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800 companies close shop in two years, says NACCIMA PENGASSAN condemns killing of NNPC engineers

Jonathan

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he Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Ag-

Vol. 2 N0. 446

riculture, NACCIMA, yesterday said that about 800 companies had closed shop between 2009 and

$15m Ibori bribe:

Court orders IG to investigate Uba, Achigbu P.2

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2011 due to harsh operating business environment in the country. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

N150

Shake-up looms in banks

…as FG blames sector for economic woes Bankers’ Committee backs N5,000 note

TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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fresh shake-up appears imminent in the banking sector as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has asked banks to submit details of their staff occupying sensitive positions for assessment. Those affected by the directive include board members and heads of key departments. The directive is to determine if they meet the minimum requirements prescribed in a new CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Traffic jam at Barracks bus stop, Funsho Williams Avenue, after the downpour in Lagos, yesterday.

Impeachment move:

Reps order committees to submit report on budget ...give MDAs one week to present implementation status

Bizarre! Woman delivers ‘horse’ in Edo church

Fashola

P.6 P.49

Okada riders pledge compliance with Lagos traffic law P.6


News

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

$15m Ibori bribe: Court orders IG to investigate Uba, Achigbu EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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n Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to investigate Senator Andy Uba and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chibuike Achigbu, over their alleged involvement in the $15m bribe allegedly offered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori.

The bribe was said to have been offered by the ex-governor to compromise a money-laundering investigation. The Chief Magistrate, Mr. G.O. Okagu, issued the order following a “direct criminal complaint” made by a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo. Keyamo’s complaint was argued by one Ugochukwu Ezekiel. The order gave the IG a September 26 deadline to report back to the court with his findings to ascertain the complicity or otherwise of Uba and

Achigbu. Keyamo in his deposition averred that “the society is crying for justice in this matter and only an intervention by the court can answer the cry.” He also averred that it will be in the best interest of justice to bring the accused persons to court to answer this complain and that this court has the power to direct that the accused persons be brought to answer. The claimant had alleged that as an oil magnate and member of the ruling PDP, he had donat-

ed $15m towards the election of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2007. Achigbu explained that he sought advice from legal experts on whether he could raise money to support the PDP and its candidates throughout the country to ensure a clean sweep for the party. He added that though he set a target of N3bn for himself and friends, but was able to raise more than N2bn by April 2007. In order to expend the fund legitimately, Achig-

Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister, Mrs. Thokozani Khupe (left) and Vice-President Namadi Sambo during Khupe’s courtesy visit to the State House, Abuja, yesterday.

bu said he approached Uba, now a senator, and agencies of government to ensure that he raised the funds legitimately and in good faith. Uba, he alleged, advised him to deliver the fund to the EFCC, being the agency of the Federal Government empowered to certify such. In an affidavit he filed in support of the application, he said: “Andy Uba was a Special Assistant in the Presidency who offered to take custody of the fund with a view to inviting EFCC to carry out the audit and certification before being donated to the PDP.” He stated that upon delivering the money, he heard rumours about an attempt by Ibori to bribe the chairman of the EFCC, insisting that he had nothing to do with Ibori. According to Achigbu, “It was not until several months after Uba’s election was voided at the Supreme Court that he succeeded in making contact with him. He claimed that “Uba, in a telephone conversation he had with him sometimes in the early part of the year 2008, con-

firmed that, as agreed, he did invite the EFCC to take custody of the purported unclaimed fund and revert on their investigations about its suitability for the purpose that the fund was intended.” Achigbu said that he, however, suspected that Uba had diverted the money to fund his electioneering expenses when he was campaigning for governor of Anambra State. He deposed further that “I took the view that God had sufficiently avenged Uba’s betrayal when his election funded with the money was voided by the Supreme Court less than a month into his tenure in June 2007.” Achegbu explained that on August 27, 2012, he received a call from Uba, informing him about the latest development concerning the $15m and that the money was the same money he collected from him. He said that Uba specifically confirmed to him that it was Ibrahim Lamorde, the then EFCC Director of Operations, that was specifically instructed to receive the money from him on April 25, 2007.

Shake-up looms in banks as FG blames sector for economic woes CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Competency Framework for the Nigerian Banking Industry. CBN and the Bankers’ Committee had said in June that the recent global financial crisis had exposed the inadequacy of skills and dearth of executive capacity in the banking industry. In a letter sent last week to the deposit money banks, CBN Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Mr. Y.B. Duniya, said there was need for assessment of the commercial banks’ staff to forestall any gap that might impede the successful implementation of its policy as contained in the new framework exposure draft. The letter explained that skills, qualifications, experience and competencies of their staff occupying sensitive positions or performing controlled functions would be assessed. Thirty five of such posi-

tions were identified in the first instance, including board chairmen and directors, chief executive, chief risk officer, chief financial officer, chief internal auditor, chief compliance officer, senior credit officer, chief information officer, company secretary, treasurer, chief economist/senior economist and branch manager. The letter reads in part: “Further to the Exposure Draft on the Competency Framework for the Nigerian Banking Industry, issued on June 26, 2012, we advise stakeholders that we have noted and incorporated as appropriate, observations submitted in respect of the exposed draft. “This will enable the Bankers’ Committee identify at the preliminary stages, gaps that would impede the effective implementation of the framework. “It is important to remind stakeholders that the list of controlled func-

tions is not exhaustive as other important roles and responsibilities may be added to it.” It stressed that all deposit money banks were directed to avail the CBN of the academic and other relevant qualifications of incumbent staff, years of experience on the control function, post-qualification and general banking experiences. The CBN added that other competencies that support the performance of the control functions and details of identified deficiencies in skills, qualifications, experience and competencies as well as measures envisaged remedying the positions within 18 months of the approval of the framework. Such remedies, according to some bankers, who spoke with National Mirror last night, will involve training or asking those who could not acquire the said qualifications and ex-

perience within that timeframe to quit. In a related development, following the approval of the adoption of Sustainable Banking Principles by the Bankers’ Committee, banks, discount houses and development finance institutions who comply with the principles would be getting incentives from the CBN. A circular issued by the apex bank and signed by Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Mr. Chris Chukwu, said it would give the incentives to institutions that “take concrete steps to imbibe the sustainable banking principles in their operations.” The circular said: “The CBN directs full adoption and implementation of these principles and guidelines by all banks, discount houses and development finance institutions and will provide incentives as necessary to those institu-

tions that take concrete measures to ensure the provisions of these principles and guidelines into their operational, enterprise risk management and other governance framework.” Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday berated the banks for their failure to impact positively on the economy. Government noted that the banks failed to discharge their responsibilities despite substantial support being given. While urging them to adopt new business models to reverse the ugly trend of high lending rates and massive turnover of professionals from the banking sector. Giving the charge at the 6th Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of bankers of Nigeria in Abuja, the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, carpeted the banks for contributing little to the Gross National Product,

GNP, and encouraging high interest rates on lending. This, he said, had made credit inaccessible to farmers, small and medium enterprises and the manufacturing sector. The minister noted that rather than lend to real sector and farmers, the banks had continued to show preference to financing import trade and by implication, contributing to the crisis in the real sector and the volatility of the foreign exchange market. Ngama disclosed that the trend of lending by the banks showed that of the N6.42trn and N7.18trn loans and advances of the banking industry as at December 2011 and June 2012 respectively, contribution to agriculture was a marginal 3.35 per cent and 3.45 per cent during the same period while power and energy sector got a mere 0.39 per cent and 0.81 per cent during the respective periCONTINUED ON PAGE 5


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Midweek Interview Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has described those calling for the impeachment of President Goodluck Jonanthan as a bunch of selfish Nigerians. In this encounter with OBIORA IFOH, he speaks on PDP crisis in the South-West, state police and why he is not criticising Governor Kayode Fayemi. Excerpts:

Those plotting Jonathan’s impeachment are selfish – Fayose

What is your assessment of the performance of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)? It is too early in the day to assess the NWC of the PDP holistically because there is still not yet the litmus test in some quarters. But the signal, by the grace of God, is not too bad. The statements of the Bamanga Tukur-led executive committee, particularly if you watch very well, have indicated that as a foundation member, he wants to restructure the party; he wants to do what is right for once. But I believe that for the Tukur-led exco to succeed, he needs the cooperation of all the party member. As leader with diversity of interests, he must manage members well for him to succeed. So far, their pronouncements, their utterances, their determination and a few decisions that they have taken are pointing to clarity of purpose. However, we will keep our fingers crossed, praying for them and appealing to all members of the party that have power, influence, etc to allow this NWC to succeed because they can’t succeed by themselves without our cooperation. Given that the PDP controls the majority members of the National Assembly, do you think it was proper for impeachment threat to be raised against the president and for it to gain ground the way it did? Politics is very funny. It shows that some people are playing to the gallery. You see, I like checks and balances, but we have to do things with Nigeria in focus. We should not play politics with Nigeria. The situation in the country does not call for that. There are certain things that might be meaningful, but they are not timely reasonable. If you have somebody who has spent three and half years in office and you are still agitating, let us remove him, such agitation in court could be said to be unreasonable. Let me put it this way; I don’t know whatever President Goodluck Jonathan must have done, he needs to be checked when he does anything wrong, but impeachment now is equally something insensitive, when it comes to the Nigeria that we live in today. I will like to say that such cannot stand the test of time. The polity is so fragile. Will anybody say it is the fault of the President that somebody

Fayose

goes to church and start shooting people or are we saying that the President should be everywhere at the same time. Evils are committed in the society by the people and not the President. Most times people are fighting for their interest and not for the good of Nigeria. If they were fighting for Nigeria it is a different thing. So, the issue of removing the President is pursuant of an idea that does not represent Nigeria’s interest. Even if Jonathan is the worst president, what they are talking about is to achieve certain goals which cannot stand the test of time. So, I distance myself from that. It is only when we have a common Nigeria that we have a National Assembly. If we don’t have a common Nigeria, we don’t have a National Assembly; we don’t have a president. So, nobody should threaten anybody. If you remove Jonathan, are you bringing a saint from heaven? It is unfortunate that Nigeria has descended into the arena of ‘if it does not go my way let me scatter it’. And I want to say they should have rethink. As a former governor, what is your take

on the contentious issue of state police that is dividing opinions seriously? The call for the creation of state police, which is dividing the governors, is democracy at work. My opinion is that Nigeria is not ripe for state police. Our attitudes as leaders are such that we don’t have such minds to accommodate such things. Most leaders, most governors, most people who have opportunity today want that state police to oppress other people; they don’t want it for the unity of this country. State police is not in place yet, and you will see some people using wrongly the federal police that are in their states to oppress other people for political reasons. The level of oppression at the grassroots level is so bad that if you have state police, people will equally want to create themselves as demigods in those states. Today, people use federal police to oppress and rig elections and think of what they would do if state police exist. Most governors have not managed their economy properly and if you add state police, that would become disastrous to the state. The governors and the people

clamouring for state police should know that the seat of power is temporary and momentary. If you have the interest of the country at heart, there are things you should not clamour for. There are other things that are more germane to the country than state police. The PDP is losing its hold on the South West, what do you think should be done to save the party from extinction in the zone? The South-West is a very different zone in the country and democracy is working there. The people are sensitive. It is the politicians that are insensitive. What brought the PDP in the South-West down was simply selfishness and actions that were taken that we cannot defend. Like I had said severally, you can never bring majority under minority, it will never work. The very moment you are asking majority to be under minority, you will have a problem. For instance, you want to conduct a governorship primary for aspirants, but you have already given the CONTINUED ON PAGE 15


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Photo News

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Head of Monitoring, National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Harry Obe; District Head, Ungwa Rimi Kudu, Alhaji Abdullahi Maiwada and Chief Magistrate, Hajiya Rabi Salisu Oladoja, at the inauguration of the New Child Justice Clinic in Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Director, Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Tokunbo Martins; Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza and Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, at a news conference on the bankers’ committee meeting in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs. Ngozi Unogu and Managing Director, Federal Road Management Agency, Engr. Gabriel Amuchi, during a consultative meeting with road sector contractors and the official launch of “Project Safe Passage on the Federal Roads” in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R: Chairman, AGM Planning Committee, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Abuja, Dr. Haastrup Tayo; Chairman, NIPR, Abuja, Mr. Osondu Ohaeri and Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, during the presentation of “Do the Right Thing” plaque from NOA to NIPR in Abuja, yesterday.

National News

FG targets $50bn foreign reserves –Presidency OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday said that its target is to grow the nation’s foreign reserves to $50bn within the shortest possible time. The country’s foreign reserves hit the $39bn mark recently; enough to guarantee months of imports without fears. The government also expects power generation to hit about 7, 000mw by December with increased availability of gas to pow-

er the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) in the country. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, at a news conference in Abuja said the $50bn target is possible with the current economic outlook. Okupe, who noted that the opposition had misled Nigerians for too long with disinformation about the capacity of the present government to manage the economy, said there was a plan to build

excess crude account to $10bn “enabling us to run our trade for three months without fear.” His words: “The principles that are embedded in the Nigerian economy are beginning to yield fruits and belie the argument of the opposition about the capacity of government to manage the economy. “There is investor confidence. It means we are now on a steady keel of stability on the Nigerian economy. All these are good indices of the Transformation Agenda.”

The Senior Special Assistant also said that the expected increase in power generation would be in excess of 600 per cent of the amount ever generated in the country, which he said would make Nigerians to enjoy more hours of uninterrupted power supply. The presidential aide observed that the major problem that confronted the power sector in the was that the NIPP could not come on stream because of lack of gas, but today; “I am happy to announce to you that through the

Banks pledge to collaborate with EFCC TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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eposit Money Banks in the country yesterday gave assurances of their commitment to work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to curb the financial system of fraudulent transactions. Giving the assurance at the end of the Bankers’ Committee meeting held

in Abuja, the Managing Director of United Bank of Africa, Philip Uduoza, said the banks were prepared to work with the EFCC to know the specific banks the commission referred to in its report and also areas of improvement in their dealings with the commission. His words: “Whenever banks have suspicious transactions, these transactions are reported and they are filed, so I don’t

think the issue has to do with banks not willing to co-operate with the commission. “We would work with them in the area of these shortcomings, if any, to ensure that suspicious transactions are not allowed in the system,” he said. The committee also expressed its support for the currency restructuring being proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying that the ex-

ercise will enhance efficiency and help to reduce cost. According to the UBA chief, who expressed the position of his colleagues on sundry issues affecting the financial system operations, “higher denomination makes more sense as it will take less quantity in the ATM and would be easier to move cash from one place to the other because the quantity would reduce.”

emergency measures taken by the President, that has changed.” He remarked that even though Alaoji, Olorunsogo and Sapele power stations required about 60 million standard cubic meters of gas to power electricity, there was now 240 million standard cubic meters of gas available while additional 100 million standard cubic meters was expected to be supplied by a private company. According to him, “They are now going to add to the national grid. It is envisage that by December this year, Nigeria will hit an all time high in excess of 7000mw. That will mean that Nigeria will have more hours of uninterrupted power supply nationwide. It will be 600 per cent more than what we already generated.” Okupe pointed out that rehabilitation work on 488-kilometre LagosJebba railway line has been completed just as the 638-kilometre Jebba-Kano railway line has been completed while the new standard gauge Abuja-Kaduna

180-kilometre line was at 35 per cent completion. Citing the observation made by the Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigerian (MAN), Chief Kola Jamodu, the senior special assistant said that in the last one year, over 240 new manufacturing industries have opened in Nigeria, investing N400bn and employing in excess of 200, 000 Nigerians while capacity utilisation has increased to 70 per cent. All these, he said, are good signs that the economy was doing well. Also speaking on speculations concerning the national award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) to businessman, Dr. Mike Adenuga, whose company, Conoil was indicted in the oil subsidy payments; Okupe stressed the need to divorce the action of his company from his personal achievements. He said Dr. Adenuga has done a great deal for the country through his numerous business concerns which employ thousands of Nigerians.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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800 companies close shop in two years, says NACCIMA CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

President of NACCIMA, Dr. Herbert Ajayi, gave the figure in Asaba while presenting a paper at a workshop on economic diversification organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC. Ajayi said that over half of the “surviving” firms had been classified as “ailing”, a situation, he said, posed a great threat to the survival of the manufacturing industry. According to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Ajayi added that capacity utilisation in industries hovered around 30 and 45 per cent on the average, with 100 per cent overhead costs. He blamed the continued decline in the manufacturing sectors on “political and economic factors”, citing poor infrastructure and epileptic power supply as key impediments. “The manufacturing 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,” he said. The industrialist gave other reasons for the woes in the sector as incessant increase in the price of petroleum products used by industries, multiple taxation, unabated smuggling and inadequate access to finance. According to him, widespread insecurity and the inability of government agencies at the ports to meet its 24-hour target for cargo clearance have contributed to the dwindling fortunes in the manufacturing sector. The NACCIMA president, who was represented at the event by the VicePresident of the association, Mrs. Mary Iyasere, described current government policies aimed at reviving the manufacturing industry as inadequate. He said: “Government policies have been directed towards revitalising the ailing manufacturing sector. “For instance, in May 2010, the government announced a $1.3bn fund to help banks extend credit to the manufacturing sector following the decline in available finance after the global economic crisis had set in.

“Notwithstanding this positive development arising from the reform process, the Nigerian economy, especially the manufacturing sector, is still confronted by serious challenges, structural imbalance and lack of diversification. “The current government policies targeted at the real sector (manufacturing) are also inadequate and preventing the manufacturing industry from flourishing.” On the way forward, Ajayi stressed the need for the organised private sector to support government’s efforts aimed at revitalising the sector through the much-canvassed Public Private Partnership. He also called for more transparency in the ongoing government-led privatisation exercise of public enterprises. Quoting statistics from the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Ajayi said between 1999 and 2011, 121 firms were privatised or commercialised with about N250bn realised from their sale. “It was also reported that 81 of the privatised firms were operating at about 66 per cent performance level and 41 at 34 per cent performance level,” he added. The NACCIMA president, however, noted that the figures were in stark contrast to the position of the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Privatisation, which stressed that 80 per cent of the firms were not performing. He explained that Nigeria could borrow from the lessons of the economic policies of the “Asian Tigers” – Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan – to boost the manufacturing sector. He, however, warned that Nigeria must exercise caution in trying to imitate the Asian policies, stressing that government needed to consider the peculiarities of the nation’s economy and marry it with those of Asia in areas “where policies are applicable rather than wholesale adoption.” “This is because the casualty between growth and industrialisation could prove to be a costly mistake as seen in other countries, in pushing for rapid industrialisation,” Ajayi said.

L-R: Nigerian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Ambassador Femi Rotimi; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and a member of the House, Hon. Daniel Reyemeju, at the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, yesterday.

Shake-up looms in banks as FG blames sector for economic woes CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

ods. He, however, noted that general commerce and the importation of oil and gas maintained steady lead, thus making them to support the productive base and capacity of other countries at the detriment of the country. The minister said: “Since 1989, the government, through the CBN and the NDIC, has intervened to save the banking industry. “In fact, it is the most protected industry in Nigeria. It is important that a healthy and strong financial sector is needed in order to have economic growth. To what extent this is true, is a subject of debate. “Most commentators believe that the banking sector is not supportive of the real sector. It only engages in financing imports at the detriment of the productive sector. “For instance, the textile industry, agriculture and mining are not adequately supported by the banking sector hence the CBN intervention. “This cannot be sustained and it is, therefore, necessary for us to review our business model to ensure that the banking industry takes its rightful place in financing the vital sectors of the economy,” Ngama said. He identified another debilitating factor to economic growth being promoted by the banking sector as pricing of loans and advances, stressing

that the prohibitive interest rates of about 20 to 25 per cent charged on loans had remained a disincentive to productive activities “since the banks are more concerned with import finance, an action which puts further pressure on the local currency.” The minister also cautioned the banks on their overemphasis on deposit marketing on which most promotion and commendations are now based in the industry. He added that the operators must reverse the trend by placing more emphasis on knowledge and other critical intellectual and professional capacities of workers in order to reverse the high rate of skilled labour turnover in the industry. In a related development, the Bankers Committee yesterday endorsed the introduction of N5,000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying “it will reduce the cost of doing business’’. Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa, UBA, Mr Philips Oduoza, who briefed journalists after the committee’s meeting in Abuja, said, “Logically, the N5,000 notes will reduce cost of doing business and the total amount spent in printing the currency is going to reduce by 10 times. “The cost of printing a currency still remain the same, whether you are printing N50 note or N5,000 note. “So, if we print N5,000

note and print one million of it and do the same with N100, you find out that you have less physical currency as far as the N5,000 is concerned. “Therefore, the cost will reduce when you are printing a bigger denomination,’’ he said. According to him, it will encourage service efficiency, assuring that the introduction of the bill would not bring about inflation in the country. He noted that the new note would facilitate reduction in the lending rate by commercial banks. “So many things are involved in the lending rate. “For instance, if the cost of production, management and transaction of currency is reduced, automatically many charges will drop including the lending rate.’’ Oduoza also assured that it would be difficult to fake the new currency, “as higher denominations pass through a lot more scrutiny’’. He added that no contract had been awarded yet for the printing of the new currency and urged Nigerians to positively accept the N5,000 note. He added that the committee had also discussed issues of funding agriculture, the cashless policy and how they would impact on the nation’s economy. On the recent complaint by the EFCC that banks’ were not cooperating with it in accessing the accounts of those indicted in corrup-

tion cases, Oduoza pledged that the banks would continue to work with the commission to ensure service delivery. According to him, a committee on financial literacy has been established to look at the issues and engage the EFCC to facilitate an improvement in relations to enhance the commission’s work. Also, Managing Director, Standard Chartered Bank Mrs Bola Adesola, said that the new notes would only be issued to customers on request. “Those who want the N5,000 note will get it, customers will still have the right to choose the denomination they want to use,’’ she said. She added that the issue of inflation and other challenges which had generated apprehension among Nigerians had been properly considered by the committee. Adesola also noted that the apex bank had tried to maintain a stable inflation rate in spite of all odds. CBN Director, Cooperate Communications, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, said that the coins and notes would run side-by-side. This, he said, would dispel the fears that the cost of commodities sold for N50 would automatically rise because N50 was converted to coins. “Restructuring of the naira will continue to be done in the best interest of the country and not to raise inflation and other issues as people are speculating,’’ he added.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Reps order committees to submit report on budget OBIORA IFOH AND TORDUE SALEM

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peaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday ordered the 85 standing Committees of the House to submit an implementation report on the 2012 budget. This, according to him, is to allow the House decide on its earlier threat to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan over poor budget implementation. The report is to be presented to the House on or before its resumption from its two-month break on September 18. The Speaker’s directive is contained in a letter dated September 10 and signed by the Deputy Leader, Leo Okuweh Ogor. In the letter, the Speaker directed that the report be submitted to the House Leader, Mulikat AdeolaAkande. The five-paragraph let-

ter reads in part: “You (committee chairmen) are to request all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, that you oversight to submit the status of all releases of funds; how much has been accessed, contracts awarded and general implementation status of the 2012 Appropriation Act. “You are to ensure strict compliance as the information collated will form the basis of the decisions of the House on resumption.” Before the lawmakers proceeded on the annual recess on July 19, the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, gave an impeachment warning against President Jonathan to press for the implementation of the 2012 budget. The House later contradicted the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who insisted that the Presidency had executed 56 per cent of the budget.

Also yesterday, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, denied it was embarking on another constitution amendment to give automatic tickets to some office holders, including the President, for second term. There have been allegations that the Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP has perfected plans to return Jonathan as its presidential flag bearer in the 2015 general elections through constitution amendment which would be fashioned in the manner of the United States’ Democratic Party that first recognises the incumbent. But in a statement in Abuja, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, denied any move in that direction. He said: “We have re-

ceived several calls from concerned party members for clarifications following this misleading publication. “In order to set the record straight, the PDP wishes to clearly state as follows; the party is not involved in any process to amend its constitution at the moment. The 2012 amended copy is now the grund norm of the party and we intend to strictly abide by its provision. The PDP does not exist solely for the purpose of perpetual amendments of its constitution. “We have already made our position known that holders of elective positions can only secure another term based on their performance and their acceptance by the people in a free and fair primary election where all party members shall be guaranteed a level playing

ground. The PDP under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur shall never short circuit the will of its members under whatever guise. “We also wish to make it clear that the PDP has its own constitution where processes for candidates’ selection are clearly spelt out. We are therefore only bound by the provisions of this constitution and not the conventions of any other party, anywhere else in the world. We are no copycats.” Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, has said Jonathan’s belief was that only God has the power to enthrone whoever would be the President after the 2015 polls. Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja yester-

day, Gulak said the President felt he should rather allow God to decide his fate on the matter, rather than making public pronouncement about his future. He said: “Whether or not Jonathan will take a shot at 2015 is not yet decided. The fate of every human being, who aspires to be president, is in the hands of God. The fate of President Jonathan with regard to 2015 elections is in the hands of God and in the hands of Nigerians.” Gulak, however, said that no individual or group of people could intimidate the President on the matter. Regarding ongoing calculations and permutations in political circles, he said Jonathan had the constitutional right to contest and that it was a fundamental right that could not be taken away by anybody.

Okada riders pledge compliance with Lagos traffic law MURITALA AYINLA

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ommercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada riders are divided over the new Lagos traffic law banning their operations in 475 routes in the state. The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, had on Monday directed the state Commissioner of Police to begin mass arrest and prosecution of the riders found contravening the law after a week’s grace to further sensitise them to the provisions of the law. Speaking after a closeddoor meeting with Governor Babatunde Fashola, some riders under the aegis of Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State, MOALS, declared their support for the new law. The Chairman of MOALS, Mr. Tijani Penkis, said the group was ready to comply with the traffic law. He said: “At the meeting, we explained our grievances to the governor on the new traffic law. But when we listened to his response, it was humane. It suits us as a union. We all appreciate his response and we decided to back the law.

“As the grand patron of the Okada riders in the state, he has assured us that the law will continue to have human face. And we have also assured him that we will go back to our members and sensitise them to the importance of the new law before the enforcement.” But some motorcyclists under the aegis All Nigerians Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association, ANACOWA, had disagreed with the state over the prohibition of their operations in the 475 routes. They are in court seeking an order restraining the state government from prohibiting them from operating on major highways listed in Items 1 - 11 and other parts of Schedule II of the new traffic law. Meanwhile, the state branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, has dissociated itself from ANACOWA, saying the association was not affiliated to it, as claimed in its document. The state Chairman of NURTW, Tajudeen Agbede, told our correspondent that his union had nothing to do with ANACOWA and other unions which claimed affiliation to it, but were not ready to obey the law.

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Chris Akamnonu; Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Taofiq Tijani; representative of the House Committee Chairman on Electricity, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa; Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel and Metallurgy, Sen. Phil Tanimu Aduda; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Ishaku, at the commissioning of the Ikeja Forum Office of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in Lagos, yesterday.

$500m loan: Nigeria, Chinese bank sign Abuja light rail deal OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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oordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has signed a $500m loan agreement with the Chinese EXIM Bank to ensure the completion of the cash-strapped Abuja Light Rail project. Also at the ceremony in Beijing, China, was the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, who announced that the project had reached its final implementation take-off

stage. The signing of the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Chinese EXIM Bank is expected to bring about a non-stop continuation of the Abuja Light Rail project which would be financed by the bank. The Senior Special Assistant to the FCT minister on Information Management Systems, Hajia Jamilah Tangaza, said in a statement issued in Beijing yesterday that the minister was optimistic that the project would lead to a drastic decongestion of the city and facilitate the restoration of the master plan, as more

city dwellers would prefer to move to the satellite towns. She said Mohammed expressed absolute delight that the ability to finally access the loan would actualise the transformation of the FCT. The minister, according to the statement, said: “The Abuja Light Rail is of major significance to us because it will move people from the outskirts to the centre of the Federal Capital City and vice versa. This will go a long way in enhancing the FCT residents’ economic power and decongesting the city.” Mohammed urged the

FCT residents to see the Abuja light rail project as their own, especially considering the huge employment and business opportunities it would bring. On her part, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said: “It is in the interest of both countries to cooperate with each other. China is the largest country in the world and second biggest economy in the world, while Nigeria is the largest in Africa and second biggest economy on the continent.” She recalled that during their trip to China earlier this year, they made it clear that Nigeria and the FCT needed the Abuja light rail project.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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JTF uncovers filling station used for illegal refinery Arrests two suspects

CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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en of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) yesterday recorded success in their mandate to put operators of illegal refineries out of business. They uncovered a filling station, Nenco Oil, alleg-

edly used by suspected oil thieves as a cover for illegal business. The JTF officials also arrested the two suspected oil thieves - Edwin Nnana and Bernard Eze. The suspects were said to be using the filling station to refine crude oil. The back of the filling station accessed by two gates on the left and

right extremes, is a large expanse of land littered with crude storage tanks, underground tanks, dugs, liquid pumps, pipes and other paraphernalia used to refine crude. Investigation by National Mirror indicated that the filling station is always without fuel to sell to motorists, but tankers were always seen loading petroleum products there.

The owner of the filling station and some others, who escaped through a back gate behind the station, are still at large. The JTF men stormed the premises after a tip-off by members of the public. Aside the two suspects arrested, two tankers used to transport fuel were seized. One of the tankers was empty, while the other was loaded with 33, 000

PENGASSAN condemns killing of PPMC workers MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has condemned the killing of three Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) workers by vandals at Arepo, Ogun State.

In a statement yesterday, PENGASSAN expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s attitude to the security of the workers. The association recalled that the same vandals had attacked PPMC members of staff and some journalists who had gone on an assessment visit to the site when the

pipeline breach was first reported. PENGASSAN’s President, Mr. Babatunde Ogun, said the association decried a situation where people on national assignment to restore strategic assets like petroleum pipelines were left to be murdered in cold blood by hoodlums. It will be recalled that

three workers of PPMC were among those attacked recently by vandals while in Arepo to repair parts of the pipelines damaged by vandals. According to Ogun, PENGASSAN has directed its members not to make any further attempt to repair the pipelines until the government guarantees their safety.

Officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) lifting a confiscated motorcycle into a van during the implementation of the Lagos Traffic Laws in Ojota, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Terrorism: Why security agencies are helpless –Ihejirika PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has explained why security operatives find it difficult to tackle terrorism. Speaking yesterday at the passing out parade of 1,952 soldiers trained in basic counter- terrorism in Kontagora, Niger State, Ihejirika said security found it difficult to tackle terrorism because it is not a conventional warfare. He said terrorists are not living in isolation, but among the people.

According to him, efforts by security personnel to carry out attacks on the terrorists may endanger the lives of the innocent. Ihejirika said: “I believe members of the terrorists are living among the people. Therefore, in carrying out attacks on them, security operatives are always mindful of the law-abiding citizens of the country so as not to put their lives in danger. “The army is focusing far ahead of not only addressing the menace of the terrorist group, but on how to wipe out all forms of terrorism and insurgency across the nation.”

litres of illegally refined AGO (diesel). The JTF also recovered a fire fighting truck loaded with diesel, and several vehicles suspected to be used in transporting stolen crude to the illegal refinery. The Army Public Relations Officer (APRO), 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Maj. Michael Etete, said that oil thieves were ruin-

N47.1bn theft: Akingbola’s counsel, judge disagree in open court FRANCIS FAMOROTI

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ead counsel to former Managing Director, Intercontinental Bank Plc, (now Access Bank Plc), Erastus Akingbola, and an Ikeja High Court judge, Justice Habeeb Abiru yesterday openly disagreed over the conduct of proceedings in the criminal charge preferred against the embattled ex-bank chief. While Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), who led other defence lawyers for Akingbola, said he was not comfortable with what he termed the handling of the proceedings of the trial of his client by Justice Abiru, but the latter rebuked the SAN for delaying the proceedings of the court by seeking an adjournment unnecessarily. The disagreement came on the heels of the refusal by the judge of a plea for an adjournment by the lead defence lawyer. Fagbohungbe had told the court that he wanted an adjournment to enable him clarify some issues before proceeding further with the evidence-in-chief

SERAP urges FG to repatriate Alamieyeseigha’s loot from US FRANCIS FAMOROTI

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he Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday urged the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), to seek the nod of the United States’ Government to repatriate about $401,931 assets purportedly confiscated from the former Governor of Balyesa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. In a letter signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni

and addressed to the office of the AGF, the group said that the repatriation of the stolen assets would contribute to the fight against impunity of perpetrators in the US. According to the group, On June 28, 2012, the US Department of Justice obtained the first forfeiture judgment ever issued under the new Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative against Mr. Alamieyeseigha. “The initiative is designed to target and recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption that have been laundered

ing the nation’s economy and that the JTF would not relent in its efforts to ensure that they were put out of business. Etete said: “Any tanker carrying illegally refined products will not escape the scrutiny of the JTF.” The arrested suspects, however, told journalists that they were not aware that their employer’s business was against the law.

into or through the United States. The Nigerian government has not yet made a request for the repatriation of the stolen wealth. ‘’ “Yet, being a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption, Nigeria has a legal obligation to make a request for mutual legal assistance to the US for the return of the assets. The Convention describes asset recovery as its “fundamental principle” and requires state parties to “afford one another the widest measure of cooperation and assistance in this regard.”

of Akingbola’s co-accused Bayo Dada. But the judge who had earlier expressed dissatisfaction over the manner, in which the defence had been conducting the case, said Fagbohungbe’s request for an adjournment was unnecessary. He overruled the lawyer and asked him to continue with the case. According to Justice Abiru, “Since morning you have been with the witness and you spent five minutes on each question. You delayed the progress of the court and now you are seeking for adjournment, in respect of investigation. “No there is no adjournment. “Since the last adjourned date in July, you should have done whatever investigation you wanted to do. You had July, August and even September before yesterday’s sitting. “You should continue with your question, there is still time.” But Fagbohungbe said, “My Lord, it is like you are angry with me. “It is like you want to be hearing one side of this case. “I’m not asking for too much. I was only asking for tomorrow. “After all, you granted my learned friend (counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) when he requested for an adjournment yesterday (Monday) till today (Tuesday).” But Justice Abiru in his response said, “I’m not being biased. “You have been given enough time to do your investigation before the court resume. “I’m friendly with everybody.” Fagbohungbe had while leading Dada in evidence told the judge that he was not writing down some of the testimonies of Dada.


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N100bn bond: Assembly gives Amosun fresh condition FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State House of Assembly has said that it would pass the N100bn Bond Bill sent to it by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, if the governor amended Sections 10 and 11 of the bill to provide for a recourse to the state Assembly before assessing bond anytime the need arose. The House explained yesterday that the proposal

•Three lawmakers dump PDP for ACN entitled: “A bill for law to provide for the raising of loans through issuance of bonds, notes and other securities and for connected purposes,” empowered the governor to take bond indiscriminately through the said sections. Debating the bill, the lawmakers noted that it was “good and a welcome initiative in as much as the executive sought for bonds and other securities in good faith,

transparency and fairness”. The legislators also warned that the executive must seek the Assembly’s approval whenever it desired to apply for bonds and other securities. One of the lawmakers, Hon. Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo, argued that “the people of Ogun State do not want to hear the word ‘bond’ because of past experience. What we are talking about

is not just to go to bond market, but to do it with openness, equality and fairness. “Sections 10 and 11 of the constitution confer power on public finance to the House of Assembly and the House will be ceding its power to the executive if it hurriedly passed this bill.” The bill, which scaled through its second reading on the floor of the House yesterday, was passed to the

committee level for further examination and recommendation to the House. Meanwhile, three lawmakers on the platform the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Assembly yesterday defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. The lawmakers are former Whip, Olusola Sonuga, representing Ikenne state constituency, Babatunde Edunjobi (Egbado South), and Adeyemi Harrison (Ogun Waterside).

Reading their letter of defection addressed to the House, the Speaker, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, said the lawmakers dumped PDP for ACN “in order to bring full dividend of democracy to the people they represent”. According to the letter, the legislators claimed they defected to ACN because of the performance of Governor Ibikunle Amosun coupled with what they called “on-going crisis” within the state chapter of the PDP.

Violate environmental law, go to jail, Lagos tells residents MURITALA AYINLA

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L-R: Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina and Director, Women Affairs, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Esther Adeyemi, during the minister’s visit to Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Unpaid salaries: Ogun NULGE declares three-day strike FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, has declared a three-day warning strike over the inability of the Ogun State Government to pay arrears of workers’ salaries. The state Secretary of the NULGE, Mr. Bamidele Oyeniyan, said in a statement issued in Abeokuta that the State Executive Committee, SEC-in-session resolved on the three-day warning strike to press home the union’s demands, having waited in vain for response from the government. NULGE had been demanding for payment of deductions made from workers’ salaries and the payment of arrears of one year leave bonuses. The union also bemoaned the government’s lack of interest in the welfare of its members, saying that the allocations accrued to the 20 local government councils in the state had not been released. The union had earlier given the state govern-

ment a 14-day ultimatum with ref. Number: NULGE/ OGS.612/Vol.11/ 262 dated August 31, after which another seven-day ultimatum was given for government to address the issues. Some of the demands of the union, as contained in the statement, included deduction of tax at source which was not paid to the local government workers and non-remittance of 15 per cent pension deductions in most local governments.

Others were allegations of deliberate efforts of the Local Government Service Commission to destroy the union’s structures at the local government level by indiscriminate posting of branch executives out of the council which elected them. The total shifting of the 100 per cent payment of primary school teachers’ salaries, leave bonuses, pensions and other charges on local government councils and the inability of councils to embark on any meaningful

FG pays pregnant women N5,000 each Ogun State Gov. Amosun

projects for the local populace were also parts of the union’s demands.

NASS’ll investigate £2m PHCN pension scheme money –Dabiri MURITALA AYINLA

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member of the Federal House of Re p re s e n t at ive s Committee on Power, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said yesterday that the National Assembly would investigate the over £2m Pension fund traced to the London account of the electricity company. The Joseph Ajiboye-led committee, which investigated the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, pension scheme, discovered

the money in the London account of the company. The lawmaker’s promise came on the heel of the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Ishaku’s remark that the Federal Government would use the recently discovered alleged stolen fund to resolve the crisis with the PHCN workers. The eight-man committee headed by a former Auditor-General of the Federation, Ajiboye, had disclosed that over £2m unutilised fund was traced to foreign account of the company. The committee was inau-

n its drive to meet the environmental challenges in line with the international best practices, the Lagos State Government yesterday unveiled the Lagos State Park and Garden Agency. The government also warned that those caught violating the state environmental law would be fined or sent to jail. The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the agency was established to implement government’s plan and policies on environmental matters regarding parks and landscapes. Bello, who noted that all the agencies created in the Environment Ministry had become models for other states in the country and Sub-Saharan Africa, warned the residents of

Lagos to desist from all acts capable of degrading the environment. According to him, the law which forbids the felling of trees is still in force. The commissioner said anyone found felling trees would be liable to a year jail term. He said: “The law stipulates a fine not exceeding N50,000 or one year imprisonment or other noncustodial sentences for any person or corporate body found felling trees without obtaining the required permit from LASPARK. “It is now mandatory for tenement/owners and occupiers to landscape and beautify the perimeters areas of their properties, violation of this shall warrant the penalty of N250,000, such sum as the state shall incur in doing same on behalf of tenant, or six months imprisonment or other noncustodian sentence.”

gurated on July 18 to investigate the operations of the PHCN pension scheme and unravel all alleged fraudulent deals within one month. Speaking during the commissioning of Ikeja Forum Office of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, in Lagos, Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa said the two chambers of the National Assembly would not allow such revelation to be swept under the carpet. She described the act of keeping such money in an offshore account as inhuman.

KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Federal Government has commenced a primary healthcare programme which includes payment of N5,000 to every pregnant woman who patronises Primary Health Centres in the country. The South-West Zonal Coordinator of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Oladimeji Olayinka, made the disclosure yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the training of 180 midwives. The agency, which is under the Federal Ministry of Health, is implementing the new Primary Healthcare Project, PHP, under the Subsidy Re-investment and

Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, while it also handles several intervention projects for the Federal Government. Olayinka said the agency would pay the amount to every pregnant woman who registered for antenatal at the Primary Health Centres in four instalments. Describing the payment as “conditional cash transfer,” said the beneficiaries would receive N1,000 twice during antenatal, N2,000 at childbirth and another N1,000 after childbirth to enable them apply the financial aid at different stages of need, including receiving immunisation. He said the initiative was to improve maternal health and reduce mortality rate in the country.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NDLEA seizes N294m heroin at Lagos Airport OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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fficials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have seized a 24.5kg heroin hidden inside carpets at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. The consignment, according to the NDLEA, was described in the air-

way bill as “Pakistani hand-knotted new woollen carpets” originated from Lahore, Pakistan. The consignment was said to have left Karachi Airport in an Emirate flight as unaccompanied cargo and taken to Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) shed at the Lagos Airport. A statement made available to journalists by the

Head of NDLEA Public Affairs, Mr. Michel Ofoyeju, stated that the estimated value of the drug is N294m. Ofoyeju said it was the first time the agency would be discovering drug inside carpets. NDLEA Airport Commander Mr. Hamza Umar, said the consignment was examined by the agency when it was abandoned by the importers.

He said: “The suspicious cargo was monitored by undercover operatives for a week after it arrived. We decided to conduct the search when nobody came to claim it. In all, there were 12 pieces of carpets, but only six contained heroin. “The heroin was prepared into tiny bits inside plastic hollow treads and weaved in a way that

makes it difficult to detect unless it is unfastened.” Umar said that the information on the airway bill was found to be incorrect by investigators. The Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, who described the seizure as breath-taking, promised to unveil the importers. Giade said the importers did their best by concealing the drug, but it

was not good enough to go undetected, adding that if drug barons would not lack concealment methods, the agency would also not be tired in detecting narcotics. He said: “This seizure is unique because it is the least place anyone will go to in search for narcotics. We shall continue with investigation until those behind the illegal shipment are brought to book.”

Rep faults planned introduction of N,5000 note TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

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L-R: Special Apostle Johnson Toriola; General Leader, Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Ayo nio, Prophet Gabriel Fakeye; Deputy Shepherd, Youth Fellowship. Senior Apostle Kehinde Showemimo and the Church’s Secretary, Pastor George Ogunleye, at a conference on the 25th Anniversary of Youth Fellowship in Lagos, yesterday.

Ajimobi lauds women’s role in nation’s development Aregbesola’s wife advises on challenges

WALE FOLARIN AND KEMI OLAITAN

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yo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday lauded Nigerian women for impacting positively on the socio-political and economic development of the country. Ajimobi spoke while receiving the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, who paid him a visit at the Government House, Ibadan. Describing his administration as women-friendly, he expressed his commitment to their empowerment in the state. The governor said women could not be wished away in the scheme of things in Nigeria as they have contributed in no small way to the nation’s development in all aspects of human endeavour. Ajimobi also acknowledged the contributions of women political office holders to the successes re-

corded by his administration so far. He said his administration would continue to empowerment women so that they too could contribute their own quota to the development of the state. The governor said his administration’s restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda was borne out of the need to bring out the state from the ruins of the past. The minister had earlier called for collaboration between her ministery and the state government in the provision of better services and enabling environment for the survival, development and protection of women, children and other vulnerable groups in the state. She said Oyo State was selected as the SouthWest zonal centre for the second phase of Youwin programme dedicated to young women between the ages of 20 and 45, which she said, would be coordinated by the state Ministry of Women Affairs.

Meanwhile, wife of the Osun State governor, Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola, has called on women to prepare for more challenging roles. Mrs. Aregbesola said the call became imperative in view of the fact that women’s role both in the home front and public life are necessary ingredients for national development. She made the call yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, while delivering a lecture entitled: “Women, Home Front Keeping and Party Politics” organised by Igbaotun Women Group (IWG). Mrs. Aregbesola, represented by the wife of the Attorney-General of the state, Mrs Folasade Afolabi, stressed that the roles women play domestically and in public life are crucial to the development of the socio-political process of the nation, adding that the domestic role is a natural responsibility, while political role is a response to social change in the society.

According to her, a woman is expected to rise up daily to take care of the sanitation of the household, cook for the family, collaborate with the husband or men in the house to train the children to display good behaviour and attend to the emotional needs of her husband regularly.

eputy Chairman of the House of Re presentatives Human Rights Committee, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, has faulted the proposed introduction of N5, 000 banknote by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Makinde, who is representing Ife Federal Constituency in the House, said in a statement made available to National Mirror that no economic policy, measure or innovation such as the proposed introduction of N5, 000 banknote could triumph in an unsecured environment. He said that there are many crucial issues in the country that need urgent attention than the introduction of the N5, 000 banknote. The lawmaker, therefore, urged the Federal Government to channel its energy to resolving the pressing nation’s challenges, especially insecu-

rity, instead of introducing the new banknote. Makinde said: “We should be concerned with only those things that will promote the unity of this entity called Nigeria. The introduction of this controversial N5, 000 banknote should therefore be suspended and the proponents should be called to order. “At present, we are facing the challenges of series of attacks on innocent lives, government property and utilities across the land. Few days ago, three Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) workers were gruesomely murdered at Arepo village, Ogun State, while trying to fix a damaged pipeline. “There are also series of other attacks ranging from robbery as well as the unrest orchestrated by a terrorist group in some part of the country. Government must do something to resolve these problems.”

Ekiti to upgrade tourist sites to UNESCO standard ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Ekiti State Government has promised to upgrade facilities at the state’s tourist and historical sites to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) standard. Governor Kayode Fayemi said the efforts were targeted at boosting tourism and improving the revenue of the state. Fayemi, represented by his deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, spoke yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, state capital, while opening the first Festival of

Culture and Arts Expo (EKIFEST). He listed the sites to be ungraded to include Ikogosi Warm Spring, Arinta Water Falls and Fajuyi Park. Others, he said included the identified monuments and historical heritage sites like Ogun Onire Groove, Esa Cave and Okuta-gbokuta-leri. The governor described a society’s culture as a way of life of its members which included collection of tangible and intangible ideas and habits shared and transmitted from generation to generation that make the people unique and serve as the

binding chord. According to him, EKIFEST is the demonstration of his administration’s love for cultural values and the determination to resuscitate and restore love for culture. Stressing that culture and language were at the verge of extinction, Fayemi said his administration recognised the potentials inherent in arts, culture and monumental sites development as a veritable alternative to boosting the economy of the state. Other activities of EKIFEST, he said, included exhibition of arts, artifacts and antiquities of Ekiti ancestors.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ACN exonerates Ngige from plot to remove Akume CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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he Anambra State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday exonerated Dr Chris Ngige, representing Anambra Central senatorial district, from a purported plan by some senators to impeach the Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, from his position. The party said the allegation by the Benue State Chairman of the ACN,

Comrade Abba Yaro, regarding the impeachment was not true. Yaro, in an interview with a Lagos-based newspaper, had alleged that the Senate President was collaborating with ACN senators, including, Dr Ngige and Ganiyu Solomon, the Senate Minority Whip to destabilise minority parties and impeach Senator Akume. Disassociating Senator Ngige from the alleged impeachment plot in a statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Okelo Madukife, the

ACN said that Ngige, who they said is an icon in contemporary Nigerian politics, cannot be associated with such a deed. The statement said Dr Ngige has been assisting in protecting Senator Akume from the numerous attacks on him by opposition senators from the ANPP, CPC, the Labour Party and APGA. The publicity secretary said judging from Comrade Yaro’s allegation, it was clear that the Benue State chairman of the party was out to cause mischief and plant discord in the ACN

Senate caucus. Reprimanding Comrade Yaro for this contentious allegation, the ACN spokesman said; “We advise that Comrade Yaro should busy himself with building and tending to the party in Benue State and desist from his uncouth, primitive and unruly behavior, a stock in trade befitting only motor park touts.” Anambra State ACN in the said statement also threatened to make a strong case to the National Executive Committee of the party to immediately suspend

Comrade Yaro from the ACN, adding that they also frowned at the use of uncouth language in the allegation made by Comrade Yaro. The party summed up its position on the issue, saying; “It is necessary to state that there are many other issues contained in Comrade Yaro’s purported statement, which as a progressive chapter of a disciplined and focused party, we would not address on the pages of the newspaper. “In the interim, it would suffice to clarify that we disagree with Comrade Yaro

on his use of uncivilized language on Senators Chris Ngige and Ganiyu Solomon, who are both leaders of the ACN caucus in the senate. “It is our positive affirmation that Senator Ngige, being a thorough-bred party man, is not available to be used by anyone no matter how highly placed.” The ACN said for now Senator Ngige will continue to dispense valuable services both to Anambra Central and Anambra State as a whole through his effective representation in the senate.

Orji inaugurates subsidy reinvestment fund board GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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L-R: Enugu State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mrs. Pat Alum; wife of Enugu State Governor, Mrs. Clara Chime; Director, Enugu Shopping Mall, Mr. Chuka Okoye and Barr. Anne Nwokoro, at the commissioning of the shop at Enugu Shopping Mall recently.

NAFDAC urges use of local materials for drugs, cosmetics DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged entrepreneurs involved in drugs and cosmetic production to exploit the abundant raw materials in the country for their productions. NAFDAC Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, gave the charge in Onitsha while reacting to the recently commissioned Orange Drugs Limited’s soap factory by President Goodluck Jonathan, in Onitsha. Ohiri said the enormous economic impact of ventures using natural and locally sourced raw materials can only be imagined. “Since 2009, when I was appointed as director-general of NAFDAC, we have been working in tandem

with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. “The agency will cooperate with any genuine investor in the establishment of an industry which will help in the employment of our youths,” he said. He maintained that Orange Drugs is an indigenous Nigerian company to the core, situated in Nigeria, owned and managed by Nigerians, and most important of all, entirely dependent on locally sourced raw materials. Ohiri lauded the management of Orange Drugs for establishing the state-of-the-art facility; adding that it would help in the elimination of the influx of fake, adulterated and unwholesome products in the country. “It will help in the re-

duction of fake products to the barest minimum as well as give employment to the teeming youths of Anambra and Nigeria in general,” he said. The director-general also urged foreign investors from India, Germany, China, USA, among other nations, to come and invest in Nigeria as government would en-

courage them. He said investors would make profits from their investment in Nigeria due to the large market and the high number of youths within the population range that needs their products. “The agency was committed to improving the quality of lives of people of Nigeria,” he said.

bia State government yesterday inaugurated a new board to manage the state’s share of the proceeds from the oil subsidy removal, with a charge to the members to be effective and prudent in the management of the funds. Inaugurating the board headed by Chief Chris Nkwonta, Governor Theodore Orji told the members that already the state has started receiving its own share of the subsidy reinvestment money, saying that the amount so far received was safely kept in a dedicated account in a bank. According to the governor, when the subsidy was removed in January this year, it was calculated that N1.134trn. would be raked in this year. Out of this figure, the Federal Government would take N478bn, while the states and the 774 local government councils would take N411.036bn and N203.23bn, respectively. Orji told them that the subsidy savings at all levels

26 Imo lawmakers leave for South Africa CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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wenty-six Imo State lawmakers would be leaving the state for South Africa for a meeting with their South African counterparts, it was gathered yesterday. National Mirror also gathered that the journey, which was expected to begin yesterday, would see the

lawmakers spending about two weeks in the country. While in South Africa, the legislators, according to a source close to the House, would understudy legislative proceedings in the country with a view to acquiring more knowledge from their South African counterparts. However, the source also said that the journey was part of a game plan not to

swear in the legislator from Oguta state constituency, Hon. Eugene Dibiagwu, even as the court has ordered the House to swear him in without further delay. Dibiagwu, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerged winner of Oguta assembly poll conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on August 11, 2012.

would be reinvested gainfully to the benefit of the people. He charged the board members to ensure that “our Subsidy Reinvestment Programme fund (SUREP) is implemented with human face, to ensure even development of the state.” The governor said he was confident that with the caliber of men in the board, who he said were selected on merit, the assignment would be properly carried out to the satisfaction of all and would impact on the people of the state. The governor directed that the responsibility of the board be brought to him for approval “so that there will be no conflict.” “Government has been receiving its own share of SUREP which is domiciled in a dedicated account. We are waiting for the inauguration of this board and directives from Abuja”, Orji said. In his remark, the Chairman of the board, Chief Chris Nkwonta, thanked the governor for appointing them and assured that his committee would judiciously utilise the funds to the benefit of the people, saying that “every kobo will be well utilized.”

Orji


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South South

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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Rivers’ legislative aides protest non-payment of salaries CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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L-R: Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan; Commissioner representing Akwa Ibom in the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Sen. Ibok Essien and RMAFC’s Chairman, Mr. Elias Mbam, during a courtesy visit to the governor in Asaba, on Monday.

Oyerinde’s murder: Ugolor granted bail at last SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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n Edo State high court yesterday formally granted detained human rights activist and Executive Director of the African Network on Environment and Economic Justice, Rev. David Ugolor bail. In an early morning ruling that caught many journalists unawares, Justice Philip Imoedemhe, said the Nigeria Police have not been able to provide enough evidence before the court to deny the accused person bail. He, thereafter, granted Ugolor bail in the sum of N1 million and a surety in like sum, who must be a landed property owner in Benin City and whose recent pass-

port photographs must be deposited with the court. In what signals what to expect in the case proper, Justice Imoedemhe added that the statement of one Garuba Usman Masamari, that the accused person offered him N20 million to recruit murderers to murder the late Principal Private Secretary of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde and with which the police arrested and perpetually held onto Ugolor, was not enough evidence to continue to detain the activist indefinitely. As at the time of filing this report, Ugolor’s lawyer, Mr. Olayiwola Afolabi, told our correspondent that the bail would be availed unfailingly yesterday while the accused person should breathe the air of freedom as expect-

ed by his family, friends and workers. Relying on Section 118 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Law, CAP. 49, Vol. 11, Laws of the former Bendel State of Nigeria, now applicable to Edo State, Ugolor’s lawyers, led by Mr. G. M. D. Oguntade, which also included Osaro Osemwengie, argued that evidences advanced before the court by the police were not enough to keep Ugolor in detention. They said this was because the State Security Service (SSS) had already established a case of robbery and conspiracy in the murder involving a different set of suspects who have since been held in police custody. The counsel further argued that the holden charge was unknown to Nigerian law and added that under the

amended 1999 Constitution, a citizen of Nigeria cannot be in detention when he has been charged to court and concluded that by virtue of Section 9 (4) of the Evidence Act of 2011, the confession of a co-accused was not binding on Ugolor if the confession was not adopted in court. Coming exactly 46 days after he was arrested on July 27th, the federal Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) detained Ugolor perpetually in connection with the murder of Oyerinde on May 4, 2012. Later, the police arraigned nine other suspects along with Ugolor, which were alleged to have committed the murder in spite of the fact that six other suspects had been arrested and handed over to the police for prosecution by the SSS earlier.

six others, who signed the panel report, said it covered between April 2010 and May 2012, when Orunimighe piloted the affairs of the council. Indications emerged that the former chairman may face prosecution as the incumbent chairman has vowed to implement the panel’s report. But, an aide to the former chairman, who did not want his name in print, dismissed the report, describing it as politically motivated and was meant to dent the image of Orunimighe.

Orunimighe was among the five council chairmen sacked last month by the State House of Assembly over alleged questionable financial transactions of the councils. The panel’s report also indicted the former Political Secretary and Treasurer of the Council, Collins Baker and Quickpen Oseke, who are signatories to the council’s accounts and through whom most of the payments were made. While recommending that all beneficiaries of

questionable payments be invited for interrogation and made to refund money received, if found wanting, the committee urged the council to ensure that due process was accorded a priority in its future financial transactions. The committee also identified some discrepancies in three major areas of personnel cost, overhead cost and security cost and called for a thorough internal control system to check subsequent corrupt practices in the council.

Panel report indicts ex-Bayelsa LG boss EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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rstwhile Chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government Council in Bayelsa State, Chief Tiwei Orunimighe, has been indicted by a panel report over alleged financial misappropriation of the council’s funds while in office. Orunimieghe was indicted by a Financial and Project Review Committee constituted by the Chairman of the council, Felix Bonny-Ayah. Samuel Edoumikumo and

ides of members of the Rivers State House of Assembly on Monday protested on the streets of Port Harcourt to demand for the payment of their salaries and entitlements for the past nine months. The aides, who were visibly upset, marched along the streets of the old GRA carrying placards with various inscriptions like: “The House of Assembly aides cry out over non-payment of their salaries”; “Our families are dying, please pay us our one year salaries”, while chanting “All we are saying, pay our salaries”. A number of the protesters who spoke with journalists regretted that they had to protest for their entitlements, but noted that they had explored all avenues to get their salaries paid to no avail. National Mirror’s moves to get reaction from the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Otelemaba Dan-Amachree and the Chairman of the State Assembly Service Commission, Mr. Omubo Princewill, failed as their aides said they travelled to Sri Lanka on official assignments. But, Mr. Jim Opiki, the me-

dia assistant to the speaker said his principal was aware of the situation and was already addressing it. Meanwhile, an official of the house, who did not want his name in print, told National Mirror yesterday that he advised the protesters against that line of action, urging them to be patient because the resolution of the matter is beyond the speaker. He said the speaker had written a memo to the governor regarding their salaries and entitlements and until approval comes from that quarter there was nothing the speaker could do. “When they had this issue of delay in salary payments, the speaker summoned the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), the state Commissioner of Finance, the state Accountant-General and the Permanent Secretary in the SSG’s office to a meeting where it was resolved that salaries and entitlements of legislator’s aides be paid through the SSG’s office”.

Amaechi

Sylva’s community groans over ocean surge threat EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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he community of the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, Okpoama, in Brass Local Government of the state, yesterday expressed worry over the devastating ocean surge threatening the riverine community. The people of the community, therefore, appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to come to their aid by constructing a standard shore protection to salvage Okpoama from the menace. A community leader in Okpoama, Chief Ebi Berebofa, who spoke with journalists yesterday, urged the Federal Government to sand-fill the shores to enable the people expand their plots of land. His words: “The ocean surge has eaten deeply into our land. It is threatening

our existence as a people. Erosion has eaten up a good portion of the land. Our children may not have a place to build in future. Government should build shore protection in the community.” Okpoama is a kingdom consisting of 60 villages, many shanties and oil and gas firms. Berebofa is the chairman, organising committee for the formal coronation of Amanyanabo of Okpoama, Chief Ebitimi Banigo. Banigo, a former minister of science and technology would be formally crowned by the chiefs of the community between October 26 and 27. Berebofa urged the President to prevail on the authorities responsible for the completion of the abandoned project of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), located in Okpoama.


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North

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

913 settlements risk polio outbreak in Kano –Agency • Kaduna records 10 cases in five LGAs

MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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bout 913 settlements in Kano State risk outbreak of poliomyelitis, a disease popularly called polio. Poliomyelitis is a contagious viral infection that can lead to paralysis, breathing problems or death. This was disclosed yes-

terday in Abuja by the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Mohammad, at the 24th Meeting of the Expert Review Committee (ERC) on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization in Nigeria. Mohammad said the settlements were discovered through the agency’s “walk-through micro-plan” programme.

He said: “We have just discovered that about 913 settlements have, for the last 10 years, been missed in Kano State; they have never been reached for vaccination.” The ERC, which converged on the nation’s capital to assess the country’s response to eliminating the scourge, commended the efforts being put in place by the Federal Government, but said:

“Nigeria is not on track to achieve its eradication goal on time, with increasing cases constituting real and growing international public health risk with Nigeria being the only country in the world with increasing cases”. The ERC, however, believed the country had the tools and capacity to reverse the trend, given the commitments from the Federal Government. Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government said yes-

terday that 10 cases of wild polio virus were recorded in Birnin Gwari, Ikara, Igabi, Kubau and Zaria local government areas in the last eight months. The Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, Dr. Manya Dogo, said three cases were recorded in Birnin Gwari, three in Ikara, two in Igabi and one each in Kubau and Zaria local government areas, after celebrating a three-year free polio period.

Dogo said: “The figure represented 10 per cent of the 70 per cent cases recorded in Nigeria as at last week.” Dogo attributed the incidents to the influx of migrant nomads from affected contagious neighbouring states. He added that cases of missed children cross border migration and lack of cooperation by some parents during immunisation campaigns also contributed to the outbreak.

Auto crash: Victim’s body recovered 11 days after

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he body of Alhaji Suleiman Jibril, the Deputy Manager, Finance of the Kaduna Petrochemical Refining Company (KPRC), has been recovered, 11 days after he died in an auto crash. Jibril died when the car he was travelling in plunged into a river at Jere Bridge along the KadunaAbuja Expressway. The accident occurred on August 31 at about 8.30p.m. Three other persons, including Jibril’s nephew Omeizah and the driver Dahiru were involved in the crash. Dahiru’s body was found two days later, six kilometres from the scene of the accident. Jibril’s body was found strapped in the vehicle with a seat belt in the passenger’s front seat inside the mangled Toyota Hilux van that was lifted from the bridge by a crane at about 12:15pm on Monday.

The body of Omeizah is yet to be recovered as he was not found inside the vehicle. The Public Affairs Manager of KPRC, Alhaji Abdullahi Idris, had said at the scene of the incident that the driver’s body had been taken to Zaria, his home town, for burial. The vehicle was discovered by the combined efforts of experts from Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), professional divers from Warri in Delta and local fishermen from Jere town. Idris said that the crane used was reinforced before they were able to get the vehicle out, adding that the operation was successful as they were able to get the vehicle out with the body. He said that the agencies involved in the search and rescue had been urging people living along the bank of the river to be on the lookout for the remaining body.

Nasarawa revokes firm’s C-of-O over N7.2m debt

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he Nasarawa State Government has revoked land owned by H.A.R. Petroleum Service Limited in Karu, along Abuja-Keffi Road, following the firm’s default in payment of rents since 2001. The letter of revocation by Governor Tanko AlMakura was sent to the firm on September 6, 2012 after the expiration of the one month grace given the company to clear up its outstanding charges of N7.2 m accumulated over nine years. The decision to revoke the land titles including Certificate of Occupancy and Right of Occupancy was ap-

proved by the State Executive Council (SEC) in its last meeting, according to the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Mr. Sonny Agassi. He also gave the file number of the titles revoked as NS7549. The commissioner said the revocation was in compliance with the provisions of Section 10(b) of the Act, CAP 2002 Laws of the Federation, 1990 which spells out the conditions for holding a C-of-O, and R-of- O, just as he said the governor approve the revocation under Section 28(5) and (6) of the Land Use Act, CAP 2002 Laws of the Federation, 1990.

L-R: Bauchi State House of Assembly, Speaker, Alhaji Yahya Miya; Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Saleh and the State Head of Service, Mr. Abdon Gin, at the Code of Conduct Bureau Compliance Training Workshop for political office holders and top government functionaries held in Bauchi, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Insecurity over soon in North, says IGP AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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he security challenges confronting some states in the North will soon be over, Inspector- General of Police (IGP) Muhammed Abubakar has assured, pointing out that normalcy is gradually returning to Kano. Speaking yesterday in Kano, Abubakar said he was in the state as part of

his assessment tour of security situation in some parts of the country, especially the North. IGP, who noted that commercial activities is now picking up in Kano, promised that the police would do everything necessary to ensure sustainable peace in the state. He said: “From the look of things, peace is gradually returning to Kano State, security situation

is improving and the situation is appreciating to normalcy. “We are now putting additional measures to ensure that Kano State remains calm and secure. We thank God that commercial activities are picking up in state”. IGP, however, thanked Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso for renovating some police structures in the state.

CP brokers peace over calls on Aliyu’s impeachment PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he Niger State Police Command has brokered a peace meeting between the two factions engaged in a battle over calls for Governor Babangida Aliyu’s impeachment. Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Desire Nsirim, invited the warring factions to a meeting in Minna, the state capital, where she appealed to them to bury their differ-

ences and embrace peace. It will be recalled the Concerned Citizens of Niger State on Tuesday petitioned the state House of Assembly, calling for the impeachment of the governor for alleged misappropriation of public funds. But the other group, Talba Success Movement (TSM), countered the move, describing the allegation as baseless. TSM urged the Assembly to disregard the petition by those it described as

faceless people who are out to seek political relevance. Apparently worried by the development, however, the police commissioner invited the two groups for a peaceful resolution of their differences. A source at the meeting, who did not want his name mentioned, said the police chief told the two groups that the command would not support any action that could lead to breakdown of law and order, hence the need to call the meeting.

Kwankwaso promised that his administration would continue to collaborate with the police to ensure that sustainable peace returns to Kano. He noted that inadequate equipment, particularly operational vehicles and logistics hampered police effectiveness. Using Kano State, which has 44 local governments as a reference point, IGP Abubakar explained that there are statutorily six police stations in each local council, which should be mandatorily equipped with same number of vehicles for swift and rapid response to distress calls. According to him, most of the police stations at the grassroots level lack operational vehicles and equipment, which he regretted is hindering their operations. For Abubakar, if the Police Force has the required equipment, it will not only boost its morale, but promote efficiency in the discharge of its responsibilities.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

2015: Ndigbo tread familiar path

Govs only want state police to oppressh – Fayose

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ACN accuses PDP of smear campaign against Tinubu FELIX NWANERI

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has faulted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reaction to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s attendance of the recent convention of the United States Democratic Party, describing the ruling party’s criticism as a symptom of “an indolent, frightened and seemingly intimidated government, suffering from misplaced priorities and whose past time is peddling rumours half truths and disinformation.” In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said if anyone is guilty of mischief, falsehood and deliberate attempt at disinformation on the matter; it is the PDP, which twisted a harmless statement issued by the Tinubu Media Office to serve the agenda of persons who want to smear

the former governor and the ACN. Mohammed said: “This needless controversy is being orchestrated by the Federal Government to score cheap political points. It is nothing but a smear campaign and a panic response by a government in dire search for relevance. Is it anyone’s fault that the PDP lacked the presence of mind and foresight to know that they should have been present at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina? Why must Tinubu and the ACN be pilloried simply because of its national leader’s international exposure and strategic thinking, reasons for him making the right decision to attend the Democratic National Convention?” The party insisted that at no time did it issue any statement concerning Tinubu’s attendance of or invitation to the convention, challenging the PDP to produce any evidence to

CNPP calls for true federalism

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he Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday in Abuja called for a deliberate and sustained war against corruption for the emergence of true federalism in the country. The National Publicity Secretary of the conference, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, attributed the country’s under development to corruption, adding that the Federal Government could harness the material and human resources of the country to fight the menace. Stressing the need for a joint effort between the Federal Government and the states to harmonise the resources available for the good of all Nigerians, Okechukwu said true federalism was obtainable before the civil war in 1966 when the defunct regions “did so well” unlike the current dispensation. On fiscal federalism, the

politician said “the power at the centre is so much as government at that level is encroaching into allocation of states.” He added that the situation had resulted to unfair revenue allocation formula where the Federal Government was taking about 52 per cent of federation revenues.

the contrary. It also added that at no time did Tinubu claim that he was personally invited to the convention by President Barrack Obama as being peddled by the PDP. Noting that the PDP’s comment over Tinubu’s attendance of the convention is part of a deliber-

ate ploy to paint the party black before Nigerians, the ACN said: “Obviously intimidated by the towering figure and influence of Tinubu and the unstoppable growing popularity of the ACN, should anyone be surprised why the PDP would be ever so willing to latch onto anything, how-

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he ACN yesterday made an urgent call to President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP’s National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur to prevail on the Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, to halt his persecution of the leader of the party in the state, Alhaji Abubakar Hassan Falata. In a statement issued in Osogbo, Osun State and signed by the party’s

bearing does Tinubu’s attendance of or manner of invitation to the Democratic National Convention have with the Federal Government’s inability to confront insecurity, unemployment, epileptic power supply, corruption and other problems facing the country today?”

L-R: Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa; Sen. Mukhtar Aruwa; Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) North-West Zone, Amb. Ibrahim Kazaure and Chairman, PDP Kaduna State, Amb. Nuhu Audu Bajoga, at the defection of Aruwa from ANPP to PDP, in Kaduna yesterday.

Reduce costs of governance, Asiodu tasks Jonathan

• Recommends part-time lawmaking EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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former Super Permanent Secretary during the regime of Gen. Yakubu Gowon,

Chief Philip Asiodu, has charged President Goodluck Jonathan on the urgent need to reduce cost of governance in the country. Asiodu said that the measure will facilitate the

Call Lamido to order, party urges president, Tukur FELIX NWANERI

ever tenuous, ridiculous or illogical to discredit him and the party. “How does Tinubu’s attendance of or manner of invitation to the Democratic National Convention affect the governing of Nigeria which should be the priority of the PDP-led Federal Government? What

Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy in the state, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi, The ACN particularly accused Lamido of overreaching his democratic powers and conducting himself contrary to constitutional norms by subjecting Falata to indecent and repressive treatment simply because he had the courage to challenge legally, his victory at the last governorship election in the state. It said: “Since June 2011, when this case was

heard in court, the ACN leader in Jigawa State had been physically assaulted by PDP thugs, arrested and detained by police in the state for over a week without charge, his wife who works with the state government has been evicted from her official residence at the instance of Governor Lamido, and above all, the threat to Fulata’s life has become a matter of concern for both the ACN and all lovers of peace and democracy in the country.”

realisation of the administration’s Transformation Agenda. He noted that such reduction will necessitate increase in yearly capital budgets, which will ultimately hasten infrastructural development. This is even as he made a strong case for lawmakers at the federal and state levels to operate on parttime basis, wherein they will sit twice or thrice every month, adding that salaries and allowances of all public office holders, including the president’s should be drastically reduced in order to make public service less attractive. Asiodu made these recommendations in a lecture he delivered at the Mohammed Lawal Uwais Public Service Award, organised

by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in collaboration with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). In a paper entitled: “Public Service and Transformation Agenda: Redefining the Rules of Engagement,” Asiodu, who was the guest lecturer, urged the Federal Government to take a cue from the United State of America where he said the government has only 12 departments and that none of the states in America has more than six functionaries equivalent of state commissioners in Nigeria. Accordingly, he recommended the following as annual remunerations across board: President (N30m), governors (N25m), Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker, Chief Justice of Nigeria, ministers (N24m).


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Politics

FELIX NWANERI writes on the controversies over the recent endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 elections by some political leaders in the South-East.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2015: Ndigbo tread familiar path

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he build-up to the 2015 general elections, especially that of the presidency has forced some political leaders in the South-East to return to the game they know how to play best – politics of opportunism, with their recent endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term. A group, led by businessman, Prince Arthur Eze, had during the President’s visit to Anambra State, said that since it is constitutional for presidents to take two tenures of four years each, Jonathan should not short-change himself or disappoint his supporters by refusing to go for another tenure with an assurance of support from the people of the zone. His words: “Former President Olusegun Obasanjo took eight years; we are calling on you to take another four years as one term is too short for you to finish the job you have at hand. You can consider giving power to the North after your eight years, so that they will return it to the South-East after their own eight years.” Governor Peter Obi, who spoke in like manner, also assured the President that he will get the backing of the people of the state if he decides to go for another tenure to complete his work. He added that the President is very much loved by the people of the state and that they do not regret voting for him in the 2011 elections. The President, in his response, described the South-East as where he has the most popularity despite being from the South-South. He said: “I feel like I am in my home anytime I am in the South-East, particularly in Onitsha. I can walk around without security.” Whereas it is common for individuals or groups to endorse candidates of their choice ahead of elections, analysts are however of the view that the President will be getting it wrong, if he was convinced that Governor Obi and the Eze-led group spoke on behalf of Ndigbo. Apex Igbo socio-political group, Ohanaeze, is yet to comment on the issue, but Oganiru Ndi Igbo Foundation (ONF), another pan-Igbo group has dismissed the endorsement, saying that Eze and his cotravellers do not speak the collective mind of the people of the South-East. The group, in a statement jointly signed by Emeka Maduewesi (Leader), Uche Onuh Lucas (President General), former presidential candidate, Maxi Okwu, Okey Igbokwe, Victor Aguku (Legal Adviser) and Onyema Uche, described the endorsement as ill-advised. It also insisted that Eze and his group are “a faceless gang and political jobbers seeking favour from the government.” But the Anambra State-born businessman is not new to the controversy which his group’s action has stirred. He is one man who never hid his support for the regime of late Gen. Sani Abacha, even at a time when he (Abacha) was increasingly becoming unpopular as a result of his quest to transit from a military ruler to a civilian president. Further dismissing the endorsement, ONF decried the gross underdevelopment

WHILE NDIGBO ARE NOT AT WAR WITH

JONATHAN, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT THIS TIME TO ENDORSE HIM OR ANY OTHER POLITICIAN FOR THE

2015 ELECTION

Jonathan

Obi

of the South-East, which was one of the reasons Ndigbo came out en-masse to vote Jonathan into power in 2011, but unfortunately have nothing to show for it as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration has failed to alleviate the suffering of the people. The group therefore called on the President to fulfil his campaign promises, as only such will convince the people that he has their welfare at heart. It said: “While Ndigbo are not at war with Jonathan, there is absolutely no reason at this time to endorse him or any other politician for the 2015 election. Moreso when we are also interested in producing the president.” But the question against this backdrop is: will Ndigbo close ranks in their quest to occupy the nation’s number one position? Many have blamed their “uncoordinated approach’’ to the issue for their predicament and there seemed to be no agreement, even at the moment among leaders of the zone on how to go about the bid. Analysts, who reviewed the recent development, reasoned that the early rush to endorse the President, who is yet to state his position, is a clear indication that the peo-

ple of the zone are the ones who will rock their own political boat at the next polls. With the North crying blue murder and an increasingly powerful opposition that claims not to recognise the PDP zoning principle, it is evident that the 2015 presidential election will be a hotly-contested one in which all rules of decorum are likely going to be jettisoned. How prepared are Ndigbo for this anticipated fight? The answer, according to some analysts is not far-fetched. The double-speak among the political leaders of the zone, will not only jeopardise their chances, but will even put them in a disadvantaged position to negotiate with leading contenders. Like the ONF rightly pointed out, the zone’s overwhelming support for the President in the 2011 elections was merely based on campaign promises. It noted: “It is no secret that Jonathan promised to build the second Niger Bridge within his first tenure as well as convert Enugu Airport to an international airport... As at today, none of these promises have been fulfilled. “Even in the sharing of national resources, Ndigbo are yet to get any favours from this administration. No single refinery out of the six promised by Jonathan is located in the South-East even though three states in the zone; Abia, Imo and now Anambra are oil producing states... Nobody is even discussing the promised sixth state for Ndigbo to put us at par with other regions that have six states.” Even the National Chairman of the All Progressives Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh described Jonathan’s endorsement as too hasty. His words: “People are entitled to their individual opinion in a democracy. The only thing that is important is that statements being made on behalf of any group of persons must be discussed. We are not against anybody being president but our people must distil the issues before arriving at any decision. There is no need to be hasty. Parties have their own decisions to make. When people go about discussing issues that concern political parties, they must also know that those parties also have opportunities of taking decisions about the electorate.” But salient as the issues raised by ONF are, the group equally raised doubt over the sincerity of its position when it stated that if by 2015, it reviews the President’s performance and determines that he has

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done well enough to deserve a second term, it will join authentic Igbo leaders to make its position known. Who are the authentic Igbo leaders, given their discordant tunes at a time when other zones are either consolidating on already held positions or negotiating new ones? Some analysts asked. Unlike their counterparts in the North, South-West and of late, the South-South, Ndigbo lack a central figure who commands so much respect that the rest will be willing to rally round him. The talakawas of the North have found a leader in former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; the South-West in the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; the South-South in not only President Jonathan but elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark. The North which felt short-changed in 2011, are not leaving anything for granted despite insinuations that the President may not contest the poll. They are banking on the South-West to stop him should he heed the call by his kinsmen to take another shot at the presidency. Ongoing talks for an alliance between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which holds sway in the South-West and Buhari led-Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), clearly points to this direction. The people of the South-West, who ditched the ACN’s presidential candidate in 2011 to vote for Jonathan appear to be uncomfortable with him at the moment over alleged marginalisation. Unfortunately, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) that would have been a veritable negotiating platform for Ndigbo against the backdrop of its control of two of the five states of the South-East is currently embroiled in a leadership crisis. The crisis is even alleged to be fuelled by some chieftains of the party who are bent on collapsing it into the PDP in order to realise personal political ambitions. The situation is worsened by the conflicting positions of chieftains of the PDP from the zone. Whereas the first civilian governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife insists that the Igbo nation must produce the next president in 2015 in the interest of justice and equity, another former governor of the state, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju has thrown his weight behind Jonathan. According to Mbadinuju, “the president has done well for Ndigbo. Every good turn deserves another. He has done for us what we never got before. We will repeat what we did in 2011 for him in 2015 by giving him the votes, all things being equal.” The President’s Special Adviser on Inter Party Relations, Chief Ben Obi, who spoke in like manner advised Ndigbo to rather wait for Jonathan to make up his mind before any one from the zone declares his intention to contest. He said: “Ohanaeze, of which I am a caucus member, has said it loud and clear that it is our turn to produce the president come 2015, but that is if President Jonathan decides not to run. If he is running, Ndigbo will look into it.” While individuals and groups in the South-East may advance uncountable reasons to justify their support for the President’s second term bid, the hurried endorsement will surely make it difficult for them to be trusted, especially by members of the opposition who are keen to wrestle power from the PDP, in the next the elections.


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Politics

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

15

Govs only want state police to oppress – Fayose CONTINUED FROM 3 ticket to Mr. A who is unpopular because of orders from particular people. I have always said when you give such people ticket, you must equally give them people who would come and vote for them on election day. If you give the ticket from Abuja, without allowing due process, you must bring people from Abuja to come and vote for that person. For me, in the PDP we must follow due process. It is lack of internal democracy in the PDP that has brought us down in the South-West and as I said earlier in conversation with somebody, Nigeria is more of a person than institution. Oga said we should go and do this. If that is the situation, whatever anybody says does not count again. If you give a ticket wrongly to somebody, you must equally give the person the crowd that will vote for him otherwise you have gotten your result before the election starts. The only panacea that can restore PDP in the SouthWest is transparency, due process and allowing the people of each state to determine who governs them; who becomes their candidate. The moment that is not done, the PDP will continue to have the same problem. If I want to be governor of Ekiti State, there are 16 local government areas in the state, which I should canvass for votes from. I wouldn’t want anybody to just put the ticket at my domain. When you are popular, you don’t have to be afraid of any election; it is when you are not popular that you are looking for short cuts, looking for one leader that would come and put you in the position of authority. But it is the peoples’ will that would remain and when you take away power from the people in the primaries, they would use the power against you in the general election. The PDP should learn that who becomes the candidate of the party should be the selection of people from any particular state and not from Abuja, not from any quarter and not from any powers that be anywhere. Having diagnosed the problem, how would you describe the last congresses of the PDP in the SouthWest? Let me explain something to you. It is my will to manage my affairs, to remain and handle matters that affect my state. If you ask me questions about my state, reasonably I will tell you. I can say a few things about Osun State. I am not someone who sings praise. I say it as it is. I am 52 years now and the enjoyment that I have not had up till now, let it rest. I say things as they are. In Osun State I commend the actors. For instance, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, I like him, he played the game, acknowledging who is popular and allowing him to be in position because I followed the congress. If you are talking about Osun State, you cannot throw away Senator Iyiola Omisore politically and Oyinlola acknowledged that. In Ekiti State, my own home state, there were congresses and there were video evidences that I voted; Segun Oni voted and the Minister of Police Affairs voted. At least these were the principal actors. Now, you will never vote in an election you don’t believe in. You would declare from day one that I am not going to vote in this election. You don’t change a goal post after they have scored. There were congress in Ekiti, the Ogundipe-led exco won, somebody said they walked out after sometime. Have you seen somebody who boycotted an election and said he has a say? Late Obafemi Awolowo had warned all of us not to boycott elections. If you boycott, you are on zero level; so in Ekiti there was a congress. One thing this NWC did that impressed me was that when the Ekiti matter came up at the first NWC meeting, they took a decision and recognised the Ogundipe led-exco. I have a copy of the statement released to the press. Secondly, a few weeks ago, the party held its National Executive Committee meeting, where they detailed all congresses and Ekiti was cleared. Even Oni was there at the NEC meeting and he did not say a word. Chief Awoyelu is a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) from Ekiti, he was there and he did not say a word; the chairman of Ekiti PDP was there and he did not say a word. Nobody complained about the congress. So, a sleeping dog must be

would they tell him to allow somebody from the South? Would it be Ekiti decision or PDP decision? And let me place it by saying this: in Oyo State, late Governor Kolapo Ishola was from Ibadan, Oyo South; Lam Adesina is from Ibadan, Oyo South; Rashidi Ladoja is from Ibadan, Oyo South; the incumbent governor, Senator Ajimobi is from Ibadan. Why is it that the other sides are not clamouring? If you don’t have the material to win an election, what is the clamour for? In Kogi State, Audu Abubakar is from Kogi East; Ibrahim Idris is from Kogi East and Wada, the present governor is from Kogi East. What is all this story about? It is the fear of the unknown that is worrying those clamouring for South or North as the case may be. What do we have in Ekiti State that we are zoning? Nothing! We are on zero level. Where have they zoned a gubernatorial election in Nigeria? Even President Jonathan, when Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died, people said he was supposed to allow the North to finish, he said he has a right under the constitution of Nigeria to contest election. If I want to contest, I have the right under the constitution of Nigeria to contest and lastly, even the House of Representatives’ Speakership that was zoned to the South-West, someone from Sokoto eventually became the Speaker and heaven did not fall. We should stop fooling ourselves, if anybody wants to contest election in Ekiti, he better start working.

Fayose

THE LEVEL OF OPPRESSION AT THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL IS SO BAD THAT IF YOU HAVE STATE POLICE, PEOPLE WILL EQUALLY WANT TO CREATE

THEMSELVES AS DEMI-GODS IN THOSE STATES left to lie. The problem we have in Ekiti now is the forthcoming gubernatorial election, people are afraid that this exco may not do their own bidding. The exco cannot do anybody’s bidding and I am saying it today. The exco can only create a level playing ground for everybody and maintaining an exco is not cheap. The problem in Ekiti PDP now is not about congress or exco, it is about people thinking: ‘would I still be able to make my ambition through the primaries? If anybody has the majority’, he will defeat everybody and that is my position. In the congresses, I had somebody in mind for the chairman, but at the end of the day I asked him to step down and support Ogundipe. I did not hide it. In politics, I don’t sit on the fence. So, at the appropriate time, if I have interest, I will stay on the roof top and announce that I have interest. But let me say this, if I aspire for the governorship ticket of PDP in Ekiti State, I don’t see how I can be defeated. Won’t the call for the South Senatorial District to produce Ekiti governorship affect your ambition? On the agitation of the South Senatorial District to produce the governor in Ekiti State, those kinds of issues are sentiments. A popular candidate does not bother about sentiments. If it is said that examination would be set from the whole syllabus, if you are a good student, you wouldn’t be afraid. The question I want to ask those making such argument is this: would they carry the governorship to them in the South Senatorial District? If you don’t have what it takes to contest election, leave it and if you want to contest election, you should start going to all the 16 local government areas. The present governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi is from the North senatorial district and if he wants to contest,

What is the relationship between you and your successor in office, Engr. Oni, who is presently the National Vice Chairman of the PDP (South-West)? I am a leader and would not want us to wash our dirty linen, if any, in the public. I will continue to accord Oni all the respect he deserves. By his position now in the SouthWest, he is our leader, whether we like it or not. Like somebody said, Jonathan was deputy governor before, that one na story. Oni is the political leader of the PDP in the South-West and we must not deny him that, but when we call you leader, you must accord respect to a lot of people; you must not play with your home base, if you are free at home, you will be free everywhere. I wouldn’t get personal but I will continue to accord him the respect of a leader by the present position that he is holding. But you can be a leader without command, without followership, especially from your home base if you are not humble. We should rest our past that we are former governors. If we want to talk about former governors, I am his senior. I was governor before him, but that is history. He is now our leader and he should lead like one. He should not take sides. The moment he has a side, we will tackle him very well. The thing that consumed Okwesilieze Nwodo as national chairman was the problem from his home state. That is the statement of fact. But Oni will do well when he remembers that if he goes somewhere, people like us will follow him and when he talks, we will eulogise him, so that they will know that he has a base. If you don’t have a base, you don’t have political connection. So, I will continue to see him as my leader, my brother, former governor, but he should remember that when we praise him, he should praise us back. Why haven’t you be criticising the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led government of your state? You see, people get wiser as they come of age. The things I did in the past are not necessarily the things I should be doing now. To criticise Fayemi is not even the problem, but not being able to criticise Fayemi. If we are going to vote now, I have only one vote and probably, my wife and children’s votes, but I know Ekiti people, there are many common people that will make or mar Fayemi, but if Fayose talks, he will say it is Fayose. There are enough people in Ekiti State. The governor’s conduct is not under lock, it is in the public domain. We, former governors, had always thought four years is for eternity. Sometimes eight years would come and go like that. So, our conduct is in the purview of the public. Sometimes you might need money to buy votes or you might need goodwill, time will tell. I cannot deny the fact that I was part of Fayemi’s success, that is a public knowledge. And criticism brings about correction and I am not ready to do that.


Editorial

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Resignation of Power Minister, Professor Barth Nnaji

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he recent sudden resignation from office of the Minister for Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, at a time when the nation has started experiencing relatively improved power supply, struck many Nigerians as a rude shock. The resignation was said to have links with the revelation that Biometric Nigeria Limited, a company in which the former minister has interest, was bidding for the Afam power generation company and the Enugu power distribution company, leading to a Federal Government’s directive that the bid already made be re-evaluated. Nnaji said he was forced to bow out by the intense pressure mounted by some powerful forces (whose vested interests are believed to be the undoing of the nation’s power sector) against him. He said he voluntarily resigned to retain his integrity and that of the Presidency. Few days after the resignation, President Goodluck Jonathan when he visited Anambra State, was quoted as saying that Nnaji did no wrong. The entire scenario is quite unfortunate. The power sector has remained problematic and sickly in the nation’s march to full industrialization. All the efforts by previous administrations to tame the hydra-headed monster - (whether as National Electricity Power Au-

thority (NEPA) or as Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) - have proved abortive. Until the recent signs of improvement, the nation had put up with the endless provocation of the strategic establishment that has refused to improve on its services, or close shop. Efforts by the erstwhile Olusegun Obasanjo administration to kickstart the revival of the sector was sabotaged by crooks who posed as contractors; while the House of Representatives committee on power and steel chaired by Rep Ndudi Elumelu to investigate the ‘waste and pilferage’ of over $16 billion from the sector during the Obasanjo era turned an accomplice in no way better than those being investigated when Elumelu and his colleagues were linked with fraudulently facilitating the withdrawal of over N6 billion belonging to the Rural Electrification Agency from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for personal gratification. It was therefore a heartening relief when President Jonathan, after his election last year and through Nnaji’s office, threw his hat into the ring with, perhaps, the strongest promise of better power supply since 1999 that civilians took over governance. Dating from then, however, it has been battles and more with

THE CONTROVERSY OVER NNAJI’S RESIGNATION CAN ONLY FIZZLE OUT IF

PRESIDENT JONATHAN CONTINUES WITH OR IMPROVES ON THE POWER SECTOR REFORM TEMPO the labour unions (both in-house and at national levels) suspected to be fanned by vested interests. The erstwhile power minister nonetheless remained focused with iron cast determination to make the power sector work. The hopelessly epileptic sector within a relatively short period had a breather from its miserable 2,400 mega watts power generation capacity to a record 4700 mega watts. Reports on Monday said the Presidency had assured raising the mega wattage to 5,400 by December this year. And perhaps more significantly, the government has come out with an effective and workable roadmap to surmount the challenges of power supply. We think it was against this backdrop that many felt disturbed

by the visibly hurried exit of the power minister, a technocratic who combined theory and practice and demonstrated consummate passion for retrieving the power sector from the abyss. But again, the power sector is ‘bereaved’ and has lost one of its most committed torch bearers for reasons attributed to suspicion and the conflict of interest. Not surprisingly, PHCN workers and their leaders who prefer the embarrassing status quo ante are celebrating Nnaji’s exit; and are beating their war chests against power sector privatization. Unfortunately, too, the issues at stake border on both morality and legality which, in climes truly governed by the rule of law and due process (as against the rule of heartless and selfish cabals) the Nnaji saga would probably have been sorted out before the minister’s embarrassing resignation became public knowledge. It is, however, to Nnaji’s credit that instead of the ‘crucify him’ refrain that trailed high ranking officers’ exit from government in the past, Nigerians this time seem sharply divided over the power minister’s resignation. Indeed, the controversy over how Nnaji bowed out can only fizzle out if President Jonathan continues with or improves on the power sector reform tempo.

ON THIS DAY September 12, 2007

September 12, 2003

Former Philippines President, Joseph Estrada was convicted of the crime of plunder. Estrada (born April 19, 1937) was the 13th President of the Philippines, serving from 1998 until 2001. He was the first person in the Post-EDSA era to be elected both to the presidency and vice-presidency. In 2007, he was sentenced by the special division of the ‘Sandiganbayan’ to reclusion perpetua for plunder, but was later granted pardon by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The United Nations lifted sanctions against Libya after the country agreed to accept responsibility and recompense the families of victims in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Pan Am Flight 103 (or the Lockerbie bombing) was the bombing of a Pan American World Airways transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday, December 21, 1988 which led to the death of all 243 passengers and 16 crew members.

September 12, 1974 Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, ‘Messiah’ of the Rastafari movement, was deposed following a military coup by the Derg, ending a reign of 58 years. Haile Selassie I “Power of the Trinity” (1892 – 1975), born Tafari Makonnen, was Ethiopia’s regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He was the heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and Queen Makeda (the Queen of Sheba in the Abrahamic tradition)


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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Constitution reviewing: Matters arising PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

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e recall President Goodluck Jonathan constituted a constitution review committee to identify aspects of the 1999 Constitution that require amendment. This review process emerged in the context of the ethno-religious, political, economic and security deficit in Nigeria. The review process has been viewed, however, as largely restrictive and thus inadequate to address the national question. The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Pro-Nationality Conference (PRONACO), Joint Action Front (JAF) and the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) share this position. Meanwhile, CSN has called for the re-writing of a new constitution, noting that the current one is not running on true federalism. This position contradicts the argument of the National Assembly that the 1999 Constitution should be amended to address the various challenges in the country. The CSN also canvasses for the removal of immunity clause in the constitution, arguing that anybody who desires to be a leader must be ready to submit to public scrutiny. It avers that the country runs a

quasi-unitary government that has bred discontent and restiveness. It insists that the new federal arrangement should be properly negotiated when agreements would be reached as against the deceit peddled by current federal constitution. The Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Catholic Church held a constitutional amendment forum with the theme, ‘Building a new Nigeria: Solving National Question’. The retired Director of Legal Services, National Human Rights Commission, Barrister Olukolade Zacheaus Sobanjo in a paper titled, ‘Building a New Nigeria’, averred that federalism, as it is globally practised, has not been given full expression in Nigeria. He lamented that the states rely on statutory allocations without strategic thinking on revenue generation. To Sobanjo, the total reliance of states on federally generated revenue is the bane of the Nigerian federation. He submits that there is nowhere in the world where federalism is practised the way it is done here. In previous articles, I had suggested issues for inclusion in the constitution review process. I now have a rethink and subscribe to a new constitution that reflects true federal principles and co-ordinate status of the federating units. The review process has not captured the wide gamut of national question in Nigeria. Moreover, the critical partners among social class categories, organized labor, political elite and ethnonationalities, are not fully involved in the constitution review process. The Presidency had convened a consultative forum with the civil society organiza-

THE REVIEW PROCESS HAS BEEN VIEWED, HOWEVER, AS LARGELY RESTRICTIVE AND THUS INADEQUATE TO ADDRESS THE NATIONAL QUESTION tions in Nigeria on the constitution review process. The forum rejected the single tenure plan and insisted on a peoples’ constitution. The country requires a broad national conference of diverse political, ethnic and ideological persuasions to discuss the new political, economic and social architecture for Nigeria.

The CBN and N5, 000 note

The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi recently provoked public debate when he announced a planned introduction of N5, 000 note in Nigeria. He argued that the note would be a store of value, reduce cost of printing new notes and be consistent with the cashless policy of the apex bank. Critics argue that the new note would raise inflation rate, is contradictory of the cashless policy; and would reduce the spending capacities of the N10, N20 and N50 notes. While the National Assembly had asked the CBN Governor for further clarification, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) threatened to go to court on the matter. There is

fear, however, on its locus standi. Nonetheless, it is significant to test the judicial activism of our courts. The FG and Sanusi had averred that the CBN’s decision on the new note is irreversible. This position appears arrogant and disregards the arguments of experts and non-experts. It is noteworthy that the Babangida administration had argued that there was no alternative to the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). It disrupted the civil society forum on alternative policy framework convened for the National Theatre, Lagos. That administration shunned the United Nations African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programme (AAF- SAP). The consequences were social dislocations and resultant protests in 1986, 1987 and 1989. There were further protests and struggles against mindless state policies in the latter part of the administration and the early Olusegun Obasanjo civilian administration. Sanusi might be provoking the mass of Nigerians with its utterances and perception of the powers of the CBN. It is important to ask where popular sovereignty lies in the country. Is it located in the Nigerian populace, the Presidency or the governor of the CBN? We have the right to protest and organize popular rallies against this ill-thought and unwholesome plan. We will organize to assert our right to opinion on a critical national issue; and the popular mood cannot be ignored. The FG and CBN should expect more reactions on the CBN plan. It is not a settled issue.

When Ogoni leaders visited Mr. President GODWIN AKANGBOU

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n September 3, a high profile delegation of Ogoni leaders, which included His Majesty King GNK Gininwa (OFR), double chairman of Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers and Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers; Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), and Professor Ben Naanen, chairman, Provisional Council, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), were visitors of President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. Coming on the heels of the strange declaration of ‘self government’ by the same Ogoni people, the new development would appear an ambivalent move by a people that have for long lived with a persecution complex in the Nigerian state. However, I see this visit from the perspective of a people desirous of reintegration into a nation they once saw as very hostile to their existence. The name MOSOP, Ogoni Bill of Rights and state murder of Saro Ken Wiwa et al (Ogoni Nine) in November 1995, profoundly underscore the aggravations felt by Ogoni sub nation in its unequal relationship with the rest of Nigeria. The visit could have opened a new vista of hope and opportunities. “Nigeria has the potentials of a great nation and we support every effort to realize those potentials…Even though Ogoni has always supported the call for the devolution of power to local entities to reflect true federalism

OGONILAND HAS BECOME A METAPHOR FOR ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AND POLLUTION OF MONSTROUS MAGNITUDE upon which the Nigerian nationhood is anchored, we wish to assure Mr. President and the Nigerian people that Ogoni remains committed to the unity of the Nigerian state”, the reassuring words from our leaders during the visit, form the lynchpin of this new dawn. Ogoniland has become a metaphor for environmental degradation and pollution of monstrous magnitude, and aggravated human rights abuses in Nigeria. Over 50 years of massive oil exploration and exploitation in the Niger Delta of which Ogoni is a part, and the resultant environmental despoliation, destruction of farmlands, aquatic and terrestrial lives, has affected the perception of the people. Most terrifying is the implication of this on the health of our people. It is a known fact that humans living in the area are susceptible to cancer, the result from massive contamination of its surface and ground water by carcinogenous benzene, said to be at levels more than 900 times above WHOprescribed safety limit. Expectedly therefore, the implementa-

tion of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report submitted last year to President Jonathan was top of the issues our leaders raised with Mr. President. And rightly too because the report called for urgent clean-up job in an area where over 1,000 sq km of its land has been laid waste and contaminated, thus exposing close to one million people to pervasive air pollution. Little wonder the report referred to the planned cleanup as “The world’s most wide-ranging and long-term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken”. Before the visit the popular imagination of our people was that the UNEP report had been consigned to the dustbin. Now there is rising hope in the horizon with Mr. President’s reassurance that the implementation of the UNEP Report would not be compromised. As reassuring as this could be, Senator Abe and others could not but let amiable President Jonathan understand that Ogoni people feared that the dilution of the strategic enforcement framework of the report, which specifically requested for the institution of Ogoni Environment Restoration Agency to handle the $1 billion clean-up job, might likely tone down the implementation. Though the preferred Ogoni Environment Restoration Agency does not exist, we welcome the formation of Hydro-Carbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), which is to handle the restoration job of the wider Niger Delta landscape. Our concern is that it should not detract from the specificity of the Ogoni peculiar problem. This was Senator Abe’s fear as

expressed in the statement: “We hope that this broad jurisdiction will not undermine the implementation of the UNEP report”. Compensation for the massive pollution and environmental degradation is our idea of social justice; and we also expected a consultation with our leader on the decision of who takes over the operatorship of our vast oil wells from Shell. We want a Bori State to give our people a new sense of belonging. Above all, our youths need skills development training in Nigeria and abroad and economic empowerment through employment and pipeline surveillance duties, like we have in other parts of Niger Delta. Of course, the icing of the cake would be a massive infrastructure provisioning in Ogoniland, such as road construction and water supply. More than two years ago the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs acquired land from the Beeri and Nyokuru communities in Khana LGA for a new town and industrial park project. Execution is being awaited. We hope President Jonathan will be our own Daniel that has come to judgement. Akangbou, a social commentator, wrote from Warri, Delta State. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Proposed N500 note

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t is mainly in Nigeria that the ruling political parties always regard opinions and/

MTN’s 100 cars promo

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TN will actually make its subscribers happy with the promise of rewarding its subscribers with 100 cars. But the cars are being delayed, some of the participants who persevered to the end are still waiting for the outcome of the promo. We want to know whether these cars been awarded out to winners or not, so that we forget about it or keep our hope alive.

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here is no need for a dedicated cancer center in Nigeria. Cancer is too expensive to treat and not cost effective for a nation that cannot combat malaria. Most cancer patients rarely survive in Nigeria after treatment. Hajia Yar’Adua should have concentrated on provision of simple dialysis machines. The stage we are now in cancer management

or suggestions from the opposition members as being antagonistic and destructive. But I think

now that a personality of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has given his own opinion on the ex-

pected adverse effects of the Sanusi/Presidency’s N500 note, public opinion on government policies

No need for cancer center is cancer prevention - smoking cessation, teaching self breast examination, pap smear screen, good dieting habits, cutting down on cost of funerals, helping existing local hospitals, embargo on new hospitals to prevent likes of Mrs Yar’Adua distracting the nation. Ten billion naira pumped into UCH, LUTH

and ABUTH would have a much more significant positive health impact to our nation. The real question for Hajia is: Did she know the life expectancy of a Nigerian while she was in power and what factors are responsible for the low life expectancy? This is where to channel the donations to, brothers and sisters. And

every Nigerian should think and also try to answer the question. The problem of Hajia is endemic amongst us as a people, particularly the so-called privileged Nigerians. We want to be the first that went to the moon without knowing the way to the moon. Nnamdi Abuja

Ubadike,

Ekuewuphroma Benson (ekuben62@gmail.com)

Cohabit before marriage?

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really enjoyed the article discussing whether lovers should cohabit or not before marriage. Well, I must say this is the best article I have read in ages. We young ladies should know that not everything that’s in vogue is right. Sleeping over at a guy’s house is giving him what he should have paid for, free of charge. Please, let’s all take caution... She, who has ears, let her hear. Gift Eze, Onitsha, Anambra State

FG should support PH

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ort Harcourt is obviously the hub of oil and gas in Nigeria. However, because the city is located in the minority Niger Delta region, the area has been overlooked in terms of facilities on ground to attract foreign investors. Until the federal government supports the state to attain its full potential without politics, such effort by PHCCIMA and the Rivers Assembly would just be in vain.

Let’s pray for Patience

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ven as the Presidency is not forth coming on the state of health of dame Patience Jonathan, the First lady, I think she deserves our empathy and prayers more than anything now. So, let’s remember her in our private and corporate prayers.

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Odu Jude, Sapele, Delta State

Paul Ayotunde Agbolade, Ajah, Lagos

Anderson Ezekiel Hart, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

Dame Jonathan’s illness

ssues like keeping the illness of our First Lady, Patience Jonathan from Nigerians is very sad, considering the office at which she is holding. Nigerians deserve to know the state of the First Lady, how she is feeling and all that. Considering how the Yar’Adua issue was handled when her husband, the President was the Vice president and he was not in the know of what was happening to his boss, he should not be the one keeping Nigerians in the dark on the state of health of his wife. He should always be on top of situation on what is happening and feeding Nigerians information before the rumour mill take over.

will be treated as “constructive criticisms”, an essential ingredient in nation building. Let us learn from one another.

Pizzarow, Kwara state

Ilorin,

Greed ruined Ekpu, others

date, we can use our patronage to push out any corporate body from our market. At least we reserve the right to which airline to patronize!

hat is Governor Orji of Abia State’s problem on people interested in 2015 election? Does he feel threatened by his advisers’ ambition? Does he feel that his advisers want to over throw him? The governor is the biggest fault finder I have ever seen. EFCC is waiting for him at the end of his tenure.

Greed and foolishness made those guys at Newswatch lose their legacy on a pot of porridge. These guys are the Esaus of our time. They were paid off, yet they never confided in their staff whom they were owing several months salary that they had taken some money. Did any of them share the money with Dele Giwa family? As the founding member, is Giwa’s family not entitled to anything from Newswatch again? They should just keep quiet while they lick their wounds

Paul Ayotunde Agbolade, Lagos

Mazi Okoronkwo NJ, U S A

Femi Akinlolu, Ikere Ekiti,Ekiti State

COURTING CHOLERA: A boy fetching water from a water pipe which passes through a dirty drainage.

PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Police chief commended on traffic gridlock

Orji threatened?

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had a horrible experience with the Nigeria police on my last visit to Nigeria from Germany. Some of their officers at the Sango Otta division on August 25, 2012 waylaid me in

a small palm wine shop and took me to Sango Otta Police Station and collected four thousand naira from me for no reason. Is that normal? The policemen are to protect me and not to

FG’s decision on Dana Airline

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have heard and read in the media, several condemnations of Federal Government’s decision to allow Dana Airline back to operations. I strongly believe

that by now, Nigerians should have understood our Presidency in the area of decision making. But there is no doubt that as our votes can push out any candi-

Letters to the Editor

make me feel insecure. How can a country grow when its police kill the petty trading business? Ayandeji, Germany

Berlin,

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Send your letters or mails to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mirrorlagos@yahoo.com and info@nationalmirroronline.net or, 07033375481, 08035640907 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject letters or photographs. Psuedonyms may be used, but must be clearly marked as such.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Health & Wellbeing How to keep your adolescents HIV free

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SAM EFERARO

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or the Nigerian man who wishes to take the burden of family planning off his wife, the condom and vasectomy, a surgical procedure to cut the vas deferens, the tubes that carry a man’s sperm from his scrotum to testicles remain the the only available contraceptive options. Unfortunately, most men have found the two methods unsuitable for their family planning needs. For instance a study showed that 85% sexually active men in the country don’t use the condom while only 30% of married men who patronise prostitutes bother to use it. A study published by the Ghana Medical journal recently reported that even a large number of Nigeria’s doctors are not favourably disposed to vasectomy as a ontraceptive. But if various research findings around the world is anything to go by, the trend may soon change as men will soon have different contraceptive options to choose from in their quest to have only the number of children they can adequately cater for. Although several of these contraceptives are close to market, none are currently available. Some methods are still in basic science stages, some have been tested in animals only, while some have entered the process of clinical trials required for government approval. This array of devises should be of interest to most men. Like the female methods they offer a wide variety of choice for the modern men. They include the Heat method, injectables hormonal methods among several others. Here are some of the latest devices as published recently by malecontraceptives.org.

Suspensories/Internal heat

Suspensories are specially designed briefs that hold the testes closer to the body, raising their temperature. The development of the male suspensory is premised on the well known theory that a small increase in the temperature of the testes has a large negative impact on the production of sperm (spermatogenesis). A team of researchers in France have carried out clinical trials of various suspensory designs as male contracep-

Lagos alerts residents on Lassa fever outbreak

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More male contraceptives coming Tests of suspensories have all shown full recovery to pre-treatment sperm count and motility levels. The length of time to recovery depends on the duration of the treatment. In a 1 year trial, men returned to pre-treatment levels within 12-18 months. However, full recovery is not necessary to achieve a pregnancy; one man fathered a child 3 months after stopping treatment

RISUG RISUG, an acronym for Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance, is an injectable compound that partially blocks the vas deferen (tubes that carry sperm), providing effective contraception for up to 10 years per dose. It is effective immediately, has few side effects, and has proven to be reversible in primate studies. This contraceptive has completed Phase I and II clinical trials in India RISUG has two contraceptive effects: partial blockage of the vasa deferentia and disruption of the sperm that pass through it. The men who participated in that first trial have had RISUG implanted for 15 years and counting with no complications. The Phase II clinical trial volunteers have now been using RISUG for more than ten years. Primate studies have shown that RISUG is readily reversible, but reversal has not yet been tested officially in humans. Researchers say since RISUG does not cause the type of auto-immune response associated with vasectomy, RISUG reversal should be much more reliably successful.

The suspensory

The Pill

tives Their results showed that men who wore one suspensory design with a rubber ring to hold the testes in the inguinal canals had 100% effective contraception. All trial participants achieved very low motile sperm counts, between 0 and 1.6 million sperm per milliliter. Because the change in temperature is only a few degrees, suspensories must be worn daily to provide effective contraception. Clinical trials show that suspensories can suppress sperm counts and make the remaining sperm poor swimmers.

Injectable

There are many different suspensory designs, but generally they look from the outside like a normal pair of brief underwear or an athletic support. Some suspensory designs leave the scrotum and penis free. All designs hold the testes inside the lower ends of the inguinal canals. Suspensories must be worn every day during waking hours to be effective.

Injected plugs Injected plugs were developed in China as a potential alternative to vasectomy. The concept is similar to the Intra Vas Device, except that instead of implanting pre-formed plugs, the plugs are injected into the vasa deferentia in liquid form. The plugs then harden in place and block the flow of sperm. Two different CONTINUED ON PAGE 20


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More male contraceptives coming CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 types of injected plugs have been tested: medical-grade polyurethane (MPU) and medical-grade silicone rubber (MSR). Starting in the early 1980s, thousands of Chinese men chose MPU plugs as an alternative to vasectomy. Estimates of the number of men with plugs range from 13,500 to 300,000 (Zhao 1992b). Intra Vas Device (IVD) The Intra Vas Device (IVD) is a set of tiny implants that block the flow of sperm. There are two IVD designs in clinical trials. One is a pair of soft, silicone plugs made by the Shepherd Medical Company in the United States. The other is a urethane tube lined with a tiny nylon sieve made by the Foshan Medical Company in China. Both of these designs were inspired by the 1980s work of Dr. Lourens Zaneveld, who showed in pilot studies that the IVD is a safe and effective method of male contraception. Because the materials used in both IVD designs have been widely tested and shown safe for medical use, researchers hope that these IVDs will encounter few regulatory hurdles. When the US design hits the market, Shepherd Medical predicts that the combined cost of the device and the insertion procedure will be under $1,000.

External heat This is similar to Suspensories as it subjects the testes to heat to ensure sperm counts drop. Because an external heat source can be significantly warmer than body temperature, the duration of exposure required for effective contraception is shorter than for suspensories. Optimal sperm production (spermatogenesis) requires temperatures several degrees Celsius below average body temperature. The testes are located outside the body in the scrotum, which has several mechanisms to keep the testes cooler than the rest of the body. Warming the testes to or above body temperature temporarily disrupts spermatogenesis The main evidence for effective use of external heat as a male contraceptive comes from the unpublished works of a Swiss doctor working in India between 1930 and 1950. Dr. Martha Vogeli advised 100s of men on the use of hot sitz baths, and claims that her patients attained 100% effective contraception using this method . Dr. Vogeli tested baths in a range of temperatures with 9 volunteers to determine the most effective regimen. She determined that 21 consecutive days of 46.5 ºC (116 ºF) sitz baths lasting 45 minutes typically provided 6 months of contraception. As a high-tech and perhaps more convenient alternative

RISUG to hot sitz baths, several inventors have created batterypowered pouches designed specifically to heat the testes.

Male hormonal contraceptives Commonly known as the “male pill”, a hormonal contraceptive for men will probably not be delivered as a pill. Researchers are coming closer to a marketable male hormonal contraceptive (MHC) delivered by injection or implant, but there is nothing commercially available right now. Researchers have found several effective formulations and delivery methods – shots, implants, gels and pills. Several MHC formulations are as effective and safe as the female birth control pill. Male hormonal contraceptives attempt to block or severely reduce the production of sperm. They accomplish this by stopping the secretion of a man’s reproductive hormones in the brain and testes. When levels of testosterone in the testes are low, sperm production slows or halts. The ultimate goal of all MHC methods is azoospermia, or the complete absence of sperm in the ejaculate. Researchers agree that severely oligospermic men with fewer than 1 million sperm per milliliter of semen are functionally infertile.

Adjudin Adjudin is a new drug and an analogue of an old drug known as lonidamine. Lonidamine is an anti-cancer medication whose contraceptive effect was discovered in the 1980s. Researchers did not pursue lonidamine as a male contraceptive because at high doses it caused kidney damage. Since then, a group of scientists at New York’s Population Council, a nonprofit contraceptive research organization, have sought compounds less toxic than, but functionally similar to, lonidamine. Advances in screening technology led to the identification of several promising nontoxic compounds in the late 1990s. One of these compounds – AF-2364 or Adjudin – is moving toward trials in humans. Adjudin provides contraception by disrupting the process of sperm maturation in the testes. It changes the way Sertoli cells – which divide to produce new sperm cells and then nurse the immature sperm – interact with sperm. In normal sperm production, Sertoli cells remain connected with immature sperm through a series of microscopic bridges and channels. These bridges provide materials and information needed to direct the development of the immature sperm (spermatids).

‘Dry orgasm’ pill This was reported by a Nigerian Dr. Nnaemeka Amobi and his british colleague Dr. Christopher Smith 2006. They were reported to have been working since 1995 to discover how two drugs – phenoxybenzamine, a high blood pressure medication, and thioridazine, a discontinued schizophrenia medication – each act as a male contraceptive. As early as the 1950s, doctors with patients taking these drugs to regulate their blood pressure and mental health noticed that their patients became infertile. It turns out that the two drugs have a similar contraceptive effect. During sexual arousal, some of the sperm in the epididymis are propelled by smooth muscle contractions along the vas deferens (plural: vasa deferentia). When the vasa deferentia meet the urethra, the sperm mix with fluids made by the seminal vesicle and prostate, forming semen. Finally, during orgasm the semen is propelled through the urethra by more smooth muscle contractions and ejaculated. The smooth muscles in the male reproductive system are not under conscious control; they contract and relax according to signals from the autonomic nervous system.

Hormonal contraceptive


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

dolescents need to be supported in learning the life skills that can help them protect themselves in situations where they could be vulnerable to HIV infection. These skills include problem solving, decision-making, goal setting, critical thinking, communication, assertiveness and self-awareness. Adolescents also need skills for coping with stressful or confrontational situations. Adolescents and young people look to parents, teachers, peer leaders and other role models for guidance. These role models should develop their base of knowledge on HIV so they will know how to communicate about HIV and how to share important life skills. Adolescents need to know the risks of HIV. They need to understand how it is passed through unprotected sex with an infected person or through the use of contaminated needles or syringes for injecting drugs. They should know about safer practices and the consequences of lifestyle choices. They should also know how HIV is not transmitted so they can reject myths and prevent discrimination against people living with HIV that is based on unfounded fears of contagion. It is important to know and reduce the risks of getting HIV from unprotected sex: The risk of getting HIV can be reduced if people do not have sex. If they have sex, correct and consistent use of male or female condoms is important. To reduce risk, people can: decrease their number of sex partners stay in a mutually faithful relationship with a partner(s) who is not infected have safer sex – sex without penetration (where the penis does not enter the vagina, rectum or mouth) or penetrative sex using a condom correctly (as the directions indicate) and consistently (during every act of penetrative sex).

How to keep your adolescents HIV-free

Happy adolescents

In combination with safer practices, male circumcision reduces the possibility of transmission of HIV infection from female to male. The more sex partners people have, the greater the risk that one of them will have HIV and pass it on (if they do not use male or female condoms consistently and correctly). However, anyone can have HIV – it is not restricted to those with many sex partners. People who do not show signs of infection may carry the virus. Testing is the only sure way to tell. A well-lubricated condom is essential for protection during vaginal or anal intercourse. The male condoms that come with lubrication (slippery liquid or gel) are less

likely to tear during handling or use. If the condom is not lubricated enough, a waterbased lubricant, such as silicone or glycerin, should be added. If such lubricants are not available, saliva can be used (although this can transmit other infections, such as herpes). Lubricants made from oil or petroleum should never be used with a male condom because they can damage the condom. Oil or petroleum lubricants include cooking oil, shortening, mineral oil, baby oil, petroleum jellies and most lotions. The female condom is a safe alternative to the male condom. The most commonly used female condom is a soft, loosefitting sheath that lines the vagina. It has a soft ring at each end. The ring at the closed end is used to put the device inside the vagina; it holds the condom in place during sex.

Social networking websites SCIENCE could make you fat –Study

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ime spent on social networking sites comes at the expense of other activities -- including physical activity, new research by the University of Ulster has revealed. That is one of the findings of a study presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology in Liverpool at the weekend. Around 350 students at the University of Ulster completed an online survey -measuring social networking activity and levels of physical activity. The research was carried out by Masters degree student Emer O’Leary, under the supervision of psychologists, Dr Wendy Cousins and

Dr Tadhg Macintyre at the University of Ulster. The results showed that the vast majority of students used social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter spend an average of one hour a day online. In the physical activity questionnaire, just over half the students were classified as; ‘moderately active’ and a third were ‘high activity’, with a minority (12.7 per cent) falling into the ‘low physical activity’ group. A quarter of the respondents said they took part in team sports. When the results were analysed, researchers found that the amount of time spent on social network websites was negatively correlated with the respondents’ level of physical activity in

the previous week. Facebook fans were also less likely to take part in team sports, but this effect was less pronounced. Dr Cousins said: “Time is a finite resource, so time spent in social networking must come at the expense of other activities. Our study suggests that physical activity may be one of those activities. “Our findings are intriguing, but we have not conclusively demonstrated that social networking causes lower levels of physical activity. We will need to carry out more research to see if it really is a case of Facebook makes you fat rather than Twitter makes you fitter.” — Science Daily

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The other ring stays outside the vagina and partly covers the labia. Before sex begins, the woman inserts the female condom with her fingers. Only water-based lubricants should be used with female condoms made of latex, whereas water-based or oil-based lubricants can be used with female condoms made of polyurethane or artificial latex (nitrile). HIV can be transmitted through oral sex, although available information suggests the risk is minimal as compared to vaginal and anal sex. However, oral sex can transmit STIs which can increase the risk of HIV transmission. In the case of oral-penile sex, a male condom is recommended. Because most sexually transmitted infections can be spread through genital contact, a condom should be used before genital contact begins. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs interferes with judgement. Even those who understand the risks of HIV and the importance of safer sex may become careless after drinking or using drugs. People who have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are at greater risk of getting HIV and spreading HIV to others: STIs, including HIV, are infections that are spread through sexual contact. They can be spread through the exchange of body fluids (semen, vaginal fluid or blood) or by contact with the skin of the genital area. STIs are spread more easily if there are lesions such as blisters, abrasions or cuts. STIs often cause lesions, which contribute to spreading the infection. STIs often cause serious physical suffering and damage. Any STI, such as gonorrhoea or syphilis, can increase the risk of HIV infection or HIV transmission. Anyone suffering from an STI has a much higher risk of becoming infected with HIV if they have unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV-infected person.

Non-alcoholic red wine may help reduce high blood pressure

en with high risk for heart disease had lower blood pressure after drinking nonalcoholic red wine every day for four weeks, according to a new study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation Research. Non-alcoholic red wine increased participants’ levels of nitric oxide, which helped decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, researchers said. Nitric oxide is a molecule in the body that helps blood vessels relax and allows more blood to reach your heart and organs. Researchers studied 67 men with diabetes or three or more cardiovascular risk factors who ate a common diet plus one of the following drinks: about 10 ounces of red wine, non-alcoholic red wine or about 3 ounces of gin. All of the men tried each diet/beverage combination for 4 weeks. The red wine and nonalcoholic wine contained equal amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant that de-

creases blood pressure. During the red wine phase, the men had very little reduction in blood pressure and there was no change while drinking gin. However, after drinking non-alcoholic red wine, blood pressure decreased by about 6mmHg in systolic and 2mmHg in diastolic blood pressure -- possibly reducing the risk of heart disease by 14 percent and stroke by as much as 20 percent. Researchers concluded that the alcohol in red wine weakens its ability to lower blood pressure. But polyphenols -- still present after alcohol is removed from wine -- are likely the beneficial element in wine. Co-authors are Gemma ChivaBlanch, Mireia Urpi-Sarda, Emilio Ros, Sara Arranz, Palmira ValderasMartinez, Rosa Casas, Emilio Sacanella, Rafael Llorach, Rosa M LamuelaRaventos, Cristina Andres-Lacueva and Ramon Estruch. Author disclosures and funding sources are on the manuscript.


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Health & Wellbeing

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lagos alerts residents on Lassa fever outbreak TOBORE OVUORIE

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agos state government has reiterated the need for residents to maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene at all times as part of precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of Lassa fever in the State. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who disclosed this in Lagos recently, explained that the alert became necessary to stem a possible

outbreak of the disease in the state in the wake of reported cases in parts of the country. Idris, who urged members of the public to avoid contact with rats, charged them to cover their food and water properly, while ensuring that they cook all their food thoroughly, as well as block all rat hideouts and holes through which rats could enter the house. The commissioner also counseled the residents to store their grains and other dried food items in containers

with covers, as well as not to keep pets like cats in the house. He explained that Lassa fever is an acute viral infection caused by the Lassa virus associated with persistent high fever, and added that as the disease progresses into a severe form, the patient begins to develop facial swelling, fluid in the chest, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina and the gut, low blood pressure, shock, disorientation, coma as well as kidney and liver failure. According to him, other usu-

al symptoms include general weakness, malaise headache, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. “Lassa fever is an acute viral infection caused by the Lassa virus and associated with persistent high fever. It is spread by exposure to and eating of foods contaminated with rat dropping or urine. It is also spread by direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of person with Lassa fever,” Idris noted.

He urged members of the public to report the case of anybody with the above symptoms or persistent high fever that is not responding to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever to the nearest health facility in the state. The Commissioner noted that though Lagos state is not in the Lassa fever belt region, members of the public should practice adequate personal and environmental hygiene at all times to avert outbreak of the disease in the state.

Beware of fraudsters using my name–NAFDAC Chief TOBORE OVUORIE

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L-R: Mr. Harry Obe; Head of monitoring, National Human Rights Commission; Alhaji Abdullahi Maiwada, District Head, Ungwa Rimi Kudu; and Hajiya Rabi Salisu Oladoja, Chief Magistrate; at the inauguration of the new child justice clinic in Kaduna yesterday. PHOTOS: NAN.

240 midwives undergo SURE-P MCH orientation in Enugu DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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ot less than 240 professional Midwives and Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS) deployed to the south east states recently commenced a one week orientation workshop in Enugu under the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment for Maternal and Child Health Programmee (SURE-P) coordinated by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). The Midwives and CHEWS are to be deployed to different health posts especially in rural areas to ensure that no woman loses her life as a result of child birth. Declaring the workshop Open, Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad stated that the SURE Maternal Child Health (MCH) programme is a renewed effort by the federal government to halt the dismal figures in maternal and child health in Nigeria. Dr. Muhammad said that the SURE-P MCH is an innovative multi-prolonged approach to dra-

matically improve the health outcomes of women and children in rural communities in a renewed bid to accelerate progress in attainment of MDGs 4 and 5, adding that the programme builds on the existing MDGs-DRG funded Midwives services scheme which he accepted has had positive bearing on the nation’s Primary Health Care. The NPHCDA boss stressed that the goal of SURE-P MCH is to reduce maternal, new-born and under-five morbidity and mortality and firmly place Nigeria on track to achieving the MDGs by expanding access to and integrated health service package. “The SURE-P MCH will recruit health workers from different cadres for deployment to additional 500 PHC facilities selected from 36 states and the FCT with capacity building of these health workers. The health workers will be trained in life saving skill, expanded life saving skills for medical officers in general hospitals,” said Dr. Muhammad. The South east zonal coordinator of NPHCDA, Dr. Damaris Onwuka, noted that Nigeria’s over-

all health system performance was ranked 187 among 191member states by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the year 2000, adding that Nigeria’s maternal mortality ratio is one of the highest in the world. “545/100, 000 women and a woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy and child birth in Nigeria is one out of thirteen, this means that Nigeria has the second highest rate of maternal deaths worldwide.”

irector-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii, has distanced himself from a facebook message which requested people to pay the sum of N250,000 in order to get contracts from the agency. Speaking to reporters recently, through the agency’s DeputyDirector in charge of Public Relations and Protocol, Abubakar Jimoh, Dr Orhii, noted that some members of the public might have been defrauded by the syndicate. Jimoh said: “We wish to state that the NAFDAC DG, Dr Paul Orhii, does not have any facebook page and as such, he is not the one asking people to pay certain amount of money. “”This is purely the work of internet fraudsters and we hereby urge the public to disregard it,” Jimoh said. On the activities of the agency, Jimoh said that NAFDAC had made tremendous progress under the current Director-General, particularly in the prosecution of sellers of fake drugs.

He referred to a recent judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Lagos who sentenced a fake drug dealer to three years imprisonment. According to him, “This is unprecedented in the history of war against fake drug in Nigeria and we want to commend the courage of the judge.” He urged other judges handling NAFDAC cases to take a cue from Justice Abang’s verdict, stressing that the war against fake drugs should be a collective one. Jimoh further disclosed that an amendment was being proposed to the fake drug law to ensure that anyone standing trial on fake drug related cases did not get bail, so as to bring about speedy determination of the cases in court. He noted with dismay that some cases were still pending in courts since 1995; saying denying suspects or accused persons bail would definitely facilitate speedy trial. He also added that “part of the amendment being proposed is that properties of convicted drug counterfeiters should be sold while the proceeds should be used to compensate the victims”.

92,000 Enugu residents live with HIV –Agency

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nugu State Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (ENSACA) has officially disclosed that more than 92,000 persons are living with the Human Immune-Deficiency Virus (HIV). Speaking at a seminar to sensitize members of the Allied Business Community in Nsukka on HIV prevention, ENSACA Private Sector Officer, Mrs. Patricia Ugwu, stated that the condition had become rampant due to failure of residents to be cautious. Although she declined to give a detailed breakdown of the fig-

ure, she advised the participants to be faithful to their sex partners in order to avoid contracting HIV. “Remember HIV does not show in one’s face; about 92,000 people are already infected in Enugu State. If you cannot stick to one partner, ensure that you use condom when having sexual intercourse with another person,” she said. Ugwu urged those who have the virus not to panic but should join the support group where they would access HIV/ AIDS drugs easily. “If you are already positive,

do not kill yourself as government has procured enough drugs to designated hospitals to carter for those living with the virus. “Through medical attention and counselling, infected mothers will be able to deliver babies that are negative. Do not stigmatize anybody living with the virus as that is an offence punishable by law,” she said. While giving the participants safety tips, she said: “It is better to prevent HIV than managing it. Do not share any sharp object with anybody.”


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Arts Lounge

All an artiste needs is one hit - Big D

12th Tribeca Film Fest announces dates

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Why Young Blood beat old hands to clinch Africa’s literary award It was the defining moment last Saturday; guests and the three nominees waited with baited breath inside the main auditorium of the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. And Sifiso Mzobe’s name was announced winner! The young South African writer had clinched the 2012 edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, with his first novel Young Blood. IZUCHUKWU OKEKE

L-R: CEO, Lumina Foundation, Dr. Ogochukwu Promise; Sifiso and National Sales Coordinator, Globacom, Mr. David Maaji at the Award event.

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ner, the final shortlist for the 2012 edition had two other writers competing for the prize with Mzobe; Nigeria’s Akachi Adimore-Ezeigbo, with her recent published book, Roses and Bullet and another South African, Bridget Pitt, with her recent offer, The Unseen Leopard. Not much was known of Mzobe’s literary prowess before this year. But the fact that he stood rubbing shoulders with renowned authors in the African creative sphere (Adimora and Pitt) showed just how good he was in his craft, even though it was a first offer. Adimora and Pitts’ previous works are of high reckoning and earned rave reviews among critics across Africa. Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Roses and Bullet, set in the aborted Biafran Republic during the Nigerian Civil War, is a tale of love between Ganika and Eloka. The love Ganika is deprived of in a strict father, Ubaka, is salvaged in the arms of Eloka and the attentive nature of her brother, Nwakire. As the characters of Ganika and Eloka are bedevilled with these marshy hopes and murky circumstances, only the flailing consequences of war will define who they eventually become. Though the book is wrapped around the story of the Biafra war, it does not aim towards achieving reckoning of the horrible civil struggle as many have been wont to. Roses and Bullet successfully attains closure of the grim realities of the Biafra time; which, is far applaudable to the unbiased views that skew the objective narratives of some. But it has a disadvantage; it is irritatingly filled with nuances and intricacies of the Civil War. That alone makes it slow-paced that tries the patience of an uncommitted reading

stablished by the Lumina Foundation in 2005, the biennial Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa is emerging as one of the most prominent. Brandishing a $20,000 prize money and association with the doyen of African literature, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, the prize is gradually taking the lead among Africa literary prizes. The Caine Prize awards a $10,000 prize money and even the Commonwealth Prize is also below at $10,000 for the overall winner. The prize was first offered in 2006 when Sefi Atta won it with Everything good will come; the next award followed two years later where Nnedi Okorafor’s fantasy novel, Zahrah the Windseeker, blew judges away. In 2010, Wale Okediran and Kopano Matlwa of Nigeria and South Africa jointly won the prize with their respective books Tenants of the House and Coconut. This year marks the fourth edition; the respect and prestige being accorded the literary prize grows notches higher in the face of support by the Nigerian Telecommunication giant, Globacom. According to the founders, the prize “was conceived as a very prestigious prize in honour of Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Literature to celebrate excellence in all its cerebral grace, its liberating qualities, the honour and recognition it brings to a myriad of people, of diverse cultures and languages. This prize honours people who have used their talents well enough to affect others positively. It honours Africa’s great writers and causes their works to be appreciated…”. Before the announcement of the win-

so dearly. Though the prize is Africa wide, the War seems to have lost the literary fervour it used to command in literature. Bridget Pitt’s The Unseen Leopard, is a crime and detective story. It presents Sam Campbell who is barely surviving, focusing all her energy on raising her sister, Melissa’s son, Khaya. Melissa died in a car accident near their family farm, Cedar Hills, in the Baviaanskloof area in South Africa. As subplots unfold, whether she wants to or not, Sam will have to face her past. This book has strong narrative and requisite suspense. No wonder it made the final shortlist. Its fault—and no fault anyway—is that it is not as punchy as the winning entry. But is the winning entry deserving of this prize? Not in a small measure; not for

any form of experimentation, but more because it is thankfully candid to time. It is good to read a South African writing so touchingly delivered and realistically presented. Young Blood is already being praised in book circles as one of the most stunning début novels in decades; a pageturner that subtly mixes a crime fiction plot, hard-headed characters and latent social comment. Published by Kwela Books in 2010, the book before taking away the Wole Soyinka prize, had won the 2011 edition of the prestigious Sunday Times Literary Award for best fiction. The novel presents a fresh voice; Mzobe presented his characters bristling with life, all flung into a vivid and arresting story. And in a country plagued by crime, everyone feels this is truly South Africa; though one least talked about in the literary world until now. Young Blood is a gangster story set in Umlazi, Durban’s biggest township. It tells a story of a 17-year-old youth called Sipho, who gave up on high school to become a car thief. The book starts with Sipho’s decision to drop school and become a “young blood,” a teenager willing to face “real life” responsibilities. Fascinated by cars, Sipho’s first plan is to make some money by helping his father with his auto mechanics business. But Sipho soon understands that he is never going to make enough money to get the lifestyle he dreams of. Booze, sex, drugs, easy money, stolen cars, highlife; this book defines everything fast, crime can be. Like said it is one poignantly candid tale. Beside its convincing construction, cherry-topped by a conclusion that reads like a thriller climax, the book’s main charm lies probably in the comprehensive insight it gives into South African township life. With much talent and plenty of small details, Mzobe gives his readers the taste, the colour and the smell of Umlazi. At dawn rises “the usual morning cloud of dust,” when the shanty-town women sweep their dusty yards in unison. At night come the crazy parties, where stolen cars “turn the street to pages, with tyres as black-inked pens”. The novel is as complete a cartography of crime in South Africa as one will find anywhere else, showing the township that incubates the aimless youth and the pitfalls littering their paths that make crime not just an incidental pastime, but a real career option. The landscape Mzobe conjures in Young Blood is raw and lifelike; perhaps only Alan Paton wrote with such candour. It is indeed deserving of this prize.


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VOICES

Future of the Niger Delta: Hope, dreams, history EBIEGBERI JOE ALAGOA

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n the face of it, the people of the Niger Delta expect of the historian more wisdom and scientific knowledge than he can reasonably deliver in practice. They say: “What an elder sees sitting down/A young person cannot see standing up”. The wisdom of our ancestors was also scientific and balanced. They saw the limitations of human knowledge derived from experience; they saw limitation especially with regard to knowledge of the future and said: “A tall person cannot see the next distant town”. The Kanuri of North Eastern Nigeria said it in even more graphic terms that: “Even a bird with a long neck/cannot see the future”. St. Augustine, the African Bishop, summarised these insights from our heritage of knowledge and wisdom that the past resides in our memory and the future is only an expectation. I can only proceed in the manner prescribed by ancient wisdom to outline what I expect Niger Delta to be. In these times, the people expect their political leaders to perform wonders to change their lives for the better and to improve the standing of the people of the Niger Delta in the Nigerian nation state. They expect the elders (intellectuals and other elite groups) to put sufficient pressure on the political leaders to achieve the changes they hope for and the dreams that they cherish. All we can pray for is sufficient understanding of the balance which takes account of the realities of history, which may strike

MUSINGS Distressed Euphoria The owl crowed not Neither did the cock hoot Baalamistically they dozed No trumpetering the heralding Of tearful moments As in Chessly Knight’s scoops, They moved. Baalamistic Scooping of iron boxes Batly fated they were. Silence. Baalamism of euphoric Breathe. Practiced gloves dropped. Owls crow, cocks hoot. Darkness. Tearful moments. Yet He prevails. Tobore Ovuorie 2002

some as a nightmare, to our hopes and dreams. We cannot know the future fully, but we can read the past and present to gain some vision of the future which resides in the realm of expectation, in the region of our hopes and dreams. From my reading of the past and present, I see a future in which the Niger Delta is a fully integrated region of a united Alagoa Nigerian federation. I see a region in disSEE A FUTURE ciplined control of its environment and resources, and able to harness science IGER ELTA IN and technology to open the region to the service of its people and to the world. I WHICH THE OLD AND see the technological wonder of a coastal THE YOUNG ARE road running from east to west along the entire length of its Atlantic Coast line. UNITED IN A CRUSADE I see a number of great roads running from north to south linking the current TO RECOVER THE east west highway to the new coastal HUMAN CAPITAL OF highway and a network of other transportation systems in between. CHARACTER WHICH IS I see a people proud of the Niger Delta environment and equipped with the THEIR HERITAGE OF knowledge and capacity to preserve its CULTURE resources and unique beauty for use in their time and over the times of their children and grandchildren, hopefully, exciting location for local, regional and through eternity. international dialogue, debate and the I see a future in which free education exchange of ideas: a seedbed of conat all levels is securely established and structive growth in all sectors of develfunctional throughout the Niger Delta opment. region, a future in which its people reI dream of a future in which the nasume their role as pioneers and mission- ture of governance undergoes radical aries to their neighbours. change in the Niger Delta and across the I see a society in which every child ac- nation: a future in which the interests quires formal education within its com- of the people take centre stage and the munity in its mother tongue or language politicians elected to rule on their beof its community and carries the confi- half become true servants of the people.I dence of its cultural roots to the study of dream of a government of the people by other local and international languages. the people for the people, as dreamed and I see the production of knowledge defined by Abraham Lincoln. flourish in the tertiary institutions of In this dream future, I see a Niger the region in the mainstream of national Delta in which local governments are and international scholarship in the sci- run by educated persons freely elected ences, technology, humanities and in all by the local people who know them to be professional fields. honest, committed and capable persons. I see an environment in which edu- I see a local government system in which cation takes place through a variety of the people demand and obtain accountchannels formal and informal, in enter- ability. I see this sea change in the polititainment, through the media, through cal system running all the way through the reading of books, and through every the governance of parties, states, up to form of modern means of exchange and Abuja. sharing of knowledge. The history of the Niger Delta that In the development of the Infrastruc- we can readily remember has been one ture of education, I see Bayelsa State of struggle against odds, a struggle to emerging as a leader in the raising of protect the interests of minorities. It has public libraries. Standing in the centre always taken the form of a David chalof the Niger Delta, I see Bayelsa State lenging a Goliath. King Koko attacking playing a uniting role in many areas of the Royal Niger Company and the Britthe constructive engagement of peoples ish Empire behind it to regain legitimate in the pursuit of knowledge for collec- rights, an Isaac Adaka Boro taking on tive thinking and planning, for the re- the Nigerian Armed forces, or the Niger gion to move forward into the future. Delta militants taking the fight to the The drawing out properties of educa- international oil cartel and their local tion means that our Niger Delta becomes partners, and opinion leaders articulata place for the creation of new ideas, an ing demands for resource control and

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true federalism in the nation against the entrenched establishment. In my dream Niger Delta, I see a political system that takes account of minorities and respects difference, a system that recognises the rights of the weak, of women, and of disadvantaged individuals and groups, a political system committed to fairness and justice. The future of governance and politics in the Niger Delta cannot be anything but fair, just and tolerant of minorities, from the record of its own struggle against injustice and neglect. What hopes do we entertain for the economy of a future Niger Delta region? The oil and gas economy has destroyed our natural environment with flared gas and oil pollution and given us violence, poverty and ill health. We hope for a future in which investment in the oil and gas sector would have yielded dividends which would have been re-invested in industry and the building of productive sectors of the economy before the wells and reservoirs dried up We dream of a Niger Delta economy of the future in which the natural resources of the region are creatively exploited to serve the needs of the people in agriculture, industry, tourism, crafts and business. The world economies are in distress and under threat of collapse not for lack of integrity and essential elements of human character. Capitalism is in crisis, confronted by the threat of occupation by the unprivileged majority. Most of Africa, Nigeria and the Niger Delta, remain under threat of destruction by the greed and corruption that has infested our polity in all sectors. We must hope and dream of a future for the Niger Delta, for Nigeria and for Africa, free of the strangle hold of greed and corruption I see a future Niger Delta in which the old and the young are united in a crusade to recover the human capital of character which is their heritage of culture. We must recover our heritage of courage enshrined in all the community and individual praise slogans and poetry across the Niger Delta and denounce and reject the violence engendered by thirst for illegitimate power and corrupt wealth. We need to return to the values of our ancestors which valued truth and integrity and pride in a good name and reputation above temporary gain. I see a future Niger Delta fully equipped with the resources of its best cultural capital of values to create a moral society able to move forward confidently on all fronts. Clearly, our rulers bear the primary responsibility to bring our hope and dreams to fruitful reality, but the challenge of the future lies with us all, young and old, to change our ways, through learning from the wisdom available to us from the past, drawn out of practical experience. I dream of a Niger Delta endowed with a thriving economy, within polities serving the best interests of its people, a moral society anchored in the love of truth and justice is not too fantastic a dream to work for in the present. Prof. Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa, Emeritus, is a renowned historian, researcher and writer. He delivered this speech at the Bring Back the Book launch in Bayelsa State in August.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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ARTISTE UNCENSORED

All an artiste needs is one hit –Big D Upcoming rapper, Big D, (born Davies Obiekeh), has big dreams. The first is to be one of the best rappers Nigeria has ever known. And when he makes his first N20million, Big D, who has dabbled in Nigerian movies as actor and production hand, would like to shoot a television drama series.

PEOPLE SHOULD NOT COME TO A

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ig D wants to do only three very good rap albums and then train up-and-coming musicians. But these, among other dreams, have to wait, as Big D only just released a promo CD with two singles No Contest and It is Just a Rap to herald his forthcoming album. Big D pitched his tent with rap because it’s second nature to him and was aware of this talent in secondary school as one of his school’s debaters. “To debate means you have to speak and rap is also about talking. Only this time, you have rhythm and poetry. So I have always had it in me”, he said. The graduate of the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka said he started rap in 2003, but “for this singles to come out, I started work on them in 2009”. Big D has directed a handful of television series including Huzzle (a corruption of the word hustle as pronounced in Warri), which aired on Galaxy Television. He said he also worked on Living in Lagos, the television series that starred Jab Adu. “I did continuity and I was working directly with the director, John Njamah”, he stated. Big D is yet to have a band, but that does not mean he cannot perform alongside a live band. As a matter of fact, he explained that he has never had to mime his songs at a show. “People should not come to a live show and hear an artiste mime to his or her track”. Interestingly, the graduate of Library Information Science has never participated in any of the many music talent hunt competitions in the country because he has not heard of any that has to do primarily with rap, lamenting that it is sad everyone concentrates on singing. The practice in most parts of the world is to release a couple of singles so that people can get a feel of what a musician has to offer. Big D has done just that. “It would have been easy to bring out an album and look for some marketers to help me sell, but then, I would not get the shows that really pay. I do a few shows now, but they are

LIVE SHOW AND HEAR AN ARTISTE MIME TO HIS OR HER TRACK basically non-paying shows”, he said. Like many young Nigerians intent on getting into a higher institution, Big D had to settle for a course outside of his original choice of Theatre Arts. In his case, his parents didn’t think Theatre Arts was a befitting course to study. “It took my parents a while to understand that this is what I was meant for. I used to leave school to go and act in movies back then in Abraka. I did three or four jobs then”, Big D recalls. However, at a point, he got tired of doing minor roles and opted for a spot behind the scenes. That was how he started doing continuity on film and drama production Big D sets. In addition to that, Big D does MC jobs. “For now, because of the way I perceive video, I just want to be behind the scene, so I would rather direct than act. But if I get a good cameo appearance I will take it”, he explained. But would he invest in the making of movies in the future? “Immediately I make my first N20million, I will shoot a drama series, because for movies, there is still no structure. It’s true movies are going to the cinemas with multiplexes springing up everywhere, but I still feel that it’s not there yet. So it is easier to shoot a drama series, get one or two persons onboard, buy slots and that can keep you going for a while”, he said. Reminded that rap music, like Nigerian movies may, in a sense, not be there yet, he said: “In this country, all you need is just one hit song and when you get that, you are well on your way”. To indicate that he is serious about his music, one of the very first tracks he has put out there, No Contest, features the phenomenal General Pype. “It’s a dancehall meet rap kind of thing”, Big D, who does not sing and does only rap explained. Meanwhile, the second one is just rap, aptly titled, It is just a Rap.

MIDWEEK JUMP

An unending funeral story

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n Saturday, September 15, DADA Books will present a collection of short stories by Sylva Nze Ifedigbo titled The Funeral did not End, a compilation of 20 punchy stories. The award-winning writer and essayist is a trained Veterinary Doctor and he has written widely on Nigerian socio-political issues both online and in the print media. His novella Whispering Aloud was published in 2008 by Spectrum Books, Ibadan. Nze Ifedigbo is described as ‘a tempered writer who has successfully merged his penchant for social commentary with

his capacity for observing that same society with a keen eye and a mind that understands how to negotiate the threshold where the profound meets the mundane’. The Funeral did not End, his second published book, is being presented to the public from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. at the Kongi’s Harvest Gallery, Freedom Park, Lagos Island.

30-minute film was released last year and won a nomination for Best Documentary at the 2011 IN-SHORT Film Festival. After the Friday showing, Aderemi and the three subjects of his docu-film would be fielding questions from the audience.

Dinner for creative arts graduating class

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3 artists tell it all

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lliance Française –the French Cultural Centre– located in YabaLagos, will hold a projection of Aderemi Adegbite’s documentary, Ghettoration on Friday, September 14 on its premises. Ghettoration is a film which

Adegbite

retraces the steps of three young artists, Edaoto, Awoko and Cornerstone, living their arts and lives through the difficulties of the ghetto. Shot over the space of three months, the

he 2012 graduating class of the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka will today host a dinner and awards night. The event, which will take place at the White House Hotel and Conference Centre, Toyin Street, Ikeja, will also witness the launch of the year book for the students

who would soon join the labour market. The organisers have said the event will start with a red carpet at 6.00 p.m. and expected in attendance are: the host, Head of Department, Professor A.V.E. Moreni; Dean of the Faculty of Art, UNILAG, Professor Duro Oni; Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs in Lagos State, Ademorin Kuye; President, Translantic School of Business, Lade Adeyemi and Opa Williams, the man behind the popular comedy show, Night of a Thousand Laughs. It was also revealed that this year’s edition of the annual event marks the launch of a year book for graduating creative arts students.


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FAR AND NEAR

Bayelsa govt to build a film village ADENRELE NIYI

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s part of the drive to promote tourism and arts in Bayelsa State, the government of Seriake Dickson is embarking on a project to construct a film village. Governor Dickson stated this recently at a state dinner held in honour of some Nollywood stars who were in the state for a symposium on the prospects of indigenous films in Nigeria at the Government House, Yenagoa. Consequently, Gov. Dickson expressed his administration’s

intention to collaborate with the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), to actualise the project to enable the academy hold its activities annually in the state. According to him, aside from the film village, government is putting in place the necessary infrastructure such as good road network, a boat club, golf course and other recreational facilities that could facilitate, as well as enrich film production in Bayelsa State. Governor Dickson remarked that the Glory land Castle in Government House has been converted to a

six- star hotel, which, he noted, will be the first of its kind in the country when completed. Re-affirming his administration’s commitment to make the state a centre of excellence in the arts and culture, the governor urged actors and film producers to take advantage of the peaceful and alluring scenery of the state for their film production. In her remarks, one of Nollywood stars, Ms. Hilda Dokubo lauded Dickson for his developmental strides and for organising the symposium while urging other state governors to emulate the gesture.

12th Tribeca Film Fest announces dates TFF to launch new transmedia programme as it calls for submissions

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he Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by founding sponsor American Express, has announced that the 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival will be held between April 17 and April 28, 2013 in New York City. Tribeca’s programming team, led by Geoffrey Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer, who joined TFF last year, Director of Programming Genna Terranova, Programmer Cara Cusumano, and Shorts Programmer Sharon Badal, also announced a call for submissions for narrative and documentary features and short film entries. In addition, the Festival and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin unveiled a new transmedia programme with an award launching at the 2013 Festival that will celebrate new trends in digital media and recognise these transmedia creators who employ an innovative, interactive, webbased or multi-platform approach to story creation. Through open submissions, selections will be presented to the public at the 2013 festival. Ingrid Kopp, Director of Digital Initiatives for the Tribeca Film Institute, the year-round not-forprofit affiliate of Tribeca Enterprises, joins the film festival programming team to collaborate on the initiative. Submissions for both U.S. and international film entries open on Monday, September 17. Early deadlines for Features, Shorts and Transmedia Projects is set as October 19; official deadline is December 28, while late deadline –available to feature length films only– is on November 30. Starting on Monday, submission of forms and complete information regarding eligibility for

Robert de Niro

the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival will be available at www.tribecafilm.com/festival TFF is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. The festival has screened more than 1,400 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than four million attendees and has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Centre, TFF is to spur the economic and cultural revitalisation of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling.

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NICO’s indigenous language programme ends in Abuja IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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s the 2012 edition of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), a brain child of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) comes to an end, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke has reiterated that his ministry appreciates the critical importance of Nigeria’s indigenous language as a vehicle of promotion and transmission of culture from one generation to another. Represented at the function by Chudi Uwandu, the Director of Research and Planning, the minister commended the management and staff of NICO for playing a vanguard role in the nation’s indigenous language project. While noting that NILP is one of NICO’s core programmes, Duke observed that the Institute has not only accorded the programme priority attention, but ensured that several Nigerian languages are taught. He noted that NICO has, over the years, in some of its zonal offices, encouraged the use of Nigeria’s indigenous language in inter-secondary school competitions and debate. This, he said, will go a long way in stimulating the interest of students and youths in the nation’s indigenous languages, adding that “it has designed robust strategies to make our indigenous language relevant in our socio- political economic and educational endeavours. “I have no doubt that if the language promotion and development strategies are painstakingly implemented, our indigenous language would not only be saved from the threat of extinction, they will be proudly used by Nigerians”. Sharing his expert views, Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma said the institute was very delighted and encouraged by the enthusiasm and response received from the general public in this year’s outing. According to him, “we did not only witness a remarkable increase in the number of participants, candidates were drawn from all strata of society. Children, students, member of para-military institutions, media houses, wives, diplomats and even the visually impaired”. “We got a request from a blind man who indicated interest in the study of Nigerian in-

digenous languages. Although the institute does not have the facilities, we are challenged to start making such provision in subsequent editions”, he disclosed. Ayakoroma disclosed that given the importance his institute attached to the NILP, they presented a memo at the just-concluded meeting of the National Council on Culture, Tourism and National Orientation in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, requesting for support of the programme in their various states by providing technical assistance to facilitate the take-off of the weekend study programme. The successful launch of the weekend programme he said will make it convenient for a greater number of people to participate while several minority languages will also be covered. Earlier, chairman of the occasion, Dr. George Teke, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Art, University of Abuja pointed out that the use of Nigeria’s indigenous languages cannot be over emphasised, considering the power of culture in the society. Language, he said, is the basic and versatile medium of communication; “it does not only build our relationship, it builds us as a people, especially when spoken in our mother tongue”. “There are many reasons to proud of being a Nigerian; first, of over 6,900 languages spoken in the world today, 500 of them are spoken in Nigeria. The population grew from the horn Africa: Ethiopia, Eretria, Djibouti and Somalia”. “This means that the study of many Nigeria languages will provide answers to the many questions to the origin of man. It can now be that cradle of civilisation, which is Alexandria, Egypt, was inhabited by the modern day Nigerians. The war of 600BC which saw the defeat Africans from Egypt leads the vast movement of people southward. Two routes were particularly important: the Nile-Congo taken by the Tiv and the East by the Yoruboid group in search of a place named Igodomigodo”, Teke stated. Recently, strong emphasises has been placed on the continual re-orientation of the citizenry. This, according to Dr. Teke, is aimed at reviving the country’s fading moral and ethical values, most of which are embedded in and are effectively communicated through these languages.


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- SPORTS CRITIC, SHUAIBU GARA GOMBE

Monrovia draw: I’m not blaming Enyeama – Keshi

‘Dolphins to undergo re-organisation’

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The physically challenged athletes have patriotically demonstrated that they deserve the best

Marathon play ends drought for Murray and Britain

uper Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, says he’s not too happy with news making the rounds that he quarrelled with his first choice goalie, Vincent Enyeama, during the 2-2 draw recorded last weekend in Monrovia. “Haba, there was nothing like that and if there is anybody to be blamed, it’s the team, not an individual,” Keshi said yesterday through Eagles’ Media Officer, Ben Alaiya. Keshi declared that the issue regarding national team performance cannot and must not be placed at the doorstep of a single individual like Enyeama, even as he assured that he will produce a new national team that Nigerians will be proud of. “We will score goals aplenty, but I understand the apprehension of Nigerians, and what I have always asked for is patience, I need lots of it to succeed.” The former national team skipper of the famed Tunisia 1994 squad was speaking against the backdrop of news making the rounds that he has chosen to blame individuals rather than the team for the failure to win in Monrovia. “I never at any moment said that Enyeama, who remains our first choice keeper caused us the draw in Liberia and in fact I think that he is one of the best in the world but at times like these passion rules over reason, but we must not bring individual players into our poor performance, it’s a collective failure to win,” Keshi added.

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Team Manager, Dream Team - Glo Soccer Academy, Mr. Victor Ikpeba (m) being presented with the Academy’s jacket by Mr. Bode Opeseitan, Director of Events and Sponsorship, Globacom (r) and Consultant to the Academy, Chief Segun Odegbami, at the unveiling of the Glo Soccer Academy in Lagos yesterday

Glo Academy: Ikpeba charged to discover new Eaglets EVEREST ONYEWUCHI SPORTS EDITOR

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elecommunication giant, Globacom, yesterday unveiled a new youth football development programme tagged ‘Globacom Soccer Academy.’ The Director of Events and Sponsorships of the company, Mr. Bode Opeseitan, said at a press conference held at the Mike Adenuga Towers on Victoria Island, Lagos, that the academy would be “a TV Reality Show organised to discover and train talented young footballers in West Africa.” To be organised in partnership with Manchester United Football Club, the Glo Soccer Academy is designed to scout through Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic for 33 young players between the ages of 14 and 17 years old, who will be camped in Lagos for the Reality Show. Ultimately, the new discoveries from the Reality TV Show expected to hold annually, would form the nuclei of the under-aged national teams of the West African countries, if the managers ensure that no age cheats participate in the programme. Chief Segun Odegbami is the Chief Consultant for the project, while Victor Ikpeba is the Team Manager. The celebrity coaching crew will also include Tijani Babangida and Ghana’s Anthony Baffoe. Opeseitan further said, “We are proud to float the Glo Soccer Academy which is expected to discover young talent, teach and groom them to become world-class footballers, who can compete with their contemporaries anywhere in the world and shine like trillion stars. “We are equally confident that the Academy

he Acting General Manager of Dolphins Football Club, Mr. Dumbo Awanem, has said that reforms would be carried out in the team to ensure better outing next season. Awanem told newmen in Port Harcourt on Monday that the reforms had become necessary to get a focused team that would deliver results. “It is to ensure a better and focused team that would deliver desired results next season. Dolphins need reform,” he said. He said the Rivers Government, sponsors of the club, never compromised on the welfare of the team, adding that critics who blamed Dolphins’ poor outing in the just-concluded season on welfare should have a re-think. “Funds for sign-on fees and match bonuses are on the way and would be paid 100 per cent as a tradition. To the credit of the Sports Commissioner, Fred Igwe, shortly on assumption of office, all players and officials were paid their complete sign-on fees and match bonuses owed from the previous administration. “I see no reason why this time would be different,” Awanem added, saying that any official or player, who intended to continue with the club to achieve better results, should show seriousness on the job.

will motivate young players, coaches and administrators to work harder, thereby leading to further development of the game.” Call for entries and screening of the players will begin next month in Cotonou before heading to Accra, Kumasi and Tamale and finally in five Nigerian cities. By mid-December the 33 finalists will enter the Academy, which runs for five weeks, during which viewers will vote to eliminate the participants until the best 16 are left behind. “One of the final 16 players at the Academy will win the ultimate prize of N5million for being the Most Valuable Player (MVP) while the rest will win N1million plus G BAM Scholarships worth N750, 000 each,” said Opeseitan. All the final 16 players will be taken to the Manchester United football school next year to further Rivers State Gov Amaechi hone their skills.

Kaita hails victorious Pillars

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uper Eagles’ midfielder, Sani Kaita, who has just moved from Tavriya of Ukraine to Cypriot club, Olympiakos, has saluted his former Nigerian club, Kano Pillars, for winning the 2011/2012 Nigeria Premier League for the second time in four years. “I congratulate Pillars for winning their second league championship. In my time at the club we did not win anything, but I’m really delighted that at least we set the foundation on which the club has since won two league titles,” Kaita told MTNFootball.com.

Kaita also explained the reason for his latest transfer to Cyprus. “I have cancelled my contract with Tavriya because I wish to begin playing as soon as possible after my injury layoff. I have completed all the formalities with Olympiakos and will leave Ukraine on Saturday to join my new club,” the midfielder added. Striker Chidi Onyemah is the other Nigerian at the top Cypriot club. Major managerial changes at Tavriya, however, means Kaita will have to wait a little longer before he could begin playing regular first-team football.


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Sport

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nani faces Red Devils gag

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Chelsea players after their Champions League triumph in Munich on May 19

Blues bag European honour C helsea has been rewarded for its achievements last season by being named European Club of the Year by the European Club Association. The UEFA Champions League winner was handed the award by its peers at the third annual ECA Awards on Monday night. Chelsea was recognised “for its out-

standing achievement during the 201112 season on a European and domestic level”. Last term saw the Blues finally end their wait for European Cup glory as well as winning the FA Cup, although they finished a lowly sixth in the Premier League. However, their dramatic penalty

shoot-out success over Bayern Munich ensured they would remain at the top table of continental competition, qualifying by right as winners. Manager Roberto di Matteo turned the club’s fortunes around in the cup competitions after replacing Andre Villas-Boas at the helm in March, but was unable to improve their league standing.

Assou-Ekotto prefers Freidel

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Barton eyes career re-start

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ontroversial QPR midfielder, Joey Barton, admits he’s still struggling to tackle his inner demons as he seeks to get his career back track. The 30-year-old was loaned out to French club Marseille after being handed a 12-match ban following his red card and subsequent violent conduct at former club Manchester City on the final day of last season. Barton was sent off for a clash with Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez and responded by lashing out at City players Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany before attempting to confront Mario Balotelli. He admitted he had reacted badly to the pressure during the 3-2 defeat at Etihad Stadium. “I completely let myself down but it’s not a rational situation. I knew we could be relegated, they could win the league and I’m captain,” he said.

enoit Assou-Ekotto has warned disgruntled Tottenham new boy Hugo Lloris to be patient as the row over who should be the club’s No 1 raged on yesterday. The Frenchman was an £12million arrival on deadline day but is already frustrated at playing second fiddle to Brad Friedel. “It won’t be easy for him because there is competition,” Benoit Assou-Ekotto said. “No 1 keeper in the French team or not, he will have to fight to get the position in the team. We currently have a keeper that doesn’t make any mistakes, who is very well-known in Great Britain. “To start I believe Lloris will be No 2. If our keeper doesn’t make any mistakes there is no reason to change.” Assou-Ekotto’s response comes after Lloris demanded showdown talks with manager Andre Villas-Boas when he returns from international duty. “When I join up with the national team, I concentrate uniquely and we’ll see about my personal situation when I go back,” Lloris said. Assou-Ekotto

anchester United has tried to silence Nani as his contract dispute with the club continues to rumble on. His unreal wage demands wrecked any chance of the United winger moving to bigspenders Zenit St Petersburg this summer and the Portugal international has become increasingly disillusioned with life at United after failing to agree a new contract and finding himself outside Sir Alex Ferguson’s preferred line-up. Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are ahead of Nani in the pecking order on the wings, while the arrivals of Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa this summer have further shunted Nani away from the action. Nani believes he has been mistreated by United over his contract situation and the club has been angered by claims that Nani intends to run down his contract and leave for free when it expires, according to reports yesterday. Nani was dropped following United’s defeat at Everton in its opening match of the Barclays Premier League season and has not yet forced his way back in.

Kagawa increases Devils’ woe

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ew Manchester United sign-on, Shinji Kagawa, has handed the Red Devils another injury headache after sitting out Japan’s World Cup qualifier with Iraq with back pain. The midfielder suffered the knock in training on Monday and was ruled out of his country’s match just an hour before kick-off. Kagawa is now a doubt for United’s clash with Wigan on Saturday and their Champions League opener against Galatasaray next Wednesday.

United manager Alex Ferguson is alre without Wayne Roo who suffered a gash his thigh against Fulh while Jonny Evans yet to feature this sea following ankle surger But the 25-year-old w called upon by mana Michael O’Neill for No ern Ireland in their defeat at Russia on Fri night. Evans limped off half-time, but went on play the full 90 minu with his ankle heav strapped.

Maicon in Balotelli re-union

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anchester City’s new player, Maicon, has arrived at the club’s Carrington training base and shared an embrace with Mario Balotelli-his team-mate at former club Inter Milan. Maicon’s arrival coincided with the club’s return to league action with a clash against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. City boss Roberto Mancini secured the Bra-

zilian right-back in a £ deal on transfer deadl day. Signing the defen was one of Manci main aims as the tra fer window closed a the club agreed a d with the Italian giants Maicon is regarded one of the world’s b players, although he w humiliated by Tott ham’s Gareth Bale in Champions League seasons ago.


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Sir eady ney h in ham has ason ry. was ager rth2-0 iday

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Obi returns for Inter

Tit bits...

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oel Obi is on the mend from injury and could be back for Inter Milan this weekend in their match against Torino. The Nigerian sat out the majority of pre-season for the Nerazzurro, in order to recover from a troubling muscle injury and it finally seems he is on his way back after he completed a full training session with his teammates. Along with Obi, Dejan Stankovic and Ricky Alvarez returned to normal training, while Chivu still took part in a specialized individual training. The injury has kept the Nigerian midfielder out since last season’s campaign in March, with his recovery time estimated for the end of September. Inter will take to the field on Sunday evening at the Stadio Olimpico, with Obi, Stankovic and Alvarez all expected to be included in the squad. Chivu; however, will have to watch from the stands until he recovers properly.

Crouch England manager Roy Hodgson will only pick Peter Crouch again on merit. Eyebrows were raised when Crouch was left out of the present squad and was not called up even when Andy Carroll was ruled out through injury. Despite scoring an impressive 22 goals in 42 caps for his country, successive managers have given the impression of not being interested in Crouch’s unique style.

Jenas

Leeds manager Neil Warnock has confirmed he wants to bring in a new midfielder for Saturday’s clash at Cardiff amid reports the Championship side is interested in Tottenham’s Jermaine Jenas. The Spurs midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at White Hart Lane and has made just one appearance as a late substitute in the draw with West Brom and a Championship could be on the cards for the 29-year-old with the loan window now open.

Karagounis Fulham has signed midfielder Giorgos Karagounis until the end of this season. The 35-year-old Greece captain joins on a free transfer, having been without a club since his contract with Panathinaikos ended earlier this year. “Giorgos Karagounis has a wealth of club and international experience and I’m happy that he’s joined us for this season,” Fulham manager Martin Jol said yesterday.

Cattermole Martin O’Neill wants Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole to commit his future to the Stadium of Light and sign a new deal. The midfielder’s contract expires at the end of the season and boss O’Neill is desperate to end any uncertainty before the next transfer window opens in January. O’Neill has lauded the combative 24-year-old’s impressive start to the season.

Sterling Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has advised rising young star Raheem Sterling to take on board as much advice as he can from team-mates and managers to help him progress. The 17-year-old received a surprise call-up to the England squad to provide cover after the withdrawal of Theo Walcott and concerns over Daniel Sturridge’s fitness. Having seen a couple of outings last season, Sterling has found himself useful to new manager Brendan Rodgers.

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Zimbabwe striker Khama Billiat (in green shirt) challenging Angola’s Jacinto during their AFCON 2013 qualifier in Harare on Sunday

AFCON 2013: Warriors get dollar rain AFOLABI GAMBARI

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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layers of the Zimbabwe national team have been awarded $3, 000 each after overcoming Angola in the Nations Cup 2013 qualifier in Harare on Sunday. Warriors defeated Black Panthers 3-1 to confound critics who wrote them off before the encounter to literally have one leg in the Afcon finals billed for South Africa next year. Major Warriors sponsor, Mbada Diamonds, paid $2,000 to all squad members and coaching staff, but the players got a further boost yesterday when Buymore Investments, a company owned by Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) President, Cuthbert Dube, added the $1, 000. The football association has been cash-strapped for several months and relies on sponsors to pay players’ travel expenses and hotel bills. Zimbabwe must avoid defeat in the return leg in Luanda next month to guarantee a place in the finals. Meanwhile, CEO of Mbada Diamonds, Patience Khumalo, has pledged further support as Zimbabwe bids to qualify for only its third finals since 1980. “The Warriors have done the nation and us the sponsors proud and they deserved what they got as boost,” she said. But Warriors Coach, Rah-

man Gumbo, is wary about the challenge facing his side in Angola. “The Panthers have a very strong team and their stadium is very intimidating as they can make life really difficult for us,” Gumbo said, adding, “But I think we got a full month

to really organize ourselves.” Zimbabwe were ahead from an early own goal by Angolan defender Bastos before Khama Billiat added a second while Archieford Gutu headed in a third before half time, as Angola got a consolation midway in the second half.

Eko 2012: UNILAG set for hostel handover AFOLABI GAMBARI

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rganisers of the 18th National Sports Festival tagged “Eko 2012” have announced that the University of Lagos will hand over the hostels to the Local Organising Committee on September 19. Secretary General of the LOC, Dr. Kweku Tandor, who disclosed this to National Mirror in Lagos yesterday, said that the ceremony would be low-keyed. “The institution has met with its promise to hand over the hostel to us at the agreed time and we are pleased by this development,” Tandor added. “We are assured that Unilag will be on vacation during the period and this will continue through the sports festival which runs from November 27 to December 9.” The LOC chief, however, said the Lagos State government would undertake renovation of the hostels according the organisers’ specification. “All the hostels will be released

to us and we will put all in good shape before the arrival of athletes for the festival,” Tandor further said. Meanwhile, the organising committee has said the media publicity blitz will begin next week and will be sustained till end of the festival. The Media/Publicity Sub-committee Chairman, Mr. Olawale Edun, said the effort was aimed at registering Eko 2012 in the people’s consciousness. “We believe the result will be far-reaching,” Edun, a former Lagos State commissioner for finance, said.

Olawale Edun

Multinationals support Soccerex AFOLABI GAMBARI

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rganisers of Lagos Soccerex Seminar yesterday announced that they have secured the support of some multinational companies ahead of the event scheduled for September 27 and 28. According to the organisers, Pepsi, Virgin Atlantic, Standard Chartered, Fourteen and Spier Wine have converged to support the seminar with a view to developing their brands in West Africa through football. Virgin Atlantic, reputed to have flown over 5.2 million passengers during 2011, is the official airline that will aim to provide preferential flights for all the participants at the two-day seminar while Pepsi, with long connection to football that has seen the company brand famous players as David Beckham and Lionel Messi, in addition to its connection with the Pepsi Football Academy which currently has 14 centres across Nigeria with over 3, 000 students, has also offered strong support for supply of drinks. The academy also produced Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel. Standard Chartered, which is the shirt sponsor for EPL club Liverpool, will be the official banker for the seminar while aiming to create awareness for its brand in the country. “Partnering with Soccerex provides us with the ideal opportunity for Nigerians to deepen their knowledge of football administration and its development strategy,” Chartered Bank Nigeria CEO, Bola Adesola, said yesterday.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Marathon play ends drought for Murray and Britain The presence of accomplished actor Sean Connery and many supporters at the Arthur Asher Stadium in New York was hardly enough for Scot Andy Murray to break his age-long duck. Pure courage and self-belief did the magic.

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he crowd cheered for Murray, for Britain, for the tennis history it witnessed for nearly five hours. When the match ended, after Novak Djokovic’s service return sailed long, Murray had become the first British man to capture a Grand Slam singles championship since Fred Perry in 1936. The final score was 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2. All of Britain, or so it seemed, heaved a sigh of relief. Its men’s singles drought, which started when Perry was just a tennis champion and not a name behind a clothing brand, had ended. The match lasted four hours 54 minutes, tying the record for the longest Open final. The 1988 version, between Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl, Murray’s coach, lasted the same amount. When he served for the match, Murray said he felt “a sense of how big a moment that is in British tennis history.” “I know more than most and I’ve been asked about it many times,” he added. As he stood on the doorstep, three games from his first Grand Slam title, Murray scowled. His expression matched the wind that made for the most unpredictable of finals and the weight he felt from seven decades’ worth of hope and despair and close-but-notquite that rested on his shoulders. Murray complained, over and over, that his legs felt like jelly, a combination of nerves and fatigue. Djokovic, the defending champion, kept coming, kept sliding, his shoes squeaking, until after 306 points each player had won exactly half. He stared down all of that, Murray did, fatigue and history and wind and doubt, and he elevated his play when it mattered most. His service break early in the fifth set lobbed some of that pressure back at Djokovic. All that remained was for Murray to hold on. He served for the decisive set, one of his offerings clipped the far corner of the service line, a sliver of the edge and nothing more. That seemed like more proof of Murray’s moment, his final, his tournament, his summer, one that included a runnerup finish at Wimbledon and an

Olympic gold medal. Later, Murray sat behind the silver championship trophy and tried to explain how it felt to break through. Already, Twitter congratulations had poured in from the likes of Rory McIlroy and Russell Crowe. Yet Murray sounded more exhausted than elated, his face drained, dark bags underneath his eyes. He listed all the challenges he faced in recent days, mostly from the conditions, the wind and the rain and even a tornado warning on Saturday. Then there was the matter of playing in a Grand Slam final. Then there was the fact he had never won one. Then there was Djokovic, a player who had lost one set all tournament. “Well, I proved that I can win the Grand Slams,” Murray, who admitted feeling nervous before the match, said. “I proved that I can last four and a half hours and come out on top against one of the strongest guys physically that tennis had probably seen, especially on this surface. “Everyone’s in a bit of shock, to be honest, and I’m sorry if I’m not showing it as you would like.” Lendl is Murray’s coach, the only other player in the Open era to fall in his first four Grand Slam singles appearances. When Murray won, as bedlam broke out around him, Lendl hardly cracked a smile, his demeanor icy until the end. Lendl ultimately won eight Grand Slam singles titles, but knew as well as anyone which one proved the hardest to obtain. So did Djokovic. “I want to congratulate Andy for his first Grand Slam,” Djokovic said minutes after the energysapping encounter, adding, “He absolutely deserves it.” This match, the first Grand Slam final contested without Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal since Djokovic and Murray played for the Australian Open in 2011, pitted rivals, both 25, born a week apart. They first played each other at 11. Djokovic said Murray won that contest. Djokovic triumphed in their first two meetings in Grand Slam tournaments. Murray, though, took their most recent

Murray returning a serve

Murray savouring his prize

I PROVED THAT I CAN LAST FOUR AND A HALF HOURS AND COME OUT ON TOP AGAINST ONE OF THE STRONGEST GUYS PHYSICALLY THAT TENNIS HAD

PROBABLY SEEN, ESPECIALLY ON THIS SURFACE.

meeting, in the semi finals of the Olympics. At the outset, on another windwhipped afternoon in Queens that felt more like British Open golf weather, the conditions appeared to favor Murray. He played a semi final Saturday against Tomas Berdych under similar conditions, the most extreme of his career, while Djokovic stumbled in the same wind tunnel against David Ferrer only to regain his footing when play resumed Sunday. In the first-set tiebreaker, each of Murray’s six set points proved its own adventure. On one, he short-armed a backhand approach shot into the net. On

another, he badly shanked a forehand. On the final one, he seemed displeased with a let call, then unleashed a serve that Djokovic failed to return. The first set lasted nearly 90 minutes. Murray won the tiebreaker, 12-10. That seemed to temporarily rattle Djokovic, who started the second set with a flurry of unforced errors that prompted several conversations-with himself. Murray led, 4-0, in what seemed like an instant. All of Britain-along with the pro-Murray crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium-began to dream at that point; at least, before Murray added to their consternation.

Djokovic crept back into the contest, just when his chances seemed most dim. His lob over Murray’s head tied the second set at 5-all. Again, Murray recovered. Again, he pelted Djokovic with a variety of shots, with topspin forehands and sliced backhands, with net charges and drop shots. On set point, Djokovic missed a forehand wide. Murray did not dare let out too much emotion, even if every person in the building could feel the history within his grasp. In his previous four Grand Slam finals, Murray won one set. Not one set in each match. One set, period. Here, he led two sets to none. A nation held its breath. Throughout the past two weeks, as Djokovic cruised into the semi finals, Murray advanced on shakier footing. He looked unbeatable in some matches and very beatable in others. Regardless, he continued to insist that his Olympic victory had relieved some of the ever-present pressure from years of questions about his failure to win a Slam. He acknowledged he “maybe had less doubts about myself and my place in the game” afterward. One last goal remained: to win a major tournament. The stars seemed to align in New York. Nadal withdrew before the Open started, citing a knee injury. While Murray was in Federer’s half of the bracket, Berdych upset Federer in the quarter finals. Only Djokovic stood in Murray’s way, and even Djokovic said Murray increased his aggression over the summer, becoming “one of the most complete players in the world.” In the third set, when Murray seemed on the verge of a complete victory, Djokovic awakened. He won that set and the fourth, as Murray complained often about his legs, until “jelly” trended on Twitter worldwide. Culled from www.nytimes.com


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance The principle of diversification of resources is good, because if you are holding all your foreign reserves in one currency or one asset, whether it is the dollar or the euro, you run the risk of losing the value of your reserves in the event of fluctuations

Our service delivery now compares with the best registries in the world Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Bello Mahmum

42-43

CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Nigeria’s mobile subscribers to surpass 105 million KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Mr. Ernest Ndukwe has predicted that active telephone subscriptions in the country would surpass 105 million in the next three months into December, 2012. Speaking during this year’s edition of the annual Nigerian Telecoms Awards organised by Logica Media, which took place in Lagos Ndukwe said the industry had undergone tremendous changes and growth in the last 12 years of telecoms deregulation. The latest subscriber data from the NCC showed that the industry has grown its active subscriber base to 103.4 million as at the end of July, 2012, jumping from 96.1 million in January, 2012. Ndukwe, who is the Group Chairman of Open Media Group, noted that the changes that have tak-

en place in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria in last 12 years can only be described as phenomenal. He said the rate of change has been breathtaking since 2001, when what is now commonly referred to as Nigeria’s telecom revolution debuted. “Indeed no one was in a position to predict in those early days, the full

potential of the market and the speed at which the Nigerian telecom network would grow. “Today, the figure for active subscribers in the mobile networks is around 100 million lines and may surpass 105 million by end of December 2012. “Indeed, Nigeria has transited from what I had described as the telecom-

munications dark ages before 2000 to a telecommunication revolution age that has opened up new possibilities and frontiers across our political social and economic landscape,” he said. The former NCC boss attributed the growth in the sector, which, he said has created remarkable impacts on other sectors of the economy to good policy direction and the

role of the media in projecting the country as a favourable investment haven for foreigners. He said: “We were able to achieve this feat due to an unwavering commitment to full sector reform by various stakeholders in the value chain including government for policy direction; the industry regulator for professional and pro-active regulation, openness, transparency, and firmness; the legislature for enacting good laws for the sector; and the Nigerian media for incisive and well researched reportage and publications.”

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Arik Air Los-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 10:20, 15:20, 16:20, 16:50, 18:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Abj-Los: 07:15, 09:40, 10:20, 12:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat); 12:15, 15:15, 16:15 (Sun) Los-PH: 07:15, 11:40, 14:00, 16:10, 17:15, (Mon-Fri) 07:30, 11:40, 15:50 (Sat) 11:50, 3:50, 17:05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07:15, 11:20, 15:30 (Mon-Fri) 07:15, 16:00 (Sat) 13:10, 16:00, (Sun) PH-Abj: 08:45, 12:50, 17:00 (Mon-Fri) 08:45, 17:30 (Sat) 14:40, 17:30 (Sun) Abj-Ben: 08:00, 12:10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08:55, 12:10 (Sun) Ben-Abj: 09:55, 13:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10:50, 13:30 (Sun)

Aero Contractors

L-R: Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; President Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Olusegun Aina and Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, during the 6th Annual Banking and Finance Conference in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Naira falls most in three weeks on dollar shortage

he naira weakened for a second day on the Nigerian interbank market, heading for its biggest fall in three weeks, as import demand for dollars exceeded supply.

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

The currency fell 0.4 per cent to 158.18 a dollar yesterday, the biggest decline on a closing basis since August 20, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Central Bank of Nigeria sold $180m at a twice- weekly foreigncurrency auction on Monday, the lowest since August 29.

The country relies on imports to meet more than 70 per cent of domestic fuel needs because of a lack of refining capacity, according to the Petroleum Ministry. “Strong import demand, and a structural imbalance between dollar supply and demand” put pressure on the Ni-

Nigeria’s vehicle import grows 35% in six months

32

gerian currency, Ecobank Transnational Incorporation strategist, Mr. Paul-Harry Aithnard, said. Nigerian benchmark Bonny Light crude, which has risen 27 per cent from a June low this year, snapped two days of gains, falling 0.2 per cent to $115.11 per barrel.

The yield on Nigeria’s seven per cent domestic bonds due 2019 dropped 42 basis points, or 0.42 percentage point, to 13.36 per cent, according to Monday’s data on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Yields on the nation’s $500m of Eurobonds due 2021 slid one basis point to 4.84 per cent.

Importers’ compliance with trade regulations less than 30%-Group

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Los-Abj: 06:50, 13:30, 16:30, 19:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 16:45 (Sat). Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat) 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun) 18.30 (Sat) Los-Ben: 07:45, 11:00, 15:30, (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 15:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Ben-Los: 09:15, 12:30, 17:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat/Sun) 17:00 (Sat), 14:00 (Sun)

EXCHANGE RATES WAUA

234.6271

USD

155.84

CHF

159.2642

SDR

235.0535

CFA

0.2924

GBP

244.1701

EURO

191.3715

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$123.39

-0.78

NYMEX

$108.45

-0.11

OPEC BASKET

$122.86

+1.16

NATURAL GAS

$2.83

-0.03

FG maps out strategies to boost power supply

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Business Finance

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria’s vehicle import grows 35% in six months FRANCIS EZEM

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igeria’s economy has in the first half of the year recorded an upsurge in the volume of vehicles imported through her major seaports, with shipments rising by 35.2 per cent The National Automotive Council had said that the country spends over N400bn annually on the importation of different kinds of automobiles, an indication that the indigenous automobile industry is not vibrant. Vehicle import statistics released by the Nigerian Ports Authority from January to June, 2012 shows that a total of 129, 389 units of automobiles were imported through the various sea- L-R: Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola; Ogun State Governor Ibikunle ports as against those of 95, 676 Amosun and Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, after a business meeting between Ogun State Govunits imported in the compara- ernment and Sterling Bank Plc, in Abeokuta on Monday. tive period of last year. if the local content programme be created while another 210,000 N30bn, which is insignificant This represents a growth rate was vigorously pursued. semi-skilled jobs would be cre- when compared to the N550bn, of 35.2 percent. It was gathered that if the inated. which is the value of Nigeria’s Director-General of NAC, Mr. digenous automotive industry, Records also show that the annual installed vehicle assemAminu Jalal had said recently which has the capacity of procurrent total annual operating bly and manufacturing capacity that if all the imported vehicles duce over 150, 000 units annually capacity of all the local assem- at 150,000 units. were assembled locally, the coun- was functioning at full capacity, bly plants is valued at only about Experts are of the view that try would be making over N145 the country will be able to create bn in potential value, especially about 70,000 skilled jobs would

if government’s objectives in the manufacturing of local vehicles are to be achieved, urgent efforts must be made to increase tariffs on imported fully built vehicles to 35 per cent and above, among several other measures that will discourage vehicle imports. Meanwhile, details of the port statistics released by the NPA shows that laden container throughput for the period under review stood at 438, 049 as against 380,114 TEUs Twenty-foot Quivelant Unit recorded in the comparative period of last year, showing an increase of 15.2 per cent. Also, the total gross tonnage of the ocean going vessels stood at 60.3 million metric tonnes, which represents a two per cent growth rate when compared with 59.1 million metric tonnes recorded in the same period of 2011. Empty container throughput handled at the various seaports also stood at 332, 917 TEUs at the close of business in June as against the 265, 827 TEUs handled in the same period of last year showing an increase of 25.2 percent.

Rail transport will function fully before December, says FG

Nigeria to restart gas export to Ghana, Togo, Benin UDEME AKPAN

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he nation may soon begin to supply gas to Ghana, Togo and Republic of Benin as efforts are being made to maintain the damaged West African Gas Pipeline which suffered a rupture about two weeks ago at the Lome end. Already, the preliminary investigations of the committee set up to uncover the real cause of the problem have identified a shipping operation as a possible cause of the accident since the facility is located offshore. A source who confirmed the possible cause of the problem said the report of the committee will show other possible causes if any. He said: “With the identification of the problem, plans are underway to start the rehabilitation of the pipeline so that the contractual 132 million standard cubic feet (scf) of gas per day can be supplied to consumers in the region.” The General Manager, Corporate Affairs of the West African Gas Company (WAPCo), Mrs. Harriet Wereko - Brobby who would not provide details said: “We are working at the moment and will let the media

know what we are doing later.” Meanwhile, investigations showed that stakeholders have been putting pressure on the firm to fix the problem; particularly as electricity generating firms find it difficult to meet their gas demand in virtually all the three nations. Desirous to consume Nigeria’s gas, Ghana and other West African nations had signed necessary documents, including gas sales/purchase agreements to guarantee sustainable supply from the nation. The countries, including Togo, Republic of Benin and other stakeholders also established essential facilities to receive the product. Incidentally, gas supply to Ghana and other nations has not been stable because of many challenges, including pipeline vandalism, technical hitches and mining activities, particularly along the pipeline routes despite the Right of way (ROW) secured in advance to pave way for the success of the project. For instance, encroachments on ROW and sand mining at Paako beach, Ajido, threatened operations and posed a serious environmental challenge to the people of Iworo- Ajido-Badagry.

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he Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, said yesterday according to report by News Agency of Nigeria that the Nigerian railway system would be fully functional before December. Gulak told newsmen in Abuja that reviving and sustaining the railway system had been the priority of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. He said by November, rail transportation would be viewed as a reality aimed at reducing a lot of difficulties encountered in the sector because enough arrangements had been made. “Before December, the nation’s railway project will con-

vince Nigerians on the commitment of this government to the provision of a modern rail transport system. “When people can travel comfortably with affordable fares and they can transport goods at cheaper rates, then a change has been made. “It has been functioning from Lagos to some parts of the country, especially LagosIbadan and before the end of the year, passengers will be able to travel by rail from Lagos to Kano,’’ he said. According to him, the development in transport sector is aimed at achieving the Vision 20:2020 which is being propelled by the Transformation Agenda. He called on all stakeholders

in the sector to support government policies aimed at providing a platform for industrial development for Nigerians. He also urged politicians, irrespective of their political parties, to place premium on popular programmes and support them in the interest of the nation. “We must be patriotic in our approach to issues on national development and our differences in political ideologies must not affect the resolve to uplift the values of the country,’’ he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that in 2006, the Federal Government signed a contract with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to modernise the LagosKano railway line.

Copyright Society wants hotels to pay royalty or face the music

T

he Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), said on Tuesday that it would no longer deal with the leaders in the hotel industry in order to resolve the issue of royalty payment. The decision is contained in a statement signed by Mr. Chibueze Okereke, the Head of Communications, Media and Strategy, COSON, and made available to newsmen in Abuja. According to the statement, the society has tried for months to negotiate with the leaders in the industry,

but they always give excuses for not paying royalties. It said that the society had therefore decided to deal with individual hotels and would deploy every tool under the law to make sure that the industry paid royalty. The Chairman of COSON, Mr. Tony Okoroji, said that if the leaders of the industry had shown any respect for intellectual property rights of musicians, the issue of paying royalties would have longed been resolved. He added that this would have been of little cost to the hotels and there would be no

need for the society to file any suit against any hotel. He said that the idea of hotels ‘ganging up’ against COSON was not good as it could result in significant consequences. Okoroji said that the society was fully committed to defending the rights of musicians and would not hesitate to deploy legal means to achieve it. He called on hotels to cooperate with the society as bodies like FRCN, Google and Multichoice Africa had done so to avoid abusing the rights of musicians.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

33


34

Business Finance

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Importers’ compliance with trade regulations less than 30%-Group FRANCIS EZEM

F

reight forwarders under the aegis of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders at the weekend took a swipe at importers trading in Nigeria over their corrupt tendencies, saying they are less than 30 per cent complaint with international trade regulations. Investigations show that out of every 10 individual and small-scale importer operating in Nigeria, more than nine of them indulge in import-related fraud like under-declaration, over-invoicing, wrong classification, concealment, under-invoicing, false classification and outright smuggling to maximise profits.

National President of the association, Mr. Eugene Nweke, who spoke in an interview, noted that there was low compliance to import regulations by most importers, which he said accounts substantially for the delay in the release of cargo from the various seaports. According to him, due to the low level of compliance, the Nigeria Customs Service introduced 100 per cent inspection of cargo at the seaports, under which over 80 per cent of imported goods go through physical examination while less than 20 per cent go through scanning. “You cannot subject imported goods to scanning in an environment where there is very low compliance with import regulation because government would lose enormous revenue through

import malpractices”, he noted. “Under the current Destination Inspection regime, Nigeria has state-of -the -art mobile and fixed scanners in most of the air, seaports and border stations, some of which are over 9.5 MEV and are the latest technology in goods scanning but you cannot rely on scanners because the level of compliance is very low”, he further argued. He noted that what would suit the Nigerian importing public is the re-introduction of the suspended duty benchmark, under which the service placed a benchmarked duty on about 26 electrical and electronic items, which most importers opposed.

L-R: Head, High Value Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Bidemi Ladipo; Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Center, PAN African University, Ms. Nneka Okekeoru; representative of the Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Wale Fasanya and Deputy Director, Mr. Monday Evans, during a networking event in Port Harcourt recently.

CPC seals fuel station, bakery for sharp practices OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

T

he Consumer Protection Council (CPC) yesterday sealed a filling station in Gwagba, one of the satellite towns at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for short-changing unsuspecting consumers through pumps adjustment. During a similar raid, the council also closed down a bakery, Divine Grace Buttered Bread, at Dutse Alhaji, in Bwuari Area Council, Abuja for offences ranging from pirating other established bakeries label to win patronage and processing food products in a dingy and dirty environment. The bakery which is located in a flooded area devoid of water channels is surrounded by pit toilets and a pottery with all its health implications.

Operatives of the Council who was led by a Deputy Director in the Surveillance and Enforcement Department, Mr. Sham Kolo stormed the two areas for an all-round enforcement exercise following a series of complaints from customers. Kolo described the activities of the two business concerns as unacceptable. In particular, while explaining that it was a criminal offence for the Bakery to pirate other established bread making companies with a view to hoodwinking unsuspecting consumers, the environment in which the bread were being produced did not meet NAFDAC standard. Also while sealing a Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation franchise outlet centre in Gwagba, Kolo said the council would continue to clampdown

on any company that would not give value for money spent. Out of the three pumps tested with a 20 litre measuring cylinder owned by the council, only one dispensed accurately. While the first pump dispensed 17.7 litres for a 20 litre petrol, the second one was short by 2.5 litres. The council’s chief enforcer warned that the CPC would continue to deal with any service provider that short-changed consumers. He said,” The council takes serious exception to practices that tend to deprive consumers from getting equal benefits from money spent. In this station, we can all see that the only pump that dispensed accurately is not being put into use. Again the fact that the station manager attempted to hide from us on sighting us is an admittance of guilt before the fact of a matter.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ekiti brick firm to employ 300 workers DAYO AYEYEMI

E

fforts to resuscitate the moribund at Ire Burnt Brick Factory in Ekiti State received a boost at the weekend as the state government took delivery of equipment worth N400 million for the take off of the factory. Taking delivery of the equipment at Ire-Ekiti, the state Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Otunba Remi Bodunrin, said on completion of the factory, no fewer than 300 indigenous workers would be employed. He stated that the state government in partnership with

Oodua Investment Group, decided to revive the moribund factory so that it could generate income for the government and Oodua Investment Group as well as employment for the teeming unemployed population. The commissioner added that the delivery of the equipment is a step towards restoring life to the factory even as it will begin a test-run operation in October 21 while full operation will commence in November this year. Bodunrin assured that the state will not have problems marketing the products which vary from clay roof tiles and burnt bricks among others as the products are being produced only in two states.

Samsung opens store at Ikeja City Mall KUNLE A ZEEZ

S

amsung Electronics West Africa has opened its first retail direct-to-market store for customers and individuals seeking excellent value from a wide range of mobile, personal computing products in Nigeria. Aptly tagged the ‘Samsung Experience Store’ and located inside the Ikeja City Mall in Alausa, the store provides consumers with an exciting avenue to experience and interact with Samsung’s line-up of products in a standalone location. Speaking at the launch of the store at the weekend, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Bangryong Kim, said the store was developed primarily for Nigerians to explore and interact with Samsung hand held products like mobile phones, cameras and

premium PCs. He said: “One thing we learnt with the Galaxy S III experience is that when Nigerians touch, feel and use our products, they can better appreciate the value they will derive from owning them. “This is the idea behind the Samsung Experience Store. It allows our consumers to discover what our products can do, and how they can derive optimal value from these products and services to enrich their lives.” According to Kim, the Samsung Experience Store enables the consumer understand how Samsung’s products complement each other. He said with its broad product offering, the store provides consumers with a premium retail experience, showcasing Samsung’s technology leadership and enabling consumers to experience firsthand the power of sharing content across multiple products.

NAMA boss charges staff to strive for excellence OLUSEGUN KOIKI

T

he Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Engr. Nnamdi Udoh has advised workers of the agency to strive for excellence in the provision of air traffic services in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. He made the charge during the sent-forth ceremony organised for the outgoing Director of Engineering and Safety Electronics, Engr. Raymond Panguru. Udoh revealed that between January and now, the agency had won four different awards including the gold award given to NAMA and individual award given to the managing director, Engr. Mazi Udoh at the 18th

Conference of Aviation & Allied Business Leadership in Windhoek, Namibia. The managing director who expressed happiness over the performance of the organisation in recent time said that NAMA has become number one in the continent through its efforts to safeguard the airspace. Awards were also presented to some outstanding staff for their support to Badminton Tour 3 of France in 2012 including the General Manager, Public Affairs Department, Mr. Supo Atobatele, Mr. Gbolahan Akinwowo, Director of Finance and Administration, Mrs. Elizabeth Agom and the Deputy General Manager, Finance Mr. Segun Agbolade. While commending Panguru for his dedication to the agency over the years, he also described him as a true soldier who had conquered.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

35

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Energy Week

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

Afam power station

FG maps out strategies to boost power supply W

ith the collapse of the nation’s power transmission system in the second quarter of this year, many watchers of the nation’s power sector did not envisage quick recovery for some reasons. First, the water levels at the hydro stations such as Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro were relatively low. Second, gas supply to thermal stations, including Egbin also dwindled. More so, the nation further experienced some losses in power transmission. These and other sad realities scuttled the generation, transmission and distribution of power to consumers in different parts of the nation. Incidentally, this was not to be. The nation has witnessed a major leap in the past few weeks. As exclusively reported National Mirror, power generation rose from an average of 4,200 megawatts (mw) to 4,800 mw last week. The nation also experienced improved transmission and distribution, which made it possible for consumers to witness improved supply.

As the nation begins to experience improved supply of power, UDEME AKPAN reports that a lot still needs to be done to witness stability in the sector. Consequently, many consumers have started to sing praises to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). From Lagos to Benin and from Owerri to Bayelsa and others, consumers who have not experienced sustainable electricity supply for a long time said the PHCN has done well. For instance, spokesman of Union Bank, Mr. Francis Barde has this to say: “We have noticed an improvement in power supply. We used to experience about two hours of public power sup-

ply daily, a development which made us to spend a lot of funds in the fueling of our generators which are located in the various branches.” Barde remarked that: “The situation seems to have changed in recent times. We now experience an average of hours supply which has enabled us to slightly reduce our high cost of operations.” However, the questions most people are asking are: can the Federal Government sustain or even improve on its present record? Expectedly, the Head

THE SITUATION SEEMS TO HAVE CHANGED IN RECENT TIMES. WE NOW EXPERIENCE AN AVERAGE OF 10 HOURS SUPPLY WHICH HAS ENABLED US TO SLIGHTLY REDUCE OUR HIGH COST OF OPERATIONS

of Press in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Greyne Anosike believes these could be done, particularly as the former minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji and others assisted in many ways to put in place the right foundation and structures. He remarked that plans are underway to boost electricity supply in the nation. For instance, the Ministry of Power is set to complete the Nigerian Independent Power Projects (NIPPs), remote and off-grid projects, ensure national grid reinforcement, transmission network growth and maintenance through effective deployment of Transmission Use of System (TUoS) charges. These are aimed at completing intervention projects and ensuring efficient distribution of power with minimal technical and non-technical losses. This would be accomplished through CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


36

Energy Week

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

FG maps out strategies to boost power supply

Jonathan

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 the execution of short, medium and long term plans. Under the short term plan, which is to last between two and seven months, the projection of the government is that there would be moderate improvement in supply, especially as the period would witness the completion and operation of some new power generating plants, transmission lines and a more developed distribution pattern. More than that, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) would complete the implementation of a tariff review. The Ministry of Power documented that: “The new tariff review structure is accompanied with a metering system, which will receive and accelerate deployment at the on-

Akinniranye

Allison-Madueke

I LIVE IN A TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT WITH NO MAJOR POWER CONSUMING FACILITIES. IT IS THEREFORE INCOMPREHENSIBLE HOW I CAN CONSUME ELECTRICITY TO THE TUNE OF

N10,000 PER MONTH

going rate. It will interest Nigerians to know that whereas there is tariff of N7 per kilowatt, what is being paid now by the urban poor and rural dwellers, the new tariff rate will allow this class to pay at N4 per kilowatt. ” Furthermore, the medium term, scheduled for implementation between 2013 and 2015 would witness the privatisation of generating and distribution centres, expected to boost electricity

FG denies drop in electricity generation UDEME AKPAN

T

he Federal Government has denied alleged drop in power generation by 1,000 megawatts (mw) due to lack of Minister to pilot the affairs of the ministry. The Media Adviser to the Chairman of Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Mr. Ikeogu Oke said: “The story, among other presumed causes, attributes the alleged “dwindling performance in power generation and distribution” to “the lack of commitment by government, as nobody appears to be in-charge” [of the Ministry of Power] “in the absence of a power minister.” He restated that the commitment of government to the success of the power sector and its on-going reform remains strong as ever. Oke said: “We also wish to state that there is no vacuum of capable leadership in the Ministry of Power or the complementary Presidential Task Force on Power, which President Goodluck Jonathan reconstituted recently as part of his commitment to ensuring that it focuses on its original mandate of fast-tracking the reform cooperatively with other relevant bodies and agencies.” He said available facts showed that power supply did not drop by 1,000 megawatts. Rather there was a partial system disturbance on September 7, 2012, which temporarily resulted in a partial loss of capacity. The situation was normalised the same day

and the system stabilised at 4, 077 megawatts. Oke stressed that power generation on the average has been over 4, 000 megawatts in the past several weeks, with a promise of increased capacity if all on-going scheduled maintenance is concluded and gas availability improves. He said: “If the system ever lost the purported 1, 100 megawatts, then it would mean that we had ever attained a generation capacity of over 5, 000 megawatts. We never have. We appeal to Nigerians to resist being used to falsely alarm the public about the sector leadership as this could inadvertently scare away investors willing to deploy huge sums of money in the sector.” Oke said the government has received, through its Customer Service Web Portal, favourable responses from the Nigerian public regarding the performance of the Power Sector Reform and associated services. For instance, he said Jegede Olaore Sulaiman of Oke-Ola Close, Surulere Estate Soyoye, Abeokuta, has written us to say: “I have to inform you that I complaint (sic) about payment for my prepaid meter since 2008 at Soyeye, Abeokuta. The three (3) prepaid meters were installed on 30th July 2012 and the cards issue were (sic) also treated and handed over to me. I wish to use this medium to commend the Presidential Task Force on Power …for a job well done… May Almighty Allah give President Goodluck” (message truncated).

supply in the country. This plan further raises hope as the ongoing strengthening of the operations of the regulatory agency and bulk trader are targeted at boosting operations. Also, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is expected to conduct its activities, especially privatisation of power institutions in a transparent manner in order to give the nation and its citizens the best investors in this sector. “The long term is also full of hope, particularly as it is expected to witness increased diversification into renewable energy source. This is opened to the public to make complaints, which will be addressed by the people operating in the areas. It is also interesting to note that it is the duty of government to provide transformers for communities within the network of operations of PHCN as it is today and we want the public to cooperate in this regard by making formal request through the approved channels to avoid the cur-rent situation where people complain that they pay for their transformers and cables”. The ministry stressed that: “We are committed to the need and plan to satisfy the needs of Nigerians and all efforts in this regard amidst challenges, which we take cognisance of, will be addressed. We, hereby, solicit your cooperation and support and we request that you use the customer service web portal to reach us on any issues that remain unclear to you.” From all indications, these are good plans. But close observers feel there is need to address fundamental challenges that stare the sector in the face. One of them is vandalism. Authoritative data showed that some major transmission lines have been vandalised. Take the Afam/Alaoji 132KV line as an example.

Labo

The vandalism of the lines dedicated to transmission has affected power supply in Afam and its environs. Other lines vandalised include the 330KV Delta line and 330KV Osogbo lines 1&2. They also include the 132 KV Bida line, 132 KV Suleja line and 330KV Jebba line. The vandalism affects transmission and distribution of electricity to consumers in various parts of the nation. For instance, 35 communities in Enugu State have been cut off from public power supply as a result of increased vandalism in the state. The vandals allegedly destroyed a major installation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) at Udi Siding, thus disrupting electricity supply in Enugu and its environs. This has attracted the comments of many people. For instance, the Managing Director of PHCN Distribution, Enugu, Alhaji Suleman Yahaya, who confirmed the development was said to have disclosed that items such as insulators, high tension copper wires and heavy iron channels were stolen. Yahaya described the vandalism as unfortunate, particularly coming at a time the government and others are working to improve power supply to consumers. Enugu is not alone. Oyo State has been affected. The management of PHCN, Olorunsogo Power Station, remarked that four vandals who vandalised the copper wires used for the earthing of the plant have been arrested at the switch yard of the power station. The management accused them of carting away about 500 copper cables valued at over N35 million. The management noted that the activities of the vandals exposed workers who could easily be electrocuted. Consequently, there are indications that the power station, commissioned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo may be closed for replacement of the damaged equipment. The vandals are said to have confessed that they usually jump the fence of the power station to gain access to the switch yard. CONTINUED ON PAGE 38


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

OPEC basket price stands at $111.55 per barrel

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is due to hold a briefing on Thursday after a key policy meeting and some analysts are expecting a signal that the U.S. central bank may soon launch a third round of monetary easing, or QE3. Since late 2008, the Federal Reserve has bought $2.3 trillion in long-term securities in a drive to spur growth and revive the economy, indirectly pumping billions into asset markets and bringing sharply higher oil prices. Weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs figures on Friday reinforced expectations of a move towards QE3 sooner rather than later. A Reuters poll of economists after the data showed a 60 percent chance of the Fed launching a fresh round of QE3 at the end of its September 12-13 policy meeting. Also supportive was the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, which shut much of the oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 14 percent of oil output and 10 percent of gas production remained shut on Sunday, U.S. regulators said. But weighing on prices was evidence that oil supply is increasing in several key centres. North Sea production from key fields is now affected by maintenance work but will return next month and output from the Middle East Gulf is also high. Oil output by three big Gulf producers saw a net increase of around 400,000 bpd in August as a sharp rise in Kuwaiti output outweighed cuts by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), industry sources said on Friday. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Monday the Kingdom was concerned about rising oil prices but the current high prices were “simply not supported by market fundamentals”. “Saudi Arabia will, as always, take all necessary steps to ensure the market is well supplied and to help moderate prices - and we will meet any additional demand from our customers,” Naimi said four days after U.S. officials met to consider a release of emergency oil stocks. Obama administration officials said last week they were worried a release of crude from U.S. emergency reserves would do little to temper global oil prices, partly driven by tighter supplies of refined fuel such as gasoline. (Additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori in Tokyo and Ramya Venugopal in Singapore; Editing by William Hardy)

UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he price of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), basket of 12 crudes has dropped slightly from $111.75 to $111.55 per barrel, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). This showed that many member states, including Nigeria would be in a position to generate adequate funds for the execution of their budgets. For instance, Nigeria recorded over $39 in excess of its $72 per barrel reference price of the 2012 budget. However, Brent crude oil stood at over $114 per barrel on Monday, this week. Market watchers attributed the firmness of the market to expectations of economic stimulus measures from the United States, despite worse-than-expected Chinese trade data. Reuters stated that: “Chinese imports fell 2.6 percent year on year in August, confounding expectations of a 3.5 percent rise. Exports grew 2.7 percent, below forecasts of a 3 percent rise.” It maintained that: “But markets are hoping growing signs of economic slowdown in China and in the United States will encourage the U.S. Federal Reserve to pump more money into the economy, a move that could help depress the dollar and boost commodities and oil.” Brent crude futures for October delivery were trading 5 cents higher at $114.30

El-Badri

per barrel by 1330 GMT, after settling up 76 cents on Friday. U.S. crude was down 70 cents $95.72 per barrel. It quoted an analyst, Tamas Varga as stating that: “The market is clearly betting on a third round of quantitative easing from the United States.” The agency stated that: “The Chinese data were pretty bearish as were U.S. jobs figures last week. But it is a twisted logic: bad news can be good news if it leads to a positive policy response.” It stated that Chinese data underscored the severity of a slowdown in the world’s secondbiggest oil consumer and Chinese oil trade figures showed a sharp decline in fuel imports as export growth slowed. China’s crude oil imports fell 12.5 percent in August from a year earlier to the lowest daily rate since October 2010, while implied oil demand in China fell to 8.92 million barrels per day (bpd), underlining flagging domestic demand while the global economic outlook darkens.

37

Source: Oilprice.com

West Africa crude slips as traders eye November loading

W

est African crude oil differentials were slightly lower on Monday with the market subdued, and a handful of cargoes from October still unsold. Around four or five of the 55 Angolan cargoes due to load in October have yet to be sold to end-users, traders said, and around a dozen of the more than 70 Nigerian cargoes remain.

Six or seven cargoes are also available from Cameroon, Congo, Ghana and Gabon, according to market participants. Angolan export programmes for November will be released in early next week and cargoes for loading in early and mid-October are already being squeezed. Some lighter grades may be supported by Asian buying tenders over the

next few days with Indian refiner IOC due to announce an award soon that could absorb up to four light Nigerian cargoes. Around 11-12 Nigerian cargoes were still available, including three Brass River, two Qua, a Bonga, a Forcados, a Pennington and a Yoho. Qua Iboe BFOQUA: Exxon is reported to have sold its mid-October Qua Iboe with the buyer Source: Bloomberg

Energy & Oil Prices OIL ($/bbl) Nymex Crude Future Dated Brent Spot WTI Cushing Spot

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

97.07 114.53 97.17

0.53 -0.16 0.63

0.55% -0.14% 0.65%

09:41 09:48 09:11

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

316.94 303.00

0.26 0.60

0.08% 0.20%

09:42 09:41

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

2.93 2.66 2.80

0.12 -0.07 0.02

4.13% -2.56% 0.72%

09:41 09/10 09/10

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

25.28 25.50 29.01

3.67 -4.87 0.51

16.98% -16.04% 1.79%

09/10 09/10 09/10

OIL (¢/gal) Nymex Heating Oil Future Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future

NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu) Nymex Henry Hub Future Henry Hub Spot New York City Gate Spot

ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour) Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON

thought to be BP. Traders said the cargo was likely to have moved at around dated Brent plus around $1.80. Some of the remaining October cargoes were being held back for possible sale into India via tender. Bonny Light BFO-BON: Trading at a discount of about 40 cents to Qua Iboe, due to unreliable loading dates and variable quality. Four or five of 55 cargoes loading in October were still unplaced, traders said, including o ne each of Girassol, Saxi and Palanca. Kuito: Sonangol’s sale of its Oct. 27-28 to Unipec was said to have been done at below dated Brent minus $3.50. Dalia: assessed between dated Brent minus 60 and minus $1.20, traders said, around 1020 cents lower than last week. Pazflor: reported worth close to dated Brent minus $1.20. State-owned Indian Oil Corporation has issued a tender to buy light sweet crude for November loading, traders said. Grade and price offers should be submitted by Wednesday and Thursday respectively.


38

Energy Week

NEITI holds global conference

T

he EITI, the global standard for transparency of revenues from natural resources, will hold its 2013 Global Conference on 22-24 May 2013 in Sydney, Australia. This was announced by the EITI Chair, Clare Short. Ms Short welcomed Australia’s invitation to host the biennial EITI Global Conference: “The EITI Global Conference in Sydney in May 2013 will be another milestone in the evolution of the EITI. With 36 countries now implementing the EITI, and the United States and several others preparing to do so, we are making strides in establishing the EITI as a global standard. Together we are taking steps towards ensuring that natural resource wealth leads to development. “After two years of extensive consultations, the conference will see the launch of a significantly revised EITI standard, which will strengthen EITI reporting, and help to ensure that the EITI process becomes a national platform for improved natural resource governance. “We are grateful for the support and leadership that the Australian government is providing,” She said. Conference participants will discuss how the EITI is leading to more transparency in their countries and agree how the standard should be further strengthened. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr commented on the EITI conference being hosted in Sydney at Africa Down Under. “Of the 36 countries that are working with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, 21 are in Africa. Australia started a domestic pilot last year, and we are keen to encourage more countries to adopt the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. “Today, I am also pleased to announce that Australia will host the next global conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Sydney in May 2013. This will be an opportunity for us all to help improve the transparency of company payments and government revenues in this sector,” Carr added.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

PIB should address indigenous operations –Fatona UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT

A

n indigenous operator has called on lawmakers to produce a new Petroleum Act that will assist to boost local content and indigenisation of the nation’s petroleum industry. The Managing Director of Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc, Dr. Layi Fatona who made the call in an interview with National Mirror said this would go a long way to stimulate sustainable growth of the industry and the nation. He said: “We should thank the Federal Government for sending the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the National Assembly. This is a bold step which everyone should encourage. As operators, we will like to make inputs during public hearing. The lawmakers should be encouraged to produce a law that will stimulate local content and indigenisation of the industry.” Fatona said: “This important law should be targeted at achieving sustainable development of the industry and prosperity of the nation.” The Chairman of Petroleum Committee, Senator Magnus Abbe said work on the PIB will resume as soon as legislators are back from their vacation. The PIB has made some provisions for local content and indigenisation of the industry. The PIB, which was approved by the government on July 11 for presentation to the legislators, also proposes 50 percent tax for onshore and shallow fields and 20 percent for deepwater fields, according to a copy of the bill obtained by Bloomberg. The original proposals were for 85 percent and 50 percent respectively. A fiscal framework was “developed to make the industry

Fatona

more investment friendly and make it more profitable for investors,” Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said on July 11. At a time when more African countries are becoming oil producers, Nigeria needed to take measures to attract investors and remain competitive, she said. Bloomberg that confirmed the development said, “The bill, which seeks to reform the way the oil industry of Africa’s top producer is regulated and funded, was first introduced to the parliament more than three years ago. Lawmakers were unable to pass it before the end of the last legislative session in

FG maps out strategies to boost power supply Indian firm targets Nigeria’s CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 They confessed that the stolen copper cables were normally sold to some places, including Papalanto for onward sale at the Alaba Market in Lagos. However, the Federal Government is not unaware of the activities of the vandals. Vice President Namadi Sambo has vowed that government would not tolerate vandalism because of its negative impact on the sector and economy. Sambo, who made this known at the 22nd meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Board emphasised that vandals would be treated as economic saboteurs. He pointed out that sabotage needs to be handled with all the seriousness it deserves; especially as such activities are drawing back government’s efforts at achieving the set target in the sector. Investigations showed that another challenge to be tackled is lack of meters. Investigations showed that the meters have not yet been installed for customers who have already paid specified fees many consumers who paid specified fees in different parts of the nation. Contrary to the present realities, authorities believed the customers should be able to get the facility without much difficulty. For instance, Eko Electricity Distribution Plc maintained that “We are dedicated to ensuring our customers enjoy great customer service. The meters are readily available for installation within one month of payment of N25,000 for single phase and N55,000 for double phase.” It cautioned that, “There is absolutely no additional payment to be made.” The firm urged customers to report fraudulent activities, including extortion to the Anti corruption and Transparency unit of the company for verification and action. Investigations showed that the unit has received several complaints from members of the public. The spokesman of the firm, Mr. Godwin Idemudia stated that “We still have commercial stocks of the new meters to install for customers. Once consumers fill the form, pay and show evidence of payment, we always commence the process of installing the facility for them without additional charges.” Consequently, both customers and power officials

do not know exactly how much power many households and others consume. Their bills are merely based on estimation which is not accurate. A visit to some PHCN offices showed that many consumers pay regular visits to make complain on daily basis. For instance, a costumer who preferred not to be named in Lagos remarked that: “I live in a two bedroom apartment with no major power consuming facilities. It is therefore, incomprehensible how I can consume electricity to the tune of N10, 000 per month.” The government is aware of the situation. For instance, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is opposed to excessive billing of customers. The Commission expects distribution companies to obtain an actual reading of all meters and base bills on such actual meter reading. In cases where a distribution company is unable to obtain an actual meter reading, due to its inability to gain access to the meter, the distribution company is expected to depend on the customer’s own reading. Distribution companies are to ensure that the estimate accurately reflects the customer’s expected usage for the period and shall not under any circumstances artificially inflate it. The Commission does not allow distribution companies to disconnect customers arbitrarily. Customers can only be disconnected after 10 working days from the date of delivery of the bill to the supply address or a delivery address provided by the customer. The Commission puts the penalty payable by the distribution company for unlawful disconnection, is a minimum of N1,000 to a maximum of N2,000, for each day the customer remains disconnected. Apparently to prevent these and others, the Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi tasked consumers to strive and get the new meters installed for them, particularly as those without the facility would likely pay more for electricity. However, consumers whose numerous visits to the offices of PHCN does not appear to be yielding fruits lamented that solving problems, especially the new meters have become as difficult as passing through the eye of a needle.

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est African crude oil differentials steadied on Tuesday, bolstered by dwindling supplies for October and higher expected demand for No-

vember. India’s largest state-run oil refiner, Indian Oil Corporation, bought four light, sweet Nigerian cargoes for loading in November via tender at the end of last week and several more large Asian tenders are anticipated from IOC and other Asian refiners over the next few weeks, traders said. Of the roughly 160 crude oil cargoes due to load in October, only 22 remain available, traders said, and several of those are being reoffered speculatively by majors or traders who had previous earmarked barrels for particular end-consumers. This big turnaround from just a week ago when closer to 50 cargoes were still unplaced by equity holders and several grades, especially light, sweet crudes, were under considerable pressure with values falling Yakubu steadily. “Plenty of cargoes are still on offer but the picture looks much tighter now than last week,” said a trader with a large European refiner. Ten Nigerian cargoes were on offer, traders said, comprising three Qua Iboe, three Brass River, a Bonga, a Forcados, a Pennington and a Yoho. Qua Iboe BFO-QUA: Exxon was still offering its Qua Iboe cargoes loading October 28-29 and October 30-31 at above dated Brent plus $2.20, while BP was said to be reoffering the slightly earlier cargo, loading October 26-27 as high as $2.50. Buying indications stayed closer to dated plus $2.00. Four of 55 cargoes loading in October were still unplaced, traders said, comprising one cargo each of Kissanje, Girassol, Saxi and Palanca. Kissanje: Exxon offered its remaining Kissanje cargo at dated Brent plus 30 cents with potential bids said to be close to dated flat or negative. Girassol: Total offered an endOctober Girassol at dated Brent plus 60 cents, but buying indications were seen around plus 20 cents and doable levels somewhere in the middle of this range, traders said. Unipec was reported to have bought the last spot Saxi cargo at well below dated Brent, although the


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Energy Week

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

tells law makers May 2011.” It recalled that oil companies including Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Total SA (FP) and Eni SpA (ENI) said in a joint presentation to lawmakers in 2009 that the proposed tax increases would make exploration “uneconomical.” They pump more than 90 percent of the country’s oil through ventures with state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. The new draft includes plans to privatise the state oil company also known as NNPC, create an asset management company which will operate as a holding company, and set up a new gas company. The proposed law would ban flaring of gas in the course of oil production in Nigeria after Dec.ember 31. The West African nation, which has the continent’s largest gas reserves of more than 180 trillion cubic feet, burns away most of the fuel it produces along with oil because it lacks the infrastructure to process it. The petroleum minister may grant exceptions of up to 100 days to companies for safety flaring, equipment failure or because a customer can’t receive it. Energy companies will be required to remit 10 percent of their profits to a fund to help develop communities in the oil region and curb sabotage bred by resentment to ecological damage from oil activities. Attacks by armed groups including the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta targeting Nigeria’s industry led to output losses of more than 28 percent from 2006 to 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The disruptions subsided after thousands of militants campaigning for more local control of the delta’s energy resources accepted a government amnesty and disarmed in 2009.

Bonny Light

CSR: NDDC, SPDC empower women

Sunmonu

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total of 1,620 rural women from the Niger Delta region have been presented with starter packs under the NDDC/SPDC skills training programme, just as they are to benefit from rent support to enable them acquire shops. The starter packs include sewing and industrial machines, hairdryers, decoration kits, generators, gas cookers/cylinders, weaving machines/weavon and hair attachments. Others are wash hand basins, stretchers, special make

up bags, manicure bags, facial steamers, message machines, photo printers, cyber shot cameras as well as video cameras. Presenting the packs, NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh explained that the training programme was in line with the commission’s cardinal principle of creating wealth and tackling the problem of unemployment among youths and women in the region. In his words “the Niger Delta Development Commission considers the huge investment made on the programme as a critical step towards the qualitative empowerment of women in the Niger Delta”. Represented by the Director, Admin. and Human Resources, Dr. Henrietta Ogan, the NDDC Boss charged beneficiaries to utilize the skills acquired by putting the starter packs into good use to improve their lives and families. On his part, Managing Director, SPDC, Mr. Mutiu Sunmunu stated that the partnership with NDDC on skills acquisition falls within the company’s philosophy of contributing to the economic empowerment of youths in the Niger Delta, and commended the NDDC for being a worthy partner. Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Keren Akarah commended the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the opportunity to be trained and assured that the skills acquired would be maximally utilised. The beneficiaries, who were drawn from the NDDC states were trained in various skills such as interior decoration soft furnishing, hair weaving, fixing, beading hat making, cosmetology, photography, videographer as well as tie and dye.

PHIOG seeks partnership with Shell, others STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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remaining end-October Saxi was said offered at closer to dated Brent plus 10 cents, a level that was “hopelessly ambitious”, according to one potential buyer. Total was said to be showing an end-October Palanca at close to dated Brent plus $1.80, somewhere below the last crop of deals for September, traders said. Up to seven cargoes were said to be still available for loading in October from Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana and Chad. Jubilee: Two Ghanaian Jubilee crude cargoes were reported offered for October. Traders assessed this grade “well below dated minus $1.00”. State-owned refiner Indian Oil Co Corp (IOC) bought five West African light, sweet crude oil cargoes for loading in November, traders said. IOC took two Nigerian Qua Iboe cargoes from Chevron, one Qua Iboe and one Nigerian Bonga cargo from Glencore and one Angolan Kissanje cargo from Morgan Stanley. Price details were not disclosed. Details of the awards could not be confirmed with officials at IOC or with the traders reported to be involved.

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event of such magnitude like the Port Harcourt Oil and gas Conference only weeks to the event, but however promised that having been briefed officially, the Onne oil and gas free zone authority will definitely partner with the committee for the conference. General Manager of Brawal Oil Services, Mr. Afam Emmanuel and legal Adviser John Odili in their separate remark said the conference over the years has developed to a fantastic tool for growth in the sector. They pledged that the company will show greater cooperation through partnership and participation and thanked the delegation for the visit. Those on the team are the 1st deputy presidents of PHCCIMA, Engr. Emeka Unachukwu, Hon. Ben Horsefall and Hon. Legborsi Nwidada two members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and many others.

he Port Harcourt International Oil and Gas, (PHIOG) conference and exhibition organizing committee has started engaging with many stakeholders in Rivers State. The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Evans Bapakaye Bipi who paid a courtesy visit to Shell, Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority and Brawal Oil Services said that there was a need for management of the companies to partner with the committee. He observed that Shell is the biggest among the oil majors in the country and therefore requested that the company accept the honour of a lead sponsor for the event. In his words: “We appreciate your previous sponsorship, but we want you to take the centre stage as lead sponsors, it will afford you the opportunity to showcase your goods, services and CSR to the entire world.” Speaking on the theme for this year’s conference ‘The Nigeria content act and deregulation: Issues and prospects’, publicity consultant of the group, Elder Martins Amabipi expressed joy that Shell has an office in charge of local content, adding that the conference is another opportunity to showcase and exhibit what the company has been able to do in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility and general participation in its attempt to give back to communities where they operate. According to Shell’s GM Nigerian Content Development, Mr. Igho Weli, the company has contributed to increase in employment, developing capacities and helping government to increase its revenue through GMOU’s, CSR Projects, community content, interdependency, interventions and various other initiatives. He also expressed confidence in the success of the upcoming event and promised that Shell will partner with the committee like they have always done in past years. While the General Manager of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Mr. Victor Alabo commended the delegation for the visit, he said his management was initially surprised that the authority was yet to be notified about an Oil rig


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Energy Week

At last, Ajuonuma goes home The burial ceremony of Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, the late Group General Manager Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who died in the 3rd June, 2012 Dana air crash, has been fixed for 13th and 14th of September 2012. This was disclosed in a statement by Mr. Fidel Pepple of the Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation. He explained that the funeral ceremony will commence by 3pm on Thursday, 13th September, 2012, with a service of songs at Harbour Point, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, while the final burial rites and interment will take place on Friday, 14th September, 2012, by 12 noon in his home town, Awalla autonomous community near Isiekenesi in Ideato-South Local Government Area, Imo State. The late Dr. Levi Ajuonuma was born on 2nd December 1959 in Enugu. He had his early education in Enugu before proceeding to the United States of America for further studies. Ajuonuma was for many years host of the popular Saturday night programme, ‘Open House Party’ – a variety entertainment show which hosted mostly comedians and music acts on Ray Power FM. He was also host and executive producer of the equally popular ‘The Sunday Show’, ‘Levi Ajuonoma Live’ and ‘Showtime’ on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and other television channels before his appointment as General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the NNPC in November 2003. He is survived by a wife and children.

Cartel oil output rises as Nigeria, others pump UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY report The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) boosted crude production last month as Angola, Nigeria and Libya pumped more, the group said. Output from OPEC, which supplies 40 percent of the world’s oil, climbed to 31.41 million barrels a day in August against 31.16 million it recorded the previous month. The Organization that made this known in its latest monthly oil market report remarked that the production level remains above a 30 million barrel target that the group set at a meeting in December. Increased production coincided with a 9.2 percent advance in Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange during August. The benchmark oil grade rose 0.2 percent to $115.06 a barrel in London trading. Angola’s output rose about 12 percent last month to 1.85 million barrels a day, while Nigeria climbed to 2.18 million, according to the OPEC survey, which cites secondary sources for its information. Angola’s loading program for July was partly reduced by an incident at the Girassol field that caused Total SA to delay some shipments. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, pumped 9.86 million barrels in August versus 9.85 million in July, OPEC said, citing secondary sources.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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FG raises hope on gas supply to power stations STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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he Federal Government has raised hope that it would be able to sustain gas supply to nation’s power stations. The product is needed to boost electricity generation for transmission and distribution to different parts of the nation. The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, (NDPHC), Mr. James Olotu, who confirmed the development said: “We also building gas pipe lines within the same fund to ensure that where they have a pipe lines, there will be gas flowing there and line pipes that will ensure there is supply”. He said: “At the Federal level, The President, Vice President, Minister of Petroleum, and Minister of Power meet on regular basis because when you know a problem, then it will possible to find solution to it”. Olotu said: “The whole efforts are be put in place, with

Olotu

dedicated mechanism, to ensure that some emergences gas is delivered between now and December. For Transmission of Company of Nigeria, (TCN) within 300 to 500 million of tones of gas are make available under this emergences period and those to dedicated the NIPP power plants, if we get that, I am sure and believe we get more power into the system.” Olotu who this known while commissioning Ikeja West in-

jection Sub-station in Ayobo, Lagos said that $8bn have being spent in the power projects in the country which bring the existence ten power stations and building hundreds of thousands kilometers of transmission lines across the nook and cronies of this country for the development of power supply. He said that power is not cheap, particularly as facilities have to be manufactured and imported into the nation. Olotu stated that some companies in the country have started to manufacture and repair some facilities, especially transformers in the nation. On the commissioned substation, Olotu said that the added capacity of 150MVA , to the 600MVA makes the station of capacity of 750 MVA , which means 25 percent increased in this Ayobo transmission stations, saying that it will translated to improvement of power supply in the Lagos and part of Ogun state. He noted that the ten new pow-

er generation stations across Nigeria which four of the stations are Olorunshogo in Ogun State, Omotosho in Ondo State, Sapele in Delta State, and Alaoji in Abia State has brought the new unit of power into the system with the total capacity units of about 1150 megawatts. The General Manager, Engr. Oyeleke Adeoye assured the maintenance of the new station as part of the drive of Federal Government to make available electricity to the people , adding that there is an arrangement on the ground for maintenance. The Deputy Managing Director of AK-AY Elektrik, Mr. Boniface Ikechukwu, the contractor, explained that they extended the station with addition 150 MVA transformer, and by the extension there is increase to 750 MVA representing 25 percent before the 600 MVA that was there. He added that the increased capacity will certainly make available electricity to people or consumers connected to the station.

British Petroleum to sell non-strategic asset

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ritish Petroleum (BP) has resolved to sell its interest in some oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico for $5.55 billion. The firm that made this known in a statement stated that: “BP has agreed to sell its interests in a number of oil and gas fields in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico to Plains Exploration and Production Company (‘Plains’) for a total of $5.55 billion, as part of a previously-announced plan to divest the assets and position its Gulf portfolio for long-term growth.” It remarked that BP is selling its interests in three BPoperated assets: the Marlin hub comprised of the Marlin, Dorado and King Fields (BP working interest 100 per cent); Horn Mountain (BP, 100 per cent) and Holstein (BP, 50 per cent). The firm maintained that: “The deal also includes BP’s stake in two non-operated assets: Ram Powell (BP, 31 per cent) and Diana Hoover (BP, 33.33 per cent). BP announced its intention to sell these non-strategic assets in May 2012.” The divestment is in line with BP’s global strategy of playing to its strengths, including the development of giant fields and deepwater exploration. It also reflects a greater focus in the Gulf of Mexico on producing more high-margin barrels from fewer, larger assets. BP will concentrate future activity and investment in the Gulf on growth opportunities around its four major operated production hubs and three nonoperated production hubs in the deepwater, as well as on significant exploration and appraisal

opportunities in the Paleogene and elsewhere. “While these assets no longer fit our business strategy, the Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of BP’s global exploration and production portfolio and we intend to continue investing at least $4 billion there annually over the next decade,” said Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive. “This sale, as with previous divestments, is consistent with our strategy of playing to our strengths as a company and positioning us for long-term growth. In the Gulf of Mexico that means focusing future investments on our strong set of producing assets and promising exploration prospects.” Under the terms of the agreement, Plains will pay BP a total of $5.55 billion in cash for the assets, subject to regulatory approvals, certain pre-emption rights and customary post-closing adjustments. The parties anticipate the deal closing by the end of 2012. BP expects to divest assets with a total value of $38 billion between 2010 and 2013 as it focuses its business around the world on its strengths and opportunities for growth. With today’s agreement, BP has now entered into agreements to sell assets with a value of over $32 billion since the beginning of 2010. “This deal further demonstrates the value we have been able to unlock through the targeted divestment of high-quality assets that sit outside the heart of our strategy,” added Dudley. On completion of the transaction, BP will continue to operate

Bob Dudley

four large production platforms in the region – Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika – which produce from some of the largest deepwater oil and gas fields ever discovered and each of which has a long production profile and future development programme. BP will also continue to hold interests in three non-operated hubs – Mars, Ursa and Great White. BP currently anticipates investing on average at least $4 billion in the Gulf of Mexico each year for the next decade. In June this year, production started from the BP-operated Galapagos project – tied back to the Na Kika platform -- and a further development of Na Kika is expected to come on stream in 2013. BP is also progressing plans for a second phase of the Mad Dog field. BP now has six drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico and expects to have eight rigs in place by the end of the year, the most it has ever had in the

region. BP has been exploring in the deepwater Gulf for more than a quarter of a century and is the leading acreage holder, holding more than 700 leases, with a strong position in the emerging Paleogene play, including appraisal projects such as Kaskida and Tiber. BP acquired 43 new leases in the deepwater Gulf in the June 2012 lease sale, which will be awarded subject to regulatory review. The Marlin field came on stream in 1999, followed by Horn Mountain in 2002 and Holstein in 2004. BP directly employs more than 2,500 people in its Gulf of Mexico business and supports tens of thousands of additional jobs in the region. The company has been reshaping its business in the Gulf for a number of years, selling its last shallow water continental shelf assets in 2006 and, most recently, divesting the Pompano field in 2011.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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Executive Discourse

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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Our service delivery now compares with best Alhaji Bello Mahmum, is the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission. In an interview with journalists in Abuja, he spoke on the various reform programmes aimed at repositioning the commission in line with the present administration’s transformation agenda. OLUFEMI ADEOSUN was there. Excerpts: One of the core targets of the present administration is to build a virile economy through foreign and local investment. To what extent is the commission helping the government to make Nigeria investment hub? I make bold to say that the leadership of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), is convinced of the key role of the commission in the Federal Government’s commitment to local and foreign investment promotion. This is in the light of Nigerian’s emerging economic and political influence not only in Africa but globally. To harness government efforts, the commission has done a lot to re-define service delivery in line with global best practices. For instance, the commission has initiated various reforms to sanitize the country’s business atmosphere. We have also put in place measures to sensitise businesses and trade associations to enhance compliance as well as further redefine services. We are also taking steps to decentralise our operation in order to make zonal offices more functional and at par with the head office. By this development, the zonal offices, sited at strategic geographical locations, will print registration certificates which for now are the exclusive preserve of the head office. This will reduce cost of registration of companies. Realising the important of public enlightenment as part of the 4-point agenda, the commission is also sensitising and accelerating enhanced public awareness about the responsibilities of company’s operators including directors and shareholders. In order to restore the confidence of investors in the Nigeria economy, efforts must also be taken to regulate the activities of companies in the country. What is the commission doing in this regard? As a commission, we have stepped up campaign against the operations of unregistered companies in the country by taking the war to the door step of banks and other agencies. This has the capacity to check the activities of some of these unregistered companies swindling unsuspecting members of the public. The collaboration commission is seeking with banks and other establishments to plug loopholes is of note. As a matter of compulsion, CAC has put banks on the alert to demand evidence of

Mahmum

WE HAVE STEPPED UP CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE OPERATIONS OF UNREGISTERED COMPANIES IN THE COUNTRY BY TAKING THE WAR TO THE DOOR STEP OF BANKS AND OTHER AGENCIES

business registration with us before companies are allowed to open and operate accounts with them. Besides that, we have further demanded banks to ensure proper documentation of collaterals for facilities granted to corporate entities. The order by CAC is not restricted to banks. As a follow up to this, all the Federal Government agencies have been solicited in the same light to support the measures to sanitise the country’s business environment to make it safe for genuine business to operate. In revamping the economy, small businesses also have roles to play. What efforts is the commission making to encourage them? Of course, the place of small businesses in a any economy, particularly the emerging one like us, cannot be over-emphasised. As part of the efforts to ensure their relevance, we have introduced special desks in all the commission’s state offices to encourage and facilitate the registration of small businesses. Small scale industries the world over

contribute to the economy of many countries. China with her GDP and large size of economy records and encourages enormous participation by small scale firms. How far has the commission gone in realising its 4-Point Agenda? You would recall that on assumption of office in October 2009, I took a holistic view of the commission and its processes and came up with a four point agenda with a view to further reposition the commission for enhance service delivery. The plan focuses on enhanced ICT infrastructure, sensitization of the public, decentralization of operations, and development of human resources. So far in an effort to enhance ICT infrastructure, which is part of the reform agenda, we have embarked on the upgrading of the commission’s wide area network from V-Sat based to a more reliable fibre optic system. The upgrading has been completed for the offices in Lagos and Enugu. The honorable minister will soon be invited to officially commission the


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Executive Discourse

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registries in the world, says CAC boss new system which will herald the commencement of full registration services in those offices. Fibre optic link to the remaining two offices of Kaduna and Kano will soon be completed. Delays were encountered in the two states because of the security situation in those areas. To further widen the scope of the fibre-optic link to cover more offices, the commission would soon extend it to its Port Harcourt office and its desk at the one-stop investment centre in the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Abuja. CAC is part of the one-stop investment centre. Between April and December 2011, the commission achieved a service delivery time line of three days for incorporation of limited liability companies, five days for registration of incorporated trustees and 2 days for business names in the head office. From January 2012 to May 2012, further reduction in the process time has been achieved to two days for limited liability companies, three days for incorporated trustees and 1 day for business names. This has been further reduced to 24 hours for all the 3 types of registration since June 2012. Our present process time is comparable to that of the best registry in the world. The commission’s registration software is also being upgraded to include electronic payment system for ease of transaction by customers. This will enable customers to submit their documents and pay the filing fees electronically. Also, the commission has completed and started operation in its new and permanent office building in Benin, Jos, Makurdi and Sokoto bringing the total number of such state office buildings to 12. We have also embarked on effective sensitisation programme to create public awareness on the responsibilities of both directors and shareholders of companies. In this regard, the Commission is running a half hour weekly programme every Tuesday between 7pm -7:30pm in the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) through which its activities are publicised and questions sent in by listeners are responded to. The Commission is planning to run a similar programme on the National Television Authority. In addition, the Commission had produced brochures and flyers to further enlighten the public about the process and requirement for registration. The Commission had also intensified its enforcement drive through regular inspection visits to companies and establishments. The commission has taken practical steps to decentralise operations to make zonal offices more functional and at par with the head office. This will empower the five zonal offices to accept incorporation documents and print registration certificates just like the head office. In the area of human resource development, our commission regards the human resource as its greatest asset. In this regard, it has embarked on special training of all staff for enhanced capacity building and staff re-orientation. We have also established registration desks for small and medium scale businesses (SMEs) to and facilitate registration processes. In addition information brochures spelling out registration processes and requirements have been made available to SMEDAN to guide small and medium scale businesses. How are you addressing the issue of monitoring and evaluating system which stakeholders have always faulted CAC on? We have intensified that aspect of our mandate. The commission in partnership with reputable private firms will carry out enforcement activities on companies and establishments to ensure compliance with the provisions of the companies and Allied matters Act 1990.Furthermore, the state offices of the commission in collaboration with relevant state government agencies will embark on enforce-

THE COMMISSION IS SEEKING THE POWER TO REMOVE ERRING DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS OF COMPANIES IN LINE WITH THE PRACTICE IN MOST REGISTRIES GLOBALLY

ment to check on people carrying on business without registration. The Commission is also liaising with contract awarding bodies in the public and private sectors to confirm the status of companies before contracts are awarded. What would you say is the major challenge confronting the commission? The amendment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act which has been in operation for almost 20 years, which CAC is craving for substantial amendments, is one of momentous challenge. CAC is seeking amendments relating to the strengthening of its regulatory and enforcement powers, mak-

ing provision for on-line registration of companies as well as review of penalties. Of utmost importance, the commission is seeking the power to remove erring directors and officers of companies in line with the practice in most registries globally. This should be granted and CAC should be assisted to have an instrument to enforce its regulatory powers and sanitize the business environment. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Nigerian corporate landscape is heavily hamstrung by several provisions in CAMA which impedes contemporary business practices in the light of national global reforms. Securing amendment of CAMA has become more compelling considering that most of CAC’s peer regulators have since successfully achieved this. Like CAC other contemporary legislations are Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, Investment And Securities Act, 2007, Banks and Other Financial Institution Act, 2004, Pension Reform Act, 2004, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission Act, 2006, Financial Reporting Act, 2011, Federal Inland Revenue Service Act, 2007. What legacy would you love to bequeath to CAC upon your departure as the Registrar-General? Whatever we achieve at CAC is a collective one. In the next three years or so, the management of the commission wants to be able to provide all commission’s service electronically on-line to our customers without the customer having to come to the commission physically; ensure timely filing of annual returns and other statutory filing by all registered companies, business names and incorporated trustees; make the state offices more functional and at par with the head office in all aspect of registration services; and create conducive environment for local and foreign investors and ease doing business in Nigeria.


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Global Business

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Spanish recession deepens as austerity damps outlook

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pain’s recession worsened in the second quarter as the government’s austerity push to reduce the euro area’s third-biggest budget deficit and a slump in consumer spending offset growth in exports. Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent from the previous quarter, when it declined 0.3 percent, the Madrid-based National Statistics Institute said yesterday. That’s in line with an estimate published July 30. Separately, Spain’s borrowing costs fell to the lowest in three months at an auction yesterday after the nation’s bonds rallied this month on optimism the European Central Bank will agree on a plan to help peripheral nations. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last month gave up on his forecast for a return to growth in 2013 as he unveiled budget cuts that will expand austerity measures to a total of 15 percent of annual GDP by 2014. He hosted European Union President Herman Van Rompuy yesterday for the first in a series of meetings aimed at solving the nation’s funding issues. “We fear that things are likely to get

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

worse before they get better,” said Martin van Vliet, an economist at ING Bank in Amsterdam, who expects Spain will seek additional financial aid as early as next month. “With much more fiscal austerity in the pipeline and unemployment at astronomic highs, the risks are clearly tilted toward a more protracted recession.”

German consumer confidence to hold steady in September

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel

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erman consumer confidence will hold steady in September as rising household incomes offset concerns that the economy will enter recession, GfK SE (GFK) said. The market research company in Nuremberg forecast yesterday that its consumer-sentiment index, based on a survey of about 2,000 people, will remain at 5.9 next month. The last time the index was

higher was when it reached 6 in March last year. Economist predicted a decline to 5.8, according to the median of 25 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Unemployment at a two-decade low of 6.8 percent, higher wages and a waning desire to save are boosting household purchasing power even as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis curbs economic growth. Business confidence fell for a fourth straight month in August, the Ifo institute said Monday. “German consumers’ fears of a noticeable weakening of the economy continued to rise in August,” GfK said in a statement. Still, “a stable job market and the comparatively high wage agreements compared to previous years are proving to be positive factors encouraging major purchases,” and “the inclination to save is also currently regressive,” it said. While a gauge of economic expectations dropped to minus 18.9 in August from minus 5.6 in July, an index measuring consumers’ willingness to spend eased just 2.7 points to 33.1, GfK said. A measure of income expectations declined to 31.6 from 36.3.

South African GDP growth quickens as mining rebounds

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outh Africa’s economy, the largest on the continent, expanded at a faster pace in the second quarter as mining output rebounded after 11 months of contracting. Growth in gross domestic product accelerated to an annualised 3.2 percent from 2.7 percent in the first three months, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said today on its website. The median estimate of 18 economists polled by Bloomberg was 3.3 percent. Mining expanded an annualized 31.2 percent in the second quarter after contracting 16.8 percent in the previous three months. “It was all on this rebound in the mining production,” Kevin Lings, an economist at Stanlib Asset Management, said in an interview from Johannesburg today. “Unfortunately, of course, it’s likely

to reverse in the third quarter with the platinum industry now back under pressure.” Mining output, which accounts for 8.8 percent of the economy, expanded in May and June as platinum mines resumed production after strikes. The boost to growth may be short-lived after workers started a strike at Lonmin Plc Marikana complex on August 10 and the European debt crisis erodes demand for exports. Manufacturing expanded less than forecast in June and business confidence fell to the lowest level in 12 years in July. The rand was little changed at 8.4004 a dollar yesterday. in Johannesburg from 8.3935 before the data was released. The yield on the 6.75 percent bond due 2021 was down 1 basis point to 6.82 percent.

Separate data yesterday from the ECB showed that private-sector deposits at Spanish banks fell by a record in July, dropping 74.2 billion euros ($93 billion), or 4.7 percent, to 1.51 trillion euros. That’s the biggest decline since at least 1997, when the ECB’s data series started. The Spanish GDP report showed that

consumer spending dropped 1 percent in the second quarter, investment dropped 3 percent and government spending declined 0.7 percent. Exports of goods and services rose 1.6 percent. The economy grew 0.4 percent last year, less than the 0.7 percent initially stated, the statistics agency said. The 2010 contraction was 0.3 percent, revised from 0.1 percent. Deputy Economy Minister, Fernando Jimenez Latorre said it is too early to tell whether the revision will impact the nation’s deficit goals. He also said the economy is in its worst phase. “We are in the moment of steepest fall and it will surely continue in the second half of this year,” he said. “We will see a correction starting in the first quarters of next year.” The yield on Spain’s 10-year benchmark bond rose 2 basis points to 6.41 percent as of yesterday in Madrid. The yield has fallen since reaching a record of 7.75 percent on July 25 after ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank may intervene to curb governments’ borrowing costs and win them time to implement fiscal changes.

Hungary to avoid rate cut on inflation, bailout concern

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ungary’s central bank will probably refrain from cutting the European Union’s highest benchmark interest rate because of accelerating inflation and possible delays in obtaining a bailout. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will leave the two-week deposit rate at 7 percent for an eighth month, according to 17 of 18 economists in a Bloomberg survey. One expects a cut to 6.75 percent. Policy makers last month voted five to two to keep rates unchanged, rejecting arguments that easing policy would prop up the economy that entered its second recession in four years, minutes of the July 24 meeting show. The majority argued that the central bank should wait for the outcome of bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union before lowering borrowing costs. “We think the National Bank of Hungary will resist pressures and keep its 7 percent base rate on hold, however, this is a close call,” Daniel Hewitt, an economist at Barclays Plc in London, said in an emailed note. Forward-rate agreements used to wager on interest rates in one month fell 7 basis points to 6.87 percent Monday, the lowest since November. The FRAs traded 28 basis points below the Budapest Interbank Offered Rate, the biggest spread in more than two years and signaling expectations for a quarter-point rate cut. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point. The European Central Bank this month kept its main interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.75 percent and the deposit rate at zero. Czech policy makers left their two-week repurchase at a record-low 0.5 percent on August 2, while their Polish colleagues, who surprised the market with a quarter-point increase in May, also kept the benchmark rate at 4.75 percent on July 4.

Hungarian President, Pal Schmitt

A rate cut may add momentum to the economy and would be accepted by investors, Ferenc Gerhardt, a monetary-policy maker said in an Aug. 10 interview. Meanwhile, Simor, speaking after last month’s rate decision, argued for a “cautious policy stance” until the outcome of bailout talks is known. Hungary is set to resume talks with the international lenders on a credit line of about 15 billion euros ($18.8 billion) to protect the economy from euro-area contagion and to lower financing costs. IMF and EU officials are focusing on untangling policies that contributed to an economic contraction in the first two quarters and the downgrade of Hungary’s credit to junk. “Weak second-quarter GDP data further boost the chance of monetary easing, however, we only expect this at the end of September due to accelerating inflation and pending IMF-EU negotiations,”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Global Business

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

S

ingapore should let its inflation rate rise temporarily to accommodate price gains from tighter labour markets even as those stemming from credit growth should be “forcefully tackled,” the International Monetary Fund said. Gross domestic product growth is forecast to weaken this year to 2.9 percent, before accelerating to 3.4 percent in 2013, the Washington-based lender said in a report yesterday known as an Article IV Consultation. A low unemployment rate will spur domestic demand and inflation will remain elevated, it said. The Singapore government this month trimmed its prediction for 2012 growth to 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent, from an earlier forecast for an expansion of as much as 3 percent. Policy makers across the world are girding for a deeper impact from Europe’s sovereign-debt turmoil, with Asian central banks from China to South Korea and the Philippines cutting interest rates last month, putting pressure on Singapore to ease monetary policy. “Singapore has ample policy space and large buffers to mitigate the effects of a steeper global growth slowdown or finan-

IMF says Singapore should allow temporary rise in inflation rate

Singapore’s President SR Nathan

cial turmoil,” the IMF said. “Given Singapore’s pronounced trade and financial openness, the impact of further euro-area turmoil, abrupt fiscal tightening in the

Hollande loses bond market as growth stalls

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rench President Francois Hollande’s honeymoon with bond investors may be ending as economic reality bites. Hollande, who returned from a 15-day summer break last week, faces an economy that hasn’t grown in three quarters, rising joblessness, a ballooning trade deficit and the task of coming up with a plan in the next few weeks to plug a budget hole of more than 30 billion euros ($37 billion) for next year. The challenges ahead may undermine the rally in French bonds that has allowed the country to sell bills at negative yields for the first time. During Hollande’s first 100 days in office, the premium demanded to hold French 10year debt rather than comparable German securities fell to the lowest in more than a year. That trend may be reversing. “France’s fundamentals -- rising unemployment, widening current account deficit and budget deficit -- would not support its bonds,” said Jamie Stuttard, head of international bond investments at Fidelity Investments in London, which has $1.6 trillion under management. “The more expensive French bonds go, the harder the case becomes for French government debt.” The French 10-year yield is at 2.06 percent, near the record-low of 2 percent reached on August 3 and down from 2.89 percent on the last trading day before Hollande’s election on May 6. While the premium France pays over Germany to borrow for a decade fell below 60 basis points for the first time in more than a year on August 15, it’s rising again. It was 73 basis points Monday. French government securities returned 0.34 percent this month after earning investors 3.98 percent in July, trailing bonds from Belgium, Ireland and Portugal, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data. Sovereign debt from France, which was stripped of its AAA rating by Standard & Poor’s in January, got more expensive throughout 2012 -- notably since

45

United States, and/or a severe slowdown in China would be substantial.” The Monetary Authority of Singapore, which uses the exchange rate to manage

Connecticut homes biggest losers as Wall Street cuts jobs

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Hollande

Hollande’s victory. The rally came as the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate to a record low and reduced its deposit rate to zero as the euro area teetered on the verge of recession and Spanish and Italian 10-year bond yields climbed above 6 percent.

inflation, said in April it would allow faster gains in the currency to damp price pressures, diverging from most other regional economies that had left borrowing costs unchanged or eased monetary policy. The tightening was appropriate, the IMF said Monday. The central bank releases its next policy review in October. “Inflation should be permitted to rise temporarily to accommodate the increase in relative prices of labor-intensive products resulting from the tighter labor market conditions,” the IMF said. “Other sources of inflation -- including from transport costs, credit growth and asset prices -- should be forcefully tackled, including through continued recourse to macro prudential tools. Consideration could also be given to further absorbing liquidity.”

onnecticut, for 25 years the state with the highest per capita income in the United States, is now leading the nation in home-price declines as Wall Street trims jobs and bonuses that had driven multimillion-dollar property sales. Prices in the Fairfield County area, home of the banker bedroom communities of Greenwich and New Canaan, tumbled 12.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline of the 147 U.S. metropolitan areas measured by the National Association of Realtors. While the number of home purchased within the state financed with conventional mortgages rose 8.4 percent in the first half, deals using jumbo loans for pricier properties slid 9.4 percent, according to Warren Group, a real estate tracker. “We’re in a tough slog here relative to everybody else, which is surprising given where we’re located, near New York and Boston,” said Terence Beatty, director of the new homes and land division of Prudential Connecticut Realty in Wallingford. The state, which hosts the world’s two largest bank trading floors within UBS

AG (UBSN) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS)’s Stamford offices, is falling behind a U.S. housing recovery after losing 3,900 financial-services jobs since July 2011, the most of any industry. Connecticut also is struggling with rising foreclosures, posting the nation’s secondbiggest jump in notices of default and repossession last month.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy

Brezhnev bonds haunt Putin as investors hunt $785 billion

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he European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ordered Russia last month to pay Yuriy Lobanov, a septuagenarian from the Ivanovo region near Moscow, 37,150 euros ($46,497) in compensation for the 1982 notes he held, or about 140 times the average monthly pension. Mariya Andreyeva, a 95-year-old survivor of the Nazi blockade of Leningrad, won a preliminary 4,300 euros on the bonds, which doubled as lottery tickets. The securities are part of the 25 trillion rubles ($785 billion), equal to almost half of Russian economic output, the government says it still owes the public from lost Soviet savings. Putin is stalling, most recently signing an order in April to halt

payments on the notes until at least 2015. Now, armed with court rulings, veteran speculators are joining pensioners in seeking to cash in. “This all should have been settled back in the 1990s,” said Boris Kheyfets, a Soviet debt specialist at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economics in Moscow. “How do you assume a debt that huge? It would collapse everything immediately.” Soviet authorities began selling the 20year certificates in 1982 for 25, 50 or 100 rubles, partly to redeem earlier bonds and partly to sop up cash from a command economy with few consumer goods. The State Domestic Lottery Bonds offered a token 3 percent interest and a chance at

payouts of as much as 10,000 rubles, Kheyfets said. The top winners were entitled to a “chic” Volga sedan, while second prize was a Zhiguli. Unlike other former Soviet republics that settled similar debts in the 1990s at a fraction of what was lost, Russia pledged to cover the whole amount. President Boris Yeltsin signed a law in 1995 ordering the government to restore savings via bank deposits and Soviet bonds based on what those holdings could have purchased in 1990. Payments started in earnest during Putin’s first term, when surging oil prices pushed the budget into surplus. Now Putin is back in the Kremlin for a third term and the budget is barely breaking even.


46

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Market making rules breakers will be penalised – NSE JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he Nigerian Stock Exchange has said that it will penalise any securities lending agent that plays against the rules guiding market making. The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, stated this in Lagos yesterday during the market making, securities lending and short selling workshop. Oscar said the Exchange will not hesitate to suspend or terminate defaulter privileged. He said, “When the securities lending agent is the default party, NSE will make recommendations to the Securities and Exchange Commission to suspend or terminate the securities lending agents approval to perform the lending function. “The Exchange has

worked tirelessly with these market makers, securities lending agents, and indeed key regulators to get us to this point today. We have approved rules and guidelines that cover all three initiatives, both at the Exchange and at the SEC level.” According to him, the operational guidelines are the result of deep thought, interaction with experienced practitioners across three continents and significant trainings. He noted that for market making to be vibrant, the securities lending and short selling structures being put in place to support the process, must to be leveraged. “Therefore, we need all stakeholders to actively understand the mechanics for effecting securities lending and borrowing, as well as short sale transactions,”

Oscar said. He urged major asset holders such as Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Pension Fund Administrators, Insurance companies and other entities to participate and earn additional income through the process, while helping to improve liquidity in the market. “I will like to assure all stakeholders that the introduction of market making should help to drive liquidity in the marketplace to the benefit of retail investors, institutional investors, the broker dealer community as well as regulators. “The introduction of securities lending should drive efficiency through the market and implementation of short selling should allow for a more symmetric market as investors can impose more discipline on quoted companies.

All of this should improve the price discovery process and thus reflect the true value of companies,” he added. The Head, Transformation and Change of the NSE, Mr. Olumide Lala, said the market makers will play a central role in the provision of two-way quotes for the securities that they are making markets on. He said that leveraging the securities lending process, market makers will be able to borrow securities in order to settle ‘buy order imbalances’ from customers, dding, “A hybrid market, allowing both market makers to provide two way quotes and licensed broker/dealers of the exchange to submit orders as is currently done, will be operated from the commencement date of this key initiative.”

ASI sheds 0.4% as bears sustain hold JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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rading in equities continued on bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took profit from the previous gains. Specifically, the AllShare index dropped by 0.42 per cent to close at 24,568.58 points, compared to the decline by 0.67 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 24,671.47 points. Market capitalisation lost N32.8bn to close at N7.82trn, lower than the decrease by N53.2bn re-

corded the preceding day to close at N7.85trn. International Breweries Plc led the gainers’ table with 56 kobo or five per cent to close at N11.77 per share, followed by Roads Nigeria Plc with 40 kobo or 4.99 per cent to close at N8.42 per share. BAGCO Plc gained n ine kobo or 4.76 per cent to close at N1.98 per share, while AG Leventis Plc appreciated by six kobo or 4.44 per cent to close at N1.41 per share. Transcorp Plc rose by three kobo or four per cent to close at 78 kobo per share. On the flip side, NASCON Plc lost 26 kobo

or 4.99 per cent to close at N4.95 per share, while United Bank for Africa Plc shed 22 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at N4.20 per share. Cadbury Nigeria Plc dipped by N1.04 or 4.98 per cent to close at N19.86 per share, while Neimeth Pharmaceutical Plc declined by four kobo or 4.88 per cent to close at 78 kobo per share,. Ashaka Cement Plc depreciated by 57 kobo or 4.86 per cent to close at N11.17 per share. Financial services sector led equities transaction volume with 221.20 million shares valued at

N2.03bn were exchanged in 3,194 deals, compared to 199.36 million shares worth N1.28bn traded in 2,458 deals the preceding day. Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Access Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc mostly drove the volume traded. Transaction volume in equities dropped by 0.33 per cent, as a total of 265.77 million shares worth N2.57bn were exchanged in 4,955 deals, compared to 266.65 million shares valued at N2.15bn traded in 4,432 deals the preceding day.

US stocks advance amid speculation over Fed decision

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nited States stocks rose yesterday, after Monday’s drop in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will act to stimulate the economy. Alcoa Incorporation and Caterpillar Incorporation climbed at least two per cent, leading gains among the biggest companies. Nine out of 10 groups in the S&P 500 rose. Morgan Stanley jumped 2.7 per cent after saying it will purchase the rest of its brokerage joint

venture from Citigroup Incorporation Ralph Lauren Corporation paced declines among luxury goods companies as Burberry Group Plc said profit will be at the lower end of estimates. The S&P 500 added 0.5 per cent to 1,436.06 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 86.62 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 13,340.91 points. Trading in S&P 500 companies was up 17 percent from the 30day average. “The market is anticipating that there will be some stimulus move

on the part of the Fed,” John Praveen, chief investment strategist at Prudential International Investments Advisers, a unit of Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential Financial Incorporation, which manages about $960 billion, said. “The market is grinding higher on liquidity because of what central banks have done and on hopes of further stimulus from the Fed and positive moves from European policy makers.” The S&P 500 is less than 10 per cent from its

record closing high after rising 14 per cent this year. The equities index is 20 per cent above its level on September 15, 2008, the first trading day after Lehman Brothers Holdings Incorporation filed the world’s biggest bankruptcy and prompted a 46 percent drop through March 9, 2009. The benchmark gauge fell 0.6 percent yesterday as concern Greece’s debt crisis will worsen overshadowed speculation that central banks will take steps to support the global economy.

Source: NSE

NIBOR QUOTES 10 SEPTEMBER & 11 SEPTEMBER 2012 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00

10-Sep-12

11-Sep-12

Source: FMDA

Market indicators Market indicators

All-Share Index 7,490,286 points All-Share Index 22,191.14 points Market capitalisation 23,531.63 trillion Market capitalisation 7,084 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

INTBREW

11.21

11.77

0.56

5.00

ROADS

8.02

8.42

0.40

4.99

BAGCO

1.89

1.98

0.09

4.76

AGLEVENT

1.35

1.41

0.06

4.44

TRANSCORP

0.75

0.78

0.03

4.00

LIVESTOCK

1.34

1.39

0.05

3.73

STERLNBANK

1.16

1.20

0.04

3.45

ACCESS

8.50

8.74

0.24

2.82

UNILEVER

37.99

38.91

0.92

2.42

GOLDINSURE

0.50

0.51

0.01

2.00

CHANGE

% CHANGE -4.99

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

NASCON

5.21

4.95

0.26

UBA

4.42

4.20

0.22

-4.98

CADBURY

20.90

19.86

1.04

-4.98

NEIMETH

0.82

0.78

0.04

-4.88

ASHAKACEM

11.74

11.17

0.57

-4.86

DANGSUGAR

4.75

4.52

0.23

-4.84

CCNN

4.97

4.73

0.24

-4.83

UBN

6.51

6.21

0.30

-4.61

CUSTODYINS

1.17

1.12

0.05

-4.27

UTC

0.57

0.55

0.02

-

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

32,970.71

14.10

6-Sep-12

182-Day

50,000.00

15.40

6-Sep-12

364 -Day

60,000.00

9.05

6-Sep-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

48Days

7,302.20

14.39

13-Sep-12

118-Day

50,282.86

14.08

23-Aug-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$180m

N/A

$180m

10-Sep-12

$200m

N/A

$200m

5-Sep-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

47

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at September 11, 2012 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


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Cocktail

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oddities The incredible insect Olympians:

The synchronised gymnastic display of caterpillars

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izing in macro -photography. He was taken by surprise by the creative performance when he was out walking along the river. As the sun goes down they often come to life and start nibbling their way through leaves and plants but these ones seemed more interested in trying out their dance routines than getting their daily meal. Green-fingered gardeners are likely to find ermine caterpillars like these a bit of a pest as they’re famed for creating whopping silk webs up to 20 foot long. Whilst the webs may look like beautiful works of nature, they’re capable of destroying gardeners’ hard- grown plants which become cocooned under the webs to be used later for the caterpillar’s lunch. A l e k s a n d r, 28, a full-time artist, caught the creepy crawlies on an Olympus E-3 camera over an hour- long The incredible insects also appear to be doing handperiod. stands in one of the shots. he Olympics and Paralympics may be over, but the insect world is stepping into the breach with some incredible displays of synchronised gymnastics. The clever caterpillars were snapped showing off their moves in front of the watchful eye of amateur photographer Aleksandr Chorny near the River Teterev, Ukraine. He captured the sixstrong party of acrobatic caterpillars who seemed delighted with the opportunity to show off their balancing acts whilst carefully clinging on to the side of a leaf. The Ukranian photographer has only been working behind the camera for the past three years and has now turned his hand to special-

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hey have a fearsome reputation for being agile and stealthy predators, willing to kill and eat any animal they can hunt down and track. And if you ever needed any evidence of the incredible hunting ability of a leopard, look no further than these stunning pictures. A hungry leopard can be seen carefully selecting its dinner from a flock of unsuspecting birds before snatching it straight from the air and tucking in. The big cat was caught on camera slyly patrolling through the grassland ready to pounce on the Sandgrouse birds making their early morning appearance at a well-stocked watering hole. Photographer Matt Prophet, 37, snapped the rare encounter at Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, an exclusive animal hide away which crosses the borders between Botswana and South Africa. The young leopard can be seen leaping through the air under the African sun to catch one of the Namaqua or Burchell breeds of the Sandgrouse birds. Balancing on its two back

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Is that a Flappy Meal?

Leopard goes for some fast food ...which isn’t quite fast enough! legs, the predator opens wide and snatches an unsuspecting bird from out of the sky before wasting no time and tucking straight into its meal. These solo hunting skills are a trait picked up from the cat’s mother who is also

a specialist Sandgrouse hunter. The unlucky bird who didn’t manage to dodge the leopard’s hungry efforts was the rarer of the two species, a male Burchell Sandgrouse. Unfortunately for Sandgrouse, they don’t make dis-

HUNGRY: The young leopard can be seen leaping through the air under the African sun to catch one of the Namaqua or Burchell breeds of the Sandgrouse birds. PHOTO: CATERS NEWS AGENCY

creet entrances when they arrive on the scene for their twice- daily guzzle. They’re known for being very vocal and often make appearances in flocks of 100 at similar times of the day and this gives the leopards the perfect opportunity to time their hunt to perfection. The South African photographer caught the rare scenes on a Canon 7D camera over an hour and half period whilst holidaying in the desert region. Sandgrouse are water dependent birds and they move across Africa and Asia in search of new sources of water after rainfall. When it’s fully grown, the big cat can tip the scales at anything up to a whopping 90kg so a small Sandgrouse bird will only be enough to stifle its hunger for a few hours. Mr Prophet said: ‘I’ve been very lucky over the years to have seen some incredible wildlife with my job as a conservation manager but this experience was something very special and unique.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

49

Community Mirror Lagos, lawmaker empower fishermen

“If we as a nation collectively confront our challenges, the country would return to the path of growth and development in no time.”

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Workers assured of better welfare in Ogun FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he welfare of Public and civil servants in Ogun State will be accorded deserved priority attention at all times, the State Head of service, Mrs. Modupe Adekunle has assured. Mrs. Adekunle gave this assurance in her office when members of the House of Assembly Committee on Establishment and Training visited her in continuation of their oversight function to agencies of government. She assured that training and retraining of the workforce will be pursued with renewed vigour, saying that all agencies of government would continue to enjoy equal opportunities. Mrs. Adekunle also disclosed that her office is open to discussion and suggestions on the betterment of the service. The Head of Service informed the lawmakers that her office had surpassed its N10m revenue target, as it generated N10.8m in August, noting that the feat was achieved following the payment of the backlog of rent by occupants of various government housing estates.

SENATE PRESIDENT DAVID MARK

Woman delivers ‘horse’ in church FRANCIS SUBERU

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he unexpected happened yesterday, at the World Liberation Ministry on the old Sapele-Benin Expressway, as a woman delivered a horse-like-baby during a prophetic service. It was gathered that the worshipers who could not believe their eyes after the yet to be identified woman was delivered of the strange creature, took to their heels. Speaking to newsmen, General Overseer of the church, Evangelist Silva Wealth, said the incident was unprecedented in the church, as

he had at the prophetic service, received a divine revelation that there was a woman whose womb was being blocked by some supernatural forces. He said as he and other church members intensified their prayers, the woman started screaming and after, the horse -like baby was delivered of her but it died some minutes later. He said: “I cannot describe the object. We have seen people that vomited strange things during church service but not such type of thing. God has been blessing our ministry with prophesies and miracles.”

The horse delivered by the woman in an Edo State church on Tuesday.

Flood sacks Benue community HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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Commuters stranded on the collapsed portion of Calabar-Ikom road, Cross River State

Traditional ruler prays court to quash land suit WALE IGBINTADE

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he traditional ruler of Oke-Odo, Onitedo, Elemoro Ibeju-Lekki Area of Lagos State, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro and two others, have prayed a Lagos High Court to dismiss a suit instituted by a Lagos based businessman, Olufemi Bakare over an alleged violation of his fundamental human rights. Bakare and four others had asked the court to intervene in the matter and restrain the police from carrying out the alleged threat to arrest them. But in a counter affidavit deposed to by Chief Shamba Elemoro, the defendants stated that the applicants (Olufemi Bakare and others) were only trying to obtain an order of court to enforce their claim to the land in dispute.

Elemoro added that the suit was filed in bad faith in order to irritate, annoy the Elemoro family and urged the court to dismiss same in the interest of justice, According to him, most of the statements contained in the Affidavit of Urgency filed by the applicants, contained blatant falsehood allegedly fabricated to deceive the court. While not contesting that the applicants are descendants of Pa Okunu Eleku, he added that the said Pa Eleku, was not the only settler at Oko-Olomi village, because it was founded by the families of Olowu, Agbaje, Raji and Okunu respectively. He contended that it was not true that the applicant’s family had been exercising rights of ownership on the disputed land. Besides, they stated that the

4th respondent (Oba Tajudeen Elemoro) was a victim of alleged violent activities of 5th applicant, (Oluwafemi Bakare). Specifically, he stated that the Lagos State Government acquired all the land from Maroko to Epe in 1981 and repeated the acquisition in 1993. He added that in 2007, the government by a gazette of February 22, 2007, returned some of the land acquired to the families. He further stated that contrary allegation by Bakare that the Area Commander Area ‘J’ Police Command, forced him to sign an undertaking banishing him from Oko-Olomi, the commander was merely carrying out his official duties based on a petition referred to him by the Inspector General of Police. He maintained that Bakare (5th applicant) was never arrested but was invited for interview, where it was allegedly estab-

lished that he was not a member of the Okunnu Eleku family but a trouble maker. The applicants in a 25-pragrapgh affidavit in support of the application, averred that the he is a descendant of later Pa Eleku, who was the first settler in Oko-Olomi village and that there was no crisis in the area until recently, when a new traditional ruler was installed. He further averred that on April 20, 2012, the Area Commander allegedly invited him to the police station, where he was allegedly forced to sign and undertaking to vacate from Oko-Olomi in Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State. Bakare, alleged that he signed the undertaking in order to regain his freedom, adding that the land which he was forced to vacate belongs to his forefathers.

ollowing ignored warnings for inhabitants of riverine areas to relocate due to danger posed by rising water level at the Cameroun Lagdo Dam, the calamity finally came, as those living within 200 meters of the Benue River were sacked by flood. Seemingly, more than 1,500 victims were affected as the worst hit areas include Gyado villa, Judges Quarters, Wadata as well as Agboughol village near the Modern Market. The affected persons are now taking shelter in an open field, especially those unable to afford accommodations in hotels. A victim, Mrs. Agwaza Ayaka of Gyado villa, said they noticed an increase in water level and started evacuating their household items, but it was too late as it marooned the compound. Another victim, Mr. Benjamin Abua at Agboughol settlement, said he had to engage the services of fishermen to help him evacuate his property for N4, 000, adding that some of them are making brisk business by way of ferrying people to safety. Also, Mercy Iorshagher of Wadata, pleaded for government’s assistance to the displaced persons, especially those who cannot afford alternative accommodation. Earlier, Governor Gabriel Suswam, had on the spot assessment of the damages done, as he enjoined the Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Hon. John Ngbede to take inventory of houses and properties destroyed with a view to mitigate the suffering of the victims.


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Community Mirror

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lagos, lawmaker empower fishermen MURITALA AYINLA

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he lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator Gbenga Ashafa

and the Lagos state Government, have empowered a fishing community in Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area. The state government donated materials worth

LG battles to control gastroenteritis JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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ore than N500, 000 has been spent by Faskari Local Government Area to control the spread of gastroenteritis which had killed more than 13 people in Katsina State. The outbreak of the disease was noticed in Bakarya village with community members linking the disease to recent flooding that contaminated the sources of water supply. The transition committee chairman of the lo-

cal council, Engr. Isyaku Ahmed, disclosed this after visiting victims in the village, even as he urged the people to report any outbreak of strange disease to the local council in good time to enable for prompt action in controlling it. He said the local council has also given money to the water and sanitation department to purchase chlorine for treatment of all water sources in the village, as the department was also directed to enlighten the public on the need to ensure healthy environment and hygiene.

more than N17 million including refrigerated van for preservation of frozen fish to fishermen in the riverine community. Commissioning the materials, at the flag off of the artisanal fishing inputs service delivery programme, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ashafa described the gesture as one of the means of restoring the old glories of the state with regards to fish production. He said: “Lagos, as one of the maritime states of the federation, has an ocean coastline of more than 180km and a vast network of creeks, lagoons, swamps and estuaries that constitute about 22 per cent of its total land mass. “These geographical positioning and natural

endowments make fishing and fisheries related activities, the predominant occupation of people living in the coastal areas, stretching from Kweme in Badagry to Okunfolu (Akodo). The importance of fishing to the economy of the state cannot be over emphasized”. He added that the artisanal fishing sector contributes more than 60 percent of local fish production in the state and also provides a major source of livelihood for rural communities. The law maker who also donated the sum of N500,000 to beneficiaries, said the move was crucial to address the whopping N105billion Nigeria spends on importation of 780,000 metric tons of fish annually. Ashafa also described

the move as a new dawn in the development of artisanal fishing, while commending the government for empowering fishermen through the intervention. He said:” Each beneficiary society would receive complete gear comprising of fishing boats, 40HP outboard engines, bundles of fishing nets, ropes, twines and other accessories at a total cost of N3.41million each. Speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Co-operatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said that efforts are in top gear to meet the one million targets of metric tons of fish production in three years, describing the distribution of inputs to the fishermen as a right step in the right direction. Gbolahan said:”The

time has come for all of us to ensure the boosting of fish production in the country. Perhaps we may begin to have fish ponds in our homes to achieve this because the continued reliance on foreign aid is not sustainable.” He added that the refrigerated van will help preserve fishes,as he explained that government has provided storage facilities for easy evacuation of fish to the market. This according to him is one of the major ways of boosting fish production and reducing the huge expenditure on the importation of frozen fish. The beneficiaries cooperative societies include: Alubarika Fishers Cooperative Society; Ibeju Lekki FCS, Akodo; Ise-Oripa FCS, Folu Jejelaye FCS, and Bashiri FCS.

Youths protest conversion of tomato paste company OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

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undreds of youths from ArigidiAkoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State, have protested the alleged conversion of the tomato paste industry in the town to a table water producing company. Speaking in Akure, the leader of the youths, Mr. Adamu Rafiu, threatened to sue the state government for allegedly turning the tomato company to Perfect Prim Table Water Company. Raifu noted that a single tin of tomato paste had not been produced in the company since Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, invested more than N400million in it in 2010. He lamented that the industry which was expected to help reduce the high rate of unemployment, had become a liability to the community. He said they decided to speak out for the public to know what the tomato industry had now been turned into, despite the propaganda of the government. His words: “We want

to use this opportunity to tell the people of and the whole world that, the Arigidi Tomato Company is not working. It has been turned into a table water producing company. The state government claimed it has invested over N400million in the industry. A water producing company can only give employment to few people. Most times when our graduates go out in search of jobs, employers ask them of the tomato company in our community. This factory is our legacy. It is our birthright. We learnt the government went ahead to source for N50million loans from the First Bank, Ikare branch, in addition to the N400million. The tomato they brought was when the Central Bank officials came to inspect the project. In the end, the tomatoes planted were transported to Akure, Ikare and other areas, rather than take them to the factory for processing.” Efforts to reach the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tayo Akinjomo, failed as he did not respond to the calls.

A lady conductor looking out for passengers at Ojota, Lagos.

PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Disabled athletes erased Olympics shame –JONAPWD FRANCIS SUBERU

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oint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, JONAPWD, has extolled the performance of athletes living with disabilities at the just concluded Paralympics, saying the physically challenged have erased the shame of Nigerians, after the extremely poor outing of their able-bodied counterparts at the London Olympics. In a press release by

the association, JONAPWD berated the ablebodied athletes for their poor outing at the Olympic Games, adding that athletes with disabilities have given Nigerians more than sufficient hope by raising the profile and image of the country despite the very serious obstacles standing in their way. The statement signed by JONAPWD National President, Danlami Basharu, reads in part: “From minus zero medals by the able-bodied

who continuously bring shame and disgrace to the nation despite huge sums spent on them, our dear athletes with disabilities, much despised, marginalised and discriminated against have shown that they care more for the country than others. “Our athletes won medals including gold and silver. This is, indeed, a clarion call for all our leaders, to wake up to the fact of recognising their duties to this group of downtrodden Nigerians. “President, Dr. Good-

luck Jonathan, can now rest assured that there is definitely ability in disability and that our desire for national legislation on disability is well-founded for the growth and development of Nigeria and not just a section of it.” The association called on the President, state governors, government officials and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (the supervising agency), to give those with disabilities their due regard, respect and dignity.


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North

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beware of fraudsters, EFCC warns North-East residents DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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he North-East office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Gombe has raised the alarm over the surge in advance fee fraud related crime in the region. The EFCC Head of Operations in the zone, Ibrahim Bappa, said in a statement that the situation was becoming worrisome as many people were falling victims of the fraudsters on a daily basis. He said: “Of recent, and even presently, the spate of these crimes is unimagi-

nable as the locals of this zone especially the Gombe/ Bauchi environ troop daily to the zonal office to lodge complaints of fleecing by some unidentified persons.” Bappa added that some victims were even ashamed to come forward because of their social status. He explained that these crimes which revolved round contract scam, currency counterfeiting and advance fee fraud were often targeted at the ordinary citizens, who were the most vulnerable, using juicy baits. The statement also explained that the modus

operandi of the criminals involved using text messages or GSM phone calls to lure unsuspecting victims with purported juicy contracts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, road construction companies and government contracts to supply items such as black oil, bitumen, and many others. He explained that another common method used by the criminals was outright transaction with fake currency in open markets. The commission therefore called for a more col-

laborative effort with the media to enlighten the public so as to reduce the cost of investigation and litigation and save the victims from agony and huge loss. “Although we have some convictions and ongoing cases related to these crimes in court, these could be avoided if the people are properly informed through the mass media, sermons in churches and mosques,” Bappa said. He urged the public to be vigilant and cautious by avoiding unsolicited calls, businesses or invitations and report such suspicious approaches to the EFCC’s office in Gombe.

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Probe Idris now, group tells Wada ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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inauguration, Governor Idris Wada had not spent up to seven days in the state owing to financial crisis rocking his administration. But in a swift reaction, one of the personal aides to the former governor, Mallam Zakari Adamu, said the self-styled activist had the penchant to run down leaders of the state. Adamu said Idris deserved commendation because of his numerous achievements.

human rights group in Kogi State has called on the state government to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe the nine-year rule of the administration of former Governor Ibrahim Idris. The Executive Secretary of Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, CHRCR, Comrade Idris Miliki, who made the call in a statement, said those who were found to have defrauded the state during the tenure of the former governor should be prosecuted according to the law of the land. He alleged that the maladministration of m the past government had t made the present adminm istration to be in limbo. Miliki said that since Gov. Wada

NBA, NGO move to decongest prisons AZA MSUE KADUNA K

T Some houses submerged due to overflow of River Benue in Markurdi, Benue State, yesterday. INSET: Some residents moving their belongings out of their flooded homes.

Plateau: No alliance over by-election – CPC

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he Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, said yesterday that it would not enter into an alliance with any political party in prosecuting the Plateau North Senatorial by-election scheduled for October 6. The party said that it would rely on its popularity in the constituency where it had its largest followership to win the poll. The CPC Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Jamilu Baba, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Jos that the party already had three credible aspirants lined up for the poll. He said: “CPC as a party is prepared to participate in the by-election. We have been meeting with our political stakeholders to present the most acceptable candidate out of the

three aspirants. “We have been meeting with stakeholders for the way forward. “Before the end of the date for submission fixed for September 15 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, we will be able to come out with our candidate.” Baba gave the names of the three aspirants for the senatorial slot as Mr. Samuel Anko, Alhaji Baba Akawo and B. N. Aganga The CPC spokesman said the sole aspirant for the Barkin Ladi state Assembly seat only submitted a letter of intent and had yet to obtain and fill a form. He confirmed that the process of picking candidates would be by affirmation. “Actually we want to do affirmation due to the

security situation of the state and time allowed for the process,” Baba said. On the chances of the party in the election, he said, “as far as Plateau North Senatorial District is concerned, we have a perfect chance of winning the seat because the Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP, has not done anything good for the people there”. Baba called on supporters of the party in the locality to be law-abiding. He said: “We know we have massive supporters in the zone. By the grace of God, CPC will carry the day.”

he Kaduna branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, yesterday said it would embark on prisons decongestion in conjunction with a NonGovernmental Organisation, NGO, Dialogue Group Limited, as part of its social corporate responsibility. The branch Vice-Chairman, Ndasule Sherrif, said this in Kaduna during the donation of I-Pads to the association’s executives by Dialogue Group Limited, adding that the present condition of prison inmates would no longer be accepted. He said: “We are trying to see how we can decongest Kaduna prisons. We will partner with Dialogue

Group Limited and see how we can enforce the issue of prison decongestion.” Earlier, the Chairman of Dialogue Group Limited, Mallam Mahdl Shehu, said his organisation had so far helped about 240 prison inmates regained their freedom in Katsina, Kano and Kaduna states after fulfilling all necessary procedures, including payment of fines. He said: “Recently I donated I-Pads to executives of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, to engineers, today I shared I-Pads to NBA Kaduna branch including Christian and Muslim lawyers’ associations and women lawyers’ association officials. I am not a politician and I don’t have any political ambition.”

MTN donates 60 patrol vehicles to 11 states JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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obile Telecommunications Network Foundation, MTNF, said it had donated about 60 fully-equipped security patrol vehicles with communication gadgets to 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. The MTNF Director, Mrs. Aishatu Sadauki, disclosed this yesterday dur-

ing the handing over of five security patrol vehicles to the Katsina State Government. She said the intension was to make the vehicles available to the 36 states of the federation. Mrs. Sadauki explained that Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Delta, Imo, Kano, Taraba, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau and the FCT had received patrol vehicles. She said the project was

part of MTNF’s Security Support Project aimed at “contributing to government’s efforts to improve security across the country”. Mrs. Sadauki disclosed that the foundation now had 319 project sites in the 36 states of the federation, and would continue to improve on the quality of life of Nigerians through investment initiatives in the area of health, education

and economic empowerment. Speaking earlier, Governor Ibrahim Shema called on MTN to improve its services in the state, especially with the reports of poor services being witnessed in parts of the state. Shema called on MTN to also ensure regular maintenance of its facilities in the state because of the increasing number of subscribers.


52

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Do not take Hepatitis B vaccine if you are positive –Experts SEKINAH L AWAL

N Some men actively participating in “Niger’s schools for husbands” during the country’s “engaging men in women’s empowerment programme” organised by UNFPA recently in Niger republi c recently. PHOTOS: UNFPA.

Kano loses 100 doctors in six months AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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ver 100 medical doctors have disengaged from the service of kano state government in the last six months following alleged poor working conditions and infrastructural decay in state hospitals. Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Kano state chapter, Dr. Shehi Ali Abubakar disclosed this recently while

addressing newsmen. He stated that the mass exodus of medical doctors from state to federal health institutions and neighboring states was brought about by what he described as “systemic decay in the available facilities”. Dr. Abubakar said “For instance a Pediatric ward at Murtala Muhammad Hospital has been closed down due to lack of manpower. At present, only 65 doctors attend to patients in a facility adjudged as

one of the busiest government hospitals in the state. “ This largest and busiest government hospital in the state has less than 65 doctors working within it and it is estimated that with the current mass movement, less than 40 doctors will be working in this facility by the end of the year” he added. The Chairman however noted that there is low morale among doctors in the state service, adding

that “Kano state remains the only state in the north west region yet to implement CONMESS despite agreement with the medical practitioners. Dr Abubakar further pointed out that the precarious situation in the existing state government health facilities had mounted pressure on the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital which was originally designated as a tertiary institution for research purposes.

UCH’s CMD commends staff on indigent fund SEKINAH L AWAL

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he Chief Medical Director (CMD), University College Hospital (UCH), IbadanOyo State, Prof. Temitope Alonge has commended the staff of the great institution for buying into the indigent fund scheme aimed at assisting indigent patients in settling their medical bills. He made the commendation during an interactive session with newsmen recently. “I must commend the UCH staff for buying into the Indigent Fund for Indigent Patients scheme. This is a scheme they are all supporting voluntarily by donating part of their monthly salary to assist indigent patients who cannot afford to pay their bills. For instance, since the inception of this administration, over 50million naira has been spent on free treatment for road accident victims, around 30million naira spent on HIV-positive patients and others.”

According to him, even the Post-Abortion care is costing the institution much more than anticipated. He made it known that they have just procured 52million naira worth of Surgical instruments because they realised that the availability of consumables has reduced the waiting time as well as the rate of infection. “We also put great premium on service delivery, new innovation and staff welfare. We are building a new block of accommodation for our House Officers and a Multi-purpose Hall for staff welfare all in an attempt at ensuring staff commitment. “We also discovered that the numbers of elderly patients are increasing, hence, we are setting up a Geriatrics Centre.” Responding to the issue of medical errors on the path of care givers, Prof. Alonge revealed that they have set up the Morbidity and Mortality Committee to be looking into all death and morbidity reports and

probe unneeded deaths or medical errors in order to punish offenders and avoid re-occurrence of such cases in future. “I can tell you categorically that there is no cov-

er-up in UCH any longer. I am also part of the committee and we ensure that all cases are thoroughly investigated and appropriate actions taken,” he concluded.

igerians have been advised to ensure that they know their Hepatitis B status before taking the immunisation as the vaccine should not be taken if somebody is positive already. In the same vein, the Federal Government has been urged to create the necessary awareness on the hazards of Hepatitis B because it is deadlier and more infectious than HIV. This advice was given by the Society for Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists in Nigeria (SOGHIN). According to Dr. Charles Onyekwere, Hepatitis B is a disease caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). “Chronic infection with HBV can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. About 60-80% of primary liver cancer worldwide is caused by chronic HBV infection.” He said the infection can be prevented by receiving the hepatitis B vaccine. However, those above the age of routine immunisation should be screened first and then immunised if they are negative. Also speaking, anoth-

er Consultant Gastroenterologist, Dr. Hameed Oladipupo said that despite the fact that the prevalence rate is only 8% of the nation’s population, this is still millions of Nigerians. “A lot of our young ones are coming down with liver problems due to lack of awareness. This is something we can prevent. All we need to do is to get tested: tests for both yourself and your family and get vaccinated: If you are negative. Get the 3-shot hepatitis B vaccination series to protect yourself for life from future infection. Speaking on the need for awareness too, Dr. Aderemi Oluyemi urged government to see Hepatitis issue as a thing of public health concern. “Let us spread the word by telling our friends and family. Hepatitis B can be transmitted by blood transfusions, sharing or reusing needles for injection or tattoos, and unprotected sex, during early childhood through direct contact with blood of infected individuals, occurring from contact between open wounds, sharing contaminated toothbrushes or razors, or through contaminated medical/dental tools.

Lagos kicks off 3-month health campaign MOJEED ALABI

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r. Femi FunsoAdebayo, a Consultant Biologist and public health expert has revealed that as long as people don’t have good digestive system, several wastes retained in the body beyond normal number of days will continue to constitute hazards to their internal organs. He disclosed this recently in Lagos during the commencement of a three month health campaign put together by Nutricima Limited, makers of Yo! Yogurt drink. According to him,

many people are happy when they do not go to toilet for days but which is actually dangerous to their body system. He however added that “the best way to resolve this is to aid such digestion through the use of a product like Yo! Yoghurt. “For us as health practitioners, we have noticed that many people do not understand the health benefits of yoghurt as it is. This particular brand has what is called pro-biotic, which is essential for digestion”. Tagged: Walk for Digestive Health, the health campaign would see to healthier life-

styles amongst Nigerians. The company’s Senior Brand Manager, Adeola Kasali, said the walk is part of the Yo! Yoghurt community service initiative on digestive health and is one of the several activities planned to last over a 90-day period across the state. “The activity involves fitness walk, aerobics, family fitness activities, educational seminars and the deployment of professional medical practitioners to all nooks and crannies of the state to educate people on healthy consumption and lifestyles while also rendering free medical services to all par-

ticularly the indigent.” “We are doing this in furtherance of the successful launch of our Yo! Classic Yoghurt, to educate Nigerians, on the benefits of healthy consumption habits and healthy lifestyles,” Adeola said. The walk, which started recently at Maryland roundabout and ended in Ikeja saw hundreds of people, from different social strata, march in an atmosphere of fun. There were also fully equipped medical practitioners on ground who offered health tips and rendered free professional medical care to deserving participants during the exercise.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

53

World News

9/11: Obama marks 11th anniversary

54

SAM OLUWALANA

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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irebrand politician Julius Malema has called for a national strike in South Africa’s mines. “They have been stealing this gold from you,” Mr Malema told cheering miners on strike at a gold mine west of Johannesburg, “now it’s your turn.” Strikes have already halted production at several gold and platinum mines in the resourcerich country. But some accuse Mr Malema of political opportunism amid seething anger over last month’s deaths at Marikana mine. Forty-four people died at the Lonmin-owned platinum mine in mid-August - 34 miners shot in a single day by police. A commission of inquiry is looking into events at that mine, but observers say the issue is tapping into disquiet over the ruling ANC’s links to big business and alleged neglect of the working classes that have made up its historical support base. “There must be a national strike,” Mr Malema told workers on strike at the Gold Fields International KDC, at a stadium in Carletonville, close to its gold mine. Branded a demagogue by his critics, South African youth leader Julius Malema is using the Marikana killings - the most

“Either he (Murray) will absolutely fly for a while and win everything in sight or it wouldn’t surprise me to see a bit of a lull” – Murray’s former coach, Miles Maclagan

Julius Malema calls for full South Africa mining strike deadly police action since white minority rule ended 18 years ago to resuscitate his political career. Mr Malema is hoping that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party will oust President Jacob Zuma as its leader at its national conference in December - and reverse the decision taken in April to expel him for sowing divisions in the party. Mr Malema is exploiting the

killings - which saw police shoot dead 34 striking miners at the Marikana mine on 16 August - to reinforce his image as the champion of poor black South Africans, though he also has some support in black business circles. He moves with ease between the two groups, toyi-toying (a revolutionary dance popularised during the anti-apartheid struggle) at rallies in shack settle-

ments, before slipping away to leafy suburbs for all-night parties with the nouveau riche. Johannesburg-based political analyst William Gumede argues that Mr Malema is similar to politicians in Zimbabwe’s ZanuPF party, led by President Robert Mugabe. “Enough is enough. We have waited for a long time. You must now benefit from this gold.”

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A spokesperson for Human Right Watch told the BBC that one woman had been gangraped by M23 rebels, doused with petrol and then set alight. The lobby group said its evidence was based on interviews with 190 witnesses. It called for the UN to put sanctions on the rebels and officials in Rwanda, which is accused of backing them. The government in Kigali has repeatedly denied supporting the Tutsi-led rebellion which began as an army mutiny in April and has since displaced more than 200,000 people in the region. Eastern DR Congo has been plagued by fighting since 1994, when more than a million ethnic Hutus crossed the border into DR Congo following the Rwandan genocide, in which some 800,000 people - mostly Tutsis - died.

Mubarak’s sons charged for illegal land sales

Julius “Juju” Malema articulates the anger of many following last month’s killings at Marikana

Somalia: Cameron, world leaders hail Hassan Sheikh’s election

nternational leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, have hailed the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as a “great step forward” for Somalia. Mr Cameron congratulated Mr Mohamud on his victory and welcomed the role played by his predecessor, Sheikh Sharif

WORLD BULLETIN DR Congo’s M23 rebels ‘executing escapee recruits’

Sheikh Ahmed. However, Islamist militants said the election was organised by the “enemies of Somalia”. Somalia has suffered 20 years of war. Accepting his defeat, former President Ahmed said it was the first fair election in Mogadishu for 42 years - since Mohamed Siad Barre took over in 1969.

Somalis celebrating - but there is a lot of work to do

President Mohamud, a moderate Islamist academic, was sworn in immediately after it was announced that he had beaten Mr Ahmed by 190 to 79 votes in a ballot of newly elected MPs. “I promise that Somalia reclaims its place in the world community as of today - and to do that, we must ensure that we move forward,” he said in his victory speech. Both the British prime minister and UN envoy to Somalia Augustine Mahiga warned there was still much to do. “Somalia’s leaders must now work together to build a more representative and transparent system, tackle corruption and strengthen security and stability,” said Mr Cameron, who hosted a major conference on trying to bring peace to Somalia in February. Mr Mahiga said the Somali people had “taken a great step forward on the path to peace and

prosperity”. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has called up Somalia’s new leader to congratulate him, according to the AFP news agency. However, the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab still controls many southern and central parts of the country, and has staged frequent suicide attacks in the capital since it was driven out of Mogadishu last year by African Union troops and pro-government forces. “We will only recognise a process run by Somalis and not manipulated by Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and the West,” al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage told the AFP news agency. “Hassan is operating under a constitution drafted by the enemies of Somalia, who have a nefarious geopolitical agenda, especially neighbouring countries.”

The sons of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Alaa and Gamal, and his last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, charged for involvement in alleged illegal land purchases have been referred to a criminal court, judicial sources said yesterday. Shafik, who stood against Muhamed Morsi in the presidential elections, was put on a ``watch list’’ last month by a judge who also said Shafik would be detained at the border on his return for allegedly allocating 40,000 square metres of land to Alaa and Mubarak’s sons are in prison awaiting trial on other corruption charges.

Drugs found in home of couple killed in Milan shooting A sizeable quantity of drugs was found in the home of the couple that was shot dead in a central area of Milan, Italian authorities said yesterday. Forty-seven grams of cocaine were found in total, police said. Massimiliano Spelta, a 43-yearold entrepreneur with no criminal record, was approached by someone who got off a scooter and shot him on Monday. He was walking in the Porta Romana neighbourhood, an area full of bars and restaurants with his Dominican wife, Carolina Pajaro, and their 18-month-old daughter. Pajaro, 22, was killed too. police said she was shot before Spelta. Their daughter, who was released from hospital after recovering from light bruises was spared. Police said Spelta sold food supplements until last year.


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World News

WORLD BULLETIN Bin Laden raid doctor, Shakil Afridi speaks up The Pakistani doctor involved in the US search for Osama Bin Laden has been quoted as saying he was unaware of his role in the al-Qaeda chief’s death. Shakil Afridi reportedly told Fox News from jail in Peshawar that after the 2011 killing he had been kidnapped and tortured by Pakistani intelligence. He also reportedly said the ISI agency regarded the US as its worst enemy. But Dr Afridi’s lawyer told the BBC he was not confident about the authenticity of the interview. Samiullah Afridi said his client was kept under “very strict security”, and was even prevented from seeing his family and lawyers for months at a time. “How a journalist can set up an interview with him in jail is beyond my comprehension,” the lawyer said. Prison officials contacted by the BBC were taken by surprise by reports of the interview, but did not rule out that a phone could have been smuggled into his cell.

Czech bootleg alcohol kills seven Seven people in the Czech Republic have died after drinking poisonous bootleg alcohol, officials have said. The spirits were made from industrial chemical methanol and a further 22 people have been hospitalised for alcohol poisoning. Police have arrested a 36-yearold man in connection with the deaths. Authorities have started a sweep of restaurants, bars, off-licences and shops across the country, in order to find the source of the drink. The BBC’s correspondent in Prague, Rob Cameron, says those poisoned were taken ill after drinking what they thought was vodka and rum bought in supermarkets and shops. The company behind the brand thought to be the source of the poisoning has said that their labels were copied and that they are not responsible for the contents of those bottles.

Kenya’s Tana clashes: President Kibaki imposes curfew Violence has continued in Kenya’s Tana River area despite a dusk-to-dawn curfew after the deaths of 112 people in weeks of clashes. Three more people, including police officers, are said to have died in the latest attacks. They were carried out by hundreds of men with guns, spears and machetes, the Red Cross said. Two communities with a history of rivalry over access to water and land have been engaged in tit-fortat raids. President Mwai Kibaki ordered a curfew to be imposed late on Monday in Tana River County. The Tana Delta has a deceiving allure of peace, with mango trees dotting the river banks and a calm wind blowing from the nearby Indian Ocean.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

9/11: Obama marks 11th anniversary P resident Barack Obama has marked the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, saying the US emerged “even stronger” from that day’s death and horror. In New York, relatives are reading out the names of those killed when hijacked jets were crashed at the World Trade Center, Washington and Pennsylvania. Mr Obama laid a wreath at the Pentagon and Vice-President Joe Biden is expected to speak at Shanksville. For the first time, politicians will not address the ceremony in New York. At the Pentagon, Mr Obama addressed survivors of the attacks and relatives of those killed. He told them their loved ones would never be forgotten, and that the dead had “helped us make the America we are today”. The true legacy of 9/11... will be a safer world, a strogner nation, and a people more united than ever before” “The true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division,” Mr Obama said. “It will be a safer world, a stronger nation, and a people more united than ever before.” The National September 11 Memorial and Museum an-

Obama at 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon

nounced in July that this year’s ceremony at Ground Zero would include only relatives reading victims’ names. Memorial President Joe Daniels said that, in an election year, it was “honouring the victims and their families in a way free of politics”. Charles Wolf, whose wife Katherine was killed at the World Trade Center, said the absence of elected officials would

make the event more intimate for the families. “We’ve gone past that deep, collective public grief,” he said. Tuesday dawned with a clear blue sky over Washington and New York, jogging memories of a similar September morning 11 years ago. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day in attacks by al-Qaeda members who had hijacked four airliners.

US ‘hushed up’ Soviet guilt over Katyn

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ew evidence appears to back the idea that the Roosevelt administration helped cover up Soviet guilt for the 1940 Katyn massacre of Polish soldiers. Historians said documents, released by the US National Archives, supported the suspicion that the US did not want to anger its wartime ally, Joseph Stalin. They showed the US was sent coded messages suggesting the Soviets, not the Nazis, carried out the massacre. More than 22,000 Poles were killed by the Soviets on Stalin’s orders. Soviet Russia only admitted to the atrocity in 1990 after blaming the Nazis for five decades.

According to a review of the documents by the Associated Press, they show that American prisoners of war sent coded messages to Washington in 1943 saying they had been taken to see corpses in an advanced state of decay in the Katyn forest near Smolensk, in western Russia. The group of American and British POWs had been taken by the Nazis against their will to witness the scene. What they saw convinced two Americans, Capt Donald B Stewart and Lt Col John Van Vliet, that the killings must have been carried out by the Soviets, rather than the Nazis, who did not occupy the area until 1941. A statement from one, Captain

Those killed were officers and other members of the Polish elite

Donald B Stewart, made in 1950, confirmed he sent a coded message, the gist of which was: “German claims regarding Katyn substantially correct in opinion of Van Vliet and myself.” They were apparently persuaded by the advanced state of decay of the bodies - suggesting they must have died before August 1941, when the Germans seized the area. They also saw items found on the bodies, including letters, diaries and other items, none of which was dated later than the spring of 1940. And the good state of the men’s boots and clothing suggested the men had not lived long after being captured by invading Soviet forces. The close to 1,000 pages of new material will help determine what the US knew and when, the BBC’s Kim Ghattas in Washington says. It has long been believed that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not want to question the version of events put out by Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan. According to the report by the Associated Press, information about the massacre was suppressed at the highest levels in Washington.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama observed a moment of silence at the White House at 08:45 (12:45 GMT). They then headed to the Pentagon to attend a memorial ceremony there, where one of the jets crashed, and then visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. With a US election looming in November, President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have set aside campaigning for the day and will not run negative advertisements. Mr Romney was due to visit Reno, Nevada, to address a National Guard unit whose members were deployed as part of the US response to the attacks. “On this most sombre day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world,” Mr Romney said in a written statement.

UK universities take four of six top global rankings

C

hanges to funding and visa rules may mean UK universities struggle in next year’s rankings UK universities have taken four of the six top slots in a global university “league table”. Cambridge - top last year - was second in the QS World University Rankings, which are based on a number of factors. UCL, Oxford and Imperial took fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively, with the US’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology top and Harvard third. But Ben Sowter, of QS Research, warned higher fees and new visa rules could see UK universities struggle next year. Mr Sowter told BBC News students trying to get ahead of a trebling in fees for English undergraduates had produced a surge in applications to start university in autumn 2011. He added: “We won’t know for sure until the 2012 results come in, but we may see a drop off next year.” He also said tougher visa rules for international students could deter some from applying to UK universities. He quoted a second piece of research to be published by QS later in September that asked employers across the world whether “current visa regulations adequately support the hiring of graduating international students”. Just 40% of UK employers agreed visa regulations had helped them hire international graduates - globally the figure was 70% said Mr Sowter.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Space for Sale

Space for Sale

55


WORLD RECORD

Largest spider family Vol. 02 No. 446

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

N150

The largest zoological family of spiders is Salticidae, which contains the jumping spiders. Over 4400 species are currently known to science, and most live in the tropics. Uncharacteristically for spiders, jumping spiders hardly ever spin webs, catching their prey not by entrapment but by actively leaping at them.

Why government must unbundle PHCN

I

n the 1980s, the British National Union of Miners (NUM) was like a state within the United Kingdom. It was very strong, with links to the Labour Party. Moreover, it was defiantly left wing and very militant and was always threatening the government of Margret Thatcher with strikes. In 1981, they called out their members in their thousands on industrial action, following government announcement to close many of the unprofitable coal mines to make way for privatization and industrial consolidation. At the time, coal was king and also, one of the biggest sources of raw materials for electricity in Britain. So the union leaders wielded far more influence than elected politicians, thus making way for the inevitable confrontation that was later to follow. Before then, the trade unions had brought down the government of Edward Heath, and Mrs. Thatcher was not going to allow such fate befall her, as she was determined to exorcise the ghost of rabid unionism

F

ormer sprinter Darren Campbell is disappointed that UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee will leave his post in December. Van Commenee, 54, is reported to have said that he would leave his

Okay Osuji (okayosuji@nationalmirroronline.net) 08034729256 (sms only)

that held the country’s industrial and economic progress hostage. Then came 1983, and Thatcher faced down the miners in a protracted labour dispute that was to define British industrial relations till this day and marked a major ideological victory for her government. Now, the British electricity industry is not only lean and efficient, but the place of coal in making this happen has been drastically reduced, while atavistic unionism has receded as a way of forcing governments into surrender. This historical analysis has become very instructive for Nigeria, especially in the context of the present rancorous relations between the present administration and the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE). The nexus of the impending confrontation is the desire of the government to privatise the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the workers resistance in making this happen, till all their demands are met. And because of this, the union leaders have vowed never to shift ground, no matter the pressure from the Federal Government. At the heart of this dispute is the settlement of pension, gratuity, severance benefits and reparation for the workers before any negotiation for the privatization of this non performing behemoth can be allowed to see the light of day. Much as what is amiss can be negotiated, it must not be allowed to take the centre stage in the universal pursuit to give this country a functional and efficient power generation, transmission and distribution system that

EVEN AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION, PHCN HAS BECOME AN EMBARRASSING FAILURE AND MONUMENTAL DISASTER THAT SHOULD BE SCRAPPED will not only guarantee uninterrupted electricity, but more so, bring back the halcyon days of factories and industries as the engine of economic growth and industrial productivity. The parlous state of the economy and concomitant shibboleths is traceable to the lack of constant power, the result of years of inefficiency by those charged with executing this task. Rather than see any improvement, the PHCN has become a haven for rent seeking with greedy operators carving out private empires to enable them line their pockets. This sorry situation is because the organization is wholly owned by the Federal Government and so unaccountable and far removed from any serious scrutiny that would be expected of a serious business concern. Even as a social institution, PHCN has become an embarrassing failure and monumental disaster that should be scrapped to save charitable donors the perpetual pains of throwing hard earned money into a sink hole.

The lessons from the privatisation of the telecommunications industry comes in handy here. Before 2001, it was fashionable for workers of the Nigerian Telecommunications Company (NITEL) to swindle customers in the guise of telephone bills, as is now with the PHCN. Unfortunately, much of the billions generated never got into government coffers, as many workers literally became richer than their employer, even as services deteriorated with each passing day. When the issue of privatisation was mooted, there was uproar and threats of bedlam, as the workers not only abhorred change, but resisted the idea of wresting the cash cow from their grips. It took the grits and determination of government to allow private operators into the telecommunications sector and with this, the extirpation of a once burdensome monopoly. While NITEL workers fretted on their future, the country became the richer for it. Today, the former employees are grateful for the coming of mobile phone services. Interestingly, those technicians that worked for the defunct organization have found their way its these private operators as fulfilled employees. Curiously, before 2001, there were only 500,000 telephone lines in the entire country, and one could find them only in homes of rich Nigerians, government offices or some business organizations. By 2011, Nigeria had more than 65 million telephone subscribers and is now ranked as one of the fastest growing markets for mobile telephony in the world. Unless such surgical operations are carried out on the PHCN, there would never be respite for the present world of darkness in the country. Nigerians are desirous of having constant and uninterrupted electricity and will be grateful to any institution that guarantees that, be it from the Middle East, Europe, Asia or even Africa. The show of defiance from PHCN workers should not be allowed to stand against an idea which time has come. Like Margret Thatcher, President Goodluck Jonathan must face down any crowd not in consonance with the wishes of Nigerians.

Sport Extra

Olympics fallout: Ex-athlete rues GB coach’s stand-down post if Team GB failed to hit its target of winning eight track and field medals, including one gold. In total, Great Britain won six medals including four golds as dis-

tance runner Mo Farah (twice), heptathlete Jessica Ennis and long jumper Greg Rutherford topped the podium at London 2012. But Van Commenee will walk away from his

job when his contract expires this winter. “Charles came out with an interesting statement when he said that as hard as he’s been on the athletes, it would be wrong for him to say if

he didn’t hit the targets,” Campbell, who won gold in the 4x100m relay at the Athens Olympics in 2004, said, stressing, “He was a success and it’s a shame to hear that he’s standing down.”

Charles van Commenee

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012