No plan to hike fuel price –NNPC
Fire outbreak at Lagos deputy gov’s house
...advises motorists to stop panic buying UDEME AKPAN
he pump price of fuel will not be increased in January, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,
Vol. 2 N0. 524
NNPC, has assured. Speaking with newsmen in Abuja yesterday, the Acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Fidel Pepple, said that the Federal Government
had already made provision for subsidy in the 2013 budget. He also advised motorists to stop panic buying, stressing that there was no truth in the ongoing CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Monday, December 31, 2012
JTF kills four terrorists, arrests 51 others Security agents aborted Xmas Day attacks –President Tambuwal calls for serious actions against Boko Haram
ROTIMI FADEYI, TORDUE SALEM, A ZA MSUE AND INUSA NDAHI
There’s still hope for Nigeria’s greatness –Obasanjo
he Joint Task Force, JTF, in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, yesterday said that four suspected members of the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram, and a police officer were killed during a shootout in Potiskum. It also said that 51 other suspects had been arrested by security forces. Spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Eli Lazarus, in a statement to journalists from Yobe State, said: “Four suspected members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect were killed in a renewed clash between the JTF and the insurgents. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Crowd at the scene where a purported Arabic inscription of Allah appeared on the ground on a street at Idumota in Lagos, yesterday. Inset: The inscription. STORY ON PAGE 9. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Senate’ll probe N262bn supplementary budget, says Ngige e External reserves drop by $80m –CBN P.A6, A7
ACN, PDP differ on Jonathan’s performance
Guild of Editors condemns attacks on journalists
We mean well for Nigerians –Presidency
Wada now walking without help –Doctor P.51 Registration: CIBN axe dangles on bankers P.7
Monday, December 31, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
ICT sector challenges remain obstacles to speedy growth The year 2012 is best described as a year of mixed development for the nation’s Information and Communication Technology industry, owing to a number of challenges confronting growth in some critical segments of the market, as captured in this assessment by KUNLE AZEEZ.
n spite of conscious efforts by the Federal Government to ensure that the revolution in voice telephony experienced a decade ago is replicated in the provision of broadband, and also in other segments such as software and hardware segments, the country only ended the year with just hopes that these target will be achieved as a later date. At the outset of 2012, the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said that working closely with all its agencies, Nigeria would drive activities that would deepen drive broadband penetration, improve quality of service for both voice and data services, and increase computer penetration as well as promote indigenous applications development and software entrepreneurship. However, while there were positive outlook for some of the segments of the industry, there still exist a number of challenges confronting the ICT sector, which, in one way or the other, have conspired against industry expectations in the industry. Thriving voice market The astronomical growth in the mobile telephony subscriptions experienced in the past decade of telecoms liberalisation continued unabated, indicating consistently increased telephony access to Nigerians. This is attested to by latest subscriber data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission. According to the NCC, though Nigeria ended 2011 with active telecoms subscriber of 95.8 million, the number of subscriptions increased dramatically from 96.1 million in January 2012 to reach over 109.4 million at the end of October, 2012, which is the latest data from the telecoms industry regulator. With additional 13.3 million subscriptions recorded in 2012, analysts say the voice market has defied all projections, though they also point out that conscious efforts must be made to ensure that access is extended to the unserved and under-served areas of the country. According to the immediate Vice Chairman of the NCC and Founder, Open Media, Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, “Most rural areas are yet to have access to telephony services and I think with proper incentives and the use of the Universal Service provision Fund, Nigeria can deepen access top telephony in those areas that operators consider not economically profitable or safe for them to operate.” Broadband still a dream
ICT Minister, Omobola Johnson
REGULATORY AND LEGISLATIVE INTERVENTIONS ARE REQUIRED IN TACKLING THE LAST-MILE CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGE
From all indications, the Ministry of Communications Commission, working with the NCC held series of stakeholder’s consultations forums, both locally and internationally to drive home the strategies for ensuring ubiquitous broadband deployment in the country. At one of the forums, the NCC adopted an open access model to broadband deployment. Indeed, Broadband, with connotes access to high speed internet services to collaborate and deliver tasks more efficiently, is expected to facilitate the growth and availability of innovative and evolving ICT services which will increase the national Gross Domestic Product. Unequivocally, industry stakeholders have said provision of incentives by government will; no doubt, stimulate investments in broadband deployment similar to the tax exemption granted to GSM operators at the inception of GSM mobile services in Nigeria, even as recent study shows that there is huge demand gap for broadband services in Nigeria. However, there is insufficient infrastructure to support the provision of broadband to meet the demand. Meanwhile, assessing Nigeria’s broadband drive in 2012, the Chief Executive Officer, Main One, Ms Funke Opeke, identified last-mile challenge factor inhibiting faster deployment broadband services across the country, among others
such as Right of Way issue and other anti-competitive practices rampant among operators. “Regulatory and legislative interventions are required in tackling the last-mile connectivity challenge in the country, by addressing the issue of Right of Way approval for faster deployment broadband facilities,” she said. She also identified lack of primary infrastructure, high cost of deployment, and some anti-competitive practices among operators in the broadband market as other challenges slowing down broadband deployment in the country. “We believe that there need to be an infrastructure sharing framework or policy that will ensure that available infrastructure is available on commercial basis. It is a policy that can be set up in 60 days without having to do any serious study,” she stated. But consistent on pursuing the government broadband agenda, the Omobola has said the Harmonised National ICT policy acknowledges that broadband is an enabler of economic and social growth in the Nigerian economy. Omobola, said though 2012 had been used to begin laying of solid foundation for broadband agenda, in driving the agenda, government shall provide periodic review of the broadband and penetration targets in order to determine further action for broadband expansion; promote both supply and demandside policies that create incentives for broadband backbone and access network deployment as well as facilitating broadband development and deployment, leveraging on existing universal service framework, among others.
Going forward, “Furthermore, work has to be done to remove the obstacle and constraints that state government put in the way of the deployment for broadband infrastructure,” she assured. Quality of service, still a challenge One of the problems that runs like motif in the course of the year bothers on the intermittent quality of service, which the NCC did not, in any way, has refused to treat with kid glove. Earlier in the year and for the first time in the history of telecommunications services, the NCC came down heavily on telecoms networks on May 11, 2012, by slamming N1.17bn fines on the four GSM companies of MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat over their failure to meet the Key Performance Indicators on Quality of Service, set by the Commission, for the months of March and April, 2012. Also on 12 November, 2012, the NCC also banned all promotions and lotteries being run by telecoms seven telecoms companies in Nigeria to decongest the network, following evaluation of subscribers’ complaints received on dwindling quality of service, especially against the backdrop of sustaining the integrity of the networks, the general interest of the consumers, the socio-economic impact of these promotions on operators and other relevant stakeholders. But beyond the promos and the purported inability of telecoms networks to handle the growing subscriber numbers on their networks, necessitating a need for constant network upgrade, the National Chairman, Association of
Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, argued that the continuous attacks on telecoms facilities the flood incident in some parts of northern Nigeria, among other sundry operating challenges, had conspired to dampen network quality. “We need government intervention in helping us solve most of the challenges that we face as operators in the Nigerian operating environment. Issues relating to willful damage to our facilities challenge of RoW, multiple taxations and the need to accord telecoms facilities national security infrastructures, among others,” he said. Indigenous IT firms Indigenous computer firms and software companies continue to face serious threat of poor patronage. Most Nigerians till prefer to patronise foreign IT products, leading to annual capital flight running into several billion of Naira in the nation’s ICT sector. In April this year, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) was awarded the International Arch of Europe Award in the Gold Category by Business Initiative Directions (BID). It is significant to state that this is the first time that Nigeria’s indigenous Software initiative has received global recognition. Also, in mid-December, The United Nations has recognised and commended the contribution of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) towards Information Technology development in Nigeria. The recognition came the way of ISPON in some sections of the United Nations Information Economy Report 2012 recently released where the report principally focused on “The Software Industry and Developing Countries.” National Mirror learnt that this was the first time Nigeria Software Strategic Initiative received a commendable mention in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Documentation. In the course of the year, the Ministry of Communications Technology also made frantic efforts to establish software incubation centre to develop software entrepreneurs as well as creating funding framework for the entrepreneurs.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
igeria’s maritime industry in the 2012 fiscal year kicked oﬀ on a rather shaky note. The sudden removal of fuel subsidy as announced by President Goodluck Jonathan on January 1, took most people unawares. In a subsequent total strike declared by combined forces of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Congress (TUC), the economy was completely shut down as all activities were grinded to a halt. The seaports and the various border stations were worse hit by this closure of the economy. The eight-day strike did not only aﬀect every aspect of the economy negatively but also aﬀected neighbouring African countries, especially the Republic of Benin and Niger Republic. As would be expected, the seaports were shut, ships could not berth,the berthed ones could not leave because there were no pilots to bring the awaiting ones in or send out those already discharged. The Nigerian Ports Authority was the greatest loser, since it depends on the in and out movement of cargo to make its revenue. Another casualty in the fuel subsidy brouhaha was the Nigeria Customs Service. Customs Area Controller in charge of Apapa Area 1, Alhaji Yusuf Garko had disclosed that the command failed to make its N27bnmonthly revenue target, as it collected N15.4bn in January, in February it collected N21.3 bn and in March it collected 21.2 bn. He said: “Apapa command’s dismal performance in the first quarter was due to the uncertainties that characterised the beginning of the year such as the fuel subsidy removal and the crisis it generated”. The 2012 fiscal year also witnessed unsuccessful bid by the management of the service to introduce benchmark duty on specified imported goods. Under the policy, a total of 26 imported items, which include complete knocked down and fully built air conditioners, different models of television sets, fully built and CKD refrigerator, car and truck tyres, aluminium coils both colour and ordinary, small generating sets and both CKD and fully built motorcycles selected. Others are tomato paste, auto batteries, margarine, motorcycle spare parts, wines, made up textiles, biscuits, granite tiles, candles, yeast, aluminium profiles and roofing nails. Comptroller General of the service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko employed every tool at his disposal to force the policy, which met severe resistance down the throat of stakeholders. At first, the CG adopted the blackmail approach when he invited the leadership and elders of the various freight forwarding associations to Abuja at separate times to tell them during closeddoor meetings that any one of them that opposes the policy will be the greatest enemy of the service and will be treated likewise. The Customs boss at the meetings did not make any pretension about the fact that any opposition
Monday, December 31, 2012
Containers at the port
2012: Mixed grill for Nigeria’s maritime industry A rising wave of piracy, scandals in fuel importation, friction between Customs and shippers over an attempt to impose new tariffs on certain categories of goods combined to make 2012 a period of mixed fortunes for sector operators. FRANCIS EZEM captures the highlights of the year. to the new policy will endanger the realisation of his N1trn self-imposed revenue target, which was part of his game plan to remain in office. The second approach was the dialogue, which was adopted when it became obvious that the blackmail strategy did not yield the expected results, as there were several dissenting voices within the associations. The Customs-boss therefore arranged two separate “town hall” meetings both in Lagos during which m=the freight forwarders and importers gladly invited the media so as to drive the last nail into the coffin of the policy but the CG punctured this when he ordered the media out of the meetings both at Apapa Customs and the Trade Fair Complex. The operators, who see the new policy as suspension of the H.S Code and Nigeria’s Cargo Tariff Structure, noted that the duty paid on any imported good should be derived from a certain percent of the value of the goods in question. But the most vocal opposition to this policy is the Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalition, which says it will employ every legal means to fight the imposition including seeking a legal action. Legal adviser of the group, Mr. Osuala Nwagbara, said the imposition of benchmark duty on the 26 items is illegal and that Customs should revert to status quo without further waste of time. “The real reason for the imposition of this obnoxious duty benchmark is to enable the service make the N1tr revenue target for the 2012 fiscal year, out of which it receives seven percent of the total collections and not to facilitate 48-hour
APAPA COMMAND’S DISMAL PERFORMANCE IN THE FIRST QUARTER WAS DUE TO THE UNCERTAINTIES THAT CHARACTERISED THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR
cargo clearance as claimed by the service”, he insisted “This imposition is discriminatory since it only applies to 26 items, arbitrary and illegal as it contravenes the Customs and Excise Management Amendment Act, which ratifies the 1994 World Trade Organisation, World Customs Organisation implementation agreement on valuation of imported goods”, the legal advised insisted”, Nwagbara noted. But what appeared the last straw that broke the camel’s back was a petition written to the Presidency by the president of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, compelled the Presidency to direct the CG to suspend the obnoxious policy. Another major event that shaped the Nigerian maritime industry in the 2012 was the security contract entered into by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. The agency had faced a barrage of criticisms over the N16bn concession of the maritime security domain to a private firm, Global West Vessel Specialist Nigeria Limited, allegedly owned
by Alhaji Asari Dokubor and Tompolo, former Niger Delta militants. Under the contract, GWVSNL, will undertake supply and crewing of the boats for the policing of the entire stretch of the Nigerian coastline from Lagos to Calabar, Cross River State, with an initial investment of $103,400,000.00 (N16 billion), for 10 years in the first instance, “under a no cure, no pay” arrangement. What appeared the peak of the crisis generated by the concession was a press briefing organised by the Indigenous Ship Owners Association, umbrella body of all indigenous shipping companies. Chairman of the association, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, who described the concession as illegal, swore that members of the association would not allow former militants to board and carryout security search on their vessels Director General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who was visibly worried had organised a stakeholders’ forum to explain some of the issues. While speaking in stout defence of the contract at the event, he said it was a strategic concession on operational platforms and associated electronic surveillance system for
enforcement of NIMASA mandate, saying that the increasing activities of pirates constitute a threat to the economy. According to him, apart from the menace of piracy, the agency was also faced with bureaucratic system of governance, which impeded its ability to rapidly respond to these issues of piracy. “I tell you, most of those fighting us over this strategic concession are those powerful illegal bunkerers, whose businesses have been greatly threatened by the surveillance mounted by this joint patrol team”, he noted. While insisting that the GWVSL has nothing to do with ex-militants, he noted that the duty of policing the nation’s waterfronts still lies with the relevant security organisations, the agency and Navy, adding that the Memorandum of Understanding between NIMASA and Navy had recently been reinforced to make for better policing of the maritime waters. As the dust raised by security contract was about to settle, the agency was in the news again. This time, it was the decision of the Federal Government to carry a major shake-up in the agency and NPA, which almost consumed the DG himself.
Monday, December 31, 2012
L-R: Abia State Govenor Theodore Orji; his wife; Mercy; Minister for Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala; Prince Vincent Ogbulafor and Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, during the traditional wedding of Uzoamaka, daughter of Chief Onyema Ugochukwu in Umuahia, at the weekend.
L-R: Director, Administrative and Supplies, National Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Zannah Muhammad; Regional Pastor, Region 5, Gospel Faith Mission International, Pastor Emmanuel Afolabi and Area Pastor, Kubwa District, Pastor Ayorinde Felix, during the presentation of relief materials to flood victims in Abuja, at the weekend. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Special Assistant Media to Ogun State Governor’s wife, Mr. Idowu Sowunmi; wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun and wife of Commissioner for Local Governments & Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs. Olufunke Oladipo, during the reception ceremony after the burial programme of Idowu’s late mother, Mrs. Janet Sowunmi at Ibogun Sowunmi Village, Ifo, Ogun State, weekend
L-R: Legal Counsel of Lekki Port Lftz Enterprise, Ms. Adesuwa Ladoja; Managing Director of Tolaram Group in Nigeria, Mr. Haresh Aswani; Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu and Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Habib Abdullahi, during the signing of shareholders’ agreement with Lagos State Government and NPA on Lekki Port in Lagos at the weekend.
Equities gain 34.4% in 2012 as confidence returns JOHNSON OKANLAWON
nvestors in equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, have cause to smile this year, as the market recorded an impressive year-to-date gain of 34 per cent in 2012, as against the downward trend recorded at the close of trading in 2011. The benchmark index rose significantly by 34.42 per cent to close at 27,866.51 points, from the opening figure of 20,730.63 points on January 3, 2012, in contrast to 16.3 per cent decline in 2011, from 24,770.52 points
to 20,730.63 points on the last trading day of 2011. Market capitalisation rose by N2.37trn or 36.3 per cent to close the year at N8.91trn, from the opening figure of N6.53trn on January 3, 2012 when trading began in the equities. In 2011, the market capitalisation of the listed equities lost 17.4 per cent, from N7.91trn at the beginning of the year to N6.53trn on Friday, December 30, 2011, the last trading day. The market performance makes the NSE the third best frontier market trailing behind only Turkey and The Philippines.
Fitch, GCR assign positive credit ratings to UBA JOHNSON OKANLAWON
nited Bank for Africa, UBA Plc, has been given impressive ratings by two top world leading rating agencies, Global Credit Rating Co. (GCR) and Fitch Ratings (Fitch). The good ratings attest to the group’s strong liquidity, solid risk management and robust balance sheet.
GCR assigned UBA a long term national rating of AA- and a long term international rating of B+, both with stable outlook. The agency also affirmed the first two issuances of the group’s N400bn Medium Term Debt Capital Raising Programme as high investment grade instruments, based on the group’s strong fundamentals and widespread brand recognition.
Specifically, Lotus Islamic Index, which tracks the performance of Islamic compliance companies, led the sectorial indices by 44.41 per cent to close at 1,771.59 points, followed by the NSE 30-Index with 43.37 per cent to close at 1,324.44 points. The Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 41.28 per cent to close at 832.97 points, while the Banking Index increased by 21.19 per cent to close at 332.37 points. The oil and gas sector recorded the worst performance, as the index shed 30.68 per cent to close at 152.58
points, followed by the Insurance Index with 17.35 per cent to close at 118.64 points. Speaking to National Mirror, lead stock analyst at Meristem Securities Limited, Mr. Taiwo Yusuf attributed the downward trend recorded in the oil and gas sector to dwindling confidence of investors on the indicted companies in the oil subsidy probe. According to him, the issue on corporate governance is very important in making decision on investment and once a company trust is in doubt, there is tendency for
investors to change portfolio. On the insurance sector, the Managing Director of Trust Yields Securities Limited, Alhaji Rasheed Yussuff, said weak regulation, lack of expertise and ignorance of insurance business in the country was responsible for the poor performance. “They disappointed us in the market because we thought they should be the leading player. All over the world, it is the insurance company that makes the capital market. Just like the pension fund, they are for long term investment.
OPS urge legislators to rescind decision on SEC JOHNSON OKANLAWON
he Organised Private Sector, OPS, has asked the National Assembly to look beyond the person of the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh on the zero allocation to the commission. It stated that SEC is a strategic regulatory institution in the Nigerian
financial sector, noting that the current stance of the National Assembly has a number of unintended consequences, some which include perception and reputational risk for the stability and credibility of the country’s capital market. Others are adverse impact on regulatory effectiveness in the market, rolling back of the recent gains and sending wrong signals about the nation’s democratic pro-
cess, especially the preservation of the tenets and values of separation of powers. In a statement signed by the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Muda Yusuf, the OPS enjoined the lawmakers to give consideration to the wider implications of its decision for the economy. “We believe there are adequate provisions in our laws and a multi-
“The principle of insurance is very clear, out of 100 people you insured, you are hoping that 10 per cent of them will make a claim. Then, the 90 per cent premium being contributed annually should be used wisely on long term investments. So, by the time the 10 per cent would make a claim, there will be enough funds to settle the claims,” he said. Yussuff remarked that the people in the insurance sector have not gotten it right, saying that they need a kind of surgical operation in the sector.
tude of state institutions that could be deployed to bring any erring public official to justice. This is a better option to explore rather than a clampdown on a strategic regulatory institution,” the statement said. The chamber, however, commended the National Assembly on the early passage of the 2013 Appropriation Bill, saying that it has heightened the prospect of improved budget implementation.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, December 31, 2012
ACN, PDP differ on Jonathan’s performance AYODELE OJO
DEPUTY EDITOR, POLITICS
he Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of running a government of deceit, making false promises to Nigerians and that his administration has been overstating its achievements. The party in a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described President Jonathan as a professional mourner who had
resorted to endless lamentation instead of decisive action on terrorism. The Presidency has denied the allegation and in turn accused the ACN of engaging in politics of hate. It also accused the ACN of creating an atmosphere of fear and disenchantment against the government. Also, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said it was not surprised by the ACN’s outburst as “they (ACN) have exhibited no capacity to govern by their failure to suggest so-
lutions to problems.” ACN had described the Jonathan administration’s claim that the bombings and killings in the North had decreased from January to December as “fabricated cold comfort and a disservice to millions of our citizens who are daily being subjected to terror attacks.” Mohammed said: “Well, we are not surprised at the claim of reduced terror attacks by the Jonathan administration. “After all, the same administration claimed that global anti-corruption
body, Transparency International, acknowledged Nigeria’s progress in fighting corruption, when nothing like that ever happened. “To set the records straight, 750 people have been killed in terror attacks in the North this year, a figure higher than about 570 killed in 2011, and not counting the latest killings in Borno and Adamawa states.” The party also slammed the President’s Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, for making himself “a purveyor
L-R: Pastor Mike Mshella of Aso Rock Chapel; Executive Secretary, Christian Pilgrimage Commission, John Opara; Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe; mother of President Goodluck Jonathan, Eunice and the President at the New Year Church Service in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
of blatant lies and for denigrating the country’s opposition for daring to criticise a non-performing government.” It added that only a government wallowing in the cesspool of corruption and lacking self-respect and decency could pick as its spokesperson a man who had been shown to be “an epitome of corruption by collecting funds for contracts that were not executed.” The party stated that the PDP-led administration has failed to provide employment opportunities for teeming Nigerians. ACN also said the government’s claim, through Okupe, that it will generate 780,000 jobs in 2013 through the ‘Young Graduate Employment Scheme’ and 5,000 jobs in each of the 36 states through SURE-P is the latest example of the administration’s lies. ‘’Our advice to the teeming young graduates who have no jobs is that they should not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by this promise. “They should remember that this same administration promised to create 10,000 jobs in each of the 36 states through SURE-P in 2012. The year is over,
JTF kills four terrorists, arrests 51 others CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
One policeman attached to the JTF was also killed while a soldier sustained injuries during the clash.” Lazarus added that four AK 47 rifles, one double barrelled gun, 16 magazines and 380 rounds of ammunition were recovered during the search. Other items recovered include two gas cylinders and several improvised explosive devices, IEDs, making materials. “The over 50 persons were arrested during the operation and were currently undergoing interrogation,” he added. In Kaduna State, the Army authorities said two injured Boko Haram suspects were receiving medical treatment in an undisclosed hospital in the metropolis and would be interrogated immedi-
ately after discharge. Army Deputy Public Relations, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col. Sani Usman, had in a statement on Thursday said that soldiers and other security agencies killed five suspected members of Boko Haram in Rigasa suburb of the city. Their bomb-making factory was also destroyed, leaving two with various degrees of injuries. Usman said: “No update yet but the two injured terrorists are still in the hospital receiving treatment. They will be treated first after which security agents will interrogate them for more useful information. “I can’t tell you whether they are in Kaduna or out of Kaduna, but what I can tell you is that they
are in security custody in the hospital for medical attention. “We can’t just embark on operation; it is based on information from the public, security intelligence. “We are still appealing to residents to assist security with useful information on criminal elements and report any suspicious movement within their areas.” Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the present administration was committed to the fight against terrorism and the current security challenge posed by Boko Haram. President Jonathan stated that government would ensure that the activities of the sect did not push the nation backward.
Speaking at a Sunday service at the “Ekklisiyar Yaruwa a Nigeria”, EYN, (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), Utako, Abuja, the President said the strategic security plans provided were already yielding fruitful results. He explained that the militant sect had planned to carry out deadly attacks on Christmas Day but that they were aborted by the security agencies. The President said: “The Boko Haram planned to carry out a lot of attacks on Christmas Day but security agencies suppressed their plans. “Although we still recorded some incidents but the extent of attacks which they planned was not allowed to be executed. “Boko Haram will not push us backwards. If
their plan is to stop government from providing dividend of democracy, they would not succeed because 2013 will be a good year for Nigerians and Nigeria.” He noted that terrorism and suicide bombings were not part of culture of any section of the country and wondered how the menace came into the nation. The President said that Christianity and Islam are religions of peace and tolerance which forbid killings and bloodletting. President Jonathan, however, thanked the authorities and members of the EYN for keeping the faith and remaining calm even in the face of provocation. Earlier, the officiating pastor, Rev. Daniel Mbaya, had said that about 50 of their churches had
and all we have now are phantom jobs and more fake promises,” the party said. Also, the ACN said the government’s promise of stable electricity in 2013 was unrealistic and deceitful. The party urged Nigerians to ensure that their generators are in good working condition. ACN said: “The administration said it has generated an all-time high 4,500 megawatts and will increase the number to 7,000MW in 2013. What a celebration of tokenism! In the first instance, the government should be ashamed to tell Nigerians it has been able to generate only 4,500MW from a huge expenditure of $16bn! “Also, no one needs a rocket scientist to know that 4,500MW cannot ensure stable electricity supply in a country of 160 million people, when South Africa, with less than onethird of Nigeria’s population, generates over 40,000MW. “There you have it, dear long-suffering Nigerians, don’t throw away your generators yet just because of an imaginary power stability promised by a government spokesCONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
been burnt and 109 of their members killed in the North by the Boko Haram sect. He said the church, which is predominantly in the North-East, was the worst hit by the Boko Haram attack. Mbaya also noted that the President was the first leader to worship in any branch of the church nationwide since its inception. In a sermon titled, “Working with God” and taken from the Book of Genesis Chapter 5:22-24, the clergy emphasised the benefits of putting God first in all human endeavours. Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday called for unity against insecurity and other problems CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Monday, December 31, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
No plan to hike fuel price –NNPC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
rumour that there would be an increase in the pump price of fuel in January 2013. Pepple called on marketers to avoid diversion of petroleum products to black marketers, adding that stringent punitive actions would be meted out to those found wanting. He also advised marketers of petroleum products to liaise with the NNPC to ensure sustained supply and distribution of petroleum products into the New Year. Pepple added that the
vandalised Ije-Ododo and Arepo pipelines in Lagos and Ogun had been restored, stressing that pumping of premium motor spirit, PMS, otherwise known as petrol, had resumed in depots and tank farms in the system 2B, spanning from Atlas-Cove to Ilorin. He explained that with the restoration of the IjeOdodo and the system 2B pipelines, normalcy had been restored in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country. He said: “I can affirm
to you that our engineers from the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited, PPMC, have finally fixed the Ije-Ododo pipeline that was ruptured last Monday by activities of pipeline vandals. “Going forward, the good news for Nigerians is that we have resumed pumping of petroleum products through the pipeline and system 2B is equally working after the restoration of the pipeline.”
Pepple described media reports that fuel scarcity and queues in some parts of the country might extend beyond the New Year as mischievous. He explained that the corporation still maintained zero tolerance for fuel scarcity and fuel queues in filling stations. He stated that the recent fuel queues were basically due to the activities of pipeline vandals; the closure of a number of filling stations due to
the Christmas holidays and not shortage of petroleum products. The NNPC spokesman stated that the corporation has product sufficiency that can sustain the country for more than a month, stressing that concerted efforts by the NNPC to wet every part of the country with petrol to ease the movement of people as they travel from one place to the other before and after the New Year, is con-
tinuous and will be sustained. Investigations over the weekend showed that there was a substantial reduction in fuel queues which became very visible in Lagos and its environs. Spokesman of NIPCO, Mr. Lawal Taofeek said the situation may improve after the holidays as many parties involved in the process of fuel distribution, especially tanker drivers return to work.
JTF kills four terrorists, arrests 51 others CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
bedevilling the country. The Speaker in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr. Imam Imam, “urged Nigerians to intensify prayers for their fatherland and look to the future with optimism as the country moves into the New Year.” The statement added: “The challenges that confronted the country especially in the last two years would be surmounted in the New Year if all Nigerians unite with a common goal.
“Nigeria is a beautiful country whose full potential remains untapped. “My hope and prayer is that we all experience a peaceful and prosperous New Year for our country and for people.” The Speaker reiterated the resolve of the House to “continue on its chosen path of putting the country first at all times.” He called on all Nigerians to pray “to God to continue to bless Nigeria and Nigerians in the New Year and beyond.”
Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Ihiala Command, Mr. Daniel Asanya (right), presenting drugs to Chief Executive Officer, Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital, Ihiala , Dr. Peter Uzochukwu, in Ihiala Anambra State at the weekend.
ACN, PDP differ on Jonathan’s performance CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
man who has nothing but disdain for the truth.” ACN advised the Jonathan administration to level up with Nigerians by admitting its failings and rolling up its sleeves, so to say, to reverse the ‘transmogrification’ which the President’s Transformation Agenda has become, instead of relying on a hypocritical spokesman to peddle lies to citizens who are already reeling under the failure of an impotent government. But the PDP in a statement made available to National Mirror by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, yesterday described the ACN’s statement as classless and full of insults on the President. The PDP said: “First,
the statement is classless as it is only a tissue of insults based on condemnations and lamentation. “That ACN and opposition parties in Nigeria often resort to insults and doomsday predictions is not surprising, as they have exhibited no capacity to govern by their failure to suggest alternatives and/or solutions as is the hallmark of credible opposition parties all over the world. “To recycle insults and engage in doomsday predictions is a sign of a confused and demented opposition totally attuned to preferring anarchy as a system of government.” The PDP said what was expected of the ACN was to condole with the families who have lost relatives
in the insurgency in the North rather than playing politics with terrorism. “Nigerians have acknowledged the heroics of our patriotic security operatives in tackling the terror attacks never envisaged a little over two years ago. It is shear wickedness and downright unpatriotic not to appreciate and commend men who are battling at the risk of their own lives to protect our families and our great country. The least ACN and opposition should do is to console the families of our fallen heroes and families of other victims instead of playing cheap and dirty politics with human lives,” Metuh said. The ruling party also accused the ACN of planning to sabotage the power
sector reform. His words: “We recommend to ACN to continue to patronise generators imported by their leaders who are desperate to sabotage the ongoing power reform. To the rest of Nigerians we ask you to keep faith with our honest and humble president in his selfless agenda to transform our power sector and other vital sectors of our economy. “ Speaking with National Mirror last night from United Kingdom, Okupe said he was not surprised by the ACN’s statement. “The hallmark of their politics is to deceive Nigerian people and create an atmosphere of fear and disenchantment against government. A political party that fails
to face reality will by its failure lose credibility among the generality of the people,” Okupe told National Mirror. The president aide’s said there were no lies in the government’s claim about its achievements. His words: “What was expressed at the press conference was a review of the achievements of government in 2012 which covers power, agriculture, infrastructure and security. The facts are genuine and they are true and a dismissal by Lai Mohammed and the ACN does not invalidate the truth. “Nigerians know that there is a measure of improvement in the supply of electricity. In agricultural sector, the progress made in cassava, rice, cot-
ton and sorghum outputs are incontrovertible. “The incidents of bombing over a period of January to November are figures carefully collated and if ACN has contrary figures, they should publish theirs and let Nigerians know. “The characteristics of ACN is typified by their dissemination of falsehood, disinformation and supercilious of politics of hate. “The administration of Jonathan will not be deterred by cheap blackmail and negative references but the president will continue to focus on his policies to make Nigeria better and improve the living conditions of Nigerians in 2013 at the end of which the ACN will be brought to shame.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 31, 2012
NASS must seek advice in air crash probe –Obakpolor OLUSEGUN KOIKI
roup Capt John Obakpolor (rtd) has advised members of the National Assembly, especially the committees on aviation, to always seek professional advice when investigating air incidents or accidents. He said this would make the committees’ recommendations acceptable to all and sundry, while grey areas, which could lead to controversies and distortion of facts would be expunged before the final presentation to the larger House.
Obakpolor, who is the chairman of the Technical and Administrative Review Panel on Domestic Airlines, gave the advice yesterday in Lagos. He described the recent recommendations of both Houses of Assembly led by Senator Hope Uzodinma of the Senate and the House of Representatives’ Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha as hasty and unsubstantiated, which could make the country a laughing stock before international community. The Nkiruka Onyejeocha-led committee had recommended that Dana’s Air Operator’s Certificate,
AOC, should be revoked, alleging that it was not issued in compliance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Civil Regulations Guideline 2009. The committee also called for the immediate dismissal and criminal prosecution of the Director-General of, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, for his action and inaction in the Dana crash at Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos, which claimed about 163 lives. Obakpolor said accident investigation was not punitive, but advisory, adding that the committee knew nothing about aviation
practises and regulations. He said: “When will this hasty and unsubstantiated decision making attitude stop? Enough is enough. Seek professional advice before taking such farreaching decisions. “The history of aviation industry accidents or incidents is as old as the industry itself. When they happen, it takes time and patience to unravel and the causes found are used to proffer solution for future occurrence of such accidents or incidents. “The results are never punitive in nature or else the spate of accident or incident would be exacer-
bated. “If we have to apply the Hope Uzodinma approach, there would be no aviation industry in the next one year. I am happy that we operate a system of checks and balances. “In all my years in aviation industry, both here and abroad, I have never come across a situation as this: where a group of people constitute themselves as judge and jury to pronounce judgment in a case, which they are not professionally competent. It was a travesty of justice.” Obakpolor explained that in an accident investigation, the investigator must have open mind to allow free flow of information. According to him, an investigator is not expected to draw conclusion until the evidence before him points towards that direction. He recalled that at its inauguration, the committee directed that the NCAA DG stepped aside to allow
for unhindered investigation. But to him, the directive is condemnable because an accident is not a financial misappropriation matter, which would have required him to step down. “He was playing out somebody’s script, who have zero tolerance for healthy competition in the industry. “This idea was brought to me when I headed the administrative panel on the same Dana crash investigation. I thought it was a joke, but I now know better. “How else can one explain why a committee of a legislative arm of government now wishes to assume the role of NCAA in the issuance of AOC and its revocation. “The two chambers joint committee members must be guided in the way they trod carelessly in aviation terrain. Free flow of information is the bedrock of safety consolidation aviation,” Obakpolor added.
NGE condemns harassment of journalists, calls for cooperation to stem violence OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
T Crowd at the scene where a purported Arabic inscription of Allah appeared on the ground at Idumota in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
CIBN axe dangles over bankers UDO ONYEKA
here are indications that the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, is set to sanction members indulging in unethical practices. CIBN is empowered by the law to ensure maintenance and observance of ethical standards and professionalism in the banking profession. Investigation shows that the CIBN in 2013 would begin penalising some senior managers in certain departments of banks for not registering with it in accordance with the provision of the CIBN Act No 5 of 2007. The Act stipulates that no person shall be entitled to be employed or appointed or engaged to head any
of the technical departments of a bank unless he or she is duly registered as a member of the institute. Sources in the banking industry disclosed that though many in strategic positions and technical departments in banks have registered; there are many people who are not registered with the institute. It was gathered that the institute had given several notices to the concerned officers to register. A CIBN source disclosed while many heeded the call to register, those who failed to comply would be sanctioned. The sanction may include asking their banks to relieve them of their jobs. In one of the many notices to such officers,
CIBN said: “We wish to observe that the register of members of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria your name could not be traced, indicating that you are yet to register with the institute in line with Section 2(2), 2(3) and 10(1) of the CIBN Act No 5 of 2007.” Apart from writing to the concerned officers, CIBN has written all bank managing directors to intimate them of its plan, noting that the Act stipulates that all corporate members shall cause their staff to register with the institute. According to a source close to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, this plan has received the blessing of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who believes that the role of sanitising the banking industry is not
just for the apex bank alone but for all the stakeholders. The CIBN said it would not spare any banker who failed to register with it, adding that this would enable the institute monitor activities of its members and punish them whenever they indulged in unethical practice. The Act empowers the CIBN to establish and maintain a register of members of the banking profession in the categories of ordinary members, student members, graduate members, associates honorary senior members, honorary fellows and fellows of the institute. The institute is also empowered to conduct professional examinations leading to award of certificates.
he Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has condemned the harassment, brutalisation and detention without trial of journalists in the course of performing their legitimate duties. The Guild also solicited for the cooperation of all Nigerians in the fight against terrorism and the security challenges confronting the nation. These were contained in a communiqué released by the NGE’s Standing Committee, which met at the weekend in Lagos to deliberate on the affairs of the Guild and the state of the nation. The communiqué, signed by the NGE President and Secretary, Gbenga Adefaye and Steve Ayorinde respectively stated that the Guild “condemned the incessant, across the country harassment, brutalities and detention without trial of journalists, while performing their duties; noted the security challenges facing the country and hoped, that with the cooperation of all, the incoming year would witness an improvement as
promised by President Goodluck Jonathan; and enjoined government to specially invest in an improved health care delivery system in the country and asked all public officers to take the people into confidence about their state of health, instead of putting the media in the embarrassing situation of speculation when public officers stayed away from their duty posts for inexcusable long periods.” While calling on the authorities to engage the media according to the Constitution and the Rule of Law and protect media practitioners and the freedom of expression, the NGE admonished all journalists and media practitioners to always observe the ethics of the profession. “Publish verifiable facts only and continue to be socially responsible in the discharge of their duties,” it said. The NGE also resolved to conduct its 2013 biennial convention in February to bring on board new executives to pilot its affairs as the current Standing Committee’s tenure would lapse in the first quarter of the incoming year.
Monday, December 31, 2012
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CAN berates gov over call for dialogue with Boko Haram OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, yesterday berated former Yobe State Governor, Senator Abba Ibrahim, for making urging the Federal Government to dialogue with the dreaded Islamic sect, the Boko Haram. The ex-governor was quoted to have said that; “We can find a way really to help dialogue with this group; after all, they are all Nigerians at least as far as we know…” But, Pastor Oritsejafor, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, described the statement as overly reckless, irrespon-
sible and insensitive, just as he insisted it was a panacea for encouraging the increasingly violent and daring sect. He said it was naïve for Senator Ibrahim to reason that if the Federal Government dialogued with the Boko Haram, the sect would limit itself to concessions made when they had stated clearly that their aim “is to do away with Western education and enthrone the Islamic law of Sharia’ah.” The CAN President advised Ibrahim not to panic into making recommendations that are short-sighted and that as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he should not take counsel
from only a section of a state or region. Instead, the man of God said Ibrahim should help put the sect in strict subjection to the laws of the land, rather than treading the dangerous path of dialogue which had always been truncated by harsh conditions from the sect members. According to him, Ibrahim must bear a heavy responsibility for the spiraling violence of Boko Haram against Christians in Yobe State if he now speaks of inequality, neglect and injustice, which are direct consequences of the neglect of the people by those who govern them, himself a two-
time governor of Yobe State inclusive. His words: “If today, the people are fighting biting poverty, inequality and injustice as Senator Ibrahim would want us to believe, it is his likes that should be held responsible for being the sources of their poverty. “In that case, Boko Haram’s anger should have been directed at leaders like Senator Abba Bukar Ibrahim, who have not allowed their members to take full advantages of the vast economic opportunities that exist in northern Nigeria. “It is hypocritical for Senator Ibrahim to now make the country and her
citizens to pay a heavy price for their ineptitude. In fact, apart from the extremist ideology of Boko Haram, I am tempted to believe that Senator Ibrahim’s statement is also a confirmation that the increasing violence in the north is a sponsored revolt to put pressure on the Federal Government into making huge regional concessions. “The Federal Government should, therefore, not succumb to blackmail from any quarters on account of the Boko Haram issue, but should remain focused in dealing with the sect members in accordance with the laws of the land. It is worrisome that a sena-
tor of the status of Ibrahim, rather than pursue a secularist ideology on which the survival and stability of this country depend, is giving an advice that favours Boko Haram, a sect that has killed many Christians, bombed and burnt churches. “I am shocked that Senator Ibrahim is not worried by the growing killings of Christians in his home state, Yobe, where five Christians, including their pastor were killed on Christmas Day. Few days after these killings and burning of 20 houses, Senator Ibrahim is only concerned with government’s dialogue with the sect members. What a shameful act.”
Two die in Fulani, Gwari clash in Abuja
•As NEMA boss sues for peace
L-R: Chairman, Campaign for Democracy, South-West, Prince Obi Goodluck; President, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; guest speaker, President, Oasis Women Organisation, Erelu Mojisola Adams; National Coordinator, Oodua Peoples Congress, Otunba Gani Adams and Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, at the public lecture on ‘Who Builds the Home? I do, He Does....We are Nation Builders’, organised by Oasis Women Organisation in Lagos, at the weekend.
ith less than 48 hours to another year, a communal clash erupted in Gwako, Gwagwalada Local Government Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the weekend which drew the attention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Ministry of the Capital Territory to jointly activate their search and rescue teams.
NEMA decries reckless driving by tanker drivers
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday decried the excesses of drivers of articulated and other vehicles in flouting traffic codes and regulations. The South-West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Iyiola Akande, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the excessiveness of the truck drivers was causing major road accidents across the country. According to him, the recklessness has led to the death of many Nigerians and many others have been deformed because of the accidents. Akande was reacting to reports of incessant road accidents caused by
the recklessness of drivers of trucks, trailers and other articulated vehicles during this festive period. The NEMA coordinator was supervising the campaigns of the various stakeholders involved in the efforts toward a safer festive period in the zone. He said that the Federal Government had been rehabilitating the major highways as an essential impetus for safer roads. Akande observed that there would be heavy traffic in the next few days, especially immediately after the new year celebrations. “This will result in a one-way traffic flow and it is pertinent for these classes of the road users to be extremely cautious. “Drivers of articu-
lated vehicles in particular, must comply with all traffic rules and be mindful of other road users. “The extant rule in the Highway Code Section 15 states that it is an offence for large and slow moving vehicles to allow smaller or fast moving vehicles queue behind them. “But drivers are not complying with this very important provision,” he said. Akande said that NEMA would work toward ensuring strict enforcement of the codes “without minding whose ox is gored.” He said that NEMA had held several meetings with the leadership of various driver associations, highlighting
the need to caution their members. He identified speed as a key risk factor in road traffic crashes. “Road crashes create enormous social costs for individuals, families and society while road traffic injuries place heavy burden on health services and economies. “As motorisation increases, road traffic crashes will continue to be a fast growing problem. The situation is becoming more worrisome due to the refusal of these classes of road users to abide by the extant rules. “Sadly too, the efforts of various agencies to enlighten the drivers have not yielded the desired results,” Akande said.
The NEMA boss, however, praised the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Works for clearing the highways for the implementation Section 25 of the Highway Code. The section, he said was against indiscriminate parking of trailers and tankers on the highways. “We appeal to drivers to contribute their quotas to safer road as they would not know whether their relatives, friends or family could be victims of their nonchalant attitude. “We wish to appeal to commuters to caution the excessiveness of their drivers’ speeding and call the attention of the law enforcement agents on the road to such recklessness,” he said.
The prompt intervention of the two agencies, including security personnel from the police, civil defence corps and the military had helped to curtail the escalation of the crisis which started on Saturday as a result of encroachment of a herd of cattle into farmlands in the area. The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sani-Sidi, who commended the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Muhammad, for the promptness of his agencies and his physical presence at the scene of the clash, appealed to the warring parties to live peacefully with one another and eschew any form of violence as we go into the new year. Sani-Sidi, who disclosed that two lives were lost and that about 27 communities were affected, said that over 1, 500 internally displaced people are currently squatting in a temporary camp on the permanent campus of the University of Abuja in Gwagwalada. Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Muhammad who led other government agencies to assess the impact of the incidence appeal to the communities to remain calm as the government would ensure that the causes of the crisis would soon be addressed so that they could return to their homes.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, December 31, 2012
Obasanjo expresses hope on Nigeria’s greatness FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
ormer President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon overcome the security and socio-economic challenges currently confronting it as a nation. Chief Obasanjo made the assertion over the weekend in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital while speaking with journalists shortly
Osun completes 77 electrification projects in two years
after the meeting of the special committee on unity among the four sectional monarchs in Egbaland held at the Government House, Oke Igbehin, Abeokuta. The former president emphasised that God has been kind to the country in terms of natural resources but lamented the failure of the country’s leadership to harness those economic potentials towards her greatness. He also said that the country has the ability to
rank among the greatest countries of the world in the nearest future. Stressing that the country has every potential to be great, Chief Obasanjo further said that God had been generous and gracious enough but intended that the people of Nigeria should manage those economic potentials well and to the benefit of her citizens. Obasanjo, who lamented the country’s poor management of the resources,
however, urged Nigerian leaders to harness the country’s endowments for the transformation of the nation. “The first thing God did that surprised us most was that He dropped two big rivers in Nigeria. He then later used gold, bauxite and so many others to beautify the country. He later dropped oil under our soil near the water and later in the water. “I believe there are good people who will be able to
manage it, maybe later. But the earlier we are there, the better and I am sure we will be there. We will be there because God has been kind to us; we only need to be kind to ourselves. God will help us.” The former president also said that Nigeria was never a cursed nation but that the citizens must continue to exercise patience, hope and enduring faith as well as be dedicated towards making the country great.
ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
s part of efforts by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to ensure infrastructural development in the state, the administration has completed 77 electrification projects across the state in just two years. The governor, who disclosed this in Moro, Ife North Local Government Area at the weekend, at the official commissioning of a 7.5MVA Power Injection Station for Origbomeje community, said that another 27 electrification projects are currently ongoing. He said that within the next three months, government would deliver the ongoing ones to make it 99. These, the governor said, are in addition to the 35 units of distribution transformers that have been handed out this year alone to the different communities where they were required. Recalling that for the seven and half years that the ousted administration spent in office, it could only complete 48 electrification projects, saying that “this again has clearly explained the difference between us and them.” According to him, the provision of the injection station was a demonstration of his administration’s commitment to bringing about stable supply of electricity across the length and breadth of the state. He said in order to meet the need of the people; the state government had to go out of its way to provide the transformer which ordinarily should be the responsibility of the Federal Government.
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola (2nd left); Executive Secretary, Ife South Local Government, Hon. Lanre Ogunyinka and others, during the commissioning of a 7.5MVA transformer and injection station, at Moro in Ife North Local Government Area, at the weekend.
Arabic inscription for ‘Allahu’ appears on ground FRANCIS SUBERU
undreds of people yesterday trooped to Idumota in Lagos Island to witness and pray at the spot where an alleged inscription, interpreted to be an Arabic word for “Allahu” meaning God, miraculously appeared on the ground. The phenomenon was said to have taken place on Saturday evening and have attracted hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims to the spot. The said inscription, which is about six centimetres long, is by the roadside after Idumota Under Bridge. People at the scene said no one could say categorically how the inscription got to the spot but many Islamic faithful at the scene believed it was an act of God. A visitor at the scene simply identified as Femi, said the phenomenon is a first of his kind and will continue to attract hundreds of people to the spot. A Muslim resident in the area who did not want his name in print, said since the inscription miraculously appeared on Saturday, hundreds of people have visited the scene. He added that the spot has become a sort of tourists’ centre.
One injured, 11 vehicles damaged Boko Haram crisis beyond religion –Oyo CAN boss in multiple accident FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
t least one person was critically injured while no fewer than 11 vehicles were seriously damaged in a multiple accident which happened in the early hours of yesterday along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. The first accident, which occurred few metres before Wasinmi village in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, was said to have been caused by armed robbers who operated and completely barricaded the expressway around 1.50am yesterday morning. Speaking with National Mirror shortly after evacuating the damaged vehicles, the Itori Unit Commander of the Federal
Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Fatai Bakare, confirmed that eight persons, who were occupants of four vehicles, fell victim of the armed robbery incident. The four vehicles, according to Bakare, were an Iveco truck with registration number LAGOS XQ 468 BDG; a Nissan truck, LAGOS YA 556 AKD; a Mack truck with registration number AKD 92 XB as well as white coloured Mazda passenger bus with registration number LAGOS XS 344 AKD that was badly damaged. The FRSC boss also said that the second accident occurred at Akinale village, along the same route at about 7.20am and it involved five vehicles. He said the second accident was due to overspeeding. Bakare gave the registration number of the five vehicles as a
Mitsubishi space wagon LAGOS KRD 960 AM; a Honda car with registration number OGUN AH 169 WDE; Toyota Haice bus, LAGOS XN 182 AGL, a tipper lorry with registration number LAGOS XV 454 FKJ and another truck with registration number LAGOS 377XC. He attributed the accident to over-speeding and poor visibility. He further said that the third accident which involved a truck and a bus also occurred at the same Akinale village but that the registration number had been removed before officials of the FRSC got to the scene of the accident. Bakare said the only person who was critically injured in the multiple accidents which involved the 11 vehicles has since been taken to the General Hospital in Itori.
KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
yo State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Olabisi, yesterday said the continuous burning of churches and the killing of Christians in some parts of the country by the Boko Haram sect is beyond religion. The cleric, who stated this in Ibadan while speaking with journalists, however, predicted that the Boko Haram sect will fizzle out in the new year. He said the burning of churches and the killings in the north were a grand ploy by the enemy of Nigeria at setting Christians against Muslims so as to cause religious war in the country. According to him, it was glaring that the Boko Haram sect members are out to disrupt the peace
and stability of the country and as such considered that the only way for them to achieve their aim was by killing Christians as well as burning of churches so as to make their activities have religious colouration. He said members of the Boko Haram sect were of the view that with their unrelenting attack on churches and the killing of Christians, Christians would be forced to resort to arms against the Muslims thereby turning the country upside down. Olabisi said with prayers against the activities of the deadly sect, it was certain that Boko Haram activities would soon be a forgotten issue across the country. The CAN boss specifically said Nigeria as a country will witness total peace in 2013 as God is ready to expose all enemies of peace and stability in the country.
Monday, December 31, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Pandemonium in Akure as NURTW members clash OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
ttempt to change the leadership of the Ondo State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, led to a violent clash in Akure yesterday. A faction of the union had invaded the state NURTW secretariat on Ado Road and attempted to overthrow the State Executive Committee led by Obayoriade Olajutele (aka Die the matter).
It was learnt that members of the faction made several attempts to seize control of some motor parks in the state capital as early as 6am. There was pandemonium in Akure metropolis with commuters running helter-skelter when hoodlums invaded the parks with dangerous weapons. The fight spread to the major streets in the state capital including the popular Oba-Adesida Road, causing residents to flee. The Erekesan market, close to the Deji of Akure’s
palace which has been a beehive of commercial activities since the start of the festive period, was deserted as sporadic shootings rend the air. Motorists had to abandon their vehicles by the roadside to seek refuge in nearby houses and adjoining streets. It was gathered that the crisis started shortly after the October 20 governorship election in the state when a faction of the NURTW decided to take over the leadership of the union.
Sources said the faction based its decision on the need for another set of leaders to run the affairs of the union to reflect the fresh mandate of four years of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, starting from February 24, 2013. The group, which allegedly got the support of the state governor for its action, believed that the Olajuteleled executive committee would be too powerful to be controlled by the state government if it was not changed. The state Police Public
Relations Officer, Adeniran Aremu, confirmed the clash. He said a faction of the state NURTW attempted to topple the leadership of the union through violence, which threw the metropolis into chaos. Aremu, however, said the police had swiftly reacted to the matter and brought the situation under control, adding that calm and peace had since returned to the parks across the state. The Ondo State Government, in a statement issued by the Commissioner for
Fire guts Lagos Deputy Governor’s residence MURITALA AYINLA
section of the Osborne Road residence of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire was yesterday gutted by fire. A source who did not want his name mentioned told National Mirror that the fire, which occurred at about 6:15pm, threw the workers in the expansive mansion into a state of confusion. It was learnt that men from the state fire service rushed to the scene with trucks of water tank. Confirming the incident, the Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe said the fire was caused by a spark from the electrical metre board, adding however that nothing was damaged or razed. “It was a minor spark. We went there for safety reason and to ensure the fire doesn’t get out of hand. The building has all equipment to combat fire, which they had done before we got there. It was not a serious case as speculated, he said. Also speaking with National Mirror, the Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Media, Mr Tunde Abatan said only a room where the spark occurred was affected. “You know it was because of the personality involved that was why the news spread like that. There was no fire incident at all. I can authoritatively confirm to you. If it were to be any other person, nobody will hear about it,” he added.
L-R: National Auditor, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Alhaji Bungudu Abdullahi; Vice-President, Comrade Emmanuel Njoku; Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; National President, NLC, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar and Head of Department, Labour and Industrial Relations, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, during a working visit by the National Executive members of the NLC to the governor in Ado-Ekiti, at the weekend.
NDLEA arrests two with 2.485kg of drugs OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA said yesterday that it arrested two drug couriers with a total package 2.485kg of drugs at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos. The suspects, Mr. Dickson Daniel Chinedu, 34, and Mr. Okeke Joseph Chukwunwike, 30, were said to have concealed and ingested the drugs before their arrest. the Head, Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said in an online statement that the suspects devised new methods in drug trafficking to evade arrest. Quoting the Chief Executive of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, the statement said one of the suspects in-
gested the narcotics while on transit at the airport in Brazil while the other was going to Cameroon from where he would connect another flight to Frankfurt. Giade attributed the arrests to effective proactive measures by the NDLEA. He said: “Drug traffickers are full of surprises, but we are prepared to counter their plans. “One of the suspects ingested the drug at the toilet while on transit at the airport in Brazil and the second suspect who was going to Germany decided to first book his flight to Cameroon just to divert attention of officers. “These are strategies of evading arrest, but we are poised to nip their tricks in the bud.” Also, the NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Mr. Hamza Umar, explained that one of the
suspects, Dickson, arrived on a KLM flight on his way from Trinidad and Tobago and tested positive to drug ingestion. He added that Dickson concealed 980 grams of cocaine while Okeke ingested 1.170kg of cocaine and 335 grams of heroin and was to take a flight to Cameroon. Dickson allegedly confessed to have secured admission at Trinidad and Tobago, but did not have enough money to process the admission until he was approached by a friend in Brazil for the illicit busi-
ness. “I had just been given admission at the University of Southern Caribbean. I have been working in Trinidad for the past five months. My savings were not enough for my studies and I called a friend in Brazil to help me with $2,000. “He said that he wanted me to transit Brazil on my way to Lagos that he will give me $3,800. In fact, he made all my travel arrangement. When I got to Brazil while on transit, he gave me the drugs and assured me that everything will be fine. “I agreed to smuggle the drugs because of my education. I could not swallow everything so he left with the remaining wraps,” the suspect was quoted as saying. Dickson, a father of two, hails from Amachala village in Abia State. The second suspect,
Information, Kayode Akinmade, condemned the violent clash. Akinmade expressed dismay over the drivers’ unruly behaviour, adding that the state government would not tolerate any act by individuals or groups to undermine the existing peace and harmony in the state.
Niger Delta group withdraws suit against Army OJO O YEWAMIDE AKURE
he Niger Delta Youth Awareness Council, NDYAC, at the weekend apologised to the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Major-General Azubike Ihejirika, over a suit instituted by its member, Mr. Pere Ibolo. Ibolo had approached a Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, to enforce his fundamental human rights over his detention by the Army in Benin, Edo State. He was reportedly arrested by military personnel alongside some other culprits on the allegation of oil bunkering and detained at the Army Barracks in Okitipupa, Ondo State, before they were moved to Benin.
Okeke, an importer of auto parts, said that he was under pressure because his traditional marriage had been fixed for December 28, adding that his business partner had duped him of large sum of money three months ago. He said: “Three months ago, a friend duped me of N6.5 million. I gave him the money to buy goods for me and I did not see him again. Even his number had since been switched off. I have tried my best to recover from the loss, but to no avail and I am under pressure because my traditional marriage is December 28, 2012. “I was also instructed to first go to Cameroon that was while I took that route. I hope and pray that my spouse will pardon me.” Okeke hails from Ogidi, Anambra State.
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Monday, December 31, 2012
Okorocha/Anyanwu feud: APGA backs governor CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he feud between the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and the senator representing Owerri Senatorial Zone, Senator Chris Anyanwu, continued yesterday as the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) seems to have taken side with the governor. The party said this was not the first time Senator Anyanwu would be rude to constituted authorities, cit-
ing a similar encounter she had with the former state governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and another occasion where she slapped a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Innocent Nwoga, as examples. Speaking to journalists in Owerri, APGA state Chairman, Prince Okafor Anyanwu, said the Senator “has the antecedent of disrespecting her elders and constituted authority as well as fighting in the public. “It is on record that the
senator had similar encounter with the former governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and at another occasion, she slapped Chief Innocent Nwoga, a PDP chieftain and broke his walking stick. She also did same to a commissioner in the state,” he said. According to him; “Senator Anyanwu’s actions have traces of occasional outbursts and her recent behaviour has given credence to that. We urge her family members to subject her to psychiatric test to ascertain
the true state of her health to avoid causing more embarrassment for the people she represents.” Reacting, Senator Anyanwu described the governor as “a man too frightened to tell the truth about simple matters. “This incident is a message to the governor. He cannot continue to brutalise the people he is elected to serve and protect and hide behind propaganda and lies. All lies being fabricated to mask the truth of his brutality are doing him indelible harm glob-
ally. The senator disclosed in a statement signed by her Senior Assistant (SA), Political, Chief Obinna Ibe, that the governor’s brutality to her was not the first time he would order his men to attack her staff. “Barely three months after his victory, the governor instructed his men to attack one of her drivers for packing her car inside the governor’s compound. “The governor’s police detail broke a bottle and used
it to cut the lips of the driver. Till today, the boy’s upper lip is deformed. We covered it for him then. But this time, he cannot hide behind the shield of folk hero. He has opened himself up by his propaganda. Now the world is seeing the real man behind the angelic smile.” She recalled that the governor last month did the same thing in Enugu, where “he beat up a protocol officer of a fellow governor at a function only to lie through his ears in order to cover up.”
I’ve no problem with Gov Orji –PDP Stakeholder Envoy seeks improved relations with Switzerland GEORGE OPARA ABIA
leading member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the party’s former governorship aspirant in the 2011 elections in Abia State, Chief Ikechi Emenike, has declared that he has no problem with the state governor, Dr. Theodore Orji. Emenike, who dragged Governor Orji up to the Supreme Court to challenge his election maintained that two of them are brothers.
Both of them hail from Umuahia, the capital city of Abia State. While Orji is of Ibeku stock, Emenike is of Ohuhu stock. According to him, as a journalist, he believes strongly in principle, hence the need to pursue the case to its logical conclusion by challenging him up to the Supreme Court them. The PDP chieftain, who was seen last Saturday with Governor Orji for the first after the 2011 election and Orji’s second term inauguration, said he has nothing
against the governor. Governor Orji and his wife, Mercy, who had earlier attended the dedication of a Methodist Church built and furnished by Emenike in memory of his late father, Chief Bsrtimaeus Emenike Uwagbama, also said that he has nothing against Emenike, saying that was why he attended the ceremony uninvited as a brother. Speaking to journalists shortly after the event, Emenike confirmed that he has no personal problem with the governor.
DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
igeria’s Ambassador to Switzerland, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, has urged Nigerians to tap into the existing cordial relationship with the Republic of Switzerland to improve on both countries’ bilateral trade. Njeze said the 51-yearold relationship between Nigeria and Switzerland made it possible for over 60 Swiss companies to be operating currently in Nigeria.
She assured Nigerians of the continued use of her office in sustaining the existing relationship between the two nations. The former minister for aviation said despite the perceived image problem confronting Nigeria before the international community, the nation still enjoys cordial and robust bilateral relationship with Switzerland. She enjoined Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora, to always make patriotism their watch word, saying that people should
desist from acts capable of worsening the nation’s perceived image challenges outside the country. Besides, the envoy urged Nigerians to join hands with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in restoring the nation’s lost glory in all ramifications. Ambassador Njeze spoke during the weekend at Abor, in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, during the traditional wedding of her daughter, Adaku Njeze and Mr. Onyeka Ugwu.
Monday, December 31, 2012
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Azazi’s burial: Ministers, VIPs defy Senate, fly in military choppers SAM OLUWALANA
op Federal Government officials at the weekend stormed the Yenagoa venue of the burial of former National Security Adviser, NSA, General Andrew Owoye Azazi, in military helicopters. This was contrary to the resolution of the Senate on the deployment of military aircraft for nonmilitary operations. Three military helicopters shuttled between Port Harcourt International Airport and the Peace Park, Ovom, venue of the Service of Songs for the general on Friday and also on Saturday for the lying in state and burial. On both occasions, the military choppers started ferrying the Very Important Personalities, VIPs, to the venue till late in the evening when the helicopters returned them to the Port Harcourt Airport. Some senators have queried the wisdom in government officials using military aircraft for personal purposes. Azazi died alongside the
Governor, Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna in a helicopter crash on Saturday, December 15 at Nembe, Bayelsa State on their way from the burial of the father of the Special Adviser to the President on Strategy and Documentation, Oronto Douglas. Reacting to their death during a debate on the floor of the Senate, Olubunmi Adetunbi (Ekiti) queried the rationale be-
hind government officials who use military aircraft indiscriminately. “Who authorised the deployment of military aircraft for personal and domestic use?” he queried. His colleague from Ekiti State, Babafemi Ojudu, also condemned the frequent crashes of military aircraft. He said: “If we don’t put these in check, we are all
ivil Society Organisations, CSOs, have urged Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of Edo State populate his new cabinet with professionals and not politicians. The SCOs made the call as the residents await and debate the new cabinet. It was learnt, however, despite the lobbying and politicking by politicians, government officials and leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, that the cabinet may not be re-constituted until after the judgement of the Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal next February. Speaking with our correspondent in Benin, the Executive Director, the Initiative of Youth Awareness on Migration, Immigration, Develop-
air crashes in the country, saying three mishaps within 12 months in the country were too many. Some sympathisers and the residents of the city condemned the use of military aircraft by the VIPs, especially as Azazi died in one recently. “I think it is not only insensitive but also shows the level of indiscipline among our leaders,” a teacher, Ramsy Avi, said.
L-R: Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan; his wife, Roli; Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II and his wife, during the annual thanksgiving service of Iwere Kingdom at the Olu Palace Church Hall in Warri, yesterday.
We expect technocrats in Oshiomhole’s new cabinet –CSOs SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN
in trouble.” As if taking a cue from this, Most Rev. Hyancinth Egbebo of the Bomadi Vicarage called political leaders to provide good road networks for the people. He particularly challenged the state government to provide good roads to the home town of the late Army general and other areas of the country. Egbebo expressed alarm at the frequency of
ment and Reintegration, IYAMIDR, Comrade Solomon Okoduwa, urged the governor not to give in to the pressure of overlooking technocrats in the appointment of public officers that would serve in his second term. Okoduwa said the governor must identify the people Edo State needed to reach the next level in the same way that he identified Professor Julius Ihonvbere as the best person for the position of Secretary to the State Government, SSG. According to him, Ihonvbere, a former aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has been vigorous in his approach to official issues. He said: “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in his first term injected vibrancy and life into Edo State, a state that was completely paralysed for a long time. “Now, he should know
that for him to succeed in his second missionary journey, he would need to surround himself with men and women who can facilitate his developmental ideology. “He needs men and women of integrity, who understand his vision and who are ready to serve and be part of his positive history; men and women whose loyalty and commitment to his vision cannot be doubted; and men and women of courage, character, intellect, depth, honesty, managerial capability and experience.” Okoduwa established IYAMIDR this year to meet the expectations and challenges of Nigerians trapped in foreign countries or returnees desirous of living normal lives after their return. He thanked the state government for its rehabilitative efforts to members of the organisation.
Poor network frustrates ATM users in Port Harcourt ome people making on December 24. It is frus-
withdrawals from Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, in Port Harcourt, said they were facing transaction difficulties owing to poor network. Checks around Port Harcourt on Saturday showed that customers waited for several hours on the queues before using the machines. The machines in some areas like Eleme and parts of Port Harcourt were not able to dispense cash. Some of the customers said they were worried about the situation. A civil servant, Mr. Jacob Ikunna, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that he stood at the ATM stand for more than six hours before it got to his turn. He said: “The other side of the story is that you are not even sure of getting money from the machine when it gets to your turn. The same thing happened
trating.’’ Another user, Miss Angela Nmegbu, said she had tried three ATM facilities without success. She said: “It is just painful. On December 24, when I got my salary alert, I tried but I did not succeed. “ATM system is good but it could be frustrating when you are in need of money and you could not get it because it is out of fund or network problem or it is not working at all.” Nmegbu said she was ready to wait for the ATM to pay her as she would need the money for her New Year shopping. A journalist, Mr. Chima Ukam, who said he was able to withdraw after several trials, called on the banks to make the facility more effective. He said: “It is funny when you have need for money and you are unable to make withdrawal.”
Ex-militant leader gives scholarship to indigent Bayelsa students EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
former militant leader in Bayelsa State, Pastor Reuben Wilson, at the weekend launched his foundation and awarded scholarship to scores of indigent students from Koluama clan in Southern Ijaw Local Government. The scholarship is for those in post-primary and tertiary institutions. Shortly after visiting the coastal communities in Koluama clan to donate foodstuffs, Wilson said the foundation was aimed at touching lives and putting smile on the faces of the less privileged, especially during the Yuletide. He former militant, who spoke through Miss Bayelsa 2012, Miss Embelleakpo Miriki, noted that the wealthy should always remember the poor in society and ameliorate their condition, especially at Christmas. Earlier, the ViceChairman of the Community Development Committee, CDC, of Koluama 1, Mr. Beimotei Orumo, expressed appreciation for the show of love for the needy. He said the donated foodstuffs would help in making the festive season memorable for the people. The Executive Secretary of the foundation, Francis Francis, said it was passionate in bettering the lot of the less privileged. He said: “This is a way of giving back to society, because life is not only about receiving, but also about giving. “We have seen it as laudable project and we will encourage others to do same. We are not only giving out foodstuffs, but have also awarded scholarship to some indigent students. We intend to spread it to all parts of the state soon.”
Monday, December 31, 2012
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2012: Senate probes, mediates
ACN Rep’s governorship posters flood Ekiti ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
osters of the governorship ambition of House of Representatives member, Opeyemi Bamidele, yesterday flooded communities in Ekiti State including the state capital, Ado-Ekiti. This is coming less than a week after the season’s greetings billboards of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) lawmaker were
• It’s handiwork of my detractors – Opeyemi destroyed in parts of the state by unknown political thugs. But the posters with Bamidele’s portrait tagged “Promised Land 2014” have Labour Party (LP) logo. However, the lawmaker, who had earlier petitioned the police commissioner over destruction of his billboards, described the posters as the handiwork of his political detractors, who he
said, were bent on denting his image. Bamidele said he could not have declared governorship interest or defection through posters or secretly as a matured politician. The posters might have been against the backdrop of news making the rounds in the state that the lawmaker would contest the 2014 governorship on LP
platform against Governor Kayode Fayemi. Rumours have it that Bamidele and Fayemi have not been in good terms since the lawmaker was deprived of the chance to contest the senatorial seat in the 2011 election in the state. However, ACN chieftains in the state, including the chairman, Chief Jide Awe, had dismissed
the insinuation that there was division within the party ahead of the forthcoming governorship election. Bamidele, who spoke yesterday through his media aide, Ahmed Salami, called on the security agencies to launch serious manhunt for those bent on denting his image and ruining his political career. He denied instructing anybody to paste any poster on his behalf, saying he would come out boldly and inform Ekiti people about his ambition at the right time.
“This is curious. How can people be desperate to tarnish my image to the level of coming out in the night to paste my posters around Ado Ekiti and other Ekiti towns. This is highpoint of political acrimony that must be investigated by security agencies,” Bamidele said. He, however, promised not to be deterred by the “ugly and irresponsible acts” of his political enemies in his avowed bid to defend the truth and liberate Ekiti people from the pangs of poverty ravaging the land.
Yuguda commends Bauchi people
Newly sworn-in Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Amb. Nuhu Bajoga (left) welcoming Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Kaduna International Airport on Saturday.
Group faults CNPP on Anenih’s appointment FELIX NWANERI
group, the Grand Alliance (GA), has described the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) admonition of the appointment of former Minister of Works, Chief Tony Anenih as the chairman of the Board of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) by President Goodluck Jonathan, as an expression of some private fixations. The group, in a statement issued by its chairman, Chief Oluponle Ebo, made available to National Mirror, said: “We are, indeed, amused that some individuals have seized the platform of CNPP to
once again propagate their hate campaign against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its leaders. “This was amply demonstrated by the spokesperson of CNPP, Osita Okechukwu, who re-echoed malicious claims that are ancient and unsubstantiated about Anenih while in the saddle as Works Minister from 1999 to 2002. “Even if he was running errands for his masters, which he has zealously done several times in recent times, we had expected that with his education and enlightenment about events in the country, he should have been more responsible in the discharge of his job. “To claim that the former Works Minister does
not deserve to hold any public office again on account of what he (Okechukwu) called the woeful performance of Anenih as Works Minister’ is to be uncharitable and irresponsibly judgmental.” The group also faulted the claim by the CNPP spokesperson that they were yet “to locate any federal roads awarded with billions by Chief Anenih as Minister of Works in1999, which was completed in the more than three years he held sway in the ministry.” Querying the motive in raking up hitherto unsubstantiated claims of nonperformance and corruption against Anenih, the group described the allegation as serving a cliquish
interest. It also said Okechukwu was also wide-off-the-mark in his conclusion that since the NPA had allegedly “been infested with endemic corruption,” Anenih should not have been appointed.
s the year 2012 ends and the 2013 begins, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State has commended the people of the state for their unflinching support and cooperation which enabled his administration to record a modest achievement in the development efforts of the state. The governor, according to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, commended the people for maintaining law and order and promoting peaceful coexistence even in the face of provocation. Yuguda further commended the people for coming to the aid of government in fighting crime in the state, saying that the useful information that were volunteered actually assisted security agents in arresting criminals.
The governor reiterated the commitment of his administration to complete all ongoing road projects including the Alkaleri – Futuk, Ningi – Bura and Gumau – Rahama. He also assured that work on the Bauchi International Airport will be completed in good time to allow the airlifting of the 2013 pilgrims to both Saudi Arabia and Israel as well as boost internally generated revenue for the state through tourism. According to him, with the completion of the airport, many tourists will fly in from across the world to savour the fauna and flora of Yankari Games Reserves and Resort as well as the Sumu Games Reserve. The governor assured the people that 2013 will be better for the people of the state.
Don’t despair, Ashafa tells Nigerians MURITALA AYINLA
enator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East Senatorial District has charged Nigerians to be optimistic in 2013, saying that the nation would overcome all its challenges. In a goodwill message, the lawmaker urged Nigerians to welcome the New
Year with optimism and hope, saying that everyone should be ready to build the nation in his or her area of discipline. He said: “Every moment of our life is most precious. We should not fritter it away in useless and selfish pursuits, but devote it to the search of building the nation to compete with the rest of the world in all ramifications.”
He added that despite the various challenges facing the nation, Nigeria will still be great if all Nigerians, irrespective of religious beliefs, imbibe and emulate the spirit of the season, which is love, joy, peace, justice and kindness. He charged Nigerians to continue to promote the unity of the country in its progressive march towards nationhood.
The Senate in 2012 continued to demonstrate leadership, particularly in its mediatory role in the polity. This was most manifest in the role the upper chamber played in mediating the fuel subsidy crisis, the impeachment threat against the president by members of the House of Representatives, amongst others writes GEORGE OJI.
Monday, December 31, 2012
2012: Senate probes, mediates
or the National Assembly, the year 2012 was such a very challenging one. The year began with the very serious challenge posed by the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. The entire nation woke up on December 30, 2011 with the rude announcement by the Federal Government that it was going to withdraw total fuel subsidy from January 1, 2012. The organised labour and civil society organisations promptly rallied round and threatened to shut down the whole country if government failed to rescind that decision. Government on its part insisted that the decision was immutable. Tension rose high. The country was on the brink of explosion literaly. For the first time in the history of the country, the House of Representatives quickly cut short its Christmas and New Year’s vacations, reconvened and sat on a Sunday. After the over three hour deliberations, the lawmakers sided labour and gave ultimatum to the Federal Government to rescind its decision as a precondition for labour to back down. Tension further rose high. It took the intervention of the leadership of the upper parliament headed by the Senate President, David Mark, to bring labour and government to a round table negotiation. Cheerily, at the end of the day, catastrophe and dooms day was averted. Normal life resumed.
Constitution review The 47-member Senate committee on constitutional review converged in Asaba, the Delta State capital on July 18, for a fourday retreat. At that retreat, the chairman of the review committee and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu rolled out 16 thematic areas that the exercise would concentrate on. These were devolution of powers, creation of states, recognition of the six geo-political zones in the constitution, role of traditional rulers, local government autonomy, taking out the NYSC, land use act and code of conduct and fiscal federalism. The rest are immunity clause, Nigerian police, judiciary, executive, rotation of executive offices, gender and special groups, mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration, residency and indigene provisions as well as any other issues. The committee was later to hold its national public hearing on the constitution review in October, during which individuals, interest groups, professional associations, students, market women, government representatives etc who had earlier sent written presentations to it had an opportunity to make oral presentation of their earlier presentations. At the national public hearing, the issue of state creation was made a no-go area by the committee and as a result,
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there were no presentations received from the public. On November 15 and 16, the committee held six zonal public hearings and expectedly, state creation dominated the zonal exercise as state creation agitators took advantage of the event to articulate their demands.
Pension funds probe Shortly in February, the Senate began a nationwide investigation of the management and administration of pension funds in the country. The investigation, which covered the period from 2005 to 2011 and conducted by the joint Senate Committees on Establishment and Public Service, States and Local Governments followed the adoption of a motion raised by Heineken Lokpobiri on the hardship faced by pensioners in collecting their pensions. There were near earth-quaking revelations from the probe. A whooping N270 billion was alleged to have been mismanaged by officials of the pension office in the office of the Head of Service of the federation. After about six months of zonal and national sittings, the joint committee came up with a 188-page report and 42 recommendations on July 19, all of which were almost adopted by the Senate. The probe, which was later re-opened, further revealed that an additional N195 billion are yet to be accounted for from the police pension office, military pension board, customs, immigration and prison pension office (CIPPO), the department of State Security Service as well as the Head of Service of the federation’s office.
Foreign airlines/Dana plane crash probe The Senate investigated two storming issues in the aviation industry in the year just ended. Expectedly, both probes were conducted by the Senate Committee on Aviation. The first investigation was on the exploitative and differential pricing as well as ill-treatment of Nigerians by some foreign airlines that operate in Nigeria, particularly the British and Virgin Atlantic Airlines. The second was the probe of the Dana Air plane crash in Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, which left over 160 people dead.
Fuel subsidy probe One of the earliest probes embarked upon by the 7th Senate was the fuel subsidy scam. The probe was consequent upon the
ONE ISSUE THAT PITCHED THE
SENATE... AGAINST THE EXECUTIVE ARM OF GOVERNMENT AND INDEED HEATED UP THE POLITY SO MUCH WAS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2012
APPROPRIATION ACT debate and adoption of the motion by Bukola Saraki on the fuel subsidy scam. The former governor had raised an alarm that in the 2010 appropriation act, N285 billion was appropriated for fuel subsidy payment but that by October of the same year, a whooping N1.2 trillion had already been expended on the item. This prompted the Senate to direct an investigation into the matter. The probe, which was actually supposed to take off in 2011 however did not until the beginning of 2012. The investigation was handled by the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream). More than one year after, the committee is yet to formerly round off its assignment.
Budget performance, impeachment threat, et al One issue that pitched the Senate, albeit the entire National Assembly, against the executive arm of government and indeed heated up the polity so much was the implementation of the 2012 appropriation act. Shortly before the National Assembly commenced its annual vacation in July, the lawmakers had very serious issues with the executive over what they (lawmakers) described as the dismal implementation of the budget. The situation was so serious that both chambers had several storming sessions with the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on ways to resolve the imbroglio. When all that failed, the House of Representatives resorted to the option of impeachment threat. In a motion by the Chairman of Rules and Business of the House,
Albert Sam-Tsokwa and 20 others on the violation of the 2012 appropriation act, Femi Gbajabiamila, House Minority Leader cashed in on that motion to introduce the issue of impeachment from nowhere. Citing section 143, of the 1999 Constitution as variously amended, the lawmaker argued that the President was culpable of gross misconduct going by the position of earlier speakers on the performance of the budget implementation. It however took the political sagacity of the leadership of the Senate to mediate a resolution of the matter finally. As if that was not enough, members of the House of Representatives found a way again to keep the issue of budget implementation in the front burner of the nation’s political debate. It got to a situation where the lawmakers objected to receiving President Goodluck Jonathan in a joint session of the National Assembly to present the 2013 budget appropriation. However, after some subterranean political manoeuvres, the matter was later amicably resolved. Both the President and the National Assembly made history as the president presented the budget in record time and the lawmakers passed the budget also in record time. So, for the first time, the National Assembly passed the budget before the end of the year since the commencement of the current democracy in 1999.
Motions/Bills/Confirmation/Resolutions/ Petitions Although it was not possible to ascertain the status of the total number of bills and motions considered by Senate throughout the year, it is safe to say that the Senate considered a number of motions and adopted far-reaching resolutions on them. The Senate also in keeping with the provisions of the constitution received requests from the President and confirmed important executive nominations ranging from career and non-career ambassadors, heads of government parastatals and departments. It in addition treated a number of petitions through its committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions
Approval of state of emergency The Senate by virtue of section 305(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended approved the proclamation of state of emergency in some local government areas in Borno, Plateau, Niger and Yobe states earlier in the year in January. The state of emergency, which was declared by the President were necessitated by the growing level of terror activities in those areas. The Senate however later in June vacated the proclamations following a request for that purpose by the President.
Deaths The Senate on July 8, lost one of its members from Plateau North, Dantong Gyang. The late senator, who was until his death the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health died in a stampede when some gunmen killed tens of people in the state. The Senate on June 7 held a special valedictory session in honour of the departed Gyang. The late lawmaker was later replaced by Senator Gyang Pwajok. The senate similarly recorded the death of some of their former colleagues like Olusola Saraki, Ahmed Ubah and a few others.
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Monday, December 31, 2012
Conversation with a cracked mind HeartBeat
Callistusoke@nationalmirroronline.net 08054103275 (SMS ONLY)
n the past eight days or so, many things have happened in the country. As a Christian, I have been deeply troubled by some of these occurrences, especially the ones that centre on life and living. A man I know very well had had to relocate his entire family to the East because, according to him, “life has become intolerable in Lagos”. The family’s only source of livelihood is okada riding business operated by him, a profession that has been endangered by the new Lagos State Traffic Law. I asked the man how he would cope with the attendant social dislocations arising from his decision. I know three of his boys that were in public schools in Lagos and a daughter that had just graduated from a skill acquisition training school, waiting for something to start next year. His response was that “with my people I would get sympathy and understanding until I find my bearing again”. Many other families would have taken an extreme decision such as this as the new reality of the new life in Lagos,
the once fabled land ‘flowing with milk and honey’, hits everybody. Many had thought Lagos offered the only hope for them and came in droves to the land of opportunities only for them to face the stark reality so soon after they landed that you do not pick money from the streets. You have to work hard to make it or else you take to a beggarly existence. Like we now see everywhere. If you have my type of eyes, you will see the new face of poverty everywhere– child begging; executive begging by men on suits and ties; mothers with children clustered round them asking for alms; emergency men of God in motor parks offering prayers to travellers for money, and of course, ladies of easy virtues merchandising their most priced treasure. For the perceptible the reality of the true Lagos hits you as you move into it from the different entering points. You are welcomed into the Centre of Excellence with big bill boards announcing: This is Lagos! In all other states the message that welcomes you is ‘Welcome to …’ My most rewarding act last Christmas day was to rescue a woman who was ‘detained’ for eight days by the hospital she had delivered when the husband could not pay the necessary delivery charges. The man told me that his okada, his only source of livelihood, had been seized by Alausa. “Another okada wahala”, I intoned.
THE COMPLEXITY OF THE NIGERIAN STATE DICTATES THAT ONLY A KNOWING AND EXPERIENCED PERSON COULD RULE
SUCCESSFULLY With this preoccupation I did not know when I fell into reverie. Behold there was this unkempt man making marks on the ground and altering inaudible comments like a man consulting the Ouija board in an act of divination. I just suddenly saw myself beside him, and before I knew it we were chatting. Wise one, greetings and how is life treating you? I return your greetings son of man. You talk about life as if Nigerians have meaningful life to live. Look, many people move about like living corpses; is that what you call life? In Lagos, Governor Fashola is targeting poor Lagosians as if he has declared war on the poor in Lagos. They should warn him to stop disturbing the poor people of Lagos. The poor should not only be relevant during elections. Go and see what Aregbesola, Fayemi and Amosun are doing in Osun, Ekiti
and Ogun respectively. These governors make life bearable for the poor and the aged in their states. Fashola should imitate them. That is my message for him. Since you know so much about the affairs of Nigeria what do say about President Goodluck Jonathan? After a long rancorous laughter and with arms akimbo, the man blurted out: I pity poor Jonathan. The man is carrying a burden far too heavy for him. The complexity of the Nigerian state dictates that only a knowing and experienced person could rule Nigeria successfully. Since Nigerians voted for him, they should support him. They cannot eat their cake and want it back. Still uncertain of the man’s mental state, I threw this question at him: Between Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who should Nigerians vote for? Man, please, stop fooling me. You think I am of unsound mind given the way I dressed. Awo died in 1987 and Zik followed in 1994. The two of them would have been the perfect leaders for Nigeria. Ahmadu Bello and Aminu Kano fall into their class. Do not ask for the impossible. The dead cannot come back to rule Nigeria. Let Nigerians make the best use of the living among them. Goodbye. With that the man sprinted away. “Wise one, wise one, wait; we have not finished our…” Then it hit me. I was day dreaming!
Thankfulness fills 2013 favours-fuel tank
“Let the people praise thee O God, let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase, and God, even our own God, shall bless us,” Psalm 67: 5-6.
y tomorrow, most people will wonder why they should give thanks to their Creator, whom they believe has done nothing because they still have no job, wife, husband, children, sound health, and other goodygoody expectations of 2012. Wonder, why thanking God amidst murderous terrorist assaults in the Lord’s sanctuary, with pandemic spread of kobo-kobotreatable diseases that kill children and pregnant women cheap in village and states where mindless governors and lawmakers ride airplanes, as big-boys toys, when the road to farms are either impassable or non-existent, thus rendering the population idle for the Devil to build his workshop? You unacceptably thank God from your mouth, instead of your heart, when some ministers of God ride jets from the proceeds of tithes and offerings, which ought to be pooled into a commonwealth to be shared, so that the rich who have much will not have too much treasure on earth and risk hell, while the poor who have little or nothing get something to live on and not curse their Creator. That was how the first apostles ran clerical government and everybody was happy. The corrupt, conspiratorial husband and wife, Ananias and Saphirra, who sold their own land for offering, but hid
THOSE WHO PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF
JERUSALEM NIGERIA WILL PROSPER, JUST AS THE COMFORT OF THE ROPE IS COMFORT OF THE DANCING BIRD portions of proceeds (refused to declare all their assets) before the apostles, got instant death judgment. Corruption is not new on earth; it’s got to get worse (as in Ghana) before it gets better when divine judgment is executed in 2013, only if we know how to give thanks. Giving thanks for the pandemic of corruption in Nigeria, in which God’s oil and gas as commonwealth gift, is expropriated by rogue politicians in the three arms of government in collaboration with bureaucrats in civil service, will provoke God’s anger and faster judgment in 2013, than cursing. It is a spiritual principle. Giving thanks for what you lack, instead of the ingratitude of grumbling and murmuring provokes God to stretch grace, which is unmerited favour. Hearty thankfulness fills up life’s emptiness. Try it. However, crying out vociferously today for vengeance to herald 2013 judgment is the blood of victims of commercial and wonder banks’ depositors; sufferers of demolished private housing
estates in Abuja; wounded and killed shareholders of ruined public owned companies; dupes of fake cement and pharmaceutical manufacturers, sufferers of importers of substandard electronic and electrical appliances; victims of rogue judges and lawmakers; of fuel subsidy and unspent budget rogues; of pension and payroll victims, sent to untimely grave. Solomon is a good example of what should busy the mind of a ruler, political office holder, priest, captain of industry, and gatekeeper of the good news (of the gospel and media journalism). Solomon was in his 20s when he gave enormous sacrificial thanks offering, which provoked the Lord to give him a blank cheque. God asked Solomon: “What do you want me to give you?” Unlike his warmonger father David, Solomon did not ask for the life of his political enemies, as politicians do today, or for riches. His mind was focused on how an under-30 would govern, as king, the age of his grandfathers and grandmothers. Unlike politicians who design schemes to loot public treasury even before they assume public office, Solomon asked for wisdom to rule. His altruistic request made God to add to wisdom, unparalled riches. Solomon told God, however, not to give him too much riches, which could make him lose his head in arrogance and offend God, and desired not poverty that could provoke him to curse God, as many do today. Let us sow the seeds of thanksgiving for what is good in our life and in Nigeria
Roadmap SONI EHI
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in order to ward off evil, which we have invited by failing to give thanks. Thank God for Nigeria’s mutual coexistence despite atrocities of cabal agents of darkness; for eyes to see, legs to walk, sanity to think, sickness that responds to treatment by God’s grace, at least one meal day, a stubborn but not dead wife, child or husband and better than nil; strength to bath, stool, urinate without assistant, etc. We are right to curse the evil spirit of massive corruption, and to pray for our leaders to lead us well so we do not chop the punishment of their mistakes and misdeeds. Those who pray for the peace of Jerusalem Nigeria will prosper, just as the comfort of the rope is comfort of the dancing bird. Curse the spirit of corruption, but pray for leaders’ deliverance. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
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All the Facts, All the Sides All the Facts, All the Sides
A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER
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$12.4bn oil windfall: Court verdict on IBB
he civil society, led by the Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), was in court a few weeks ago to ask for a probe into the Gulf War oil windfall of $12.4 billion, which the country earned under the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd). The plaintiffs prayed the court for ‘an order of mandamus’ compelling the President; Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), individually and collectively, to publish a detailed statement of account on the $12.4 billion in major national newspapers. In 1994, the Pius Okigbo panel was constituted to investigate the activities of the CBN and recommend measures for the reorganization of the apex bank. The Okigbo panel, in the process, reportedly found that the $12.4 billion reserved in a ‘Dedicated and Special Account’ was depleted to the tune of $200 million in June, 1994. The AGF and CBN had argued that the panel’s report could not be admitted as evidence by the court because no official white paper was issued on it. The Federal High Court, Abuja division, that deliverd the judgement averred that the plaintiffs lacked locus standi to institute the action ab-initio. The court upheld
THE DEBATE ON THE $12.4 BILLION OIL WINDFALL SEEMS FAR FROM BEING SETTLED the preliminary objections raised by the AGF and the CBN and, subsequently, dismissed the suit, which it said was predicated on ‘an incorrigible evidence of doubtful integrity’. In the court of public opinion, however, most Nigerians view the Federal High Court verdict as retrogressive, and will most probably encourage corruption among political leaders in the country. Critics have associated the Babangida administration with the institutionalization and elevation of corruption as an official state policy. The junta, for instance, was accused of establishing and exploiting the Dedicated and Special Account for the perpetration of corrupt practices. The Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – February 21, 1991) increased the price of crude oil beyond the budgeted estimate, leading to a handsome excess in oil earnings, which vanished into thin air. As is now widely acclaimed, corrupt practices by the nation’s political leaders and top bureaucrats have morphed to become major social problems in the country. The country has
been suffering huge losses in foreign and local earnings. The consequences manifest through social infrastructure collapse, perpetual economic crisis, abandoned and uncompleted projects, political instability, growing material poverty and underdevelopment. Indeed, the collapse of previous republics were largely attributed to the looting of public treasury, sundry corrupt practices and the profligate lifestyle of past leaders. The collapse of the Second Republic manifestly typified this decadence. The emergent military administrations, especially the Babangida administration, was tagged with the unflattering record of heightening the level of corruption and the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential poll adjudged locally and internationally as the freest and fairest election in Nigeria’s political history. The failure of successive administrations to issue a white paper on the Okigbo report suggests nothing but a disappointing lack of political will to expose the grave diversion of the country’s resources. It is a grand conspiracy against the people by the country’s political leaders, who are always watching their backs because of the countless skeletons in their closets. Quite intriguing was the court’s strict interpretation of the law without responding to the
logic of social imperatives. We think Nigerian courts should begin to weigh the socioeconomic underpinings of litigations. The SERAP suit was important to Nigerians who were eager to secure justice in court. It epitomized the resolve of Nigerians to challenge the misdemeanors of previous leaders, including Babangida’s administration. The court verdict will likely increase the lip service and false propaganda of incumbent leaders in fighting corruption. Despite President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim that his government had battled corruption in the land more than any other in recent times, Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perception Index perceived Nigerian state actors as largely corrupt. ‘The law is an ass’, a popular phrase originating from 19th century Charles Dickson’s ‘Oliver Twist’, portrayed the ass as representing rigidity and stupidity. Therefore, though disappointed, the civil society groups deserve public commendation for the legal struggle. They should not relent in their bid to compel accountable leadership, past and present. In line with the tenets of democracy, Nigerian people will not stop asking questions on matters of transparency and accountability until justice prevails. The debate on the $12.4 billion oil windfall seems far from being settled.
ON THIS DAY December 31, 2004 The official opening of Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper at that time in the world, standing at a height of 509 metres (1,670 ft), was witnessed. Taipei 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Republic of China. The building ranked officially as the world’s tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. In July 2011, the building was awarded LEED Platinum certification.
December 31, 1992 Czechoslovakia was peacefully dissolved in what was dubbed by the media as the Velvet Divorce, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which took effect on January 1, 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined separation of the federal state of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia entities had arisen in 1969 within the framework of Czechoslovak federalization.
December 31, 1983 In Nigeria, a coup d’état led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari ended the Nigerian Second Republic. Buhari (born December 17, 1942) was a Major General in the Nigerian Army and a former military ruler of the country from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985. He also ran unsuccessfully for the office of the President of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. His ethnic background is Fulani, and his faith is Islam. He is a native of Daura in Katsina State of Nigeria.
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ECONOMY IN 2012
2012: A year of ga
Just before the dawn of 2012, there were great expectations. Smarting from the presidential polls of 2011 which returned President Goodluck Jonathan and the ceaseless transformation slogan that preceded the elections, Nigerians had looked up to the year 2012 with tremendous hope. Now, twelve months after, how has the economy fared? How has it impacted on the peoples’ lives? This is the appraisal of the economy in 2012
Business Courage A Publication of GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER SEMIU SALAMI BAMIDELE OBAFEMI ADEJUWON OSUNNUYI FESTUS OKOROMADU TAYO ADELEKE
EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR STAFF WRITER STAFF WRITER SENIOR REPORTER
OLATOYE RAPHAEL SEYI OKUMODI
HEAD, PRODUCTION SENIOR GRAPHIC ARTIST
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ECONOMY IN 2012
ins and pains
By Semiu Salami
oday, December 31, marks the 365th day and end of the year 2012, a year that started with state-induced upheavals following increase in pump price of petroleum products and its attendant public outcry. It is also a year that statistically posted some of the stunning economic indices but which almost everyone, except those in government believes failed to transform the lives of the people. Indeed, the economy in 2012 was a mixed grill, an
amalgam of the good, the bad and the ugly. Indeed, the last twelve months have been quite momentous. Starting with the subsidy removal shocker on new year with a 123 per cent increase in pump price to N141 per litre of the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) and the attendant massive protest that grounded the economy for one week, the economy tottered slowly until it gained some momentum, largely helped by high cost of crude in the international oil market. The massive job boycott and protests, particularly in the Lagos area considered to be Nigeria’s economic hub, was believed to have cost the country several billions of Naira. Interestingly, however, despite the fact that the agitation only made the government to slightly adjust the pump price down to N97 per litre as against its previous hard stance of total deregulation, the swiftness with which it went about empanelling a committee to probe the fuel subsidy scam may have provided the needed leveller. The year started with a projected budget Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 7.2 per cent but with the slowdown in the economy. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revised the GDP for fiscal 2012 downward to 6.61 per cent from the earlier proection of 6.85 per cent. This show a real GDP growth rate of 6.48 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, up from 6.39 per cent in the second quarter, but lower than the 7.37 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. Inflationary pressure reemerged in October 2012 as the year-on-year headline inflation inched up to 11.7 per cent in October 2012 from 11.3 per cent in September, while food inflation increased to 11.1 per cent from 10.2 per cent in September. There was a robust growth in the level of the external reserves to $44.5 billion, a 34.76 per cent growth over 2011 figure. Broadly speaking, however, there are strong reasons to believe that, despite the orchestrated growth recorded in the economy in the last twelve months, the expectation of many Nigerians have not been met. To a large extent, rather than high standard of living, what Nigerians are confronted with is high cost of living. The poverty index is worsening or
President Goodluck Jonathan
at best stationary. Inflation remains at double digit (12 per cent or thereabout) while interest rate on bank loans in most cases oscillates between 15 and 20 per cent. In spite of all these, the Federal Government’s propaganda machinery has been ceaseless, consistently been churning out half truths about the true state of the Nigerian economy.
In his Independent Day broadcast in October, President Jonathan espoused the fact about Nigeria being the investment hub for Africa, stressing that his government’s investment climate reform programme has attracted over N6.8 trillion local and foreign direct investment commitments and that the country is ranked first in the top five host economies for
Foreign Direct Investment in Africa, accounting for over 20 per cent of total FDI flows into the continent). Contrarily, however, a more dispassionate view of Nigeria’s economy shows that the cost of doing business is still very astronomic. Investors still bear heavy cost on provision of electricity, water, security and also face the challenges of multiple taxation and parasitic government officials whose penchant for bribery and corruption increases by the day. In fact, the latest global Doing Business Report 2013 shows that Nigeria is actually getting worse for investors in the last one year as the country is placed at a distant 131st position in the overall ranking in ease of doing business. Out of 185 economies that featured in the survey, 13 African countries had better business climates for investors with South Africa ranked 39th, Mauritius-19th, Rwanda-52nd, Botswana-59th, Ghana- 64th, Seychelles-74th, Namibia 87th, Zambia 94th, Uganda 120th, Kenya 121st, Cape Verde 122nd Swaziland 123rd and Ethiopia 127th. Nigeria was also ranked 18th for starting a business as against South Africa’s 6th; 42nd for getting electricity against South Africa’s 31st position; 4th in getting credit as against South Africa’s 1st position; 9th for protecting investors against South Africa’s 1st position, and 16th for enforcing contracts against South Africa’s 13th position. According to the report, of the 50 economies making the most improvement in business regulation for domestic firms since 2005, 17 are in Sub-Saharan Africa. “From June 2011 to June 2012, 28 of 46 governments in Sub-Saharan Africa implemented at least one regulatory reform making it easier to do business,” it said. Besides, Nigeria was not mentioned among any of the countries identified as making significant progress in the growth of their economies contrary to claims in government circles that the country’s economy was one of the fastest growing economies of the world. Some of the key findings showed Poland as the global top improver in 2012, with enhanced ease of doing business through four institutional or regulatory reforms, particularly in areas of registration of property, paying taxes, enforcement
Cover of contracts, and resolving insolvency. Nine other economies were recognized as having the most improved ease of doing business across several areas of regulation as measured by the report, including Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Greece, Serbia, and Kazakhstan. On the global scale, 108 economies implemented 201 regulatory reforms during the period to make it easier to do business, with reform efforts focused on making it easier to start a new business, increasing efficiency of tax administration and facilitating trade across international borders. Singapore topped the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the 7th consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China, New Zealand, United States and Denmark. Doing Business 2013, which focused on the theme, “Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises,” assessed regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies and ranked the economies in ten key areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders. The World Bank report of the ranking released on Tuesday, which covered regulations measured from June 2011 through May 2012, revealed that Nigeria’s economy stagnated on two criteria during the period, with no changes recorded in its 2012 ranking of 119thposition for starting business and 182nd position for registering property. Except an appreciable improvement in the criterion for getting credit, where it improved by 15 steps in the ranking from 38th position last year to 23rd in the latest report, the country performed dismally in all other criteria, with the worst performance of 16 steps decline manifesting in paying taxes, which went down from 139th position last year to 155th. Nigeria fell four places in ranking from 66th position last year to 70th in terms of protecting investors; and two steps down the slope, from 86th position last year to 88th position, for dealing with construction permits; while going down one step from 177th last year to 178th for getting electricity. The country did not fare any better for ease of trading across borders, declining from 153rd position last year to 154th; enforcing contracts, with a dip in ranking from 97th last year to 98th; and resolving insolvency, with a fall in ranking from 104th position last year to 105th. In its recent report, The African Economic Outlook 2012 (AEO 2012) said despite Nigeria’s robust economic growth, it has ‘failed’ to generate ‘decent’ employment while poverty has
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ECONOMY IN 2012
The dilapidated state of infrastructure, in particular power, road transport and railways; and the overdependence of the economy on the oil and gas industry
remained high and persistent. The AEO 2012 gave the figure of unemployment rate among the youth in Nigeria as 37.7 per cent. The figure, it pointed out, was one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Besides, the report cautioned that the nation’s economy remained vulnerable to global economic shocks that weigh on the fiscal position and macroeconomic stability, threatening growth prospects. It added that to mitigate the negative impacts of the global economic crisis, the Federal Government pursued an expansionary fiscal policy to maintain growth and social sector spending that led to pressure on consumer prices. The report nevertheless, stated that, a major challenge to increasing the absorptive capacity of the Nigerian economy was “the dilapidated state of infrastructure, in particular power, road transport and railways; and the overdependence of the economy on the oil and gas industry.” The report said in spite of the dominance of the oil sector, agriculture played a significant role in the national economy, accounting for the largest single share of GDP. “Sustain-
able growth in the agricultural sector is a principal factor in promoting inclusive economic growth, reducing poverty and ensuring the nation’s food security,” it pointed out. The Energy Sector In spite of all the razzmatazz about the implementation of power sector reform such as the increase in electricity tariff, privatisation of generation and distribution companies as well as the management takeover of the Transmission Company of Nigeria by the Canadian firm, Manitoba (a deal which has been embroiled in myriads of controversies), electricity consumers are yet to experience a significant access to electricity supply. The electricity generating capacity stands at between 4,200 and 5,000 mega watts (MW), even as government stressed that with the effort of the Nigeria Independent Power Projects (NIPP), commissioned in phases across the country, power generation will hit 7,000 MW by the first quarter of 2013. Government emphasised that with gas production in excess of 500 standards cubic feet, more modules from the NIPP plants
will be able to provide electricity to the national grid, such that many communities can enjoy uninterrupted power supply of 16 hours per day and more. Experts however insist that the government is placing its target on a very wrong premise, stressing that Nigeria needs electricity generation capacity of about 35,000 MW by the year 2020 for domestic and industrial consumption. An economist who spoke with Business Courage last Friday said that with a population of over 160 million people, Nigeria needs about 35,000MW of electricity generation to achieve Vision 20:2020. According to the expert, if South Africa has about 40,000MW electricity generation with a population of only 50 million and Brazil has 100,000MW with a population of just 192 million, it then means that the government may be raising false hopes with its energy projection for the country. “There must be significant investment in rural electrification programmes to fast track expansion of transmission and distribution lines to rural areas in the country,” he said. Oil and Gas Most analysts still believe that a cloud of darkness still hovers on the oil and gas sector, particularly with the way the government has handled the various probe reports which were largely the fallout of the January 2012 protests against subsidy removal. Also, the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) designed to streamline operations in the sector to ensure a level playing ground for International Oil Companies as well as local firms has been with the National Assembly since 2008 without any positive outcome. The bill, a new version which was reworked by Senator
Udo Udoma’s committee, is now before the National Assembly, with no clear cut assurances that it would be passed by the lawmakers. As the year rolls out last week, acute fuel shortages, caused by a twin factor of vandalised pipelines and suspicion that government may be tinkering with the idea of raising the pump price of petrol again has ensured that Nigerians are perpetually under the pangs on fuel shortages. The Financial Services Sector The year 2012 witnessed a continuation of the reform policy initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as measures by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to restore investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital market The banking sector experienced some reforms ranging from the introduction of the Cashless Policy and its amendment to a cashlite policy among others. In 2012, the CBN maintained a tight monetary policy and credit to private sector which grew by 16.96 per cent to N15.13 trillion as at October 2012 over December 2011 figure of N12.93 trillion. There was also a robust growth in the level of the external reserves to $44.5 billion, a 34.76 per cent growth over 2011 figure, buoyed largely by $14.46 billion improved foreign exchange as well as international oil price. The year 2012 also witnessed the consolidation of the various merger and acquisition arrangement in the banking sector, leading to the reduction in the number of money deposit banks in the country.
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ECONOMY IN 2012 ciple for the transfer of Digital Dividend Spectrum management to the NCC in line with digital migration of TV stations by while NBC still retains its regulatory role of the broadcast sector. Unfortunately, however, terrorists struck in northeast Nigeria destroying several base stations of telecommunication companies, thus worsened quality of service that is prevalent in the industry. However, despite the poor quality of service, GSM operators embarked on a rat race and escalated sales promotions with massive rates cuts aimed at increasing calls and revenues and attracting customers on the network.
Similarly, after several agitations by stockbrokers, the Federal Government also conceded to providing forbearance to stockbrokers who were directly affected in the stock market crash of 2008. About N22 billion has been set aside to write off the debts which is believed to have over the years, strangulated the stockbrokers and prevent them from playing active role in the capital market.
troleum products used by industries, multiple taxation, unabated smuggling and inadequate access to finance, both local and abroad”. In developed countries where the real sectors are thriving, manufacturing contribute as much as between 35 and 40 per cent to the GDP. For instance, in Malaysia, the manufacturing sector contributes about 45 per cent to the GDP.
Manufacturing sector The fortunes of the real sector did not fare any better in 2012. Economic experts say the manufacturing sector contributes only five per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) even as the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) said that more manufacturing companies are closing shops mainly due to harsh operating business environment. According to the president of NACCIMA, Dr. Herbert Ajayi, “More than half of the surviving firms had been classified as ailing, which poses a serious threat to the survival of the manufacturing industry in the country. Capacity utilisation in industries hovered around 30 per cent and 45 per cent on the average, with 100 per cent overhead costs. Political and economic factors contribute greatly to the decline in the manufacturing sectors. For instance, poor infrastructure and epileptic power supply are also key impediments to the industry. The industry as a whole operates on more than 70 per cent of energy it generates, using generators and operating these generators greatly increases the cost of manufacturing goods in Nigeria. Other factors include increase in the prices of pe-
Aviation sector The sector had witnessed tremendous improvements in both regulatory and operational scope in the early parts of the year. However, the various regulatory initiatives which many say has helped refocused the sector has been overshadowed the recurring air crashes. Thus far, there have been five air crashes this year, starting with the March 14 helicopter crash in Jos in which John Haruna, then, newly promoted Deputy Inspector General of Police and three other senior police officers died. That was to be followed by a Nigerian plane Boeing 727, which overran the runway while landing in Accra, Ghana. A day after, what turned out to be the most devastating air crash this year occurred in Iju Ishaga, a Lagos suburb, when a Dana Air flight 992 with 146 passengers and seven crew members went down and took along with it, about eight other people in the crowded residential area. On October 25, a Cessna 208 aircraft piloted by Dambaba Suntai, governor of Traba State also crashed into a hill in Adamawa State, leaving the governor and three of his aides in very severe condition. The climax of the air mishaps that have characterised the story of the Nigerian aviation sector in 2012 occurred
There have been five air crashes this year, starting with the March 14 helicopter crash in Jos in which John Haruna, then, newly promoted Deputy Inspector General of Police and three other senior police officers died
on December 15 in Okoroba, Bayelsa State, when the naval helicopter crashed and killed Patrick Yakowa, governor of Kaduna State, General Andrew Owoeye Aziza and four others. Agriculture/ SMEs The agric sector witnessed some improvement during the year. For instance, the sector, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), contributed N2.9 billion to GDP in the second quarter of 2012. The revenue accounted for about 41 per cent of the oil-rich nation’s total GDP for the quarter. Aside from that, under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), government is implementing a new fertilizer programme whereby government will withdraw from fertilizer distribution to the development of the private sector to take on these functions to enhance development. However, the flash floods which ravaged 12 states across the country have put the sector under tremendous stress as a result of fears of a looming food crisis. The flood washed away several cultivated farmlands
and livestock with estimated loss running into several billions of naira. In the same vein, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, according to experts, contribute nearly half of the GDP and accounts for over 25 per cent of employment in the country but the poor state of infrastructure, particularly power supply has diminished their growth potentials. Information Technology In 2012, the total number of active phone lines grew by 13.1 per cent to reach the current figure of 102 million. Teledensity rose to 73.1 per cent for 100 inhabitants as at June 2012, an improvement over 64.7 per cent growth in June 2011. Issues bothering on quality of service dominated discuss in 2012, culminating in the imposition of N1.18 billion fines on MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The controversy over the merger of NCC and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was settled by the presidency with approval-in-prin-
Debt profile As at September 30, 2012, Nigeria’s total external debt stood at $6.2 billion while the domestic debt profile was N6.3 trillion. In 2012, the Federal Government budgeted 560 billion for debt servicing and about two weeks ago, the National Assembly approved a $7.3 billion borrowing plan for federal and state governments. Many people have expressed serious concern about the growing debt profile. The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi for instance, is insisting that if the existing level of borrowing from big nations continued, huge debt profile would place “undue burden on posterity.” The CBN governor insists that “We are borrowing more money today at a higher interest rate while leaving the heavy debt burden for our children and grandchildren. For example, if you receive your salary and every day the money is not enough, you have two options to adjust yourself; either check your expenditure or check your wages.” He advised the Federal Government not to allow the present and unborn generations inherit the heavy burden of foreign debts since Nigeria is currently in great danger because of it. Sanusi’s position on the country’s rising debt profile sharply contradicts that of the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has consistently allayed the fears that Nigeria was returning to the old era of amassing huge external debts, just a few years after she exited from the grip of the Paris Club. According to her, the country’s debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio would remain at a sustainable level of about 18.87 per cent, even with the new loans. She explained that the loans were not only necessary for the Nigerian economy to grow but had been negotiated with multilateral institutions on highly concessionary terms. BC
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Tunde Lemo, Deputy Governor, CBN
External reserves drop by $80m - CBN
he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the nation’s external reserves have dropped by $80 million (about N12.4 billion). The drop, reported on the bank’s Website on Friday, represented a 2.81 per cent decrease. With the drop, the nation’s external reserves now stand at $44.26 billion from $44.34 billion reported on Dec. 24. The external reserves have been growing since August, but started declining on Dec. 10 with Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy stressing the need for Nigeria to shore up its external reserves. OkonjoIweala, at a meeting with the Organised Private Sector in July, said that there was the need to build up the reserves to $50 billion before the end of December. She said that high external reserves would help the country in the event of any economic recession.
at the spill site on Friday, tidal wave was spreading the oily deposits back and forth along the coastline. The oil field from where the spill emanated, is operated by the Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN). Residents at the coastal settlement said that they started noticing oil deposits at the shoreline since Dec. 16, and reported the development to the MPN. ``We started seeing fresh oil deposits since Dec. 16, and we reported to Mobil and they came to inspect and collected samples of the oil. But up till now, they have not responded to clean it up. The tide has been flushing the oil to other places and this is worsening the situation,’’ John Etim, a resident said. MPN had, in a statement on Dec. 21, confirmed a reported spill within its operations at the Qua Iboe oil fields in Akwa Ibom and pledged to clean up the impacted areas immediately. The statement signed by Mobil’s Communications Manager, Nigel Cookey-Gam said that ``Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/ MPN Joint Venture, confirms that on Dec. 19, community representatives notified the company of slight oiling on short sections of the shoreline of Ibeno, Akwa Ibom. MPN immediately deployed a team to inspect the site and samples of the oiling were taken for analysis to help determine the source. Sections of shoreline with any oiling will be cleaned immediately. `` The statement restated MPN’s commitment to maintaining high safety, health and environmental standards in our operations and is committed to the wellbeing of our neighbouring communities. It was gathered that the oil firm also suspended mop up exercise at the areas affected by an earlier spill incident which occurred on Nov. 9.
Gov. Nyako wants Savannah Sugar re-opened Akpabio, governor, Akwa Ibom State
Cleanup of Ibeno spill site in A/Ibom yet to commence
he cleanup of the Atlantic Shoreline, contaminated by an oil spill on Dec. 19, within Qua Iboe oil fields, is yet to begin, according to residents. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that
ov. Murtala Nyako of Adamawa on Friday appealed to the management of Savannah Sugar Company in Numan to re-open the company. Nyako made the appeal while receiving members of Adamawa chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress who paid him Christmas homage at the Government House in Yola. He said re-opening the ailing company would contribute to the economic development and prosperity of the people.
of compensation was not resolved. The state NLC Chairman, Dauda Maina, had earlier said that they were at the government house to pay Christmas homage aimed at building cordial relationship between government and civil servants.
NAGAFF urges FG to create more jobs through freight forwarding
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the company was closed in July 2011 following alleged security threat by some angry casual workers engaged by the company. The governor, who expressed concern over the prolong closure of the company, said that the development was having negative impact on the citizens of the state. Nyako said that he was worried because over 5,000 workers had been rendered jobless. “Government is worried over the shutdown of the company. I think it is now time for the authority of Savannah Sugar to consider the huge investment opportunity and the plight of the state to re-open it,” he said. The governor said that his administration was genuinely interested in finding a permanent solution to the crisis between the company, host communities and the staff. “I spoke with Dangote himself, the owner of the company over the situation, where I assured him clearly that we have learnt our lessons. He told me that if he closes down the company for 20 years, he is not going to lose or be affected in any way or the other from his daily business all over the world. So, we are the people to suffer if our children are not working, our community will also suffer for their small incomes,” the governor told the labour leaders. Nyako said that he met with the host Numan community where he clearly told them about the need to get the company operating as part of measures to resolve the problem. NAN also recalled that in February last year, the Bachama kingdom cautioned that the Bachama traditional council would not guarantee the safety of Savannah investments if the problem
he National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has urged the Federal Government to invest in the sector to create more jobs. Increase Uche, the General Secretary of NAGAFF, said in Lagos that creation of jobs in the sector would help to boost the economy. ``When you check out the amount of vessels coming into the ECOWAS region, you will find out that 80 per cent of the vessels are coming into Nigeria. That shows you how much the sector has grown and created a lot of jobs for Nigerians,’’ he said. Uche said that for Nigeria to achieve the 48- hour cargo clearance target, it must revamp the maritime sector and this could not be done in a hurry. “The Nigeria Customs Service seems to be so much in a hurry to take over and achieve the 48- hour clearance. Meanwhile, they are not involving stakeholders in most of the plans to make it achievable,’’ he said. Uche said that there was nowhere in the world where the Single Window was being managed by a single agency. ``I expect the customs to carry out this project with other agencies for it to be more effective. So they need to go back and look for synergy or collaboration with other agencies like the CRFFN. The freight forwarders need to be carried along to make inputs in most of their policies for
Idris Umar, Minister of Transport
them to achieve their plans. We have looked at the Single Window procedural manual and saw that the freight forwarders are still caged. We need to be liberated and we are doing everything possible, but because the customs have the funds, they tend to emasculate us to key into whatever they want,’’ Uche said. He, however, said that the maritime industry fared well generally in 2012, but said that ``there is still room for improvement in 2013. “We thank the Minister of Transport; he did very well in regulating the industry because we cannot talk of the maritime industry without the transport sector.
Shareholders endorse Capcom’s investments in Starcomms
By Tola Akinmutimi (Abuja)
hareholders of the cash-strapped Starcomms Plc, the only listed telecommunications company in the nation’s capital market, have voted for the re-organisation of the Share Capital structure of the company as part of the requirements for its acquisition by Capcom a special purpose vehicle created solely for the purpose. The shareholders at the Court ordered meeting held at the weekend in Abuja to legalise the share capital reorganisation which will lead to Capcom’s control of 90.5 per cent of the company’s equity while the old investors and other interested parties to the deal will own the balance. Speaking on the Scheme of Arrangement for the re-organisation of the share capital structure at the meeting the National Chairman of Renaissance Shareholders Association, Ambassador Olufemi Timothy, described the scheme as a timely move that was bound to restore hope to the company’s investors and prospects for returns on their investments in the future. While lauding the Board and management for the initiative, he described the exercise as a “desirable sacrifice we have to make in order to ensure the survival of the company and make the investments to translate to future benefits for all stakeholders” Similarly, another leading shareholders’ leader and capital market analyst, Sir Sonny Nwosu, said the Scheme had become imperative in view of the operational challenges of the company over the years,
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Monday, December 31, 2012
adding that the coming of Capcom to save the company from imminent collapse is salutary to the efforts aimed at making the company to survive. Nwosu, who is the National Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, carpeted the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) for allowing most of the CDMAs to go under and assured the new investors of shareholders’ support in their efforts to revive the ailing company. He said: “I praise Capcom for coming otherwise we may not have any company to call our own in the near future. It is still better for us to have a small shareholding in the company with value than have a large one without any value if the company goes under. I will like to appeal to my colleagues shareholders by conducting the election for restructuring of the Board at the AGM. We must learn from our past mistakes. We want to assure the new investors of our full support just as we will expect them to treat us with respect as stakeholders in the drive to revive the company and transform it into a major player in the telecommunications sector in the near future”, Nwosu added To facilitate the investment by Capcom, Starcomms’ shareholders endorsed a Scheme of Arrangement “be effected to reorganize Starcomms’ share capital, subsequent to which the company will undertake the private placement for the subscription of new shares by Capcom.” The commercial understanding that was captured in the investment agreement between Starcomms and Capcom stipulates that the placing will entail Capcom contributing the investment consideration to Starcomms via the placing in exchange for such number of shares as will result in Capcom owning 90.5 per cent of Starcomms’ share capital post-placing. Under the transaction,
Capcom will contribute investment assets, investment cash and other investment benefits. Capcom will also pay off Starcomms’ outstanding NCC obligations up to $13,000,000 in exchange for receiving the subscription shares and conditional share subscription rights. The investment assets that Capcom will bring to the table “comprise the entire issued share capital of Cyancom and HIP oils, which include the spectrum of MTS and the CDMA business of Multi-Links respectively. Capcom has negotiated conditional sale and purchase agreement with the vendors of both assets, namely AMCON and Helios Towers respectively,” Oladokun said.
FG projects $6bn earning on seafarers’ export from 2022 By Francis Ezem
he Federal Government has said it is working on a projection that would enable Nigeria earn a minimum of $6billion annually from seafarers’ export in the next 10 years under the National Seafarers’ Development Programme. The NSDP, a brainchild of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, is a strategic intervention designed to address the short and medium term manpower requirements of Nigeria’s maritime industry by creating a large pool of e indigenous seafarers by 2014. This, apart from creating a niche for Nigeria as a leading supplier of seafarers in Africa with a view to meeting the shortage in the local market and also contribute to global manpower needs of the international shipping industry. Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, who spoke in a recent interview on the 1000 cadet-trainees, who are to undertake courses in Marine Engineering, Nautical Sciences and Naval Architecture abroad, said that Nigeria is planning to compete with Philippines by 2022 in the export of seafarers. Current statistics shows that as the world’s largest exporter of seafarers; Philippines exports over 50, 000 seafarers annually from which it earns over $6billion annually. According to him, from this current fiscal year, the agency would spend a large chunk of its budget on capacity building, especially training of seafarers to enhance the realisation of the 10-year projection. He also disclosed that after
the current batch of seafarers, the agency might decide to commence the training of subsequent batches locally, as efforts are being made to equip the existing maritime training institutions in the country as well as developing new ones in order to save cost. The cadet trainees are billed to travel to India, Philippines and some other countries for training on seafaring. Akpobolokemi said: “The main reason for the programme was in line with the desire of the maritime administration to build the required capacity needed to sustain the industry”. According to him, the NSDP which is in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, had become necessary to ensure replacement of the stock of seafarers, none of who is less than 50 years. “Nigeria cannot be a true shipping nation in the absence of indigenous tonnage and seafarers. The depletion of the seafarers pool in Nigeria has become worrisome and so NIMASA needed to capacity else the industry will collapse”, the DG insisted. The NSDP, according to him, has three windows the first being the one that involved the state governments, which are expected to fund 40 percent of the cost of their citizens’ training and the second being the one involving the high net worth individuals, both of which did not yield the expected results.
Senate to probe N262bn supplementary budget -Ngige
he Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Sen. Chris Ngige, has said that the Senate in 2013, will probe the implementation of the N262 billion supplementary budget to ensure fuel availability. He made the disclosure at a news briefing in Awka on Friday. The senator noted that in spite of the N262 billion supplementary budget, there were still long queues at filling stations. Ngige expressed concern that President Goodluck Jonathan had yet to appoint a new minister for the power ministry. ``I had expected that with the exit of former Power Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji, about the middle of the year, a replacement would have been named by President Goodluck Jonathan given the precarious situation in the power sector. Ordinarily, the president can decide
to run the power ministry without a substantive minister even when there is a minister of state on ground,” Ngige said. He said that the leaders of thought from the SouthEast zone under the auspices of Ohaneze-Ndigbo and the South East zonal caucus had met the president on the issue. He disclosed that the meeting stressed the need for the president to appoint the next minister of power from the South- East zone. According to him, Nigerians will enjoy improved power supply as from 2013. Ngige said that efforts were in top gear to boost power generation, transmission and distribution across the country. He noted that most of the power generating sub-stations had been sited far away from their sources of gas supply, saying that the long distance between the sub-stations and their sources of gas supply was a major problem. He added that the result was the increasing cost of distribution and safe guarding laid pipes against vandalism. The senator explained that the 2013 fiscal budget and part of the 2012 budget would accommodate capital projects, especially for upgrading of transmission stations to ensure availability of power. ``Also as part of efforts to boost electricity supply next year, studies have commenced on the possibility of having coal powered plants in parts of the country with large coal deposits.’’ he said
that out of the N499.105 billion, N229. 778 is for recurrent expenditure, while N269,376 is earmarked for capital expenditure. The 2013 appropriation showed an increase of more than N2 billion in the budget presented by Gov. Babatunde Fashola to the house on Oct. 31. Fashola presented a budget of N497.227 billion, tagged: ``Budget of Poverty Eradication and Economic Growth’’. The house increased the allocations to some MDAs it said had inadequate allocations in the original presentation to discharge their responsibilities. The affected MDAs are Lagos State House of Assembly, Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM), Lagos Internal Revenue Service, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission and Office of the Auditor-General for Local Governments, among others. The house admonished the Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pensions to compile subventions required by all tertiary institutions in the state for their performance. The house also urged its Committee on Economic Planning in conjunction with its sub-committees to conduct quarterly appraisal of the 2013 budget performance of the MDAs. The Speaker of House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, then directed the Clerk to produce a clean copy and send it to Fashola for his assent BC
Lagos Assembly passes N499bn 2013 appropriation bill
he Lagos State House of Assembly last Friday passed the 2013 budget totalling N499.105 billion. This followed the adoption of the report submitted by the House Appropriation Committee and the house took the third reading of the bill. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports
Monday, December 31, 2012
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The Best of Giant S Retrospectively, we bring you some of the accounts of Nigeriaâ€™s top entrepreneurs that featured in the Giant Strides in 2012 By Semiu Salami
or 50 out of the 52 weeks in 2012, Business Courage beamed its searchlight on some notable Nigerian corporate icons, first class entrepreneurs and personalities whose actions have impacted positively either on their respective establishment or on the Nigerian economy as a whole. It was indeed, a compendium of corporate stars, mentors and inspirations to many aspiring entrepreneurs in the country. In no particular order, this is a selection of few of the best entrepreneurs that attracted our attention in 2012
demic record. Indeed, they said that he was just not interested in pursuing higher academic career just because his parents wanted him to or because his siblings were already studying overseas. Indeed, his mates and teachers would remember him more for his prowess in representative sports than in his academic prowess. As if to prove the point that he wasnâ€™t particularly keen about academics, Richard, at some point in his academic career in the United Kingdom ducked out of school and settled for paid employment. Thereafter, something happened that changed his restless course in life as he veered into business, importing hides and skins from Nigeria into America along with his friend, Desmond Majekodunmi. Those close to him at that time told Business Courage that Richard, indeed, made good money from the trade. Incidentally, it was his engagement in the importation of hides and skins business that changed his mind set about education, as he decided it was time to really go back to school to learn the formal principles of business administration. Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim During his elementary school days, he was either coming last or second to last in every examination in a class of 24 pupils. Indeed, he could have ended up as a common bricklayer, plying his trade in the rustic town of Igbotako in Ondo State. But through strong determination, uncommon courage and exemplary character, he waded through stiff competition from the sea of about 40
Richard Tokunbo Akerele The name may not be as popular as other high flying Nigerian billionaire entrepreneurs but he is a silent achiever, whose significant inroad, particularly in the hospitality arm of the aviation business has transcends the shores of Nigeria. His parents wanted him to read law and therefore everything that would have made The name may not be it easy for him to beas popular as other high flying Nigerian billionaire entrepreneurs but he is come an accomplished a silent achiever, whose significant inroad, particularly legal mind was offered in the hospitality arm of the aviation business transcends him. But, like many the shores of Nigeria. This is the story of Richard young men of his days, Tokunbo Akerele, managing director, chief executive Richard had a different officer, Aviation Services and Logistics Plc. idea of what he wanted to be. H Though an extremely brilliant chap during his secondary school days, those close to him say Richard Akereleâ€™s interest, at the early stage, was not particularly about setting higher acaNational Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, April 16, 2012
The Super Chef
By Salami Semiu
is parents wanted him to read law and therefore everything that would have made it easy for him to become an accomplished legal mind was offered him. But, like many young men of his days, Richard had a different idea of what he wanted to be. Though an extremely brilliant chap during his secondary school days, those close to him say Richard Akereleâ€™s interest, at the early stage, was not particularly about setting a higher academic record. Indeed, they said that he was just not interested in pursuing higher academic career just because his parents wanted him to or because his siblings were already studying overseas. Indeed, his mates and teachers would remember him more for his prowess in representative sports than in his academic ability. In the two schools he attended in the UK, Richard represented them well in different sports. â€œI FDSWDLQHGWKHFULFNHWWHDPSOD\HGLQWKHĂ€UVWLQUXJby and also played lawn tennis for my school. I actually represented my school at the Junior Wimbledon. I was quite a good tennis player in my days,â€? he recounted. So, if things had worked out as he wanted, Richard would probably have emerged as one of the top sport personalities to have ever come from Nigeria. As if to prove the point that he wasnâ€™t particularly keen about academics, Richard, at some point in his academic career in the United Kingdom ducked out of school and settled for paid employment. Thereafter, something happened that changed his restless course in life as he veered into business, importing hides and skins from Nigeria into America along with his friend, Desmond Majekodunmi. Those close to him at that time told Business Courage that Richard, indeed, made good money from the trade. Incidentally, it was his engagement in the importation of hides and skins business that changed his mind set about education, as he decided it was time to really go back to school to learn the formal principles of business administration. %RUQRQ0D\LQ/RQGRQ5LFKDUG7RNXQER $NHUHOH Ă€UVW FDPH LQWR 1LJHULD DW DJH Ă€YH DQG OLYHG LQ
,NR\L /DJRV ZLWK KLV SDUHQWV late Jerry John Oni Akerele and Dorothy Akerele. From Ikoyi, the young Akerele and his parents relocated to Ibadan, Oyo State, following his fatherâ€™s appointment as the Chief Medical 2IĂ€FHURIWKHWKHQ:HVWHUQ5Hgion. +H VSHQW DQRWKHU Ă€YH \HDUV in Ibadan during which he attended Maryhill Convent School, Ibadan. While in Ibadan as an infant, those close to the Akerele family attest that Richard enjoyed life to the fullest. Richard along with his friends, Cyril Okafor, Eniola Deinde, Falase and many others really had a nice time, going to Recreation Club and riding bicycles all over the place all through Jericho with friends. His fun with his Ibadan friends was however, cut short at the outset of the civil war in ZKHQ KH DORQJ ZLWK KLV mother had to return to England when Ibadan became very uncomfortable, especially with the assassination of his fatherâ€™s EHVW IULHQG /DGRNH $NLQWROD then Premier of the defunctWestern Nigeria. Returning to England was perhaps, one instance which Richard said he never bargained for at the time it happened. Richard admitted that leaving his friends was painful, but at the same time, he was excited because he had left England at WKHDJHRIĂ€YHDQGGLGQRWUHDOO\ have a recollection of what life was all about there. He recalled that though he was an adaptable person from his youthful days, he found it quite challenging, having to get dressed and wear a pair of shoes all the time while in England as a sharp contrast to the life of a young Ibadan boy which he considered himself to be. â€œThe moment we were out of school, back in Ibadan, we would remove our shoes or whatever we wore and go about bare-footed. But in the UK, I had to wear my shoes all the time and this I found rather uncomfortable as I wasnâ€™t used to it,â€? he recalled. After his O level, the young but restless Akerele felt he had had enough of boarding school experience and thus opted to live with his elder sister and her KXVEDQG LQ /RQGRQ ZKHUH KH initially got admission to read aeronautical engineering. Mid way into the pursuit that would Continue on pg A8
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Monday, February 27, 2012
have been counted among the privileged wealthy Nigerians. But here is he, a Standard Four school leaver, who tried to stow away to the United Kingdom but landed in Takoradi, Ghana in a container laden ship, emerging as one of Nigeriaâ€™s most successful business persons, with interests spanning manufacturing, real estate, hospitality, automobiles, energy and banking. Born in Agbamu, a small agrarian village near Oro, Kwara State where his parents hail from, on December 4, 1935, the young Adedoyin and his mother were moved to Lagos but he had to be returned to Agbamu. He attended St. James School, Ilorin, Kwara State, but after his Standard Four, he left for Lagos at the age of 11, where he joined his father, who then traded in bicycle parts, tools and some other wares. Before returning to Lagos to join his father, Samuel Adedoyin and his other siblings back in the village, worked on their fatherâ€™s farmland. At that time, he was considered the laziest among the children, not paying too much attention to farm work. However, unknown to many, the young Adedoyin, had determined not to end up as a farmer. Like the biblical Joseph, Adedoyin usually dreamt of becoming big and very suc-
cessful in life. Though he had the picture of how rich he wanted to be in his head, he had no idea of how to do it or where he was going. It was this mindset that he carried to Lagos. With little exposure in Lagos, the youthful Adedoyin decided to seek greener pastures outside the shores of Nigeria, and to do this quite successfully; he knew he had to keep it secret from his parents, for he knew they would not allow him. At that time, the most popular mode of transportation was by water, hence, the young man left for Apapa port where he struck a deal with some sailors to be a stowaway in a cargo compartment on a ship bound for England. However, luck ran out on him. Rather than England, he found himself in Takoradi port, Ghana. Rather than return home, he reached out to the Ghanaian immigration officer, who detected him in the cargo and begged to allow him serve as his houseboy. While in Ghana as a houseboy, Adedoyin displayed uncommon loyalty, commitment and hard work, so much that in no short time, those traits endeared him to his master. As the relationship between him and his master blossomed, he approached the officer again for help, this time, not to stow away but to be loaned two pounds sterling to start a business. He was obliged and he used the money to start business by hawking beef and later ventured into sales of exercise books. That was the beginning of a resounding entrepreneurial career that later metamorphosed into Doyin Group of Business Courage Companies.
Maverick Entrepreneur During his elementary school scho ool days, he was either coming last or second se econd to last in every examination in a class cllass of 24 puave ended up as a pils. Indeed, he could have ing g his trade in the common bricklayer, plying n Ondo O rustic town of Igbotako in State. But nation, uncommon through strong determination, character, he wadcourage and exemplary character, tion n from the sea of ed through stiff competition nly to t conquer povabout 40 siblings, not only ne of o Africaâ€™s most erty but to emerge as one son ns. Here is the successful business persons. arriister Jimoh Ibrarags to riches story of Barrister p one of the most him, OFR who at 45 sits atop tes in Nigeria. diversified conglomerates By Semiu Salami
LVVWRU\LVRQHWKDWPDQ\SHRSOHĂ€QGH[WUHPHO\GLIĂ€SOHĂ€Q QGH[WUHPHO\GLIĂ€R,QD DFOLPHZKHUHWKH FXOWWREHOLHYHDQGMXVWLĂ€DEO\VR,QDFOLPHZKHUHWKH GWRSH HRSOHVÂˇIDPLO\ OLFHQVHWRZHDOWKLVXVXDOO\WLHGWRSHRSOHVÂˇIDPLO\ LPDJLLQHDPDQ EDFNJURXQGQRRQHFDQHYHULPDJLQHDPDQ RFRXOOGKDYH ZLWKVXFKDORZO\EDFNJURXQGDPDQZKRFRXOGKDYH RIKLVWWRU\ EHHQHDVLO\FRQVLJQHGLQWRWKHJDUEDJHRIKLVWRU\ [SHFW-EHFRPLQJVRVWXSHQGRXVO\ULFK1RRQHH[SHFWDQG HGWKHVRQRIDFRPPRQEULFNOD\HUIDWKHUDQG YHU\ Ă€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Â´, DOZD\V JRW WKH UG SRVLWLRQ $GH RVRQRIDUHYHUHQGXVHGWRJHWWKHWKSRUVLWLRQVRZHZHUHEHVWIULHQGV:HDOWHUKH QDWHGWKHUGDQGWKHWKSRVLWLRQVÂľKH Z ZDVTXRWHGDVVD\LQJLQDUHFHQWLQWHUYLHZ G 7KH SRRU VKRZLQJ UHPDLQHG XQDEDWHG WH XQWLOKHJRWWRSULPDU\VL[ZKHQKHZURWH KH WKH FRPPRQ HQWUDQFH H[DPLQDWLRQV 7KH LV \RXQJ ,EUDKLP DSSOLHG WR 6WHOOD 0DUULV Q &ROOHJH2NLWLSXSDDQGVXUSULVLQJO\ZKHQ KH WKHUHVXOWFDPHKHZDVQXPEHURQWKH UH OLVW%XWWKHQKHORVWWKHFKDQFHWRVHFXUH DGPLVVLRQ LQWR WKH VFKRRO IROORZLQJ KLV KLV WHU SRRUVKRZLQJGXULQJWKHLQWHUYLHZ+HODWHU Continue on pg A8
siblings, not only to conquer poverty but to emerge as one of Africaâ€™s most successful business persons with vast interest in banking, insurance, media, hospitality, oil and gas as well as aviation. Jimoh Ibrahimâ€™s story is one that many people find extremely difficult to believe and justifiably so. In a clime where the license to wealth is usually tied to peoplesâ€™ family background, no one can ever imagine a man with such a lowly background, a man who could have been easily consigned into the garbage of history becoming so stupendously rich. No one expected the son of a common bricklayer father and fish selling mother to have made such a very swift transition from rags to riches. Incidentally, that is where providence, hard work, resilience, uncommon courage and determination placed Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, the 45 year-old business icon, a maverick entrepreneur and mystery investor as some would call him. Samuel Adedoyin Regarded as the jewel of Nigerian commerce, Prince Samuel Adedoyin, like most of his peers with the familiar ragsto-riches story, rose to the pinnacle of a career path by sheer determination, resilience and the can-do-it spirit. Indeed, if being successful really has anything to do with oneâ€™s background, individuals like Samuel Adedoyin, founder and chairman of Doyin Group of Companies, would clearly not
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, April 30, 2012
Like most of his peers with the familiar rag-to-riches story, his rise to the pinnacle of a career path charted by cheer determination, resilience and the can-do-it spirit, has, despite his background, put him in the league of Nigeriaâ€™s nouvre riche. This is the story of Samuel Ogundele Adedoyin, a standard 1V school leaver, who sits atop one of the most diversified conglomerates in Nigeria
The Jewel of Nigerian Commerce
By Salami Semiu
f being successful really has anything to do with oneâ€™s background, individuals like Samuel Ogundele Adedoyin, founder and chairman of Doyin Group of Companies, would clearly not have been counted among the privileged wealthy Nigerians. But here is he, a Standard Four school leaver, who tried to stow away to the United Kingdom but landed in Tarkoradi, Ghana in a container laden ship, emerging as one of Nigeriaâ€™s most successful business persons, with interests spanning manufacturing, real estate, hospitality, automobiles, energy and banking. Born in Agbamu, a small agrarian village near Oro, Kwara State where his parents hail from, on December 4, 1935, the young Adedoyin and his mother were moved to La-
gos but he had to be returned to Agbamu. He attended St. James School, Ilorin, Kwara State, but after his Standard Four, he left for Lagos at the age of 11, where he joined his father, who then traded in bicycles parts, tools and some other wares. Before returning to Lagos to join his father, Samuel Adedoyin and his other siblings back in the village, worked on their fatherâ€™s farmland. At that time, he was considered the laziest among the children, not paying too much attention to farm work. However, unknown to many, the young Adedoyin, even at such a tender age, had determined not to end up a farmer. Like the biblical Joseph, Adedoyin usually dream of becoming big and very successful in life. Though he had the picture of
how rich he wanted to be on his head, he had no idea of how to do it or where he was going. It was this mindset that he carried to Lagos. However, despite his movement away from the rustic and agrarian Agbamu village to a more cosmopolitan Lagos, Adedoyin kept the hope of becoming big aglow. With little exposure in Lagos, the youthful Adedoyin decided to seek greener pastures outside the shores of Nigeria, and to do this quite
successfully; he knew he had to keep it secret from his parents, for he knew they would not allow him. At that time, the most popular mode of transportation was by water, hence, the young man left for Apapa port where he struck a bargain with some sailors to be a stowaway in a cargo compartment on a ship bound for England. However, luck ran out on him. Rather than England, the young Adedoyin found himself in Takoradi port in
Ghana. Though failed in his bid to go to England, Adedoyin, there and then, decided he would never return to Nigeria. He reached out to the GhanaLDQ LPPLJUDWLRQ RIĂ€FHU ZKRdetected him in the cargo and begged to allow him serve as his houseboy. While in Ghana as a houseboy, Adedoyin displayed uncommon loyalty, commitment and hard work, so much that in no short time, those traits endeared him to his master. Continue on pg A8
Hakeem Bello-Osagie He never set out deliberately to be an entrepreneur. His ambition was to work his way up the ladder in the petroleum industry and ultimately become the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Corporation, NNPC. But the sudden change of government in the mid 80s cut short his ambition and forced him into private business. Today, Keem, as he is fondly called, has become a
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Monday, December 31, 2012
trides in 2012 phenomenon, with interests in almost all key sectors of the Nigerian economy. Shrewd, unassuming and hard-nosed Harvard trained multi-disciplined professional, Keemâ€™s story is not like the typical rag-to-riches fable of most Nigerian multi-billion entrepreneurs. Hakeem Bello-Osagie came from a very famous, disciplined, focused and wealthy family. Indeed, Keem belongs to the exclusive list of Nigeriaâ€™s Nouve riche, who, by virtue of birth and family background, had their future clearly set out. Born in Lagos, Keem, at age three, moved to England with his parents and lived there until he was about eight years before he returned to Nigeria for his elementary education. He attended the famous Kings College but left for England, a year to the completion of his secondary education. His final year in secondary school was spent at the Atlantic College, Wales, United Kingdom, in 1970. At age 18, Keem secured admission at the Oxford University, England, from where he bagged a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. After completing his first degree, he proceeded to Cambridge University, still in the United Kingdom for his law degree which he completed in 1978. Two years after, in 1980, he proceeded to Harvard Business School to properly hone his managerial skills. As an MBA graduate, he wrote a special paper on the International Oil Market under Daniel Yergin and Robert Stobough (authors of Energy Future). Keem started his career as a petroleum economist and a National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
lawyer in the Federal Civil Service, under the regime of former President Shehu Shagari, working in various capacities in the energy sector, ranging from Special Assistant to the Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy, to Secretary of the Oil Policy Review and LNG Committees. He also served as Special Assistant to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy. He subsequently worked in the Petrochemicals Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Incidentally, it was his exposure to the limitless opportunities that abound in the oil and gas business and the robust education he had that propelled his desire to seek career advancement in the oil sector. As at the time he returned to Harvard Business School, Keem already had his gaze fixed on playing big in the oil and gas sector. With his experiences at the highest executive level in the ministry and his dealings with the top echelon of the NNPC, Keemâ€™s ambition then, was to walk his ways up the ladder and become the NNPCâ€™ s Group Managing Director. Unfortunately for him, while he was still perfecting his ascension, the government under which he served was overthrown and with the change of government, there appeared to be limited window of opportunity left for him to explore. Not one to be caught napping, Keem decided to take the bull by the horn in pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavour.
Victor Gbolade Osibodu He is the brain behind the Vigeo Group, a company which started with marketing of corporate gift items but has now become a big player in bankHe never set out deliberately to be an entrepreneur. His ambition ing, oil and gas, shipwas to work his way up the ladder in the petroleum industry and ultimately become the ping, power, marketing, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Corporation, hospitality and investNNPC. But the sudden change of government in the mid 80s cut ments. He is a trained short his ambition and forced him into private business. Today, pharmacist who has Keem, as he is fondly called, has become a phenomenon, with interests in almost all key sectors since found attraction of the Nigerian economy. This is the story of Hakeem Bello-Osagie, in other line of busithe shrewd, unassuming and hard-nosed Harvard trained multiness. disciplined professional Osibodu may not be a very popular name in the realm of successful Nigerian business persons, but the impact which his chain of businesses has made in the Nigerian economy cannot be easily dismissed with a wave of hand. In all his 57 years, Business Courage
Monday, May 14, 2012
By Salami Semiu
is story is not like the typical rag-to-riches fable of most Nigerian multi-billion entrepreneurs. Hakeem Bello-Osagie came from a very famous, disciplined, focused and wealthy family. Son of the renowned gynaecologist, Professor Sunmonu Bello-Osagie, Keem, as heâ€™s fondly called by friends and admirers, belongs to the exclusive list of Nigeriaâ€™s Nouve riche, who, by virtue of birth and family background, had their future clearly set out. Born in Lagos, Keem, at age three, moved to England with his parents and lived there until he was about eight years before he returned to Nigeria for his elementary education. Keem at-
A reclusive entrepreneur tended the famous Kings College but left for England, a year to the completion of his secondDU\ HGXFDWLRQ +LV Ă€QDO \HDU in secondary school was spent at the Atlantic College, Wales, United Kingdom, in 1970. At age 18, Keem secured admission at the Oxford University, England, from where he bagged a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. After FRPSOHWLQJ KLV Ă€UVW GHJUHH KH proceeded to Cambridge University, still in the United Kingdom for his law degree which he completed in 1978. Two years after, in 1980, he proceeded to Harvard Business School, HBS, to properly hone his managerial skills. As an MBA graduate, he wrote a special paper on the
International Oil Market under Daniel Yergin and Robert Stobough (authors of Energy Future). Keem started his career as a petroleum economist and a lawyer in the Federal Civil Service, under the regime of former President Shehu Shagari, working in various capacities in the energy sector, ranging from Special Assistant to the Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy, to Secretary of the Oil Policy Review and LNG Committees. He also served as Special Assistant to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy. He subsequently worked in the Petrochemicals Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Incidentally, it was his exposure to the limitless opportunities that abound in the oil and gas business and the robust education he had that propelled his desire to seek career advancement in the oil sector. As at the time he returned to Harvard Business School, .HHPDOUHDG\KDGKLVJD]HĂ€[HG on playing big in the oil and gas sector. With his experiences at the highest executive level in the ministry and his dealings with the top echelon of the NNPC, Keemâ€™s ambition then, was to walk his ways up the ladder and become the NNPCâ€™ s Group Managing Director. Like he revealed in one of his past interviews, what drove him to Harvard was not a de-
sire to become an entrepreneur. His ambition at the time was to go into the petroleum industry with the hope that one day; he might be Chief Executive of the State Petroleum Corporation. â€œI wanted an understanding of what business was about, what economics was about, and what the free enterprise system was like,â€? he said. Unfortunately for him, while he was still perfecting his ascension, the government under which he served was overthrown and with the change of government, there appeared to be limited window of opportunity left for him to explore. Not one to be caught napping, Keem decided to take the bull by the Continue on pg A8
that established the medical company to be listed highly successful Eko on the Nigerian Stock Exchange Hospital, a testimony (NSE). to what the human Besides Ekocorp, Kuku also spirit can achieve with has a long-standing interest in hard work, dedication, the financial services sector. He tolerance and a sense had served on the board of the He is the brain behind the Vigeo of professionalism. But defunct Midas Merchant Bank Group, a company which started with marketing of corporate beyond his brilliance and currently, he chairs the gift items but has now became a big player in banking, oil and gas, shipping, power, marketing, in the medical prac- board of Midas Stockbrokers hospitality and investments. He is Victor Gbolade Osibodu, a tice, he is also an avid Limited. trained pharmacist who has since found attraction in other line of entrepreneur and inWith his growing profile as business. vestor with unquench- an investment-savvy physician, able passion for enter- Dr Kuku was appointed to the V prise development and board of Ecobank Nigeria Plc, investment. This is the the Nigerian subsidiary of the story of, a physician- pan-African bank holding comturned corporate icon. pany, Ecobank Transnational Olorâ€™ogun Sonny Incorporated (ETI), in 2004. Folorunsho Kukuâ€™s In March 2010, Dr. Kuku was credentials as a physi- elected to chair the multinacian are quite intimi- tional 14-member board of Ecodating. But while he bank Nigeria, at the completion remains a reference of of the terms of John Odeyemi, Gbolade Osibodu worked as an employee for only nine years. Af- excellence in medical ter his first degree in pharmacy practice, he is also an from the University of Ife, now avid entrepreneur and Obafemi Awolowo, he started investor, with strong Afe Babalola is by all his working career in 1977 at passion for enterprise standards, a successful legal luminary with one of the Lagos State Health Manage- development and inthe biggest law chambers in Nigeria. The Senior ment Board. After two years in vestment. Advocate of Nigeria (S.A.N), who launched his In both his primary the service of Lagos State govlaw chamber some 47 years ago as a one-man business, today, has in ernment, Osibodu moved to calling, medicine, and his employment, over 30 lawyers including two Senior Boots Company Nigeria Limited his hobby - investAdvocates. Besides the law practice, Babalola is a in 1979 but, three years after, ment, Dr. Kuku holds commercial farmer and an educationist, with his private he moved again, this time, to many unequalled firsts university, Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti and for many decades, Bodnat International Company (ABUAD), widely acclaimed to be one of the best and got as far as becoming the he has been the quintequipped in the country. companyâ€™s Deputy Managing essential example of Director. But then, his sojourn the symbiotic healing at Bodnat lasted only four years between medicine and as he decided to call it quit with financial security. In G 1984, he led the transthe company in 1985. Osibodu did not resign from formation of the Eko Bodnat to join another com- Hospital into a distinct pany with bigger prospect like corporate entity with many would do. Instead, he set the incorporation of his foot on the path of entre- Ekocorp. A decade later, Ekopreneurial engagement; he took the risk and plunge himself into corp made history as the first another industry icon. Besides his major the world of uncertainties. Business Courage equity stake in EkoImmediately after he disencorp, another public gaged from Bodmat, he incorproof of Dr. Kukuâ€™s porated Vigeo Limited, a multiinvestment prowess service organization which is his shareholding in today is fast assuming the staEcobank Nigeria. He is tus of a conglomerate. He startbelieved to hold the seced out by marketing corporate He is one of the triumvirates that ond largest equity stake gift items and souvenirs like established the highly successful Eko Hospital, a testimony to what among the directors calendars and exotic diaries, the human spirit can achieve with hard work, dedication, tolerance with his shareholdings leveraging on the relationship and a sense of professionalism. But beyond his brilliance in the more than 167 per cent with big corporate clients he medical practice, he is also an avid entrepreneur and investor above the entire direct had encountered while working with unquenchable passion for enterprise development and and indirect shareholdinvestment. This is the story of in his previous engagements. Dr. Sonny Folorunsho Kuku, a physician-turned corporate icon. ings of other directors, With the near immediate excluding the director successes recorded when Vigeo O with the largest sharedebuted, it may probably not be holding. right to assume that Osibodu left Bodmat without knowing Afe Babalola what exactly he wanted to do. By all standards, Afe Babalola is a successful Dr. Sonny Folorunsho legal luminary with one Kuku Continue on pg A8 He is one of the triumvirates National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, May 21, 2012
A silent, strategic
By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
ictor Gbolade Osibodu may not be a very popular name in the realm of successful Nigerian business persons, but the impact which his chain of businesses has made in the Nigerian economy cannot be easily dismissed with a wave of hand. In fact, his wife, Olufunke, whom they both nurtured what started as a family business together, is more visible than Victor. Funke is currently the Group Managing Director of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and until this; she was at the defunct Merchant Banking Corporation and later, Ecobank as managing director. In all his 57 years, Gbolade Osibodu worked as an employee for RQO\QLQH\HDUV$IWHUKLVĂ€UVWGHJUHHLQSKDUPDF\IURPWKH8QLYHUsity of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo, he started his working career in 1977 at the Lagos State Health Management Board. After two years in the service of Lagos State government, Osibodu moved to Boots Company Nigeria Limited in 1979 but, three years after, he moved again, this time, to Bodnat International Company and got as far as becoming the companyâ€™s Deputy Managing Director. But then, his sojourn at Bodnat lasted only four years as he decided to call it quit with the company in 1985. Interestingly, Osibodu did not resigned from Bodnat to join another company with bigger prospect like many would do. Instead, he set his foot on the path of entrepreneurial engagement. Having attained such a height in his career, within a short period, Osiboduâ€™s decision to quit the services of Bodnat was something out of WKHXVXDO%XWEHFDXVHKHKDVDQHQWUHSUHQHXULDOEORRGĂ RZLQJLQ his veins, Osibodu took the risk and plunge himself into the world of uncertainties. Immediately after he disengaged from Bodmat, he incorporated Vigeo Limited, a multi-service organization which today is fast assuming the status of a conglomerate. He started out by marketing corporate gift items and souvenirs like calendars and exotic diaries, leveraging on the relationship with big corporate clients he had encountered while working in his previous engagements. With the near immediate successes recorded when Vigeo debuted, it may probably not be right to assume that Osibodu left Bodmat without knowing what exactly he wanted to do. No, he obviously saw a business lacuna somewhere and he quickly moved in to tap into it. Like he admitted recently, the coming of Vigeo Limited was borne out of an opportunity he garnered from working for a marketing company. â€œI was about 24 years old then and there
Continue on pg A8
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, June 18, 2012
By Bamidele Obafemi
The silky entrepreneur rowing up was not fun for legal luminary, Afe Babalola, Founder/Principal Partner of Afe Babalola & Co Legal Practitioners and Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD). The Ekiti-born legal luminary, philanthropist and Ă€UVW FODVV EUDLQ VXIIHUHG GHprivation and hardship while growing up; yet, he was not deterred, as he achieved greatness by dint of hard work and self development. His only formal education was at the elementary school, Emmanuel Primary School, Okesha, Ado-Ekiti (the oldest and best primary school in the state) between 1938 and 1945, where he obtained the primary six school leaving cerWLĂ€FDWH Without the privilege` of a
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secondary education but determined to achieve academic greatness by all means possible, Afe Babalola enrolled at the University of London, as an external candidate and in 1959, he was awarded a BSc. Degree in Economics. After breaking what looked like an initial barrier, coupled with his strong desire to be a lawyer, he also enrolled for law, still as an external candidate in the same University of London and in 1963, he was awarded an LLb honours at the completion of his bar examinations at the Lincoln Inn to become a registered member of the Bar of England and Wales. But, in spite of his brilliance, his application for a Federal Government scholarship to pursue a Masterâ€™s degree in
Monday, June 4, 2012
By Salami Semiu
lorâ€™ogun Sonny Folorunsho Kukuâ€™s credentials as a physician are quite intimidating. But while he remains a reference of excellence in medical practice, he is also an avid entrepreneur and investor, with strong passion for enterprise development and investment. In both his primary calling, medicine, and his hobby - investPHQW 'U .XNX KROGV PDQ\ XQHTXDOOHG Ă€UVWV DQG IRU PDQ\ GHcades, he has been the quintessential example of the symbiotic KHDOLQJEHWZHHQPHGLFLQHDQGĂ€QDQFLDOVHFXULW\,QKHOHGWKH transformation of the Eko Hospital into a distinct corporate entity with the incorporation of Ekocorp. $GHFDGHODWHU(NRFRUSPDGHKLVWRU\DVWKHĂ€UVWPHGLFDOFRPpany to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE and as at ODVW 7KXUVGD\ 0D\ (NRFRUS 3OF KDV D PDUNHW YDOXH RI DERXW N2.7 billion, selling at N5.05 per share. Besides Ekocorp, Kuku also has a long-standing interest in the Ă€QDQFLDOVHUYLFHVVHFWRU+HKDGVHUYHGRQWKHERDUGRIWKHGHIXQFW Midas Merchant Bank and currently, he chairs the board of Midas Stockbrokers Limited. :LWK KLV JURZLQJ SURĂ€OH DV DQ LQYHVWPHQWVDYY\ SK\VLFLDQ 'U .XNXZDVDSSRLQWHGWRWKHERDUGRI(FREDQN1LJHULD3OFWKH1Lgerian subsidiary of the pan-African bank holding company, EcoEDQN7UDQVQDWLRQDO,QFRUSRUDWHG(7, LQ,Q0DUFK'U .XNX ZDV HOHFWHG WR FKDLU WKH PXOWLQDWLRQDO PHPEHU ERDUG RI Ecobank Nigeria, at the completion of the terms of John Odeyemi, another industry icon. Besides his major equity stake in Ekocorp, another public proof of Dr. Kukuâ€™s investment prowess is his shareholding in Ecobank Nigeria. He is believed to hold the second largest equity stake among WKHGLUHFWRUVZLWKKLVVKDUHKROGLQJVPRUHWKDQSHUFHQWDERYH the entire direct and indirect shareholdings of other directors, excluding the director with the largest shareholding. Continue on pg A8
Economics after his BSc. Economics was impliedly refused because, instead of an award for MSc. Economics, he was awarded a downgraded scholarship to pursue a diploma in Estate Management in a Nigerian College of Technology. The reason for this, as Business Courage gleaned from those close to him, was for lack of brilliance, but because he was of lowly placed background, who had no person in the high places to plead his cause. However, upon his return to 1LJHULD KH MRLQHG WKH ODZ Ă€UP of Ayoola & Ayoola & Co where he sojourned for two years to gather practical experience. The two-year experience for Afe Babalola at the chamber was very eventful and rewarding, as they were enough for him to take the
decision to showcase his entrepreneurial skills as a legal luminary. Hence, the Afe Babalola Chamber was established in Ibadan, Oyo State (capital of the former western region) in 1965. Those familiar with Afe Babalolaâ€™s story said his determination to achieve success in life was not inspired by his parents but more by two of his uncles who openly mocked him and his father for choosing the path of education rather than pursuing the traditional family business of menial farming wherein most of them wallowed in poverty. During his elementary school days, Afe Babalola, even had to go to school in the rain for fear of corporal punishment, but each time he did, his two uncles, rather than empathise
with him for going to school in the rain, would rather made jest of him. In a recent account, Babalola recounted the common mocking conversation about KLPE\KLVXQFOHWKXV7KHĂ€UVW uncle; â€œLook at this boy, He is shaking and shivering and yet, he wants to go to school in the rains to Okesha- two and half miles away.â€? His second uncle responded thus; donâ€™t mind him and his father. The father has only one son. Instead of making use of him to carry his hoe and cutlass, he decided to send him to school.â€™ Babalola VDLG KLV Ă€UVW XQFOH ZRXOG DGG rhetorically; â€œwhat is he going to do with his education? Nothing. He will come back to the farm, retorted the other.â€? As a young boy, Babalola Continue on pg A8
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, December 31, 2012
KCABHSALF of the biggest law chambers in Nigeria. The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (S.A.N), who launched his law chamber some 47 years ago as a one-man business, today, has in his employment, over 30 lawyers including two Senior Advocates. Besides the law practice, Babalola is a commercial farmer and an educationist, with his private university, Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), widely acclaimed to be one of the best equipped in the country. Growing up was not fun for legal luminary. The Ekiti-born legal luminary, philanthropist and first class brain suffered deprivation and hardship while growing up; yet, he was not deterred, as he achieved greatness by dint of hard work and self development. His only formal education was at the elementary school, Emmanuel Primary School, Okesha, AdoEkiti (the oldest and best primary school in the state) between 1938 and 1945, where he obtained the primary six school leaving certificate. Without the privilege` of a secondary education but determined to achieve academic greatness by all means possible, Afe Babalola enrolled at the University of London, as an external candidate and in 1959, he was awarded a BSc. Degree in Economics. After breaking what looked like an initial barrier, coupled with his strong desire to be a lawyer, he also enrolled for law, still as an external candidate in the same university and in 1963, he was awarded an LLb honours at the completion of his bar examinations at the Lincoln Inn to become a registered member of the Bar of England and Wales. But, in spite of his brilliance, his application for a Federal Government scholarship to pursue a Masterâ€™s degree in Economics after his BSc. Economics was impliedly refused because, instead of an award for MSc. Economics, he was awarded a downgraded scholarship to pursue a diploma in Estate Management in a Nigerian College of Technology. The reason for this, as Business Courage gleaned from those close to him, was not for lack of brilliance, but because he was of lowly placed background, who had no person in the high places to plead his cause. Michael Subomi Balogun He is the Olori Omo-Oba (head of princes) of Ijebuland and the Asiwaju (leader) of Ijebu Christians, but above all, Otunba, the Otunba Tunwase of AkileIjebu is the founder of the First City Monument Bank Plc, a bank he singlehandedly established some thirty years ago. Though a lawyer by profession, Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun, chose to carve a niche for himself in the finance world through courage and faith in God. The burning desire to
Adedotun Sulaiman Business Courage has shown unparallel Folorunsho Alakija passion, doggedness Born on July 15, and sincerity which 1951 into the wealthy have not only comB but extremely polyga- bined to place him He is the Olori Omo-Oba (head of princes) of Ijebuland and the Asiwaju (leader) of Ijebu Christians, but mous family of the at advantaged posiabove all, Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun, the Otunba Tunwase of Olowus in the Ikorodu tion, but have also Akile Ijebu is the founder of the First City Monument Bank Plc, a bank he division of Lagos State, earned him riches singlehandedly established some thirty years ago. Welcome to the world of this flamboyant lawyer-banker who, Folorunshoâ€™s father, and respect among through sheer courage, faith and selfconfidence, built for himself, a name the late Pa Olowu had his peers. and institution that stand tall among its peers. 52 children from eight He studied Busiwives but Folorunsho ness Administration T happens to be the sec- from the University ond surviving child. of Lagos, where he Her mother was a fabric passed out with First merchant, from whom Class as one of the she, at a very tender pioneer students in age, learnt how to mar- 1975. But that deBabatunde Abayomi Savage progressively made his way to the very top at Guinness Nigeria Plc with dint of hard work and innovation. ket fabrics to Nigerian gree only provided He has scored many firsts, serving at various levels in the company. Perhaps, the most outstanding achievement in the company was women. That was how the stepping stone his role in the entry of Diageo Plc in the brewery giant, a move that has significantly impacted on the companyâ€™s fortune. Savage, she developed her busi- for him to achieve his chairman of Guinness Plc, is also a foremost investor in many other companies. Here is the story of a â€˜Corporate Physiologistâ€™ who ness and fashion sense desire. Dotun, as he bailed out Guinness out of its demoralising debt. at the very early stage is fondly called, took of her life. his search for further became the Country Managing excel in life and to create great Today, the competitive spir- academic studies to the Har- Director of Accenture, the new wealth led him to establish City Securities Limited after he re- it, passion and resilience which vard Business School, where name of the newly indepensigned his appointment with has become the hallmark of he obtained Management Di- dent management and technolIcon Securities Limited where has put her on top of her game, ploma. Immediately after his ogy consulting arm. A creative he last served as Executive Di- emerging as the worldâ€™s richest sojourn in Harvard, he began and accomplished strategist his career in the Nigerian For- and the lead partner on several rector. His decision to quit Icon black woman. eign Services, where he served transformational consultancy Securities, Business Courage Dotun Suleiman as an attachĂŠ at the Nigerian engagements, especially in the learnt, stemmed from his inHe is a seasoned manage- Embassy in Washington, Unit- banking and oil and gas secability to fulfill his ambition to head Icon Merchant Bank Lim- ment and strategy consultant ed States of America from 1976 tors, Dotun in March 2005 reited which was largely regarded with over 25 years experience - 1978. Shortly after, in 1978, tired from his executive leaderin transformational engage- Dotun joined the Management ship of Accenture in Nigeria and as his brain child. Information Consult- took on the supporting role of Business Courage ing Division of Arthur Non-Executive Chairman and Akintola Williams Andersen & Co. (later an 18-month contractual role In his sheer simplicity, he Andersen Consulting, to open up business growth opprefers Mr. as the only prefix to now Accenture) and portunities for the firm in the his name. Yet, this is one man rose rapidly through rest of Africa. who almost single-handedly the ranks to become a led the evolution of accounting Local Partner in 1984 Babatunde Savage business in Nigeria. His fame and a Partner in the Babatunde Savage progresas an accountant of repute not Worldwide Firm in sively made his way to the very only cuts across Africa, but also 1989. top at Guinness Nigeria Plc with reverberates across the globe. He took over dint of hard work and innovaHe is a nonagenarian and Nifrom the founding tion. He has scored many firsts, geriaâ€™s accounting doyen, who She was born into a wealthy but highly polygamous family of Managing Partner, serving at various levels in the established Africaâ€™s first wholly eight wives and 52 children. But as fate would have it, she and her the celebrated Dick company. Perhaps, the most indigenous chartered accountsister, Doyin survived. Today, the competitive spirit, passion and Kramer in 1993 and outstanding achievement in the ing firm in 1952. Almost 30 resilience which has become the hallmark of Folorunsho Alakija remained Country company was his role in the enyears after he left active profeshas put her on top of her game, emerging as the worldâ€™s richest Managing Partner for try of Diageo Plc in the brewery sional practice, his image still black woman. This is the amazing story of Nigerian billionaire oil both Arthur Anders- giant, a move that has signifitycoon, fashion designer and looms large. philanthropist owner of Famfa Oil and Gas en, the Audit and Tax cantly impacted on the compaAkintola Williams wanted firm as well as Ander- nyâ€™s fortune. Savage, chairman to study Actuarial Science, but sen consulting until of Guinness Plc, is also a foresomewhere along the line, his P 1999. With the com- most investor in many other dream never materialised due plete separation of companies. to what he looks back to see as the consulting busiHis voyage into the world of the wise counsel he got from John Selby, a Briton whom he ments in strategic plan devel- ness from the Arthur Ander- finance and accounting began met in the Boysâ€™ Scout Move- opment, organization design/ sen Worldwide Organisation, he when he joined Cooper and Lyreview, financial and brand now PriceWaBusiness Courage Business Courage performance manageterHouseCoopers in ment, human perfor1978, a year after he mance management graduated from the and leadership develUniversity of Ibadan. A opment among others. Ironically, his misBesides, he sits on the sion to the University board of several corpoof Ibadan was not to rate organisations and pursue a degree in He is a seasoned management and strategy consultant with over 25 years experience in transformational engagements in strategic plan development, organization design/review, financial and performance management, human heads various governaccounting or any performance management and leadership development among others. Besides, he sits on the board of several corporate organisations and heads various mentâ€™s technical panfinance-related disgovernmentâ€™s technical panels and committees across all strata of the economy. He is Adedotun Suleiman, the man who started out as a consulate attachĂŠ and els and committees walked his way up to become one of Africaâ€™s respected change agent. cipline. Savage, who across all strata of the clocked 68 years last H economy. He started May, actually graduout as a consulate atated with a B.sc in tachĂŠ and walked his Physiology in 1977. way up to become one Five years after he of Africaâ€™s respected joined the foremost change agents. Cooper and Lybrand, He is not into manSavage upped the In his sheer simplicity, he prefers Mr. as the only prefix to his name. Yet, this is one man who almost single-handedly led the evolution of accounting ufacturing, like many ante of his intellecbusiness in Nigeria. His fame as an accountant of repute not only cuts across Africa, but also reverberates across the globe. He is a nonagenarian other entrepreneurs, tual capacity by sucand Nigeriaâ€™s accounting doyen, who established Africaâ€™s first wholly indigenous chartered accounting firm in 1952. Almost 30 years after he left active professional practice, his image still looms large. This is the story of but in the service incessfully executing Mr. Akintola Williams, founder of Akintola Williams Deloitte. dustry where he plays, the last stage of the National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, March 26, 2012
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Monday, August 20, 2012
The Sure Banker
By Bamidele Obafemi
By Bamidele Obafemi
hough a lawyer by profession, Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun, chose to carve a niche IRUKLPVHOILQWKHĂ€QDQFHZRUOG WKURXJK FRXUDJH DQG IDLWK LQ *RG 7KH EXUQLQJ GHVLUH WR H[FHOLQOLIHDQGWRFUHDWHJUHDW ZHDOWKOHGKLPWRHVWDEOLVK&LW\ 6HFXULWLHV /LPLWHG DIWHU KH UHVLJQHG KLV DSSRLQWPHQW ZLWK ,FRQ 6HFXULWLHV /LPLWHG ZKHUH KHODVWVHUYHGDV([HFXWLYH'LUHFWRU+LVGHFLVLRQWRTXLW,FRQ Securities, Business Courage OHDUQW VWHPPHG IURP KLV LQDELOLW\ WR IXOĂ€O KLV DPELWLRQ WR KHDG,FRQ0HUFKDQW%DQN/LPLWHGZKLFKZDVODUJHO\UHJDUGHG DVKLVEUDLQFKLOG %HVLGHV 6XERPL IHOW EHWUD\HGE\KLVERVVÂˇDFWLRQZKLFK PDGH KLP ORVH KLV SHUKDSV PRVW FKHULVKHG SRVLWLRQ DV D SDLGHPSOR\HHÂ´:KHQ,VWDUWHG ZLWK ,FRQ 6HFXULWLHV /LPLWHG , ZDV GRLQJ LW DV D VHOIDFWXDOLVDWLRQ FUXVDGH , ZDV WKH RQH ZKR DGYLVHG WKDW ZH VKRXOG VHW XS D PHUFKDQW EDQN ,FRQ QRZGHDG:KHQWKH\ZHUHJRLQJ WR FKRRVH D &KLHI ([HFXWLYHP\WKHQERVVVDLG\RXDUH RQO\DODZ\HU,FDQÂˇWPDNH\RX WKH ERVV DQG \RX NQRZ ZKDW , GLG" , VWD\HG P\ WLPH , VSHQW time with my wife preparing my WUDQVLWÂľWKHUHYHUHGLQYHVWPHQW EDQNHUVDLG 7KH\RXQJ6XERPLÂˇVUHVLJQDWLRQ SODQ ZDV DFKLHYHG LQ FROlaboration with the secretary to WKH0DQDJLQJ'LUHFWRUZKRZDV KLVIULHQGDQGZKRKHOSHGKLP ZULWHKLVGLVHQJDJHPHQWOHWWHU +RZHYHU WKH SURFHVV RI
leaving Icon Securities for the \HDUROG6XERPLZDVHPRtional as he was all tears when KHVWHSSHGLQWRWKHRIĂ€FHRIKLV ERVV ZKRVH QDPHV KH ZRXOG not mention as he prefers to reIHUWRKLPDV0U;Â´,WRRNWKH OHWWHUWRKLPLQWHDUV,ZRXOGQÂˇW JLYH\RXWKHQDPHRIWKHPDQ , VDLG WR 0U ; ÂśLI \RX WKLQN you are bigger than I am, you DUH QRW ELJJHU WKDQ *RG \RX XVHG P\ EUDLQ DQG P\ VSHFLDO FRQWDFWVWRHVWDEOLVKWKLVEDQN RQO\WRWXUQDURXQGDQGWHOOPH WKDW ,ÂˇP RQO\ D ODZ\HUÂˇ $QG , gave him my letter of resignaWLRQ ZLWK WHDUV UROOLQJ GRZQ P\H\HVÂľKHUHFDOOHGZLWKIRQG PHPRULHV But at the point of resignation, Subomi Balogun was not FHUWDLQZKDWWKHIXWXUHKHOGLQ VWRFN IRU KLP QHLWKHU ZDV KH FHUWDLQDERXWZKDWVWHSWRWDNH H[FHSW WKDW KH UHPDLQHG UHVROXWHDERXWVXFFHVV%XWIRUWKH WLPHO\ FRXQVHO RI 0LNH 6XERPLÂˇV IULHQG ZKR ZDV D \HDU KLVVHQLRUDW,JEREL&ROOHJHKH ZRXOG KDYH HQGHG XS EHFRPLQJ D EHHU PHUFKDQW :KHQ 6XERPL DSSHDUHG WR EH DW D ORVVDERXWZKDWQH[WWRGRWKH Ă€UVWLGHDWKDWFDPHWRKLVPLQG ZDV WR EHFRPH D GLVWULEXWRU RI 6NROO %HHU ,W KRZHYHU WRRN WKH LQWHUYHQWLRQ RI 0LNH ZKR LQVLVWHG WKDW KH VKRXOG IRFXV his energies where he was then EHVWUHSXWHGIRUVWRFNEURNLQJ That singular, but all important FRXQVHO HYHQWXDOO\ OHG WR WKH LQFRUSRUDWLRQRI&LW\6HFXULWLHV /LPLWHG D VWRFN EURNLQJ FRPContinue on pg A8
abatunde Savage, chairman, Board of Directors of Guinness Nigeria Plc, is undoubtedly one of Nigeriaâ€™s most outstanding chartered accountants, having distinguished himself as a tested corporate surgeon of sort. His voyage into WKH ZRUOG RI Ă€QDQFH DQG DFcounting began when he joined Cooper and Lybrand now PriceWaterHouseCoopers in 1978, a year after he graduated from the University of Ibadan. Ironically, his mission to the University of Ibadan was not to pursue a degree in accounting or any Ă€QDQFHUHODWHG GLVFLSOLQH 6DYage, who clocked 68 years last May, actually graduated with a B.sc in Physiology (the branch of medical science that studies the functions of living organisms or their parts) in 1977. Five years after he joined the foremost Cooper and Lybrand, Savage upped the ante of his intellectual capacity by successfully executing the last stage of the examinations of the Institute of Chartered of Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to attain the status of a chartered accountant. Armed with this qualLĂ€FDWLRQLQ6DYDJHOHIWWKH audit profession to concentrate on pure accounting. Almost immediately, Savage resigned his appointment at PriceWaterHouseCoopers to pursue a career in the manufacturing sector of the economy. But little did he realised that the decision to join the employment of Guinness Nigeria Plc in 1983 would fetch him wealth and fame. Not long after he became a staff of the multi-billion dollar brewing giant, fortune began to smile on him, as he was elevated to the position of the accountant for the Benin plant (which was then the biggest in Nigeria). In 1989, he was moved higher up as the company appointed him its treasurer. In this capacity, just like those before it, Babatunde Savage proved his mettle. He was very instrumental to the bailout, which the brewery giant enjoyed through his partnership with banks, which SXOOHG LW RXW RI LWV KXJH Ă€QDQcial debts. After this, Savage was again rewarded, as he got SURPRWHG WR WKH OHYHO RI Ă€QDQFLDOFRQWUROOHULQDQGODWHU GLUHFWRURIĂ€QDQFHLQ7KDW ZDV\HDUVDIWHUKHMRLQHGWKH company from the low level of the ladder. $V WKH Ă€QDQFH GLUHFWRU DW Guinness Nigeria Plc, Babatunde Savage was saddled with the responsibility of providing Ă€VFDO VWUDWHJLF DQG RSHUDWLRQDO OHDGHUVKLS WR LPSURYH HIĂ€FLHQcy and operating results of the company. An Alumnus of the Continue on pg A8
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Monday, December 10, 2012
Amazon on global radar
By Salami Semiu
erhaps, except those in the high class, who operates at the same pedestal with her, it is very likely that not many will know with certainty, who Folorunsho Alakija really is. Yet, this is one woman, whose philanthropic
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Monday, July 2, 2012
The Doyen of
By Bamidele Obafemi
kintola Williams, the patriarch of the famous Williams family is the second child in D IDPLO\ RI Ă€YH ZKLFK LQFOXGH Bankole, the eldest, the late legal luminary, Fatai Rotimi WilOLDPVSRSXODUO\NQRZQDV)5$ Williams) Soji and the youngest, Kehinde. Akintolaâ€™s father, Thomas Ekundayo Williams, referred to as Uncle Kekere (Small Uncle) EHFDXVH KH ZDV WKH \RXQJHVW VRQRIKLVIDWKHUUHDGODZIURP WKH IDPRXV 8QLYHUVLW\ RI /RQGRQ EXW KLV FKRLFH RI ODZ UDQ against the spirit in the family. As narrated by those familiar ZLWKWKHVWRU\RIWKHODUJHU:LOliamsâ€™ family, Akintolaâ€™s grandfather, Samuel Osayintade WilOLDPV KDG ZDQWHG $NLQWRODÂˇV father, Thomas Ekundayo to IROORZ WKHLU IRRWVWHS LQ IDUPing and merchandise business EXW KH ZDQWHG VRPHWKLQJ HOVH a break from the past. So, to VHW KLP RQ WKH SDWK WRZDUGV DFKLHYLQJKLVGUHDPKLVIDWKHU MRLQHGWKHFLYLOVHUYLFHDVDFOHULFRIĂ€FHU +RZHYHULQIRXU\HDUV DIWHU$NLQWRODZDVERUQKLVIDther proceeded to England to VWXG\ ODZ LQ WKH IDPRXV 8QLYHUVLW\RI/RQGRQ$IWHUJUDGXDWLRQDVDODZ\HULQ(NXQGD\R:LOOLDPVSUDFWLFHGWKHODZ SURIHVVLRQIRU\HDUVXQWLOKLV GHDWKLQDW /LNHKLVRZQIDWKHUWRR$NLQWROD ZKR ZDV DERXW \HDUV ROGZKHQKLVIDWKHUGLHGGHĂ€HG his father too in his choice of FDUHHU SDWK +LV IDWKHU ZDQWHG KLPWRUHDGODZOLNHKLPVHOIEXW the young Akintola then opted for the accounting profession, ZKLFKKHVDLGZDVDQHPHUJLQJ profession in his youthful days. At that time, accounting profesVLRQZDVOLNHDJUHHQSURIHVVLRQ ZKLFK PDQ\ KDUGO\ VHWWOHV IRU At that time, the biggest ambiWLRQ RI WKH \RXWKV ZDV WR EHFRPH D ODZ\HU PHGLFDO GRFWRU or an engineer. Akintola chose QRWWRIROORZWKHEDQGZDJRQÂ´, decided to choose a profession WKDW ZDV QRW FRPPRQ LQ 1Lgeria in that time, and l chose $FWXDULDO 6FLHQFH , ZDQWHG WR EHDQ$FWXDULDQZKRGRHVFDOculations for insurance companies),â€? he said. +RZHYHU VRPHZKHUH DORQJ the line, his dream of studying $FWXDULDO 6FLHQFH QHYHU PDWHULDOLVHG GXH WR ZKDW KH ORRNV EDFN WR VHH DV WKH ZLVH FRXQsel he got from a John Selby, D %ULWRQ ZKRP KH PHW LQ WKH %R\VÂˇ 6FRXW 0RYHPHQW 6HOE\ DFFRUGLQJ WR $NLQWROD ZDV D IULHQGZKRKLPVHOIZDVDFKDUWHUHG DFFRXQWDQW DQG ZRUNHG DW WKH ,QODQG 5HYHQXH 'HSDUWPHQWLQ/DJRVDVDGHSXW\FRPContinue on pg A8
and entrepreneurial endeavours stand her out of the crowd both in Nigeria and other parts of the world. This is the face behind Famfa Oil and Gas, operators of the highly lucrative OML 127, a 200,000 barrel per day oil exploration and production company. Born on July 15, 1951 into the wealthy but extremely po-
lygamous family of the Olowus in the Ikorodu division of Lagos State, Folorunshoâ€™s father, the late Pa Olowu had 52 children from eight wives but Folorunsho happens to be the second surviving child. Her mother was a fabric merchant, from whom she, at a very tender age, learnt how to market fabrics to Nigerian women. That was how
she developed her business and fashion sense at the very early stage of her life. Folorunsho, according to her own account, had a very happy childhood and enjoyed her upbringing. At just seven years old, her parents decided to give her and sister, Doyin, an international education, sending them off to a private girlsâ€™
boarding school in Northern Wales, United Kingdom, where they were the only black people. Folorunsho and Doyin eventually adapted to their new life becoming Flo and Doy, monikers given by their English friends. After four years abroad, they returned to Nigeria at the behest of their parents who didnâ€™t want Continue on pg A8
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, August 6, 2012
A corporate strategist
By Semiu Salami
e is not into manufacturing, like many other entrepreneurs, but in the service industry where he plays, Adedotun Sulaiman has shown unparallel passion, doggedness and sincerity which have not only combined to place him at advantaged position, but have also earned him riches and respect among his peers. He studied Business Administration from the University of Lagos, where he passed out with First Class as one of the pioneer students in 1975. But that degree only provided the stepping stone for him to achieve his desire. Dotun, as he is fondly called, took his search for further academic studies to the Harvard Business School, where he obtained Management Diploma. Immediately after his sojourn in Harvard, he began his career in the Nigerian Foreign Services, where he served as an attachĂŠ at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, United States of America from 1976 - 1978. Shortly after, in 1978, Dotun joined the Management Information Consulting Division of Arthur Andersen & Co. (later Andersen Consulting, now Accenture) and rose rapidly through the ranks to become a Local Partner in 1984 and a Partner in the Worldwide Firm in 1989. He took over from the
founding Managing Partner, the celebrated Dick Kramer in 1993 and remained Country Managing Partner for both Arthur Andersen, the Audit and 7D[ Ă€UP DV ZHOO DV $QGHUVHQ consulting until 1999. With the complete separation of the consulting business from the Arthur Andersen Worldwide Organisation, he became the Country Managing Director of Accenture, the new name of the newly independent management and technology consulting arm. A creative and accomplished strategist and the lead partner on several transformational consultancy engagements, especially in the banking and oil and gas sectors, Dotun in March 2005 retired from his executive leadership of Accenture in Nigeria and took on the supporting role of Non-Executive Chairman and an 18-month contractual role to open up business growth RSSRUWXQLWLHVIRUWKHĂ€UPLQWKH rest of Africa. However, since 2005 ZKHQ 'RWXQ 6XODLPDQ Ă€QDOO\ disengaged from Accenture after 28 eventful years, he has been actively involved in promoting and supporting start-ups and entrepreneurial stage businesses. He has also invested in many companies, such that, he is today fast becoming a boardroom icon of sort with interests in both quoted and privately owned companies. A respected strategy consultant with a penchant for crafting bold business strategy, he has often been at the forefront in the foundation of several changemaking business initiatives, for example, Interswitch Nigeria and ATM Consortium Nigeria, to mention a few. His expertise, commitment to good corporate governance and community service spirit has meritoriously placed him on the boards of directors of numerous entities, LQFOXGLQJ VHYHUDO QRWIRUSURĂ€W organizations. Presently, he sits on the board of many companies like Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Mouka Foam Plc, Interswitch Limited, Secure ID Nigeria Ltd, Ventures & Trusts Limited, Arian Capital Management Limited and Nextzon Business Services Ltd as chairman and he is a non-executive director in Cadbury Plc among others. Dotun sits on the board of Sankore Investments, a global investment and advisory boutique with a strong focus on African markets. Sankore Investments draws on the strengths of its people and strong global partnerships to provide investment advisory Continue on pg A8
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Business Courage A11 27
Monday, December 31, 2012
KCABHSALF National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, September 10, 2012
administrator Senator Udoma Udo Udoma is a trained lawyer, just like his father- late Justice Egbert Udoma. But Udoma junior has no aspirations of gunning for the heights his father attained in the legal profession. Rather, he chose to explore the opportunities available both in business and politics but he effectively used the law practice as a stepping stone to achieve greatness in other fields of life. Incidentally, Udomaâ€™s explorations paid off, emerging a two-term senator and as well as a renowned boardroom icon. This is the story of an outstanding son of a Supreme Court Justice, who directs the affairs of some of the large business corporations in Nigeria. By Bamidele Obafemi
enator Udoma Udo Udoma, CON, studied at the Oxford University, England, where he bagged ERWK WKH Ă€UVW DQG VHFRQG GHJUHHV LQ /DZ +H TXDOLĂ€HG IRU D %DFKHORU RI $UWV /DZ LQ DQG LPPHGLDWHO\ SURFHHGHG WR REWDLQ D SRVW JUDGXDWH GHJUHHLQDGYDQFHGOHJDOVWXGLHVLQ8GRPDZDV FDOOHG WR WKH 1LJHULDQ EDU D \HDU ODWHU KDYLQJ SDVVHG WKURXJKWKH1LJHULDQ/DZ6FKRROZKHUHKHREWDLQHGWKH %/GHJUHH %XW XQOLNH KLV IDWKHU D IRUPHU -XVWLFH RI WKH 6XSUHPH &RXUW RI 1LJHULD DQG 8JDQGDÂˇV &KLHI -XVWLFH 8GRPD D JUDGXDWH RI .LQJÂˇV &ROOHJH /DJRV 1LJHULD GHFLGHG WR DFTXLUH H[SHUWLVH LQ WKH FRPPHUFLDO DVSHFWV RI WKH ODZ SURIHVVLRQ KDYLQJ VHW KLV PLQG RQ UXOLQJWKH1LJHULDQEXVLQHVVZRUOGIURPLQFHSWLRQ+LV OHJDOH[SHUWLVHWKHUHIRUHLQFOXGHVFRPSDQ\ODZEDQNLQJ DQGĂ€QDQFHVHFXULWLHVODZDQGFDSLWDOPDUNHWWUDQVDFWLRQV+HDOVRDFTXLUHGVRPHH[SHUWLVHLQFRQVWLWXWLRQDO ODZDQGQDWXUDOUHVRXUFHVODZ +RZHYHU 8GRPDÂˇV MRXUQH\ LQWR WKH ZRUOG RI EXVLQHVVDQGSROLWLFVGLGQRWFRPPHQFHLPPHGLDWHO\DIWHU KH OHIW WKH ODZ VFKRRO +H Ă€UVW ZHQW LQWR DFDGHPLFV ZKHUHKHKDGDYHU\VKRUWVWLQWDVDFODVVURRPOHFWXUHUDWWKH8QLYHUVLW\RI/DJRV81,/$* +HOHFWXUHGLQ 81,/$*EHWZHHQDQGEHIRUHKHUHWXUQHGWR WKHSDWKZKLFKKHKDGFKDWWHGIRUKLPVHOIIURPKLVGD\V LQWKHXQLYHUVLW\ Continue on pg A8
examinations of the Institute of Chartered of Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to attain the status of a chartered accountant. Armed with this qualification in 1982, Savage left the audit profession to concentrate on pure accounting. Almost immediately, Savage resigned his appointment at PriceWaterHouseCoopers to pursue a career in the manufacturing sector of the economy. But little did he realised that the decision to join the employment of Guinness Nigeria Plc in 1983 would fetch him wealth and fame. Udoma Udo Udoma He is a trained lawyer, just like his father- late Justice Egbert Udoma. But Udoma junior has no aspirations of gunning for the heights his father attained in the legal profession. Rather, he chose to explore the opportunities available both in business and politics but he effectively used the law practice as a stepping stone to achieve greatness in other fields of life. Incidentally, Udomaâ€™s explorations paid off, emerging a twoterm senator and as well as a renowned boardroom icon. He studied at the Oxford University, England, where he bagged both the first and second degrees in Law. He qualified for a Bachelor of Arts (Law) in 1976 and immediately proceeded to obtain a post graduate degree in advanced legal studies in 1977. Udoma was called to the Nigerian bar a year later, having passed through the Nigerian Law School where he obtained the B.L. degree. He acquired expertise in the commercial aspects of the law profession, having set his mind on ruling the Nigerian business world from inception. His legal expertise therefore includes company law, banking and finance, securities law and capital market transactions. He also acquired some expertise in constitutional law and natural resources law. However, Udomaâ€™s journey into the world of business and politics did not commence im-
mediately after he left the law school. He first went into academics where he had a very short stint as a classroom lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), that was between 1979 and 1980 before he returned to the path which he had chatted for himself from his days in the university.
Dr. Christopher Kolade Former broadcaster and one time Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom; Dr. Koladeis a communicator per excellence, a quintessential information disseminator whose business skills and integrity are well acknowledged both locally and internationally. He was first black Chief Executive and Chairman of confectionery giant, Cadbury Plc. Born in 1932 in Erin-Oke, a predominantly agrarian and commerce town, in Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, Kolade decidedly broke away from norms when he gained admission to study for his secondary school certificate at Government College, Ibadan. His determination not to earn a living from farming drove him to seek further education outside the shores of Nigeria as he later proceeded to Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone for higher educational qualifications. He began his career in journalism in the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and rose to become the DirectorGeneral. As a broadcaster with the Radio Nigeria network and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), he was a significant voice that helped the broadcasting stations achieve the powerful stature they have acquired today. Dr. Christopher Kolade built the institution along the path of integrity and honour, making it one of the few true Udoma
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Monday, September 24, 2012
voices of the community even when it was clear that its proprietorial hold was tightly governmental. With a successful stint at NBC, Dr. Kolade, at the age of 45, pulled out from the civil service to take on fresh challenges in the private sector, pitching his tent with Cadbury Nigeria Plc as Administration Director in 1978.
continents, proffering solutions to difficult situations for corporate organisations and nations
Femi Otedola Son of Sir Michael Otedola, former Governor of Lagos State, Femi Otedola, the controversial diesel magnate calls the shot in a couple of businesses that cut across oil, transport, insurance, finance and investment property. The 45-year- old billionaire owner of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited has within a very short period, become an enigma in the industry, cornering, almost the entire diesel market in Nigeria. He was listed among world billionaires by Forbes magazine along with Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group in 2009. Then, with an estimated net worth of over $1.2 billion, the controversial Chief Executive Officer of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited was rated among 793 dollar-denominated billionaires in the world. His source of fortune is the black gold (petroleum) as his company Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, was rated number one in the Nigerian diesel market. Since that time, however, he has not been on the elite group of global billionaires again. With aggressive marketing and outstanding initiatives, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, in a space of 13 years, emerged the toast of the market as it was able to secure supply contract with choice companies, especially the manufacturing outfits, to supply them diesel. Otedolaâ€™s Zenon rode on the back of companies like Dangote Group, Cadbury, Coca-cola, Nigerian Breweries, MTN, Unilever, Nestle, and Guinness among others to fame and wealth. The young Otedola, who once was a hustler for contracts in government houses and other business organisations, became so big in a very short period of time to own Nigeriaâ€™s largest oil storage facility estimated at N2.8 billion, added to 100 brand new trucks worth N1.3 billion to boost his supply chain. BC
She has remained a strong force to reckon with in the field of accountancy and capital market operation. Princess Agnes Adenike Adeniran, the quintessential woman of Nigeriaâ€™s capital market has indeed excelled in the field largely dominated by men. This is the story of the uncommon zeal, courage and determination, fully backed by integrity and service excellence of the Princess of the accounting profession By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
he is suave, simple, unassuming but very principled. These are attributes which Princess Agnes Adenike Adeniran, former President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) combined, which perhaps stand her out in the late 90s and early 2000s when she was very active on the trading Ă oor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Indeed, those privileged to have worked closely with her at the time would attest to her mastery of the operations of the stock market, her dedication to the ideals of the market and indeed, her forthright position on issues bothering on ethics and professional etiquette. Born on November 15, 1940, at Owu-Ijebu, in Ijebu East Local government of Ogun State, the versatile and hardworking woman actually shot into public limelight when she emerged as the 33rd president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). Besides, she was also the president, International Federation of Women Accountants, which she also
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introduced into Nigeria during her tenure as the ICAN boss. Princess Adeniran was the Ă€rst female President, Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa. Married to Abraham Adetola Adeniran and blessed with three children, Princess Adeniran attended St. Michaelâ€™s School Owu-Ijebu between 1948 and 1953. In 1954, she proceeded to Local Authority School, Megbon, Akure, Ondo State, where she Ă€nished her primary education. In 1955, she returned to Ijebu, but this time, IjebuOde, where she got admitted into Muslim Girls School. She spent only one session in the school and by 1958, she moved to Colony Teacher Training College, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos State, where she was trained as a teacher. After leaving the Teacher Training College in 1960, the young Princess Agnes Adenike proceeded to Catford College of Commerce London where she was tutored in Accounting. After leaving Catford College, she moved to Staffordshire College of Commerce, Wood-Green Wednesbury near Birmingham for higher degrees. Princess Adeniran started
her working career as a school teacher between 1958 and 1964 after which she was engaged as an OfĂ€cer with the Metropolitan Hospital Board, London between 1964 and 1965. After a one year sojourn at the Metropolitan Hospital Board, London, Princess Adeniran began her accounting career in 1967 when she joined Her Majesty Customs and Excise, Accountant and Controller Division, London started as an Assistant Accountant. In 1970, three years after, Princess became a qualiĂ€ed accountant. A year after she became a qualiĂ€ed accountant, Princess Adeniran returned to Nigeria in 1971 and joined Co-operative Bank Plc as an Accountant. Her brilliance shown like thousand stars such that, barely a year after she joined the bank, she was promoted as an assistant branch manager, Marina branch in 1972. She was in this position till 1977 when she was again promoted as a branch manager, Lagos branch. Princess Adeniran served as the bankâ€™s branch manager till 1979 when she decided to quit. From Co-Operative Bank, Princess Adeniran joined NigContinue on pg A8
Monday, January 30, 2012
The â€˜Diamondâ€™ entrepreneur
Pascal Dozie Though Dr. Pascal Gabriel Dozie does not deal in diamond, his choice to be outstanding in anything he lays his hands upon makes him a rare gem like the diamond. Incidentally too, his first outstanding business, Diamond Bank Plc, after over two decades in existence, is still glittering among its Dr. Christopher Kolade, former broadcaster and one time peers in the banking inNigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, is a communicator per excellence, dustry in Nigeria. Dozie a quintessential information disseminator whose business is an uncommon entreskills and integrity are well acknowledged both locally and internationally. He was first black preneur who has sucChief Executive and Chairman of confectionery giant, Cadbury Plc. cessfully run a couple Though he is long retired from active service, Kolade, 80, still of thriving businesses holds sway in the business world. and he is still counting. D Born in Owerri, Imo State on April 9, 1939, but has his origin in Egbu, a small town of a little above 100, 000 inhabitants tucked in the northern section of OwBusiness Courage
Monday, December 24, 2012
A steely entrepreneur
Princess Agnes Adenike Adeniran She has remained a strong force to reckon with in the field of accountancy and capital market operation. She is suave, simple, unassuming but very principled. These are attributes which Princess Agnes Adenike Adeniran, former President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) combined, which perhaps stand her out in the late 90s and early 2000s when she was very active on the trading floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Born on November 15, 1940, at Owu-Ijebu, in Ijebu East Local government of Ogun State, the versatile and hardworking woman actually shot into public limelight when she emerged as the 33rd president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). Besides, she was also the president, International Federation of Women Accountants, which she also introduced into Nigeria during her tenure as the ICAN boss. Princess Adeniran was the first female President, Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa.
A quintessential business person
By Bamidele Obafemi
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r. Christopher Kolade, Commander of the Order of Niger (CON), is a man of great reputation who has distinguished himself in service both in the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy. Born in 1932 in Erin-Oke, a predominantly agrarian and commerce town, located at the Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, decidedly broke away from norms when he gained admission to study for his secondary school cerWLĂ€FDWH DW *RYHUQPHQW &ROOHJH ,EDGDQ +LV GHWHUPLQDWLRQ not to earn a living from farming drove him to seek further education outside the shores of Nigeria as he later proceeded to Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone for higher HGXFDWLRQDOTXDOLĂ€FDWLRQV Kolade, a veteran broadcaster, began his career in journalism and rose to become the Director- General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). As a broadcaster with the Radio Nigeria network and Nigerian Television Authority 17$ KHZDVDVLJQLĂ€FDQWYRLFHWKDWKHOSHGWKHEURDGFDVWing stations achieve the powerful stature they have acquired today. As the head of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Christopher Kolade built the institution along the path of integrity and honour, making it one of the few true voices of the community even when it was clear that its proprietorial hold was tightly governmental. With a successful stint at NBC, Dr. Kolade, at the age of 45, pulled out from the civil service to take on fresh challenges in the private sector, pitching his tent with Cadbury Nigeria Plc as Administration Director in 1978. At Cadbury Nigeria Plc, the outstanding communicator quickly distinContinue on pg A8
Though Dr. Pascal Gabriel Dozie does not deal in diamond, his choice to be outstanding in anything he lays his hands upon makes him a rare gem like the diamond. Incidentally too, his first outstanding business, Diamond Bank Plc, after over two decades in existence, is still glittering among its peers in the banking industry in Nigeria. Dozie is an uncommon entrepreneur who has successfully run a couple of thriving businesses and he is still counting. By Bamidele Obafemi
ascal Dozie, founder of Diamond Bank Plc and Chairman of MTN Nigeria was born in Owerri, Imo State on April 9, 1939, but his origin Egbu, a small town of a little above 100, 000 inhabitants is tucked in the northern section of Owerri, the Imo State capital and the â€˜heartlandâ€™ of Igboland. The septuagenarian, recipient of a national award, Order of the Federal Republic, OFR, graduated from the London School of Economics with specialisation in Econometrics at age 27. To further arm himself with the necessary tool for success in his future endeavour, the fair-skinned Dozie proceeded to obtain his MSc. in Administrative Science from the City University, London, with specialisation in Operational Research and Industrial Engineering. Dozieâ€™s career began with a stint as an economist at the National Economic Development 2IĂ€FH1('2LQWKH8QLWHG.LQJdom between 1968 and 1969.
From 1969 to 1970, he was an Econometrician at the Greater London Development Council and at the same time, a part-time lecturer in Quantitative Economics at the North Western Polytechnic, London. In the course of the past three decades, Dozie has acquired vast experiences in the Ă€HOG RI 'HYHORSPHQW (FRQRPics and Planning. Through his professional consulting activities in several African and European countries, he has demonstrated a proven capability in project preparation, co-ordination and management. Between 1970 and 1971, he served as a Consulting Econometrician at the African States Consulting Organisation in East Africa, where his major tasks included the construction of an input-output model for Uganda. On his return to Nigeria in 1972, six years after obtaining KLV Ă€UVW GHJUHH 'R]LHÂˇV HQWUHSUHQHXULDO EHQW VWDUWHG WR Ă€QG Continue on pg A8
erri, the Imo State capital and Dr. Dozie graduated from the London School of Economics with specialisation in Econometrics at age 27. He obtained his MSc. in Administrative Science from the City University, London, with specialisation in Operational Research and Industrial Engineering. Dozieâ€™s career began with a stint as an economist at the National Economic Development Office (NEDO), in the United Kingdom between 1968 and 1969. From 1969 to 1970, he was an Econometrician at the Greater London Development Council and at the same time, a part-time lecturer in Quantitative Economics at the North Western Polytechnic, London.
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Monday, April 23, 2012
Leke Alder He is a man of many parts, a writer, lawyer, photographer, painter, architect, brand and business consultant, a designer among other things. The law graduate from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University has, through his consulting firm, Alder Consulting, traversed
Femi Otedola, son of Sir Michael Otedola, former Governor of Lagos State, calls the shot in a couple of businesses that cut across oil, transport, insurance, finance and investment, property among others. The 45-yearold billionaire owner of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited has within a very short period, becone an enigma in the industry, cornering, almost the entire diesel market in Nigeria. By Bamidele Obafemi
emi Otedola in 2009 was listed among world billionaires by Forbes magazine along with Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group. Then, with an estimated net worth of over $1.2 billion, the controversial &KLHI ([HFXWLYH 2IĂ€FHU RI =Hnon Petroleum and Gas Limited was rated among 793 dollardenominated billionaires in the world. His source of fortune is the black gold (petroleum) as KLV FRPSDQ\ =HQRQ 3HWUROHXP and Gas Limited, was rated number one in the Nigerian diesel market. Since that time, however, he has not been on the elite group of global billionaires again. With aggressive marketing DQGRXWVWDQGLQJLQLWLDWLYHV=Hnon Petroleum and Gas Limited, in a space of 13 years, emerged the toast of the market as it was able to secure supply contract with choice companies, espeFLDOO\WKHPDQXIDFWXULQJRXWĂ€WV to supply them diesel. Otedolaâ€™s
=HQRQURGHRQWKHEDFNRIFRPpanies like Dangote Group, Cadbury, Coca-cola, Nigerian Breweries, MTN, Unilever, Nestle, and Guinness among others to fame and wealth. The young Otedola, who once was a hustler for contracts in government houses and other business organisations, became so big in a very short period of time to own Nigeriaâ€™s largest oil storage facility estimated at N2.8 billion, added to 100 brand new trucks worth N1.3 billion to boost his supply chain. =HQRQ 3HWUROHXP DQG *DV Limited also acquired a massive Ă DW ERWWRP EXQNHU YHVVHO ZLWK a storage capacity of 16,000 metric tonnes of diesel for $6.8 million, and as part of its caSDFLW\EXLOGLQJVWUDWHJ\=HQRQ acquired four cargo ships with combined capacity of 60,158 metric tonnes for importation of petroleum products. MT Sir Michael, one of the vessels named after his father, was the least of Continue on pg A8
Monday, December 31, 2012
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Government needs to revolutionise hou Dr. Ayodeji Mafikuyomi, Group Managing Director of Unicorn Holdings, is an astute professional, businessman and an entrepreneur, Mafikuyomi is a member of the International Association of Home Builders among many other professional bodies. Mafikuyomi, in this interview with Adejuwon Osunnuyi, speaks on the need for the Federal Government to revolutionise housing scheme among others… Excerpts
here has been so much talk about entrepreneurship in Nigeria being a struggle because of the so many challenges. Can we really say Nigeria is a peculiar case? I think I will agree that entrepreneurship is a struggle in terms of lack of government assistance, in terms of what many entrepreneurs go through. I can say specifically that it is not like that in many other developed economies like China, India, Asian tigers generally, either South Korea, North Korea and the rest of them. In Nigeria, it is a peculiar case because we are confronted with a lot of difficulties here, like access to things that would have helped entrepreneurs, either budding or accomplished entrepreneurs. An average Nigerian entrepreneur will tell you different challenges they are going through. Government really is not playing its roles because in developed countries like I said, there is identification of talents to see what people can do and they are able to assist you in training, finance and mentorship. They help in mentoring you to develop your potentials because they believe that the youth or entrepreneurs of today are the future of such countries. But in Nigeria, definitely you are on your own. The entrepreneurs of today, even in the past have always been left to go through thick and thin. You are the one who will take care of your dream; otherwise, you are left to die with your dream in the struggle. It is really a peculiar case in Nigeria. From your brief analysis, this is certainly not the best way to go. So, how do you think this situation case can be addressed? Generally, looking at myself for example, I know what I have gone through. I have also gone through thick and thin in my entrepreneurship journey. For every entrepreneur we have in Nigeria, if you put them on a rate of between one and 100, you will find out that only about few which is less than five per cent actually survived. They all died with their dreams. They lose out in the struggle generally. Hence, we need people who have succeeded as entrepreneurs, we need people like Dangote, Jimoh Ibarahim, Doyin of Doyin Pharmaceutical, Chief Adeojo who are self-made names, who through dint of hard-work have been able to survive from the tediousness of their struggle and accomplished what they have become today. We need people like that to come together and maybe advice the government or as a form of policy put up a fund where young entrepreneurs who are founders or builders of businesses can access funds. As for me, when I get to the age of 50, I look up to setting up a fund where
I can identify talents and support them in the case of mentorship, funding, in terms of rendering assistance in the area of financial advice and all that. So, when you put all these talents together, Nigeria would be able to achieve her long and medium term hopes and aspirations, like when we are talking about vision 2020, vision 2040. Without entrepreneurship, without building the industrialists of today, without nurturing the talents we have today, there would be no future for our tomorrow. Can you share your experience in the build-up to what you are today? How has it been? Well, some of us are builders, some are helpers in building, some are full of ideas and they cannot work for anybody. I belong to that class of people. I knew right from the beginning that I have these special talents of ideas running. And when you run with your ideas, you turn it into vision and you run with that vision until you accomplish such vision. I laugh when young men finish from schools and they are looking for placement to work in places like Shell. You have graduates of today, when you ask them what they want to do, even when they come out with top grade in Yoruba language, they still tell you they want to work in Shell, they want to work for Chevron, in fact, they want the best. But it is not everybody that is going to be in the employment of those companies. What I keep telling them is that, you don’t need to look for job when you can create jobs. When I want to employ people and they come here for interview, I used to ask them, what special talent do you have? I have a reason for asking that and my reason is this. I might find out in the course of interviewing the person that he has an idea that I can build on, an idea I can help to nurture and support. So when you discuss with them, you discover that these people are not meant to be salary earners. They are not meant to be in employment, rather, they should be employers of labour and they just need one or two people to support them. My entrepreneurship mind is very fertile such that it works every minute and when an idea comes, we churn out ideas. This is part of what have led me to where I am today. I have done many things in the past. I have these cravings like a drug addict who craves for drugs. We crave for new things; new creativity to bring things alive and that is how the mind of an entrepreneur should work. One important thing is that an entrepreneur should be able to have patience. It’s like you having a baby, you need to nurture that baby into health and grow it to become a man. It’s not the day that you start a business that it would grow.
Being an entrepreneur, how have you been able to retain the loyalty of your clients? The certainty of every business is integrity. Service delivery is also very important. The ability to have a clientele that would always look up to you all the time is very paramount. So, the loyalty of my clients comes with the fact that we stand upright for the virtue of the business we do. One is whether what this man has been telling us is the truth. The faith, the security of your investment, integrity of your word as an entrepreneur are very important, because if it is a corporate body like Shell, Chevron, they are big companies which are not owned by a single person, so, they have a name to protect. But an entrepreneur is somebody who for instance, if you are in a professional business or a trade, you should be able to say I am going there because my first experience was good, integrity, the ability to supply the goods or services that you promised. In fact, we were told in business school that you under-promise and you overdeliver. When you under-promise and you over-deliver, you keep your clients coming back. I have clients that I have kept for over fifteen years. Companies like Dangote, Leventis and so on. As a matter of fact, if Leventis want to buy properties today and they don’t see me, they will not buy. This is because I have been able to give them what they want all these years. With integrity, your words being your bond, you keep your clients coming back to you. Unicorn Group seems to have been doing tremendously well over the years; can you tell us the scope of the group’s operations? Unicorn Holdings is a medium sized conglomerate serving a wide variety of sectors of the economy. Unicorn holdings Limited aims to be recognized as the biggest and best product and service provider in its areas of business and this is evident in our presence outside the shores of Nigeria. We operate in the Ghana and we have recently acquired
licenses to operate in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Unicorn Holdings is a diversified group. We have had series of businesses in the past before we now identified areas where we have core competence. Unicorn Holdings started off as an offshoot of Ayo Mayomi and Co, a real estate company founded in March 20, 1990. We started from a small one-room office in Iganmu area of Lagos. And because Ayo Mayomi has grown in terms of clientele and services it offers, it gave birth to other subsidiaries. So after Unicorn was born in 1990, it then gave birth to Mayomi Enterprises, a trading arm of the company then. We used to trade in buying products from Nigerian Breweries; we were the first set of distributors of Fayrooz for Nigerian Breweries. Then we were also into building materials like roofing sheets, monogramming, that is, printing on clothes and all that. We started the monogramming business from our discovery that it was the electioneering time, a period when the politicians needed to put on branded vests, caps and so on. Of course, as a businessman, I said there is a need, so let us fill the need. So we bought machines from China to provide that services. Then, our friends in the oil sector came to me and said, Ayo, look, why don’t you go into the oil and gas sector and provide services especially at a period when the telecommunications companies came. And you know we have challenge of power insufficiency in Nigeria. You have to make use of generators to power the base stations. So that brought in a new set of business of supplying diesel. Hence, we now have Matadol Oil and Gas services limited that started by supplying diesel to companies like Airtel, MTN, then later Etisalat, as well as some banks. All these are as a result of the challenges in power. Then we have Global Logistics which is involved in moving cement for flour mills in Apapa, fertiliser and so on. We also have Earth20 limited, bottler of Festival Water now Unicorn Bottling Co. You seem to be having a new investment
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Business Courage A13 29
Monday, December 31, 2012
using scheme – Mafikuyomi
One can rightly say you are an expert in the real estate business. So, what is the state of that sector of the economy now in Nigeria? There are three things that are very important in human life: food, clothing and shelter. Shelter falls under real estate. Today, we have between 150 or 160 million Nigerians in which 40 per cent of that population do not have shelter over their heads. The UN index on the housing needs in Nigeria talked about Nigeria needing about 100,000 houses every year to sufficiently cater for its citizens. With the land mass of over 77 million acre of land which has only about 20 per cent of it developed shows that there is a critical shortage of houses. You can take a trip between Lagos and Ibadan, what do you see, empty lands. That shows that only a few areas of Nigeria are developed. The same goes for between Lagos and Abeokuta. You can imagine Nigeria with 170 million people compared with the number of houses we have. So the potential in real estate is still very large. The real estate development is still one of the lucrative businesses; this is because everybody needs a home. I think anybody who is going into real estate is not making a mistake. The only problem we have is access to fund. Everything boils down to government and their policies. Do we have good mortgage that would make you and I have access to build our own homes? Ghana has a good mortgage. In Singapore, once a child is 18, which is adult age, he has access to loan to build his own house, same thing in China. I keep on talking about China because these are countries where the leaders have the mind of the masses. Our leaders must have masses on their mind because a rich man can afford the type of home they want. For instance, a plot of land of 400,000 square meters in Ikoyi is in billions. The average Nigerian is not looking for home in Ikoyi or Vitoria Island. He wants a land in Badagry where he can build a house for his children and his wife and himself. Then banks should be able to give access to fund so that developers can build houses and sell by apartment or flats, like what Jakande did. We have a lot of people who are living under bridges, market places in Nigeria. So when you see them you know that there are still potentials in real estate. There are many things that are wrong with our polities in Nigeria, leadership issues, policies summersault. We always talk about direct foreign investment, when you make a conducive environment for investment, international real estate developers can come to Nigeria, but they are afraid that another government can come and change them. Let’s take a look at land use decree, where you put the lands in the hand of the government,
accessing land is one thing, when you buy land from family, obtaining the title alone is another thing. So we need to put a lot of things right. The land use decree of 1978 needs to be revisited. The government holds land in trust for the people, but the people whom you hold that trust for do not have access to that land. You pay through your nose to have title for your land and if you don’t have title, you can’t have access to loan. In the next 200 years, Nigeria would still be developing because as the population grows, land need to be developed.
We can build with our mud; mould them in form of blocks. It is cheap, affordable and habitable. If you go along Lagos-Badagry Express road now, by the military cantonment, there are shops being built there with prefab blocks. They are so cheap. With about a million naira you can put up a 2-bedroom bungalow, but if you are using your cement and blocks, you can even spend more than N4 million. So we are talking about alternative building materials that would be cheap enough for the poor man to afford.
One of your missions at Unicorn is to provide housing through the next generation technology; can you tell us more about this? Yes, next generation technology is our target. Somebody said in the United States that you don’t need to invent new inventions, but you can improve on existing invention. Talking about next generation technology, what I mean by that is next generation of building materials. I am talking about brick and mortal buildings. I am thinking along the line of ....we have a lot of clay land,, mud, in Nigeria, in the olden days in our village, they didn’t build with cement... they built with mud. In South Africa, we have what is called hydrosome; the hydrosol is muds which are moulded in form of blocks. You don’t need block, once you use these hydrosome; your room is cool inside. It is meant to last for the next 100 years. All of us don’t need to live in mansions. We don’t have to depend on materials coming from Italy, Germany.
Government has been talking about housing for all by year 2020, do you consider this achievable or is it just a mere slogan? Well, one thing I believe is that, for the present crop of leadership, I will agree with you that it is a mere slogan. It is a political slogan and gimmick. I can lay emphasis on this saying that when you consider the masses, you would mould them into what you want them to be. So, I see this housing for all by year 2020 as a mere slogan. If we have the leadership that have the feelings of its followers, then there is hope. One can’t imagine a governor that says he is a servant leader, yet he is having a private jet. The Federal Government is going ahead to build a new presidential hall with billions of naira, same goes for a new home for the vice president. What do they need these buildings for especially in a country where people cannot survive on one dollar a day? So, you can see that it is a slogan. As far as we continue this way, most
The average Nigerian is not looking for home in Ikoyi or Victoria Island. He wants a l and in Badagry where he can build a house for his children and his wife and himself
within the real estate business. What is this new area you are exploring? We have found out that more than ever before, busy people are looking for ways to upgrade the value of their home and enjoy more family fun time. Hence, we have decided to go into the business of fibreglass to enhance the value of their property as well as family’s quality time. So we now have a new baby within our group called Unicorn Pools. Unicorn Pools is an arm of Unicorn Holdings limited appointed by AECL of Florida, manufacturers of San Juan Pools & Spas to cover the entire West Africa with a future plan to build a plant for the entire continent.
of the time when I have an opportunity of an interview like this, I used to say what we need is a revolution to rearrange and re-prioritise our needs. A government that cannot guarantee you a roof over your head, a government that can’t guarantee you safety and security does not worth it. But in Nigeria here, we only pray for things we supposed to take action on. Religion has always been our opium. It is a slogan because the government does not seem to have any plan for the masses. How many homes have the PDP government provided since coming into power? Yet, they are talking about vision 2020, economic summit here and there. When we go for economic summit and seminars, we know our problems because we itemise them very well. But who will have the political will to implement them? We have problems with implementation. We have experts in this country, when we put the round pegs in the round holes, then we put our economy right and the masses would be better for it. We need an intervention be it in form of revolution because even under the British government, I don’t think Nigerians have had it as bad as we are having it now. In recent times we have been having issues of collapsed buildings and every time government puts up committee to look into the cause, at the end of the day, developers have always been accused of using sub-standard building materials to maximise their profits. What is your take on this? Yes, the issue of collapsed building is this, if you are building any property in any developed economy, the first thing you do is to build a triotel to know the kind of structure you will put on, but you don’t do that in Nigeria here. You just buy your land and build. In Lagos State for instance, the law the government has put in place is that when a building collapses, they take over such properties. Sometimes, I think Lagos state government is a government of opportunities whereby they are just looking for opportunity to take over people’s properties as a means of punishment. The question is, who gave the developer or the builder the permit to build? Today, when you design a block of flat or detached house for instance, and they approve it for you, but when you go to site, they build 3-storey buildings. And the physical planning officials who are supposed to monitor buildings would go there and sell out their conscience and collect bribe. They turn their faces and go. They will just come and mark your structure, go to their offices and settle them. Actually, most developers always want to achieve a lot with little resources, therefore they will design a storey building, but when they go to site, they will develop a 4-storey building. So the integrity of their investment is already at stake because the more they build the more money they will have. So two years down the line, the structure cracks, even when it cracks, government officials will come, but again, they will collect their bribe and go. So, all of us are all guilty. Moreover, the people in the building ministry might not even be professionals, so we have a problem of accountability for who do you report to, who supervises your project. The person, who supervises your project, is he a professional that will address the issues as the building is being built, or he will just collect bribe and look away. Nigerian society is a society whereby all of us are so corrupt and because of corruption, we have many who are not qualified in the business and the people who are qualified will charge you too much that you will have to go and look for an alternative that is cheaper. In the long run, your building collapses, people die and government comes in to collect your properties and that is the end of the story. BC
Monday, December 31, 2012
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Heavy sanctions, low effects For the IT and telecoms industry, the out-going year 2012, witnessed a lot of events and developments that shaped the ICT landscape in Nigeria. The Nigerian Communications Commission wielded the big sticks over poor quality of service and other sundry issues but disappointingly, the problems are still far from being over By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
he year 2012 has been a year that witnessed a lot of events and developments that shaped the ICT landscape in Nigeria. The telecoms industry was put on the spot early in the year, as Airtel, a network reputed for its constant name changing, was again confronted with another ownership battle with one of the original investors, Econet. The situation nearly saw it changing its name for the sixth time in 10 years. Econet had obtained a court judgment mandating Airtel to revert to its old status. The telecom company which started operations in the country in 2001 had metamorphosed from Econet Wireless Nigeria to Vodacom, owned by Vee Networks Limited. In 2006, following Celtel Internationals acquisition of majority stake in the company, it was re-named Celtel and became part of Celtel’s pan-African operations spanning many African countries. Celtel Nigeria was re-branded Zain Nigeria on August 1, 2008, following the global acquisition of Celtel International by MTC Group, which transformed to Zain Group, a leading emerging market player in telecommunications. Celtel was founded by Sudaneseborn, Mo Ibrahim, in 1998 and sold to Kuwaits MTC (Zain) in April 2005 for $3.4 billion. On November 19, 2010, Zain was
again transformed into the current Airtel following the acquisition of Zain by Bharti Airtel of India for $10.7 billion. In March, after about 11 years of several failed attempts to rescue NITEL and its subsidiary, M-Tel, the Federal Government finally agreed to wind up the moribund national carrier, one out of many options laid before the Bureau of Public Enterprise for reviving the national carrier. The sector was also seriously embroiled in near crisis in 2012 as the NCC and a number of government agencies engaged in near combat over who regulates what. First, it was the National Environmental Standards Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA), which sealed off one of MTN Nigeria’s facilities in Abuja, sometime in April, over alleged non-compliance with set standards. Feeling NESREA went too far in exercising that function without recourse to it as the telecoms regulator in the country, few days later, NCC unsealed the facility and warned NESREA not to encroach on telecoms territories without clearance from it. However, two days after this, NESREA itself felt that the onus of setting standards involving the distance an operator should set its BTS from living homes fell within the environmental protection laws, called the bluff of the NCC and re-sealed the facility. This brought a stalemate which lasted for several weeks and put a lot of telecoms sub-
scribers out of service while the tussle lasted. Barely a week after this incident, another crisis broke out. Following the persistent poor quality of mobile telephone service, the regulator itself fell out with the operators after discovering in May 2012, that the operators did not meet the agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPI), for the months of March and April. The KPI was set to monitor the quality of service rendered to the Nigerian subscribers. Four major operators – MTN Nigeria; Globacom; Airtel Nigeria and Etisalat fell under the hammer of the NCC which slammed a collective N1.17 billion fine on them. NCC also gave a stipulated time of two weeks for the operators to pay up the fine or risk additional N2.5million penalty that would attract every single day of default. The NCC said it had arrived at the decision on testing the operators on four parameters – Call Set-up Success Rate, Call Completion Rate, Drop Call Rate and Traffic Channel Congestion. The commission said the telecoms companies have failed to meet the minimum standard of quality of service. From the breakdown, MTN and Etisalat were fined N360 million ($2.2 million) each, while Airtel and Globacom were fined N270 million ($1.7 million) and N180 million ($1.1 million) respectively. They were given up till May 25 to pay the fine or get additional N2.5 million ($15,
520) daily as contravention charges. Expectedly, the NCC’s decision caused stirs in the industry. While some, particularly subscribers see the action as a timely intervention that would see the operators wake up to their responsibilities, the operators felt victimised and argued
Ngeri Benebo, DG NESREA
that poor service quality was due to poorly developed infrastructure in the country. They described the NCC action as killing the goose that lay the golden egg. Steven Evans, Etisalat’s Chief Executive Officer said it was shocking to his company to receive the news of the pen-
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alty, particularly when the same NCC had in the past three years of Etisalat operations in Nigeria, recognised it as the number one quality operator by the various measures conducted and published by the regulator. “I think from Etisalat Nigeria’s perspective, one thing that we would say is that, we are disappointed by
Eugene Juwah, NCC Boss
Business Courage A15 31
Monday, December 31, 2012
the NCC’s action. We think the action is inappropriate and we think it’s a wrong way to deal with businesses which are investing $500 million a year into Nigeria to develop world class telecommunications network. For us to have to explain to our shareholders while investing $500 million a year for the four years that we are now suddenly being fined by the NCC is a serious case,” Evans had said. With the Nigerian market reeling under the yoke of substandard phones, the NCC in 2012 renewed its war against phone manufacturers and distributors of unapproved phones in the country as it insisted that all phones to be sold in the country must get its type approval. In the telecommunications industry, type approval is granted to a product or piece of equipment that meets a minimum set of regulatory, technical and safety requirements, including conformity to local regulations before it is approved for use in that jurisdiction. Such conformity might include power and noise characteristics, use of permitted frequencies only, frequency stability, and various other electrical parameters. To show that the era of sale of fake or sub-standard phones is over, the commission sealed off the service station of Tecno Mobile, a Chinese phone maker and other unapproved mobile phone service centres at the Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos. Rueben Mouka, Head, Media and Publicity, NCC, said that the continuous clamp down on mobile phone manufacturers and distributors by the NCC was because there are always issues with mobile phones that do not conform with standard,
thereby causing problems for the network and the subscribers. Mouka noted that phones that do not meet set standards in the industry impact on the users, such that, they spend more money repairing or buying another phone within a short period. It said that as at March 10, 2012, type approvals had been given to equipment suppliers including Avvio, Fly, Alcatel Blackberry, Amiosonic, Anabel Mobile, Apple, Bird, Blackberry, Daewoo, Delta, Eastcom, Ericsson, Etongdz GSM Desktop Phone, Fadar, FCT, Firefl y, Haier Thermacool (HT) and Hisense. Others include Huawei, IMate, Jablotron, Jembi, LG, Maxon, Megasim, Mitsubishi Trium, Motorola, Panabiz, Pocket Surfer 2, Possio, PW CDMA Mobile, Philips, Sagem, Quicktel CDMA Phone and Samsung. The list includes Satcom, Sendo, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Soutec, Supermaster, Thuraya, Way Systems, World Phone, Zakang Handset, Zen GSM Mobile Phone and ZTE, among others. Also, in 2012, Nigeria Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) ( Zinox, Omatek, Beta and Brian computers) continued to contend with low patronage even as calls were made to the government to provide an enabling law that would help drive patronage for local computer manufacturers. Although there are about four computers OEMs in Nigeria namely Zinox, Omatek, Beta and Brian computers, only the first two are in active production. However, investigations revealed that they do not have the capacity to service even a quarter of the Nigerian market. Again, in November, obviously piqued by frivolous promotional activities which it believed had been hampering good quality services by telecommunications operators across the country, NCC wielded the big stick, stopping all forms of promotional activities or lotteries embarked upon by operators with immediate effect. The companies affected are Globacom, Airtel, MTN, Intercellular,Visafone, Etisalat and Multi-Links. According to a statement by the commission’s Public Affairs Director, Tony Ojobo, the ban covers all proposed and approved promotions and lotteries on which the commission has given approval further to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). He noted that the Commission has been inundated with complaints from consumers, industry watchers and stakeholders against the various promotions offered by telecommunications operators. “Consistent with its processes, the commission has carefully evaluated the complaints received especially against the backdrop of sustaining the integrity of the networks, the general interest
Protecting your computer from viruses and hackers
iruses and hackers have been of a threat to us in the past, but these days the use of internet has become so convenient and common, we somewhat neglect and forget the importance of protecting our computers and files. We need to think of protecting our equipment at the early stages before it’s too late. If we care about our personal information, our online reputation, and our files, then it is essential that we do routine protection of our computers. Below is a list of some very basic steps you can carry out to protect your computer and data:
Install the latest anti-virus There are so many free reliable anti-viruses online. Google has one, which can be downloaded via Google Pack. Some anti-virus companies offer free trial versions too, which is good enough to protect your computer. You may read some reviews and choose which is best for you. On the other hand, if you think that you need higher protections, its best to buy an anti-virus program. This will ensure that your computer is updated with the latest patches and releases that come out. Put your firewall on Firewall blocks unauthorized access to your computer, it controls the way your computer talks to the internet, and monitors what goes in and out of the ports of your computer. It’s always advisable to keep your firewall on, as you never know when a virus might slip in through the back door. Be careful with your emails and avoid suspicious websites Earlier, hackers could usually gain access through email attachments, but now, a link via your email or a pop-up window can be directed to their viruses and worms. If an email seems suspicious, it is best not to open it or click on any links. Always try to scan your email attachments and other downloaded files prior to opening them. Many anti-virus programs have this feature in them, where it will scan through your emails for you. Put your browser security on Blocking pop-ups is not enough. You have to set your browser either to the medium or high security level. This will help your browser block registered malicious websites or scripts. Always backup your files This is old advice. Although it’s already known, many of us are still too lazy to do so. Backup your files regularly. You can put this onto your calendar, and once a week or day it will pop up a reminder for you to backup. You can copy your files on to CDs and USB or other storage devices, along with online backup services. Be tricky and smart in assigning passwords As technology is rapidly advancing especially in communication and social networks, hackers are also having more avenues to steal your information and files. Be tricky with your passwords. Instead of “gelpen” you can make it “G31p3n”. Use a combination of numeric and alpha-numeric characters. You can also make it longer like “G31p3n2011” or “G31p3nG31p3n”. Moreover, regarding security questions, be smart in assigning your answer. If your security question is “Who is your favourite pet?” Do not just answer “Bruno”; you can make it “Idonothavepetbruno”. Avoid pirated mediums and downloads Free or royalty free is so good, but it is indeed risky. Do not buy pirated CDs. Despite the fact that some software licenses are very expensive, it is the right thing to do and the safer option. Be careful in downloading unlicensed or leaked files. Also, make sure that you are downloading from trusted websites. Many of the times you may download a program or an application which may be infected with virus. Do not be lazy in protecting your computer before it is too late. If your computer is acting weird, for instance, having many pop-ups, taking too slow in opening or shutting down or if you are losing files or some unknown files are being created, then maybe it means you are being attacked with viruses and worms. Take a few minutes or an hour to protect your computer. You are not only protecting your files but also protecting yourself from online theft. BC
of the consumers, the socioeconomic impact of these promotions on Operators and other relevant stakeholders. Ojobo had noted that these promotions have increased the number of minutes available to subscribers for use within a limited period of time thereby creating congestion in the networks as subscribers try to use up the available minutes within the stipulated time. Explaining further, he reeled that on-net calls were now being offered by operators at tariffs well below the prevailing interconnect rates thereby introducing anti-competitive practices and behaviour. “Termination of calls was becoming increasingly difficult from one network to another and overall consumer experience on the networks has become very poor thereby making it extremely difficult for subscribers to make calls successfully”. The telecom sector also had its fair share of the increasing terror attacks by the Boko Haram sect in the northern part of the country. In what was generally regarded as a premeditated and coordinated onslaught against telecommunications companies across the country, gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram attacked more than 30 base stations located in Bauchi, Borno and Kano States. Expectedly, the attacks affected the services of the four major GSM companies in the country. The attacks are believed to be a fallout of the sect’s threat in February on telecom companies for allegedly “compromising its ethical obligations” in divulging information about its activities to security operatives, which had led to the arrest of many of its members. Telecoms operators also had a face-off with the Lagos State Government over masts regulation as the latter insisted on regulating construction of base stations in the state. Through its newly established Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit (UFRU), the state government said the agency is empowered by law to monitor the activities of telecoms operators and Internet service providers in the area of mast and tower installations in the metropolis while regulating the building and maintenance of telecom masts across the state. Joe Igbokwe, who heads the agency during a stakeholders meeting with telecoms operators, as well as those involved in using masts and antennae for transmitting voice and data services and all banks operating in the state warned that telecommunications masts which did not meet ‘installation standard’ would be pulled down. He said the measure became necessary, following the incessant collapse of masts and towers in the state, damaging property worth billions of naira and in some cases, claiming lives of people and leaving many in critical health conditions.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Rajan Swaroop, Airtel MD
To show their displeasure, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, (ALTON), the umbrella body of the operators, vowed to resist any attempt by the Lagos State Government to regulate operations of its members. In 2012, after over four years of almost inactivity in the sector, the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) division of the Nigerian telecommunications industry hit the airwaves. Unlike the daily reports of loses which it has been recording in terms of both revenue and subscriber base in a Global System of Mobile (GSM) dominated sector, the cheery news was about the planned merger of Starcomms, Multilinks and MTS in a projected $200 million revival deal meant to spring up the CDMA industry into reckoning. For a sector that has suffered so much dwindling profiles especially in terms of funding, the coming of the new outfit, CAP-
COM, spearheaded by a group of core investors with the injection of about $200 million capital investment is expected to see the pioneer segment of the telecoms industry bounce back. The issue of unpaid N20 billion interconnect charges among telecoms operators also came up strongly in 2012. The situation forced the NCC to roll out new set of “Guidelines on Procedure for Granting of Approval to Disconnect Telecommunication Operators’’ which it said was necessary because the current one approved since 2004 has outlived its usefulness. According NCC, the provisions of the new guidelines have taken into consideration the disconnection of all operators, including interconnect exchanges, and shortened the process for granting approval for disconnection. ‘’This is a measure to ensure that interconnection indebtedness is not detrimental
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to the effective administration of viable telecommunication businesses,’’ the EVC said. Yetunde Akinloye, assistant director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, said that the new guidelines would promote public confidence and ensure stability, transparency, competition, innovation and growth in the telecoms industry. However, 2012 also witnessed increase in the number of active telephone lines. According to the latest subscriber data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, as at November, the number of active telephone lines in use in Nigeria has hit 109.4 million. The data showed that active telephone subscriptions increased from 107.3 million active lines in September to reach 109.4 million at the end of October. This means the telecoms operators added over 2.1 million new telephone lines on their networks in October. Analysis of the data showed that the GSM operators were the sole contributors to the current increase in active subscriber base. According to the statistics, operators like MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat increased their combined subscriptions from 103.6 million in September to 105.9 million in October. The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators such as Visafone, Starcomms, Multi-Links and Zoom Mobile further experienced a fall in their subscriber base from 3.2 million to 3.1 million in September and October respectively. Following the trend on the CDMA networks, fixed wired and wireless network operators also recorded a decline in their meagre active subscriptions from 474,345 telephone lines to 454,644 lines during the same period. From beginning of 2012, GSM operators have continued to record rapid increase on their networks while the CDMA and fixed networks have consistently witnessed a decline month on- month. According to the NCC data, while active mo-
bile subscriptions on GSM networks increased from 91 million in January to 101.4 million at the end of August; that of the CDMA operators declined from 4.4 million to 3.3 million during the eight month period. Meanwhile, as the year finally draws its curtain, the much touted mobile number portability (MNP), expected to begin before the end of the year failed to materialise as the NCC said the implementation would now take place in 2013. Although, telecoms subscribers have expressed displeasure on the latest postponement, the Commission said the move was to ensure adequate planning was done before rolling out the service, expected to improve quality of service as well as offering wider choices for telecoms consumers. The telecoms industry regulator disclosed that the MNP service would now be launched by the first quarter of 2013, contrary to earlier plans to have it launched by December, this year. Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another. The Commission had earlier fixed June this year for MNP implementation, but shifted the date to September on the grounds that it needed time to conclude the harmonisation of subscribers’ data collected during the SIM card registration exercise and appoint an MNP operator. The commission accused the telecoms firms for contributing to the failure of Nigeria to roll out the service this month, saying it was as result of the operators’ inability to upgrade their billing infrastructure to meet the required standards for the process. “The operators are not giving the number portability scheme the priority that it deserves and I can tell you that the operators have not upgraded their billing system,” Juwah said. While insisting that it would be unfair to ascribe the failure to the Commission, Juwah added that NCC had demonstrated more commitment to the scheme’s implementation than the operators. “With the focus being accorded to the rollout of MNP in Nigeria, and the status of the deployment of required MNP infrastructure across operators, the service is scheduled to be live in Q1 2013.” Meanwhile, many stakeholders believe and hope that the coming year would be better in terms of improvement in the quality of service as the number portability comes upstream in the first quarter as being promised by the NCC. This is because it is widely believed that MNP would go a long way in boosting network quality of the operators as the MNP is seen as a regime of healthy competition tool among telecoms operators. BC
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Business Courage A17 33
Monday, December 31, 2012
Reflections with Semiu Salamii 07043280449 sms only
Goodnight 2012, welcome 2013
oday, the year 2012 completes its full cycle and ushers in a brand new year, 2013. The last 365 days has been quite remarkable in many ways, either to individual, institution, state or the nation as a whole. It is a year full of the good, the bad and the ugly. A year some would reflect upon with fond memories and one which many would wish they never pass through. Indeed, the year 2012, like those before it, is a year that meant different things to different people. From the economic perspective, 2102 would remain a watershed in the history of Nigeria. It is a year that was ushered in by government-induced upheaval that resulted from the removal of the controversial fuel subsidy that saw the price of the Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) going up by about 123 per cent from N67 per litre to N141 per litre. The massive uproar that followed across the country, particularly in Lagos, would remain indelible in the minds of many Nigerians. Flowing from the massive anti-fuel subsidy removal was the revelation of massive fraud in the management of the subsidy fund and the subsequent inauguration of probe panel. Indeed, there were many lessons that came with the fuel subsidy protests. One, it deeply exposed the need for the government to take a more practical look at the downstream sector of the oil and gas sector and ad-
dress the issue of endemic corruption and systemic failure that has characterised the operations of this very critical sector of the economy. At the end of the day, several fact finding panels were set up with the hope of addressing the malaise. However, after several months, the panels submitted their reports, which expectedly unearthed heart rending revelation of colossal sleaze running into trillions of naira. Quite unfortunate, however, the year has ended without the resolution of the core issue. Though little sanity appears to have been put in the management of the subsidy issue, the system has not been completely purged of the cankerworm. Another significant issue that attracted so much attention in 2012 was the issue of power and the various efforts by the government to address generation and distribution. It’s good to note however, that after initial hiccups, government was able to sail through with the unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), privatisation of power generation companies and the signing of management contract between the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Manitoba Hydro, a Canadian firm that won the bid to run the company. However, the power sector claimed two major casualties. First was Professor Barth Nnaji, former Power Minister, reputed to be the major brain behind the
current efforts to reform the power sector. The second victim was Bolanle Onagoruwa, the out-of-favour former director general, Bureau of Public Enterprises who finally lost her job to the controversy that trailed the failed attempt to strip Manitoba of the TCN management contract. The agricultural sector was visited with a devastating flood that almost derailed the wonderful transformation agenda being pursued by the minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina. The flash floods which ravaged 12 states across the country washed away several cultivated farmlands and livestock and put the country on the throes of a possible food crisis. In the financial services sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2012, continued its firm grip on the deposit money banks with policy measures and guidelines that have so far ensured that some measure of sanity returns to the sector. However, as it has almost become characteristic of the apex bank under the current leadership, several policy somersaults almost put the efforts to return the banking sector to the path of honour and dignity into jeopardy. In the capital market, both the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pushed ahead with efforts to return investors’ confidence back to the market. Though SEC has serious leadership cri-
sis, the situation was carefully managed such that it had little or no impact on the operations of the stock market. 2012 also saw the Federal Government offering a N23 billion forbearance package for stockbrokers that were affected by the margin lending. As the year 2012 finally draws to a close today, expectations for 2013 are already high. Nigerians eagerly look forward to the incoming year with great hope; a hope that the promised transformation of the economy, which the government failed to accomplish would ultimately be realised. In 2013, Nigerians expect an inclusive economic growth; an economy, whose growth will reflect in the lives of the people; an economy that would drastically cut down the level of poverty in the land; an economy that would open countless opportunities for Nigerians and an economy that all will be proud of. Nigerians look forward to an economy that would witness genuine efforts to address corruption, power generation and distribution; an economy that would see the resuscitation of the ailing industries; an economy that would see a genuine diversification of the country’s revenue earnings and an economy that would ensure that Nigerians no longer buy petroleum products at cut-throat prices. These and more are what Nigerians look up to in 2013. BC
indicated that forty (40) equities gained while thirty five (35) equities recorded price decline and prices of one hundred and twenty (120) equities remained constant. When compared with the previous week, forty four (44) equities gained while twenty-five (25) equities recorded price decline and prices of one hundred and twenty-nine (129) equities remained constant.
The Stock Market last week
igerian Stocks on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) witnessed renewed bargain hunting despite bearish start last week. There were also improved optimisms in the market as investors increased commitment towards weathered value stocks, particularly the blue chips in the medium capitalization category. Quoted equities experienced continued sell pressure on Monday, extending loss by -0.20 per cent to open the week on negative note as profit taking persists. However, market regained its breadth on Thursday after Christmas break, recording impressive gain to erase six days loss with +1.43 per cent gain, aided by patronage towards big capitalization stocks. A turnover of 1.293 billion shares worth N13.725 billion in 20,499 deals was recorded last week in contrast to a total of 1.929 billion shares valued at N14.640 billion that exchanged hands in the previous week in 22,650 deals. The Financial Services sector (measured by turnover volume) accounted for 952.745 million shares valued at N7.857 billion traded in 11,975 deals. Consumer Goods sector (measured by turnover vol-
ume) followed in the activity chart with for 81.616 million shares valued at N4.377 billion traded in 4,295 deals. The Industrial Goods sector (measured by turnover volume) was third with 72.867 million shares valued at N265.817 million traded in 1,057 deals. The top three sectors accounted for 1.107 billion shares valued at N12.499 billion traded in 17,327 deals, thus accounting for 85.63per cent, 91.07 per cent and 84.53 per cent, of the volume, value and number of deals respectively. Similarly, the Banking subsector of the Financial Services sector was the most active during the week (measured by turnover volume); with 695.408 million shares worth N6.525 billion traded in 8,731 deals. Volume in the Banking subsector was largely driven by activity in the shares of Zenith Bank Plc, UBA Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Trading in the shares of the three banks accounted for 343.272 million shares, representing 49.36 per cent, 36.03 per cent and 2.50 per cent of the turnover recorded by the subsector, sector and total turnover for the week, respectively. Also traded during the week were 638 units of NewGold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) valued at N1.636 million exchanged hands
in four deals in contrast to a total of 880 units valued at N2.300 million transacted the previous week in six deals. There were no transactions through the stock market in the FGN Bonds, State/Local Government Bonds and Corporate Bonds/Debentures sectors.
TOP 10 PRICE GAINERS
TOP 10 PRICE LOSERS
TOP 10 TRADED SECTOR
Price Movement The NSE All-Share Index dropped by 1.02 per cent (+32.18 per cent YTD) to close at 27,402.06. Also, Market Capitalization of the listed equities depreciated by 1.03 per cent (+34.02 YTD) to close at N8.755 trillion. Likewise, the Bloomberg NSE 30, Bloomberg NSE Consumer Goods, Bloomberg NSE Insurance, Bloomberg NSE Oil/Gas and NSE Lotus II Indices depreciated by 1.40 per cent (+41.38 per cent YTD), 5.83 per cent (+40.11per cent YTD), 0.73 per cent (-20.05 per cent YTD), 2.91 per cent (-30.39 per cent YTD) and 0.39 per cent(41.93 per cent YTD) respectively. However, the Bloomberg NSE Banking index appreciated by 3.29 per cent (+20.70per cent YTD).
Delistings: ABPLAST Product Plc, UDEOFSON Garment Factory Nigeria Plc and HALLMARK Paper Products Plc were delisted on 20th December 2012 from the Daily official List failing to comply with the postlisting requirement of The Exchange. BC
Summary of price change A review of the equity price movements
TOP 10 TRADED COMPANIES BY VOLUMES
Monday, December 31, 2012
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Behind d Wheels This page is open to sponsorship
Land Rover LR2 L
and Rover has given the 2013 LR2 a complete revision, to deliver even higher levels of comfort, convenience and driving enjoyment. New colours, new exterior design features, upgraded interior equipment levels, and a new more powerful and more efficient engine. New Powertrain A new lightweight turbocharged, direct injected 2-liter four-cylinder engine now powers the 2013 LR2. This engine delivers 240 hp at 5500 rpm and 250 ft-lbs of torque at 3200 rpm, providing a broader power band strong low-speed response. This represents an increase of 10 hp and 16 lb-ft respectively over the outgoing 3.2- litre naturally aspirated inline six. Not only does this lightweight engine produce more horsepower and torque than the outgoing six cylinder, it is also more economical. The all-aluminium 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is also 88 lbs lighter than the 3.2-liter naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder engine it replaces. This new engine first appeared in the 2012 Range Rover Evoque and features advanced technologies such as high pressure direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. A high efficiency turbocharger delivers rapid response, and a fabricated steel exhaust manifold promotes quicker catalytic converter light-off. Piston rings and tappets have been coated to reduce friction and twin balance shafts ensure smooth operation. All LR2’s are equipped with Land Rover’s Intelligent Power System Management (IPSM) which features Smart Regener-
ative Charging. This feature ensures that where possible, the alternator only charges the battery when the vehicle is decelerating, recovering kinetic energy from deceleration, rather than consuming energy during engine operation Upgraded Interior and Electronics Interior equipment levels dramatically increase with a host of new features including three new colours. Every trim level of the LR2 comes with grained leather covered electric seats as standard. Standard dual sunroofs increase the bright and airy feel of LR2’s cabin and the front section opens and slides back over the second-row glass roof panel. The cabin is a brand new centre console with a 7-inch colour touch-screen through which an enhanced audio system from Meridian® and the optional satellite navigation system can be controlled. The original Terrain Response® dial has been replaced by buttons for 2013. A new instrument cluster with a 5-inch screen displaying primary vehicle-related information, such as temperature and fuel levels, gear positions and Terrain Response® mode, now sits between the dials across the LR2 model range, complemented with steering wheel toggle switches to operate the clearest of drop down menus and vehicle set-up details. The HSE is equipped with
a rear view camera with hitch assist. Cabin space and safety are improved with the introduction of an intelligent electric parking brake which adjusts brake force according to the slope the vehicle is parked on. Despite being operated by a single switch, the electric parking brake may still be used as an emergency brake, automatically selecting the most stable braking method by employing skid prevention techniques. An additional safety feature prevents the brake from being released unless the drivers’ seat is occupied. Another new feature for LR2 is rear view camera capability. The view from the back of the vehicle is displayed on the Infotainment screen with dynamic lines representing the boundaries of the vehicle and your predicted path as you reverse. The system also incorporates ‘Hitch Assist,’ a graphic superimposed on the camera showing the position of the tow ball. Driving Dynamics Land Rovers’ engineers’ objectives for the driving dynamics of LR2 were to combine onroad behaviour that is agile and refined, with legendary Land Rover off-road ability. Their approach started with the design of the suspension system, and was supplemented by leading edge technologies such as an intelligent permanent all-wheel drive system, Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response® sys-
tem, and sophisticated traction and stability control systems. A key contributor to achieving excellent on-road performance is a fully independent suspension system with four corner coil-sprung struts. Front and rear anti-roll bars provide high levels of body roll control. The responsive rack-and-pinion steering is direct and fluid, with just 2.6 turns lock-to-lock. Rigidly mounted to the front subframe to improve lateral stiffness, the steering column is adjustable for reach and rake. Off-road it is, simply put, a Land Rover. Its capability starts with 8.26 inch (210 mm) minimum of ground clearance that can overcome rocky, sandy, rutted or muddy terrain. This also helps LR2 to wade through water up to 19.7 inch (500 mm) deep. The LR2 is rated to tow a 3500 lb (1585 kg) braked trailer. Terrain Response and Offroad Driving system The Terrain Response sys-
tem is one of the core Land Rover technologies that gives the LR2 its outstanding range of capabilities. It adapts the responses of the vehicle’s engine, gearbox, centre coupling and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain. It optimizes drivability and comfort, as well as maximizing traction. Terrain Reponses is a fully integrated system which helps in engine management; transmission control; electronic traction control and anti-lock brakes. These slip and braking control systems are all adjusted and tuned by Terrain Response to offer optimum grip, braking power and safety on the chosen terrain It also manages the dynamic stability control designed to stop torque to a wheel after loss of traction, but in some off-road situations torque feed is still desirable, even when traction is being lost. The Terrain Response also changes the setting of the electronic centre coupling, to optimize all-wheel drive in tough conditions. When Terrain Response special programmes are engaged, different transmission shift mappings are applicable, depending on the mode chosen. The Transmission Control Module also manages torque converter lock-up, which has different requirements depending on the selected Terrain Response mode. The LR2 has large vented disc brakes, front and rear,
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Business Courage A19 35
Monday, December 31, 2012
Behind d Wheels This page is open to sponsorship have a light gloss silver finish whilst the grille surround is finished in gloss black. There are 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels as standard and two 19-inch wheel options. Body Structure Ultra-high-strength steel is used extensively in the LR2’s door beams and for various strengthening reinforcements. DP600 dual-phase steel – which requires special pressing because of its strength – is used for the A-posts, lower sills, can trails, front side members and dash to help provide a weightefficient passenger cell. Many of the bolt-on components fitted during final assembly also help improve structural integrity. A fully integrated front-end structure not only carries the cooling pack and front bumpers, but also substantially boosts the overall body stiffness. Even the hoodlocking platform has been designed to help boost structural integrity, ensuring good load transfer from one front crash rail to the other.
providing substantial stopping power. The large 12.5 in. (316 mm) front discs are ‘reverse vented,’ so they draw cool air into the disc over the central bell, which is then vented out from the rim of the disc. This approach improves thermal stability under severe braking. Rear brake discs are also substantial – 12-inch (302 mm) in diameter, and include a new Electric Parking Brake. In addition to the latest-generation four-channel anti-lock brakes, the modulator also controls Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), which balances the distribution of braking force between front and rear, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), which boosts pedal pressure when full braking is required, and Corner Brake Control (CBC), which enhances rear-end stability when braking in corners. It also helps to control the Hill Descent Control, Electronic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control systems. The electronic modulator at the heart of the stability control systems on LR2 constantly monitors and, if necessary, adjusts both braking and engine traction to assist in maintaining control of each wheel. As well as reducing brake pressure, as in a conventional anti-lock (ABS) braking system, the modulator is designed to help generate positive hydraulic pressure to increase braking force in an emergency. Design The narrow front A-posts
help achieve excellent all-round visibility. The hood castellation helps the driver place the vehicle more accurately on the road or off the beaten track. The wheel stance and wide track help deliver agile handling and sure footed grip. The short front and rear overhangs and high underbody are essential for its’ off-road performance by maximizing approach and departure angles. The body-side protection guards against stone chips and helps keep the sills clean. Exteriors are offered with a selection of new body colours, as well as more new lighting, both front and rear, utilizing the latest in LED technology and sporting more contemporary design details for an integrated appearance. The three new colours that have been added to the LR2 range for 2013 are Aintree Green, Havana and Mauritius Blue. Exteriors gain a number of new integrated design features resulting in a coordinated and premium appearance. With the latest in Xenon and LED technology, the front and rear lamps have been revamped giving the LR2 a new look, set off with a new signature design graphic in the front running lights. The grille and fog lamp bezels now sport a bright finish and there are paint detailing changes to the front grille surround, insert bars and fender vent to harmonize the different elements. Externally, the LR2 HSE grill insert bars, fender vent and rear finisher strip
Safety The LR2’s long list of primary safety features – including its responsive handling, large four-wheel disc brakes and permanent all-wheel drive system – helps the driver avoid hazards. Another key to safety is maintaining excellent visibility under all conditions. The high ‘command view’ seating position provides visibility over traffic and a clear view of the road. The generous areas of glass on LR2 offer excellent all-around views. Large door mirrors offer a wide field of view. An electrically heated front windshield and heated washer jets are available to maintain visibility in low temperature conditions. Rainsensing wipers and automatic headlights, both of which work via infra-red sensor technology, are standard on all models. Secondary safety starts with the strong unibody and its passenger cell. Front and rear crumple zones are designed to help absorb as much energy as possible during an impact. Side-impact protection is further assisted by the ultra-highstrength steel door beams, the strong and deep door sills and the raised seat position. All LR2 models feature seven airbags as standard equipment. The driver and passenger front airbags are designed to help provide head and chest protection and the front seat side airbags protect against side impacts. Full-length curtain airbags in the roof side structure are designed to help reduce the potential of head injury and rollover ejection for front and rear occupants. BC
Autocare Essential tools for D.I.Y car maintenance
t could happen to you. One night you find yourself on the side of the road miles from civilization with a flat tire. Your cell phone battery is dead so you have no way to call a friend for assistance. While you may have the knowledge to change that flat tire, you won’t get far if you don’t have a tire jack in the trunk even if the spare tire is inflated. To avoid this scenario from happening to you, you need to make sure you have all the tools necessary to replace the tire and get back on the road. If you’re like the average citizen, you have no interest in doing your own repairs or maintenance. But if you are one of the few that likes to get grease under the fingernails and oil on your clothes, then you need some basic tools to help you avoid any sudden emergency from becoming a nightmare. Car maintenance starts with the right tools. Along with a little knowledge, you can keep your car in working order even if your car happens to be decades old.
Car Manuals The one that comes with your car outlines general maintenance. It tells you how to replace burned out head and brake lights or where to find the oil pan, but for professional maintenance, you need the kind of manual specific for your model car. Tire Jack and Stands Every car should be outfitted with one of both. They keep the car up so you can seal a leaking gas line before getting the car to the garage of proper repair. Flashlight You can’t find a problem in the middle of the night without light. Even if you can’t repair the problem, at least you know where it lies under the hood. Flares Hazard lights should be in working order to signal passersby that you have a problem. But if your car is stuck in the middle of the road and you can’t move it, flares can signal passing motorists of the imminent danger of a collision with your vehicle. Sockets and Wrench Set These help with the grunge works. Fingers can’t do the job of unscrewing a non functioning spark plug. Screwdrivers and vise grips help readjust timers and loose screws. Oil and Grease If the engine oil light comes on, your engine oil likely needs to be topped up or replaced if you haven’t changed the oil for awhile. Getting under the car to drain the oil pan and replace the filter is a regular job for many car mechanics as most people simply don’t want the bother of doing an oil change themselves, much less dispose of dirty oil. Air Pumps Sometimes you can’t get to a service station when you discover your tires are running low on air pressure. A manual pump can work in a pinch though you should get one that can work from your car’s battery power. Gloves and Safety Goggles Running parts can squeeze hands and snag loose clothing or spit hot oil and steam into unprotected eyes. Gloves and safety glasses are a must for working under the hood of you or your neighbour’s car. If you’re the average car owner, you’re not likely to have every one of these tools available. But a little knowledge of car maintenance can save you thousands of naira over paying some professional mechanic to do the simplest jobs for you. BC
FAN signs aluminium coil supply agreement, set to reduce workforce Stories By Tayo Adeleke
irst Aluminium Nigeria Plc has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and investing public that it has signed an exclusive supply agreement with a world-class producer of aluminium coil for the supply of unpainted coil to FAN. FAN will now focus on the painting and coating of these coils, using its current facility in Port Harcourt. The painting process that has been used by FAN has always ensured that the roofing sheet stays colour-fast for many years, without fading. This agreement, according to FAN, ensures that all materials supplied to FAN will be produced with the same strict tolerances and quality specifications of existing FAN supplied coils. People purchasing roofing sheets with the FAN logo, also in the future, can do so with the full confidence that they own a product of the highest quality, with the correct gauge and with the best paint quality available in the market. As a consequence of this agreement, FAN will streamline its manufacturing operations in Port Harcourt and utilize an outsourcing strategy to reduce operating cost in order to return to profitability as rapidly as possible. This will initially lead to a reduction in the workforce in the Port Harcourt site, but this may be needed to give way to future growth. “It is FAN’s intention to resume local rolling of aluminum sheets as soon as market conditions allow this to take place” the statement read. It would be recalled that the company has, for a long time, been under intense pressure from both its customers and shareholders to compete more effectively with the flood
Elfrink, MD, First Aluminium Nigeria Plc
of cheap, often substandard, imported coils. FAN’s market share had grown rapidly the previous years. FAN believes that, by reducing its cost of operations and because of the increased brand awareness by customers, it will grow even faster, surpassing suppliers of lower quality products. FAN fully supports and encourages the on-going Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) initiatives in the stopping of the supply of under-gauged and poor quality materials for use in the production of roofing sheets. Apart from supplying Aluminum Sheets FAN also manufactures aluminum and plastic tubing for use in the packaging of healthcare, beauty and industrial products. The supply agreement does not affect the operations of the packaging division. BC
of our overall strategy to increase our exposure to the Upstream Sector whilst reducing the dependence on the downstream. In 2010, we raised N21.1 billion through a Rights Issue, it was a highly successfully event, as it closed 28 per cent oversubscribed and we look forward to a similar outcome in this exercise. We count on the consistent support of our shareholders to seize the opportunity to take up their rights and benefit from the higher margin value creation the Upstream offers.” BC
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
2012 in retrospect
Oando flags off N52.6bn Rights Issue
ando Plc last Friday flagged off its N52.6 billion Rights issue. It will be recalled the company received regulatory approval for its Rights Issue from the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 12, 2012 and held its Completion Board Meeting on December 19, 2012. Oando plans to raise N54, 578,835,312 through the issuance of 4,548,236,276 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo at N12.00 per share. The Rights Issue will close on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. Vetiva Capital Management Limited is the Lead Issuing House, with FBN Capital Limited and FCMB Capital Markets Limited acting as Joint Issuing Houses. According to the offer prospectus, the proceeds from the rights issue will be used for the repayment of N60 billion syndicated loan used to fund the acquisition of upstream assets and swamp drilling rigs, financing of acquisition of upstream and midstream assets by Oando’s upstream subsidiary, Oando Energy Resources (OER) and investment in working capital to support increased level of business. Commenting on the offer, Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC said that “Now that we have obtained the necessary regulatory approvals for our capital raise, we are at the final stages in the execution
Monday, December 31, 2012
s the year runs to an end, what one realises is that in spite of all the rather rough beginning triggered by President Goodluck Jonathan’s illadvised removal of the fuel subsidy, it has turned out not to be a bad year for the economy, even if it is obvious that things could have been better. For one, the high inflationary trend expected to trail the partial removal of subsidy and increases in tariff on wheat and rise has not materialised with inflation peaking at 12.9 per cent in April driven by high food prices. Nonetheless, other metrics witnessed declines with GDP standing at 6.48 per cent compared with the 7.2 per cent 2012 budget forecast on the back of subsidy protest, insecurity, flooding in 12 states and slow down in the non-oil sector such as agriculture, telecommunications and manufacturing. Interest rates also dropped with overnight rates, Treasury bill rates and bond yield dropping by up to 20 per cent in cases as the Central Bank of Nigeria maintained its monetary tightening stance throughout the year holding the benchmark Monetary Policy rate at 12 per cent. However credit to the private sector grew by 17 per cent to N15.13trn as at October compared with the full year 2011 figure of N12.93trn while real interest rates remained in positive territory at an average of 0.8 per cent. Indeed the CBN seemed to be the star performer among the government agencies at it had been able to achieve a slight appreciation of 0.82 per cent in the naira exchange rate from N157 to N155 per dollar through various exchange rate management measures and a significant increase of 29.4 per cent in external reserves to $44.5bn at the end of the year compared with $34.4bn at the beginning of the year. This was aided however by strong oil prices with hovered at slightly above the $100 mark for the whole year as well as the maintenance of an average daily production of two million barrels per day amid disruptions due to pipeline vandalism and oil theft by criminal gangs. The apex bank also released some shocking directives especially one banning some 144 companies and individuals that owed banks huge unpaid debts from effectively accessing more loans from the system. This triggered an unprecedented N170bn pay down of debt owed by business mogul, Femi Otedola and other significant recoveries during the year. The banking sector continued to record significant improvements in balance sheet size and quality but underlying risks of fresh non-performing loans lingered during the year. The huge N2.7trn loss announced by the Asset Management Corporation recently give rise to indications that banks will have to contribute more to a sinking fund created to stabilise the system and cover part of the cost of the bailout.
The power sector witness some improvement with electricity generation peaking at 4,500mw in December compared with 3,262 in the first half of the year. The power sector reforms also moved a step further with the conclusion of the sales of five generation companies and nine of the 11 distribution companies slated for privatisation but this was not without fierce opposition from labour unions which had insisted on settlement of entitlements. Government was able to reach a compromise settlement in the end. Electricity consumers however had to pay more as tariff adjustments to reflect commercial rates under the reforms template took effect in the middle of the year. The dark moments were marked in the aviation industry with five major accidents occurring during the year claiming about 200 lives. The industry also witnessed severe declines in seat capacity due to the suspension of operations by Air Nigeria, Dana Air, First Nation and others due to various issues. The removal of import tariff on aircraft and spares appears to have had little effect on the fortunes of airlines as they continued to operate on knifes edge with many incurring huge unpaid operational debts. The biggest gains of the year seem to be from the stock market with the Nigeria Stock Exchange All Share Index closing the year at 34 per cent above the opening point. With dividend added the year to date return was 40 per cent making Nigeria one of the best performing frontier markets trailing behind only Turkey and The Philippines this year. Analysts have however express worry about the dominance of the market by foreign investors which hold 70 per cent of the total equity value as expectation for the inflow of more pension fund into the market failed to happed due to the absence of additional guidelines from regulators. Regardless, the strong recovery gives no comfort about sustainability giving rise to calls for fiscal interventions for a sustained recovery as the market is still about 50 per short of the 2008 peak. Appreciable recovery was also seen in the housing market with a 15 per cent recovery seen this year even though this was not in prime areas where property values remained weak and rental rates moved closer to reality. The telecoms market witness edrobust growth even if slower that previous years as active lines hit the 105 million mark though operations and revenues have been hit by fierce competition and attack son installations especially in the North. In all, 2012 was not a disaster as some had feared but the consensus appears to be that faster and sustainable growth can only be achieved with the improvement in power generation which according to some analysts can help Nigeria unlock the 20 per cent plus GDP growth potential. BC
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, December 31, 2012
Mainstreet, Keystone, Enterprise banks post N21.82 bn losses
eystone Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Enterprise Bank, the three banks owned 100 per cent by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) made a cumulative loss of N21.82 billion in 2011. AMCON took over the banks from the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked their licences when they were unable to meet the recapitalisation deadline set by the apex bank in September 2011. Mainstreet Bank accounted for the highest loss after tax of N12.85 billion, while Keystone Bank made a loss of N7.33 billion. Enterprise Bank made the least loss of N1.65 billion, figures from the 2011 AMCON report show. All three banks however now have a positive capital position. Mainstreet Bank has the highest capital of N41.62 billion, Keystone bank N27.65 billion and Enterprise Bank N28.15 billion. The assets position of the banks also shows that Keystone Bank has the highest total assets of N367 billion, Mainstreet Bank with total assets of N349 billion and Enterprise Bank with total assets of N215 billion. The figures also show that the three banks all closed 2011 with positive cash flow. AMCON had invested a total of N861 billion to recapitalise the three banks in 2011, figures from the AMCON annual report show. The figures show that AMCON recapitalised Mainstreet Bank with N426 billion, Keystone Bank with N301 billion and Enterprise Bank with N135 billion. The AMCON 2011 annual report also shows that it had
two other subsidiaries besides the three banks. The other banking subsidiary was Union Bank Plc where it had invested N383 billion to acquire 58.97 percent of the bank. AMCON states that it has since sold down its stakes in the bank. AMCON had also gone ahead to acquire 95% stake in Ascot Offshore Nigeria Limited for N17.5 billion by taking over the company’s loan book and converting it to equity. AMCON puts the value of its total investments in the five subsidiaries at N1.26 trillion, as at the end of 2011. At close of the financial year however, AMCON wrote off N1.04 trillion, representing 82 percent of these investments as lost. AMCON in August this year appointed financial advisers to advise it on what to do with the three banks. The two advisers are Citibank consortium and Renaissance Capital consortium and they have been given a mandate to appraise the value of three banks before considering whether to sell them or list them on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Citibank is to appraise the value of Mainstreet Bank and advice AMCON on the sale, whilst Renaissance Capital is also responsible for valuation of Keystone Bank and Enterprise Bank. The advisers were given 90 to 180 days to complete their task. This means they are expected to submit their valuation report and advice to AMCON by February 2013 latest. AMCON had told the media in 2011 that 20 different financial institutions and private equity firms have expressed interest in acquiring the three banks. Recently, First Rand Merchant Bank, which acquired a Merchant Banking licence, said it would be interested in acquiring one of the three banks if they are put up for sale. Chike Obi, the managing director of AMCON had promised the media that any decision on the sale of the three banks would be done in a transparent and fair manner. He also assured that it would be done in such a way that AMCON would get the best returns on its investments. BC
NSE suspends trading in UBA shares By Tayo Adeleke
he Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will, effective January 2, 2013 placed the shares of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc on full trading suspension to enable the bank concludes its restructuring process. Shareholders of the bank recently approved a new commercial banking structure in compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s regulation which repealed the universal banking model under which Nigerian banks hitherto operated. The new structure would enable UBA to divest all noncommercial banking businesses of the Group which are now to be held separately from UBA Plc by the bank’s shareholders.
Phillips Oduoza, UBA GMD
Under the new arrangement, the divested non-commercial banking businesses (except Africa Prudential Registrars and
Afriland Properties that will be held directly by shareholders) will be consolidated within UBA Capital Plc. Besides UBA Plc, the restructuring will therefore result in the emergence of four separate stand-alone companies namely: UBA Plc; UBA Capital Plc; African Prudential Registrars Plc; and African Properties Plc. In order to conclude the restructuring process and issue/deliver certificates to all shareholders, UBA Plc has requested, and the NSE has granted that its shares be placed on full suspension from next Wednesday to Friday, January 2 to 4 2013. Normal trading in the shares of the bank will resume on Monday, January 7, 2013. BC
Market Indicators for Week Ended 28-12-12 All-Share Index 27,866.51 points Market Capitalisation N8,906,594,721,580.02 Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
CLOSING PRICE 272.12
LOSERS PORTPAINT PRESCO
Inter-Bank Rates TENOR
10.2500 – 10.7500
10.2500 – 11.0000
10.1500 – 11.7500
10.2500 – 11.7000
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operation TENOR 115-Days
AMOUNT (N’mn) 70,000
RATE (%) 13.40
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
MARKET DEMAND $300m
Monday, December 31, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Sterling Bank: Performance enhanced by acquisition By Tayo Adeleke
he merger of both Sterling bank and Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB) has indeed been yielding positive results, with Sterling Bank recording significant increase in both top line and bottom line measuring indices. As at nine months results, gross earnings rose to N50.7 billion, representing 93 per cent growth, driven largely by improvement in interest income. Operating income also grew by 78 per cent, while profit before and after tax rose by 58 per cent and 64 per cent respectively. Overall, the bank achieved double digit growth in major financial indices. Sterling Bank Plc, a deposit money bank commenced operations as NAL Bank in 1960. Today, with over N560 billion in assets and almost 200 branches nationwide, the bank has grown into a major financial institution. The bank prides itself as the ‘One Customer Bank’ that celebrates each customer a unique individual. What’s new? The bank has successfully divested its interests in non-core subsidiaries such as Sterling Asset Management and Trustees Ltd, Sterling Capital, Sterling Registrars and SBG Insurance Brokers. This was in compliance with the new national commercial banking license obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria. Erstwhile subsidiaries have been sold to seasoned operators capable of assuring viable careers for the employees. Also, Sterling Bank has entered into the next phase of its growth with the completion of a business combination with the former Equatorial Trust Sterling Bank Financial Data
Bank (ETB). The transaction effectively catapulted Sterling Bank to over N500 billion in assets and 186 branches, thus enabling it offer its customers a wider range of products, services and solutions. Q3 Performance Financial analysis carried out on the unaudited nine months results of Sterling Bank Plc shows a sterling performance over the period. With the successful integration of ETB, the bank has seen significant growth in its operating business. In the first nine months of the year, gross earnings rose to N50.7 billion, representing 93 per cent growth from N26.3 billion in third quarters 2011. Net interest rose from N9.9 billion in 2011 to N18.2 billion in 2012 while non interest income had 49 per cent increase to close at N11.2 billion in 2012. Operating income also grew by 78 per cent, while profit before and after tax rose by 58 per cent and 64 per cent respectively. Profit before tax moved from N3.0 billion to N4.8 billion in 2012. Further analysis revealed that net interest margin in the first nine months stood at 6.0 per cent compare with 4.8 per cent achieved the previous year. Nonperforming loan (bad debt) ratio stood at 2.4 per cent, down from 4.8 per cent in 2011. Liquidity ratio as at nine months stood at 61 per cent against regulatory standard of 30 per cent. Financial Health Analysis of the last audited results shows that revenues increased significantly in the year ended December 2011 by 49 per cent to N45.2 billion. In the last five years, gross Q3-2012 =N=(‘Nm)
Total Interest income
Net Interest Income
Loan loss Provision(net)
Fees and Commissions
Total Non Interest Income
Admin/ Operating Expenses
Profit after tax
Liabilities Equity Stock
Gross loan & Advances(N’000)
After Tax Profit Margin
Return on total Assets
Return on Equity
Net Interest margin
Interest income/loan advances
Interest paid/Total deposits
Operating Expenses/Gross Revenue
Non-interest Income/Gross Revenue
income has risen at a compound annual growth rate of 21 per cent. Gross earnings were majorly driven by 110 per cent growth in non-interest income. Operating income also increased by 32 per cent to N27.0 billion with net interest margin (NIM) contributing 54 per cent, while non-interest income contributed 46 per cent. Fees and commission accounted for 52 per cent of non-interest income, while other income accounted for 42 per cent. Other income included N2.3 billion recoveries of loans previously written-off. Interest income moved by 23 per cent to N30.2 billion at the end of financial year ended December 2011. This was driven by 71 per cent growth in interest income generated from investment securities. Operating costs rose by 35 per cent from N15.2 billion in 2010 to N20.4 billion in 2011. According to the bank’s management, the increase arose from merger related expenses during the period. Staff cost
increased by 49 per cent to N6.5 billion and accounted for 32 per cent of operating costs in 2011. The increase in staff cost was due to an increase in workforce arising from the business combination with ETB. However, management is optimistic that relative efficiency will significantly improve as the bank is ready to tap both cost and revenue benefits arising from economies of scale and operational synergies from the business combination with ETB. Capital Adequacy The bank recorded improvement in liquidity and capital adequacy ratios. Liquidity ratio was 64 per cent (regulatory benchmark, 30 per cent), while capital adequacy ratio was 17 per cent (regulatory benchmark, 10 per cent). Capital adequacy was boosted by revenue accretion and the completion of the business combination with ETB. Loan to deposit ratio declined from 64 per cent in 2010 to 42 per cent
in 2011. The bank achieved 20 per cent return on average equity (ROAE). This highly competitive ROAE level recorded in 2011 despite 25 per cent increase in outstanding shares was driven by profit attributable to shareholders, which rose by 60 per cent to N6.7 billion. Liquidity In 2011, total assets increased by 94 per cent to N504.4 billion from N259.6 billion in 2010, spurred by slightly improved operating conditions and the business combination with ETB. The growth drivers were loans and advances and investment securities, which increased by 61 per cent and 102 per cent respectively. Risk assets accounted for 32 per cent of total assets, while earning assets accounted for 86 per cent (87 per cent in 2010). Given an improved capital position, there is a huge opportunity for the bank to increase quality risk assets creation with a view to enhancing its earnings. Deposits funded 81 per cent of total assets in 2011 (2010: 77 per cent), while borrowings and shareholders’ equity funded 5.0 per cent and 8.0 per cent respectively. Given the high contribution of deposits, the bank was able to keep funding costs within limits. Borrowings included facilities from Citi Bank International and Bank of Industry under the CBN N200 billion intervention fund for refinancing/ restructuring of banks’ existing loan portfolios to Nigerian SME/ Manufacturing Sector. Loans and advances (including advances under finance lease) rose by 60 per cent to N163.5 billion from N101.9 billion previous years. Growth was driven by increased exposure to major growth sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, agriculture and government. However, loans and advances grew organically by 30 per cent, while growth arising from business combination was 30 per cent. Gross loans also rose by 53 per cent to N170.7 billion from N111.6 billion in 2010. Future The prospects for the enlarged Sterling Bank are looking bright. According to the Managing Director, Yemi Adeola, the bank went on strategic planning exercise early this year on ways of turning its potential to reality. Leading on the list was the need to reshape its competitiveness, and finetune new business models across the enterprise. Sterling Bank is pursuing a two-pronged strategy that is hinged on incremental gains in businessas-usual banking, and the expansion of innovative market relevant offerings. However, Adeola believes that there is still so much management can do to capture synergies across the bank. “ In the last quarter of the year (Q4 2012), we will consolidate on the progress made thus far and sustain our drive towards building our retail deposits with a view to achieving our corporate goals for yearend’’ he concluded. BC
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business Courage A23 39
Monday, December 31, 2012
STOCKWATCH Stock Exchange weekly equities summary as at Friday, Dec 28, 2012 SECURITY
AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Crop Production FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC 0.50 OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. 41.89 PRESCO PLC 16.40 Fishing/Hunting/Trapping ELLAH LAKES PLC. NT Livestock/Animal Specialties LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. 1.43 CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. CHELLARAMS PLC. NT JOHN HOLT PLC. 3.40 S C O A NIG. PLC. NT U A C N PLC. 42.00 CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Building Construction ARBICO PLC. NT CAPPA & D’ALBERTO PLC. NT Building Structure/Completion/Other COSTAIN (W A) PLC. NT G CAPPA PLC NT Non--Building/Heavy Construction JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. 33.00 ROADS NIG PLC. 10.07 Real Estate Development PINNACLE POINT GROUP PLC NT UACN PROPERTY DEV 11.80 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC NT UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INV NT CONSUMER GOODS Automobiles/Auto Parts DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC 0.50 Beverages--Brewers/Distillers CHAMPION BREW. PLC. NT GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. NT GUINNESS NIG PLC 272.12 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. 15.99 JOS INT. BREWERIES PLC. NT NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. 145.00 PREMIER BREWERIES PLC NT Beverages--Non-Alcoholic 7-UP BOTTLING COMP. PLC. 42.00 Food Products BIG TREAT PLC NT DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 8.20 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 5.98 FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. 65.00 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 2.10 MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC NT N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. NT NATIONAL SALT CO. NIG. PLC 8.10 P S MANDRIDES & CO PLC. NT U T C NIG. PLC. 0.72 UNION DICON SALT PLC. NT Food Products--Diversified CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. 29.00 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 700.00 Household Durables BETA GLASS CO PLC. NT NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. NT VITAFOAM NIG PLC. 3.78 VONO PRODUCTS PLC. NT Personal/Household Products P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. 28.00 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. 46.50 Textiles/Apparel UNITED NIG. TEXTILES PLC. NT FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ACCESS BANK PLC. 9.05 DIAMOND BANK PLC 4.95 ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INC. 11.00 FIDELITY BANK PLC 2.26 FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC. 3.45 GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. 23.00 SKYE BANK PLC 4.28 STERLING BANK PLC. 1.68 U B A PLC 4.41 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 7.35 UNITY BANK PLC 0.50 WEMA BANK PLC. NT ZENITH BANK PLC 18.63 Insurance Carriers, Brokers & Services AFRICAN ALLIANCE INS. COY. PLC NT AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 0.61 CONFIDENCE INSURANCE PLC NT CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INS. PLC NT CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 0.78 CORNERSTONE INS. COY. PLC. NT CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INS. PLC 1.33 EQUITY ASSURANCE PLC. NT GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC NT GREAT NIGERIAN INSURANCE PLC NT GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. NT INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INS. PLC 0.58 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INS. PLC NT INVESTMENT AND ALLIED ARN. NT LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. NT LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. NT LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC NT MANSARD INSURANCE PLC 1.83 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. NT N.E.M INSURANCE CO (NIG) PLC. 0.55 NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. NT OASIS INSURANCE PLC NT PRESTIGE ASSURANCE CO. PLC. 0.51 REGENCY ALLIANCE INS. COY PLC NT SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC NT STACO INSURANCE PLC NT STANDARD ALLIANCE INS. PLC. NT UNIC INSURANCE PLC. 0.50 UNITY KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC NT UNIVERSAL INS. COMPANY PLC NT Micro Finance Banks FORTIS MICROFINANCE BANK PLC NT NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 1.18 Mortgage Carriers, Brokers &Services ABBEY BUILDING SOCIETY PLC NT ASO SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC 0.50 RESORT SAVINGS & LOANS PLC 0.50 UNION HOMES SAVINGS&LOANS PLC NT Other Financial Institutions CRUSADER ( NIG) PLC. NT DEAP CAPITAL MGT & TRUST PLC NT FBN HOLDINGS PLC 15.62 NIG SEW. MACH. MAN. CO. PLC. NT NIGERIA ENERYGY SECTOR FUND NT ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC. 0.50 STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC 11.03 HEALTHCARE Healthcare Providers EKOCORP PLC. NT Medical Equipment UNION DIAGNOSTIC &CLINICAL PLC 0.50 Medical Supplies MORISON INDUSTRIES PLC. NT Pharmaceuticals EVANS MEDICAL PLC. 0.87 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 1.08 GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER PLC 45.10 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 1.48
NOTE NT=Not Traded on 28-12-12
52 WK HIGH
52 WK LOW
70 000 225 966 594 261
0.64 34.01 16.15
0.50 14.53 6.40
2 200 000 000 476 955 000 1 000 000 000
0.10 6.73 2.75
N/A 23.21 7.82
0.50 34.00 15.21
60 000 000
1 199 549 736
9 000 NT 95 000 NT 28 105
2.54 7.60 8.82 8.28 42.50
0.74 5.81 5.32 5.52 28.70
2 191 895 983 963 900 300 389 151 408 821 666 666 1 600 720 323
0.08 0.24 0.00 0.35 6.89
#VALUE! N/A N/A N/A N/A
1.29 NT 4.81 NT 42.00
148 500 000 196 876 000
920 573 765 125 000 000
46 405 2 733
1 200 000 000 20 000 000
NT 8 209 596
1 375 000 000
20 000 000 250 019 781
4 772 528 415
NT NT 286 113 527 730 NT 970 239 NT
4.63 0.68 265.00 12.83 3.20 138.85 0.97
2.23 0.68 186.00 5.23 1.61 72.50 0.93
900 000 000 272 160 000 1 474 925 519 2 112 914 681 562 000 000 7 562 562 340 126 000 000
0.00 0.03 9.46 0.25 0.00 5.08 0.00
N/A N/A 18.22 N/A N/A 3.36 N/A
NT NT 230.19 13.60 1.53 140.28 NT
640 590 362
NT 256 349 4 065 071 35 523 2 994 378 NT NT 590 130 NT 173 223 NT
0.50 19.90 16.20 95.00 6.60 2.70 43.96 6.70 5.66 0.88 4.22
0.50 4.15 3.64 52.50 1.91 1.00 20.41 3.86 5.66 0.50 4.22
2 000 000 000 5 000 000 000 12 000 000 000 1 879 210 666 7 930 197 658 3 722 493 620 178 200 000
0.00 0.00 0.91 3.79 0.51 0.00 2.50 1.07 0.08 1.13 0.00
N/A 5.81 4.00 -1.52 5.53 N/A N/A 30.65 N/A 12.50 N/A
NT 7.75 5.75 66.00 1.99 NT 18.43 6.20 NT 0.64 NT
40 000 000 1 233 375 004 360 000 000
148 542 188 000
3 129 188 160 792 656 250
NT NT 188 394 NT
15.58 42.66 6.75 3.67
10.03 34.39 3.01 2.66
63 360 000 819 000 000 300 000 001
3.90 1.61 0.54 0.00
N/A N/A 5.59 N/A
NT NT 3.58 2.88
4 038 575 103 410
3 176 381 636 3 783 296 250
843 284 027
15 672 835 3 357 209 842 521 5 204 941 30 288 023 12 804 690 1 564 954 1 650 869 16 299 769 2 979 847 1 173 000 NT 15 712 119
11.10 9.27 17.05 3.20 8.30 20.30 10.17 2.91 5.21 10.07 1.92 1.75 18.20
4.76 2.01 9.97 1.14 3.04 11.64 2.73 0.97 1.64 1.96 0.50 0.50 11.70
17 888 251 479 14 475 243 105 9 873 614 567 28 974 797 023 16 271 192 202 29 146 482 209 13 219 334 676 12 563 091 545 32 334 693 693 13 509 726 273 33 675 576 085 12 821 249 880 31 396 493 790
1.42 0.90 2.81 0.43 0.60 2.10 0.71 0.54 0.67 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.09
1.00 13.79 0.00 8.65 2.37 18.86 10.31 13.51 -2.00 0.68 0.00 #VALUE! 7.75
8.96 4.35 11.00 2.08 3.37 19.35 3.88 1.48 4.50 7.30 0.50 0.50 17.29
NT 4 536 168 NT NT 100 000 NT 879 226 NT NT NT NT 8 487 NT NT NT NT NT 55 250 NT 1 278 300 NT NT 626 547 NT NT NT NT 2 000 NT NT
0.50 1.01 0.64 0.50 1.20 0.50 3.51 0.50 0.69 0.50 0.50 0.80 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.61 0.50 1.93 0.50 0.66 1.11 0.50 2.35 0.50 0.52 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
0.50 0.50 0.61 0.50 0.61 0.50 1.31 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.95 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
20 585 000 000 7 809 391 256 211 626 000 6 000 000 000 10 372 624 157 8 820 010 363 5 100 846 808 8 847 298 420 4 549 947 000 3 827 485 380 720 000 000 5 061 804 000 6 420 427 449 28 000 000 000 7 323 313 227 3 437 330 500 4 083 713 569 10 000 000 000 7 998 705 336 5 332 830 881 5 649 693 923 5 003 506 791 2 508 315 436 6 668 750 000 5 203 757 266 6 141 087 609 8 493 173 450 2 581 733 505 13 000 000 000 16 000 000 000
0.00 0.05 0.00 0.05 0.14 0.02 0.28 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.16 0.01 0.37 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.04 0.09 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00
N/A 0.00 N/A N/A 0.00 0.00 0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.00 N/A N/A N/A 0.00 -3.17 N/A 10.00 N/A N/A 0.00 N/A 0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
NT 0.54 NT NT 0.67 0.50 1.20 0.50 NT NT 0.50 NT 0.50 NT 0.50 NT 0.50 1.89 0.50 0.50 NT 0.50 0.51 NT NT 0.50 0.50 0.50 NT NT
NT 3 750 000
NT 54 000 10 000 000 NT
1.51 0.50 0.50 0.99
1.33 0.50 0.50 0.50
4 200 000 000 8 679 148 676 13 175 732 404 7 812 500 000
0.03 0.02 0.00 0.00
N/A N/A N/A N/A
NT 0.50 NT NT
NT NT 15 203 749 NT NT 200 2 356 756
0.61 2.02 17.01 0.15 552.20 0.66 11.38
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3 778 005 975 1 333 333 333 32 632 084 358 5 880 000 2 500 000 3 608 657 661 18 750 000 000
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498 600 908
3 553 138 528
152 178 750
100 000 1 364 955 11 620 50 200
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486 473 856 1 500 000 000 956 701 192 980 000 000
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-27.50 5.88 -0.88 1.37
1.20 1.02 45.50 1.46
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52 WK HIGH
52 WK LOW
91 000 NT 1 700
1.96 12.91 4.28
0.76 8.59 3.50
1 925 717 268 153 786 012 100 000 000
0.09 0.00 0.00
3.26 N/A N/A
0.92 8.17 NT
2 960 000 000
2 941 789 472
4 966 666 668
108 000 000 492 825 600
200 000 NT
4 620 600 000 4 200 000 000
6 878 478 096
NT NT NT
2.25 3.50 0.50
0.00 2.46 0.50
4 400 000 000 4 893 594 400
0.00 0.00 0.00
N/A N/A N/A
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2.86 9.10 7.27 14.50 4.20 95.00 0.93 0.50 0.91 37.00 0.52 2.27 10.93
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NT 19 000 NT NT
2.00 2.50 0.73 2.58
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510 396 608 2 220 000 000 15 000 000
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NT 14 919 NT NT 1 357 389 NT NT
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42 640 000 6 215 000 000 240 000 000 199 066 550
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265 409 280 2 918 000
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393 120 000
75 600 000 100 000 000
4 058 989 226
50 000 000 220 000 000
6 262 701 716
2 262 711 568
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4 035 497 307
980 294 400
114 161 NT
589 496 310 198 819 763
865 808 912
3 211 627 907
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8.00 2.59 4.76 1.82
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8 000 000 000
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45 000 000
201 885 335
30 000 000
24 898 850
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Monday, December 31, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, December 31, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Law & Justice email@example.com
“The reasonable man should be a man who keeps his mind and reasoning within bounds of reason and not the extreme” RETIRED JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, JUSTICE NIKI TOBI
EFCC, ICPC deserve immediate reforms –AbdulRasheed 42 Osipitan
Jurists, lawyers’ perspectives on justice, Nigeria in 2012
Senior lawyers helped me out –Yejide AkinleyeMartins 46
Mother loses radiotherapy court battle against son 45
National Mirror Judiciary Desk conducted historic interviews with prominent lawyers during the 2012, which purveyed nuggets of judicial wisdom on diverse issues relating to administration of justice, the socio-political structure and the diverse problems facing the country. Assistant Head, Judiciary Desk, KAYODE KETEFE, highlights some of these interviews which speak to the reality of Nigerian society in the passing year from the Judiciary perspective.
he year 2012 will go down in history of the National Mirror Law and Justice Desk as not only a successful one but a memorable one as well. The Desk purveyed for its numerous readers diverse package of stimulating issues on its weekly Monday law pages, ranging from interesting cover stories which deals with contemporary issues to famous cases, items from foreign jurisdictions, bar jokes, appearance – (which features first day experience in court of established and upcoming lawyers) among others, and of course, interviews with famous lawyers. The success of the latter has already been underscored with the publication in a book form of some of these major interviews under the title “For Law , for Country: Conversations with the Bar and the Bench.” The book was launched amidst pomp and pageantry on December 20, 2012 and was widely acclaimed as a monumental contribution to the legal literature in the country. This piece attempts to capture very
briefly some of the views expressed by the prominent lawyers interviewed in the course of the year which ends today. Among those interviewed was the immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Inumidun Akande. Reacting to the question of the best way to fight corruption in the Judiciary, the respected jurist opined thus “It is not easy to have a corrupt- free judiciary because corruption in the judiciary did
IT IS NOT EASY TO HAVE A CORRUPT- FREE JUDICIARY BECAUSE CORRUPTION IN THE JUDICIARY DID
NOT START SUDDENLY.
CORRUPTION IN THE
JUDICIARY IS A NATURAL CHALLENGE
not start suddenly. Corruption in the judiciary is a natural challenge. Judges have to be God-fearing in the discharge of their work. “When it is blue they should call it blue, when it is black, they should say it is black. They should not allow external influence to affect their judgments. When I became the Chief Judge, we tackled corruption in the probate section by introducing devaluation unit in the Judiciary. Then, we have a website and we also have the closed-circuit television in most of the sections in order to monitor what each section is doing. The officer who is taking bribe, the officer who is hiding files, we were able to see all these when we played the tape. Most times, because there had not been a detailed watchfulness and monitoring, the staffers take advantage of this and so many files got missing. But, we tackled the issue of corruption.” A renowned professor of law who also doubled as Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Professor Itse Sagay, made recommendations on the restructuring of the National Judicial Council against the background of the opinion among the stakeholders that Chief Justice of Nigeria is too powerful. Sagay said “It is not only that the CJN is too powerful; he is also an active participant in the whole judicial system. He is the head of the Supreme CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
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Monday, December 31, 2012
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EFCC, ICPC deserve immediate Mr Murtala Abdul –Rasheed,(a.k.a Murray) a constitutional lawyer, is a former National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association and a current member of the Osun State Judicial Service Commission. He is regarded as one of the prime movers in the NBA, who is well-embedded in the lawyers’ politics at the national level. In a recent interview with the Assistant Head, Judiciary, KAYODE KETEFE, he spoke on a number of issues bordering on administration of justice. Excerpts
done anything to it till now, yet the man is scheduled to retire statutorily next October, what is your response to this? The Salami Saga is an embarrassment not only to the judiciary but to the entire nation. This was a man who was adjudged “Not guilty” of the various allegation levelled against him by various sub-committees of the NJC but was not recalled because of extreme politicisation of the allegations in the first instance. The NJC which suspended him and which also called off the suspension on the basis of its own finding cannot unfortunately enforce its decision for reasons that are spurious. The NJC should have gone the whole hog and reinstate Salami. This is the kind of things that happen when you allow politics to enter into a sacred arena like the administration of justice. Well, I believe history will judge Salami right. Will you support the agitation that the powers of a CJN within the NJC be whittled down against the background of what happened in the justice Salami/Katsina Alu Saga I support the proposal that the powers of the CJN should be whittled down not necessarily because of the Justice Salami/Katsina Alu Saga but because too much power is concentrated in the holder of the office. It is Jefferson that says power corrupts, and absolute powers corrupt absolutely. Even as an honest person, if you have too much powers, there will be inclination to misuse occasionally. So it does not necessarily have to do with the integrity of the occupier of the office, a person of highest integrity can also misuse powers occasionally because we are all human beings. So my recommendation that the powers of the CJN should be reduced is not limited to what happened in Salami/Katsina-Alu’s case.
We are now at the end of the year, how will you say the judiciary has fared this year? The judiciary in the out-going year has performed tremendously and has remained a beacon of hope to masses of Nigeria. As at today all election petitions arising from the 2011 elections have been decided. This of, course, is an improvement from the past. Even though most of the cases were thrown out for failure to comply with the 180 days requirement stipulated under section 285(7) of the 1999 constitution( as amended), the truth of the matter is that the polity has been stabilised as all elected office holders are no longer distracted with pending election cases in court. The judiciary to a large extent as performed above average giving the resources available to it. We know that the organ still has its own challenges and it is still grappling with smears like the Ayo Salami Katsina/Alu saga. I will have to confess that the Salami/Katsina-Alu saga was one occurrence that really embarrassed us as stakeholders in the administration of justice. It should not have happened. Nonetheless, Nigerian Judiciary is largely an organ with integrity. The third arm of government has internal cleansing mechanism and capable human resources to make it better and comparable to the best in the world. I believe Nigerian Judiciary is capable of sustaining our fledging democracy. The issue of case being started de novo once a judge is transferred or retired has been a tradition in adjudication of cases, a number of critics are saying this contributes to delay of judicial procedure; will you support the abolition of de novo principle? The primary obligation of the judge is to listen to all the parties in dispute. A judge who has part-heard a case as we say in law cannot transfer his impression and perception of the demeanour of the witness to the new judge hence the principle of starting such part heard cases de novo. I agree that the practice contributes to the delay in the adjudicatory process but it is better than having cases trans-
SOME ELEMENTS IN THE JUDICIARY ARE BENT ON SACRIFICING MERIT AND CAPACITY FOR OTHER MUNDANE CONSIDERATIONS ferred to a new judge without him having the opportunity to hear all the witnesses. This is because I reckon that if a case is delayed and justice is done in the end, it is will be preferable to a situation where you hurry up cases and the judge is deprived of the opportunity to fairly adjudicate thereby occassioning miscarriage of justice. Furthermore, the de novo rule is a rule of the Law of Evidence, and it is firmly rooted in it, we have to review our law of evidence if we are to jettison the principle. There is a little controversy recently concerning the issue of transfer of Justice Joseph Oyewole from the Lagos State Judiciary to Osun State, what comment do you have concerning the appropriateness of the measure? I wouldn’t like to comment on the nitty-gritty of the needless controversy of Justice Oyewole’s transfer of service to Osun being a member of the Osun State Judicial Service Commission and a dramatis personae in the process. But suffice is to say that why we are clamouring for merit to be the basis of judicial appointments and elevation, some elements in the judiciary are bent on sacrificing merit and capacity for other mundane considerations which have no constitutional foundation. I dare say no more. You should understand. Despite the turn-around made by the National Judicial Council that Justice Salami be reinstated, the government has not
Can you briefly tell us the scope of these powers of the CJN which you adjudge too enormous and should be reduced? Take for instance, the CJN is the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the CJN is the Chairman of the National Judicial Council, The CJN is the Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission, the CJN is the Chairman of the Governing Board of National Judicial Institute, The CJN is the Chairman of the Administration of Justice Commission, The CJN is also the Chairman of the Privileges Committee that confers silk on deserving Legal Practitioners. Take for example the appointment to Federal Judicial Institutions, the CJN sits as the Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission that will advise the NJC on the suitability or other wise of the applicants, the CJN also sits as the Chairman of the NJC to which the advice is forwarded!If the process is litigated by an aggrieved party up to the Supreme Court,the CJN constitutes the panel that will hear and determine the matter. You can see that these powers are enormous, that is why some people who think this powers may be misused are clamouring for the reduction of the powers of the CJN. I think it will be appropriate if a retired CJN of high repute is made a chairman of the NJC. As somebody who has worked at close quarters with the last three or four NBA presidents, can you comment briefly on the kind of leadership NBA is getting, would you say the lawyers’ body has been properly led in recent years? The NBA has been very lucky to have selfless and committed leaders. As you rightly pointed out, I have worked at close quarters with the last four presidents. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, came with the programme of rebranding the NBA and making it to be relevant in the global arena. Agbakoba is still very popular in virtually all the branches of the NBA today as he was in 2006 – 2008 when he had the privilege of presiding over the affairs of the association because of the various initiatives he brought to bear while in office. These included computerisation of all the then 88 branches of the bar. He also established relationship with the Indian, the Chinese Bar Associations and Lawyer without Borders, (Avocats Sans Frontières). He helped with the
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Monday, December 31, 2012
reforms –Abdul-Rasheed THE POWERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS CONTAINED
IN THE EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATIVE LIST SHOULD BE DRASTICALLY WHITTLED DOWN
establishment of the Human Rights Institute of the NBA, the Electoral Working Group,the Programme Department in the Secretariat and sponsorship Lawyers from various Branches to international Law Events. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s (SAN) regime was characterised by Public Interest Issues as NBA became the bulwark against bad governance, corruption in the polity and a loud voice against the abuse of the rights of the citizens of Nigeria as epitomised in the condemnation of the assault by the naval ratings on Miss Uzoma Okere and the killing of the three-year-old Kaozarat by a blood tasty policeman at Mile 12 Market in Lagos. We should not also forget NBA’s agitation under Akeredolu’s watch on the probe of the Halliburton Scam amongst others. Akeredolu also bought the the first and only NBA house in Abuja. J.B Daudu brought intellectualism and Professionalism to the governance of the NBA, he organised many specialised conferences like the Criminal Justice Reform Conference, The Election Petition Tribunal Review Conference, the Rule of Law Conference, the NBA President Round Table on Human Rights Situation in Nigeria and Local Government Administration Conference. J.B also started the Reform of the NBA Secretariat by creating Directorates. He spoke to powers-that-be and took principled stand on National Issues like the increment on prices of Petroleum products and the suspension of Justice Salami. Okey Wali SAN has started moving the Bar forward within the four months he took the mantle of leadership by insisting on full professionalisation of the secretariat, setting up about 20 committees with various goals to achieve.He travels from Portharcourt to Abuja every week at his own expense.he also pays for his own accommodation and other logistics . I am sure that at the end of his tenure his score sheet be cheery. So in a nutshell, it is remarkable that the lawyers’ body has got a great leadership in recent times as all the past four I have been opportune to work at great quarters with have been wonderful leaders. What reform would you recommend for the NBA as a body to make the association more efficient? The first is the secretariat reform to be in tune with best global practices. President Okey Wali is determined to achieve this and he has set up a committee under the chairmanship of Professor Chidi Odinkalu to among other things submit a template on how to redesign the structure of the NBA Secretariat and its functions. Also there is need for more inclusiveness in the electoral process. I do not support universal suffrage but I am in support of participatory electoral process by all ages of lawyers at the Bar. I believe that the NBA has a great role to play as a major stakeholder in the administration of justice in Nigeria; the body needs to be well-positioned to discharge this function. I believe that the current leadership of the NBA would consolidate on the achievement of his predecessors.
Will you support the agitation that the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria should be abolished? I am against the abolition of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. This is because it represents a worthy pinnacle and zenith that dedicated lawyers would be working towards. It is a mark of honour and distinction and many professions have ways they recognised individuals who posted laudable achievement in their respective field.The Legal profession is alegacy from the English legal system and in England they have Queen Counsel. A number of Nigerians also became Queen Counsel before we have our own brand, called the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Nonetheless, there is need for reform of the process of conferment of the award. If you listen to those agitations for the abolition of the rank, much of their criticisms against it have to do with imperfection in the procedure of conferment and what they believe to be shutting out of some people. These grievances should be looked into when the review of the process or amendment is being undertaken. So I am not abolitionist but I am for the reform of the process. What kind of reforms do you envisage? While I would not recommend that conferment should be all-comers affairs, I would want a situation where all lawyers who are qualified for the conferment of the rank in any given year should be so conferred. The lawyers must be qualified in consonance with the prerequisites and standards prescribed. Nobody who meets the standards and all the criteria should be denied the rank on the ground of quota or federal character. The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke SAN, recently said there has been a lot of extra-judicial killings in Nigeria, especially by the police and that over 7, 195 people (mostly detainees) have been killed by the police within the past four years. What comment do you have to say to this in the light of human rights situation in Nigeria? The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has done well by giving official imprimatur to the widely held view that the police was involved in extra-judicial killings. This unfortunately is part of the realities of our society. It amounts to gross violation of the most important right among the guaranteed Fundamental Human Rights, and no society that is worth its name should allow that sort of things to happen or continuing happening. The NBA has consistently condemned the extrajudicial killings among other ills that bedevilled our society. It is the desire to improve administration of justice in all its facets that made the NBA to organised the first Criminal Justice Reforms Conference in 2011 which was followed with another
one this year. If you read the communiqués at the end of these conferences, you would see that all these issues were raised. For example we advocated the quick passage of all the justice sector-related bills pending before the Senate and House of Representatives at different stages of legislative process. The non-passage of these bills has been adversely affecting the administration of justice in the country. In conclusion, it is good that the AGF has condemned the evil practice, but as somebody well-positioned in the justice administration arena, he should also take concrete steps to improve the situations. He should take further steps to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crimes to book.
What reforms if any, would you recommend for anti-graft bodies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission? Firstly, I would recommend that their allocation should be from the consolidated revenue fund to ensure their independence. The saying is trite that he who pays the piper calls the tune. So the possibility of executive interference in their operations should be reduced to the barest minimum. Secondly, these agencies should employ more professional to aid them in their jobs. Also, these agencies should do a lot internal cleansing to ensure that all the bad eggs are removed from their midst. Nothing is so counter-productive than to have saboteurs working from inside in vitally important agencies like the EFCC and the ICPC. We read in the newspapers recently that one of the formers governors (who had ipso facto lost his immunity) was about to be arrested by the EFCC, but before the commission could pounce its plan of arrest, one of the operatives, (reportedly among the top shots) leaked the plan to the governor, who immediately fled the country. This kind of things should not be happening. Furthermore, these agencies should continuously retrain their staff and bring their skills and competencies up-to-date. There is ongoing process to amend the 1999 Constitution, what area(s) would you identify as the topmost necessary for amendment? The powers of the Federal Government as contained in the exclusive legislative list should be drastically whittled down. Under the present constitution the FG has exclusive control and powers over an overwhelming total number of 68 items not to talk of those areas it shares concurrent legislative powers with the federating states. The areas of the Federal Government’s exclusive competence should be limited to armed forces, , customs, railways, prisons and international trade and commerce etc. We need to make the powers more balanced by the transfer of some of these legislative powers to the state, unless this is done our so-called federation would continue to look like a unitary government, and given our diversity, this is counter-productive. During the NBA Annual General Conference 2012, the association was criticised for charging excessive fees for the conference on the lawyers, how justifiable are these criticisms that the body was being callous and highhanded in doing this? Of course, the criticisms are not tenable. What happened is that the NBA has been subsidising the conference fees costs by charging fees lower than the actual cost per participant. The body has been meeting this subsidy expenses by funds procured from other sources like donations by Political Exposed Persons(PEPs) and Business Organisations. But this year, the body decided it would no longer go to any politician to sponsor our programme, and so decided to levy the cost on the participants, that is why the figure this year was far higher than what it used to be in the recent past. Nonetheless, I don’t think the conference fees this year were excessive if compared to what ICAN members and other Professional bodies pay. Mind you, there was no unilateral imposition as some people said, the fees were well-debated and discussed at Lokoja NEC in May before they were announced. Well, we thank God we had a good conference.
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‘ We need good structures and democratic institutions’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 Court; he is also the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission and so on and so forth. A man like that is still very active of course, and as we find in Katsina-Alu’s case, he is going to have issues in which his own judgement and character would come into consideration. Yet, he heads the body that is going to hear such a matter. That is absolutely untenable, it is utter madness! There is need for retired justices to be the main group composing the National Judicial Council. The Head, the Deputy Head and the largest number of people there should be retired justices. Not those who are still on the Bench who could have issues; whose conduct may come under scrutiny and then would become judges in their own cases as we have seen.” Another legal luminaries whose interviews was featured was Mr. Gani Adetola-Kazeem, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria He is one of the foremost authorities on Health Law and Industrial Labour Law in Nigeria, he spoke on a number of issues and concluded that Nigeria should be a federation of between six and eight regions. Responding to the question, “There is almost a consensus that there are some defects in our fiscal federalism, what will be your recommendations to cure some of these defects? Adetola-Kazeem said “Although there are variants of federalism across the world, you cannot pick one as the model as the brand practiced by each federation is a reflection of its history and evolution, but having said that, given the position we are now, the truth is that we are not practising serious federalism. What we have is akins to unitary government and this derives from our military past. In the First Republic, we had three regions which later became four; each was autonomous and was able to function. Revenues were largely shared on the basis of derivation. These regional governments made contributions to the centre. That is federalism par excellence. Right now, we have 36 states, all what these states are concerned about are just sharing of revenue, which is largely money derived from oil. Most of the states are not viable without the federal allocations they collect monthly. That is not federalism.. If I were to suggest, I would say that all the number of states that exist now should be collapsed into just six regions or the maximum of eight regions.” Also responding to the question whether or not the Judiciary has failed Nigeria, professor Osipitan said “Unfortunately, the judiciary has now been turned into the punching bag. But, I want to believe that in the Ibori’s case in the UK, they didn’t have 170 charges and they don’t need 170 charges. “From my experience as a defence counsel, some of these charges are bad for duplicity. It is like charging
ALTHOUGH THERE ARE VARIANTS OF FEDERALISM ACROSS THE WORLD, YOU CANNOT PICK ONE AS THE MODEL AS THE BRAND PRACTICED BY EACH FEDERATION IS A REFLECTION OF ITS HISTORY AND EVOLUTION somebody for one transaction five or six times. Before you go to the Judiciary, you must find out how well the case was investigated. How badly or how well drafted was the charge? Did the prosecution obtain the required leave of court before bringing the charge? If for example, the prosecution did not obtain the required leave of court before bringing the charge, the judiciary has no choice but to strike out or quash the charge. That is the law. Judiciary is to apply the law between individuals and government and give decisions in accordance with the law that is the role of the judiciary. Again, when the judiciary quashes a charge, when the evidence before the court cannot sustain the charge, it is bad ab-initio. That is not the fault of the judiciary; it is the fault of the prosecutor, as well as those who investigated the crime. Don’t forget that that we operate what they call adversary system. The accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I am not saying that the judiciary is totally blameless, I have not said so and I will not say so. But, then, all the faults which the prosecutors should bear, all the lapses of those who are investigating the crime are now being put on the judiciary. I do not think this is fair.” A firebrand lawyer, Mr. Mike Ozekhome SAN, was effusive with recommendations on how to reengineer Nigeria’s federal structure, and especially, how to correct the inherent defects in the country’s fiscal federalism. Ozekhome said “Under a good federal system, there should be total and complete resource control by the regions. Formerly, each region controlled 50 per cent of its natural resources, 25 per cent was paid to
the Federal Government while the remaining 25 per cent are shared by the states. Thus, a state producing the resources which had already got 50 per cent would get additional percentage from the shared 25 per cent. “Today, you want the people of the South-South to dance egbabonalimi dance or mpokiti and atilogwu dance for being given 13 per cent of their own natural resources. The various Premiers of Nigeria used in the first republic to develop their respective regions. It is resources of the Western Region that the late sage, the brilliant and mercuarial Chief Obafemi Awolowo used to develop the South West. He gave the Yoruba people free education at all levels.” In his own view, a human rights lawyer who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko, berated the practice of states creating their own logos and other insignias for self-identity. He said “In Nigeria, that argument for states logo etc, might be valid if we are talking of the region of 1960 because, as of that time, each region had its own constitution. Each was controlling its own resources and was making contribution to a common pool in matters of national imperative like defence, foreign affairs and interstate relation. “Today, the states cannot be said to have peculiar cultural differentiation of the former regions and the issue of having separate logos, anthems etc, should not even arise. If the truth must be told, Nigeria is overbalkanised. The diversity we need to manage is not necessarily from creating more states, it is rather going to emerge from creating structures and institutions that would allow for integration in manner that would make for competition. In those days, if Western region creates its own university, in
less than a year, the Eastern region would respond and the Northern region would respond. It was a healthy competition among these regions, that was how they were able to attain rapid progress for their own people. Today, an average state government with the exception of Lagos and Port Harcourt depends on raising bonds in the capital market not on creating infrastructural development, but to meet the recurrent expenditure of governance.” Another versatile lawyer who known to speak out on contemporary national issues, Mr. Babatunde Oshilaja, in an interview entitled “The Attorney General has abused judicial process” in which he spoke against the background of legal tussle between the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress concerning the restraining order given by the National Industrial court. Oshilaja spke in his characteristic frank manner thus “The Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), had brought a motion ex-parte, asking the NIC to stop both NLC and TUC from embarking on the strike. “My take on this is that it is wrong for the Attorney General of the Federation, who is a defendant in a similar suit pending before a Federal High Court to rush to the NIC to seek for an injunction. It is an abuse of judicial process. The Federal Government is making a ridicule of the judiciary and should be blamed for the noncompliance of the order of the court. “The Supreme Court, in plethora of cases has held that where a person’s legal rights are called into question, he should be afforded full opportunity to be heard before any adverse decision is taken against him. Therefore, it is an indispensable requisite of natural justice that the court ought to be fair and must hear both parties and give them opportunity to present their case. So, it is the view of the Supreme Court that the court ought to exercise restraint in its unfettered discretion of granting ex parte injunctions.”
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seven-year-old boy can be given radiotherapy treatment against his mother’s wishes, a judge has ruled. According to BBC, Neon Roberts has undergone two operations to remove a cancerous brain tumour and nodule but his mother Sally did not want him to have radiotherapy. Doctors have told the High Court Neon could die without further treatment, but the survival rate for children with radiotherapy was between 80 and 86%. Mrs Roberts’ legal team has said she plans to appeal against the judgement. Summing up, Mr Justice Bodey said: “One can’t enjoy a quality of life if one isn’t alive. “The mother has been through a terrible time. This sort of thing is every parent’s nightmare. “But I am worried that her
Law & Justice
Monday, December 31, 2012
Mother loses radiotherapy court battle against son
Mother and son
judgement has gone awry on the question of the seriousness of the threat which Neon faces. “The alternative treatments put forward were complementary and alternative medicine. Nothing put forward has undergone rigorous clinical trials.
United Kingdom “I find it difficult to see that doctors would withhold alternative treatment that would improve survival.” Neon’s father Ben Roberts
Ex-prisoner wins tuberculosis cases against authorities South Africa
he Constitutional Court of South Africa has delivered a judgment upholding an appeal against a decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which overturned the decision of the Western Cape High Court (High Court) in an action for delictual damages. According to Health-E, the applicant, Mr Lee, was detained at Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison from 1999 to 2004. The respondent is the Minister for Correctional Services (Minister) and the Treatment Action Campaign, Wits Justice Project and Center for Applied Legal Studies, were admitted as amici curiae. Mr Lee contracted tuberculosis (TB) while in prison. He sued the Minister for damages on the basis that the poor prison health management resulted in his becoming infected. The High Court upheld the claim on the basis that the prison authorities had failed to take reasonable steps to prevent Mr Lee from contracting TB. On appeal, the SCA found that, while the prison authorities were negligent in their failure to maintain reasonably adequate systems to
manage the disease, the Minister was not liable. It found that Mr Lee had not proved that the presence of reasonable, precautionary measures would have completely eliminated his risk of contracting TB. In the Constitutional Court, the majority held that the SCA, in applying the test for factual causation adopted rigid deductive logic which necessitated the conclusion that because Mr Lee did not know the exact source of his infection, his claim had to fail. It held that our law has always recognised that the test for factual causation should not be applied inflexibly as was done by the SCA. The majority held further that on the approach adopted by the SCA it is unlikely that any inmate will ever be able to overcome the hurdle of causation and further that no effective alternate remedy will be available to a person in the position of the applicant. The majority noted that there is a legal duty on the responsible authorities to provide adequate health care services as part of the constitutional right of all prisoners to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity. In upholding Mr Lee’s claim, the majority held that there is a probable chain of causation between the neg-
had agreed to the boy having radiotherapy. Gwen Williams, solicitor for Neon’s father: ‘’Neon’s health and recovery has always been Mr Robert’s priority’’ His solicitor Gwen Williams said: “Mr Roberts is relieved that the judge has been able to make a final ruling on Neon’s treatment. “He now hopes that Neon can be allowed to recover from his latest operation and start the radiotherapy and chemotherapy that the doctors have outlined without any further delay.” The hospital and health trust involved in the case cannot be identified for legal reasons. The Family Division of the High Court had been told by a Dr A: “We have always said there are side effects and I do understand the family’s anxiety, but it does not reflect the risk-benefit balance.” Mrs Roberts told the court she believed conventional cancer treatment was “out of date”. She said she feared radiotherapy would reduce Neon’s IQ, shorten his life, put him at risk of having
Continued from last week
T ligent omissions by the responsible authorities and Mr Lee’s infection with TB. The minority held that it is not possible to conclude, on the existing test at common law, that the negligence of the prison authorities more probably than not caused Mr Lee to contract TB. This is because of the unique characteristics of TB. The minority found that Mr Lee could not show that in the specific case of his own infection, reasonable measures would probably have saved him from contracting TB. It agrees with the SCA that Mr Lee could not satisfy the existing test for causation. It found however, the resultant injustice in cases such as this, where the disease by its very nature defies the but-for inquiry, required the Court to develop the common law.
strokes and make him infertile. But the counsel appointed for Neon argued “standard treatment” is the only option that could save his life. The court heard the survival rate for children having chemotherapy only was about 35% whereas with radiotherapy it was between 80 and 86%. The court was also told Neon’s father needed the security of a residence order to allow the boy to live with his father during the treatment. Neon had surgery in October after being diagnosed with a medulloblastoma brain tumour, but the judge ruled he should have further surgery after MRI scans showed a tumour nodule where the original operation was performed. Mrs Roberts asked the court to delay its decision, claiming other “credible” alternative treatment was available. She asked the court for more time to research any alternatives. Ian Peddie QC, for Ms Roberts, told the judge : “Her stance merely reflects the love that she has for him.
Land Use Act: Need for title document regulations HAKEEM MURI-OKUNOLA
South African Minister of Justice, Jeffrey Radebew
he experience of Government officials at the Bureau has been that several deemed holders of Statutory right of occupancy as defined by section 34 of LUA earlier highlighted, while choosing not to formally/directly apply for Certificate of Occupancy as envisaged by the provision of LUA (section 34), have in the past thirty four (34) years collaborated with subsequent purchasers in engaging fraudulent issuance of back dated receipts/agreements, which are tendered as genuine documents of land transactions for the processing of Certificates of Occupancy, in order to falsely present to the Bureau officials that such land transactions predated the promulgation of the Act. The above mentioned fraudulent practice is not limited to natural persons but also prevalent among corporate Applicants who forge company’s certificates of incorporation, which are falsely presented as if such companies were incorporated before the commencement of the Act in addition to presenting backdated receipts and agreement also. By reason of passage of several years (more than thirty four (34) years) after the commencement of the application of the 1978 Act, this fraudulent practice of backdating of Land transaction documents has become ridiculous. While few years after the commencement of the Act it could be said, in line with the provisions of
the Act that the Governor could easily have been ‘satisfied’ that an applicant was vested with the subject Land before the commencement of the Act as envisaged by the statute (see section 34 (3) and (9) LUA) , the same can however no more be said, in many clear cases, where Applicants were obviously not born at the time of the alleged purchase of subject Land or were then under aged and therefore lacked capacity at the time of the transaction. CONCLUDING REMARKS I believe what the Land Use Act (Title Documentation) Regulations, 2012 which the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice is to present shortly seeks to achieve, is to among others, put an end to the racketeering of backdating and forgeries of documents being presented by applicants at Lands Bureau for land documentation and processing of Certificates of Occupancy in respect of land acquired by private or corporate individuals. Such anomaly definitely needs the intervention of this new set of Regulations to ensure proper Land documentation as envisaged by the Land Use Act, in cases where Land vested in persons deemed by Law to be holders of statutory rights of occupancy engage in subsequent transaction contracts in respect of such Land (see sections 34 (7), (8) and 22 LUA). Concluded Muri-Okunola, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau delivered this paper at the Stakeholders’ Meeting on Land Use Act (Title Documentation) Regulations, 2012, in Lagos recently.
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Process and content issues in Constitutional amendment FESTUS OKOYE
Senior lawyers helped me out –Yejide Akinleye-Martins
y first appearance in court was very interesting, challenging and memorable, I recalled vividly that it was in July 2008. My senior colleague, who was scheduled to handle the matter in the court, got an emergency call from Abuja and thereafter instructed me to appear in
court on his behalf. He told me he might eventually meet me in court. I actually prepared. I recalled that it was the commercial division of the Lagos High Court, before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo. Then, he was at Tafewa Balewa Square (TBS). I waited for my senior colleague till our matter
was called, it was supposed to be a summary judgement. I recall that immediately the matter was called, I tried to compose myself, although I was a bit nervous and also made some blunders, there were other lawyers that helped me out in court while I was addressing the court There was this lady beside me that was pulling my gown. She suggested a lot of things to me and instructed me on what to say. In fact, if I should meet the lady in court today, I am pretty sure I would not be able to recognise her, but she did help me out that day. I remember that day we were given judgement, it was really favourable and interesting. I got back to the office shouting to all my other colleagues that I got my first judgement today. That was my appearance alone in court. In fact, I found it very interesting, challenging and memorable.
new client had just come in to see a famous lawyer. “Can you tell me how much you charge?”, said the client. “Of course”, the lawyer replied, “I charge $200 to answer three questions!” “Well that’s a bit steep, isn’t it?”
“Yes it is”, said the lawyer, “And what’s your third question?” “I’m beginning to think that my lawyer is too interested in making money.” “Why do you say that?” “Listen to this from his bill: ‘For waking up at night and thinking about your case: $25’.”
Get money to heaven
stingy old lawyer who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness was determined to prove wrong the saying, “You can’t take it with you.” After much thought and consideration, the old ambulance-chaser finally figured out how to take at least some of his money with him when he died. He instructed his wife to go to the bank and withdraw enough money to fill two pillow cases. He then directed her to take the bags of money to the attic and leave them directly above his bed. His plan: When he passed away, he would reach out and grab the bags on his way to heaven. Several weeks after the funeral, the deceased lawyer’s wife, up in the attic cleaning, came upon the two forgotten
pillow cases stuffed with cash. “Oh, that darned old fool,” she exclaimed. “I knew he should have had me put the money in the basement.”
The lawyer’s son
he lawyer’s son wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, so he went to law school. He graduated with honours, and then went home to join his father’s firm. At the end of his first day at work he rushed into his father’s office, and said, “Father, father, in one day I broke the accident case that you’ve been working on for ten years!”
His father responded: “You idiot, we could live on the funding of that case for another 10 years!” Culled from funny lawyers’ jokes
onstitutional alteration is a necessary process in responding to the complexities of a nation and the changing political, social, economic, cultural and environmental dynamics in a particular country. Without the necessary changes dictated by the movement of society, both the fundamental law of the land and the laws that derived inspiration from it will lag behind societal development and in some instances will become obsolete and worthless pieces of paper. In responding to the challenge of changing societal dynamics and using the instrumentality of the constitution to tackle the said challenges, political leaders both at the Executive and legislative arms must at all times act responsibly in leading the process for constitutional amendment. This requires a clear sense of patriotism and nationalism and does not permit playing to the gallery and putting personal and selfish interests at the centre of constitutional amendment. So doing will inexorably mean jeopardising the present and future of the country. The National Assembly, as the tribune of the people must also be responsive to the demands of the people for constitutional alteration and changes to the law. In so doing, the constitutionally assigned drivers of the process must not necessarily be the engineers and initiators of constitutional alteration. While the National and State Assemblies are the main drivers of the process of constitutional alteration, it is the Nigerian people that are the ultimate repositories of power and by necessary implication are the licensing authorities for the mandate being exercised by the National Assembly. The implication is that all the organs of government and the Nigerian people must all draw and derive inspiration from the provisions of the Constitution and must on no account circumscribe the mandatory provisions of the constitution on how the constitution can be amended. The Nigerian people, the National Assembly, the Executive and all the stakeholders must also be clear on the process that will guarantee inclusivity in the process of constitutional amendment and reconnect the Nigerian people with the process. It is clear that the provisions of sections 8 and 9 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999(as amended) relating to the process of amending the constitution, state creation, creation of additional Local Governments and boundary adjustment of existing states and local governments are very cumbersome and some consensus should be built within the National Assembly, the Executive and the key stakeholders in the nation on acceptable minimum requirements for amending the constitution and carrying out amendment of other issues listed in section 8 of the constitution. All the stakeholders must also be clear on the process and mechanics of involving the people in the process of constitutional alteration and putting ownership of the
ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS MUST ALSO BE CLEAR ON THE PROCESS AND MECHANICS OF INVOLVING THE PEOPLE process at their door steps. Will it suffice to convoke public hearings in the six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja? Will a referendum be the panacea in domiciling sovereignty and ownership of the document with the Nigerian people? Must the National Assembly conclude the assignment of constitutional alteration and submit the said document to a National Conference or any conference by whatever name called? These are issues the National Assembly should settle as the process progresses. Content wise, it is clear that an incremental, piece meal, targeted and clustered approach will guarantee the successes of the present efforts at amending the constitution. The 1st amendment to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria fundamentally clustered issues with a bearing on the electoral process and amended them. The 2nd alteration dealt with the issue of timelines in the electoral process only, while the 3rd alteration established the National Industrial Court as a superior court of record in Nigeria This is in contrast to what obtained from 1999 to the successful amendment of the constitution in 2010. Lest we forget, it is worth recapping that on the 19th day of October 1999 the Government of President Olusegun Obasanjo set up a Presidential Technical Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. The Committee called for and received memoranda from civil society groups, political parties, organised private sector and other individuals. It also organized public hearings and thereafter submitted its report to the government in February 2001. The government processed the report into A Bill for An Act to provide for the Amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; 1999 and for Purposes Connected Thereto” and submitted the Bill to the National Assembly in 2003. Unfortunately, the Bill expired with the life of the National Assembly in 2003 as the harmonization Committee of both Houses of the National Assembly did not conclude work on it before their dissolution. The National Assembly elected after the 2003 general elections again on the 30th day of October 2003 set up its own Joint Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. Lack of funds and other political considerations aborted the efforts of the National Assembly at amending the constitution. To be continued Okoye, a Lawyer and Alternate Chair, NBA Election Working Group, writes from Kaduna.
Monday, December 31, 2012
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“After two years of turmoil, it was time for Egypt to turn to production, work, and seriousness.”
Body of Indian rape victim cremated
48 PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
he US has sent 50 troops to Chad to help evacuate US citizens and embassy staff in neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) where rebels have seized several cities and are advancing on the capital Bangui. Barack Obama, the US president, informed congressional leaders of Thursday’s deployment in a letter on Saturday citing a “deteriorating security situation” in the deeply impoverished nation. The US has Special Forces in the country who are assisting in the hunt for Joseph Kony, a Ugandan fugitive rebel leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army based in northern Uganda. The planned evacuation of the US diplomats follows criticism of Washington’s handling of diplomatic security before and during the attack on its consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11. The ambassador and three other Americans were killed in that attack. The US deployment comes amid reports that a rebel coalition known as Seleka seized another town in their advance on the capital, forcing an army retreat and putting the rebels just one town away from Bangui. Also, France has deployed an additional 180 troops to protect its interests. The French reinforcements arrived yesterday from nearby Gabon, bringing the total French military force in the capital, Bangui, to nearly 600, Col. Thierry Burkhard told The Associated Press Sunday. The troops are to protect French residents in the capital, which many fear will be
- EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT, MOHAMMED MORSI
US, France send troops to protect citizens in CAR
Egypt allows construction convoy passage to Gaza Egypt has allowed a shipment of construction materials to enter the Gaza Strip from its territory for the first time since 2007. A convoy of trucks carrying thousands of tonnes of supplies donated by the Gulf state of Qatar entered Gaza via the Rafah border crossing on Saturday. Egypt had previously followed import restrictions imposed by Israel. However, Israel has eased its blockade as part of last month’s ceasefire deal with the Islamist group Hamas. Many goods are smuggled from Egypt through a network of underground tunnels into Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.
Seven die during fitness tests in South Africa
President Francois Bozize addressing crowds, in Bangui, CAR, recently. attacked by the rebels. As fears mounted that the rebels would attack Bangui, a city of 600,000, President Francois Bozize imposed a curfew from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. Bozize earlier appealed to France for help against the rebels, but French President Francois Hollande’s government said it would only protect French interests and would not prop up the Bangui government. The African Union is attempting to set up negotiations in Gabon between the Bozize government and the rebels. Sibut, a key transport hub, fell on Saturday without a shot being fired because the govern-
ment army and forces from Chad had pulled back to Damara, 75km from Bangui on Friday, said Josie Binoua, minister of territorial administration. The report could not be independently verified as telephone lines to Sibut have been cut, making it difficult to check the situation with local residents. Talks between the rebels and the government led by President Francois Bozize are planned to start next week in Gabon. Representatives from the 10-nation Economic Community of Central African States agreed at a meeting in Gabon on Friday to send forces to CAR. However, they did not did not specify how
many troops would be sent or how quickly the military assistance would arrive. As fears mounted that the rebels would attack Bangui, which has 600,000 residents, Bozize pleaded for international help. But former colonial power France said its forces in the country are there to protect French interests and not Bozize’s government. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the violence and reiterated its demand that the armed groups “immediately cease hostilities, withdraw from captured cities and cease any further advance towards the city of Bangui”.
Black boxes examined in fatal Russian plane crash
nvestigators on Sunday examined flight recorders and other evidence to try to determine the cause of the airliner crash in Moscow that killed five people, an official said. The Tu-204 belonging to Russian airline Red Wings was carrying eight people, all of them crew members, when it careered off the runway Saturday while landing at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. It went partly into an adjacent highway, broke into pieces and caught fire.
Four people were pronounced dead soon after the crash and the airline said on its Twitter account that a fifth, a flight attendant, died Sunday. Those who died Saturday were the pilot, copilot, flight engineer and another attendant, Red Wings said. The survivors were reported in critical or serious condition in Moscow hospitals. Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s main investigative agency, was quoted by Russian news agencies saying
Rescuers working at the site where the plane crashed in Moscow, on Saturday. Photo: AP the data recorders were being examined, along with fuel samples. In addition, he said flight docu-
ments for the plane have been taken from the airline for examination.
South African media say provincial authorities are investigating the deaths of seven job-seekers who collapsed in the heat while undergoing a fitness test for positions as traffic officers. The chief transport official for KwaZulu-Natal province, Willies Mchunu, has suspended further test in the meantime. The state-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation reported that several tens of thousands of people took the fitness test late last week, even though only 90 jobs were available. They were required to run four kilometres (2.5 miles) in temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), and many collapsed from dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Top law professor quits Zimbabwe’s rights watchdog The head of an independent but state-funded human rights commission says he has quit because of a lack of financial support and inadequate legislation empowering it to monitor the situation and punish violations. Professor Reg Austin, an eminent law professor and expert on international and constitutional law, announced his departure Saturday. In a statement, he likened the commission, set up under a democratic reform program in 2010, to “a baby for whose birth the parents made no preparations: no nursery, not cot, no blankets, no baby food.” An independent Zimbabwe lawyers group said Saturday the decision to quit by a lifelong campaigner for justice ahead of elections proposed next year confirmed the failure of President Robert Mugabe’s government to end rights abuses after years of violations linked to elections.
Monday, December 31, 2012
US has good leads on those behind Benghazi attacks –Obama
he United States has some “very good leads” about who carried out the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador in September, President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast yesterday. Obama told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the United States would carry out all of the recommendations put forward in an independent review of the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed. “We’re not going to pretend that this was not a problem. This was a huge problem. And we’re going to implement every single recommendation that’s been put forward,” Obama said in the interview, referring to security issues identified in the review. “With respect to who carried it out, that’s an ongoing investigation. The FBI has sent individuals to Libya repeatedly. We have some very good leads, but this is not something that I’m going to be at liberty to talk about right now,” he said. The interview was conducted on Saturday.
Vehicles carrying mourners and officials leaving the cremation ground after attending the funeral of the rape victim in New Delhi, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
Body of Indian rape victim cremated T he body of a woman, whose gang rape provoked protests and rare national debate about violence against women in India, arrived back in New Delhi yesterday and was cremated at a private ceremony. Scuffles broke out in central Delhi between police and protesters who say the government is doing too little to protect women. But the 2,000-strong rally was confined to a single area, unlike last week when
protests raged up throughout the capital. Riot police manned barricades along streets leading to India Gate war memorial - a focal point for demonstrators - and, at another gathering point - the centuries-old Jantar Mantar - protesters held banners reading “We want justice!” and “Capital punishment”. Most sex crimes in India go unreported, many offenders go unpunished, and the wheels of justice
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turn slowly, according to social activists, who say that successive governments have done little to ensure the safety of women. The unidentified 23-year-old victim of the December 16 gang rape died of her injuries on Saturday, prompting promises of action from a government that has struggled to respond to public outrage. The medical student had suffered brain injuries and massive internal injuries in the attack and died in hospital in Singapore where she had been taken for treatment. She and a male friend had been returning home from the cinema, media reports say, when six men on a bus beat them with metal rods and repeatedly raped the woman. The friend survived. New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among India’s major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, police figures show. Reported rape cases rose by nearly 17 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to government data. Six suspects were charged with murder after her death and face the death penalty if convicted. In Kolkata, one of India’s four biggest cities, police said a man reported that his mother had been gang-raped and killed by a group of six men in a small town near the city on Saturday.
Pakistani militants kill 41 in mass execution
akistani militants, who have escalated attacks in recent weeks, killed at least 41 people in two separate incidents, officials said on Sunday, challenging assertions that military offensives have broken the back of hardline Islamist groups. The United States has long pressured nucleararmed ally Pakistan to crack down harder on both homegrown militants groups such as the Taliban and others which are based on its soil and attack Western forces in Afghanistan. In the north, 21 men working for a governmentbacked paramilitary force were executed overnight after they were kidnapped last week, a provincial official said. Twenty Shi’ite pilgrims died and 24 were wounded, meanwhile, when a car bomb targeted their bus convoy as it headed toward the Iranian border in the southwest, a doctor said. New York-based Human Rights Watch has noted more than 320 Shias killed this year in Pakistan and said attacks were on the rise. It said the government’s failure to catch or prosecute attackers suggested it was “indifferent” to the killings. Pakistan, seen as critical to U.S. efforts to stabilize the region before NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, denies allegations that it supports militant groups like the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network.
Monday, December 31, 2012
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Community Mirror “Think about the ills and the misfortune that have befallen the Nigerian people as a result of governmental profligacy.” REV. CHRIS OKOTIE
Estate residents decry quarry activities ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
esidents of Olusegun Obasanjo Estate on Ado-Ikere Road, Ekiti State, have appealed to the government to urgently relocate the Inland Quarry Company in the area. The placards-carrying residents, called on Governor Kayode Fayemi, the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals, National Environmental Standard and Regulatory Agency (NESREA) and House of Assembly to order the Managing Director, Mr Dare Omotoso, to immediately stop all quarry actiities. They expressed alarm that the gas emissions and vibration from the blasting activities at the quarry are affecting the health of the children and many senior citizens at the Estate. Chairman of the Landlords’ Association, Mr Jide Ogunluyi, said the gas emission had been posing threat to their health, while the attendant vibrations from rock blasting have caused cracks on the walls of their buildings and panic whenever there was explosion. Ogunluyi, alleged that the quarry did not comply with the required distance of 450 metres, from residential areas as stipulated and governments should not
wait for disaster to happen before taking action. He implored that the company be compelled to relocate far away from the Estate and Ayewa Community. A resident of Ayewa Community, Mr Amuda Damilola, said operations at the quarry had weakened and caused deep cracks on the walls of his building while
Prof Victor Adeloye and Mrs Mopelola Owoeye, alleged that the company fraudulently acquired license to operate in the area. But Mr. Omotoso, who blamed the agitation on animosity by some persons on the Estate, said he officially got all relevant papers to operate in accordance with the rule of law and not through fraud-
ear and apprehension have gripped traders who fear the looting of their shops on Ojo Giwa Street, Jankara, Lagos by street urchins notoriously called ‘Area boys’, following the firework explosions that destroyed many buildings on Boxing Day. Some of the traders were seen milling around the cordoned street, but were prevented from looting by armed policemen from various divisional police stations within Area ‘A’ Command Headquarters, Lion Building, who were led by the commander in-charge, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), who demanded to see identity cards before allowing anyone access to respective stores. Those allowed were frisked
even more than the 400 metres required by regulation. “As I speak, I pay more than N1 million as salaries every month and we are planning to employ more people. I don’t know why they are bent on stampeding us to leave despite the economic implications on the people and area,” Omotoso said.
A cultural troupe performing at the Menwara annual festival in Shani headquarters of Shani Local Government Areas in Borno State.
Traders count losses after fire tragedy FRANCIS SUBERU
ulent means as being speculated. Describing as untrue allegations that cracks had appeared on some houses as the result of his company’s operations, Omotoso said: “We only blast once a month, so this constant agitation is a personal animosity against me. “The place where we operate is over 500 metres to the Estate,
and asked to evacuate their wares by the officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Fire Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Neighbourhood Watch and police before the charred remains of three buildings at House No. 41, 43, and 45 were pulled down . The ill-fated building on House No. 45 also, houses shops where items like generating sets, gas cylinders, and energy-saving bulbs, food flasks, electrical cables and others are sold. The frisking of the traders, it was gathered, was to prevent urchins from invading the area and looting shops in the guise of assisting in the rescue operations. It was learnt that no fewer than six of the urchins were arrested last week, while trying to steal air-conditioner compressors.
A trader, Ekene Nnadozie, who sells electronic gadgets in the illfated House at No. 45 Ojo Giwa, expressed shock as he was yet to comprehend the extent of losses suffered by him. He said he lost goods worth several millions of naira in the inferno. According to him, he was at home celebrating the Christmas and was surprised to learn that his shop was among those destroyed by the fire. Chuka Nnanji, who sells electrical extension wires in the same building, claimed he also lost items running into millions of naira. Also, Kelvin a store assistant said his elder brother travelled to the village and when he was told of the incident, collapsed and fainted. Most of the traders spoken to, alleged that two Yoruba men fronting for a Chinese national,
always visit the place at night to offload goods into the warehouse, on the third floor of the ill-fated building. They claimed that the two brought some items in cartons and stocked them in the warehouse a day before the fire outbreak. Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Oyinlola Danmole, has commiserated with those who lost their loved ones to the incident. He disclosed that a year ago, the government repaired some water hydrants and put them in places where they will be available. He, however, enjoined Lagos residents to be involved in safety management by providing fire extinguishers in their domains. Also, the information officer, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, advised the people to avail themselves with basic knowledge in disaster reduction management.
Man in dock for stealing
20-year-old security guard, Cosmos Ohaji, has been charged before a Surulere Magistrate’s ‘Court in Lagos, for allegedly stealing diesel valued at N150, 000, The prosecutor, Inspector Gabriel Ekundayo, told the court that the accused on December 12, stole 1000 litres of diesel, property of ECOBANK Training School, Lagos. Ekundayo said that the alleged offence was committed at No. 7 Imam Dauda St., off Eric Moore Road, Lagos. He said that following the mysterious disappearance of the product, Ohaji, was queried but could not give account of its whereabouts. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 285(7) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, even as the security guard pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Monday, December 31, 2012
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (73) “I picked up one person - maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000.” –Mother Teresa * * * MY THOUGHTS A journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with one step. Little beginnings are powerful if you will just keep at it and keep at it. Start something no matter how small is the story of most rich people today. When we wait for big things to happen before we will make a move towards fulfilling our destiny, we will wait for ever. What will you do if it is impossible to fail? What will you be doing if you have only 3 months to live? These are pointers to your purpose in life. Get busy! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
Florida woman arrested after post-sex row
50-year-old Florida woman was locked up this weekend after allegedly beating up her younger boyfriend due to unsatisfying sex. Jennie Scott was booked into Manatee County jail on a misdemeanour battery charge for allegedly whacking Jilberto Deleon, 32, with a stick and threatening to upgrade her weapon of
choice to a pipe wrench, The Smoking Gun website reported. The arrest report indicated Scott became enraged when her paramour wrapped up his part of the tryst first and then decided to call it quits. A witness called the sheriff ’s department after seeing Scott on top of Deleon “punching and scratching” him.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
2,750-year-old temple discovered in Israel
n overhead view of the excavation site (Skyview/Israeli Antiquities Authority) Israeli archeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient temple that is nearly 3,000 years old and was once home to a ritual cult. “The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple,” excavation directors Anna Eirikh, Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz said in a statement released by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The temple remains were discovered at the Tel Motza site, located to the west of Jerusalem. The Israeli Antiquities Authority has been conducting excavation efforts at the site and says that along with the temple remains itself, the findings include a “cache of sacred vessels” estimated to be 2,750 years old. “Among other finds, the site has yielded pottery figurines of men, one of them
bearded, whose significance is still unknown,” the statement from Khalaily and Kisilevitz reads. NBC’s Cosmic Log notes that the discovery was made during preparations for a new section of Israel’s Highway 1. Because of the number of historical sites and artifacts in and near Jerusalem, the Israeli government typically conducts similar archaeological excavation efforts before beginning construction on major infrastructure projects. Two head figurines discovered at the 2,750-year-old site(ClaraAmit,courtesyIsrael
Antiquities Authority)Dating back to the Iron Age, the temple was designed in accordance with similar layouts for other religious buildings from that era, according to the Israeli government. More from its analysis: “The walls of the structure are massive, and it includes a wide, eastfacing entrance, conforming to the tradition of temple construction in the ancient Near East: The rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the object placed inside the temple first, symbolizing the divine presence within. A square structure which
Human head figurines found in the temple.
was probably an altar was exposed in the temple courtyard, and the cache of sacred vessels was found near the structure.” The excavation directors said they will continue to examine the findings and conduct further digs while preparations for the highway construction continue. “The find of the sacred structure, together with the accompanying cache of sacred vessels, and especially the significant coastal influence evident in the anthropomorphic figurines, still require extensive research,” they said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, December 31, 2012
Wada now walking without assistance –Doctor MARCUS FATUNMOLE AND PRISCILLA DENNIS
ogi State Governor Idris Wada, who was injured in an auto crash at Emo-Worro, a village in Ajaokuta Local Government Area on Friday, is now walking at Cedecrest Hospital in Abuja, one of the doctors attending to him told our correspon-
•NSGF urges Nigerians to pray for gov
dent, yesterday. The physician, who pleaded anonymity, said the governor was walking without aid. Wada, who was taken to the hospital on Friday night, suffered a broken thigh and he has since undergone surgery at the hospital.
At a briefing yesterday, the Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the hospital, Dr. Felix Ogedengbe, said the governor was recuperating and would not be flown abroad. Ogedengbe explained that the governor was brought to the hospital at 8pm on Friday, without any life-threatening injury.
According to him, Wada was immediately taken to the theatre and given medical attention after his injuries had been ascertained. He said: “When the governor was brought in at 8pm, we were told he was involved in a car accident and we checked him and explained the nature of his
Representative of Bauchi State Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Ahmed Jermajo (left), presenting a merit award to the Chairman, Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis/Leprosy and Malaria, Dr. Mohammed Liman, at the 2012 Bauchi State Productivity Merit Award in Bauchi, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
injuries to him. “We also told him about our ability to manage his injuries. He had a broken thigh and he was taken to the theatre. The governor has since stabilised and he had a nice night. “He said he would not be taken abroad for treatment because he had confidence in our capacity to manage him. There is no immediate need to fly him abroad. “The governor is quite happy to take treatment here; the treatment is ongoing. He needs some days in the hospital and I can’t give a date of discharge now.” A consultant haematologist with Kogi Specialist Hospital, Dr. Attah Ahmed, told journalists yesterday in Lokoja that Wada’s driver, Mr. Jibrin Isah, was in a very stable condition. He said: “The driver is in a very stable condition. He is responding to treatment. In fact, he even ate today (yesterday). There is no problem at all.” Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has expressed shock over the incident. In a statement signed by the President of the association, Dr. Osahon Enab-
ulele, and made available to our correspondent in Abuja yesterday, the association commiserated with the people of Kogi State over the death of the governor’s Aide de Camp, Idris Mohammed, in the crash. However, the Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, has called on Nigerians to fervently pray for Wada’s quick recovery. The NSGF also expressed sadness at the death of the governor’s ADC, describing it as a big loss to Kogi State and Nigeria. The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Ndayebo, emphasised the need for prayers for Wada to enable him fulfil his vision of a great Kogi State. The governors said it was sad that the incident came barely two weeks after the country lost Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State, in a chopper crash. The statement then prayed God to grant Mohammed’s soul eternal rest and his immediate family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Kwara distributes N100m relief materials –Gov’s aide Rights group demands release WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
ver N100 million worth of relief materials were distributed to victims of natural disasters in Kwara State this year. Kwara State was one of the badly affected states by flood, recording victims on the long stretch of the banks of River Niger. The state, however, got a disaster relief fund of N300 million from the Federal
DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
overnor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State has presented a budget of N107,893,825, 000 for the 2013 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly. Making the presentation before the lawmakers, Dankwambo said the budget was made up of N41,871,259,000 as recurrent expenditure while N66,021,900,000 was the capital expenditure. The estimate, tagged the “Budget of Determination,”
Government. The Special Adviser on Emergency and Relief Services to Governor Musa Abdullahi made this known in Ilorin while distributing relief materials donated by some government agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, to victims. The donor agencies include Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, the National Emmergency Management Agency, NEMA, MTN
Foundation, Unifoam, Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation and Students of Sociology of Education Department, Kwara State University, Malete. Abdullahi also disclosed that over 25,000 people were provided with relief materials across the state while 32 hectares of farmland which include rice, millet, guinea corn, maize and other valuable items worth over N85 million were submerged by flood in some local government areas in the state.
He said the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, had trained over 50 students on disaster management. The special adviser added that the emergency relief committee had worked with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, in the state to open up drainages to allow free flow of water on flood prone river banks. Abdullahi warned the people against doing anything capable of igniting disasters in their domains.
Dankwambo presents N107.8bn budget according governor, is predicated on the revenue receipt of N50,145,405,914. He added that the government projected a growth of 22 per cent in its Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR), which was sufficient to cover the personnel cost of N15,763,000,000. The economic sector has the lion’s share of the budget with N17,400,000,000 going to works and infrastructure. Education and health were also given priority
where N11,900,000,000 was allocated to the education sector while N3.246 billion allocated to health. Dankwambo gave 17 objectives of the budget to include: completion of ongoing projects and programmes, initiation of new ones, realisation of its vision by addressing the state of emergency declared on the education sector, promotion of sustainable economic growth through prudent macro-economic and fiscal policies.
Others are raising income levels, reduction of unemployment, implementation of youth and women empowerment, poverty alleviation programmes, and facilitate private sector-led growth. The governor said the budget would also aim at establishing, strengthening and maintaining fiscal due process and monetary policies with a view to achieving the state macro-economic stability, and maximum utilisation of limited resources.
of detained journalists A ZA MSUE KADUNA
resident of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, CRCN, Mallam Shehu Sani, yesterday called for the immediate release of two Kaduna-based journalists arrested by security agencies. In a statement, Sani faulted the continued detention of Almizan newspaper journalists, saying the action was against freedom of the press and freedom of expression. He noted that the onslaught against Almizan newspaper was also against democratic values, adding that it would further stain the country’s image and the credibility of the government. Sani added that no democracy would thrive with an officially-sanctioned hostility to the media. The statement reads in part: “The Civil Rights Congress expresses concern over the continued detention of two Almizan journalists, Musa Muhammed
Awwal and Aliyu Saleh, arrested by the Nigerian security agents. “The raid on the homes and offices of the journalists is unreservedly condemned. “We reject and denounce any excuses or justification given by the security agents or the government to trample upon the right to free press and freedom of expression. “The raid and arrest of the Almizan journalists is a serious dent to our honour as a free society and a setback to our attempt to build a better democratic society. “We demand for their immediate release or their arraignment before a court of law. “Freedom of expression and of the media is an indispensable ingredient of a free society.” Sani, however, averred that the statuary responsibility of the security agents to fight terror, maintain peace and order must in no way be done at the expense of fundamental and democratic rights of citizens.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Lawmaker abducted in Gombe DANJUMAH ATTAH WITH AGENCY REPORT
nidentified persons yesterday kidnapped a member of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Alhaji Jalo Ganga (PDP-Gombe North), at his residence in Gombe, the state capital. A source told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the kidnappers with a motorcycle abducted the lawmaker around 5.00 am when he was going for his morning prayers. The source said the law-
maker shouted for help to no avail as his captors were bent on taking him away to an unknown destination. State Commissioner of Police, Malam Mohammed Sule, confirmed the incident, saying that the lawmaker was kidnapped yesterday morning. “Yes, we just heard this morning that some hoodlums came with a motorcycle while he was going to pray. “He was accosted and they took him on a motorcycle; it seemed a vehicle was parked close to his house, because people said they heard the sound of a ve-
hicle zooming off,” he said. The police boss said the kidnappers abandoned their motorcycle with no number plate. He assured the public that the police command would do all within it powers to rescue the lawmaker. “My investigators and intelligence officers are already working to trace his whereabouts and the motive behind his kidnap,” he said. He also noted that two cell phones owned by the lawmaker were abandoned; wondering if a ransom was the motive for the
kidnap. The Gombe State Director of the State Security Services (SSS), Mr. Bitrus Asher, also confirmed the incident. The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Inuwa Garba, said: “We are making some efforts please and I don’t want to say anything about it now.” NAN reports that Ganga, who is the chairman of house committee on finance, was at the seventh annual cultural festival staged by the Tangale ethnic group in the state, at the weekend.
Tangale royal dancers performing during the Tangale Cultural Festival (Pissi Tangale) at Billiri town in Gombe State, yesterday.
Niger allocates land to College of Aviation PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
iger State Government said it gave a large piece of land to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria to build its annex in Minna, the state capital. The Commissioner for Transportation, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, who disclosed this in Minna, said it was because of the importance the state placed on the training of its indigenes as pilots. Mohammed said a four kilometre-by-four-kilometre parcel of land carved from the proposed Minna Airport City project had been set aside for the college to construct the train-
ing facilities for the pilot programme. He explained that N80 million had been expended on the training of the first set of 10 students from the state. The commissioner disclosed that the students had completed their ground training and were preparing to commence their flying training course, using the stimulators in Minna and the college main training facilities in Zaria. Mohammed also said that the 10 students were joined by three others from Benue State, one each from Kaduna and Kano states, bringing the total of trainee pilots to 15 at the NCAT, Minna Annex. According to him, each student is expected to earn a credit of 15 hours flying with instructors and another 15 ours credit of solo flying to complete the first phase of the 18 months course, adding that for the success of the programme, the college
would deploy four of its aircraft to that effect. He explained that at the successful completion of the first phase of 30 hours flying, the trainee pilots would be given the Private Pilot Licence, PPL, while those that attained
35 hours of credit flying would be given the Commerce Pilot Licence, CPL. Mohammad added that at the end of the course period, any student that failed to meet the required flying hours would be dropped or made to repeat the training.
Attempt to vandalise oil pipeline foiled in Zaria
n attempt by hoodlums to vandalise an oil pipeline connecting the Kaduna Petrochemical Refinery Corporation (KPRC) to various parts of northern Nigeria has been foiled. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hoodlums made the attempt at a village called Saye in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State. An eye witness, who did not want his name in print, said the action of the suspects might have lasted overnight without success.
The Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna State Police Command, Aminu Lawal, confirmed the incident, saying the police at Danmagaji Division were alerted by some concerned citizens. He said the police condoned off the entire scene after the tip-off. Lawal said the police had intensified their search for the suspects, assuring that no stone would be left unturned in apprehending them. The spokesman appealed to Nigerians to support security agencies in the course of discharging their duties.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nasarawa set to conduct LG poll IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
he Nasarawa State government is set to conduct its local government council election in the first quarter of 2013 to give a sense of belonging to the citizens of the state and ensure even development at the grass root level. Deputy Governor of the state, Dameshi Barau Luka, disclosed this when addressing the Transitional Management Committee (TMC) chairmen of 13 local government areas in the state, commissioners, advisers, permanent secretaries, Nasarawa Youth Council, organisations, groups and communities, who paid him Christmas homage in his village, Ningo, near Akwanga. He reiterated the commitment of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) administration in the state to ensure a level-playing ground in the forthcoming council poll, as according to him; “the conduct of the election is necessary considering the fact that local government is the government that is closer to those at the grassroots.” Consequently, Luka
challenged the TMC chairmen to mobilise support for the party to replicate the victory of the party in the 2011 governorship elections that brought in the present government. He said on their part, the executive is working round the clock for a resounding victory at the councils’ poll. His words: “The present administration will consolidate on the little achievements so far recorded within one and half years as 2013 will be a year of turnaround with many developmental projects that have direct bearings on the lives of the citizens of the state springing up.” The deputy governor called on all CPC faithful and supporters to keep faith with Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura as 2013 will witness watershed development to fulfill the promises made during the electioneering campaigns. Luka, however, called on all communities and citizens of the state to ensure peaceful coexistence among themselves to enable government carry out its statutory responsibility of developing all communities in the state.
Plateau APGA inaugurates interim exco JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
he Plateau State chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) at the weekend inaugurated an interim state executive committee to run its affairs in the next six months. The committee, made up of 14 members has Hon. Sunday Amuga, as chairman and Mr. Yaknan Miri, as secretary. The National ViceChairman of the party in the North-East, Alhaji Abubakar Adamu, who led other officials to perform the ceremony at the party’s headquarters in Jos, said the 14-member committee would remain in office pending the convocation of a state congress, where the sub-
stantive state executives would be elected. He added that the party is prepared to deepen democracy in the state hence the need to put its house in order for the challenges ahead. Other terms of reference of the committee members, according to him, include uniting and forging together the membership of the party as well as repositioning it preparatory to winning any election in the state, among others. Also speaking at the occasion, the leader of the party and former governorship candidate in the state, Ambassador Chris Giwa, said the party has good intentions for the people of the state and called on them to support its aspirations for the good of all.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Falcao sticks to Spain
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
It needs not be stated that this is my last Nations Cup and I am determined to make the best of it –Cote d’Ivoire’s captain, Didier Drogba
fails tickets Eagles’ Faro camp bubbles S/Africa sales target for Catalonia friendly L EVEREST ONYEWUCHI
uper Eagles’ Faro, Portugal camp yesterday bubbled with the arrival of Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike both based in Russia. Lazio of Italy upcoming midfield ace, Ogenyi Onazi, and Turkey-based Raheem Lawal, also joined camp to begin preparations for Wednesday’s international friendly match against Catalonia. Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya, informed National Mirror from Portugal that Musa, Emenike and Ogenyi breezed into camp at lunch time. The trio was at lunch with their colleagues when Lawal, who now plays for Turkish second division side, Adana Demirspor, arrived. The four players took part in yesterday evening’s training, as all the invited foreign-based players are expected to beat the January 5 deadline to be in camp. At the last count, nine foreignbased players had arrived in Faro, with Coach Stephen Keshi saying Coach Stephen Keshi (right), in discussion with Brown Ideye during Saturday afternoon’s training in Faro, Portugal that he expects at least 11 foreign Kenneth Omeruo, was the first to hit pros to feature in the friendly against 5. “No, we have no discussion to let camp on Saturday afternoon. He was Catalonia on Wednesday. Keshi said that apart from Ike- some players stay with their clubsides followed by Ukraine-based striker, chukwu Uche, who was given Janu- beyond January 5 and the rules are Brown Ideye. Eagles are billed to travel out to ary 6 to arrive in camp because of the very clear; if any player fails to make concession given to his Spanish club, the date and without permission we Catalonia, Spain tomorrow for the international friendly against the CataVillarreal, all other players were ex- will apply the rules,” Keshi said. Holland-based central defender, lan side on Wednesday. pected in the Faro camp by January
…Envoy charges team to win AFCON
igeria’s Ambassador to Portugal, Her Excellency Ijeoma Bristol, has assured the Super Eagles of support from the highest level of government in their quest to do the country proud at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The Ambassador gave the assurance when she visited the team’s training camp in Faro on Saturday. Accompanied on the visit by her husband, Mr. Gordon Bristol, who himself, is Nigeria’s former Ambassador to France until recently when he was redeployed to the Foreign Affairs Ministry as Under Secretary for African Affairs, Mrs. Bristol spoke with gusAmbassador Ijeoma Bristol (right) and her husto and high expectation about what band, Gordon
the Eagles can do in South Africa. “We were thirsty for this cup in the past, but now we are hungry for it and the whole nation is waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to touch the cup in Abuja by February,” the envoy said, adding that with Keshi, a tested international and ex-national team skipper now in charge of the Eagles, she was sure that the team would deliver in South Africa. Responding, Coach Keshi who spoke through team’s Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, assured that the Eagles will not let the nation down in South Africa. He asked for prayers, patience and support of all Nigerians in the task of winning the Cup of Nations.
ess than three weeks to the kick off of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) the Local Organising Committee (LOC) has failed to realise the 500, 000 tickets sales’ target before the end of December. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that about 38, 000 tickets had been sold for the opening ceremonies, and over 20, 000 tickets for the final match. The LOC said that about 200, 000 tickets had been sold so far for all the matches; this is short of the expected target before the end of the year. Chief Executive Officer of the LOC, Mvuzo Mbebe, however, expressed satisfaction with tickets sales so far.
“Look, I am content. I am not happy. I think that we are fearful that people are going to have to rush again and I think people will be disappointed. “That’s why we are creating the special packages today (December 28). I think it will be a sad day if people on the last three to four days, rush to purchase tickets,” Mbebe said. Johannesburg will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament. The naming right dispute of the FNB Stadium venue of the opening and final matches between the Department of Public Works and First National Bank (FNB) adversely affected the printing of opening and final match tickets.
Supporters Club plans for NPL
resident-General of the Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, has disclosed that the body is making efforts to lure fans back to match venues of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). Ladipo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the nation’s football league had suffered enough neglect over the years due to inadequate facilities. “We have innovations which we want to introduce to our premier league to attract fans to our stadia and encourage our players to work for victory. “But I do not want to let
it out now for it not to be stolen, but by the time we do it, you will see that our stadia will be packed full at each match,” he said. Ladipo, however, said the club would not discourage Nigerians from watching European league matches, but would also encourage them to be ardent followers of the NPL. “We will encourage Nigerians to watch Nigerian games just as we will not discourage them from watching European leagues either,” he said. He emphasised that the club has the mandate to give adequate support to all sports, as well as to promote the ideals of the country.
Nigeria Supporters Club on duty at a match
Monday, December 31, 2012
Falcao sticks to Spain
Encounter with Manchester United fans AFOLABI GAMBARI
or the umpteenth time yesterday, Atletico Madrid striker, Radamel Falcao insisted he has “no interest to eventually move abroad”. Reports have persistently linked the Colombia international to rich English Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City. “I am only thinking about my club. I know there is a lot of speculation but hopefully it will not affect me,” Falcao, who is currently holidaying in Dubai, said. “At this moment in time, my reality is Atletico Madrid and I am happy where I am. There will be another league in the future but I still have three years left on my contract with Atletico,” he added. Falcao is reputed as the best striker in the world at the moment and his goals have driven Atletico to compete for the Liga title where Barcelona, itself propelled by goals from Lionel Messi, leads the pack. EPL Results Everton
Tennis: Madueke targets top spot YEMI OLUS
inner of the last tennis tournament in 2012, Nonso Madueke, has revealed his resolve to wrestle the number one spot from Abdulmumini Babalola on the domestic scene
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when the 2013 season serves off. Madueke, who emerged the surprise winner of the Olagbegi Olateru Tennis Championship which took place in Akure, Ondo State from December 15 to 17 after defeating top ranked Lawal Shehu 6 -3, 4-6, 6 7 to win the title, says he wants to be enthroned as Nigeria’s best player. “The outgoing years wasn’t really good for me because I did not feature in most of the tournaments in the country due to my school work and lots of other deprivation,” the Human Kinetic and Health Education undergraduate of the University of Port Harcourt told National Mirror yesterday. “I featured only in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tennis Championship but I am happy I won the Top Sixteen Tournament in Akure which everyone least expected, especially going through three and a half hours to beat Shehu in the final,” Madueke added, stressing, “I will really target to do better than I have done this year.” Some of the top players that featured in the event include Clifford Enosoregbe, Henry Atseyery, Thomas Out, Taiwo Owolabi, Samuel Omoile, Jonah Samuel, Ahmidu Abdulahi, Etim Ekanem, Anthony Micheal, Onyeka Mbanu and Jinadu Owolabi.
boring Boxing Day led me out of the house literally wandering around Egbeda, in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, where I reside. Thanks to an in-house arrangement at the office, I had found myself off duty on a day I was originally scheduled to be sweating out at work while holiday makers made merry. It was an unusual day at home, little wonder the boredom that beset me. But with the English Premier League fixtures on my mind, I merely had to wait till past noon to get out of the house to explore a long-sought opportunity to literally comb the area in search of just anything that could arrest my attention before match time. Venturing out, it was not long before I discovered a roofed wooden hall attached to a storey building on an undulating, un-tarred and dusty road that seemed to lead everywhere, considering the number of cars and motorcycles that plied it. The bill board outside the hall depicting the EPL fixtures practically commandeered me to see the inside, where I met a roll of empty seats as though no action was in the air. It was just past 2pm, anyway, with about two hours before action commenced. The manager of the football viewing centre, who I discovered to be simply known as Baba Gbenga, ushered me into the empty hall after acknowledging that my early arrival suggested me as first time visitor. I spent more minutes wondering if the hall with capacity for 60 viewers would be filled. But I stopped wondering 15 minutes before kick-off time at 4pm when viewers trickled in and slipped in the seats in what seemed to me that the viewers had seats attached to themselves, being regular visitors as their friendliness to one another also suggested. Indeed, the man who sat next to me noticed I was a total stranger
as he barely greeted me. The deafening noise that filled the hall coincided with the kick-off of the game and I practically had to flow with the crowd to catch some fun. There were four television sets showing Manchester versus Newcastle United, Sunderland versus Manchester City, Norwich versus Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers versus West Bromwich Albion. But it took no time before I discovered that the hall had been filled by only Manchester United fans. I reckoned I was the only fan of Chelsea seated, considering that no one bothered as midfielder Juan Mata scrambled the vital lone goal that sealed victory for the Blues. I could not but switch allegiance to Manchester United who truly gave the fans lots to cheer with its renowned never-say-die spirit. Newcastle’s James Perch had fired the visitors ahead in the 4th minute to send the hall silent with some fans looking dazed. But when United’s Johny Evans scrambled in the equaliser in the 25th minute, the hall erupted, only for Evans to drive the fans back to gloom after three minutes as he netted an own goal to give Newcastle the lead. Patrice Evra leveled for United but Papiss Cisse soon shattered the fans when Evra looked on as the free-scoring Senegalese restored Newcastle’s lead. It was as if Robin van Persie felt the anguish inside the hall when he leveled score to cause another eruption. But as Referee Mike Dean checked his watch on 90 minutes at the 75, 596 capacityfilled Old Trafford, Javier Hernandez bundled in the winning goal past a bemused Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul. Jubilation engulfed the hall until the final whistle sounded. Even outside, a team of analysts gathered to review the “Thriller in Manchester”. Not one analyst spoke about the victories achieved by Sunderland, Chelsea and West Brom. It was a day to remember-beginning with boredom and ending with great excitement that only exploration could have guaranteed.
Fans in Lagos relishing the action at Old Trafford where Manchester United edged Newcastle 3-2 on Boxing Day
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, December 31, 2012
Vol. 02 No. 524
Monday, December 31, 2012
The Salt River Morgue, Cape Town, South Africa, handled more than 30,000 cadavers in 1998. Almost 4,000 of these dead bodies have untraceable identities and are often the victims of violent crime.
Moral tonic from Rome
t Christmas, Rome has no rival. It is the closest one gets to paradise on earth. Unknown to the generality of the public, the planning commences two or three years before each 25th day of December. The consistency of the outcome is sufficient justification for the detailed personal attention which Pope Benedict XVI devotes to ensuring a hitch free Christmas that would command the respect and enduring faith of all believers. This was not always the case. During the reign of Pope Leo XIII, it was common knowledge that Mariani wine (1875) was the most famous Coca wine of its time. Cocaine was a major ingredient in the huge variety of wines that were freely available on the market. Everybody used to say it would make you happy and it would also work as a medicament with fantastic healing powers. Not only did Pope Leo XIII insist on carrying a bottle with him all the time, he rewarded Angelo Mariani (the producer of the wine) with a Vatican gold medal.
What is even more interesting is that professional tour guides regularly regale the unwary about a certain Pope, who in the 19th century chose ministering to ladies of easy virtue as his special calling. To this end, every evening after mass he would saunter over to the den of iniquity just outside the Vatican to render what he merrily described as a mission to save the souls of sinners! Whenever he felt a pang of conscience, he took solace by administering a generous dosage of Mariani wine. Indeed, as a demonstration of his contrition, he built a tunnel for the exclusive use of the Pontiff to the den where he took on the demons head on with his rosary firmly clasped in his hands. The tunnel remains till today as a tourist attraction. The wayward Pope went to his grave firmly convinced that even if he had failed to save the bodies of the wicked ladies, he had at least salvaged their souls. On the wall of the Vatican, there is an advertisement for Bayer’s “Heroin”. Between 1890 and 1910 heroin was sold as a nonaddictive substitute for morphine. It was also used to treat children suffering strong cough. Pope Benedict XVI has neither the time nor disposition towards frivolities. His main pre-occupation is the plight of the poor driven beyond endurance into the abyss of hunger, homelessness, joblessness and hopelessness. They have become a huge underclass with nowhere to go but hell and damnation.
MATTERS TOOK A FRIGHTENING DIMENSION WHEN GOING BACK TO
2010, THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB BECAME TRAINING FIELDS FOR TERRORISTS Regardless, the Holy Father loves and cares for them, especially at Christmas. Indeed, in the spirit of sublime humility, Pope Benedict XVI publicly carried out the washing of the feet of the poor just like Jesus Christ did with his disciples. As for Africa, the continent in ferment, the Holy Father, quoting the late President of the USA, John F Kennedy, has delivered a powerful message to its rulers: “A country (or continent) that cannot provide for the many that are poor cannot protect the few that are rich.” The security challenges that have engulfed Africa, particularly Nigeria, are a real monster for the Vatican. Matters took a frightening dimension when going back to 2010, the Islamic Maghreb became training fields for terrorists. Now they are in firm control of northern Mali and are sweeping across the northern belt of West Africa with many countries, Nigeria inclu-
sive, in their cross hairs. What they are preaching is a volatile cauldron of Islamic militancy and total rejection of western education. Rome is certainly not their idea of paradise. The December 6, 2012 edition of ThisDay carried this banner headline: Prosecution witness says Suleja bombing suspects were promised 72 virgins each. An army officer reportedly made the statement before an Abuja Federal High Court while testifying in the case filed by the State Security Service against the six accused for the Suleja/Madalla bomb attack. He revealed that the information was contained in a cell-phone confiscated from the suspects following their arrest at Gumel Junction, Kachia, Kaduna State. According to him, one of the mobile phones carried the promise of incentives and the secret code to arrange and detonate an explosive. It is against this gory background of looming anarchy and disintegration that the Holy Father had had to contend with the 70 “senior elders” from Nigeria sent to pray in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome for the deliverance of their beloved country. The message from the Pontiff to the Nigerian delegation was an adaptation of 1Thessalonians on death and resurrection. Below a short quote: “And now, brothers and sisters, I want you to know what will happen to the Christians who have died so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope. For since you believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died…” The Pontiff message has been a wonderful tonic, which boosted the hope for divine intervention in the affairs of Nigeria. Bashorun Randle, jkrandleintuk@ gmail.com, a former president of ICAN and former chairman of KPMG Nigeria and Africa Region, wrote from Lagos
SA tennis star, Serena Williams, yesterday opened her season with a 6-2 6-1 win over fellow-American Varvara Lepchenko in the first round of the Brisbane International. Williams, who dominated 2012 despite not finishing the year as world number one, met with one
Tennis: Serena shines in Brisbane of the rising stars of the WTA tour. The American, who underwent minor surgery on one of her big toes, which forced her to pull out of an exhibition event in Thailand earlier this week, fought off five
break points early in the match before racing into a 4-0 lead against Uzbekistan-born world number 21, Lepchenko. Williams won 31 of her 32 matches in the second half of last season including titles at Wimbledon, the
Olympics, the US Open and the WTA Championships. “I really needed to win today (yesterday) so I could finish the year with still just the four losses. So that was important for me,” the more acNFF President, Aminu Maigari tive of the Williams sisters said. Serena Williams
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Published on Dec 30, 2012
JTF kills four terrorists, arrests 51 others. Security agents aborted Xmas Day attacks –President. Tambuwal calls for serious actions agains...