments on three major pillars to wit:

“That Justice Salami was at that material time the President of the Court of Appeal and Chairman of the appeal panel that delivered judgement on October 15, 2010. “That a petition was made to the National Judicial Council, NJC, against Justice Salami and he was aware of same. “That allegation of judicial bias was raised only after the delivery of the October 15 judgement.” Gadzama went further to say that it was not in dispute that “the appellant became aware of the conviviality between Salami and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, after that judgement had been delivered. To that extent, therefore, Oni wants the apex court to determine, among others, “whether denial of fair hearing to appellant and issue of bias, is not enough ground to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal. “Whether under section 36 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), fair hearing is fundamental and immutable...” In the face of the alleged “judicial bias” against the

appellant, coupled with the appellant’s claim that “the constitution can only confer finality on the Appeal Court where such proceeding was validly conducted,” Oni urged the court to “allow this appeal, set aside the ruling of Appeal Court dated February 27, 2012 and its ruling of WD October, 2010.” In a preliminary objection to the appeal, Governor Kayode Fayemi and his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, argued that the apex court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the appeal, by virtue of section 246 (2) of the constitution. Counsel for Fayemi and ACN, Mr. John Olusola Baiyesha, SAN, maintained that, at the time judgement in the governorship election was held, the Court of Appeal had the final say on governorship election disputes. While urging the court to sustain the preliminary objection, he disclosed that on February 27, 2012, when the Appeal Court panel resumed sitting, it noted that the National Judicial Council, NJC, had already issued its report on Oni’s petition, where it was said to have exonerated all the members of the ap-

peal panel, including Salami. He urged the court to dismiss the appeal for being “frivolous and lacking in merit,” moreso that “two members of that panel have been elevated to the Supreme Court bench. Aligning with Fayemi’s position, counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Ibrahim Bawa, urged the court to sustain his client’s preliminary objection and affirm the decision of the Appeal Court. The position of the Police was, however, different as its counsel, Mr. Femi Ateh announced that his client did not file any brief, as they want to maintain “a neutral position.” Having listened to the submissions by respective counsel for the appellant and respondents, Justice Tanko Mahmud, who led other six justices, adjourned the constitutional matter to May 31, for judgement in the long-drawn legal battle between Governor Fayemi and Oni.

tention was not paid to them. He stated further that the future of African countries would be bleak should the leaders fail to pay priority attention to her culture, which serves as a reminder of history. He said Africa must resist attempts to underplay its culture through over emphasising Western culture. The former president also advocated that African countries must uphold positive aspects of our culture and discard the negative that celebrates mediocrity believing that “youths and women can only be seen and not heard.” He urged countries in Africa to dwell on their common norms and beliefs to strengthen their relationships. In his paper presented at the summit, South African Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Shipokosa Mashatiloe, called on African countries to evolve a policy that would empower and arm the youth and women with the tools that will support their aspirations. The South African minister, who described the former president as an unwavering advocate of African cultural norms, also stressed the need to invest in African youths and women. Noting that African women are the custodians of cultural values and traditions who are responsible for passing such to the younger generations, hence, it becomes necessary to develop women and youth as they are strategic to the preservation of African culture. In her own paper, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Zainab Maina, lamented the influx of Western ideas under the guise of “development” which she said had been a constant threat to African cultural security. “In Africa, women have mostly been involved in small-scale entrepreneurship. No doubt, this sector has been severely affected by the introduction of trade liberalization.” “Women in this continent contribute the most critical factor in agricultural production, yet liberalisation has failed to ensure availability of credit and agricultural inputs to them”. Sierra Leonean Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs, Mr. Moijue Kaikai urged Afri-

can leaders to use culture as a tool to strengthen social cohesion. Kaikai appealed to African leaders to shun negative aspects of globalisation which threatens to further marginalise Africa. Meanwhile, the Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, has described Nigeria a lucky nation for having former President Obasanjo at every twist and turn as the country march to nationhood. Paying tribute to Obasanjo as he turns 76 today, the forum said the former president has remained a reference point on good governance, statesmanship, diplomacy, conflict resolution and prudent management of resources. NSGF, through its Chairman and Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Danladi Ndayebo, recalled how his era as a military head of state ushered in huge developmental drive to nationhood and greatness. The forum also explained that the former Nigerian leader has lived a fulfilled life of service to Nigeria and humanity, having distinguished himself in the military and then went on to become Head of State and later a democratically elected president, adding that during the period, he showed rare vision, courage and exemplary leadership. They noted that Obasanjo left legacies in all sectors of the economy like; nationbuilding, national reconciliation, the Niger Delta issue, national security, foreign policy, the telecommunications revolution, debt management, banking sector reforms, education, agriculture, health, environment, power sector reform, oil and gas development. Others are solid minerals development, tourism, the war against economic and financial crimes, pension reforms, among many others. The forum said it is proud to be associated with the achievements of the former leader, especially his contribution to the deepening of the nation’s fledgling democracy. It then prayed God to grant Chief Obasanjo excellent health, courage and many more years of selfless service to Nigeria and humanity.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Again, gunmen kill MOPOL commander asking for good governance is bound to backfire as a full maturation of what is going on will consume all.” To save the country from the brink, Afenifere called for an immediate convocation of a national security summit to bring leaders and stakeholders together to brainstorm on the causes of the virtual security collapse and proffer solutions to them. The summit, it added, should be a prelude to a national conference.

No more unknown gunmen – ANPP

Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime (left) commiserating with the widow and son of the late Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chinwike Asadu, during his condolence visit to the family in Enugu, yesterday. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

command like his children. “He would tell you when you are distressed on the job that he had passed through the same ordeal before to calm you down and would also tell anyone that wanted to play pranks that because of his experience he could detect foul play at distance. “But then, he would not apply punishment, instead, he would simply counsel you.” The Kwara State Police Command Headquarters was almost deserted yesterday. The usual human and vehicular presence was low with some unusual quietness. The same was the case at the Police Officers’ Mess on Ahman Pategi Road, GRA, Ilorin, where some people were seen weeping profusely. Sympathisers, including military, senior police officers, civilians and clerics were seen signing the condolence registers placed at the headquarters and the officers’ mess yesterday.

Nigeria fast becoming a failed state, says ACN The ACN, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said the incident reinforced the belief in some quarters that Nigeria was fast becoming a failed state. “If such a high ranking security officer can be so cheaply gunned down, then no one is safe,” the party said. It called on the police high command to ensure

that the killers were caught and brought to justice to prevent a recurrence. The party added that nothing portrayed a nation as a failed state more than when security agents, on whose shoulders the responsibility of protecting lives and property lies, were easy targets for criminals. It said: “Because of their onerous tasks, the police personnel and other security agents deserve a reinforced level of security. They need to be alive and well before they can protect the lives and property of others. “That is why one of the indices of a failed state is anarchy, which starts when security agents become targets of attacks and criminal elements overwhelm state security apparatus. “Attacks on police and military formations; killing of security agents, out-ofcontrol armed robbery and pervasive kidnapping, just to mention a few of the security challenges facing our nation, are pointers to the fact that our country is fast becoming a failed state, irrespective of what government apologists may say or the spin they may put on things. “No one is happy to have his/her country labelled a failed state. But the truth of the matter is that Nigeria of today is exhibiting all the indices of a failed state, whether it is group grievance, economic decline or worsening public services. “That is why Nigeria has consistently been in

the top 20 since 2009 of the failed states rankings – in the same class as Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Chad, just to name a few. “Much as we have all concentrated on the Boko Haram insurgency, the truth is that the spike in violent crimes, the ease with which kidnappers operate at the time and place of their choosing and rising cases of unresolved assassinations are equally, if not more, terrible, and will push us up the rankings among failed states if nothing is done urgently to check the developments.” The ACN called on the Federal Government to utilise the energy being wasted on dismissing those calling Nigeria a failed state to improve the security and welfare of the citizenry as well as to address the agelong injustices and absence of governance in many parts of the country.

Afenifere expresses worries Afenifere, on its part, said the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria and the seeming official indifference by the leadership was worrisome. Recalling that former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophillus Danjuma, on Saturday raised the alarm that the northern part of Nigeria “is in the middle of a civil war, the group said it was regrettable that 48 hours after Danjuma’s declaration, Asadu was gunned down in his home, while 22 people were killed in Borno State in an attempt

to take over an Army barracks by members of the Boko Haram. Afenifere’s statement made available to National Mirror said: “As if to confirm the state of nature that Nigeria has descended into, there is a sense of indifference to these calamities these days as the Presidency sparingly issues the photocopied response “we shall fish out the culprits.” “There is no hazarding any guess that strategising for 2015 is of greater priority at the moment than paying attention to the state of insecurity in the country. “While bombs are flying like bangers, guns booming in every nook, kidnappers daily nabbing their victims and assassins shooting without missing; the battle for control of the Governors’ Forum and such mundane tussles have taken all the attention of the Presidency. “It takes a demented political class to pretend that all is well within our country and that we will have a good setting to conduct elections in 2015, given the culture of fear spreading across the country. “Genuine patriots must be worried that it appears that the high level of insecurity in the country is not being given the desired engagement,” Afenifere said. It, therefore, warned that “any attempt to continue to treat the insecurity situation in the country as if it provides a good distraction from people

The ANPP also called on the Federal Government, the police and other law enforcement agencies to end the “unknown gunmen” syndrome in the country and solve the mystery behind numerous heinous murders in the past. The party said that the murder of Asadu was a pointer that the PDPled Federal Government had failed in securing the lives and properties of the ordinary Nigerian “which is the paramount duty it owes the citizens.” A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Emma Eneukwu, condemned the atrocious murder, adding that it was a reprehensible action which ought to belong only to the imaginative plots of thriller movies. “Surely, this is the time to muster all forensic resources and new technologies to ensure that the nomenclature of ‘unknown gunmen’ is permanently deleted from our national lexicon, and collective consciousness. “The unravelling of the crime will go a long way in boosting the battered morale of the ordinary policeman on the street in dispensing his/her patriotic duties. “Our great party believes that as a nation, Nigeria shall surmount all her present troubles,” the ANPP said. The party, however, lamented that Nigeria had been enmeshed in several unsolved mysterious deaths perpetrated by socalled unknown gunmen in recent times, thereby making her streets dreadful and the hinterlands theatres of crime. It noted: “The murder

of a serving police commissioner is as bloodcurdling as it is weird. Our great party ponders: if a top level law enforcement officer could be mowed down in such a manner, what then is the fate of the ordinary citizen or the low ranking officer out there on the street? “The answer is manifest to the effect that this PDP government has failed in the cardinal duty it owes the citizens of this great country with whom it has a social contract; that of security.”

What is the faith of common man? –Group The Northern Youths for the Advancement of Peace, Harmony and Development in a statement made available to journalists in Jos, called on law enforcement agencies to bring his killers to book. The statement signed by the group’s president, Ejeh Melvin, said: “If a police boss could be assassinated, what is the faith of a common man on the street? “We are calling on the Federal Government to commence a full scale investigation into the killing of the commissioner, while we condole with the police authorities and the family and friends of Asadu.” The Commanding Officer, 22 Brigade Headquarters, Brig.-Gen. I.M/ Alkali, described the late CP as a fine officer who was dedicated to his calling. He commiserated with the officers and men of the command on the loss of their boss. Also, the Kwara State Commissioner for Environment, Kayode Towoju, and a one-time governorship aspirant in the State, Col. Abdulwahab Lawal, described the death of the CP as shocking, saying “he came, he saw and he conquered.” A social critic, Olola Kasum, said: “The tragic murder of the commissioner of police had exposed the high water point and sophistication of insecurity of life, which has descended so low in our society to the extent that dogs are now killing lions with impunity.” He called on the Inspector-General of Police to see the killing of Asadu as “a big challenge as well as the entire police formations across the country.”

National Mirror

South West

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Alaafin tasks Yoruba politicians on culture

Three injured as thugs disrupt ACN protest KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN




he crisis within the Oyo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, yesterday assumed a new dimension as a peaceful protest by the youth wing of the party turned bloody. Reports said the protesters were attacked by suspected members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, and that in the process, no fewer than three of the protesters sustained varying degree of injuries.


he Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has called on Yoruba politicians to safeguard the cultural value of the Yoruba nation, warning that the Yoruba culture may be facing extinction if parents refused to teach their children their local language and culture. The monarch stated this yesterday while receiving the former Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin, who paid him a visit over the January 8 fire incident that gutted parts of the his palace. He canvassed the restoration of Yoruba history in the curriculum of schools in all Yoruba speaking states, reminding his visitor that the race has blazed the trail in many areas which today have become the cornerstone of national values and ethos. According to the Alaafin, any race that forgets its history would sooner than later face extinction, maintaining that Yoruba politicians have a role to play in saving the language from extinction through seeing to it that appropriate laws are enacted to promote the language. His words: “It is important that all of us must be proud of our race, with the Yoruba race spreading beyond this country, I believe that the Yoruba politicians must ensure that they not only promote the Yoruba language but also seeing that the younger ones speak it.” Speaking on the much touted marginalisation of the Yoruba by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, he put the blame on the door step of the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. He said his eight-year tenure never ensured a succession policy for the Yoruba while the former president paid lip service to issues that could assist the cause of the Yoruba. The former senate leader while condoling with the Alaafin on the inferno that destroyed part of his palace said he was excited that no life was lost. He apologised to the monarch for coming late, attributing his lateness to his health challenges, but that he had been with the monarch in spirit in those moments of distress. A member of the Oyomesi, who is the Iba Saamu of Oyo, Alhaji Lamidi Oyewole, has conveyed the monarch misgivings on the late coming of the former senate leader.


L-R: Chairman Ekiti West Local Government, Mr. Ropo Famubode; Alara of Aramoko Ekiti, Oba, Oluadegoke Adeyemi, Governor Kayode Fayemi and Board Chairman, Ekiti State Community and Social Development Agency, Chief Ibidapo Awojolu, during the inauguration of 18-Community Development Plans (CDPs) and presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries by the governor in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.

LASU rival cult clash: Another student killed, more arrested

•School deserted over attack FRANCIS SUBERU AND MOJEED ADEBAYO


arely three days after a final year Banking and Finance student of the Lagos State University, LASU, Damilola Olaniyan (alias Damoche), was killed by suspected cultists, another undergraduate student simply identified as Kabiru, has again been shot dead. Sources told National Mirror that Kabiru was killed at about 10.00pm on Sunday at Abeokuta Street, Okokomaiko, Lagos. It will be recalled that the 25-year-old hip-hop singer, popularly referred to as Damoche, who was alleged to be a member of ‘Eiye Confraternity,’ was killed last Thursday at about 4.00pm at the university gate in Ojo area of Lagos, by suspected members of ‘Buccaneer’ cult group. Prior to the incident, National Mirror also gathered that three cult groups, Eiye Confraternity, Black Axe and Buccaneer have been drawn in a battle of supremacy for the soul of the universty. Sources alleged that the killing was a reprisal for Damoche’s killing, by his cult group, the Buccaneer. A source told National Mirror: “There are three main cult groups in LASU. They are Eiye, Buccaneer and Black Axe. Eiye and Buccaneer have lost one

member each. The war is between the two groups now. One of the cult groups’ members was celebrating the death of the opposition group member in a hotel, when police arrested them.” Following the murder of Damoche, detectives attached to the Special AntiRobbery Squad, SARS, of the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja on Sunday, had arrested well over 100 suspects in connection with the incident. Contacted, Lagos State Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the death of Kabiru, but did not say if he was a cult member. According to her, the arrested persons, who are currently in custody of SARS operatives were picked up from Beno Hotel located at Isashi, Lagos/Badagry Expressway in a raid carried out by the detectives on Sunday evening. Braide said the arrested persons were rounded up following an intelligence report that the suspects had converged at the hotel and were celebrating the successful murder of the hiphop singer. She added that those arrested by the detectives were currently being screened and at the end of the day, those found to be innocent would be released while those indicted would be charged to court. As a result of the twin

murder, the Ojo campus of the university had been in turmoil as students have stayed away from their lectures following rumours of reprisal attack by rival cult groups and fear of possible arrest by the police in connection with the killings. Meanwhile, many students were said to have fled the institution’s main campus and its neighbourhood, where many of them reside. As at yesterday afternoon, the campus, which used to be lively, was as calm as a graveyard with a handful of students wearing somber mood. The new development was as a result of the advice from the students’ union leadership that they vacate their hostels, particularly those residing in communities such as Igbo-Elerin, Ojo, Iba, among others. According to the union’s Public Relations Officer, Stephen Adeleke, the decision was taken to avert recurring cases of reprisal attacks and avoid death of innocent students. There are also insinuations that the crisis is not yet over as the other rival groups have vowed to carry out a reprisal attacks. However, the advice by the students’ union has been misinterpreted by students to mean that the university had been shut indefinitely as many students immediately vacated the campus.

But in a swift reaction, the university has denied the rumour, saying that activities on the campus were at no time put on hold. In an interview with National Mirror yesterday, the Director of the university’s Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, Dr. Sola Fosudo, the institution is very secured as all security apparatuses are in place to protect lives and property. Fosudo, who regretted the development, said the case is a reflection of the decadence in the larger society and that it is not peculiar to the university. He advised parents to take due interest in their children’s welfare and that security is everybody’s business. He also confirmed the arrest of about 50 suspects in connection with the attacks. Also, there is an indication also that landlords within the university’s neighbourhood have resulted to sending students parking from their houses. This action, National Mirror learnt was fuelled by the killing of a child of one of them during the violent cult clashes. As at the time of filing this report, students were unsure of the real situation on the campus and were eagerly awaiting directive from the university’s management.

National Mirror gathered that unknown to the protesters that the party hierarchy had got wind of their action, they walked straight into the waiting hands of the NURTW members stationed at the party secretariat in Yemetu, Ibadan. It was gathered that the protesters were attacked by the thugs, who injured three of them and dispersed the procession. Undeterred, the protesters re-routed their procession to the National Television Authority, NTA, Agodi, Ibadan, where they addressed journalists and called for the sack of the state Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, his deputy, Alhaji Isiaka Alimi and the Secretary, Alhaji Mojeed Olaoya.

Ondo tribunal: Agent’s name missing in result sheet HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE


witness, Adams Lawal, who claimed to be an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and testifying before the Ondo State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Akure, turned the court to a drama room yesterday as his name could not be found in the result sheet of the unit he claimed to be the agent for the party. Lawal was the 40th witness standing before the Andovan Kaka’an tribunal for the candidate of the PDP at the last governorship election in the state, Chief Olusola Oke, to give evidence on the petition filed to challenge Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s victory in the October 20 election in the state. The witness who insisted, when cross-examined, that he was the polling agent for the party at Unit 7, Ward 4 in Akoko SouthWest Local Government Area of the state was surprised to see another name on form EC8A used for the unit.


South West

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Planned Lekki Airport: Lagos demolishes 10 church buildings MURITALA AYINLA


o fewer than 10 buildings belonging to the Pure Fire Miracles Ministries (PFMI) in Lekki have been demolished by the Lagos State Government at the weekend. National Mirror gathered that the demolished buildings, which comprised six auditoriums, offices and residences were said to

have been erected on the parcel of land earmarked for the proposed Lekki International Airport. The airport, when completed, is expected to serve the Lekki Free Trade Zone and boost the state’s economy. The church’s authorities valued the cost of the demolished property at N100 million. It was learnt that the state government demolished the church partially

in December last year, but the authorities of the church obtained a court injunction to stop the government from further demolition of its property. But the High Court of Lagos last Thursday ruled in favour of the government. The court ruling facilitated the weekend’s demolition of the main church’s auditoriums and several of its buildings by the officers of the Lagos Taskforce on Environmen-

tal and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit. The task force was accompanied by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPPUD) officials. Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, said that the land on the demolished structures were erected was illegally acquired. Ayinde also said that

there was no approval for the construction of the buildings in the first place, adding that notices had been served on the church to vacate the land. He said: “We have served the church quit notices since 2011 and another one was served on them in November, which the church did not comply with.” But the church debunked the claim by the government that it had no approval, saying it bought

the land following information contained in the Lagos State of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 29, Volume No 27, September 1, 1994. Meanwhile, a document by the legal adviser to the church’s pastor, Enoch Idowu Aminu of Probono Chamber, indicated that the land was bought from Ikujenya Okanlawon Ikuforiji Chieftaincy Family of No 3, Ikujenya Street, Bado Oke, Epe, Lagos State, on 21 May, 2010.

Fashola urges media to shun obscene details

NDLEA arrests suspect with drug concealed in sandals




overnor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday cautioned the media to eschew gory details in their publication, just as he asked them to always verify their facts before publishing news stories. The governor’s advice may not have been unconnected with the initial faceoff between the Lagos State Government and the Tribune Newspaper over report of Lekki toll protest in which the paper published the picture of a man that was allegedly shot dead by the police. But the man eventually confirmed he was not shot dead, but fainted during the protest. Speaking while hosting the new management team of the African newspapers of Nigeria, publishers of Tribune Newspapers, at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, Fashola condemned the indiscriminate use of gory pictures on the pages of Nigerian newspapers. He noted that such pictures, at times, lead to violence and other anti-social behaviours in the society. He said:“I think that we will not have the type of democracy that we have, without a free press, but a free press is not a press without restraint, our newspapers must understand that how ultimately violent our society becomes will be a function of graphic images of death, blood and violence they published. “Those stories can be reported without the graphics, it won’t make the stories less true.” Urging the media to portray the nation in good light, Fashola said the Nigerian media were usually the first to publish negative stories about the country.


L-R: Special Apostle Samuel Ariyo; Assistant Secretary, OAIC Nigeria Region, Prophet Samson Opadotun; Senior Apostolic Mother Elizabeth Akinadewo; Motailatu Church International Sub-Headquarters Superintendent, Supt. Israel Akinadewo; CAN Chairman, in Osun State, Superior Evang. Abraham Aladeseye; Secretary OAIC South West, Supt. Apostle Elijah Fagbule and Bishop Zacchaeus Sanyaolu, at the foundation laying of Motailatu Church Cherubim & Seraphim Worldwide (Kingdom Parish), at Osogbo, Osun State.

Ekiti, World Bank partner to generate 40,000 jobs


he Ekiti State Government has earned a new partnership with the World Bank to generate no fewer than 40,000 jobs for youths in the next five years. Governor Kayode Fayemi stated this yesterday during the launch of an 18-Community Development Plan (CDPs) of the State Community and Social Development Agency

(EKCSDA) in Ado-Ekiti. Dr. Fayemi said that his administration’s robust relationship with the Bank got the state the new employment-driven partnership. He said that the state is expected to generate the 40,000 employment in phases within five years under the new arrangement tagged “Youth Empowerment Strategy”

(YES). Noting that the Community and Social Development Programme (CSDP) will close by the end of the year as a result of the expiration of the agreement between the Bank, Ekiti State and Federal Government, the Governor announced the willingness of the World Bank to extend the CSDP programme in Ekiti State following its

effective implementation by the state government. Fayemi, who described EKCSDA as a key component in his drive to ensure rapid and all-round development of the state, stressed that the government would not relent in its determination to continue the “worthy partnership” with relevant agencies and bodies to achieve his administration’s goal.

Soldiers’ deployment: Court strikes out Jonathan’s name WALE IGBINTADE


he suit filed by the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over the deployment of armed soldiers in Lagos State suffered a setback yesterday, as a Lagos High Court struck out the name of President Goodluck Jonathan from the case. The decision of the court was based on a motion on notice brought by

NBA asking the court to remove Jonathan’s name following its (NBA) inability to serve the President with the court process. The trial judge, Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson, had insisted that Jonathan, being the first defendant in the suit, must be served with court process. But several attempts by the NBA to effect service on the President failed, hence the only option left was to remove his name in order to make progress in

the suit. However, the other defendants namely the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice have been served with court processes. The suit brought under the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009 and under inherent jurisdiction of the court was jointly filed by

NBA Chairman, Mr. Taiwo Taiwo, its Secretary, Mr. Alex Muoka and Bar leader and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa. Specifically, the applicants are asking the court to order the withdrawal of armed soldiers from public places and the streets of Lagos State. They are also demanding N100 million as damages against the respondents, jointly and severally for alleged violation of their fundamental rights.

fficials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) attached to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) have discovered cocaine hidden inside sandals and luggage at the airport. A 26-years-old suspect, Igwe Williams Ogbonna, was arrested with the drugs weighing 630 grammes of powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine. The substance was allegedly concealed inside his luggage and two pairs of sandals. The suspect, who was on his way to India, was arrested when he attempted to board a Kenyan Airways at the departure hall of the airport. An online statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju yesterday, stated that the suspect wore one of the sandals while another pair of sandals containing drug was in his luggage. He said: “The suspect was arrested following the discovery of the drug during routine search. Officers first found some cocaine inside sandals he wore at the screening area. During the search, some quantities of cocaine were equally found in another pair of sandals and inside his luggage. In all, he was found with 630 grammes of cocaine hidden inside two pairs of sandals and in his luggage.” The suspect, in his statement, confessed that he was asked to go to India so as to further his studies.

National Mirror

South East

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Amansea tragedy: Residents laud Obi’s intervention CHARLES OKEKE AWKA


Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (middle) discussing with some investors from Spain, yesterday.

CD urges Fashola to rescind decision on Ladipo market CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI


he Campaign for Democracy (CD) yesterday urged the South-East governors to intervene in the closure of Ladipo Market in Lagos State due to its economic importance to traders. The CD also urged Lagos State Governor Babatude Fashola to rescind his decision on the market. In a statement made available to National Mirror, the CD Chairman in the South-East, Mr. Dede

Uzor, said that “closing the market for alleged nonconduct of environmental sanitation exercise is a denial of the economic right of thousands of traders as well as millions of people in Lagos and the country benefiting from the market.” “We want the SouthEast governors and traditional rulers and Oba of Lagos to prevail on the Lagos State governor to reverse the directive and open the market in the interest of the economic right of Nigerians affected by the market closure,”

CD added. The group, however, described as unacceptable what it called incessant closure of markets in Lagos State. It said: “Such incessant closure of markets in Lagos State is unacceptable and it must stop forthwith. ``The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) should warn Lagos State governor over taking inhuman actions since it is widely believed that Lagos is a multi-ethnic settlement.” The CD also appealed

to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and prevail on Governor Fashola to always weigh his actions before taking them. The group said: “The situation where a little provocation will lead to immeasurable action against residents of Lagos State is uncalled for. “Ndi-Igbo constitute 7.5 million residents and citizens of Lagos State out of the 17.5 million population of the entire Lagos State and majority of these people voted for the governor and his predecessors.”

APGA chieftain flays merger as ACN dismisses member’s defection CHARLES OKEKE AWKA


he Plateau State Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr Issa Arzuka Jega, and the Anambra State Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Okelo Madukife, yesterday traded words over the birth of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the defection of one of the party’s member, Mr. Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo, to APGA. Addressing journal-

ists in Awka on the merger of ACN, the Congress of Progressives Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) into APC, Dr Jega chastised the merger, saying: “If APC is a drug, it has expired and that APGA is the current medicine that will heal Nigeria of her woes.” Dr Jega stated that the people championing the birth of APC were those who have played different role in Nigerian politics without any positive result to show for it, especially as it concerns the welfare of the masses.

As Dr Jega was flaying the birth of APC, the Anambra State chapter of ACN dismissed the defection of its former Njikoka, Dunukofia and Anaocha House of Representative candidate, Dozie Ferdinand Nwankwo to APGA as a non-issue. The ACN stated that the defection of Dozie Nwankwo to APGA is a welcome development. It will be recalled that Dozie Nwankwo had at the one year anniversary rally held in Awka last Saturday in honour of the late Igbo leader, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojuk-

wu, defected from ACN to APGA. In a statement sent to National Mirror on Dozie Nwankwo defection, the Anambra State Publicity Secretary of ACN, Okelo Madukife, said the party was proud that no chieftain of ACN left with Nwankwo for APGA. Madukife said that those who defected with him were handful members of the party. The ACN spokesman thanked the people of Njikoka, Dunukofia, and Anaocha federal constituency for their support for the party.

esidents of Amansea community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State have commended Governor Peter Obi for taking prompt action to prevent the calamity that might have befallen. It will be recalled that Amansea community was directly affected by the dead bodies dumped in Ezu River, its only source of water for domestic use. The residents commended the timely intervention of the governor in the incident. They said that Governor Obi’s prompt intervention saved them from the likely outbreak of epidemic and socio-economic difficulties that could have occurred as a result of the dead bodies found floating in Ezu River in January. The residents commended the governor in a letter signed by the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Kenneth Okonkwo, and the President General of the town union, Mr. Lawrence Okafor. A copy of the letter was available to journalists yesterday. The community recalled that the governor did not only cut short his overseas trip on receiving the report of the dead bodies dumped on Ezu River, but also rushed down to the scene and put neces-

sary measures in place to keep the situation under control. The community said that it was a thing of joy that the governor promptly ordered the evacuation of the bodies and spent huge resources on the autopsy at the State Teaching Hospital in Awka to establish the possible cause of the death. Amansea community also thanked Governor Obi for putting machinery in motion for immediate supply of clean water to the community and its neighbours. The community said that bags of sachet water and cartons of bottled water were supplied to it twice daily as alternative source of water since the incident happened. The residents also praised the governor for ordering the fumigation of Ezu River and entire community to save the people from possible outbreak of disease from the decomposing bodies. They thanked Governor Obi for approving the immediate drilling of motorized boreholes in the community to provide regular water supply for domestic use. The residents also commended the governor for approving the construction of the abandoned Amansea Bypass to link the Expressway as part of measures to upgrade facilities in the area.

2014: Nwike joins Anambra guber race SINA FADARE


Lagos-based medical practitioner, Dr Patrick Nwabufo Nwike, has indicated his interest to contest the Anambra State governorship election next year. Nwike, who hails from Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government of the state, plans to contest the poll on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform. Nwike is the founder and Medical Director of Mount Camel Medical Centre in Lagos. Addressing journalists in Lagos, the 1985 graduate of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) said: “My aspiration is borne out of my desire to serve my people. It is high time we younger generation started to give back to the

society what the society had once given out to us.” Nwike, who is the younger brother of the former Deputy Governor of the state, Chudi Nwike, believed that he is qualified to contest the governorship election, assuring that PDP would defeat the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2014 poll. Nwike, who once contested for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1990 under the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), said: “With all modesty, I am eminently qualified for the office of the governor. I also have the required prerequisites to occupy the exalted position. “Consultation has begun, in a few weeks time after the consultation; I will unfold my well thought out programmes.”


South South

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Powerful cartel behind oil bunkering –Commissioner TONY ANICHEBE UYO


kwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Aniekan Umana, yesterday decried the activities of illegal oil bunkerers in the country, calling them a powerful cartel that may not be easily dislodged. The commissioner, who also said that such cartels are backed up by powerful people

in the society, also lamented the about environmental degradation of the environment and the consequences of oil production as it affects states in the Niger Delta. He called on all concerned to take steps in ensuring that the environment is cared for appropriately by all stakeholders. Umana also lamented the worrisome dimension pipeline vandalisation and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta had taken, saying such activi-

ties are taking their toll on the nation’s economy. He said the situation constitute a monstrous challenge because of the control of such illegalities by powerful cartels. The commissioner said these at a one-day workshop tagged; “Reporting Environmental Challenges in Oil and Gas Producing Areas,” organised by the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council, in collabo-

ration with Total E & P, PortHarcourt District, in Uyo. He listed the efforts of the Godswill Akpabio administration that are aimed at protecting and elevating the environment and combat the challenges headlong. Umana said the high-tech flood control system in place in Uyo, the state capital, was a huge investment meant to save Uyo from perennial flood challenges of the past and assured that Governor Akpabio

would continue to be pragmatic in the preservation of the state’s environment. He said the workshop would complement the efforts of the correspondents’ chapel in ensuring that their members are informed in relevant areas of reporting. He said there was need for journalists to know about what was going on in the sector and get updated on the environmental challenges in the country with regard to

oil and gas which he said was the main stay for the country’s economy. He congratulated the chapel for taking the lead in training journalists in the area of environmental reporting, noting that the state, being a key oil and gas producer that has had its fair share of pollution and other associated negative environmental consequences, there was need for skilled knowledge in the reportage of the environment.

Lawmakers pledge support for Amaechi


Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof.) Chike Edozien and Director General of National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri, during a visit to the Asagba’s palace, at the weekend.

BokoHaram:Ex-militantleaderscautionondialogue EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA


ormer militant leaders under the auspices of the Leadership Forum in the Niger Delta, yesterday cautioned President Goodluck Jonathan, over calls by some politicians for the Federal Government to dialogue with the Islamic sect, Boko Haram. While describing such move as retrogressive and illconceived, the former members of the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, said though dialogue was a means of resolving crisis to ensure peace.

This was contained in a communiqué signed by the President of the group, Pastor Reuben Wilson, shortly after their meeting at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He regretted that the action of the sect after the declaration of ceasefire was a show of betrayal. To this end, the ex-militant leaders demanded that the activities of the sect should be crushed by the military authorities, describing the group as a criminal gang, whose activities were inimical to the existence of the nation. The communiqué reads in part: “For us in the forum, we don’t think it is a good idea to

negotiate with Boko Haram. What do they have in the first place? We were in that struggle because we knew what we have. “All the money used in developing Abuja and other parts of the country was from the Niger Delta. That was why we took up arms to gain attention. What is left is for Mr. President to take action and the military men to take them over.” The communiqué also urged the National Assembly to hands off the amnesty issue, because its interference was halting developments at the co-coordinating office headed by Kingsley Kuku, who is also the special advis-

er to the President on Niger Delta Affairs. “The National Assembly always interferes in the amnesty issues, we want it to keep off the amnesty program and allow Kingsley Kuku to freely run the office so as to develop the youths of the Niger Delta or we may be forced to stage a protest to the National Assembly,” the exmilitant leaders said. On the welfare of its members, the former agitators lamented that most of them are currently experiencing hardship as they could barely feed their family with their monthly stipend of N65, 000, talk less of paying their children school fees.

A’Ibom commences demolition of illegal structures TONY ANICHEBE UYO


he Uyo Capital City Development Authority, UCCDA, yesterday commenced the demolition of illegal structures in the capital city, an exercise aimed at giving the city a facelift. The authority’s bulldozers

were seen yesterday pulling down illegal structures at Shelter Afrique, where some structures ranging from residential homes to shops and fences were pulled down. Speaking with National Mirror, a member of the community, Mr. Samuel Okon, said they welcome the exercise as it will bring development to their area,

noting that the demolition will make way for good and motorable roads in the area. He said the authority had sounded a note warning long before now, but regretted that some people will not heed such warning. At Nung Oku by Modern Motor Park, makeshift containers were pulled down to make way for decent and

well planned environment while about 200-metre access road was opened up to close the illegal road opened by the community. Speaking with National Mirror, the authority’s town planner, Elder Etop Uko, said the authority had to realign the road to reflect the original design in the city’s master plan.

he Rivers State Caucus in the House of Re p re s e n t at ive s, have pledged their loyalty and support for the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, for putting smiles on the faces of Rivers State people through peopleoriented projects and for successfully managing the affairs of the state in the last five years. Leader of the caucus, Hon. Asita O. Asita, representing Ahoada-West and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Federal Constituency, spoke on behalf of other members yesterday during a solidarity visit to the governor at the Government House, Port Harcourt. Others in the delegation are; Hon. Sokonte Davies, representing Bonny/Degema Federal Constituency; Hon. Betty Apiafi, representing Abua/Ahoada-East Fed-

eral Constituency; Chief Andrew Uchendu representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency; Hon. Dakuku Peterside, representing Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency and Ogbonna Nwuke, representing Etche/ Omuma Federal Constituency. Others in the group also include; Hon. Pronem Morris, representing Khana/ Gokana Federal Constituency; Hon. Blessing Nsiegbe, representing Port Harcourt City Federal Constituency II; Hon. Ken Chikere, representing Port Harcourt City Federal Constituency I; Hon. Gogo Bright, representing Okrika/Ogu-Bolo Federal Constituency; Hon. Dawari George, representing Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency and Hon. Barry Mpigi, representing Eleme/Tai/Oyigbo Federal Constituency.

Oil spills: Shell agrees to complete remediation of sites SAM OLUWALANA


nglo-Dutch oil giants, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, has agreed to complete the remediation of oil spill sites created by the operations of the company in Ejama and Bomu areas of the state. This was revealed in a statement yesterday by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Bukola Saraki. The former Kwara State governor added that Shell has committed itself to complete the remediation process before the end of 2013 and that this has been communicated to the senate committee via a letter of assurance from the company. “After the public hearing the Senate Committee on

Environment and Ecology had with Shell Petroleum on January 30, 2013, on the way forward to clean-up the spills and the commencement of proper remediation of oil spill sites, the committee is delighted to receive a letter of reassurance of commitment from Shell, that they will complete the remediation of Ejama and Bomu manifold oil spill sites in 2013,” the statement read. Saraki on behalf of the senate committee on environment acknowledged the commitment and effort of the Shell management for charting a new course by reassuring the senate committee and Nigerians that it will re-mediate these sites. The committee assured Nigerians of their relentless effort at ensuring that other oil spill sites in the Niger Delta gets due attention and remain oil spill-free.

National Mirror

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SUPER TUESDAY Democracy without opposition is a sham –Sani, ACF spokesman


he political landscape in Akwa Ibom State is gradually being heated up as the 2015 elections draw nearer with politicians working hard to outwit perceived opponents in the race to occupy the Hilltop Mansion, the seat of the government of Akwa Ibom State. While some aspirants have overtly declared their interest to contest, especially the gubernatorial race, many others are yet to make public declaration, even though their body language suggests that they are all interested in taking over from Governor Godswill Akpabio. Perhaps, nothing generates more controversy than the insistence of the people of Eket Senatorial District, with 12 out of 31 local government areas of the state, that it is their turn to produce the next governor of the state. They based their argument for this on the fact that the Uyo Senatorial District produced former Governor Victor Attah, who governed the state for eight years between 1999 and 2007 while the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District produced the incumbent governor, whose second term expires in 2015. They contended that for equity and fair play, Eket Senatorial District should be given the opportunity to produce the governor in 2015. However, as sound as this argument might seem, a cross section of politicians across the state dismissed the arguments of the proponents of zoning, saying that it lacks facts and is perhaps baseless. According to this school of thought, the governorship slot has never been zoned to any particular senatorial district in the state since the commencement of the present democratic dispensation since 1999. They argued that it has always been other offices


After signing of Budget 2013, what’s next?


As the battle for the Akwa Ibom State governorship seat in 2015 hots up, TONY ANICHEBE writes on the tension that the issue of zoning has continued to generate in the state.



2015: Zoning takes centre stage in Akwa Ibom



TOP STORY that are zoned after a governor might have emerged from any senatorial district. To buttress this point, this school of thought said that in 1999, aspirants emerged from all the three senatorial districts and slugged it out with Attah emerging victorious after the primaries and thereafter, other offices – the deputy governor, speaker of the House of Assembly and chairmanship of the ruling party zoned to other senatorial districts. They furthered noted that the same scenario played out in 2007, when 53 aspirants from the three senatorial districts of the state contested the party ticket, wherein Akpabio emerged victorious and

COMPETENCY AND ABILITY TO DELIVER DEMOCRACY DIVIDENDS TO THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE THE YARDSTICK TO ELECT A NEW GOVERNOR AND NOT ZONING other positions were also zoned to other districts accordingly. Based on these precedents, this school of thought argued that 2015 will not deviate from this norm, saying: “There must be a level playing ground for everybody to contest the coveted position of the gover-

nor of Akwa Ibom State.” But, National Mirror observed that prominent citizens of the state at one time or the other had made their position known on the issue of zoning. Governor Akpabio recently said that he was not averse to zoning. He said this during a courtesy call on him by a socio-cultural group, the Akwa Isop Ima Isop Ibibio and this has led to the issuance of a press statement by the people of Eket and signed by a former minister, Ndueso Essien and other stakeholders that they stand by the governor’s pronouncement that he was not averse to zoning. Akpabio’s declaration on zoning was like a tonic to the pro-zoning group which said that his statement stood him out as statesman, gentleman and a peacemaker, not only in the state but in Nigeria at large. However, in an interview with journalists penultimate weekend, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Samuel Ikon, blasted agitators of zoning of the governorship seat. He said their demand was undemocratic and was capable of reversing the developmental trend going on in the state. Ikon said: “I am not part of zoning, I believe on effectiveness and competence in leadership, which can only be achieved when the people vote for a candidate of their choice in a democratic process.” To the senator representing Eket Senatorial District at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Helen Esuene, both sides of the coin are correct, but the final say lies in the hands of the people. Her words: “One school of thought is CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

CONTENDERS FOR AKPABIO’S SEAT TONY ANICHEBE writes on the strengths and weaknesses of the contenders for Godswill Akpabio’s seat ahead of the 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.


n 2007, during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Akwa Ibom State, an unprecedented 58 aspirants fought for just one slot in a battle the incumbent governor, Godswill Akpabio emerged victorious. In 2011 due to his performance and zeal to continue in office, many politicians refused to battle with him for the ticket, bidding their time till 2015. As the clock ticks towards 2015, National Mirror gathered that the number of aspirants for the plum job in Akwa Ibom State this time may go beyond the 58 in 2007. The reason being that the incumbent governor has made the office more glamorous and attractive with virtually

unique and state of the art facilities ranging from brand new governor’s lodge, office, banquet halls to other gigantic projects and of course spoils of office. As the number of contenders for Akpabio’s seat continues to increase by the day, National Mirror investigations revealed the underlisted as the main contenders working round the clock to step into the shoes of Akpabio in 2015.

Umana Okon Umana Umana, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) was born 52 years ago. Educated at Universities of Calabar and Port Harcourt, he had been Director of Budget, Permanent Secretary and later Commissioner for Finance under Obong Victor Attah. Said to be the financial arrowhead of the Akpabio Campaign Organisation in 2007, Umana is a frontline contender for the governorship seat in 2015.

As the SSG of the incumbent administration, he is referred to as the “Engine Room” who ensures that all the policies and programmes of the government are realised. He is said to have used his privileged positions to assist his people, has enormous resources and goodwill to emerge the governor. But those opposed to Umana’s ambition, however, said that he had stayed too long in government and has to bow out. Equally expected to work against him is the fact that he is from Uyo Senatorial District. Umana, however, believes that the best man should have the job and has canvassed for a level playing ground for all the candidates in the coming PDP primaries.

Helen Esuene Esuene, the senator representing Eket Senatorial District in the National Assembly is one of the first CONTINUED ON PAGE 14



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2015: Zoning takes centre stage in Akwa Ibom CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 that Uyo Senatorial District had their slot in Akpan Isemin and Attah, Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District is currently enjoying its second term and that it is only fair that Eket Senatorial District should take the next turn. “The other school of thought is also saying that when Akpabio contested, other people from the other senatorial districts also aspired and the aspiration was not exclusive to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and that nobody should be excluded from aspiring. The two lines of thought are correct and it is now left for the electorate to decide what they want.” The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Umana Okon Umana, however pointed out that zoning has never been in practice when it comes to the governorship slot in the state political history. He pointed out that Frank Okon from Eket Senatorial District, who contested with Akpabio in the 2007 gubernatorial primaries is still in court seeking to be declared the winner and to upturn the governor’s victory. He said: “We are all aware that courts in Nigeria have made people governors in the past and if the court had declared Okon from Eket Senatorial District governor, are we going to say no he is from Eket Senatorial District?” The SSG maintained that competency and ability to deliver democracy dividends to the people should be the yardstick to elect a new governor and not zoning, stressing that the several milestones achieved via uncommon transformation agenda of Governor Akpabio can only be sustained by someone who is part of the success team and not by a spectator or an outsider. To Anietie Okon, what Akwa Ibom needs at this point in time is someone better than Akpabio after his exit and not where he comes from. He therefore suggested that the governorship of the state in 2015 should be ascended to by one of the governor’s trusted lieutenants. But Etang Umoyo, who represented Eket Senatorial District in the Senate in the Third Republic, noted that since the creation of Akwa Ibom State 25 years ago, Eket is the only district that has not produced a governor of the state. He added that Uyo has produced two governors – Isemin and Attah, while Ikot Ekpene, by 2015 would have completed its own tenure of eight years, through Akpabio. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 female governorship aspirants in the state. Although she is yet to officially declare her intention to run, her political associates in the state said she is undertaking the necessary consultations for now. One of her associates told National Mirror that “Esuene is not contesting just because she is a woman but a woman of substance who is determined to continue with the uncommon transformation of Akpabio.” Her associates said that what Akwa Ibom State needs after the present government is a bridge-builder, someone who would be a link between the political class and the economic class and generate enough peace and cohesion in the state.



WE MADE SURE THAT WE WORKED AGAINST THEM BECAUSE IT WAS A COLLECTIVE DECISION THAT ZONING IS THE BEST WAY TO SPREAD POLITICAL OFFICES AND FIGHT DOMINATION BY ANY PARTICULAR SENATORIAL DISTRICT Umoyo said that what he is canvassing for is a general understanding and a gentleman arrangement agreed to and endorsed by all senatorial districts in the state, which the people have relied on and operated upon in the absence of any written agreement or document. When confronted with the fact that Akwa Ibom State has never had an election without people from different ethnic groups and senatorial districts contesting, Umoyo replied: “That is the argument they are brandishing around but the truth of the matter is that when Isemin contested, we agreed that Uyo, being the state capital and Uyo Senatorial District that has the majority of the ethnic groups in the body

of the Ibibios, should take the first shot and in Attah’s time, the same principle reapplied. So, the opinions of the mainstream political leaders were in favour of that position. That did not stop individuals going to vie for positions in defiance of what the mainstream decision was.” He added: “There was another person from Uyo Senatorial District in the same National Republican Convention (NRC) during Isemin’s era, Ekpong Ntak, who contested against him. Another person from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, S. U. Akpan also contested against him but at the end of the day, it was the main decision that held sway. Those people who contested against him in defiance of the mainstream decision and formation failed. Mfon Amana did not win because we worked against him since he decided to run contrary to views of the political formations.” Umoyo further revealed that they frustrated Benjamin Okoko who squared up against former Governor Attah, saying: “We worked against him (Okoko) and he lost. During the time of Akpabio, the same thing happened; we made sure that we worked against them because it was a collective decision that zoning is the best way to spread political offices and fight domination by any particular senatorial district. So it doesn’t matter whether people contested against these people, who had been endorsed by the mainstream political formations. All those who differed, they all lost. So, what is the logic in saying there is

National Mirror

no zoning because individuals came?” While assessing the chances of Eket Senatorial District and the aspiration of aspirants from Uyo and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts, the former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Bassey Essien, said: “It is very clear and there is no ambiguity that it is the turn of Eket Senatorial District to produce the next governor. But it doesn’t mean that Eket people won’t get up to struggle and work like any other senatorial district to achieve their goals. “Between 1999 and 2007 it was Uyo and we supported our brothers from Uyo Senatorial District. In 2007 to 2015 it became the turn of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and we were very supportive and loyal. In 1999, when Attah was presented, there were people from Eket and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts but the political class knew it was Attah and Uyo Senatorial District and we worked towards that. “In 2007, there were candidates from Eket and Uyo Senatorial Districts who ran against Akpabio, but we knew that the then governor made a public pronouncement that power should shift to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. At this stage what we are expecting from the incumbent governor is to make a similar commitment to the people of Akwa Ibom, like his predecessor and let power shift to Eket Senatorial District. “Any right thinking Akwa Ibom politician will take his advice and do his bidding. The political ambition of anyone, no matter how high up should not be against the overriding political interest of the entire state. Collectively, the political elite agreed on how power should rotate among the three senatorial districts. No individual interest can ever override the collective will and desire of Akwa Ibom political elite. Whatever interest anyone has should be in tandem with the accepted rotational principle of political office sharing in the state.” He further added that the three federal constituencies in Eket; Eket, Ikot Abasi and Oron, has each reaffirmed their commitment to the Eket governorship project and have agreed to work together and with everyone in Eket to achieve the Eket dream. As things stand, who will carry the day when the chips are down? Is it the pro or anti-zoning group? Political analysts are of the belief that if Eket would achieve the dream of producing the next governor, it would need the support of the other two senatorial districts – Uyo and Ikot Ekpene and the earlier the district began to reachout to them the better.

Contenders for Akpabio’s seat Although Esuene is from Eket Senatorial District where it is expected that the next governor of the state should come from, her gender will be as a serious issue as politicians in the state may not be disposed to a female governor for now.

Assam Assam (SAN) A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom State, Assam, is presently Nigerian’s envoy to Russia. Assam, who has officially declared his intention to contest the governorship poll is said to have been made ambassador to put the spanners in his governorship ambition. However, Assam is not a politician and

may find it difficult coping with the antics of politicians in the state. He has no visible structure like other aspirants.

Okpolupm Etteh Etteh is the leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and a threeterm lawmaker with enormous experience and connections. He hails from Ibeno, the operating base of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and has other vast private businesses. Etteh believes that 2015 is his time to govern the state and has built structures around the political class in the state. He is the rallying point in the state House of Assembly and also a philanthropist. The grouse against him is that he


hardly talk like politicians and shies away a lot from limelight and publicity. CONTINUED ON PAGE 41

National Mirror

Tuesday, March 5, 2013




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

PDP, Anenih and 2015 election





After signing of Budget 2013, what’s next? I t is no more news that President Goodluck Jonathan signed the 2013 Budget into law last Tuesday without any elaborate ceremony and media coverage of the event. However, the question is what is the next step? Will the implementation of the budget take effect immediately considering the fact that it is already three months into the year or will the budget be sent back to the National Assembly for further consideration? This and many issues are generating a lot of interest. Before the budget was signed last Tuesday evening, the lawmakers and the executive had both maintained their hard stance over the final total budget. While Jonathan presented a total of N4.92 trillion last October 10, the legislature on December 20 last year passed a total of N4.987 trillion, an increase of about N63 billion. Shortly after the budget was signed, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a statement said that as part of the understanding reached with the leadership of the National Assembly, the observations of the executive arm of government about the Appropriation Bill as passed by the lawmakers would be further considered by the National Assembly through legislative action, to ensure effective and smooth implementation of the 2013 Appropriation Act in all aspects. The President reassured Nigerians that the consultations with the National Assembly have been in the best interest of the country, and in pursuit of understanding and mutual cooperation between both arms of government. Jonathan said the administration remains fully committed to the positive transformation of the country, and effective and efficient service delivery for

the benefit of all citizens. Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government were further directed to work very hard to ensure that all the services, projects and programmes contained in the budget are successfully delivered on schedule in spite of the slight delay in its enactment. Unlike the signing of other budgets, the closed-door signing of the 2013 budget was a clear departure as media coverage was not allowed including taking of photographs. When the President signed the 2012 budget of N4.697 trillion to law on April 14 last year, journalists witnessed the ceremony but this year, it was devoid of media coverage or short speeches that usually follow such events. In the course of the year, the lawmakers accused the executive of not fully implementing the budget and even threatened Jonathan with impeachment but the matter was later resolved amicably.


ll the intrigues, horse trading and tension of who becomes the chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ended last week with the emergence of Chief Tony Anenih through consensus. He is popularly called “Mr. Fix it” by those who know his antecedents in the political terrain because of the many roles he played in the past to secure victory for his political party in situations where winning elections seems very difficult and unpredictable. With Anenih, a former Minister of Works, back in the saddle as chairman of the PDP’s BoT, the party is already making calculations and planning for victory two years ahead of the 2015 elections with the believe that Anenih would fix victory perhaps in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan if he decides to re-contest or any other candidates endorsed by the party. Other candidate, who showed interest for the position, have to give up their ambitions, having discovered that the pendulum would swing in favour of Anenih through consensus and that they may not be able to scale the criteria set out for the position. At the closed-door meeting of the board held at the Banquet Hall of the Presiden-

tial Villa last Monday, which was presided over by Jonathan, none of the other contestants for the BoT position objected to the choice of Anenih, rather they accepted the decision and quietly left the venue. Before the announcement of Anenih as the man who will be at the helms of affairs at the BoT level, it was a long wait for journalists attached to the State House who kept vigil as the meeting which started at about 8:30p.m and stretched till the early hours of Tuesday when most newspapers have already gone to bed. Though there were strong indications that Anenih would emerge as anointed chairman, some editors were still waiting for the outcome of the meeting for confirmation before publication as it was possible that there may be a last minute change since it has to do with politics where anything can happen. But the political calculation was in favour of Anenih who was pronounced as chairman at the end of the meeting through consensus of other members. Anenih, who was happy with the development, told journalists that he still has meaningful contribution to make to the growth and development of the party.

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1.

Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme


Senate President David Mark


Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal


Former Senate President, Adophus Wabara


PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur


Major General David Jemibewon


Chief Don Etiebet


Chief Tony Anenih


Dr. Dalhatu Tafida

10. Chief Jim Nwobodo 11. Dr. Kema Chikwe 12. Prince Vincent Ogbulafor

New strategy to ensure safety on the road

he nation has lost many of its citizens to avoidable road crashes in the country, a situation which has great effect on national growth and development. This matter was the issue for discussion at the Federal Executive Council meeting last week as it announced a four-year plan to put in place a national strategy on road safety policy. The government also took a further step in this direction with the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee on the evolution of the policy for 2012-2016 in order to enhance the management and control of road crashes across the country. Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said at the end of the meeting that the ministerial committee would include the ministries of Works, Transport, Health and Interior and

National Mirror

the Corps Marshall of the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC), Osita Chidoka, among others. The inter-ministerial committee has been given six weeks to submit its report and it is expected to study and fine tune the new policy which would cover training for drivers, issues of licensing, funds for road safety, collaboration with state governments as well as enlightenment and re-orientation of drivers and other road users. Maku added that the strategy is also a response to the United Nations which declared this decade as a decade of action on road safety for all countries. “As a result, the FRSC has come up with a national strategy that will span 2012-2016 to develop institutions to cope with the problem with road safety,” he said.

L-R: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; new Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih and former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme at the meeting of the board at the State House last week.

Otedola’s multi-million dollar investment in power


mperium Consortium, the firm of billionaire oil magnate, Femi Otedola, expressed its interest in taking over the Geregu power plant located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State with the presentation of evidence of payment of $33 million to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) last week. The firm presented a confirmation of payment including local component of N519.12 million into the BPE account, being 25 per cent down payment for acquiring 51 per cent of the power plant. Though payment of the money would still need to be confirmed by BPE, Amperium would be the first firm to back its interest with the stipulated payment among other firms that won the bid for the sale of the power plants in the country. The company did not wait for the 15 days grace to lapse before paying up. The firm presented the evidence of payment at the meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) last week at the State House, where the council also approved the sale of 70 per cent of Egbin power plant in Lagos to Kepco, a Korean firm at $407.3 million. Amperium was one of the preferred

bidders that signed Sale and Purchase Agreement with the Federal Government for the purchase of the five power generating plants across the country, others include Mainstream for Kainji Plant at $50.76m with commencement fee of $237,870,000; North-South for Shiroro Plant at $23.60m with commencement fee of $111m; Transcorp/Woodwork for Ughelli Plant at $300m and CMEC/ Eurafric for Sapele Plant at $201m. Chairman of the Technical Committee of NCP, Atedo Peterside, while announcing the sale of 70 per cent of Egbin Power Plant to Kepco, said the plant is currently valued at over $670 million, more than the $549 million it was valued at in 2007 when the Federal Government began negotiations to sell only 51 per cent equity of the plant to the same firm. Also approved for sale as part of the plans to privatise the nation’s power generation plants are Omotosho (Ondo State) and Olorunsogo (Ogun State) to the Chinese firms which are almost done with completing their construction.


National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Obasanjo: The quintessential leader @ 76 EKE AGBAI


t is always a divine blessing says Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, when one whose life has been characterized by threats and near deaths gets an additional 365 days advancement in the chronological measurement of time we call age, more so, when such a person is a septuagenarian. March 5th therefore, which is devoted to the birthday celebration of President Olusegun, Mathew, Okikiola, Aremu Obasanjo presents an ample opportunity for national reflection, not only because Nigeria is at a crossroad now and Baba (as he is reverently addressed by his younger admirers like me), is a living institution of the Nigeria nation and a granite figure in Africa for more than four decade, but because his incredible achievements confer on him the accolade of a quintessential leader and indeed an African legend. In honouring OBJ (as his contemporaries also call him), we pay tribute to the greatest source of our national strength, which is this assemblage of distinguished faces of diversity from across the country into this ancient city of Abeokuta irrespective of our ideological, political or religious differences. Born 76 years ago in the city of Abeokuta, President Obasanjo was commissioned into the Nigerian army in 1959 at a time the Nigerian army was nascent



OBASANJO’S VISION WAS PALPABLE and in its embryonic formation. After Nigeria independence in 1960, Obasanjo was off to Congo on a United Nation’s peace keeping assignment, where as a young officer, it became clear from inception he was destined for services not only to Nigeria but African and indeed humanity. In 1963, he served at the Area Command in Kaduna as the Chief of Army Engineer. And during the unfortunate Nigerian civil war of ‘no victor and no vanquish’, he commanded the Army’s Marine Commando Division, and had the huge task of receiving the instrument of surrender from his brothers on the other side of the war front. On February 13 1976, on the eve of his 40th birthday, he was targeted for assassination in the unfortunate Col. Dimka coup d’état. He escaped, but the man he held in high esteem, his commander-inchief, Murtala Mohammed was killed. From 1976 to 1979, he was the Nigerian Head of State and Commander-inChief. As Head of State, he immediately signalled his preparedness to return Nigeria to a democratic nation by adopting the second republic constitution and

modelling it after the United States of America constitution with Provisions for President, Senate and House of Representatives. This act paved the way for a return to a democratically elected government and in 1979 he became the first military leader in Nigeria to voluntarily transfer power to a civilian government. This epochal event marked a watershed in the evolution of democratic governance in Nigeria, ushering in, though for a brief eon, the second republic. Before leaving office, he sought to get Nigeria into the industrialization age through the establishment of Ajaokuta Steel Mill. Between 1977 and 1979, at the instance of his Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decrees, there was a significant growth of indigenous middle class following the transfer of wealth by means of nationalization and share ownership of hitherto predominantly foreign companies in various sectors of the economy. This point is important because he realized then that no nation could develop her economy without a robust middle class. When we speak of agriculture today as the bedrock of any nation and as the new pivot where economic activity must revolve, this great Nigerian statesman saw it back then in 1978 with the introduction of the GREEN REVOLUTION, a vintage programme which ignited several transformational projects in the agric sector. In the area of education, Obasanjo’s vision was palpable. He saw at that time

the advent of globalization, a world that will become knowledge-based and therefore saw the necessity for a strategic investment in human capital development. Starting with childhood education, he introduced the Universal Primary Education (UPE) nationwide. Through a deliberate policy, he modernized and refocused secondary school curriculum to emphasize technical, vocational and skill acquisition. That was when Nigeria introduced technical secondary schools across the country. A practice that has since died in Nigeria but persists in Germany, a country with highly skilled and technical workforce with no university diplomas. He increased the number of universities from just 5 to 13, which led to increase in undergraduate admissions. Upon leaving office in 1979, Obasanjo became a full time farmer. From time to time, this farmer would take a break from tilling his land to criticize the huge human rights violations of the Abacha government. Abacha sensing the huge impact of his bold and honest criticism, hurriedly relocated Obasanjo from his Ota farm to a prison cell in Yola, Adamawa State, where ‘Baba’ renewed his born again Christian faith and became a follower of one preacher, Dr. Danny McCain. To be continued Agbai, PhD, is the Executive Vice President, Center for policy & Foreign Engagement, USA. (agbai.eke@

Endorsing 2015 Igbo Presidency AUGUSTINE CHUKWUDUM Continued from last Friday


fter the war, the Ibo picked the pieces of the broken lives to start afresh; they were compelled to work longer hours to meet up. The Nigerian government was unfair to limit the amount of Biafran pounds convertible/ changeable to the Nigerian Naira to only a meager N20. We are still feeling the effects of that war. We have to challenge our engineers to emulate the Chinese in copying technology from the western world in order to survive. We are fighting economic war this time. Until we can copy technology adequately and adapt it to our local environment, it will be difficult to improve on it. Let us challenge our artists, craftsmen and artisans to come home and build a better place for all of us. Let us challenge our economist to fine tune policies that will revamp our economy. But our five state governments have a huge role to play in ensuring that this economic transformation becomes a reality. Having said this, one must express disappointment in the performances of the governments in the South East, as they have not met the expectations of the masses. The high corruption ravaging the country has eaten deep into our region too. This has caused very serious rural-

urban migration in the region, thus further impoverishing our people. Only very few politicians in the region have proved themselves. Some of our respected politicians include Chris Ngige, Andy Uba, Sullivan Chime to mention but a few, and recently Rochas Okorocha, who has set an impressive pace. Since 2009 there has been spate of security challenges in the country, especially in the North. Although the South-South and South-East regions have had their fair share of this - militancy, kidnapping and armed robberies -, the activities of the Islamic militant sect, BOKO HARAM, has become the most threatening. The impossible request made by this jihadist group for peace to reign is imposing considerable pressure on the already fragile peace in the country. It is only a matter of time before the inevitable implosion will occur. The most irritating aspect of the ugly situation is the lives Igbo that have been wasted. This is not talking about their destroyed means of livelihood. We only wonder what the governments of the five South East states are doing to relocate and rehabilitate the affected Igbo victims. Common sense should dictate that relocation is a difficult task, especially given the investments of the victims wasted in the North. I think the five governments in our region need to act wisely to support the affected people. It is high time we take our destiny into our own hands and fight for what is





AND THEREFORE, WE SHOULD REASON AND FIND A COMPROMISE rightfully ours. It is obvious we are being marginalized, whether consciously or unconsciously. The South-South has been compensated with the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan, although not in the same scale with the North that has ruled this nation cumulatively for over 30 years since independence in 1960. The Igbo voice has to be heard. We believe in pen fight and not violence, in dialogue and not terrorism. We are enlightened and therefore, we should reason and find a compromise. However, one issue that keeps cropping up any time the talk of an Igbo presidency arises is who among Ndigbo is eligible enough to represent us? We have taken our time to study the performances of the

various politicians in the region and we must say that it is not going to be an easy task, at least not as easy as it may appear, settling on a particular person. We must agree on the criteria to be used. Factors such as performance, popularity, flexibility and acceptance, must count. As many of us may know by now, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo has earned the trust, respect and love of the Igbo. He has realized that we Igbo lack exemplary leadership and has taken it upon himself to set a standard, a very high one at that. There is no doubt he has overwhelmed us by his achievements in this short time has been in power. At this stage we are, we advocate that a Movement for the Actualizatio of Igbo President should be on the top agenda of every Igbo man or woman irrespective of his/her political affiliation. Until an Igbo president is endorsed by all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, all talks about equality, fairness and justice are empty. Concluded. Chukwudum, ndigbounityforum@, President, Ndigbo Unity Forum, wrote from Onitsha Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ mirrorlagos@ 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, March 5, 2013

National Mirror



































Chinweike Asadu’s death: The shame of a nation


he death in the hands of the proverbial ‘unknown gunmen’ in Enugu last Saturday of the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chinweike Asadu, represents a bizarre ironic twist to the pervasive insecurity in the nation. That a top police officer that is expected to move with all the necessary security appurtenances could be cut down cheaply in such a gruesome manner, while on a visit to his home state, graphically highlights how cheap life has become in Nigeria. The Presidency and the security agencies are challenged to creatively address the worsening insecurity facing the nation. This is no time for idle and boisterous talks; what is needed at this point in time and the only way to assuage the permissive feeling of insecurity nationwide is to find the killers of Mr. Asadu. Now is the time to walk the talk. Account of the ugly incident has it that the late Kwara State police boss was returning to his home after seeing off a visitor when he was ambushed a short distance to his private house. He was said to have died on the spot while his orderly and driver, who had accompanied him on the short trip, sustained gunshot wounds and are now in critical state at the

National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu. Expectedly, it has been lamentation and recrimination galore across the nation with Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed noting that CP Asadu has become “another index in the annals of the growing national insecurity”. The Enugu State police command, as it is wont to do, has assured that “a serious manhunt has started to track down the gunmen”. This is the same platitudinous menu Nigerians are always served during sad moments like this, but we keep getting the same story. We cannot definitely continue this way. Citizen Asadu has joined the elongated statistics of victims of violent deaths in the country. While they are all painful, his is quite unnerving in the sense that as a member of the top echelon of the nation’s police high command dying the way he did would further erode public confidence in the ability of the Nigerian state to protect its citizens. This is troubling for good and quality governance. Perceptibly, mindless killings and precipitous violence in a polity define its character and the quality of governance offered by those in positions of power and authority. That the authorities of the Nigerian political leaderships are fast being

MR. ASADU HAS JOINED THE ELONGATED STATISTICS OF VICTIMS OF VIOLENT DEATHS IN THE COUNTRY ossified by unacceptable level of helplessness in the face of the unrelenting assaults from armed robbers, kidnappers and militant sects and militias is not in doubt. It is not for no other reason that Nigeria has been oscillating between failed and failing state categorization continuum. If Mr. Asadu had died in any of the troubled states in the north, he would have been seen as a victim of the rapacious non-state actors that are locked in vicious power struggle with the federal government. He was killed in his own state. The investigation as to who, why and how must, therefore, be painstaking so that the right remedies would be undertaken. We expect Inspector General of Police Muhammed Abubakar to be extraordinarily challenged by the death of one of his commissioners. This dastardly act should draw the best from

his men and officers, who for long have had to contend with the senseless killing of some members of their force across the country, particularly in the north. Now that brutal killing has been extended to a top officer, they should give their very best to stamp their authority on the security provisioning of the nation. Asadu’s death should be seen as a wake-up call. President Goodluck Jonathan must galvanise the entire nation’s security networks, appropriately fund them and when necessary approve more fresh recruitments, especially in the police force, if he wants his government to be taken seriously. The nexus between insecurity and unemployment should be addressed through massive job creation opportunities. This administration has beautiful job creation blue print, such as SURE-P, in place, but the implementation falls short of expectation. If kidnapping and armed banditry have become the fastest growing, industry, in the SouthEast geopolitical zone, the darts the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, recently directed at the northern political leadership should also be aimed at some of the South-East governors, many of who are not doing enough to empower their people.

ON THIS DAY March 5, 2006 The French President Jacques Chirac becomes the first non-Arab leader to address Saudi Arabia’s Shura, or consultative assembly. The Shura had been set up to ease the country’s earlier political systems, and the French leader has lent support for King Abdullah’s reforms. It’s possible that the king’s allowance of a foreign speaker shows that his intentions of reform are ongoing.

March 5, 1993 The former Canadian Olympic sprinter and holder of the world’s 1oo metres title, Ben Johnson, is banned from athletics for life after failing a drugs test for a second time. Johnson had won the 100 metres at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 in a new world record time of 9.79 seconds, but was subsequently stripped of his medal after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

March 5, 1956 The U.S.A. Segregation Laws which imposed restriction of black Americans and whites using the same facilities gets a lift when the US Supreme Court upholds a ban on racial segregation in state schools, colleges and universities. The University of North Carolina had appealed against an earlier ruling which ordered college officials to admit three black students to what was previously an all-white University.

Aircraft simulation equipment: Another way of boosting revenue

MDAs owe insurance companies over N24bn premium 37 SUPER TUESDAY


Tuesday, March 5 , 2013

BASL/FAAN: The unending crises of PPP in aviation sector


ublic–private partnership (PPP), describes a government service or business venture, which is funded and operated through a partnership between government and one or more private companies. PPP involves a contract between a public sector authority and a private firm, in which the private firm provides service or project and assumes substantial financial, technical and operational risk in the project. In some types of PPP, the cost of using the service is borne exclusively by the users of the service and not by the general public. In other types, capital investment is made by the private sector on the strength of a contract with government to provide services and the cost of providing the service is borne wholly or in part by the government. In Nigeria, the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced the involvement of private companies in partnering with the Federal Government with projects wholly hitherto handled by the government immediately after ascension of power in 1999. But this scheme, which was initially received with skepticism from the public, has had its own share of controversies in almost all sectors of the country including the Nigerian aviation industry. Some of the private partnerships with the government in the sub-sector are in form of concessions, privatisation and commercialisation. While the players in the industries have continually

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The aviation industry has witnessed several crises involving Sanderton Construction Company, Pan Express Limited, Maevis Nigeria Limited and BiCourtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) in the past five years. The latest is the battle over ownership of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), of the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos between BASL and the Federal Government. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.

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

Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)

IRS MMA 2 terminal

argued that most of the agreements are lopsided in favour of the private investors and called for review, the private investors on the other hand, claimed that the continual review of most of the agreements entered with the government by the succeeding government(s) would paint the country in a bad light and prevent serious investors even foreigners from coming to invest in the country. Among some of the major partnerships in the sector are the Bi-Courtney Aviation Services, Maevis Nigeria Ltd, Pan Express Services and I-Cube West Africa Ltd among others. The agreements of some of these private investors have been thwarted by the government in the last few years . The aviation industry has been enmeshed in crisis in the last four

years between the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and its major concessionaire, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL). The first of such crises was the concession agreement between both parties on the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos. Right from the outset, there has been controversy over the tenure of the agreement the terminal operator is to manage the terminal before handing over to the government through FAAN. While BASL is claiming a 36 years concession agreement, FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation is insisting that the agreement both parties had was just for 12 years. The case is still in the court of law. However, when stakeholders and professionals in the sector

thought the contention between the two parties would start and end with MMA2 operational years, in 2009, BASL laid claim to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), of MMA and tried to take over the terminal with the support of the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Babatunde Omotoba who handed the terminal to BASL on a Saturday night. But the resistance of industry unions; Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), quashed the effort and both parties returned to the court room again. However, the recent remodel-

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


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Business & Finance

Tuesday, March 5 , 2013

National Mirror

BASL/FAAN: The unending crises of PPP in aviation sector



CONTINUED FROM 19 ling and commissioning of the terminal by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah rejuvenated the crisis. BASL management before and immediately after the commissioning, said the terminal belonged to it while Oduah insisted it belongs to the Federal Government. At the commissioning of the terminal, Oduah said the terminal was not part of the agreement the concessionaire had with the government and said no one could hold the country to ransom. She said that information at her disposal indicated that BASL was threatened by the imminent opening of the newly reconstructed and remodelled GAT. She emphasised that the area where GAT is located has never been part of the area concessioned to BASL, stressing that the agreement with Bi-Courtney had a Survey Plan clearly marked in square metres and the area of the GAT was never contemplated to be part of the area leased to the company. “It is inconceivable that anyone would not only contemplate, but also hold fast to the jaundiced belief that a nation as big and great as Nigeria ought not to progress beyond having a terminal like MMA2.” She added that despite the allegations that there are subsisting court orders restraining anybody, including FAAN, from further development of the GAT, the cases are still ongoing at the Supreme Court. “Bi-Courtney would not have allowed the airport to get to this stage, but as far as we are concerned, the airport does not belong to him, it belongs to FAAN and by extension, belongs to the Federal Government and all of us and nobody can hold a nation to ransom. Nobody can hold any of us to ransom.” But documents made available to National Mirror by the spokesman of BASL, Mr. Steve Omolale-Ajulo indicated that GAT was actually ceded to BASL by FAAN in 2007. Omolale-Ajulo in the documents revealed that FAAN and the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-kayode had on May 17, 2007 through a letter signed by Garba Mamman, of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (air transport), actually ceded the GAT to the concessionaire. The letter with reference number T. 4464/S.35/C.2/T3/49, titled Re: Formal no-


I DON’T BELIEVE THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN’T BE RENEGOTIATED. WHEN YOU HAVE CONTRACTS, PARTIES SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO SIT DOWN, BUT IN OUR OWN CASE, WE JUST WANT TO DESTROY ONE ANOTHER, RATHER THAN AN AMICABLE SETTLEMENT, BUT WHO NORMALLY SUFFERS? OF COURSE, IT IS THE STAFF THAT WILL SUFFER tification of the use of the apron area of the current domestic terminal (the GAT area), and addressed to both Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Managing Director of FAAN, reads in part, “I am directed to forward herewith a letter from Bi-Courtney Limited on the above subject and to inform you that the honourable minister of state 1 (air transport) has approved the company’s request as follows: (i.) The continued use of the old terminal’s parking space to park planes before they are ferried to the new apron for boarding; (ii.) To ferry passengers from the new terminal to the parking area for boarding.” Also, the recent court ruling on the matter at the Federal Court of Nigeria in Abuja once again brought to the fore the right ownership of the terminal. While FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation’s case with the suit number FHC/ABJ/ CS/698/2012 under the Hon. A.R Mohammed (judge) was struck out and described as a gross abuse of the process of the court by the plaintiffs (FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation), which has been finally litigated and decided upon by Chikere J of the Federal High Court sitting at Abuja in suit FHC/ ABJ/CS/50/2009 on the 3rd of March, 2009, the agency insisted that the judgment was deceptive. FAAN emphasised that the High Court judgement given in Abuja was to mislead the public and stressed that the contentious GAT remains the property of the Federal Government. Spokesman for FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati told National Mirror that BASL used “a distorted interpretation of a court judgement given as far back as 2007, an appeal against, which is still pending at the Supreme Court.

Dati urged members of the public, especially aviation stakeholders, to regard the news reports as figments of the imagination of BASL, maintaining that it was still the rightful custodian of Domestic Terminal 1 (formerly GAT) on behalf of the Nigerian people. He said, “The public may wish to know that the last time Bi-Courtney’s claim over the former GAT came up for hearing, the presiding judge declared that he could not take the application because the case was pending at the Supreme Court. “FAAN’s appeal against the said judgement of 2007 was premised on the fact that the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria were not represented in the co-coordinating committee set up by the then Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aandooka, and the committee therefore could not have taken any decision on behalf of FAAN or the Ministry of Aviation as Bi-Courtney continues to insist.” But, the judgment papers at the disposal of National Mirror indicated that Hon. A.R Mohammed actually struck out the case while the ruling was signed on February, 2013 by the court Registrar Ben Molokuru. In his ruling, Mohammed said, “The instant action is a gross abuse of the process of the court by the plaintiffs as the substratum of this suit is an issue, which has been finally litigated and decided upon by Chikere J of the Federal High Court sitting at Abuja in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/50/2009 on the 3rd of March, 2009. The subsisting and binding judgement of this court per Chikere J considered the decision of the coordinating committee – the subject matter of the instant suit and subsumed same. “Any action challenging the composition

or decision of the coordinating committee is a direct affront on the judicial vires of the Federal High Court and thus, an abuse. This court has the inherent jurisdiction to sanction any wanton disregard of the judicial process. The plaintiffs and the 3rddefendant have unsuccessfully by the way of appeal and frivolous applications sought to challenge the final and subsisting judgment of Chikere J. “On the whole, I find merit in the defendant’s notice of preliminary objection dated 6’12/2012 and filed on 7/12/2012. In consequence of the above, this suit be and is hereby struck out for being an abuse of the court’s process.” Besides, aviation stakeholders and professionals have divergent views on the court ruling. For instance, the Nigeria Aviation Professional Association (NAPA) hailed the verdict of the Federal High Court, but ATSSSAN, FAAN branch, said the verdict would not give BASL the fiat to take over the terminal, which it did not invest in. NAPA, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu, described the verdict as “wellthought-out and a triumph of truth over propaganda.” According to Saidu, NAPA had always insisted that agreements signed by FAAN must be obeyed to the letter, “as there are clauses that make provisions for how to settle any disagreement in such agreements. “We had a different opinion from that of the other unions about the concessioning of MMA2 to Bi-Courtney. Inasmuch as the unions were not present when the agreement was being signed, if there is any aspect of it they disagreed with, they should first of all face the people who represented FAAN and the ministry. “We are not surprised at the ruling because part of the agreement affecting the GAT and the exclusivity of MMA2 for domestic operations is very clear. We are happy we have been vindicated, that fairness, justice prevailed at last. We want to say this again that the Minister of Aviation, Princess Oduah, might have acted on the information given to her because she was not in the industry as at the time FAAN signed that agreement with Bi-Courtney.” The Chairman of ATSSSAN, FAAN branch, Comrade Ekanem Ekanem, said the verdict would not give Bi-Courtney the powers to take over the terminal, adding that the firm did not invest in the facility. He said; ‘‘I don’t think Bi-Courtney can take over GAT because the company never invested a dime on it, you don’t give something to somebody who has not invested anything in the business.’’ The President Aviation Round Table (ART), Capt. Dele Ore commended the ruling, but said that none of the parties involved should jubilate yet, as the case could go as far as the Supreme Court. He enjoined both parties to embrace dialogue in the interest of the workers and the nation in general. He said, “FAAN or the ministry can disobey laws or court orders, but on the long run, when you have a contract, a contract is a contract, no matter what the terms of the contract is, you can not start expanding the goal post after the game has started.”

National Mirror

Business & Finance

Tuesday, March 5 , 2013


Electricity workers threaten showdown over insecurity CHIDI UGWU ABUJA


he labour crisis that has bedevilled the power sector in recent times may not be over yet, as electricity workers have threatened another showdown with the Federal government if certain conditions were not met before the middle of this month. The leadership of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), alleged Federal Government passed death sentence on its members through a policy that prevents workers in crisis prone states to transfer to another state for safety. For instance, the General Secretary, NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, claimed that three union members have lost their lives in the North Eastern part of the country while 12 people were kidnapped in the South East. “What that means is that government has passed a death sentence on our workers because there is already a policy preventing these people from

L-R: Group Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe; Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu and Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Osten Olorunsola, at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja, recently.

getting transfer to other states. One person was shot and killed while he was climbing an electric pole. Even the revenue we cannot generate in these parts because workers fear for their lives,” he said.

While condemning the spate of insecurity and loss of lives of its members following the recent series of insurgencies, Ajaero said if government does not take necessary step to secure the lives of workers, they will

have no option than to take their destiny in their hands. Mores so, the union threatened that if by March 15, 2013, Federal Government fails to conclude the biometrics exercise for the regularisation of casuals.

Ajaero spoke shortly after the National Executive Council meeting of the union, demanded that the committee winds up its activities for the regularisation of casuals by March 15, 2013. The workers also expressed worry over alleged government’s misinformation of Nigerians over the payment of staff emoluments in the power sector. The Federal Government recently approved for payment N384billion as benefits and entitlements to disengaged staff of PHCN, but the workers described the announcement as deceitful and a propaganda as the consultant (Alexander Forbes) which was engaged to calculate the benefits was yet to submit its report. According to Ajaero, government presented fictitious figures as staff terminal benefit, adding that both the technical committee which was constituted by government and Alexander Forbes were yet to submit their report.

Heritage Bank begins operation with N21bn Foreign pilots decry poor navigational equipment in Africa JOHNSON OKANLAWON


ollowing the approval granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Heritage Bank, formerly Societe Generale Bank, has commenced commercial banking operation with N21billion initial capital base. The Chairman of the bank, Mr. Akinsola Akinfenwa, said that the bank, which began operation with three branches, is offering full commercial services under a regional bank status. Briefing financial journalists on the commencement of the bank in Lagos, Akinfenwa, who was the former Managing Director of Skye Bank Plc, noted that despite the number of banks in Nigeria, the country is underbanked. “That is why we see the opportunity for service. With the calibre of us that know the Nigeria’s financial terrain, there is need to support small and medium scale industries and we are going to deplore technology, solution as well as knowledgeable people in the bank,” he said. He explained that the bank is going to introduce new system, as there are so much that have not been done yet, adding, “We have the board that is going to ask question; this is not Societe Generale Bank, there is a change.” According to Akinfenwa, the bank is going to configure options of financial instruments to support industries, keep their books well and use technology in the

most intelligent way. The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, said that the bank comprises tenacious team, committed to deliver distinct financial services and transform wealth across generations. Sekibo, who pointed out that nobody crippled in from the former Societe Generale Bank, said that core investor injected 80 per cent of the capital, 11 per cent from the depositors and just nine per cent from the legacy bank. He stressed that the bank shall create value for all stakeholders using superior market knowledge and operational excellence to stay with customers. Sekibo said, “The bank is unfolding reality of entrepreneurial spirit, as it has never been in the history of the country for a bank to go under for ten years and come back. We welcome you to an age long of labour. He added that Societe Generale Bank, being the first bank that introduced an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in the country, shall focus on its ability to provide solution and, “We are going to involve in the power sector privatisation,” he said. On the payment to customers of the defunct Societe Generale Bank, he said, “We have settled those that have come for verification and anyone that have not come we will continue to verify and pay them. So far, we have 15 to 20 per cent of customers that have responded but the value of customers’ money paid out was 80 per cent.”



ilots flying into African airspace have bemoaned the poor navigational equipment in Africa. The pilots said that unlike in American and European airspaces where pilots could be sure of seamless aircraft operations, the same cannot be said of African airspace where pilots are faced with various challenges. Speaking with some Nigerian aviation journalists at the British Airways Headquarters in Heathrow, London over the weekend, the Senior First Officer, British Airways, Martin

Hockfield, noted that bad navigational facilities among others poses a lot of challenges to the seamless aircraft operation in the continent despite the low passenger traffic recorded compared to Europe with huge traffic and top-notch navigation communication facilities. Already, there had been calls by stakeholders in the continent, many parts of the world including Nigeria for a declaration of emergency over the region’s parlous communication facilities as a foil against further air disasters. Hockfield attributed the challenges to the vastness of the continent, which has huge land mass occasioned with huge dis-

play of obsolete equipment. He stated that despite the challenges, airlines could still operate safely, adding that communication equipment between the captain and the air traffic control needed to be efficient at all times. Black spots in the Nigeria’s airspace, which make pilot-toair traffic controller communication very difficult during flight operations had further raised safety questions, just as stakeholders called on the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Federal Government to speedily come to the rescue of passengers, crew and equipment by providing basic aviation safety tools.

FG to save N500m yearly on road, bridge design - Onolememen CHIDI UGWU ABUJA


ederal Government would henceforth be saving over N500 million annually following the commissioning of the newly established Federal Highway Design (FHD) office. The Federal Ministry of Works commissioned a road and bridge design office in order to reduce cost and save the country about N N500 million yearly which hitherto was used on design consultancy outside the ministry. In a statement, the ministry’s Director of Information, Idris Abdulkadir Bosuwa, stated that the Hon. Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, commissioned the office with modern equipments

in the Federal Ministry of Works Headquarters in Abuja recently. Onolememen said when he came in as the minister piloting the affairs of the ministry, he deemed it necessary to ensure that a full-fledged road and bridge design office is established, because an engineering ministry like Federal Ministry of Works needed to be self-sufficient on road and bridge design which the ministry has the capacity to carry out. According to the minister, before the establishment of this office, engineers of the ministry had gone on training in various institutions abroad and are already posted to the Design office in order to demonstrate their level of competency in the field, adding that the young newly employed engineers

also have opportunity of being trained in the Design office. Earlier, the Director Highways (Roads), Engr. Josephine Nnoruka, noted that the Design office was unprecedented, adding that the ministry could now be designing various road projects internally which is another expression of the agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in transforming the road sector in the country. Onolememen had recently revealed that Nigeria needs N500 billion to fix its ailing roads, adding that the country still has a long way to go in its quest to rank among the top economies in the world because it needs to grow its infrastructure, especially roads, by as much as 35 per cent.


Business & Finance

Tuesday, March 5 , 2013

DMO tasks states on debt sustainability agenda TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA


he Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, yesterday called on state governments to help in providing the needed support for the newly established Debt Management Departments (DMDs), in their domains in order to consolidate on the achievements made so far in developing a fully integrated,comprehensive national debt management database in the country. Nwankwo, who made the plea at a Sub-National Debt Sustainability Analysis/Portfolio review training programme for staff of the DMDs in Abuja, expressed satisfaction with the successful completion of the DMDs in all the states and promised that the report of the findings of the exercise would soon be published. This is even as he stated that as at December 2012, the national debtprofiles in foreign and domestic decomposition stood at

$6.5 billion and N6.5 trillion respectively. While describing the DMDs project as a significant landmark in thedrive to design and adopt a common approach for the management of the nation’s data base, he explained that in order to build the needed capacity and capability at sub-national level, the DMO would be engaging DMDs officials on sustained training and other experience sharing workshops and seminars in the months ahead. Nwankwo said: “For the first time, Nigeria truly has a comprehensive debt data and this will contribute in no small way to economic transformation. Now that we have 37 DMDs as part of the agenda of having a debt sustainability analysis at the subnational level, one of the tasks DMO would be embarking upon is how to carry the states along to ensure sustainability and internalisation of the process at the state level. “It is also important that we continue to update the data at the

sub-national level on quarterly basis so that we can have a fully integrated and credible debt management database in the country. Let me say that DMO will continue to ensure orderly, efficient and sustainable debt management analysis database for the country. “The purpose of this forum is to educate and learn from states DMDs officials and it is one of the continuous platforms of interaction with the states since we have just one economy. We are now moving to the next phase of consolidation and refining and producing a little more sophisticated techniques in the management of the debt of sub nationals”, the DMO boss said. On the need for states’ support for the debt sustainability analysis project, he charged the officials to find the means of working closely with their state governors and Finance Commissioners so that they can know the importance of the job you are doing and give you the needed support as required.

National Mirror

AfDB, BIDC sign $950, 000 technical assistance grant


he African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Investment and Development Bank of the Economic Community of West African States (BIDC) yesterday signed a grant agreement amounting to US$950, 000 to strengthen the BIDC institutional capacities. The signing ceremony, held during the inauguration of the AfDB national office in Togo, was chaired by Mr. Serge N’Guessan, AfDB Resident Representative in Togo and Mr.Bashir Ifo, BIDC President. A press release by AfDB said the grant, provided from the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), funded by the Government of Japan, the AfDB, the Austrian Development Bank and the Government of Austria, will finance a technical assistance program allowing BIDC to implement its private sector operations strat-

Risk assessors to conduct systems study at Ports CHIDI UGWU ABUJA


L-R: Former president, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu; Deputy Managing Director, Huawei, Mr. Adam Jiang; Director, Spectranet, Chief Ezekiel Fatoye and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Atul Ojha, at the Nigerian Communications Commission Stakeholders’ Forum on 2.3 GHz Band in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Food security, our priority - FG MESHACK IDEHEN


he Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, said the Federal Government’s intention to withdraw from direct procurement and distribution of all agricultural inputs informed the decision of the ministry to establish at least a “one-stop-shop” agro-input centre in each of the local government areas in the federation by the year 2015. Speaking during on the official commissioning of OneStop-Shop agro-inputs centre at Iseyin, Oyo State, Odusote said the task of making food available, affordable and accessible to all Nigerians

through promotion of food security programmes has been and will continue to remain the major focus of the Federal Government in pursuance of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda. According to her, the ministry of agriculture and rural development is very much mindful of the serious impediment of inaccessibility of good quality agricultural inputs such as fertiliser, agro-chemicals, seeds and seedlings, livestock feeds, veterinary drugs, tractor hiring, primary processing and extension services by farmers in a bid to maximising aggregate production output for the nation. She explained these centres are established as part of the Agricultural Transformation

Agenda in the agro-input subsector to strengthen the food security programme of the Federal Government, adding they moves are aimed at providing market information services, promote private sector investment in viable commercial agriculture and enhance food security. Speaking further, the permanent secretary added that each of the centres has facilities for about 500 tonnage storage capacity for fertilisers, seeds and agro-chemicals as well as provides tractor hiring, primary processing and extension support services, explaining the centre will also enhance the activities of the Growth Enhancement Supports (GES) programme of the government to a large extent.

egy and processes, to reinforce its human capital and increase its resources mobilisation. “This grant is part of a large technical assistance program funded jointly with the French Development Agency (AFD) who provided a 500 000 to BIDC in 2011 to improve its financial and risk management framework. “Mr. Bashir Ifo welcomed the excellent quality of cooperation between AfDB and BIDC and affirmed that the grant agreement which has just been signed illustrates the vitality of this cooperation which will enable BIDC to be engaged in a program of reinforcement of its private sector operations in the region. He further added that “this grant will contribute optimizing BIDC management capacities, by which the bank will able to be placed at a constant and favorable level of performance.”

s part of efforts to minimise corruption in the nation’s Ports, the first graduands of United Nation Development Programmes UNDP‘s trained Corruption Risk Assessors (CRA), would be deployed to carry out their first assignment at the nation’s Ports. The chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta, who has disclosed this, said purpose of CRA is to minimize systemic vulnerabilities and strengthen organizational processes and procedures against corruption in the Nigerian ports. Nta, who stated that the 69 trainees who qualified to receive full certification as Corruption

Risk Assessors would conduct a pilot CRA of the Nigerian Ports, adding that plans are underway to systematically conduct CRA across organizations at both federal and state levels. He called on public sector organisations including Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at Federal and State levels for their full cooperation when their organisations are designated for assessment. “We shall be deploying these new graduands in their first assignment which is to conduct a pilot CRA of the Nigerian Ports. It is common to hear that corruption is endemic in Nigeria because of the system. The purpose of CRA is to minimize systemic vulnerabilities and strengthen organisational processes and procedures against corruption.

‘SMEs will reduce unemployment rate’ STANELY IHEDIGBO


he Chief Executive Officer of First Investment Options, Dr Abdu Abubakar has identified the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSME), as the platform that can address the high unemployment rate in the country. He, therefore, called on the government to open the business space by strengthening their capacity to grow the economy. Speaking at the 27th edition of the business enterprise series of business express organised by Diamond Bank Plc at the Nanet Suites Abuja, recently. He said: “MSMEs are very critical to the overall success of the economy. Government and the banks need to do more if the

task of reducing the rising rate of unemployment must be realised. In other economies, governments deliberately put in place policies to assist the MSMEs and such things must begin to happen here if we are serious about tackling poverty and unemployment as they remain the largest employers of labour.” Abubakar added that the bank need to further strengthen its Know Your Customers (KYC) strategies and target facilities that strengthen their capacity to continue to contribute positively to the economy. Agreeing that over 90 percent of businesses collapsed as a result of avoidable errors, Abubakar listed some of the factors militating against the success of businesses to include fear of failure.

National Mirror

Jobs & Career

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Experts proffer solutions to ending youth unemployment Many experts are of the view that the vast majority of the nation’s youth have remained unemployed due to their inability to seek self empowerment. Analysts also say the youths must on their own apply more initiatives to beat the challenges posed by unemployment, writes MESHACK IDEHEN.


ver the years, especially since the past decade when the issue of youth unemployment and the dangers it portends for nations and economies became a major challenge for governments at states and national levels, several experts and professionals have proffered different types of solutions to combat the problem without success. For many young and old however, their inability to get a job, or make progress out of any career can be blamed squarely on the part of those in policy making capacities; a group including political, social, economic and religious top players that in most job seekers opinion, care less whether youth unemployment is brought to an end or not. Despite that notion held widely by many job seekers particularly those that can be classified as youths, other professionals opine though that youth unemployment has persisted in Nigeria and many countries on the continent largely because the youths in these locations have failed to explore options that will, and can make them self reliant. Maintaining that the country’s youth can end the scourge of unemployment that ails them by themselves if only they can look at how to improve their inherent skills with the aim of being the best in whatever it is they do, the Managing Director of Prot Recruiters Limited, Mr. Sunny Agboju, told National Mirror that the difficulties and widespread challenges already envisaged by economist to befall countries afflicted by the scourge of massive youth unemployment may only increase, if critical actions are not taken, especially by youths themselves to challenge the situation. Agboju explained that many young people are losing hope of finding jobs, and many have stopped searching for work altogether, adding it is at this critical point that they must harness their “gifts and talents” to get out of the unemployment zone, become creators and innovators and also employers of labour. Citing a recent report by that identified a significant proportion of the world upcoming and established billionaires as falling within the youth groups, the Prot Limited managing director emphasised that Nigerian youths can become if they so wish, like their counterparts in other parts of the world that have turned their unemployment situations into booming and expanding conglomerates. According to him, “Opportunities can be created for youth by the government and other stakeholders only by providing the required environment, tools and training in order to ensure that quality and sustainable skills are acquired and expertise needed provided”, adding that countless examples of initiatives in the past have shown promise, but the scale of youth unemployment requires a dedicated and focused approach.

President/Chairman of Council Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, Abiola Poopola


TRAINING IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT QUALITY AND SUSTAINABLE SKILLS ARE ACQUIRED AND EXPERTISE NEEDED PROVIDED Speaking in the same vein, a lecturer at the Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr. Doyin Salami, said the youths must be urged to improve their skills through learning, networking and engaging in creative ventures that will make them to be self-reliant and not dependent on employment that may not be available. He emphasised that self-employment remains the only solution to the high unemployment rate among youths in the country, saying further insistence on becoming self reliant is the surest panacea to ending youth unemployment in Nigeria. According to him, there was the urgent need for youths in the country to position their skills for value change, explaining that youths must re-orientate themselves to move past the unemployment issues that millions of them are grappling with. “Self-employment is the guarantee for unemployment. Only self-education can make them successful. You can only earn a living with education; but with selfeducation, you can earn a fortune. They must pursue their passion vigorously and that will open doors for them.


“There are opportunities in the reforms that the government is doing in different sectors; it is expected that youths look out for the smallest in value chain in the reformed sector, including in areas where they don’t need to approach a bank to get big loans. They must be aware, go through the Internet and maximise the knowledge deposit in it,” he added. He said further that youths must be passionate and determined, because entrepreneurial concepts has been identified as the most formidable factor inhibiting Nigerian youths from realising their potentials. On her part, the Managing Director of Aquarian Consult, Mrs. Aisha Maina, said factors that hinder many youths from becoming self reliant, or moving from concepts into reality may include inability to write and speak properly at certain levels, and inability to believe in the concepts of bringing thoughts into reality. According to her, many jobless youths complain about the challenges that come with turning concept into reality without being ready to face the challenges associated with it. “Turning concepts into reality begins with facing these challenges. It is not enough to sit and complain about the challenges, including about the government and other leaders without knowing how to overcome such challenges. It is not enough to simply rely on some other people’s experiences when we are about going into an entrepreneurship as youths,” she explained. She stressed that the problem in Nigeria is that most youths do not think about concept well before jumping into conclusion about the workability or otherwise of concepts, adding it is a misnomer to think that workers who work for people cannot find fulfilment in their jobs. Agreeing that there is a mismatch between the kind of expertise the Nigerian environment needs and courses offered by the tertiary institutions.

NCS targets one million jobs with IT career fair MESHACK IDEHEN


HE Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), said it has concluded plans to create about one million jobs in the next five years through an information technology job and career fair, and that the organisation intends to keep organising it on a sustainable basis. The Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jide Awe, in a state-

ment, explained that the career fair is being organised to encourage people who are interested in starting a career in IT, and will also be an opportunity for them to meet with people who have succeeded on the job. According to him, the fair is an initiative of the NCS in line with its commitment to leverage on IT to create jobs and overcome developmental challenges in Nigeria. He said the programme is being organised in collabo-

ration with its student affiliate; the Nigeria Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS). Awe said the fair activities are directed towards giving final year students and young graduates an edge in the competitive job market; addressing the youth and graduate unemployment situation in the country, while promoting youth innovation development to address developmental challenges and achieve overall prosperity in the country through information technology.


Jobs & Career

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

‘How to get your first job quickly as a graduate’ G

raduating from the higher institution and undergoing the National Youth Service Corps Scheme most often does not equip young Nigerian graduates with the tools and information to survive in the competitive job market in the country. These tips when applied will assist in helping fresh graduates in making a quick work of their job search, because gone are the days when students do not plan their career and only start to look at the possibilities of getting a job after they might have graduated. Job search now begins while you are still an undergraduate so as to place you in a better position to get the good jobs immediately you graduate. Build your network before graduating- One day our network will become our networth. He who has people is greater than he that has just money alone. Being in a university or polytechnic is a perfect time for you to decide the career choice you wish to pursue and then set about networking with people who will be more likely to help you climb the ladder later when you graduate. Create a top quality and attractive CV-Your CV is your spokesperson in your absence. It is shocking how many graduates don’t search around on how to get their CV well packaged and instead, use obsolete and insufficient CVs to apply for all the job vacancies they hear or read about. If you are serious about getting a job quickly enough after your graduation your CV is one of the first things you should be looking at getting right. Offer to work for free or for little pay-To many students or even graduates it sounds very difficult but offering to work for free means you gain in two ways;you garner the required experience that you can use when applying for jobs, and if you are a graduate, end up being offered a job by the company when a vacancy comes up if you have proved to be capable and a good worker. Sometimes even if the company cannot help you with a job some of the staff who are happy with your work will go out of their way to inform you about opportunities elsewhere. Get on the mail list of reputable job sites- Even before you graduate try and get on the mailing list or register with reputable job sites like that regularly publish job vacancies from

Human Resource/ Recruitment Specialist, Kunle Rotimi

YOUR CV IS YOUR SPOKESPERSON IN YOUR ABSENCE. IT IS SHOCKING HOW MANY GRADUATES DON’T SEARCH AROUND ON HOW TO GET THEIR CV WELL PACKAGED AND INSTEAD, USE OBSOLETE AND INSUFFICIENT CVS TO APPLY FOR ALL THE JOB VACANCIES THEY HEAR OR READ ABOUT various companies and recruiting organisations. Study the jobs that fall within your career aspirations to know the kind of requirements and qualifications plus skills they require. This will help you start to upgrade your skills so that on graduation you will be qualified for the kind of jobs you are targeting to get. This will greatly increase your chances of getting selected for interviews when you submit your CV. Follow companies in your target job category- It pays also to follow news and information on several companies in your target job category so you can be informed on new areas of job opportunity wthin those companies. Learn how to use the 10 step job strategy effectivelyThe ten step job strategy is a unique strategy that helps job seekers take their job search in their own hands and land their first job in less than two months after using the simple ten step job hunting strategy. Use LinkedIn to advance your career chances- LinkedIn is a growing useful tool that levels the playing ground for fresh

and young graduates and helps them present a professional profile (a bit like a resume) and connect with professionals and prospective business managers and owners. If you have not joined LinkedIn you can do so immediately and start exploring the opportunities for your career enhancement Learn to make smart unsolicited applications- Many jobs do not appear on the papers or on the job sites. They are filled immediately the vacancies occur. If you research a company well enough to know the decision makers and all about how you can be of help to them if hired you can write a convincing application letter to all the decision makers explaining why they should give you a job in the organisation. Note that this will most likely work with small and medium sized companies where you can easily reach or send secure letters to the decision makers. Using courier to deliver your letters will always make the secretaries handle it with respect and most times you may just make an impression on them and get a call.


National Mirror

Job vacancies

pening job vacancies for this week is the new 300,000 plus jobs that will soon be created through collaboration between the Federal Government in a private public partnership deal with the Risk and Accident Prevention Society of Nigeria, RAPSON. With the project meant to enable the use of scientific approach in risk and accident management as obtained in other advanced countries of the world, job seekers can watch out for more information from National Mirror and can also visit relevant websites including those of the office of the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Ethics and Value, which is coordinating the exercise. The potential vacancies which is open to fresh graduates and experienced professionals, and which is also meant to provide comprehensive safety certification for all persons in the public and private sector and foreigners who shall be inducted into strategic functions that require substantial safety measures, would see RAPSON would commence visual testing and certification immediately after deployment and installation of cameras and other equipment in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, from June 2013. From (www.jobberman. com) are top vacancies in the agricultural sectors, with openings for a Production and Factory Managers in Imo and Lagos states. The company which is into the production of high quality nutrient feed for fish and poultry for all breeds, age and stage of developments of fish and birds, while at the same time promoting the knowledge and growth of the farmers across the nation became operational in 2012, and insists it needs the service of a qualified person to fill the positions. Minimum qualifications, a degree with required experience of between 3 - 5 years; other professional experience will also come as advantages, while some of the responsibilities for both positions are overseeing the production process, drawing up a production schedule; ensuring that the

production is cost effective, making sure that products are produced on time and are of good quality and working out the human and material resources needed. Other responsibilities are drafting a timescale for the job, estimating costs and setting the quality standards, monitoring the production processes and adjusting schedules as needed and being responsible for the selection and maintenance of equipment. Major recruiter,www. this week, said the position for a General Manager/ Chief Executive Officer to be based in Lagos is available. The firm which also operates retail outfits based in Lagos, Nigeria said the incoming could be a Nigerian or an expatriate. The responsibilities for this position amongst other are to report to the directors/management of the retail business, the everyday operations of the business and long-term operations and financial success of the retail business. The person will be expected to manage employees and will be responsible not only for the retail outlet itself and its customers, but also for its employees. This means interviewing job applicants, hiring and training new employees and motivating current employees. In a customerfocused industry. He/she must also ensure outstanding customer care and effectively handle customer complaints. The GM will also be responsible for coordinating the schedule and will supervise the handling of the retail outlet’s payroll. For qualifications, the candidate must have a University degree in areas like communications or Business Administration, and at least 10 -15 years retail work experience. He/she must possess strong leadership skills and must be computer literate with strong database and spreadsheet skills MS Excel and other relevant software utility packages including; QuickBooks. Proficiency in written and verbal communication and problem solving skills, while been able to demonstrate a respectful, professional, and courteous demeanour at all times.

National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5 , 2013

Real Estate & Environment 08033312578

Adapting to climate change through floating houses, school

Models for Makoko town

How to adapt to climate change by staying afloat after the flood and first phase of floating town was unveiled for Makoko waterfront community in Lagos amid fanfare. DAYO AYEYEMI, writes


akoko, a waterfront slum settlement floating on the lagoon in Lagos has overtime been a grievous eyesore to many especially authority in Lagos and thousands of people that travel on the Third Mainland Bridge on daily basis. The community, with an estimated population of 250,000, is a city in its own, sitting insecurely on floating bamboo, wood and wreckage shanties connected by plank alleyways over murky, filthy water into which the entire community daily dump their waste and excrement. The community is also being confronted with the challenges of social amenities and threat of flooding, though this is a part of existence since it is built on water. But all these are about to change if plans being put together through the private initiative in partnership with Lagos State Government, United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and stakeholders are anything to go by. By the time the plans are fully implemented, Makoko waterfront community in Lagos would definitely be transformed to a centre of attraction and a model of how to genuinely adapt with the glaring effects of climate change such as high sea rise leading to flooding. To realise this plans, a Nigerian-born, Netherlands-based architect, Mr Kunle Adeyemi, has unveiled a floating school and

model for floating town to replace the entire Makoko shanties. Adeyemi is founder and principal of NLÉ, an architecture, design and urbanism practice, based in Amsterdam (Netherlands). Speaking during unveiling of the project, Adeyemi, said the Makoko floating school and the floating building prototype for Lagos water community, were designs which would pioneer sustainable development in coastal African cities. He explained that the design of the school came after the he conducted research and conceptualised designs for the school in May 2011. He stated that water became a huge concept in the designs as it showed how people could live on water to drive urbanisation and combat problems of shortage of houses and climate change. On the linkage between the project and climate change, he explained that the evident of climate change is flooding and storm and that places that have never experienced flooding before are witnessing it. He said, “These buildings are designed so that when water level rises or low, they are always above water. Of course, Makoko residents adopted on living on water, and because of the current way they built, they are subjected to flooding but with these new designs, they can overcome the

Makoko floating school

problem of flooding and float above water.” He mentioned that the new designs are home grown, low cost in nature, using local materials, labour and readily available technology, adding that the module can adapted to homes, health clinic, schools or adapted into different usage. He said to contructone of the houses using the modelu would cost less than N1million., adding that the project will be fully launch in August 2013. “The design is robust, take the shape of triangle in order to be stable in tough storm,” he said. The Makoko floating school is built on a flotation platform and is being constructed using local material, a 3-storey high wooden structure with space for rainwater storage. It also features a playground and green area on the ground floor, together with two further classrooms on the first and second floor. According to the progress report is-

sued by the architect, the school is ready for academic activity, with the floating houses to be finished in September and the Lagos water community project by the end of 2014. Speaking about the design of the floating school, Adeyemi said using floating devices meant they were not relying on the total strength of the soil, as the soil around Makoko is particularly loose. He spoke of the adaptability of the design, saying as the water level changes frequently in the area, so the design would adapt to the changing conditions. On how to ensure safety water and sanitation in the community, he stated that the design is considering rain harvesting and fresh water through drilling of bore holes, adding that plans are underway to deal with the issues of organic waste. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26


Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, March 5 , 2013

National Mirror

Minister urges CBN, NHF to remit shared capital to FMBN OLUFEMI ADEOSUN


he Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) the National Housing Fund(NHF) to fulfill its financial obligation to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to shore up its capital base. Pepple who made the call why inaugurating the Board of the FMBN in Abuja, noted that the remittance of the share capital by the two major members of the board would give more valve to the bank to perform its duties. She said,”The low capital base of the is however a constraint to its effective performance. This is an area of concern which need to be urgently addressed. One way of

kick-starting it is for the two dafaulting institutional members on the board to ensure the remittances of their respective share capital obligations, which are long overdue. “This is very critical if the bank is to be enabled to have a breath of funds to carry out its functions more diligently in the face of stiffer competition more daunting challenges in the national and global capital market. The minister also challenged those charged with the enforcement of the provisions of the National Housing Fund with regard to remittances to comply with the Act. She also explained that the recent establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage and Finance Corporation by President Goodluck Jonathan was part of the measures being adopted to increase access to housing finance.

“The establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage and Finance Corporation as announced by Mr. President at the commemoration of he reclamation of 5,000square metres of land for Eko Atlantic City Project on 21st February,2013, is one of the immediate measures being undertaken by the Federal Government to broaden access to housing/ mortgage finance in the country. “ The opening of this window is an additional incentive for the creation of a new pool of potential home owners through the facilitation of access to affordable mortgages. With the Nigerian Mortgage and Finance Corporation complementing a recapitalised Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria under the new board, I am confident that many of the challenges associated with low mortgage penetration in the country in the past will be addressed sooner than later”,

Adapting to climate change through floating houses, school CONTINUED FROM 25 Speaking during the preview exercise, Country Representative of UNDP, Ms. Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje, commended the floating school and building initiative, saying it is capable of transforming the community to a tourist centre. The floating schools, she explained was aimed at promoting and address the immediate need of the community. She thanked the Lagos State Government for being able to afford this for the community to build, saying through this, the government is addressing the issue of climate change and community living. She said, “This is a good cooperating between the Lagos State Government, UNDP, Private sector and the community. This is a model that will address the immediate need of the community.” She stated that with the initiative, the community would be able to have a sustainable life where they are living, telling the ocal chiefs in the area known as Baales and the entire community of the need to ensure the maintenance of the floating school which is to complement the existing primary school in the area. She reaffirmed the commitment of UNDP to support Lagos State Government and people in the community to see that the project is fully implemented. Program Officer, UN-Habitait, Mr Paul Okunola, also commended the initiative, saying it is addressing the fundamental problem facing Makoko community, adding that the beauty of the project was that the community people were involved to accompany its goal and generate tourism potential to the state. One of the community leaders who represent Makoko, Iwaya area, Alase Ogun of

Yaba , Chief Francis Agoyon, thanked the initiator, Mr Kunle Adeyemi and UNDP for the floating school project, saying the community would joined hands to see to the success of the project. He said it would provide residents of Makoko the opportunity to send their children to school since they now have additional facilities on ground to complement the only one school in the area.

One of the pupils, Master John, thanked the provider of the school facility, saying many of his collegues can now enrol to be educated in the school. He said the only existing school within the e waterfront community could not accommodate them. One of the teachers in the community expressed gratitude to Kunle Adeyemi and UNDP for coming to their assistance, say-

she explained. Speaking on the expectations of Nigerians from the newly constituted board, Pepple urged them to among others, develop an alternative funding mechanisms and attract investments from both local and global capital markets at costs and tenors matching the needs of mass housing delivery, complete the Goodluck Jonathan Legacy Estate, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the bank as a public institution, through automation and quality service delivery. Responding, the Chairman of Board, Chief Olabisi Ogunjobi stressed the need for a paradigm shift if the bank must continue on the path of profitability. He promised that the board would map out strategies that would position the bank to operate like a development bank.

ing it has provided new platform for the children to learn. He added that the area has now become a public, communal space with the community interested to see materials that they are familiar with used in a different way. Recently, government demolition exercise in Makoko, a coastline settlement in Lagos Metropolis floating on the lagoon, has raised fears that the authorities may have finally decided that the over century-old slum, a grievous eyesore to some, must go.

FG seizes El-Salam operational licence for sharp practices


he Enforcement operatives of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has stormed the Abuja office of ElSalam Consult Limited, a real estate development firm and carted away its operational licence over its failure to appear before the Council to answer questions bothering on consumer complaints. Other valuable office equipment seized from the Abuja office of El-Salam also included computers, photo-copy machine and various other useful items. The clampdown follows a series of complaints to the Council by customers who claimed to have made payments ranging from N1million to N4million for houses to El-Salam. They alleged that several months after making the deposits, El-Salam had failed to either provide the mortgage as agreed, or make refunds. In the operation, which lasted about 30minutes, the enforcement officers of the CPC, led by the Deputy Director Surveillance and Enforcement, Engr. Sham Kolo, also arrested the Special Assistant to the managing director. Kolo, who addressed journalists after the raid, said that by the power vested on


the Council, the firm would be charged to court for failure to appear before it despite several summons and notices. He explained, “The operation is enforcing what the law permits us to do. The organisation has been served with the council’s order to explain its own side of the various issues raised against it by the consumers. We have issues with them based on the complaints we received from consumers who patronise the firm. “The Council intervened to make sure that they go by whatever they promised

their customers. After several attempts have been made to make them comply, including serving them with the council’s order, we are constraint to force them to comply.” One of the victims, Miss Vivian Uranta, told National Mirror that she paid N1m equity contribution for a 3-bedroom semidetached building in Bykassa Lugbe to EL-Salam through A.G Homes, a Primary Mortgage Institution (PMI) on September 11, 2011, but could not have her home almost three years after the payment. Narrating her ordeal, she explained that each time she made enquiry about the state of the mortgage, El-Salam usually came up with spurious explanation that while the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) had approved the funds, it was yet to be disbursed. “I am tired of their antics; all that I am interested in now is getting back my equity contribution. I have waited for close to three years now for it and I can no longer wait. The idea of making the contribution in the first instance is to get a home over my head. If that cannot be achieved, I think I should be able to have my money back,” she said in an emotional laden voice.

Atlanto Property acquires 9 hectares of land for ‘build and own’ Ultra Modern Market


n Abuja-based Developer, Atlanto Investment and Property Company has acquired over nine hectares of land for construction of ‘Build and Own Ultra Modern Market’ in Gidan Zaki-Orozo, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state. According to the developer,under the ‘Build and Own’ arrangement, interested investors are expected to pay Ground rent, Administrative charges, tenement rates and service charges to the company.

The Managing Director/CEO of the company, Surv. Isaac Agbanwu disclosed that the project would attract over N10 billion worth of investment upon completion Agbanwu explained that the Ultra Modern Market would also provide effective services for the proposed Cargo Airport to be constructed by Federal Government. He added that the company would ensure that all shops during construction

comply with the Township building rules and the National Building Code. He said,”It is worthy to note that the proposed Cargo Airport site is about a kilometer away from our market. The cargo airport, as designed by Federal Government will also benefit tremendously from the facilities within the market. “The multi-billion naira project, is very strategic as it would provide essential services to various residential housing estates within Abuja and neighbour-

ing cities in Nasarawa state including Civil Defence, Navy, Oronzo Mass Housing estate, among others.” Some of the facilities to be provided within the market include Warehouses for representatives of manufacturers of consumer products and other retailers; road network, water boreholes, transformers and standby generators, banking halls, police post, clinics, parking lots, Microfinance bank, refuse dumps, fire service station, among others.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ronaldo’s prowess scares Evra 28, 29

National Mirror



I am committed to helping to end the feud between Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi and Osaze Odemwingie - Former Nigeria international, Nwankwo Kanu

W/Cup qualifier: Weather not favourable –Amoo


ormer Super Eagles’ assistant coach, Fatai Amoo, has expressed fear that prevailing weather condition in Nigeria may not favour the Eagles when they confront Harambee Stars of Kenya in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match in Calabar later this month. The East Africans are due to clash with the reigning African champions on March 23 at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar in pursuit of Group F sole ticket. Amoo, however, said Coach Stephen Keshi can counter balance the seemingly disadvantage with injection of more home-based players in the squad. “The hot weather may profit Kenya coming from a high altitude region but the level of form for both sides may make the difference. “Current form tilts in favour of Super Eagles, but we must not solely depend on it be-

cause the game itself against Nigeria is a big motivation for the Kenyans,” Amoo told He added, “I think injecting more local lads into the foray, who play under same weather will be a great plus though final decision remains with the manager, Stephen Keshi.” Amoo, who will want Eagles to quickly settle down for the World Cup assignment, however, said the three-time African kings would triumph over the Kenyans. “I believe Afcon celebration is over now is business time. We need to settle down as World Cup qualifier is not a race we’ll attend with half fit players or inadequate preparations. Eagles’ domestic list for the encounter is expected to be made public today, while the foreign-based list comes out by weekend. Keshi had earlier said that the list would be released on March 9.

…Elections disrupt Harambee Stars’ trainings AFOLABI GAMBARI


here has been no trainings for the past two days as the Harambee Stars’ camp went on break due to the presidential and parliamentary elections in Kenya. The East African nation is seeking a clean break from the past which saw violence of unprecedented magnitude accompanied the last general election in 2008 which claimed about 1,000 lives. Team Manager of the Kenya national team, Ali Rehan, who disclosed this development on a radio programme monitored in

Lagos yesterday, said the decision to call off training was to enable members of the team to exercise their civic rights. “We are part of the nation and we cannot allow the camping to disenfranchise us,” Rehan defended. “I cast my vote a few hours ago and other members of the team, except the coach who is French, have also cast their votes.” Rehan, however, said that normal training would commence today as the invited players from the domestic league fine-tune their skills ahead of the World Cup 2014 qualifier with the Super Eagles in Calabar on March 23.

President Goodluck Jonathan (4th left with trophy), with Super Eagles’ on February 12, during a reception for the AFCON 2013 champions at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Eagles get condition to secure Abuja land OMEIZA AJAYI



he Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is awaiting members of the victorious Super Eagles to fill and return forms issued to them before the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the land given to them by the Federal Government will be processed. Senior Special Assistant on Information Management System to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Hajia Jamila Tangaza, told National Mirror exclusively that papers which the technical crew and players


who won the AFCON 2013 in South Africa last month must fill and return, were given to them immediately after President Goodluck Jonathan hosted them on February 13 and announced the national honours, monetary and land gifts. Although she said that she did not know the area in Abuja, where the plots of land will be allocated to members of the team, Tangaza said unlike in the past when some sportsmen and women were promised land and houses, which were not fulfilled, the Federal Government would not renege on its promise to the team. She expressed the readi-

ness of the FCTA to give the land title deeds to the Super Eagles once the players and their coaches filled and returned the forms issued to them to process the allocations. “We have given them the actual form and a commitment to give them the land. They are to fill the form and bring it back with all the necessary documents. “I took down their names personally. I learnt one or two of them have returned theirs. Now, giving them the land is dependent on their own commitment to filling those forms,” the FCT Minister’s aide, said. Tangaza said the layout

of the area the plots of land will be allocated to the team had already been designed, adding however, that she would not know the exact part of the city until the C of Os are signed by the Minister, Alhaji Bala Mohammed. “The layout, as I learnt, has already been designed. The government is serious about it. We are ready to give them the land as soon as they complete the forms which we put in the envelopes that were given to them at the Villa during the reception. “The layout has been designed. Everything is ready. It is left for them to just fill those forms and then submit to us,” she added.

NFF to resolve Mba’s case tomorrow

he committee set up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to resolve the controversy over the ownership of Super Eagles’ star, Sunday Mba, will meet in Abuja tomorrow. Rangers International FC of Enugu and Warri Wolves

are claiming ownership of the Nations Cup winner at the same time. In a statement yesterday, the NFF said the committee had invited officials of twotime CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba FC of Aba, Enugu Rangers, Dolphin FC

of Port Harcourt and Warri Wolves and the player himself. “The committee will sit on Wednesday and we will look at all papers presented by all parties, and be guided by the rules, without fear of favour. We will look thoroughly into

the matter with the highest sense of responsibility and take just decision, in order for the player to continue his club and national team career with peace of mind and comfort,” said Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, NFF’s Director of Competitions.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Tit bits...

Xavi Barcelona midfielder, Xavi, has sustained a fresh hamstring injury. The Spain international had only recently come back from a similar injury when he complained of discomfort following last week’s Copa del Rey semi-final second-leg defeat to Real Madrid. According to reports yesterday, Xavi is likely to be out of action for 10 to 15 days, placing him in doubt for the return-leg of their Champions League tie with AC Milan.


LA Galaxy striker, Robbie Keane, has been appointed captain in the absence of Landon Donovan. The Republic of Ireland skipper takes the reins from Donovan who has been away from the MLS champion on a self-imposed exile this off season. Galaxy Coach, Bruce Arenam, made the appointment public at the team’s charity appearance at the Grammy Museum last weekend.

El Shaarawy Stephan El Shaarawy is delighted with his new deal at AC Milan after signing contract extension to 2018. “I am happy for this renewal,” El Shaarawy posted on his official Twitter account yesterday. “I am happy and proud to wear this shirt and will be proud to do great things in it now and in the future.”


Reports said yesterday that Manchester City and Liverpool are battling for Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez. City tried to buy the Chile international in the summer of 2011, before Sanchez eventually joined Barca for £22million. But with Sanchez no longer a regular starter for the Catalans, City is understood to be weighing up a move for the 24-year-old.

Atouba The Chicago Fire has announced the signing of MLS SuperDraft pick 20-year-old Cameroonian player Yazid Atouba. “We’re pleased to add Yazid to our roster,” Fire President of Soccer Operations, Javier Leon, said. “Yazid is a quick, skillful player with tremendous potential who in the preseason showed that he has the talent to succeed in MLS.”

Ronaldo’s prowess scares Evra M

Pepe ‘ready for war’ Pepe


eal Madrid defender, Pepe, says victory over Barcelona set the Madristans up nicely for possible win over Manchester United today. “We are very going through a good streak and have shown that we are a group and we fight until the end,” Pepe said. “We have got two important consecutive wins, both because of how we played and because of who they came against, which is a great motivation for the match against Manchester United. We are happy and now we are ready for Tuesday’s (today’s) match. “I am proud to play for Real Madrid, but the most important thing is to help the team to get this win over United before their fans.” Today’s fixtures Man Utd


Dortmund vs

Madrid Shakhtar

anchester United defender, Patrice Evra, is hoping that the club can smother Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo with love at Old Trafford when both sides clash in their crucial round of 16 tie today. Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford for the first time since his world record £80million move to Madrid desperate to dump his old club out of the UEFA Champions League, even as the former FIFA World Player of the Year has already cancelled out Danny Welbeck’s opener at the Bernabeu three weeks ago. Any intervention this week could prove terminal to United’s hopes of progress though and Evra feels Ronaldo may find it difficult knowing so much good feeling for him remains amongst the Red Devils faithful. “It is difficult when you play with love,” Evra said. “Cristiano will get a great reception because of what he achieved for Manchester United. The fans

Devils will fall–Ozil


eal Madrid midfielder, Mesut Ozil, is confident that the Spanish club will reach the Champions League quarter-finals. Madrid and United go into this clash at 1-1 after the first-leg draw at the Santiago Bernabeu a fortnight ago. “It’s going to be a difficult match against a really good squad, but we already showed what we’re capable of in the first leg,” the Turkishborn Germany international said yesterday. “We have great respect for United but we aim to play our game and show that we can beat anybody. If we can win in Barcelona, you can also win in Manchester,” he added. “Playing against Barcelona is an enormous motivation,” the talented player recalled.

will never forget what he did. It is also a fact that he still loves the club. “This is his house, so there will be a lot of emotion. I hope he doesn’t play well because of that.” Pepe ‘ready for war’ Real Madrid defender, Pepe, says victory over Barcelona set the Madristans up nicely for possible win over Manchester United today. “We are very going through a good streak and have shown that we are a group and we fight until the end,” Pepe said. “We have got two important consecutive wins, both because of how we played and because of who they came against, which is a great motivation for the match against Manchester United. We are happy and now we are ready for Tuesday’s (today’s) match. “I am proud to play for Real Madrid, but the most important thing is to help the team to get this win over United before their fans.” Ronaldo

Rooney, Carrick eye ‘tough duel’


head of tonight’s Champion League match at Old Trafford, Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney, has provided a stunning reminder of what he can do at the famous ground. “Tuesday (today) will have two of the biggest clubs in the world battling and it’s going to be an exciting night,” Rooney said early yesterday. “It’s a big game, a special game. Once you get to the knockout stages of the Champions League it’s always important, but with it being Madrid and with Cristiano coming back, there will be a

different atmosphere. “I’m sure Ronnie wi get a good reception. H did wonderful things fo this club and has show great respect since h left towards the manage and the players,” Unite midfielder Michael Ca rick said. “So it’s about takin our chances. With th strike power we’ve go and the strike powe they’ve got, both team will have to defend wel You have to have th complete game in man respects. There will b so much huge talent ou there on the pitch, we’ just have to wait an see,” he added.

ill He or wn he er ed ar-

ng he ot er ms ll. he ny be ut ’ll nd

National Mirror

Two cadets win ITTF scholarships

Polo: Ibah clinches Dansa Cup AFOLABI GAAMBARI



ddo Ismail Is scored three of side’s goals as Kano Ibah his sid upstaged Lagos Ericsson 8-5 upstag Dansa Cup at the Lagos to win the Da International Tournament Polo Intern over the weekend. which ended o The last final of the doubletournament which will rephased tour tomorrow saw Tavia Trosume tom beat Goodfellows/Ark 5 jan bea -4 to rretain the Lagos Open Cup with Santiago Cernadas producing a man-of-the-match permance for the Trojan. form Defending champion Ericsson rallied from a goal deficit to lead 2-1 after Damien Duncan replied twice Murtala Aliyu’s opening following Mu 40-yard penalty. goal from a 40 breaks away from the Duncan br roll-in of the second chukka but connect his shot at the vicould not con allowing Aliyu to clear. tal area thus a Tade Oyinlola made a last-ditch effort to clear Ismail’s goal-bound shot on goal but it was given as it crossed the line as Ibah has already cr drew level at 22-2. followed up with a missed Aliyu follo penalty and when a similar 60 yard penal situation was wa presented to EricsUmar had his shot deson, Jamilu U flected off the goal by Ismail. Aliyu then scored in quick sucand Ismail the give Ibah a 4-2 lead headcession to giv

A Ibah clinches Dansa Cup

ing into the third chukka. Halifa Ibrahim converted a spot hit to give Kano a healthy 5-2 lead and the gap between the sides was widened as Addi Ibrahim tapped in from a Nura Shamaki’s shot for 6-2 at the end of the third chukka. Abdulmumuni Musa and Duncan scored within a minute midway into the last chukka but Halifa profited from a missed clearance by Umar to score while the same player’s goal moments later proved to be the winner. Umar had before the costly error scored his side’s fifth goal. In the day’s first match, Lagos Polo Club President Habeeb Fasinro led Edozie Onwuli, Bowale Jolaosho and Elias Kodahy to beat Team B TJ Saro, Hassan Fayaad Yemo Alakija and Ed Higginbotham 5-3 to win the Veterans and Kids Cup.

C Onigbinde


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

hmed Oshinbanjo of Oyo State and Tosin Oribamishe of Ekiti State have picked the two slots allotted to the West Africa for the Olympic solidarity scholarship by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Both players were the stars of the U-13 male and female categories at the Hope 2013 West African Age group Zone 3 championship in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire where Nigeria participated. President of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Hon. Kayode A b d u lw a h a b - O m o t o s e, told National Mirror yesterday that the development would impact positively on the country’s table tennis development. Osinbanjo defeated Abayomi Martins while Oribamishe defeated Eniola Blessing in the U-13 final as Jide Omotayo also defeated Kehinde Awobajo in an all Nigerian final. The players took part in only three events out of

nine staged at the competition, due to late arrival although they won in all the events while carting away the ITTF scholarships at the championship. “The result shows a fulfillment of the thrust of the board to bring up new set of players who will graduate to the senior level and represent the country well,” Omotose said, stressing that the Hope programme will be launched in Nigeria in the last quarter of this year to support the NTTF’s developmental programme.

Kayode Abdulwahab Omotose

AF and FIFA instructor, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, has congratulated the newly-elected president of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA), Pastor Bitrus Bewarang. Secretary General of the NCA, Solomon Ogbeide, said Onigbinde’s acknowledgment of Bewarang’s election indicated that the Modakeke chief was a true statesman, stressing that the latter would re-


fight for it.” Meanwhile, Spurs Manager, Andre Villas-Boas, is riding high after a remarkable renaissance in his second spell in English football, with the Portuguese coach believing Sunday’s win could serve as a fatal blow to Arsenal’s morale. “It meant a lot because we wanted to get this one over Arsenal and create a distance between us,” VillasBoas said. “It can have a direct effect on Arsenal’s motivation. They are on a downward spiral in terms of results and we are on an upwards spiral. It is extremely difficult to get out of that negative spiral. “There is a great focus on trying to make this the year we qualify for the Champions League once again.”

Deaf t/tennis board launches exco YEMI O LUS


he Executive Board Committee of the Nigeria Deaf Table Tennis Association has been inaugurated in Lagos with Prince Elemchuku Eke emerging as Chairman while Mrs Mustapha Falilat Lola is the Secretary General. Other members include Mr. Yusuf John (1st Vice Chairman), Mr. Tola Odusanya (2nd Vice Chairman), Mr. Mukaila Olaoye, who doubles as Chief Coach and Technical Director, and Niyi Alebiosu (Media Officer), among others. In his inaugural address, Eke promised run an open administration where every member will have the right to contribute to the development of deaf table tennis in the country. “I pledge to provide a life line to the young ones who are physically challenged in order to bring out the best in them,” the chairman said. “I will help them to show that there is great ability in disability, especially as their kind put smiles on the faces of Nigerians at the London 2012 Paralympic Games by winning gold medals whereas their able body counterparts fell like a pack of cards,” he added.

Onigbinde hails coaches’ boss main relevant in the coaches’ plan. “We are indeed happy to have Chief Onigbinde as he’s in the same class with Alabi Aissien, Godwin Etemike and Monday Sinclair and the rest older generation of Nigerian coaches whose advice would be valuable,” Ogbeide added. “Chief Onigbinde and the coaches in his class would be useful in formulating technical policies for

Wengers moans, AVB rejoices

rsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has admitted that the club is in danger of failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 16 years after the Gunners crashed to a 2-1 defeat Tottenham on Sunday. Wenger’s side is languishing seven points behind third placed Spurs and five adrift of fourth placed Chelsea as the Gunners paid the price for a mad two minutes at White Hart Lane. “It will be difficult to come in the top four now as we dropped points we couldn’t afford to drop,” Wenger said yesterday. “I said before the game we couldn’t drop these points and I stand by that. It’s a massive challenge but it’s still possible to finish fourth so we will


Arsene Wenger (l) and Andre Villas-Boas

the country and the new leadership of the NCA will rely on them to develop Nigerian coaches with their contacts in Africa and world football.” Ogbeide, who is head coach at Warri Wolves, disclosed that Onigbinde offered Bewarang useful advice on how to develop the coaches. “I can say confidently that Bewarang is so happy to have him as adviser,” Ogbeide stated.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

On the track with


Olukoya U-18 takes centre stage

Injury slows Agbaje at indoors


red Agbaje’s hopes of starting his indoor season on a high note suffered a setback at the weekend after the Dickinson State University athlete picked an injury during the final of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Indoor Championships. Over 1,000 athletes from 30 states competed in the event which was held in Geneva, Ohio from February 28 to March 2. Agbaje, who however qualified for the final of the 60m and 200m where he stood a good chance of winning the title, picked up a hamstring injury in the 60m and was unable to subsequently run the 200m. Speaking with National Mirror from his base, the sprinter said he has set his sights on winning the outdoor title to make up for the loss. “The NAIA indoors was a bittersweet experience because I made it to the finals of the 60 and 200m but strained my hamstring in the 60m,” the Nigerian lamented. “It is all part of the game and since it is not a major one, I will be back and running soonest. I still have the outdoor championships in May, the All Nigeria National Championships and the World Championships to prepare for.” It was a different stroke for Noah Akwu of the Middle Tennessee State University who won the individual 200m title in the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships last week. Akwu ran a conference best time of 20.91 earlier this season, defeating his runner-up by .11 seconds with a time of 21.40 while he also took third in the men’s 55 meter dash with a time of 6.4, .06 seconds behind winner Justin Whitfield of Arkansas State.


he 3rd annual Pastor D.K. Olukoya National U-18 Athletics Championships will commence on Thursday at the Sports Complex of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. According to the organisers, the two-day competition will end on March 8 at the same venue. The competition which is the first for the year on the domestic scene was rescheduled from the initial three-day affair to allow the athletes ample time to participate in the African Youth Athletics Championships in Warri, scheduled for March 27 to 31. The past two editions of the competition were in the U-20 category but the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) scaled down the age-limit as the forthcoming AYC would be open to only Under-17 athletes. AFV Technical Director, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, told National Mirror yesterday that the Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) would also be used for the first time to measure distances for the jumps, stressing that the organisers would also ensure that the athletes fall within the age limit for the competition. “We will strictly enforce the accreditation and athletes must be 16 and must not exceed 17 years by December this year,”

Bukola Abogunloko

Nesiama said. “They must have their last term school result, international passport or birth certificate and must come with a guarantor if age declaration is being used,” he added. Some athletes discovered from previous editions of the competition include Bukola Abogunloko and Omolara Omotosho who represented Nigeria at the last Olympic Games. The championship will be used as trials for the first edition of the AYC after which the selected athletes would be called to camp. “We are setting up a youth camp in Akure, Ondo State and we are asking the state government to help us look for schools so that they will train and school but outside where they reside because they will train from March to July,” AFN President, Solomon Ogba, explained last week. “We are also trying to set up holiday camps in the south south/south east, the south west and the north and we intend picking youths and juniors from the competitions so that we would have a pool of national youths who will report to these camps depending on what part of the country they reside in,” Ogba further said.

Shakes-Drayton leads gold rush


reat Britain scooped both 4x400-metre titles at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg over the weekend as the team signed off a successful three days of competition in dramatic fashion. A golden double secured by Perri Shakes-Drayton brought the curtain down on an exhilarating final day of action as she stormed to success in the individual 400m in the morning session only to return in the afternoon stanza and anchor her country to women’s 4x400m gold. The 24-year-old, who specialises as a 400m hurdler outdoors, began her busy final day of competition by claiming a commanding victory in the women’s 400m final after

dominating from the outset and taking a decisive lead at the bell before kicking further ahead over the second half of the final to win in a world-leading time of 50.85. Shakes-Drayton’s team-mate Eilidh Child also set a lifetime best of 51.45 for silver with Sweden’s European outdoor 400m champion Moa Hjelmer taking the bronze in a national record 52.04. A little over seven hours later, Shakes-Drayton anchored the GB quartet to their first ever women’s 4x400m gold medal at a European Indoor Championships in a worldleading, national record and championship record time of 3:27.56. It also lifted Great Britain to fifth on the world indoor all-time list. The men’s team crossed the line

first, only to be disqualified and then reinstated. Michael Bingham, Richard Buck, Nigel Levine, who ran a sensational 45.8sec third leg, and Richard Strachan were halfway round their lap of honour when officials ruled Buck had committed an infringement at the start of his leg. Britain’s relay double took their tally to eight medals, four of them gold, and to second in the medals table behind Russia. “It was great; we said we were going to do better and we did. We won one more gold medal than last time (in Paris in 2011) and we have more to come”, said UK Athletics head coach Peter Eriksson after his first championship since taking L-R: Eilidh Child, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Christine Ohuruogu and Shana Cox Inset L-R: Richard Buck, Michael Bingham, Richard Stracham and Nigel over from Charles van Commenee. Levine

National Mirror

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Real Estate & Environment


Lagos targets 1008 low-income families for Ijora housing scheme DAYO AYEYEMI


f reasons put forward by the Lagos State Government for the ongoing clearance at Ijora-Badia and IganmuAlawo in the metropolis is anything to go by, more than 1008 low-income families will soon emerge as new landlords in the enclave. How? The state government has mapped out strategies as part of its urban renewal programmes to construct 1008 housing units, targeted at low-income group in Ijora area of the state. Ijora Badia is one of the slum communities in the state. To make the plan a reality, the officials of government, armed with mobile police, had last week besieged the community and demolished all structures, majorly shanties where people lived in the area. Showing the seriousness of government about the project, Governor Babatunde Fashola, during the celebration of his 2100 days in office, said his government had been given approval last year for preliminary work to start the 1008 housing units in Badia in Ijora, and 540 units in Ajara, Badagry, adding that the work would start this year. He explained that the ijora housing scheme, is meant to upgrade the quality of life in the neighbourhood, assuring that the present occupiers will be accommodated in the new units when completed. The governor stated, “Let me say for the Ijora Scheme that our intervention is a strategic one, to upgrade the quality of life there. It is about a kilometre to the Orile and Costain train stations and we intend to accommodate the present occupiers in the new units in addition to other people who will desire to live there. “Remarkable progress is being made at our housing construction sites in Agbowa, Igbogbo, Sangotedo, Mushin, Ilupeju, Ogba, Surulere, Magodo and Igando.” However, the demolition of structures in Ijora Badia has rendered more than

Rubbles of demolished buidings at Ijora, Lagos.

20,000 residents homeless, while some of them have remained in the open since they did not have a clear cut of where to relocate since the exercise started. Shedding more light on the proposed development in the Iganmu Alawo community, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Mr. Olusoga Odunlami, said the land belonged originally to the Ojora Family and was released to the Federal Government to construct the railway. The permanent secretary added that the remainder of the land that was not used by the railways was what was latched on by the people who chose to settle on the land which has reverted to the family after it was not made use of by the Federal Government. He said the land would be used to construct a Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme that would be available for low income earners and also provide opportunity for mortgage for the allottees.

When National Mirror visited the scene of the demolition at Ijora Alawo, many of the residents were calling the state government to provide alternative accommodation for them. They condemned the manner in which the government carried out the demolition, saying it was done without enough notice to quit. However, investigation by National Mirror showed that, that was not the first time government would be demolishing structures in the community. Some demolition took place during the defunct Western region, military era, and Tinubu administration. In a Notice to Quit, signed by Permanent Secretary of the defunct Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Lands Division, Mr. O.A Dosunmu, in 1973 for example, people in the community were asked to remove their building, claiming that the land belonged to government. It reads: “Further to notice No.

How architects helped our urban renewal efforts – Ondo govt


ndo State Government said it deliberately engaged professional architects in its efforts to beautify the state capital because of their eyes for aesthetics and in order to help correct the disorderliness that once characterised the metropolis. Speaking during the Nigerian Institute of Architects’ quarterly dinner and investiture at the Government House Ground, Akure,at the weekend, Governor Olusegun Mimiko, said the urban renewal strategy of his administration was based on his experience while working with renowned architects at the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development when he was the minister. He said, “Architects are wonderful and special people. They are the best visionaries, while other professionals just actualise their vision. Architects conceptualise something, which is hitherto not in existence, and create it in physical form that will be admired by all. “They are not only scientists, but also artists, whose contributions have made

very significant contributions to the modest achievements of our administration in the last four years.” Mimiko said his urban renewal programme centred on the mass majority of the people because they desired a cleaner environment to live and to do business in order to avoid any form of disease. For instance, he explained that street traders were removed and relocated to modern neighbourhood markets across the state, while other old traditional markets were re-designed into beautiful and neat edifices. He said, “We are determined to touch and add values to the lives of our people with our programmes and policies as we battle all kinds of generational poverty. “That is why we are making aesthetics of our major towns a priority in order to boost the economy of the people in both formal and informal sectors.” To further simplify access to land and building approval without stress, the governor said his administration had created

a bureau comprising professionals, who are major stakeholders in real estate development. The team, according to him, will carry out one-stop processing of all papers relating to approval for Certificate of Occupancy. The governor also said residents were pleased with his urban renewal programme even though some of their houses had to be demolished in the process. Mimiko explained that his administration made it a point to pay adequate compensation to owners and occupants of buildings marked for demolition whether they had approved plans or not, before rolling out the bulldozers. For instance, he said efforts by both civilian and military administrations in the past to expand the Arakale Road in Akure were vehemently resisted by residents, who feared that they might not be compensated if their houses were demolished. But the governor said occupants of houses marked for demolition were happy with the efforts of his government to create a du-

E43/35/T/19 of March 13, 1973 wherein you were requested to vacate this parcel of land on or before the 27th day of march 1973. You are hereby warned that unless you remove your fixtures from this land on or before the 23rd day of June 1973, the Federal Military Government shall effect their removal without any further notice to you and shall not be held responsible for any breakage, loss etc.” When interviewed, Baale of Iganmu Alawo, Chief Lucas Owoseni, confirmed that they were giving notice but that the period given to relocate was too short. He said the expectation of people in the community was that government would give them enough time to look for another accommodation, but was shocked to see their houses demolished four days after. One of the residents, John Eze, said houses in the community could not be referred to as shanties as they had landlords who used to collect rents from them yearly. al-carriage way within Akure town aimed at decongesting Oba Adesida and Oyemekun roads. He said, “This was so because owners of the affected buildings were carried along in the entire project from conception, and they were adequately compensated, while their tenants and shop owners were also paid to relocate. “One day, as my convoy was passing through Arakale Road, I saw bulldozers pulling down houses but the residents, on sighting us, started hailing me by shouting ‘Iroko! Iroko!!” He said the completion of the project had improved the aesthetics of Akure metropolis and increased the values of buildings in the area. The governor also said the Dome project, which will be the biggest in-door capacity hall in Nigeria, would be completed by his administration before the end of the year. Earlier, the National President, NIA, Mr. Ibrahim Haruna, said that the urban renewal efforts of Mimiko had turned Akure to wonderful scenery that was romantically beautiful and constantly eliciting smiles from happy residents.


Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Comforting and functional teen bedrooms


Teens still need a safe space for self-expression, relaxation and productive work. According to Jane Schmidte at eHow Contributor, a well-planned bedroom can help a teen succeed in the demanding world of modern adolescence






een bedrooms have to serve as both comforting private spaces and functional work environments. Teens need bedrooms where they cannot only focus on their studies, but also relax and dream. A spacious desk gives a teen room to spread out school books and worksheets so he can study away from the distractions of a family room or kitchen. However, teen bedrooms shouldn’t be so functional that a young person never wants to leave. For example, before allowing

your teen to have a TV in his bedroom, consider recent studies that have shown that this is associated with unhealthy lifestyle factors such as poor diet and decreased reading. Organisation: Good organisation in a bedroom has advantages both for teens and parents. A well-organised room is relatively easy to keep clean because a teen will have a specific place for all of her belongings. Important items such as homework and clothes will be less likely to go missing, making mornings a little less

Culled from:

ARTWORK hectic. Shelves, closet organisers and plenty of drawers help teens stay organised. Teens can make the organising process more interesting by choosing storage bins, baskets and desk organisers that suit their personal style Self-expression: Above all other considerations, teens need space for self-expression, both literally and figuratively. For example, creative teens may want to use their

National Mirror

bedrooms to create and display artwork or to practice musical instruments. When decorating, a teen may be interested in choosing paint colors, furnishings and decorations that express his values and tastes; this should be encouraged whenever budget constraints allow it. Since adolescence is such an important time in social development, teens should also be permitted to furnish and arrange bedrooms in a way that will facilitate visits with friends. Planning: Teens who are given the responsibility of designing and creating their own bedrooms learn valuable life skills about budgeting and follow-through. Parents should work with teens to help keep their bedroom plans practical and costeffective, but they should give them as much autonomy as possible in the planning process. Help teens keep the big picture in focus as they work out all of the details that keep them excited about the project. This will only help them as they navigate the world of independent decision making

National Mirror

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


BCPG goes practical, appoints coordinators for 57 Lagos LCDA for monitoring DAYO ADEYEMI


xperts under the umbrella body Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) , at the weekend, took a pragmatic step to work the talk of various solutions that have been suggested to stop the menace of building collapse in Lagos. This time around, the guild has allocated coordinators who are built environment professionals to the 57 Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State for the purposes of physical development monitoring to nib incident of collapse of building in the bud. BCPG members comprise professionals in the built environment which include surveyors, architects, engineers, builders, quantity surveyors, town planners estate surveyors. By the exercise , their responsibility will be to monitor physical development in their area from the foundations and to check is building owners or contractors are using right construction method, materials, designs and professionals. Speaking during the exercise, Chairman of BCPG, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, many professionals had talked about solution to collapse of building which looked like an academic work but now “we are putting our talk to practice.” According to him, instead of professionals working at cross purposes, they would be working together by dividing Lagos into 57 Local Council Development

Odofin of Ijora land, Chief Fatai Sulaimon , Ojora of Ijora, Oba Fatai Oyeyinka Ojora ; and Odofin of Ijora land, Chief Fatai Sulaimon; during a press briefing to announce the transfer of parcel of land in Ijora-Badia for the building of 1008 housing units under the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme in Lagos last week

Areas with coordinators appointed. He said, “All professionals will work together and mobilise other for monitoring.” He assured that the supervision is going to be rampant since the exercise is going to be carried out in connection with the government officials to easily alert if there is a problem on any construction site. Justifying the need for the exercise, he stated, “Before now, there has been laxity about monitoring of physical development; government lacks capacity to

monitor because of huge population that is involved. We will liaise with community development associations for cooperation to get the job done. We have coordinated the artisans in the state that they should alert BCPG if there is a problem in any site they find themselves. “The onus is on us to ensure shoddy job is eradicated because we see construction as a team work.” Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Mr. Sola Fatoki, urged his colleagues that as coordinators and members of BCPG, they must

agreed to carry a good cross towards preventing building collapse, adding that they are now expected to be good ambassadors of the group whenever they serve. He said, “Let us work as a team and do not see ourselves as different from others. It is our responsibility to monitor and report buildings under construction found to be in conformity with the building code. “Also, if we notice an existing building cracking, sinking or giving signs that may lead to collapse, let us report to relevant authorities and agency.”

‘Climate change causes wild weather’ Ogun opens community roads AGENCY NEWS


he cause of much of the recent extreme weather across the world is climate change triggered by human activities, scientists say. The earth has experienced a range of severe regional weather extremes in recent years, including the heat waves of 2011 in the US and 2010 in Russia, a year that also brought the unprecedented Pakistan floods. Behind these distinct events, though, there is a common physical cause, according to a team at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany. Their paper, which helps to explain the mechanism that is causing an increasing number of weather extremes, has the less than catchy title of Quasiresonant amplification of planetary waves and recent Northern Hemisphere weather extremes, and will be published this week in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (link provided on publication). The paper suggests that man-made climate change is repeatedly disturbing the patterns of airflow around the northern hemisphere, bringing extreme conditions. This airflow has always travelled in waves round the planet, the wave move-

ments caused by the difference in temperature between the oceans and land surfaces. These in turn cause changes in the high altitude air currents, particularly the jet stream. Lead author Vladimir Petoukhov explains, “An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth normally takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating between the tropical and the Arctic regions. “So when they swing up, these waves suck warm air from the tropics to Europe, Russia, or the US, and when they swing down, they do the same thing with cold air from the Arctic. “What we found is that during several recent extreme weather events, these waves almost freeze in their tracks for weeks. So instead of bringing in cool air after having brought warm air in, the heat just stays. In fact we observe a strong amplification of the usually weak, slow-moving component of these waves.” Time is critical here: two or three days of 30˚C are no problem, but 20 days or more lead to extreme heat stress, the authors say. Since many ecosystems and cities are not adapted to temperatures this high, prolonged hot periods can cause many deaths, as well as forest fires and serious crop losses.


part from over the 12 standard road projects which the Ogun State Government had contracted out for construction, the government has also taken step to open-up community roads across the 20 Local Government Areas of the state. The step being taken in this regard is the setting up of four different gangs comprising at least five engineers of the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to handle community roads in the Egba, Yewa, Ijebu and Remo divisions of the state. Commissioner for work in Ogun, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed that the gangs were expected to open up, grade and construct culverts where necessary. Adegbite explained that the state government decided to open up and grade the community roads to ensure access to all nooks and crannies of the State to aid smooth movement of human and goods, particularly agricultural products from the rural and remote areas to the cities and towns in the State. “Government is trying to provide basic good roads for the people, roads to ensure easy movement of people and goods from a place to another. This, I believe will go a long way in realizing the urban renewal and rural development compo-

nent of the five point agenda of the state government” he noted. He said each gang is expected to spend two weeks in a Local Government Area, promising that the ministry would do its best to attend to all requests received from the State House of Assembly and Local Government councils. The commissioner therefore appealed to members of benefitting communities to offer assistance and cooperate with the gang of engineers as they move to open the roads.



Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

EFO to partner UNIDO to strengthen operations

National Mirror

Number of US home owners with negative equity falls


Unit of duplex at Cornerstone’s Oregun housing scheme



he Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund, Mr. Goni M. Sheikh has expressed readiness to enter into technical cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), in order to strengthen the institutional capacity of the office. Sheikh made this known in Abuja at the weekend during the end of a powerpoint presentation by a six-man technical team from UNIDO on working visit to his office to discuss areas where the international organisation can partner with the EFO to enhance effective service delivery. The Permanent Secretary also said the development of GIS database, capacity building and enhanced monitoring

and evaluation capacity as areas where the EFO would like to co-operate with UNIDO. He, however, used the opportunity of the visit by the technical team to reiterate the commitment of the EFO in addressing the myriads of ecological problems facing the country. He assured the public that “the office is prepared to adopt best practices to improve its project implementation strategy and ensure that ecological projects are not only carried out to specification but completed on time so as to give value for money. At the end of the meeting, a six-man technical committee of equal representation from EFO and UNIDO was constituted to prepare a working document on the proposed partnership. The committee is also expected to

state the cost implications to both sides, highlight the roles and responsibility of each party as well as draw up a workable timeline for effective implementation of the technical cooperation. Earlier on, the leader of the team and Regional Director of UNIDO (Nigeria), Dr Partrick Kormawa, had listed development of industrial capacity, environmental sustainability, promotion of trade and commerce with emphasis on poverty reduction, employment generation and wealth creation, as well as human capital development as areas where UNIDO’s technical competence would be of immense benefit to the EFO. According to him, the newly introduced Resource Clean Programme is aimed at addressing emerging environmental issues relevant to the mandate of the office.

Buy four housing units, get one free, Cornerstone woos home seekers ...Offers N12.5m Easter promo price reduction DAYO AYEYEMI


ornerstone Real Estate Limited is wooing would-be home owners by offering a mouth-watering price reduction on its Oregun Housing Scheme in Ikeja, Lagos. The firm said it is slashing N12.5million for the first five patrons of their houses in the Phase II of the Oregun-Ikeja housing project. Besides, an individual allottee or corporate body that buys four units at the advertised price would get the fifth unit free if they pay 30 per cent deposit and balance within 180 days. The move, according to the company’s Chairman, Mr. Lanre Okupe, was part of efforts to contribute to the growth and

development of families and corporate bodies during the Easter period to own a home. Tagged, Easter Promotional Sales, Okupe who is a doyen of real estate in Nigeria affirmed that the firm would slash N12.5million for the first five patrons of their houses in the Phase II of the Oregun-Ikeja housing project. According to him, an allottee that makes outright payment on any of the units would enjoy the discount while an allottee who pays 30 per cent deposit and the balance within 180 days will qualify for N10 million savings. ‘’All these offer last between March 4, 2013 and April 4, 2013. It is important to mention that this offer is on a first come first served basis’’, the chairman added. He said he had completed the Phase

1 of the estate sitting on 5 acres of land in Oregun which comprised 26 units’ duplexes, terraces and detached houses for outright sale for residential purposes. “The Phase II of the construction project at the Oregun site in which the promotional offer encompasses has commenced’’, Okupe noted. According to him, two units of duplexes are still available for either sale or reallocation in the Phase 1 at N85 million each. He said, “The duplexes sit on an approximate land area of 350m2 by 400m2 each with four bedrooms, all en-suite while the ground floor space area includes the entrance lobby, foyer, main living room, dinning, kitchen, visitors’ toilet, guest room en-suite.’’ The first floor space area, the chairman explained, included the family lounge with balcony, two bedrooms and

he number of home owners in negative equity in the United States has continued to fall in the fourth quarter of 2012, dropping to 27.5 per cent of all those with a mortgage, compared with 31.1 per cent a year ago. It means that almost two million home owners were freed from negative equity last year, according to Zillow Negative Equity report. Overall approximately 13.8 million home owners with a mortgage were in negative equity, or underwater at the end of the fourth quarter, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. That was down from 15.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. American home owners with a mortgage were collectively underwater by more than $1 trillion at the end of 2012. In 2012, national home values rose 5.9 per cent year on year, according to the Zillow Home Value Index, to a median value of $157,400. This jump in home values, coupled with sustained high foreclosure rates, were the main drivers for receding negative equity, the data and analytics firm said. Among the nation’s 30 largest metro areas, those with the highest number of home owners freed from negative equity last year were Phoenix with 135,099 home owners freed in 2012; Los Angeles with 72,936 home owners freed in 2012; Miami-Fort Lauderdale with 70,484 home owners freed in 2012; Dallas-Fort Worth with 59,461 home owners freed in 2012; and Riverside, California with 58,417 home owners freed in 2012. The Zillow Negative Equity Forecast predicts the negative equity rate among all home owners with a mortgage will fall to at least 25.5 per cent by the fourth quarter of 2013, freeing more than 999,000 additional home owners nationwide. Of the 30 largest metro areas, the majority of these newly freed home owners are anticipated to come from Los Angeles with an estimated 72,696 home owners to be freed in 2013; Riverside with an estimate of 62,407; Phoenix with an estimate of 43,044; Sacramento with an estimate of 33,356; and Dallas-Fort Worth with an estimate of 31,434.

the master’s bedroom, all en-suite, spacious living and dining areas with exquisite wood work, well-finished wardrobes and kitchen cabinet, P.O.P ceiling and stainless steel aluminum railings among others. He added, ‘’The on-going Phase II comprises 14-unit houses; two 3 bedroom detached houses with one room boys’ quarters at N90 million each; six 4 bedroom semi-detached houses with one room boys’ quarters at N85 million each, six 3 bedroom terrace house at N75 million. Each, Okupe said has infrastructural facilities like road, drainage, perimeter fence, borehole water, PHCN 500KVA transformer including internal reticulation. The firm’s proprietors have been delivering successfully, houses to Nigerians for over 25 years with over 10 housing estates and other major projects to their credit.

National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Last week’s visit to the maintenance hangar facilities of British Airways in London and Cardiff, Wales revealed ways that investors and airline operators can improve their revenue profile in the sector. British Airways has 15 types of aircraft simulators in its hangar, which has since been commercialised by the airline. OLUSEGUN KOIKI was there.


Aircraft simulation equipment: Another way of boosting revenue


he importance of training has been realised since the inception of manned flight. From the early days of gliding, it was usual for pilots to sit in the glider, which was exposed to a strong facing wind and “feel” the controls by keeping the wings in a horizontal position. The fliers of the first powered aeroplanes learnt by proceeding through a graded sequence of exercises on real aircraft. After passenger flights, a student would perform taxiing, where a low powered machine is driven along the ground enabling rudder control to be practised. He would then graduate to a higher powered machine and would first make short hops using elevator control. After longer hops he would eventually achieve flight. Other early devices attempted to achieve the same effect, especially for the testing of new aircraft prototypes, by using aircraft moving at speed supported by balloons, overhead gantries or railway bogies. Related to these ideas were the first proposals for truly ground-based trainers, which were, in effect, aircraft tethered to the ground, but capable of responding to aerodynamic forces. But as technology advances, rather than use aircraft for training, aircraft manufacturers devised another means of conducting recurrent training for pilots and other cabin crew members by manufacturing aircraft simulator of different brands of aircraft in which pilots are type-rated on. Advances in computer technology enable flight simulation to provide very effective flight crew training. Synthetic training is highly effective in other sectors of aviation, particularly in maintenance engineering training and cabin crew training. Flight simulation reduces significantly the cost of flight crew training. Training in a flight simulator can be more effective than airborne training while also playing a fundamental role in research, development and evaluation of aircraft and aerospace systems. In a bid to reduce cost of conducting training in ‘real’ aircraft for pilots, major airline operators around the world acquire aircraft simulator for recurrent training, but the reverse is the case in Nigeria. Although, airlines like Arik and Aero are currently dominating the commercial airline sub-sector in the country, but despite their dominance, none of them can boast of aircraft simulator for their cockpit crew. Aero Airlines has one helicopter simulator for its helicopter pilots in Port Harcourt while Arik has none. Also, the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria has two Generic Simulator aircraft for light jet engines, which were procured by the immediate


One of the aircraft simulators of BA




ACHIEVED WITH LOW FIDELITY SYNTHETIC DEVICES past Rector of the college, Capt. Adebayo Araba. The college uses the simulators for training of its students. Apart from this, nowhere in the country has any aviation investor invested in aircraft simulation as we have abroad, but in a recent visit to the maintenance hangar facilities of British Airways, near Heathrow, National Mirror observed that the airline has at least 15 types of aircraft simulators in its hangar for the members of the public apart from its cockpit crew. Aircraft type like Boeing 737-400, Boeing 757-200, Boeing 767-300, Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 777-200 are regularly used for training in the hangar by the airline. Speaking on the importance of aircraft simulator for the Nigerian aviation industry, the Country Manager, British Airways and Iberia, Mr. Kolawole Olayinka, described simulator training as a way of making money in the sector by either airline operators or investors in the industry. Olayinka said rather than most of the businessmen in the sector focus on going into airline business, some can diversify into simulation training for pilots and crew members, adding that with this, airlines in the country can send their staff to the company for simulation training. He decried that Nigeria loses millions of dollars to foreign countries annually as a result of absence of this equipment, stressing that with its presence in the country, airline operators would spend less in sending crews abroad for recurrent

training. He said, “This is another way of making money in the industry, but unfortunately, most of our investors are not looking in that direction. Every aviation investors should not think of owing airline business because there are several businesses one can go into in the sector. “With simulation equipment, airlines can send their crews to the company for the six months recurrent training, rather than sending them abroad for the same purpose. We have people who can do this in the country, but everybody is looking at starting an airline.” He emphasised that apart from revenue generation to the companies, it would also create employment opportunities for pilots, engineers and other employable personnel in the country. He called on investors to divert attention into that aspect of aviation industry and assured that such funds invested would be recouped overtime. Besides, the Flight Training Manager, British Airways, Mr. Andy Clubb said that BA has comemrcialised its simulation training department. He said it cost a trainee about £500 per hour to be trained on any of the airline’s simulation equipment, which he said has been another way of revenue generation to the airline over the years. Clubb explained that at present, the airline has 15 simulation aircraft of different types, adding that plans are underway to

increase the equipment to 17 in the coming months. According to him, it cost the airline about £10 million to acquire each simulation equipment, noting that before could renew his license, such would go through 10 simulation sessions, examinations and a land check on such pilot. He said, “Much of the training previously undertaken in aircraft is now conducted in flight simulators. Flight simulation is critical to the operation of civil and military aircraft organisations. International standards for flight simulation training devices have been established to ensure consistency for operators, regulators and manufacturers. “Compared with airborne training, flight simulation reduces markedly the impact on the environment. A wide range of synthetic training devices has been developed for specific flight training tasks. For certain training tasks, effective training can be achieved with low fidelity synthetic devices. “The UK plays a major role in developing flight simulation technology. The UK flight simulation industry makes a significant contribution to revenue generation and employment in the UK economy. The flight simulation industry exploits advances in commercial offthe-shelf technologies to increase capability and reduce development cost.” Besides, Clubb emphasised that concerns that flight simulators were unrealistic and that aircraft provide better training in some quarters have been dispelled by professionals in the sector, stressing that training in a flight simulator could be more effective than training in an aircraft. He insisted that high level of training could be achieved with low-fidelity devices and maintained for some simulators, all flight-crew trainings could be conducted in the simulator. “Flight simulation has made a major contribution to improved aviation safety. It also offers considerable financial saving to airlines and reduces the environmental impact of civil aviation,” he said.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Absence of MRO, bane of Nigerian airlines –Ore STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI


he former Director of Operations of the defunct Nigeria Airways, Capt. Dele Ore has described the absence of good Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), facilities in Nigeria for the country’s airlines as the bane of airlines survival in the country. Ore in an interview with National Mirror, said the absence of MRO in the country also makes profitability impossible for the airlines apart from the prohibitive cost of aviation fuel. He decried that as at today, Nigeria lacks the capacity to carry out certain categories of aircraft maintenance, especially on the brand of aircraft used for commercial purposes, such as Boeing 737, the Embraer, the Fokker and ATR among other series, stressing that the all-important (C) Checks and above are still being carried out in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, Europe and United States. In order to reduce capital flight as a result of checks outside the country and to make the airlines profitable, Ore urged the government establish a national maintenance centre in the country to help the indigenous airlines to


remain in business. He said, “Of course, this costs a lot of money as the airlines involved have to pay in hard currency. The government has to muster the political and financial muscle to establish a national maintenance centre to help our airlines to keep afloat and save them from extinction. This issue has become the tale of woes of so many grounded domestic airlines from Gas Air, the first domestic commer-

cial airline in the 1980’s to others such as Harco, Harka, Freedom, Trans-Sahara Okada space World, AI-bakar, Savannah, Fresh, Dasab and EAS/Nicon Airlines. “Today, four airlines namely; Arik, Med-View, Aero and IRS are the only surviving airlines, any of which can become distressed due to lack of adequate MROs.” He recalled that the Federal Government once said it would partner with Akwa-Ibom State Government to develop MRO facilities for Nigeria, but wondered why the government was still dilly-dallying on the process. In order to save the airlines, he urged the Presidency to set up an implementation committee of professionals in various areas to fast-track the realisation of the objective of the MRO at Akwa Ibom. He suggested that the members of the panel should include engineers, pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, financial experts, representatives of the Ministry of Aviation and Presidency, as well as Akwa Ibom State Government, adding that the MRO should enjoy a tax exemption for seven years for profitability.

Overland Airways resumes flights to Akure


verland Airways last week announced the recommencement of scheduled domestic flight services from Akure Airport to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, thereby covering the whole South-West with its operations. The Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Capt. Edward Boyo, in a statement said the resumption of flight services on the Akure – Abuja route was part of the airline’s management plans of improving interconnectivity and facilitating social and economic ties across Nigeria. Boyo said that with the recommencement of the route, the airline has now covered the whole of the South-west zone with its operations. He stated that the flight to Akure would depart Abuja at 0945 in the morning and arrive Akure Airport at 1045 while the return flight from Akure would be at 1100 and arrive Abuja at noon during the week while its Sunday operations would depart Abuja at noon and arrive Akure at 1300. The return flight from

Akure to Abuja on Sundays he said would depart Akure at 1330 and arrive Abuja at 1430. The statement reads in part, “Overland Airways will operate on this route all the days of the week except on Saturdays with its fleet of modern ATR-42/72 aircraft. Passengers can also book and pay for their tickets on this service online at www.overland. aero. “Akure is an important city in the South-west zone of Nigeria and by linking it with the nation’s capital city, Overland Airways will bring succour to the people of Ondo State and the neighouring states of Ekiti and Edo. Overland’s resumption of service to Akure will support the development drives of these states and other private initiatives geared at improving the socio-economic lives of their peoples. Boyo commended the governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko for his support for the recommencement of operations into the airport and assured air travellers in the state of exceptional flight experience once they are onboard.


National Mirror

Airside 08186007273

FAAN, please do something about these old conveyor belts


lthough, the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, has improved from what it used to be in the past few years with the uplifting of the terminal and installation of some equipment by the Ministry of Aviation in the last few months. But despite the investment in equipment by the government, one of the critical aspects of creating a comfortable environment for passengers at the airport is either deliberately or subconsciously abandoned by the ministry. The conveyor belts are at their sorry states with snail speed performance. Although, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has consistently struggled in the past few months to convince airport users that better and faster conveyor belts are being installed, but sadly, those in-

stalled at the E-wing extension have not fared better. Airside returned from a foreign trip last week and felt sorry at the speed in which one of the conveyor belts at the arrival wing struggled to roll out checked-in luggage of passengers. In fact, snails run faster than the installed 1979 equipment. Apart from the fact that arriving passengers sweat profusely, no thanks to the consistent collapse of the installed air conditioners, the speed of the conveyor belt added salt to their injuries. Airside and other passengers spent at least an hour at the baggage reclaim area before the luggage were released by the ineffective conveyor belt. Ironically, most of the leaders in the sector travel abroad almost every week and see the speed at which they collect their checked-in luggage at other airports.

FAAN car park and exploitation of motorists


t is becoming a crime to drive to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos car park to either drop or pick a relation at the airport. Apart from the fact that the facilities look unkempt and rumpled, the abusive commercial department staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, including the management have formed the habit of exploiting users of the car park. Airside observed that users of the repulsive facilities are now compelled to pay N200 as access fee to the car park. Airside is not against increment of fee by FAAN,

but is worried about the deplorable situation of the terminal. In other airports around the world, before a penny is added to charges, the airport landlords put such plans in the public domain and sensitise the public, but the reverse is the case here, as users just wake up to discovered that the fee has increased by 100 per cent overnight. Also, if FAAN had wanted to increase the charges, the facilities at the park ought to have been improved upon, security surveillance beefed-up while the environment is kept tidy for the benefit of the users.

Etihad Airways in partnership with Kenya Airways


he national airline of United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways is set to expand its reach across Africa with the signing of a strategic commercial partnership agreement with one of the leading airlines in the continent, Kenya Airways. The airline said that with the agreement, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on Kenya Airways flights from Nairobi to 27 destinations across Kenya Airways’ network in Africa. The statement signed by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that as part of the

reciprocal code-share agreement, Kenya Airways will place its KQ code on Etihad Airways’ daily service from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi and, subject to government approval, onwards to up to 32 key destinations across Etihad’s global network, adding that Kenya Airways will also launch a new three times a week service between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi from mid-summer 2013, which it said will give passengers improved connections and greater choice. The statement stated that the agreement paves the way

for greater collaboration between the airlines on the joint procurement of services for ground handling, line and heavy maintenance, training and cargo operations. The new code-share with Kenya Airways will complement Etihad’s existing scheduled service between Nairobi to Abu Dhabi, which provides passengers with sub-four hour connections over its hub in the UAE to destinations across North Asia, South East Asia, the Indian Sub continent and Australia.

National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

MDAs owe insurance companies over N24bn premium MESHACK IDEHEN AND TOBORE OVUORIE


ederal ministries, departments and agencies owe insurance firms operating in the country about N24billion as at January 2012. This unpaid premium by government agencies is inspite of the yearly budgetary provision for payment of premiums and other insurance related business to the agencies by the Federal Government. This disclosure was made by the Ministry of Finance through the Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Lawan Ngama, even as insurance operators insists the amount being mentioned is beside the fact that some of the unpaid premium debts have piled up between January 2011 and December 2012. According to some of the operators, what this means is that unpaid insurance premium by ministries and agencies of government could be nearing N30billion, or more. However, the minister of state for finance while warning the affected MDAs and agencies stated that the Federal Government would no longer tolerate default in premium payments to insurance companies, while also warning MDAs and other relevant agencies about the dangers of withholding premium that has been approved for their agencies to insurance companies. In the circular by the minis-









GUIDELINES ter of state entitled “Guidelines on Insurance Premium Collection and Remittances - Compliance with Section 50(1) of the Insurance Act”, issued to MDAs and other stakeholders, the minister stated in the circular

that “any MDA or organisation found culpable of engaging in such act would be sanctioned accordingly. He said Section 50(1) provides that the receipt of an insurance premium shall be a condition

precedent to a valid contract of insurance, and that there shall be no cover in respect of an insurance risk, unless premium is paid in advance, adding the enforcement of this provision by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), began on January 1, 2013. According to the circular, “arising from the observed non-compliance by MDAs and other critical stakeholders in the insurance industry, the ability of insurance companies to meet their various claims obligations under contracts of insurance to eligible beneficiaries has been grossly undermined. “It is on record that the total premium debts owed the insurance companies by MDAs as at January, 2012 is N24 billion. This is in spite yearly budgetary provision for insurance. “To this end, all MDAs and stakeholders are enjoined to render their returns on premium collection and remittances to NAICOM as enshrined in the guidelines. “In addition, it is worthwhile to note that henceforth, any contract of insurance entered into without payment of full premium in advance, shall be legally unenforceable. “It is expected that the enforcement of this provision of the law, will strengthen insurance companies’ ability to meet claims obligations under contracts of insurance,” the circular added.

Royal Exchange re-strategises with new appointments TOBORE OVUORIE


oyal Exchange Plc, has announced three strategic appointments in the area of asset management, human resources and retail business. A statement made available to National Mirror by the company said the appointment of Mr. Donald Nosiri as the new Group Head, Human Resources; Abiola Sanni, Group Head, Asset Management and Mrs. Temitope Ige-Isang as the new Group Head, Retail Business are part of the strategy to reposition the firm. Confirming the new appointments, the Group Managing Director, Mr. Chike Mokwunye said the resolve of Royal Exchange Insurance is to build a marketoriented organisation that would

be responsive to the needs of the market and the ever-changing demands of customers, adding the new appointments are in line with the firm,s vision to be one of the dominant players in the insurance industry in the coming years. According to him, the new appointees bring to their current roles, several years of top-tier engagement in corporate finance and investment management. Sanni had been responsible for setting up Zenith Capital Asset Management, which he nurtured to a competitive market status initially in his capacity as portfolio manager and later as Chief Operating Officer. He was previously Assistant Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at First City Asset Management where he was responsible for technology, funds operations, funds roll-out and the

build-out of FCMB’s asset management business with a focus on retail distribution. Another of the new appointees, Nosiri, is an experienced human resources practitioner with over 21 years working experience in the banking sector and also in HR Consulting. While in the banking industry, Donald served in various capacities including being the Head of Human Capital Management of Diamond Bank Plc for about six years. He was also formerly Senior Consultant to Nosprom Consult. Ige-Isang, “is coming on board with over 22 years of sales experience spanning several industries. She joins from Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, where, as Head of Retail, she successfully established and managed a retail agency network of about 3,000 Mokwunye personnel.


Insurance companies are overcapitalised –NAICOM MESHACK IDEHEN


onsultant, National Insurance Commission, Mr. Yemi Soladoye, has said that inadequate capital is not a problem of insurance companies because the companies are already overcapitalised. According to him, a major set back of the firms is that they are actually under-trading with the capital they have in their custody. He said this while making a presentation on the performance of the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative in Lagos. “The insurance sector is overcapitalised at the moment but under-trading with their capital,” he said. According to Soladoye, there is no regulatory need for induced capital as insurance firms should see the need to continue to build up their capital base. Despite the fact that the industry had not yet achieved the set targets of the MDRI, he said the initiative had been 75 per cent successful so far. The insurance consultant said the N1tn target that was set to be achieved under MDRI in 2012 was not an over ambition when it was set. The MDRI, he observed, had helped the Nigerian insurance industry to have a united focus to quicken the development of the sector. Before the introduction of the MDRI, Soladoye said the insurance firms had been comfortable with just underwriting wholesale business and did not see the need to develop the retail market segment of the business. Retail market, he explained, was a specialised market, which required time and experts to develop. “When MDRI started, only 1,596 insurance agents were registered with NAICOM; but a year later, 3,400 names were forwarded to NAICOM, which was a good step to deepening insurance products in the society,” he added.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Recovery agents go after 8,584 defaulting firms MESHACK IDEHEN


he National Pension Commission (PenCom), said it has made good its threat of recovering workers pension deductions that was withheld by some employers, and that its recovery agents have been asked to collect all outstanding remittances from defaulting firms. According to PenCom, the exercise of recovering all outstanding remittances from defaulting firms has recorded progress, considering that recovery agents have visited 8,584 out of the 15,760 defaulting firms. Chairman of the Pension Operators of Nigeria (PenOp), Mr Dave Udeanu, told journalists that the recovery agents appointed by the National Pension Commission to go after companies, or organisations that failed to remit their employees’ contributions to Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), have made progress and recovered various amounts from some of them. He said as at the end of January, the liabilities from the firms visited stood at N2.5 billion, explaining demand notices have been sent to them; the accounts of the Pension Fund Custodians to remit the monies and how the remittances should be made have been forwarded to them. He said the Pension Reform



major effort towards enforcement of Motor Third Party Vehicle insurance and also check the activities of fake insurance certificates across the country have commenced with the formal presentation of mobile devices to the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) in Ogun Sate. The mobile device, a product of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID), will help for easy identification of genuine insurance documents by law enforcement agencies and relevant authorized persons. The NIID, an initiative of the Nigerian Insurers Association officially launched in June 2012, is an information technology-based system that will facilitate easy collation and dissemination of statistical and other information relating to insurance while help check activities of fake documents. This was disclosed recently by Mr. Sakiru Oyefeso, Council Member, NIA when he led a delegation of NIA to the office of the VIO in Ogun State.

L-R: Chief VIO, Ogun State, Mr. Bayo Otuyemi; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ogun State, Eng. Kayode Ademolake; Council Member, Nigerian Insurers’ Association, Mr. Sakiru Oyefeso, and Director-General Nigerian Insurers’ Association, Mr. Sunday Olorunda Thomas, during the official presentation of NIID Mobile Devices for Motor Insurance in Ogun State.

Act (PRA), 2004 made it compulsory for companies seeking government business to present certificates of compliance, which indicates that they are meeting the regulation on staff pension contributions. According to him, the PRA 2004 also mandates employers with minimum of five staff to subscribe to the new pension scheme, and that in order to ensure enforcement of the law, the

commission will make sure that employers who fail to remit their pension contributions would pay two per cent surcharge two weeks after deductions have been made by them. He said PenCom has in the past made it clear that employers are to remit employees contributions not later than seven working days from the day salary is paid, adding that if the default persists after three

months, one per cent of the outstanding would be paid to the commission. Udeanu also disclosed that as part of efforts aimed at deepening the sector, pension operators and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) are working out ways of integrating the over 40 million workers in the informal sector into the scheme. He noted that the framework to that effect will soon be finalised.

NIA presents mobile devices to track fake motor certificate Received by Mr. Kayode Ademolake, permanent secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and Mr. Bayo Otuyemi, the chief VIO, Oyefeso said the nation’s insurance industry is worried about the inability of Nigerians to enjoy the social and economic benefits of genuine insurance as a result of the activities of fake operators. According to him, “the situation is worrisome to the extent that in the event of accident or loss there is no compensation to victims or their dependants to enable them recuperate from their loss, having been given fake insurance certificate by people who do not have bearing with insurance. This to a very large extent has brought bad image to the insurance industry. “What we have done with this data base is to ensure that all genuine insurance covers are documented and verifiable at any given time, and this we have done with motor insurance. “A key aspect of the project

is the verification of genuine insurance policies via mobile handsets. A standard mobile device bundle with mobile app is available for law enforcement agents for on-theroad verification of genuine insurance documents. The application is available 24/7 and works with all networks in Nigeria. “It is the believe of the NIA that the VIO in Ogun State saddled with the responsibility of ensuring adequacy of vehicle particulars, will utilise the opportunity presented by this initiative and entrench genuine insurance culture in Ogun State Motor administration process for social and economic benefits of the state in particular and the country in general” Oyefeso stated. Ademolake, however, applauded the initiative of the NIA incoming up with a technology of this nature that would enhance services of its VIO officers to the public. The Perm Sec. said this will not only help the insurance

industry, it will help the Ogun State government keep track of the registered vehicles plying its roads, enhance data collection and most importantly revenue generation. He assured the support and cooperation of the state to make the initiative work.

Smart tips for insurance shoppers When buying a car, there’s more to consider than the make and model. Price, size, gas mileage—even the way it feels behind the wheel—affect your decision. You also should weigh your options when buying auto insurance. With many brands and features and price ranges out there, it pays to do your homework. Here are some common questions people ask when they shop for insurance. What type of auto insurance can I choose from? There are two types of auto insurance: Liability coverage pays for damage to other vehicles or injuries to other people that you cause. Physical Damage coverage pays for damage to your vehicle. These two coverages are the foundation of your policy. How much coverage should I buy? The amount of coverage you buy is up to you. You choose based on your comfort level, budget and lifestyle. Some people want as much coverage as possible for all of life’s “what ifs.” Others are satisfied with bare-minimum coverage. If you have a newer vehicle, you may want more coverage to protect your investment. If you can afford higher deductibles (the amount you’ll pay out of pocket in the event of an accident), you can raise them and pay less premium. How is my rate determined? Rates are based on a combination of pieces of information about you, your driving record and your car. It’s important for you to provide accurate information to your local agent or to the insurance company you’re buying from. It helps them determine the best options and rates for you. Can I get a lower rate? Many insurance companies offer discounts that can help lower your rate. For example, Progressive offers discounts for good student drivers, paying your premium electronically and having more than one policy. Source: (

Over 13,000 agents not registered, says NAICOM MESHACK IDEHEN


he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), said thousands of insurance agents operating in the country are yet to be registered by their insurance companies, and that figure may be up to 70 percent. Sources within NAICOM said about only 1,900 out of the over 15,000 agents working for insurance firms are registered, and that the agents are not registered because the insurance companies want to avert expenses charged by NAICOM on agents. A consultant with the National Insurance Commission, Yemi Soladoye, said only 30 per cent of insurance companies have

registered their sales agents, noting that the operators do so because they want their agents to perform before they can start paying huge fees on them. Urging insurers and brokers to train agents in order to deepen insurance penetration, the insurance expert explained that even the brokers need agents. He said agents are crucial link between the public and the insurer and that if they are well- trained, they could effectively play the role of an efficient intermediary between the insurers and insured in insurance transactions. He said unlike the insurance broker, who is the agent of the insured; the insurance agent is the agent of the insurer who appoints him.

National Mirror

Capital Market

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


NSE suspends trading on BAGCO’s shares as equities drop 0.7% JOHNSON OKANLAWON


he Nigerian Stock Exchange had suspended trading on the shares of Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc from today. A notice from Stanbic IBTC to the NSE yesterday, said the suspension is in line with the scheme of merger between Flourmills of Nigeria Plc and BAGCO Plc. According to the notice, the suspension is to determine scheme shareholders who have elected for cash consideration and consequently the number of scheme shares

to be listed. The notice added that Flour Mills and BAGCO Group have determined that the last trading day on the shares of latter would be March 4, 2013, hence, the request that the shares of the company be placed on full suspension on March 5, 2013 prior to its eventual delisting from the NSE’s Daily Official list. Meanwhile, trading in equities closed on bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more speculators sold off their holdings to take profit. The All Share Index lost 0.71 per cent to close at 32,947.13 points, as against

the increase of 0.33 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 33,183.20 points. Market capitalisation depreciated by N7bn to close at N10.5trn, in contrast to the rise of N4bn recorded on Friday to close at N10.6trn. All the sectorial indices closed negative, as the NSE 30-Index dropped by 0.65 per cent to close at 1,575.32 points, while the Consumer Goods Index depreciated by 0.24 per cent to close at 966.80 points. The Banking Index shed 0.71 per cent to close at 409.15 points, while the Insurance Index dipped by 0.65 per cent to close at 147.34 points. The Oil and Gas Index de-

clined by 0.72 per cent to close at 189.75 points, while the Lotus Islamic Index fell by 0.46 per cent to close at 2,135.44 points. Transcorp Plc led the gainers’ table with 14 kobo or 9.52 per cent to close at N1.61 per share, followed by Wema Bank Plc with 11 kobo or 9.32 per cent to close at N1.29 per share. On the flip side, Airservice Plc lost 46 kobo or 9.81 per cent to close at N4.23 per share, while PZ Cussons Plc dropped by N2.65 or 6.56 per cent to close at N37.75 per share. A total of 393.2 million shares valued at N4.29bn were exchanged in 5, 339 deals.

Nigerian companies are IFRS compliant -Obaze JOHNSON OKANLAWON


he Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria has said that most companies have complied with the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). Speaking during a one day IFRS training organised by Skye Bank for financial journalists in Lagos, the Chief Executive of FRC, Mr. Jim Obaze said 2012 financial reports would reflect the change. Obaze who was repre-

sented by Mr. Olumuyiwa Ajibade, a Senior Manager at the FRC, noted that preliminary tests conducted by the council showed that the level of compliance has been encouraging. Ajibade, however assured that shareholders should expect a more detailed and comprehensive financial report from affected corporate bodies such as public quoted and regulated companies. He noted that as against the average 75 to 80 page annual reports, shareholders should expect an

average of 250 to 300 page financials. Ajibade pointed out that this would reflect the essential disclosures required by the IFRS, as there is a huge possibility that more companies would present their financials in soft copy, that is in CD-ROMs. “It is more prudent if you have a huge number of shareholders, but then it would be a business decision”, he said. With this development, Nigeria would join the list of 123 countries that have

complied with the principles based accounting standard, towing the line after South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Togo and Niger. Following the submission of the report of the road map committee in January 2010, the Federal Government had taken the decision to adopt IFRS with effect from January 1, 2012. Hence, all public interest and regulated companies are expected to present IFRS compliant 2012 financial reports.

Kenya stocks, shilling rally on violence-free vote hopes


enya’s currency traded at its highest level in 10 weeks and stocks rallied, as investors bet the East African nation would avoid a repeat of the prolonged violence that followed 2007 elections in yesterday’s vote. The Nairobi All Share index has advanced 13 per cent this year, the third-best performance in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Ghana for dollar investors. The gauge trades at 11.9 times profit, compared with 11.7 times for the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, which is up seven per cent. The shilling appreciated 1.8 per cent against the dollar last week, its strongest week in more than 14 months and the best-performing African currency. Monday’s presidential election was the first since

more than 1,100 people were killed in clashes after the last ballot, which caused economic growth to slump by two-thirds in 2008, the shilling to fall 8.5 per cent and the benchmark stock index to drop 11 per cent. East Africa’s biggest economy may grow as much as six per cent this year from about five per cent in 2012, according to the International Monetary Fund. “People are pricing in a free and fair election,” Sven Richter, managing director of frontier markets at Renaissance Asset Management in Johannesburg, which has more than $150m in African funds, said. “We’re not concerned. If there are any issues of violence, they will probably be sporadic and short-lived.” The IMF growth forecast for Kenya outpaces the average estimate for emerg-

ing and developing markets at 5.5 percent and the 3.5 per cent expansion seen for the global economy. The All Share index advanced 38 per cent last year, the top performer in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria. Gains on the Kenyan bourse this year have been led by AccessKenya Limited, the country’s only publicly traded Internet company, which has surged 48 per cent. Other leading stocks include Kenya Electricity Generating Company, ARM Cement Limited, Kenya Commercial Bank Limited and Housing Finance Limited. Foreign investment represented 49 per cent of all trading in Kenyan equities in 2012, up from 10 per cent in 2007, according to data from the Nairobi Securities Exchange. “We’re always cautious

in an election year,” Joseph Rohm, a portfolio manager who helps manage more than $1.5bn for Investec Asset Management’s African funds, said. “There is always a degree of uncertainty so we wait and see.” Investec, which runs the largest African-focused funds excluding South Africa, will add to holdings of Kenyan equities should the elections be followed by violence and spur investors to dump the nation’s stocks. The money manager prefers companies that have regional operations across the East African Community, a $79.2bn economy whose members include Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. Some of the industries it is looking at include those exposed to consumers, cement and civil engineering and banks, Rohm said.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators Market indicators

All-Share Index 10,542,845,131 points All-Share Index 22,191.14 points Market capitalisation 32,947.13 trillion Market capitalisation 7,084 trillion














































































































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Capital Market

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at March 4, 2013 1st Tier Securities

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National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5, 2013


2015: Politicians battle for Akpabio’s seat

A businessman and dogged politician, Toyo as the PDP chairman had a rough time with former Governor Attah, whom he effectively blocked from manipulating the party in his days. He is well known for being independent minded. A very principled man who hails from Oron nation in Eket Senatorial District, Toyo has already declared his intention to contest the governorship race in 2015. His supporters believe that his vast experience in politics will take him far in the race. His minority background, may however, work against his ambition except he has the support of the bigger Ibibio and Annang ethnic groups, but he believes he will win the race due to his vast political experience.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 His Ibeno tribe is equally a minority in his senatorial district.

Bassey Albert Akpan Perhaps the youngest of the lot, Akpan, at 35 years of age, became the Finance Commissioner in Akpabio’s cabinet in 2007. Today, he has won the hearts of many youths and women in the state because of his unparallel philanthropic activities. “Akpan gives to a fault,” said one his supporters. He is intelligent, meticulous and a go-getter. He hails from Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area in Uyo Senatorial District. A graduate of University of Nsukka and former Vice President of FCMB, Akpan is also the chairman of the InterMinisterial Direct Labour Projects Coordinating Committee.

Effiong Abia Abia is the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Before now, he served as the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs and Senior Special Assistant to the governor. Perhaps, to appreciate his sterling performance in office, Governor Akpabio once publicly described him as a man of impeccable character with a track record of honesty, sincerity and commitment to duty. Abia hails from Oron nation, one of the three major ethnic groups in the state in the Eket Senatorial District. The Oron people believed that even within the Eket Senatorial District, it is their turn to produce the next governor since the Ibibios and Annangs had produced Attah and Akpabio. They believe that the state governorship slot should rotate among the tripod of Ibibio, Annang and Oron nations and not based on senatorial districts, since Ibibios are the majority ethnic nationality and are found in the three senatorial districts of the state. Closely following on the heels of the Ibibios are the Annangs. However, Abia is aspiring for the governorship on the grounds of performance and ability to do more. He has supporters across the three senatorial districts of the state and beyond. His major weakness, however, may be the minority status of his tribe. If he must make any headway, he needs the support of the Ibibios and Annangs to become the governor.

Samuel Akpan Akpan, a former lawmaker, became influential when he emerged the international president of Akwa Ibom State Peoples Forum (AKPF), a platform that claims to have brought Governor Akpabio to power. Known as ‘bishop’ of politics, Akpan was appointed political adviser to the governor and later deputy chairman of the state chapter of the PDP. He initially used the AKPF platform to control council chairmen and councillors in the state, a development that made him so powerful, but Governor Akpabio gradually whittled down his influence and with the emergence of another parallel group, Akwa Ibom Democratic Voice (ADV), gave those who were disenchanted with

Samuel Udonsek



his style of running the AKPF another platform, thus weakening his AKPF. Akpan, who is currently the chairman of Akwa Ibom State Road Maintenance Agency, is from Eket Senatorial District and may be limited by the enormous resources needed for the governorship project.

Effiong Bob Bob started his political career as a councillor and rose to become a council chairman, Deputy Speaker, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State. He later became a two-term senator and narrowly missed a third term in the National Assembly due to high level conspiracy at the 11th hour. Bob prides himself as a political encyclopaedia and contributed immensely to community, state and national development through politics. A philanthropist per excellence, Bob has touched several lives through his empowerment programmes. He is loved by his people and has the resources to contest and win the governorship. However, his biggest problem appears to be the ongoing cold war between him and the incumbent governor, whom he believes gave nod to the intrigues that cost him his third term bid. Bob has since then distanced himself from the state functions. His close aides said that it is a matter of time before Bob launches a full scale campaign for the governorship. He hails from Nsit Ubium in Uyo Senatorial District.

Nsima Udo Ekere Ekere, the immediate past Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, contested the 2007 gubernatorial primaries with Akpabio, but lost out. Akpabio later picked him as his running mate but he was dropped when Attah’s camp insisted on having the deputy governorship slot having lost the governorship to Akpabio. But providence brought Ekere back in 2011, when he won the joint ticket with Akpabio. However, the romance between Akpabio and Ekere only lasted 17 months, before Ekere resigned as deputy governor, citing personal reasons. Information later emerged after his resignation that he only survived being

Udonsek, a medical doctor based in Port Harcourt, River State is from Eket Local Government Area in Eket Senatorial District. He contested the governorship in 2003 and 2007 and lost. Again, he has declared his intention to contest the governorship in 2015. But of note is the fact that Udonsek, who returned to the PDP recently, had always been in the opposition party in previous elections. He has no known political structure and may hardly defeat bigger aspirants from his Eket axis or the larger Akwa Ibom State.

Micheal Okpo Onofiok


impeached. Till date, there are many versions as to the reason why Ekere could not continue in office as deputy to Akpabio. A successful businessman and politician, Ekere who hails from Ikot Abasi in Eket Senatorial District is one politician who plays politics like business. Though said to be rich, Ekere is hardly a big time spender in politics. He invests only on those he can vouch for their loyalty to him. Akpabio once said he will teach Ekere how to give out money to people when people criticised him for being too tight-fisted. Ekere is said to be banking on the support of top notchers from the Presidency and Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi for his governorship ambition. Though intelligent and capable of governing the state, Ekere may not be able to satisfy the ever increasing appetite of politicians in the state. He has no known structure in the state but his close aides believe that it is still too early in the day for their principal to expose his battle strategies.

Otu Ita Toyo Popularly called the ‘total chair,’ Toyo is the former state chairman of the PDP and currently serves as the chairman of the Local Government Service Commission. He had served late Senator Victor Akan in the 1980s as legislative assistant.

Onofiok is a former councillor, who tried unsuccessfully to become chairman of his native Udung Uko Local Government Area. He has however decided this time around to go for the plum job. Outside his little experience as a councillor, he has not held any political office. A businessman from the Oron nation, Onofiok’s aspiration may have arisen from the sentiment in some quarters that it is the turn of the Oron nation to produce the next governor of the state. The Oron nation is the third largest ethnic group in Akwa Ibom state and her people believe that it is the third leg of the tripod in the state. They believe that power sharing should be on that basis and not on senatorial districts.

John James Akpan Udoedehe Udoedehe is a former council chairman, senator and later minister. He had his first shot at the governorship in the PDP primaries in 2003 against Attah but lost. In 2007, he joined forces with Akpabio to ensure the latter succeeded at the polls, but fell out with him few years into his administration. Udoedehe in 2011 contested the governorship against Akpabio under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) platform but lost. His camp said that he would stage a massive come back in 2015 and will contest under the ACN platform. He hails from Uyo in Uyo Senatorial District. He is a great mobiliser, who gave the PDP government sleepless nights in 2011. The PDP lost Uyo federal constituency to the ACN in the 2011 elections, due to Udoedehe’s political influence, but beyond his Uyo Senatorial District, Udoedehe’s influence is hardly felt in Eket and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts and he will need them to become the governor in 2015.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Democracy without opposition is

Anthony Sani is the National Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). A pharmacist turned politician, Sani is of the firm belief that good education can reduce the limitations associated with physical disadvantage substantially. Hence, in spite of one of his legs being afflicted by polio at infancy, he has devoted his energy to publicspirited activities. In this interview with AYODELE OJO, he speaks on a number of salient issues. Excerpts:

What is your take on the allegations that President Goodluck Jonathan signed a one-term agreement with governors in the build up to the 2011 presidential election? My take on this matter is that the only thing new is the fact that Nigerians and, indeed the world, never knew that there was a written agreement which Mr. President signed that he would not do more than one term in the office. But the media were awash with the news just before the 2011 primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that President Jonathan had agreed that he would do only one term; and it was on that basis that the PDP governors agreed to support him. That knowledge was common place at that time. The President also told the world in far away Kampala that a term of four years was enough for him to make Nigeria experience a change in development; and that any president who could not deliver on his promise within four years would still not be able to deliver if given more years. So, there is nothing new about the whole shebang except the factor of signed agreement. How do you see the furore? Do you think the president actually signed such agreement? The furore about the agreement is because incumbency plays significant roles in Nigerian politics, since government determines who gets what, why, how, where and when, in the polity. The second reason is that President Jonathan is an embodiment of national ideals and moral values. Therefore, he is not expected to swallow his words of honour, because if he does so, then there is no basis to trust his manifesto and what he promised during campaigns and broadcast to the nation. There is no way I can know whether he signed any agreement or not. But it is difficult to imagine that the Chief Servant of Niger State, Governor Babangida Aliyu, would not be in possession of such a signed agreement and yet would have the courage and confidence to go public with the matter. Governor Aliyu is too intelligent not to know the dire implications of going public about a document that does not exist. That is why I am tempted to believe the allegations. But why is the issue of one term coming up

now? It is coming up now because people fear incumbency. Also people want to know whether the president is a man of honour who can deliver on his promise. How do you see the denial from the Presidency? I see it as unnecessary, precisely because he does not need a signed agreement before he can deliver on his promise. As I have already said, the story that the President promised the governors that he would do one term has been hovering over the clime from the last primaries for some time now. As an embodiment of national ideals and moral values, he does not need a signed agreement to compel him to deliver on his promise. I do not even believe this matter has anything to do with constitutional right but a moral burden on President Jonathan to deliver on his word of honour, trust and confidence.

Is the North willing to take back the Presidency in 2015? When people say Northerners want power to return to the North or willing to take back the Presidency, it presupposes the Presidency is the birth right of the North. This kind of expression is negative and most unfair. Northerners have never claimed the presidency of Nigeria is their patrimony as patricians. Not at all. But I believe Northerners will most likely bid for the Presidency as a constitutional right, just as other sections of the country are most likely to do. If Northerners overcome their differences and work in unison they can get the presidency in 2015. But if they allow cleavages along ethnic and religious lines to get better part of them, then they may not get it. In which case, they will have nobody to blame but themselves. The court has ruled that President Jonathan is eligible to contest the 2015 presidency. How do you see the development? Let me be honest with you, the Chief Servant of Niger State and some Nigerians are making issues out of this Jonathan’s pact with the governors, not because agreements or courts make the Nigerian president. Only voters do, but it is because they also want to make the point that Nigerians deserve leaders they can trust with their mandate to deliver on the promises they make to the people, be they campaign promises or government policies. I want to believe their concern is more than incumbency factor. As I have mentioned before here or elsewhere: when the six governors ordered by the election tribunals to go for rerun elec-

tions, took INEC to court challenging the commission’s decision to credit the various periods before the reruns into their various tenures, they won the cases at the lower and appeal courts. But the Supreme Court overturned the verdict on grounds that discounting such periods before reruns would make it possible for the governors to exceed the maximum of eight years allowed for governors and president by the constitution. So any judgement at lower court allowing President Jonathan to run in 2015 is never final. I guess the litigants will exhaust all the allowed due processes of law. How do you see the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC) by the opposition parties? It is a good development because if well managed it can provide a viable alternative platform. This is because democracy without a viable opposition is a sham. Hitherto, the nation’s political parties have not provided viable choices for the electorate, precisely because they have been mere clones of one another. As a result, the choice had been reduced from which political parties can deliver on the promise of democracy to which party has the capacity to win elections; and a political economy where government controlled by the ruling party determines who gets what, why, where, how and when. The upshot has been a trend towards a one-party state where individual members did not matter anymore. And that is why many noble and respected leaders dared and left the party only to come back because their departure had no traction. But a viable opposition would force a change of attitude in the ruling party towards genuine recognition that people matter. It will also tilt the nation towards a two-party state that will check the current cleavages along ethnic and religious lines and bring about strengthening the unity of the country. So, to the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the development is heartening. Don’t you think that such a development







can pose serious threat to the PDP dominance? I told you that a democracy without a viable opposition is a sham. Nigerians want a viable opposition that can pose serious threats and challenges to the ruling party so that democracy as a contest of ideas and reasons can thrive. That is how it should be. How do you think the merger can succeed? I know many people use the benefit of hindsight of the first and second republics and conclude that the merger will fail again. But what they fail to note is the fact that both first and second republics did not; and the fact that Nigeria had always wanted a two-party to emerge. So, all that is required of the leaders is for them to realise that great men are defined by great challenges because they often pursue causes higher than themselves as worthy impulse. In any case, a tree that refuses to dance is often forced to dance by strong winds which are here already. What is your take on the pension scam and the trial of an accused who stole N32 billion but got N750,000 fine? The pension scam clearly demonstrates the wisdom of those who submit that there has been a total collapse of national ideals and moral values as well as collapse of social contract, including loss of sense of sanctity for life and clear sense of what is right and what is evil. Else, a single in-

National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5, 2013




dividual would not steal such an amount that belongs to pensioners, knowing the consequences for most of the pensioners is death. There is, therefore, a serious need for cultural renaissance or value reorientation in the polity. The second aspect is an indictment on the campaign against corruption by the administration which allowed another culprit, Abdurasheed Maina, to abscond from the country to the extent that the National Assembly had to ask the administration to choose between the culprit and the National Assembly. That is shameful. And finally, the fine has vindicated those who posit that the judiciary is only good at dispensing technical justice at the expense of substantive justice. How do you see the security situation in Nigeria, especially with the kidnapping of foreigners by terrorists? The security challenge in Nigeria is a serious source of concern to not only Nigerians but to also the government, whose first primary responsibility is to secure the lives and property of the citizens. This is because even if the government cannot do anything else for the people, it should provide them a peaceful environment through which they can apply their effort of brain and brawn to eke out a living. But with the security challenges posed by terrorist activities, kidnapping for ransom, armed robberies, piracy and now kidnapping of for-

eigners, both government and the citizens must be more worried. Worried because such unsecured environment cannot make for socio-economic development, precisely because the foreigners expected to bring about foreign investments would be reluctant to do so with dire consequences to the economy. This is very sad. The Federal Government should seriously consider starting dialogue with the faction of Boko Haram that is agreeable, since such a faction could not be faceless. More so, those arrested could not be said to be faceless. Such a start will lessen the tension in the land and encourage the faceless faction to join the dialogue. Is the ACF also supporting the death penalty for terrorists? ACF recommended capital punishment for corrupt practices because corruption has caused and is causing too many loss of lives across the country. And if the terrorists’ job is to take other people’s lives, then it would be morally preposterous and would amount to double standard for the forum not to support capital punishment for terrorism. There is an ongoing effort at constitutional review. What areas do you think need amendments? We have never believed the problem of Nigeria has much to do with the structure and form of government but with the atti-

tudes of those who execute the laws. As to the form of government, it is instructive to note that the presidential system is working in America, the parliamentary is productive in Britain while a combination of the two works fine in France. America does not have more than 25 personnel at cabinet level while those in France are about 15. But in the case of Nigeria, we have a crowd called government. More distressing is this fact that no group of Nigerians is so cosseted from the hostile environment, so protected from the consequences of its own actions or inactions and so compensated for its inadequacies like those in government. Hence the huge cost of governance that have combined with corruption to steal our empowerment, to steal our opportunity and to steal our future, leading to the hype in ethnic nationalism cast in the mould of true federalism. ACF is not in support of additional states because there are clamours for reduction of cost of governance in favour of development of the real sector that will generate employment for our youths. But if states must be created for whatever reasons, it is the considered opinion of the ACF that land mass and population must form part of the criteria, considering injustice is not only when equals are treated unequally, but also when unequals are treated equally. The ACF shares the view that revenue sharing should go with responsibility. So, if the exclusive list will be reduced and added to the concurrent list, then the revenue sharing must reflect that. The forum is not opposed to inclusion of derivation in the revenue sharing so long as derivation is for reward for efforts and for compensation for degradation of environment. But the offshore exploration in the deep sea far away from littoral states has no link with efforts nor with degradation of environment. And so offshore revenues should not feature in the calculation for derivation. So, abrogation of onshore/ offshore dichotomy should be revisited so that the dichotomy can be brought back. Because corruption is the cause of all our national malaise, the ACF suggested capital punishment for corrupt practices and would want the legislature to define what constitute corrupt practices. The forum also went against state police and state electoral commissions for obvious reasons of abuse. Also because single tenure has no incentives to motivate for excellent perfor-

mance, we suggested the maximum of two tenure of four years be retained. And if we must check abuse of incumbency, then we can consider the Chilean model which allows multiple tenure that are not consecutive. That is to say, no president or governor should be allowed to conduct an election in which he is a candidate. Or we can go the Bangladesh model of Caretaker Government that conducts election. We submitted that immunity clause, in so far as criminal cases are concerned, be expunged as a pander to popular opinion. What specifically grate the nerves of Northern legislators with the Petroleum Industry Bill? I do not like the idea of giving opposition to some sections of the PIB Northern coloration, precisely because Northern states are not the only states without oil. Some Southern states also have no oil, and so also oppose some aspects of the PIB. So, it is better to concentrate on the issues raised on the PIB rather than on who raise them and where they come from. Specifically, section 117 of the PIB provides for creation of the Petroleum Host Community Fund into which 10 per cent of profit from both onshore and offshore oil exploration must be paid monthly for purposes of addressing environmental degradation. In section 118, the PIB requires that the components of the Petroleum Host Community Fund from offshore exploration be removed and paid into littoral states. But the littoral states have no environment of their own that are separate from those of host community. In any case, we are opposed to abrogation of onshore/offshore dichotomy which makes it possible for a state in Niger Delta to collect more than what all the states in a geo-political zone in the North collects. Such a wide disparity in income defeats the concept of nationhood which presupposes that people have been brought together and enabled to unleash their synergy by living up collective challenges. I think reduction of wide gap in income is not only good politics but also good economics. What is more, the host communities are demanding that their share of the 13 per cent be paid to them directly for performance, since all the talk about the 13 per cent, Ministry of Niger Delta, NDDC, etc, are fairy tales, since the host communities are still wallowing in poverty and are still not accessible by road, while there are airports, five-star hotels and flyovers in state capitals of oil producing states. All these mean something is wrong about the management of revenues due and payable for amelioration of oil producing communities which should be addressed. How do you see local government autonomy and the governors’ opposition? Local government autonomy financially is good, considering the abuse to which the joint account has been put to the disadvantage of the local governments and development by that level of government. The state governments’ opposition is hinged on two planks: namely, loss of source of finance from the joint account, and the fact that the state governments could lose total control of that tier of government.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror


Community Mirror “It is a massive degradation of a section of Lagos and this is not acceptable. People should not carry on like this. ”

Landlords arraigned for nonpayment of 46 rent


FG, UNIDO to curb youth unemployment OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA


he Federal Government, in conjunction with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, has inaugurated Inter-Ministerial Committee on Job Fair to address all the identified barriers to job creation and sustainable livelihood in the country. Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who

inaugurated the 15-man committee in Abuja, noted that the maiden fair would focus largely on the teeming unemployed youths in the country. He said “It will support industry by creating sustainable working and knowledge sharing platforms and networks that will link the job seekers for local businesses, companies, as well as meet their needs and options. It will also highlight inherent benefits for youths who want to be entrepreneurs and also showcase

the successful ones with goods and services, designed locally and competitive globally and not less than 1, 000 jobs will be created at the first instance from this exercise”. Ortom, who was represented by the Director of Industrial Development and Industrial Inspectorate, Mr. Olakunle Sogbola, said the country’s present unemployment stands at 23% with the tendencies to go up as a result of unstable economic situation. According to the minister, avail-

able statistics revealed that the major barriers to youth employment were basically skills mismatch as well as lack of competence in both technical and non-technical skills. He listed other barriers as low labour demand ,that leads to high turn-over and job instability; information gap between job seekers and potential employers due to lack of network; restricted access to credit, and mismatch between the requirements of the Nigerian labour market and the school curriculum.

UNIDO representative and member of the committee, Dr. Chima Ezedinma, commended the federal government for its commitment at reducing youth unemployment, promising cooperation of the organisation to achieve the goals. The terms of reference for the committee include producing an action plan for the job fairwith cost and timeliness and arranging venues, date, time, programme, invitees, training session, targets industries, companies, schools and youths.

Unknown assailants kill farmer HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI


Animal drawn cart transporting hay on Ningi-Bura road in Bauchi State.


Agency commissions school water project FRSC lauds NURTW on peace initiatives JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA


water supply project costing N6.9 million has been commissioned at the Police Boys Secondary School in Mani Council Area of Katsina State. The water project, executed by the state’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, RUWASSA, has three boreholes fitted with submersible pumps and 90, 000 litre steel surface tank. Executive Director of RUWASSA, Abubakar Gege who commissioned the project, said the agency was also involved in the rehabilitation of the school’s generating system for improved water supply. Gege, said the project is part of the administration’s commitment

towards boosting academic activities in educational institutions in the state. He said a four-month test run was carried out to ensure quality and sustainability of the project before it was certified fit for commissioning and handing over. He called on the school authorities to take good care of the project and report any technical problem beyond their ability to the agency for repairs. Commandant of the Police Boys Secondary School, Mr. G.A Grimah said the project followed a request by the state’s Police Command. Grimah, said the government’s swift response was clear demonstration of concern to the overall welfare of staff and students of the school.



he Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, has lauded the on-going peace initiatives among members of the Oyo State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, saying the development is in line with the transformation agenda of the present administration in the country. The FRSC Sector Commander for Oyo State, Mr. Godwin Oghagene, made the remarks at the formal inauguration of the Alhaji Muritala Gasali-led management committee for the Ibadan South East Inter-State Unit of NURTW. Speaking through the Oluyole Unit Commander of the FRSC, Mr.

Sanya Adeoye, he noted that people of the state have been enjoying remarkable peace since inception the present state executive of the NURTW under the leadership of Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde . He said, “The peace initiatives being brokered by the present leadership of the NURTW, is a thing of joy to all and sundry. We support you fully in this regard, as it is in tune with the transformation agenda of the present administration in the country”. The FRSC boss, while urging the officers and members of the Oyo State NURTW to keep up the good works in the overall interest of the society, also reminded them on the need to always abide by the traffic rules and regulations as contained in the Highway Codes to avoid road mishaps.

60 year old farmer, Mr Ofikwu Iyagba of OgoliUgboju in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State has been killed in his farm by yet to be identified persons. Community Mirror gathered that the victim had feted some unknown persons who had earlier visited him, pretending to purchase farm produce. Iyagba, who was said to have left the church service halfway on the fateful day, went to his farm with the suspected assailants where he was murdered. The killing has further heightened fears among residents of Ogoli who are now very concerned about the security of their lives and properties. Reacting to the development, the clan head of Ugboju, condemned the killing and urged the security agencies to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book.

Carpenters’ body for inauguration


he inauguration of newly elected officers of the Professional Carpenters and Furniture Makers Association of Lagos State (PGFA), Ifako-Ijaiye Branch comes up on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at Shalla Town Hall, Iju-Ishaga, Lagos by 10a.m. According to the new governor of the association, Comrade Hakeem O. Gbadamosi, five royal fathers in the area are expected at the inauguration and swearing-in. These include the Baale of Shalla Town, Iju, Chief M. A. Bajomo, Baale of Oluwo Town, Iju, Chief S. A. Sulaimon and Chief Mumuni Sanni, the Baale of Adiyan, Alagbado.


Community Mirror

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Landlords arraigned for nonpayment of rent PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA


ix landlords arrested by the Special Task Force of the Niger State Geograhpic Information System, NIGIS, have been arraigned for allegedly failing to pay their annual Ground Rent.

Speaking in Minna, the General Manager of NIGIS, Dr. Abdul Hussain, said the government would prosecute any landlord for failing to pay land rate. “As part of efforts to ensure the success of the recertification of land titles in the state, the government has

directed that all members of the executive council verify their landed property. The directive was handed down at the last meeting to ensure all their documents are verified by the end of next month. It would be recalled that last January, the government

started the recertification of all land titles in an effort to sanitise land allocation in the state. The General Manager noted that the recertification exercise was embarked upon to ensure that land acquisitions are computerised and information is easily accessible

when the need arises. Also, speaking, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Dr. Peter Salle Sarki, said the state is prepared enter into dialogue with mobile phone service providers on the best ways of installing their masts to ensure the cables are properly laid.

Company subsidises transport fares in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA


An accident involving three trailers at Barracks bus stop on Lagos-Badagry expressway in Lagos.

Councillors convicted for contempt SAM OLUWALANA


our councillors of Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, have been convicted by a Port Harcourt High Court for allegedly flouting its order on the impeachment of the Vice Chairman of the local government, Hon. Britain Ewor. Those convicted include, Leader of Ahoada East Coucil Assembly, Hon Emeka Godwin, deputy, Goodlife Whiegbe, Chief Whip, Onwudiwe Abraham and House, Aaron Odum, even as the court ordered they reinstate the Vice Chairman. Ruling on the application of committal of the principal officers as part of the reliefs sought by the applicant through his counsel, Mr. A.B Ihua-Maduenyi, the trial judge, Justice Omereji George, said the court found the councillors guilty of disrespecting court order which restrained them from impeaching the Vice Chairman. He said the act undermined the integrity and honour of the court and its processes, adding that going ahead with the impeachment

after being fully aware of the existence of the suit which substantially challenged their actions was contemptuous. Justice George noted that the court had on the June 27th of 2012, given an order restraining the respondents from impeaching the applicant following the determination of the matter before the court, noting that rather than complying, they proceeded to impeach the Vice Chairman, and ordered the withholding of his entitlements, allowances and remunerations. The trial judge posited that the councilors had contemptuously insulted the court by describing its processes as ‘ mere pieces of paper”, while declaring that the Assembly was superior to the court in any matter pending before the House. He stated that the court cannot fold its arms and watch its processes being abused with impunity or its lawful orders flouted, adding that the court was not only entitled in the circumstance but bound to commit the respondents to prison in order to preserve its honour, integrity and dignity. The trial judge, however, grant-

ed the accused persons bail to the sum of N2million each with two sureties in like sum, even as the sureties must deposit two passports each and must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court, which must be verified by the police prosecutor. JusticeOmereji, further ordered them to reinstate the council’ s Vice Chairman, and ensure that all his salaries, allowances and emoluments were paid to him before the new adjournment date, adding that the opportunity



eachers in Cross River State will now enjoy their Teachers’ Specific Allowance, TSA, which was suspended when the government implemented the N18,000.00 minimum wage for civil and public servant in the state. This was made known by Chairman of Secondary Education Board, SEB, Mrs. Sylvia Atsu in Calabar. According to her, the Governor Senator Liyel Imoke, has given approval for the reinstatement of the allowance to compensate teachers

of bail was to know if they did the impeachment willingly or not. He warned that where they fail to carry out the order, the court would formally pronounce their sentence on the next adjourned date,even as the case was adjourned to April for proper sentencing. Speaking on the ruling, counsel to the applicant, Mr. Ihua-Maduenyi ,said it was in order, adding that justice had been done to the applicant.

transport company belonging to former executive secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, Muttaqa Rabe is to commence service at subsidised rates to the less privileged in Katsina State. Known as Pleasant Transports Limited,it is a collaboration with the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, even as the services will extend to Kano State. Speaking after signing the agreement, the state’s NARTO secretary, Rilwanu Sulieman, said passengers would pay N300 to Kano instead of the normal N600. Sulieman said the company’s fare to Kano and other parts of the state had been N200 but had to be increased to enable other vehicles get passengers. Director of the company, Lawal Dan-Abu said they had begun services, but had to collaborate with NARTO after some registration-related hitches were encountered. He said there was a pending agreement to begin conveying students of tertiary institutions for N100, and that government’s response to the proposal was being awaited. He assured that proceeds from any increase on fares would be used to promote religious activities in the state.

Teachers to earn more in Cross River for their efforts at improving the performance of state candidates in internal and external examinations, and in keeping with the Federal Government policy on teachers’ salaries. Mrs. Atsu, said the gesture was for the teachers’ determination in eradicating examination malpractice in the state. Prior to the present administration, the state’s performance in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, was at its lowest ebb. She noted that in 2009, the performance was an abysmal 17%,

ranking 34th nationally and added that, in 2012 it went up to 56.05%, ranking 7th position in the performance rating. Speaking during a courtesy visit, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Njom Nyambi, commended Mrs. Atsu for her dogged commitment at improving the standards of education in the state. In another development, Comrade Nyambi said, that in spite of concerted efforts by school managers, there are detractors in the system, who do not wish the state well.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror


World News

Indian woman vows to continue 12-year hunger strike


“Afghanistan wants a real struggle against terrorism and wants the Pakistani government to realize that both our nations are burning in the same fire” - Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai




Coup attempt foiled in Benin Rep, two arrested


eparatists armed with guns, machetes and bows and arrows launched attacks that killed 19 people yesterday, as millions of Kenyans waited in long lines to cast ballots in the country’s first presidential election in five years. Officials urged voters not to be intimidated by the violence amid fears of another round of the ethnic-related bloodshed in which more than 1,000 people died after the 2007 vote. The election is widely viewed as a test of Kenya’s democracy. It is the first presidential poll under a new constitution designed to prevent the ethnic violence that marred the previous poll. The voting got off to a bloody start yesterday when a group of 200 separatists set a trap for police in the coastal city of Mombasa in the pre-dawn hours, Inspector General David Kimaiyo said. Four police were hacked to death with machetes, coast police boss Aggrey Adoli said. The separatist group — the Mombasa Republican Council — had threatened election day attacks, and Kimaiyo said police were planning a raid “that will see the end of the MRC.” The MRC believes Kenya’s coast should be an independent country. Their cause, which is not defined by religion, is fuelled by the belief that political leaders in Nairobi have taken the coast’s land for themselves, impoverish-

Kenyans line up for voting in a general election in Kisumu, west of Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday.

19 killed as Kenyans vote in presidential poll

ing indigenous residents. In addition to the attack in Mombasa, police blamed the MRC for three deadly attacks in nearby Kilifi. An Associated Press reporter visited a morgue and saw four dead young men wearing red bandanas — a sign of the MRC — who had been shot to death, most likely by police. An AP tally of the violence found that four police and three MRC members died in Mombasa, while seven MRC members, six government officials and two civilians died in the three attacks near the coastal city of Kilifi, all according to police and mortuary

officials. The violence in the Mombasa area is separate from the ethnic violence that could break out related to election results, and which was so deadly after the 2007 vote. The country’s top two presidential candidates condemned the Mombasa attacks. Prime Minister Raila Odinga called it a “heinous act of aggression” during a historic exercise. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said he was discouraged by the news but he was sure the security situation would be brought under control. Authorities flew in an addition-

Photo: AP

al 400 police officers to Mombasa to increase security. The United Nations restricted the movement of its staff on the coast because of the violence. “People with ill intent must be stopped by all means,” Kimaiyo said, explaining that he directed police to use their guns to stop further loss of life, a sensitive directive given that police killed more than 400 people during the 2007-08 postelection violence. Police said the MRC were trying to suppress voter turnout, but the long lines seen across the country also formed in Mombasa.

36 die as plane crashes in Congo’s Goma city


Congolese official says that a plane has crashed in the eastern city of Goma, killing many passengers. 36 die in the plane crash in Goma, mayor told the Associated Press. The governor of the province of North Kivu Province, Julien Paluku, said a Fokker airplane of the private airline CAA was carrying about 50 people. He said that at least three people survived the crash. Paluku said the plane was flying from Lodja in East Kasai Province in the center of the country. He said the aircraft crashed in Goma but it did not hit any people on the ground. The Compagnie Africaine d’Aviation plane was carrying cargo and passengers, UN Mis-

Nine children burnt to death in Senegal’s school

The scene of a previous CAA plane crash in Goma.

sion in DR Congo spokesman Alexandre Essome told reporters yesterday by phone. Two calls made to a number listed on CAA’s website weren’t answered. “It crashed in the middle of the city, but luckily it crashed

in an empty lot,” Paluku said by phone. Three survivors were pulled from the wreckage, he said. “We’re still trying to confirm the number of passengers who left from Lodja,” where the flight originated. Paluku said the plane was two

minutes from the airport and flying in a rainstorm. Congolese airlines, including CAA, are banned from flying within Europe. In April 2008 a Hewa Bora Airways plane crash on takeoff in Goma, killing 37 people on the ground and three on the plane. In July 2011, at least 83 people were killed when a Hewa Bora plane crashed in Kisangani. CAA flies to 34 destinations in Congo, according to its website. Meanwhile, nine children were burnt to death in a fire that broke out while they were sleeping in a crowded room at a Koranic school in the Senegalese capital Dakar, witnesses said yesterday.

A state prosecutor in Benin says that authorities have thwarted an attempted coup d’etat and arrested the two men involved. Justin Gbenameto said Sunday that businessman Johannes Dagnon and army commander Pamphile Zomahoun were arrested on Feb. 22. He said preliminary investigations show the two had tried to stop President Boni Yayi from returning to Cotonou so they could institute a military state. Gbenameto said investigations are ongoing. Three men were arrested in October and charged with conspiracy and attempted murder for a plot to poison the president. Dagnon is the cousin and partner of businessman Patrice Talon, whom authorities had also implicated in the poisoning case.

ECOWAS committee meets on risk management Members of the ECOWAS Strategic Planning and Coordination Committee (SPCC) began a threeday meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, yesterday, to finalize the Risk Management aspect of the Regional Medium Term Action Area (RMTAA). Participants were expected to discuss the introduction of Risk Management in ECOWAS as well as the Roadmap for a management buy-in and the planned launch of the RMTAA. The discussions also covered the introduction of Knowledge Management in ECOWAS Institutions and the redesigning of ECOWAS institutional architecture.

Indian pharmaceutical exhibition to hold in Lagos An Indian pharmaceutical exhibition cum buyer-seller meeting will take place at Hotel Federal Palace in Victoria Island, Lagos at 10001700 hrs on March 7 & 8, 2013. A record number of 62 Indian companies are to display brand India’s latest range of pharmaceuticals products including bulk-drugs, formulations, biotech products, herbals, etc. The exhibition is being organised for the third time in Nigeria by India’s Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) in association with the High Commission of India in Nigeria. It would be jointly inaugurated by HE Prof Paul B. Orhii, Director General of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and HE Mr Mahesh Sachdev, High Commissioner of India to Nigeria.


World News

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Priests feel vindicated after Cardinal O’Brien’s sexual admission


Czech President faces treason charge Czech Lawmakers have narrowly voted to charge their country’s outgoing President Vaclav Klaus with treason. The upper house voted to refer the president to the constitutional court to rule on whether he had violated the constitution with a New Year amnesty. The wide-ranging measures were controversial as they resulted in multiple high-profile corruption cases being suspended. Mr Klaus’s term as president of the country is due to end on Thursday. Thirty-eight senators in the 81-seat house, controlled by the left-wing opposition, voted to file charges at the constitutional court, with 30 voting against. Only the Senate has such power in the Czech legal system. The worst punishment he faces is the loss of his presidential job, a role the 71-year-old must relinquish later this week having served two terms in office. The president’s New Year measures included an amnesty for many prisoners.

New Chinese leader faces test as congress opens Newly installed Chinese leader Xi Jinping faces an early test of his pledges to curb corruption, raise living standards and create a fairer society when China’s national legislature opens today to appoint top government posts and approve policies. The annual session of the National People’s Congress comes as the government has shifted more resources to provide social benefits to an increasingly demanding public that is empowered by the Internet and tired of the waste and extravagance of the governing Communist elite. An indication of the Xi leadership’s priorities and how it is doing in consolidating power after three months in office will come with the opening policy address to the congress. Though given by Premier Wen Jiabao, who is retiring after a decade in office, the address and an accompanying budget are consensus documents approved by Xi and others in the collective leadership.

Yemen’s president rejects truce with al-Qaida A senior security official has disclosed that Yemen’s president rejected a truce with al-Qaida militants. The official said President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi sent his intelligence chief to mediate an end to months of fighting between Yemen forces and the Islamic militants. He said Hadi expected a proposal for an amnesty for militants who renounce violence but was surprised with a two-month truce offer, which he rejected. Yemen’s al-Qaida branch posted a statement on militant websites Monday claiming that the intelligence chief agreed to the truce. The official denied that, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.


Irom Sharmila, centre, being escorted by police during an appearance at Patiala House court in New Delhi, India, yesterday. Photo: AP

Indian woman vows to continue 12-year hunger strike


rom Sharmila has not eaten a meal in 12 years. The 40-yearold woman has been on a hunger strike — and force fed through a tube by authorities — to protest an Indian law that suspends many human rights protections in areas of conflict. Sharmila was charged yesterday with attempted suicide in a case likely to bring major attention to her quiet protest in the tiny north-eastern state of Manipur against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Under the law, in effect in Indian-ruled Kashmir and parts of the country’s northeast, troops have the right to shoot to kill suspected rebels without fear of possible prosecution and to arrest suspected militants without a warrant. It

also gives police wide-ranging powers of search and seizure. Dubbed the “Iron Lady” by her supporters, Sharmila has become a rallying point for those demanding the law’s repeal. Sharmila had her last voluntary meal on Nov. 4, 2000, in Imphal, the capital of Manipur, one of several north-eastern states facing insurgencies. She was arrested three days later and has been force fed through a tube in her nose ever since. Under law, she has to be released once a year to see if she will start eating. When she doesn’t, she is taken back into custody and force fed. The current charges stem from a 2006 protest she attended in New Delhi. Police took her from the protest venue, hospitalized her and

registered a case of attempted suicide against her. Magistrate Akash Jain charged her Monday with attempted suicide. Appearing in court with her nose tube in place, she pleaded not guilty. “I love life. I do not want to take my life, but I want justice and peace,” the Press Trust of India news agency quoted her as saying in court, which she attended after flying in from Manipur over the weekend. Jain set her trial for May 22. If convicted, she faces one year in prison. She remained unbowed as she left the courtroom. “I will continue my fast until the special powers act is withdrawn,” she said.

hree priests and a former priest have said that they felt vindicated after Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien admitted sexual misconduct. The group had accused the senior Roman Catholic clergyman of inappropriate behaviour towards them in the 1980s. Catherine Deveney, the journalist who broke the story in The Observer, said she had spoken to the four men, who were “relieved at being vindicated”. Cardinal O’Brien said he was sorry for not meeting the standards expected. In a statement on Sunday, he admitted he had initially contested the “anonymous and non-specific” allegations. While not addressing the cases of the four men directly, he added: “However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. “To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise.” The cardinal, who resigned last week as archbishop of the St Andrews and Edinburgh diocese, is now expected to face a Vatican inquiry. He had been entitled to take part in the conclave to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who retired at the end of last week. The former priest claimed Cardinal O’Brien made an inappropriate approach to him in 1980, after night prayers, when he was a seminarian at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange.

Queen Elizabeth leaves hospital after stomach bug


K’s Queen Elizabeth II, yesterday, left hospital in central London after she was assessed for gastroenteritis symptoms. She had been at London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital since Sunday - her first hospital stay in 10 years. All official engagements for this week, including a visit to Rome, were either cancelled or postponed. She also missed St David’s Day celebrations in Swansea. Buckingham Palace said the Queen, 86, was admitted as a precaution and was otherwise in “good health”. A Bentley arrived to take the Queen to Buckingham Palace yesterday afternoon. Dressed in a red coat and smiling, she shook hands with hospital staff on the steps outside.

The Queen leaving King Edward VII hospital in London, yesterday

On Saturday, the Queen had missed the military ceremony in Wales due to the stomach bug. On Sunday, she was driven from Windsor Castle, where she had been resting, after carrying out a private medal presentation

Photo: PA

earlier in the day. A spokesman for the Queen said she was in “good spirits” and her admission was “a precautionary measure”. Gastroenteritis causes inflammation of the stomach lining and

intestines. The infection can be transmitted through contact with an infected person or contaminated food and drink. Symptoms can include vomiting, fever and stomach ache. The Queen’s treatment, which has not been disclosed, may have included rehydration and tests to establish if the illness was caused by an infection or an underlying problem. The Queen last received treatment 10 years ago, again at the King Edward VII’s hospital, for a minor knee operation. At the same time, surgeons removed minor, non-cancerous lesions from her face. Next weekend, she had been due to spend two days in Rome with the Duke of Edinburgh, at the invitation of Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano.

National Mirror




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

he quest for a permanent cure to one of the world’s deadliest diseases, HIV/AIDS may have started with the reported cure of a two year old Mississippi girl with antiretroviral drugs. The ‘breakthrough’ was announced by researchers at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta. The infant described in the report underwent remission of HIV infection after receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 30 hours of birth. According to reports, the unidentified girl was born HIV-positive to a mother who received no prenatal care and was not diagnosed as HIV-positive herself until just before delivery. The investigators say the prompt administration of antiviral treatment likely led to this infant’s cure by halting the formation of hard-to-treat viral reservoirs -- dormant cells responsible for reigniting the infection in most HIV patients within weeks of stopping therapy. A series of tests showed progressively diminishing viral presence in the infant’s blood, until it reached undetectable levels 29 days after birth. The infant remained on antivirals until 18 months of age, at which point the child was lost to follow-up for a while and, the researchers say, stopped treatment. Ten months after discontinuation of treatment, the child underwent repeated standard blood tests, none of which detected HIV presence in the blood. Test for HIV-specific antibodies -- the standard clinical indicator of HIV infection -- also remained negative throughout. Currently, high-risk newborns -- those born to mothers with poorly controlled infections or whose mothers’ HIV status is discovered around the time of delivery -- receive a combination of antivirals at prophylactic doses to prevent infection for six weeks and start therapeutic doses if and once infection is diagnosed. But this particular case, the investigators say, may change the current practice because it highlights the curative potential of very early ART. “We didn’t have the opportunity to treat the mom during the pregnancy as


Two-year-old baby cured of HIV!

we would like to be able to do in order to prevent transmission to the baby” said Dr. Hannah Gay. Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre had disclosed that timing of intervention in this case, before the baby was diagnosed HIV-positive, may deserve more emphasis than the particular drugs or number of drugs used. “We are hoping that future studies will show that very early institution of effective therapy will result in this same outcome consistently” she added on the eve of the conference. Before now, the only other documented case of HIV cure is that of Timothy Brown, popularly referred to as the “Berlin patient”. In 2007, Brown, an HIV-positive American living in Germany, was battling both leukemia and HIV when he underwent a bone marrow transplant that

cured not only the cancer but the HIV as well. According to the researchers, the procedure, which is extremely dangerous, will not work in most patients because the bone marrow received by Brown had a special genetic mutation that made the stem cells in it naturally resistant to the virus. However, last June, five years after he was supposedly cured, reports surfaced that traces of the virus had been found in his blood. Even then, some HIV experts said that doesn’t matter, that he had been cured. In fact, many AIDS experts believe Brown has experienced whats called a “sterilizing” cure, meaning the virus has been eliminated from the body entirely. However, routine clinical testing on the Mississippi toddler continues, Gay says. So far, there’s no evidence of the virus. The investigators however caution they don’t

have enough data to recommend change right now to the current practice of treating high-risk infants with prophylactic, rather than therapeutic, doses but the infant’s case provides the rationale to start proof-of-principle studies in all high-risk newborns. “Our next step is to find out if this is a highly unusual response to very early antiretroviral therapy or something we can actually replicate in other high-risk newborns,” says Johns Hopkins Children’s Center virologist Deborah Persaud,. lead author on the report, who is also the scientific chair of the HIV Cure Committee of the International Maternal, Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical (IMPAACT) net work, a consortium of researchers and institutions that was critical in spearheading the earliest clinical trials of mother-tochild transmission and early treatment of infants 15 years ago.

Anti-AIDS pill, vaginal gel unsuitable for Africa –Study


rying to prevent HIV infection through vaginal gels or daily tablets has proven ineffective in the southern African region ravaged by the disease because people failed to use the medicines as required, a study released yesterday said. A ground breaking study issued in 2010 indicated a vaginal gel containing a prescription drug can sharply reduce HIV infections in women who use it before and after sex, raising the possibility to slow the spread of the disease by giving women a way to protect themselves. However, a test of the gel and two types of related pills among more than 5,000 women in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda showed that, based on blood tests, more than 70 percent did not use their medication as instructed. “We are obviously disappointed in the results. We were very hopeful that these products, which we know have been effective in other studies and clearly have a lot of promise, would work,” Jeanne Marrazzo, a researcher on the project for the University of Washington, told reporters in a teleconference. “Women did not use consistently any of the products. Adherence was very low,” said Marrazzo, part of the project known as the Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Con-

trol the Epidemic (VOICE). East and southern Africa are two regions in the continent that are heavily affected by the HIV epidemic. Out of the total number of people worldwide in 2009 living with HIV, 34 percent were in 10 countries of southern Africa, according to the U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS. Experts have been searching for years for inexpensive, safe and simple medications to decrease the risk of transmission among a population that is largely destitute and with little access to quality health care.

The study also found the group most likely to contract HIV - unmarried women under 25 - was also the most likely not to use any of the medicines. Findings were presented to the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta The three-year study that started in September 2009 tested a daily tablet called Truvada, which was approved in July 20102 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for HIV prevention and associated with a 42 percent reduction in HIV infection risk. Other drugs tested were a product called tenofovir gel, which a study said reduced HIV infections in women by 39 percent over two and a half years. An oral tenofovir tablet was also tested. Researchers have been trying for years to formulate a microbicide - a gel, cream, ring or tablet inserted into the vagina or rectum before sex to prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. “We need to rethink the design of these intervention trials that are being done in healthy people because it is difficult for anybody to take a pill or anything every day, particularly when you are healthy and do not feel that you need a drug,” said Marrazzo.




Tuesday, March 5, 2013



Today's Tonic (105)

A failure is a man who has blundered but is not capable of cashing in on the experience. -Elbert Hubbard * * * Use Failure As A Teacher No one can say he or she has not failed before. As a matter of fact no one can talk or walk without failing! We all walk and talk today because we did not allow our failings to stop us. How beautiful it will be if we can extend this mindset to all areas of our lives as we grow into adulthood. To me, fail fast, fail often and fail forward is the secret of super achievers. Whether we like it or not, we will fail in one area or the other as we move through life. But we can cash on our experience and turn each of our failure to success ultimately. TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

Zoo pla playss m music sic to get panda to mate


n Edinburgh Zoo spokeswoman said a panda’s radio station has been switched from Classic FM to Smooth Radio in hopes the music will encourage him to mate. In response, the station is now playing a daily song for Yang Guang and his mate Tian Tian, including Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” the British tabloid The Mirror

reported. “He has always been more sensitive than Tian Tian to background noise, so it’s settling and soothing for him to have it playing softly in the background,” the spokeswoman said. Intimate details of the pair’s warm-up routine have emerged, The Mirror said, including physical exercises, special lighting and extra rations of bamboo.

National Mirror


World’s oldest woman confirmed in Japan


Japanese woman who turns 115 next week is now the oldest person of her gender alive, the Guinness Book of World Records said on Wednesday. Misao Okawa was born March 5, 1898, in Osaka. She became the world’s oldest woman on January 12, when Koto Okubo, also Japanese, died at the age of 115 and 19 days. The world’s oldest man, Jiroemon Kimura, is 115 years and 314 days old. Kimura, of Japan, is both the oldest person alive now and the oldest man who has ever lived whose age is confirmed, Guinness said. Jeanne Calment of France, who had the longest life on record, died in 1997 at the age of 122 and 164 days. Okawa married in 1919. She lived in Kobe, where her husband had a business, returning to Osaka after his death. She had three children, with one daughter and

her son still living at the age of 90-plus, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Japan has 51,376 centenarians, 44,842 of them female. The

average lifespan of Japanese women is 85.9 years. “It is an honour to welcome Misaosan into the Guinness World Records family,”

said Craig Glenday, Guinness’s editor in chief. “Her impressive longevity -- nearly 42,000 days -- is an inspiration and a testament to the Japanese lifestyle.”

President Barack Obama running along the Colonnade of the White House with Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough’s children. PHOTO: WHITE HOUSE

National Mirror


Tuesday, March 5 , 2013

Youths protest as two die in Bauchi auto crash E ZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI


o fewer than two people were killed and two others injured in an accident which occurred at Tashan Maiturare near Nabordo along BauchiJos Federal Highway yesterday in Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi State, even as youths took to the streets

to protest incessant road crashes in the area. The State Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Henry Sunday Olatunji, said five people were involved in the accident. According to him, the accident occurred as a result of over speeding. Olatunji said that the victims were hit by a car and that the FRSC personnel took the corpses

and the injured victims to Toro General Hospital. Residents of the area claimed that youths organised a peaceful demonstration to prevail on the Bauchi State Government to build speed breakers on the federal highway so as to reduce over speeding by motorists and incessant crashes. They claimed that the protesters blocked the

road for many hours before policemen dispersed them. The Bauchi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Hassan Mohammed Auyo, confirmed the incident. He said: “When we were informed that the protesters had blocked the road, we quickly mobilised to intervene. People can now go about their normal business.”


Sacked Benue commissioners fraternise with APC –CNPP H ENRY I YORKASE MAKURDI


ome commissioners recently sacked by Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam in a major cabinet reshuffle are said to have pitched tent with the opposition parties against the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the build-up to the 2015 general elections. Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria’s Political Parties (CNPP) in Benue State, Mr. Baba Agan, dropped the hint yesterday in a chat with National Mirror in Makurdi, the state capital. Agan said that some of the sacked commissioners had been fraternizing with the newly formed All Progressive Congress (APC) and even indicated their interest to contest the 2015 poll on the ACP platform. He, however, refused to disclosed the identi-

ties of the former commissioners, saying that they had been merely trying to make ends meet in the administration of Governor Suswam Efforts to clarify the claim from one of the sacked commissioner failed as several attempts to get his comments on the issue through his mobile phone did not yield the desired result. It will be recalled that Governor Suswam dropped 11 commissioners out of the 16 that made up his cabinet two weeks ago. The CNPP boss, however, said that (APC) was formed to rescue Nigeria from the grip of underdevelopment. He said: “At the moment, the APC is spreading all over the country like wild fire with the major purpose of unifying the opposition elements so as to form a strong, reliable and unified political structure.”

Kano registers beggars for skill acquisition AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO L-R: Representative of President of Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), Alhaji Ahmed Isah; Zonal Business Manager, North-West Zone, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Jeremiah Essien and Chairman, KADCCIMA Sub-Committee, Alhaji Suleiman Aliyu, during the ‘Airtel Day’ ceremony at the ongoing 34th Kaduna International Trade Fair, yesterday.

ASUU flays woes confronting nation’s varsities •Wants Nasarawa varsity students’ killing probed AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO


he Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday expressed concern over some issues threatening academic and other activities in the nation’s universities. ASUU, however, asked the Federal Government to intervene immediately so as to avoid escalation of such problems. ASSU National President, Dr Nasir F. Isa, spoke with journalists at the union’s secretariat in Bayero University, Kano. Isa warned that the crisis being experienced in some universities were capable of derailing the focus of the institutions, if adequate steps were not taken to address them.

He mentioned some of the problems to include the killing of two students of Nasarwa State University in Keffi, the alleged imposition of Prof. B.B. Fakaye as the Vice-Chancellor of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) by Governor Rotimi Amechi and the non-payment of the salaries and entitlements of University of Ilorin academic staff, whose appointments were terminated by the Prof. Shuaibu Oba Abdulraheem-led administration in 2001, but returned to the university in 2009 following a Supreme Court judgement. Other disturbing issues, according to him, include the non-release of White Paper on Special Visitation to the Universi-

ty of Abuja, as well as the re-constitution of the Governing Council of Federal Universities. On the killing of the two students of Nasarawa State University, the ASUU boss condemned the recourse to military intervention in civil matters, stressing a more informed university leadership should have realised that there is no love lost between students and the armed security services. On RSUST VC issue, Isa flayed Governor Amaechi’s action for imposing Prof. Fakeye on the university. He then called for investigation into what it described as avoidable killing of the Nasarawa State University students with a view to bring the culprits to book.

Isa also called for the setting of a judicial panel of inquiry to establish the legality or otherwise of Prof. Fakeye’s re-appointment as RUUST vice-chancellor. He insisted that the President and Visitor to University of Ilorin should impress it on the administrators of the university to embrace openness and democratic ethos, stressing that the school must implement court judgments to the letter and allow its workers to exercise their right to from union without let or hindrance. Isa said: “The Federal Government should respect its promise not to allow a vacuum in the governance of universities by re-constituting and inaugurating Governing Councils for all federal universities immediately.”


he Kano Government has begun registration of street beggars with the aim of training them under its skill acquisition programme. Already, 500 of them have been registered and taken to designated centres where they will begin their training, according to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Disabled Matters, Alhaji Usman Yusuf Usman. Usman told National Mirror that the registration exercise is ongoing at various road junctions, roundabouts and other places where disabled persons and destitute are commonly found. According to him, those already registered and taken to the training centres were excited and had demonstrated their willingness to acquire skill. Usman said that the beggars would be trained

in elementary business, tailoring and welding. He said from investigation, most beggars, especially the physicallychallenged were forced by hardship to involve in begging for survival. According to him, those evacuated from the streets for the training were cripples, lepers, the blind and the deaf and dumb. He said the government initiated the programme as part of the measures to eradicate street-begging in the state. Usman said: “Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso has directed the office of Disabled Matters to conduct statistics of destitute on the streets to enable the government work out a programme that will cater for their needs.” The governor’s aide, therefore, appealed to the destitute to avail themselves of the opportunity by registering with centres of their choice so as to make a decent living.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

Minister warns against operation of illegal satellite campuses A ZA MSUE KADUNA


L-R: President of Global Shea Alliance, Mrs. Eugenia Akuete; Chairperson, Better Life for Rural Women in Africa, Hajia Aisha Babangida; representative of former Head of State, Gen Ibrahim Babangida, Col. Habibu Shuaibu (rtd) and Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliu, during the Shea 2013 Global Perspectives in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Nine children die of measles in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA


t least nine children have so far died in Katsina State following the outbreak of measles in virtually all the 34 local council areas of the state. Speaking to journalists yesterday, the state Commissioner for Health, Usaini Yanmama, confirmed that no fever than 1, 260 children were af-

fected by the disease. According to him, the figure was what was obtained in the state as at February 17, 2013 with the deaths and infection cases expected to have fluctuated within the past two weeks. A breakdown of the figures showed Funtua Local Government Area with three deaths, which was the highest, while Bakori, Malumfashi and Faskari had three, two and another two deaths respectively.

The report, a couple of days ago, indicated that 50 children were hospitalised at Kakumi, in Danja council area due to measles outbreak.” The state is among those that often record high mortality rates due to measles with about 165 children reported to have died in 2008 alone. But Yanmama attributed the outbreak of the disease to the refusal of some parents to take their children to hospitals for routine immunisation.

He said many of the children were affected by the disease as result of the flooding problem the state experienced during the last raining season. He, however, said that the state government has provided adequate drugs and vaccines to general hospitals and primary health centres to curtail the spread of the disease. He appealed to parents to always take their children to the nearest health centre for routine immunisation.

FG flags-off N4.3bn Lessel-Wajir, Vandeikya-Obudu roads OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA


he Federal Government yesterday continued its roads construction and rehabilitation drive as it again flagged-off the N4.3billion Lessel-Wajir, VandeikyaObudu Cattle Ranch roads. While Lessel-Wajir road is awarded to Tilley Gyado Limited for N1.035billion with a 14-month completion period, CCECC Nigeria Limited handles the Vandeikya-Obudu rehabilitation project costing N3.2billion and is expected to be completed within 12months. Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, who flagged-off the road projects, said the action was in tandem with the determination of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to open up the six geo-political zones

in the country to socio-economic activities through seamless mobility. In particular, he said the rehabilitation of Vandeikya-Obudu road, would boost economic activities in Benue State that is regarded as the food basket of the nation as well as it would enhance the tourist potentials of Cross River State through the Obudu Cattle Ranch. The minister said; “The flag-off of this road project is indicative of Mr. President’s determination to transform the socio-economic well-being of the people of this country by the provision of good and motorable roads that will link historical and tourist sites as well as interconnect the six geo-political zones of the country to enhance the movement of persons, goods and services, in an unhindered manner. “I am delighted that

the project is one of the major roads receiving the Federal Government’s attention for their rehabilitation and construction within the territory of the Tiv community of Benue State. “We are here to flag off this project, which when completed, will not only provide better access to Nigeria’s most important tourist destination - the Obudu Cattle Ranch, it will also improve the evacuation of farm produce and services within and outside Benue State.” While enjoining the leaders of the communities that the roads traverse to take possession of the projects through effective supervision, the minister warned the contractors to adhere strictly to the tenet of the country’s local content. He noted that part of the Federal Government’s intentions through the

roads projects, was to empower the country’s youths, stressing that the contractors should draw the bulk of their workers from their host communities. Onolememen, who explained that the contractors emerged after rigorous procurement exercise, however, admonished them to deploy their technical expertise and knowledge to the execution of the projects. Also, a senator representing North-East constituency in the state, Chief Banabas Gemade, commended the Federal Government for deeming it fit to approve the construction of the roads. According to him, the actualisation of the roads projects was part of his electoral promises to his people. Gemade called on the contractors to deliver to specification and timely too.

he Federal Government yesterday warned people who indulge in illegal activities of operating unlicensed schools in the name of satellite campuses and outreach centres to desist or face the full wrath of the law. Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai, gave this warning at a consultative meeting between the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, and Rectors of Polytechnics and Provosts of Colleges of Technology, held in Kaduna. She said such activities are often aided by some heads of government institutions. Rufai said henceforth, nobody will be allowed to compromise the future of Nigerians and mortgage the nation’s development, adding that government would continue to protect the integrity of the education system in the country from the activities of these ‘undesirable elements at all time.’ She also said that the

Federal Government will remain steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that the standard of education is not compromised. “While we desire to open access, we shall not compromise the future of Nigerians and mortgage our national development. Quality will be jealously guarded,” she said. She further said that as part of the four-year strategy for the development of the education sector, the Federal Government has planned a new approach for technical and vocational education training, making it a key area in recognition of its importance in enhancing skills. The minister added that government is also planning to invest about N6 billion as special intervention fund in science and technical colleges across the country. She added that government is not only providing equipment, rehabilitating laboratories and infrastructures, but that it has taken some steps to ensure that members of staff of the various colleges are motivated to continue to play a pivotal role in driving the transformation agenda of the present administration.

Centenary: Group wants recognition for Lokoja, Kabba WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA


owards the centenary celebration of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914, a Kogi State based group, Nigerian Cultural Development Consultants, NCDC, has charged the Federal Government to take into consideration, the role played by Lokoja as one of the earliest capitals of the country. In a statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the group, Dr. Hinmikalu Emiola Paul and Dr. Iroko Jacob Olurunishola respectively, the group said the role and place of Lokoja and its environs in the former Kabba Province cannot be over emphasised in the evolution of Nigeria. The group said the role played by prominent personalities; places and cities in the country must not be forgotten when celebrating the country’s achievements over the years. It pointed out that politically, the old Kabba Province

played host to Lord Lugard’s administration in the Northern Protectorate and is still economically playing host to giant industrial establishments that has no equal in Nigeria and Africa. NCDC also noted that the various historical relics, heritage sites, monuments and diverse environmental resources all combined to make Kogi State a unique one among others, adding that these dynamic roles in the past and present, is worthy of celebration. The group said its mission and vision is to project and highlight the dynamic role by Lokoja and the old Kabba Province to the past and present and it potentials for development. Also the group intends to critically examine the administrative activities of our political leaders in the country against the back drop of the colonial period to ascertain our national progress. We also solicit for partnership with the Kogi State government to make the centenary celebration a great success.

National Mirror

Tuesday, March 5, 2013



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

National Mirror

National Mirror

Tuesday, March 5, 2013



Most durable ice hockey player Vol. 03 No. 570


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Much ado about 2015

olitics in Nigeria is very unusual even though politicians profess to believe in universally acclaimed genre of democratic practice which is the government of the people for the people and by the people. The understanding of this principle is that the majority willingly surrender the mandate to the trusted politicians that will pursue programmes, projects and policies that ensure that the dividends of democracy are delivered with utmost assurance. There is, no doubt, that the electorate have willingly surrendered the mandate to their elected representatives to bring home the



The most durable ice hockey player is John Burnosky (USA), who began playing at Kelvin Technical High School, Winnipeg, Mantioba, Canada in 1929.

ormer France captain, Marcel Desailly, yesterday said that he still harbours the ambition of coaching the Ghana national team. The 44-year-old was one of the shortlisted candidates for the Black Stars job when it became vacant after Serbian Milovan Rajevac had left in 2010.

TALKINGPOINT Seyi Fasugba 08053069514 (sms only)

dividends through the execution of people-oriented programmes that will meet the yearnings of the voters. Handing over the mandate is not absolute, but hinged on the premise that the interest of the majority will be effectively taken care of by their elected representatives. This has made it possible for the voters to look forward to proper representation from their elected officials through their performance while in office. Failure to perform means failure to seek re-election or get the peoples’ approval for a return to office as an elected representative. This is a way to measure performance and secure the confidence of the voters in subsequent polls. The essence of measuring performance for public office holders is for the day of reckoning when they will have to give account of their stewardship to the people as the basis for asking for another opportunity to seek for the renewal of the mandate. Unfortunately, our brand of democracy seems not to have recognised this fact as politicians are known to humble and see themselves as the true servants of the people before they secure the victory to be in office. This has been the pattern and the polity is not getting the benefits due to it from this experience.




THIS CONTEXT, THE PEOPLE SUFFER With performance in office that speaks volumes, the electorate will surely not have challenges knowing who to vote for in the next election even before the start of electioneering campaign. But underlying the agitations currently tearing the parties and politicians apart long before the elections is a clear demonstration of individual ambition to remain in office and to justify the reason why they must continue while relegating the crucial issue of performance based on promises to make a strong case above other contenders. Two years to the next elections are quite much to record tangible accomplishments for the benefits of the people and the polity. The parties have all gone in search of sensitising the voters, not mind-

ing the outcome of their stewardship to the people that elected them in the first instance and what they have delivered as a point of reference to what they are capable of doing again. That has been the bane of governance in our own nascent democracy and without mincing words, the effect of this on our people cannot be underestimated. Enough of this agitations and let us have the feel of the promises of the past three years. In a bid to actualise the ambition to remain relevant come 2015, the political parties have started the battle in earnest and at the rate the confrontation is going, we are sure to witness deadly tackles both within the party in power and the opposition. A house divided against itself cannot stand. That gradually is becoming the story of the political class as the countdown to 2015 draws near. From the Peoples Democratic Party to the opposition parties coming under a merger of the All Progressive Congress,. The battle line appears drawn and when two elephants fight, the grass, and in this context, the people suffer. One would have thought that before all available resources would be deployed to fighting a battle that is not now, the electorate must be made to experience the true benefits of good governance. The basic necessities and amenities of life are still far removed from the reach of the common man; the roads are hardly passable for the tax payers even as the rainy season approaches. The call to war raging among the politicians must, however, be a clarion call to the voters to be discerning and use this period to know the genuine from the fake vote seekers whose mission is to self ambition rather than the public good of the majority.

Sport Extra

No going back on Black Stars’ job –Desailly But the 1998 World Cup winner withdrew from the contest, citing “excessive delay of the appointment process” of the new coach. Desailly was again favoured to land the job as the replacement of Goran Stevanovic following Ghana’s disappointing finish at

the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, only for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to appoint then assistant coach Kwesi Appiah as the substantive boss. ‘’I hope to give back the experiences I have had with France as coach of Ghana one day,” De-

sailly, who was born to Ghanaian parents and had a successful club career with Olympique Marseillle, AC Milan and Chelsea, said. Desailly also won the European and Confederations Cups in 2000 and 2001.

Marcel Desailly

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013  
Tuesday, March 5, 2013  

Again, gunmen kill MOPOL commander. outrage trails Kwara CP’s murder. Chime places N10m ransom on assassins. Recruitment: How MDAs cir...