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Sambo’s house: Suspects arrested on hospital bed

ACF, Tambuwal condemn violence during Ramadan P.5

Vol. 2 N0. 416

Abati, Okupe deny crisis in Jonathan’s media team

UK court orders Akingbola to refund N164bn P.5

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

N150

P.7

Subsidy fraud:

AGF withdraws charges against oil marketers Action in order, says EFCC

WALE IGBINTADE

JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT

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he office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, yesterday ordered the withdrawal of criminal charges filed against some oil subsidy fraud suspects before a Lagos High Court. Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson struck out suit N0-ID/117C/2012 instituted against Messrs Durosola Omogbenigun,

WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

ACN, PDP accuse Mimiko of using thugs against opponents P.13

Rocket propelled launchers and other arms intercepted by the Joint Task Force, JTF, at Daban Masara, a border town with Chad in Monguno Local Government of Borno State on Monday. See story on page 6.

Senate faults Okonjo-Iweala on budget implementation Insists on minister’s presence at session

Blair meets Jonathan, CAN President over insecurity

P.2 P.7

Dana crash: NAMA official recounts last-minute conversation with pilot P.4

Oduah


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Senate faults Okonjo-Iweala on budget implementation GEORGE ORJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he Senate has disagreed with the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the level of implementation of the 2012 Appropriation Act. While the minister had claimed at a press briefing last week that government had achieved a 56 per cent level of implementation of the Appropriation Act,

the Senate said yesterday that the records available to it from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation showed that only a disappointing 21.5 per cent implementation level has so far been achieved. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Ahmed Maccido, made the Senate’s position public at an interactive session between the joint Senate committees on appropriation, finance, planning and public accounts with the finance minister and representatives of the

finance ministry. Maccido said: “This is the third quarter of the budget year and we are at a loss as to the level of implementation of the 2012 Appropriation Act. “From the records available to us from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, only 21.5 per cent level of implementation has been achieved, while the minister said the level of implementation is 56 per cent. The Senate is not happy about this.” The Senate also yesterday insisted that Okonjo-Iweala

must appear before it on Thursday to explain government’s position on the budget implementation level. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who represented the Senate President David Mark while declaring open the planned interactive session, said that after due consultation with members of the joint committees, the Senate decided to adjourn the matter till tomorrow to enable the finance minister to be physically present, even if it means summoning her to explain some of the report-

L-R: Minister of Works , Architect Mike Onolememen; Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu; and Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson at the ongoing Nigeria Business and Investment Summit titled ‘’New World Nigeria – The World’s Most Vibrant Market’’ organised by the bank of Industry at the Dorchester Hotel, London, United Kingdom, yesterday.

AGF withdraws charges against suspects CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Peter Mba, Integrated Resources Limited and Pinnacle Oil and Gas respectively. “At the instance of the prosecution, the information having been withdrawn is struck out,” Justice Candide-Johnson ruled. At the resumed hearing of the suit, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, in an application dated July 26 brought pursuant to Section 73 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Law 2007 sought leave of the court to withdraw the charges. Oyedepo told the court that he received instructions from the AGF to withdraw the charges against the defendants. He said: “We have an information (a charge) dated July 20, 2012 before this court. I have

the instruction of the Attorney-General of the Federation to withdraw this information. The information has not been served on the defence. I urge the court to strike out the charges,” the EFCC counsel said. In a 10-pragraph affidavit attached to the application, deposed to by one Usani Francis, a prosecuting counsel with the EFCC, the antigraft agency stated that the charges preferred against the defendants were misconstrued by the prosecution and were inadvertently filed against the defendants. “That a review of the prosecution’s case and the evidence available to the prosecution clearly show that the defendants did not commit the offences for which they are charged,” he swore. The anti-graft body further added that withdrawing the charges

against the defendants would meet the interest of justice in the case. The spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told National Mirror last night that fresh formal charges would soon be preferred against the oil marketers. “The withdrawal of the charges against Pinnacle Oil and Gas Plc and others was deliberate. In the face of fresh evidence, the Commission felt the need to firm up the charges, fully convinced that it is better to consolidate the charges ahead of formal arraignment than to start making amendments thereafter,” Uwujaren said. The defendants were earlier charged with offences related to conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and use of false documents. They were alleged

to have forged bills of lading and other documents, with which they perpetrated the fraud. Specifically, Integrated Resources Limited and Omogbenigun were said to have obtained N823, 304,765.84 from the Federal Government on November 15, 2011, “by false pretence and with the intent to defraud.” The defendants allegedly claimed that the amount was subsidy money payable to Integrated Resources Limited under the Petrol Support Fund. The sum was said to be payment for Federal Government’s request for 9,190,815 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) cargo delivery. The EFCC said in the charge that the alleged offences contravene Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006.

ed contradictory positions credited to her on the issue. Not even the presence of the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, who came to represent Okonjo-Iweala at the interactive session and that of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim Pius, could persuade the Senate to change its insistence on the physical presence of the finance minister. It was learnt that OkonjoIweala travelled to London to represent President Goodluck Jonathan at an investment forum and she was scheduled to be back today. In his remarks before calling off the event, Ekweremadu said the executive arm of government had blamed the non-performance of the budget on alleged tinkering with the document by the National Assembly. Ekweremadu said what they had wanted to do yesterday was to get the executive to explain what the tinkering was about. “Let us hear and let the people of Nigeria hear what the National Assembly did to the budget that made it impossible for it to be implemented so that our committee chairmen here would have the opportunity of responding,” Ekweremadu said. The Deputy Senate President added that it was not enough for the executive or the Minister of Finance to continue to accuse the National Assembly of tampering with the budget and making it impossible for it to be implemented. The lawmaker explained that this informed the decision to call for the interactive session where the press would be the arbiter. “They (press) will listen to the lawmakers and the executive and then know where any of the arms of government went wrong on the matter. “And at the end of the day, if there are areas that the National Assembly should be blamed and the Nigerian public should hear and if they have response from the National Assembly, the Senate’s appropriate committees should also respond,” he said. With the stage set, and the absence of the minister, Ekweremadu said the Senate was worried about Okonjo-Iweala’s action and that it would be absolutely

impossible for the upper legislative chamber to go ahead with the dialogue in the absence of the coordinating minister for the economy. Ekweremadu said: “We had expected the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy to be here today because she is central to all that we are going to discuss here today. “As our chairman on appropriation had mentioned, this matter was supposed to be discussed last week but the minister was unavoidably absent. “We learnt that she went to Asaba to declare open a SURE-P. We consider our meeting with her on an issue that has to do with budget implementation to be more important than any other assignment. “Today, we have also been told that she’s gone to London to represent the President at an investment forum for which we know there are other ministers and government officials that could as well have done that to enable her to be here with us this afternoon. So, it is regrettable that she is not here. “I recall that when the 2012 budget was presented to us as a draft bill, we in the National Assembly decided that we would ensure that we send it back to the executive the way it came, so that there will be no argument on whether it will be implemented or not “Over the years we’ve had this issue of non- implementation of the budget, and the reason or whatever reason they give surrounds the area of National Assembly input, so we decided that we are going to make minimal input if there’s need to make any input at all. “So, on the basis of this, we returned the budget the way it came and even when we identified the areas in which some adjustments needed to be made, we had to bend over at the risk of being accused of tampering with the budget. “We had to do that to ensure that they received the budget the way and manner they wanted it so that the implementation would be much easier. “Unfortunately, the level of implementation has been anything less than commendable and that’s why we are worried,” he said.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Photo News

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Member, Board of trustees, Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Mr. Akin Ajayi; Director of Events and Sponsorship, Globacom, Mr. Bode Opeseitan, Chairman, Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel and Chief Executive Officer, Lumina Foundation, Mrs. Ogochukwu Promise, at the press briefing on 2012 edition of Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa sponsored by Globacom in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Nigerian High Commissioner to the Uk, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida; Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Ms. Evelyn Oputu and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at the high level Trade and Investment Summit on Nigeria in London. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Head of Marketing, MultiChoice Nigeria,Mr. Akinola Salu; the best active Subscriber, Mr. and Mrs. Akinbiyi Taiwo; Branch Corodinators, Surulere branch, Mirian Anyakie and Mrs. Bisi Akinsanya, during the Knock and drop with gift on offer Road shows in Lagos yesterday.

L-R: Director General, Standard Organization of Nigeria, Dr Joseph Odumodu; Head, Cooperate Affairs, Mr. Mathias Bassey and Chief Executive Officer, Cooperate Social Responsibility Company, Austria, Mr. Martin Neureiter, during the National Workshop on ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social responsibility, in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

National News

Dana crash: NAMA official recounts tower, pilot last minutes conversation FRANCIS FAMOROTI

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n Air Traffic Controller with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Mr. Rafiq Olubukola Arogunjo yesterday told a Lagos State Coroner’s Court conducting inquest into the June 3 Dana air crash, details of the last 15 minutes conversation with the pilot before the plane crashed at Iju-Ishaga area of the state. Testifying at the resumed proceedings of the inquest, Arogunjo said he received a distress call from the pilot of the ill-fated plane at 3.42pm, adding that three minutes later, the aircraft went off the radar. He told the presiding magistrate, Mr. Alexander Oyetade Komolafe that at the time he received the distress call, the plane was at 11 nautical miles (NM) to touch down adding that he had expected it would crash inside the airport and not in a residential area. Arogunjo explained that the distress call was eventually transferred to Aero-

…as CBN holds inter-faith service for staff, family members

drome Controller and this made the airport‘s emergency agencies, including fire services, search and rescue team and others to be on standby on the landing field. The Air Traffic Controller said before transferring the distress call, he spoke with the pilot, who complained that the aircraft had dual engine and throttle failure. In his evidence, Arogunjo said that prior to the distress call, the pilot was given descent to flight level 5000 feet and its arrival was expected on runway 18L for landing, but that two minutes later the pilot requested for approach on runway 18R and he was accordingly obliged. He said: “At 14.43 UTC (3.43p.m local time), I observed the aircraft on the radar with dropping speed and altitude. Then at 14.45 (3.45p.m), the aircraft went into coasted status, that is, fading from the scope, and later disappeared. “I informed the tower about this and few seconds

later, the tower said they could see the aircraft on the extended centreline of the runway with dark smoke.” Cross-examined on why the radar could not monitor the aircraft up till the time it crashed, the witness said: “What we have is terminal approach radar. It will not show the object on the ground. The one that will show objects on the ground is surveillance radar.” He however said that although NAMA officials have been training on the usage of the surveillance radar, it is not currently available in the country. Arogunjo said that an Ibadan-bound private helicopter volunteered to be vectored to the crash site for observation and assistance adding “although the location of the crash was not in doubt, we had the coordinates and we had passed it to other parties.” Dr. Oluwafemi Osanyintolu, the General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, who also testified at the proceedings said

his team got to the crash site early but the huge crowd on ground impeded access of the rescue operations. He told the court that emergency agencies on ground, including firemen, Rapid Respond Squad, ambulance men, officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, and policemen, also had challenges to access the site immediately they got there because of the surging crowd. He said this made the team to notify the state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who deployed the Disaster Rescue Unit of the Nigerian Army to the site to render assistance to the rescue agencies. Proceedings at the court are expected to continue today. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday in Abuja, held interfaith service for eight staff and five family members of staff, who lost their lives in the plane crash. Some of the eight CBN staff involved are Amiaka

Rapheal and Antonia Attu, senior managers; Bamaiyi Adamu, a senior supervisor and Falmata Kur Muhammed, an assistant director. Others, who are family members of CBN staff, were Alhaji Shehu Usman, Mrs Thelma Mojekwu, Dr Elizabeth Omukuzua, Mrs. Ruth Wasa and her daughter, Hope. Speaking at the occasion, CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said that “June 3 is a day that will be hard for the bank and the country to forget.” He said it was unfortunate that such a thing happened to the country. “This kind of situation reminds us of our transit on earth. I was on that same plane few days before the incident and we witnessed lost altitude while trying to land and people were crying. “I remember saying that the aircraft was not good. Let us remember that as we do what we do in life, fighting, backbiting and the likes, that death is by the

corner. “It could be anyone of us. The death of our loved ones should be a lesson for us as we do everything,” he said. The CBN boss further advised those in charge of protecting lives and property to strive to live up to expectations. The apex bank presented wreath of honour to representatives of the deceased.

Nigerian Compass Editor’s car recovered

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ess than 48 hours after the car of the editor of the Nigerian Compass, Gabriel Akinadewo, was snatched by robbers, it was recovered yesterday. The Toyota Avensis car was abandoned by the robbers at Kollington Bus Stop, Alagbado, on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. Policemen moved the car to the Alakuko Police Station and later to Alausa Police Station where it was released to Akinadewo.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Sambo’s house: Suspects arrested on hospital bed TORDUE SALEM AND A ZA MSUE

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wo persons have been arrested by the police in Kaduna State over Monday’s gun attack on the residence of Vice President Namadi Sambo in Zaria. The two suspects were said to be part of the threeman gang that invaded the residence of the vice president on a motor bike, which led to the killing of a cobbler. Two policemen guarding the house were also injured during an exchange of gunfire. The state’s acting Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Abubakar Balteh, confirmed the arrest, adding that one of the suspects was arrested in a hospital where he had gone to treat himself of gunshot wounds received during the attack He said that the suspect was identified by one of the injured policemen, who was in the same hospital, receiving treatment. He noted that once identified, the suspect was arrested and during interrogation, he named other members of the gang that carried out the attack. He said: “One of the suspects, who sustained gunshot wounds during the gun battle with the policemen

guarding the house, was identified on a hospital bed by one of the injured policemen and he was arrested immediately. “Also one of the policemen was able to identify one of the four robbery suspects we arrested this morning (yesterday) in Zaria as one of the suspects in the house attack, one of the robbery suspects was killed in a crossfire by our men.” Balteh, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), also disclosed that the police smashed a four-man robbery gang in Zaria, killing one and arresting the other three, pointing out that one of those arrested is a suspect in the attack on the vice president’s family residence. “We strongly believed that they are the ones who attacked the residence of the vice president in Zaria on Monday. There are two suspects as soon as the police division in Zaria send them to the state command, we can parade them but for now they are in Zaria. “We also arrested four persons in connection with armed robbery cases in Zaria too today,” he said. The situation around the vice president’s residence remained tense yesterday, even as renovation work remained skeletal with heavy security operatives

stationed around the area for fear of more attacks. Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday described the suicide bombings and gun attacks in Kaduna, Sokoto and Yobe states during the holy month of Ramadan as shocking and horrific. In a message sent to National Mirror, the forum’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, said the holy month of Ramadan should be used for sober reflection, reconciliation and forgiveness. The ACF message reads in part: “The reported bombings in Sokoto, Yobe and Zaria have come to ACF as a shock and hor-

ror, precisely because Ramadan period is for sober reflections, a period for reconciliation and forgiveness that come with purification and total submission to the will of God.” The ACF also called on those responsible for the incessant killings in the country to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue. “ACF calls on those who enjoy violation of individual lives to please stop, lay down their arms and embrace dialogue. This is because killing themselves in order to kill others can never bring about peace, let alone to address their concerns or grievances.

More so that the mood of the nation does not support violence as means of addressing perceived grievances. May the souls of those who lost their lives rest in peace,” it said. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has condemned the latest attacks in parts of the country. The Speaker in a statement issued yesterday, signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, regretted that the attacks came during the holy month of Ramadan. Tambuwal said: “The acts of terror visited on the

towns were unfortunate. The attacks, which occurred during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, were disappointing and meant to distract the people who have busied themselves in the worship of Allah.” He urged security agencies not to be deterred by such attacks, noting that recent gains recorded against the terror groups in the North should be built upon in order to protect the citizens at all times. He also urged all groups with grievances against the state to stop further attacks forthwith and embrace the offer of dialogue made by the Federal Government.

President Goodluck Jonathan (right) and the former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, during the courtesy visit to the presidential villa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

UK court orders Akingbola to refund N164bn FRANCIS FAMOROTI

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he embattled former Managing Director and Chief Executive of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola was yesterday ordered by a London High Court to refund about N164bn to Access Bank Plc. Delivering the verdict of the Queen’s’ Bench division in London, Justice Burton directed that Akingbola should refund the funds being proceeds of unlawful share purchase scheme. The court said that the fund was misappropriated and converted into personal use by the ex-bank chief. The refunds include N145bn in respect of an Unlawful Share Purchase Scheme; N16bn in respect of payments made to his companies in the Tropics

group and about £10.5m in respect of money illegaly transferred to the law firm Fuglers Solicitors in London. In the 66-page judgment, the court said there was incontrovertible evidence that Akingbola converted the funds of Access Bank. Akingbola, who is one of the bank chief executives removed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in August 2009 is currently standing trial at an Ikeja High Court on charges of defrauding the defunct Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank ) about N47bn. Access Bank had dragged Akingbola to the London court along with five companies namely, Kayman Company Ltd, Verndale Properties Ltd, Jasmine Properties Ltd, Caelum Ltd and Sanami Ltd seeking recovery of the

funds. Access Bank had in the suit linked the collapse of the Intercontinental Bank to Akingbola’s activities and untoward financial dealings. Specifically, it claimed that the collapse of Intercontinental Bank was due to very substantial loss after taxation in the period up to September 2009 of approximately N321bn, the equivalent of about £1.3bn, at the material exchange rate, being approximately N250 to the pound and the consequence that the bank could no longer survive as a free-standing bank and had to be acquired and merged into the Claimant. Prior to its collapse, IB was one of Nigeria’s top four banks, it employed some 20,000 people and it had about 350 branches. The Court held that Akingbola

devised and oversaw the implementation of the strategy to buy the bank’s shares. In its judgment, the London court found Akingbola guilty of misappropriation of the bank’ funds. Akingbola was found to have misappropriated another £8.5m which was paid to his English solicitors to complete the purchase of luxury properties in London in his name. The Court also found under cross examination that Akingbola told “obvious lies” that he did not know that the bank was buying its own shares. It was discovered that shortly before the implementation of the strategy to increase the bank’s share price with the intent of benefitting from the unethical and illegal scheme and also that Akingbola had borrowed the sum of N9.3bn

to purchase a large quantity of the Bank’s shares for himself. The Court held that the illegal share purchase scheme substantially contributed to the collapse of the erstwhile Intercontinental Bank. Part of the judgment reads; “Although the Defendant denies that there was, and/or in any event that he was part of, any such unlawful share scheme, it is common ground that the shares in question (colloquially called, as will be seen, “the shares in the box”) amounted to at least 3.7 billion shares, purchased for, and consequently valued at, N140,969,395,021. It is not materially in dispute that the Claimant’s resultant claim, after various credits and debits, is (as appears in paragraph 92 below) N144, 992,748,108. On the Tropics Pay-

ments Claim, the court said: ‘’This relates to a total sum of N18,684,500,000 (approximately £68m) in respect of monies paid away by the Claimant to, or to the benefit of, various companies in the Tropics Group, of which, as set out in paragraph 2 above, the Defendant was a director, and which he, and/or his wife or family, directly or indirectly owned, between 11 May and 26 June 2009. According to the court: ‘’I am satisfied beyond any doubt that the N16bn was extracted from the Bank in May/June 2009 without lawful justification, and was paid to Tropics, not by way of reimbursement in respect of the purchase of shares, but to assist Tropics with its substantial indebtedness, much if not all of which was guaranteed by the Defendant.’’


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National News

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

JTF kills two insurgents, intercepts eight rocket launchers INUSA NDAHI

•Boko Haram claims responsibility for attacks on Sambo’s residence, Sokoto

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statement last night taht the JTF, in conjunction with the Department of State Services, DSS, Multi National Joint Task Force and other security agencies, intercepted large consignment of arms and ammunition including eight Rocket Propelled Launchers at Daban Masara in Monguno Local Government Area of the state based on intelligence report. He said: “The incident happened about 9pm on Monday, 30 July, 2012, during which two suspected

MAIDUGURI

he Joint Task Force, JTF, otherwise called Operation Restore Order yesterday recovered eight rocket launchers among other equipment of mass destruction from the dreaded Boko Haram sect in Borno State.

According to the task force, two members of the sect were killed during the interception. The JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, said in a

Boko Haram terrorists escorting the consignment were killed in an exchange of fire.” Musa said the large consignment was being moved by the sect members from Baga/Daban Masara heading towards Maiduguri in a blue Hilux vehicle with registration number NGU19XA. He gave the details of the consignment inside the vehicle to include eight rocket launchers, 10 rocket bombs, 10 rocket chargers, two AK

47 rifles, 13 magazines with six rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and a Bank PHB ATM card. The JTF reinstated its appeal to the public to provide useful information to security agencies to stop the spate of isolated killings in the state. Meanwhile, the Boko Haram sect yesterday claimed responsibility for Monday’s attacks on police formations in Sokoto. This was contained in an email statement sent to jour-

nalists in Maiduguri. The statement, signed by the sect’s spokesman, Abul Qaqa said: “All praises go to Almighty Allah. This is a very important message from the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad. “We wish to extend our profound gratitude to Almighty Allah for giving us the opportunity to fulfil the promise we made on launching spontaneous attacks in Sokoto. “We have reasons for all

our activities and we only kill those who wronged us. We attacked Sokoto because many of our brethren have been incarcerated there. We are gladdened by the successes we recorded at the office of the AIG in Marina and the police divisional office at Unguwan Rogo as well as the police station at Arkila. “We wish to reiterate that our crusade is not for personal gain; it is meant to ensure the establishment of an Islamic state by liberating all Muslims from the excesses of the infidels”.

NASS to fix ex-Presidents, others’ allowances TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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New Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs (SSAP), Dr. Doyin Okupe (left), with the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, briefing State House Correspondents on the appointment of the SSAP in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

54 investors bid for 11 power distribution firms –BPE UDEME AKPAN

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he Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, said it had received technical and financial proposals from 54 potential investors interested in taking over the ownership of the country’s 11 electricity distribution companies. The firms are: Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Jos Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Plc and Yola Electricity Distribution Company Plc. The BPE spokesman, Mr. Chukwuma Nwokoh, disclosed this in a statement. He said: “In keeping

with the timeline for the privatisation of the distribution companies created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, the BPE on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 received technical and financial proposals from 54 potential investors interested in the privatisation exercise. “It would be recalled that the revised timeline had July 31, 2012 as dead-

line for receipt of technical and financial bids from the potential investors.” A breakdown showed that five unnamed firms showed interest in Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc, seven showed interest in Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, four indicated interest in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc. Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc has

nine, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc (seven), Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (10), Jos Electricity Distribution Company Plc (two), Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company Plc (two), Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc (two), Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Plc (three) and Yola Electricity Distribution Company Plc (three).

PIB: Senate will accept private member bills –Ndoma-Egba GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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he Senate has said it was not averse to receiving private member bills on the contentious Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which it received from President Goodluck Jonathan on July 19. It promised to subject such bills to the same legislative processes. The Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, said this yesterday during the “Briefing on the Status of

Bills, Motions, Confirmations and Sundry Legislative Measures of the Senate from June 18, 2012 to July 19, 2012,” by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Ita Enang. The briefing intended to highlight the achievements made by the upper chamber between June and July. Responding to an enquiry on the existence of other versions of the PIB before the Senate, NdomaEgba noted that, “Having two bills on the same subject-matter in the Senate is not strange. If there is any

Ndoma Egba

other version of the PIB by senators, it is not before us, but if senators bring their own PIB, they will be subjected to the same procedure like every other bill”.

he National Assembly is tinkering with a law to empower it to fix allowances for its principal officers, former Heads of State, and Chief Justices of Nigeria. The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, at present solely fixes the allowances for the former leaders without recourse to the National Assembly. But the bill sponsored by Hon. Albert Sam-Tsokwa (PDP/Taraba) and 21 others and entitled: “An Act to Provide Remuneration of former Presidents, Heads of Federal Legislative Houses and Chief Jus-

tices of the Federation,” seeks to change that. The bill proposes in its Section 1(a) that: “As from the commencement of this Act, all former Presidents, shall be paid such amount as shall be recommended from time to time by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission and approved by the National Assembly as up-keep allowance in addition to the pension entitlement under the 1999 Constitution, and entitled to the perquisites of office as shall be recommended by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission from time to time for approval by the National Assembly.”

Jonathan to attend Mills’ burial on Aug 10 ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said a high-powered delegation from Nigeria would attend the August 10 burial of the late President John Attah Mills of Ghana while an official delegation would be sent to convey the country’s condolence before the burial. The funeral rites of Mills begin on August 8. The rites of passage will end with interment on August 10. Jonathan spoke at the State House when received a five-man delegation from Ghanaian President, John Dramane Mahama, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Muhammad Mumun, who came to officially inform him of Mills’ death and arrangements for his burial. He said: “I was shocked

and sad when I heard of the passing away of my brother, President John Atta Mills.” Jonathan assured Mahama of Nigeria’s continued support and cooperation, saying that “Nigeria will continue to work with Ghana. We will continue to consult on bilateral, regional, continental and global issues”. Speaking with State House correspondents after he delivered a special message from Mahama, Munmuni said that the visit was in accordance with the revered African customs and tradition to formally announce to Jonathan the demise of Mills and an invitation to attend the burial. Munmuni recalled that Mills had a good working relation and very good chemistry with President Jonathan, adding that they consulted on issues of national, regional, continental interest.


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National News

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Policeman goes berserk, shoots two colleagues

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policeman at the Michika divisional headquarters in Adamawa State was yesterday shot dead after shooting two of his colleagues who are now receiving treatment in the hospital, police spokesman, Muhammed Ibrahim, said. An eye witness had told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Michika that the incident occurred around 7.00 am yesterday when the policeman, identified as Abba Gana, opened fire on his colleagues. Confirming the incident to NAN, the command’s spokesperson, a deputy superintendent, said an inspector and a constable were shot in the incident. He said the policeman,

who resisted arrest, had been shot dead with the assistance of men of the Adamawa special antirobbery patrol, ‘Operation Tsaro.’ “It’s an unfortunate incident this morning, one of our policemen who signed for a rifle for duty, turned around and opened fire on his colleagues who are now receiving treatment in the hospital,” Ibrahim said. Ibrahim also confirmed the attack by suspected gunmen on Mugulvu police outpost in Mubi South Local Government Area on Monday. He said the men, who attacked the outpost using explosives, were repelled by the police who succeeded in killing one of them.

President holds talk with Blair ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday held talks with former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, before travelling out of the country to Trinidad and Tobago. Blair came to the Presidential Villa accompanied by some British officials. Details of the closeddoor meeting were not disclosed but sources close to the meeting said discussion borders on the security challenges in the country and possible ways to tackle the menace, among other

issues. Blair declined to speak on the issues discussed when he was approached for an interview by State House Correspondents shortly after he came out of the meeting. Blair simply said, ‘not now, not now.’ He walked to a waiting car and was driven out of the Presidential Villa. The former Prime Minister also met the president of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor yesterday in Abuja to discuss security issues affecting Nigeria.

Eight die, four injured in Jigawa auto crash

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t least eight persons were killed in a ghastly motor accident involving a passenger bus and a trailer on the Shuaring-Azare highway in Jigawa yesterday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four other persons also sustained injuries in the accident. An eyewitness, Mr. Auwal Musa, told NAN that the accident occurred at about 2.00 pm when a passenger bus and a trailer collided. Musa said the bus with registration number XX 333 KJA, skidded off the road and ran into an ap-

proaching oil tanker after one of its tyres had exploded. He said that the trailer with registration number XA 300 FKA crushed the passenger bus before plunging into a sand dune by the road side. The eyewitness said the eight people died on the spot while four others who sustained injuries were rushed to the General Hospital, Kiyawa. The Principal Medical Officer the hospital, Dr Isa Muntari, who confirmed the crash said the wounded passengers were currently receiving treatment at the hospital.

L-R: Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; former Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan and the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, during the 2007-2011 graduation ceremony and special awards of the Lagos State technical colleges in Lagos, yesterday.

Bank robberies: IGP urges due diligence in staff recruitment OMEIZA AJAYI

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mid growing cases of violent attacks on banks by criminal gangs in some parts of the country, the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, has cautioned chief executive officers of banks and other financial institutions to observe due diligence in staff recruitment so as to avoid cases whereby members of such gangs are employed. Abubakar, who met with the Committee of Chief Security Officers of banks and other Financial Institutions in Abuja yesterday, urged banks in the country to be circumspect in their recruitment drive even as he advised them to refrain

from entertaining media enquiries unilaterally. “I believe that when there are bank robberies, we should partner with you through our public relations department so as not to allow the media to just write anyhow. Even when you must react to media enquiries, it should be on a need-to-know basis. “If we issue a statement jointly, that statement should stand for both sides”, the IGP cautioned; adding that giving out details of such robberies could be destructive. On the late Monday bomb attacks on some police formations in Sokoto State, Mr. Abubakar said the nation’s security chiefs had earlier met yesterday at the instance of

President Goodluck Jonathan, promising that government will continue to evolve proactive measures to stem the tide. He, however, expressed concern over the increasing wave of bomb and gun attacks on banks. “In view of the security challenges in the country, we have to begin to think more proactively not just for the banks but their staff too. Most banks are saying, give us mobile police but mobile policemen are essentially riot policemen. So, we are going to see the possibility of using our specially trained unit (the ones with the police blue caps) in guarding the banks. Most times in order to cut coast, you recruit local security guards who

are usually too old for the rigours of the job. This is not good enough,” he stated. The inspector-general also urged banks to acquire modern bullion vans and as well conduct a background security check on companies which they intend to use in procuring such vans. In a related development, Mr. Abubakar has restated the commitment of the force to scale up efforts at meeting public expectation in crime control. Abubakar spoke at the ‘Connecting with our Communities’ seminar for commissioners of police organised by the Department for International Development (DfID) and Justice for All, in Abuja yesterday.

No friction in Jonathan’s media management team– Abati ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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pecial Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati and newly appointed Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, yesterday at a joint press briefing said there was no conflict of friction in their separate duties in the information management of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. They said that they

would work harmoniously to ensure the good image of the President and the Presidency before Nigerians and the general public and also change whatever wrong perception the people have about the Jonathan administration. While formally introducing Okupe to State House Correspondents, Abati said the press briefing was to clear the air on a lot of speculations in the media about the recent appointment of Okupe as Senior Special

Abati

Assistant to the President on Public Affairs. Abati maintained that there was no friction in the media management in the Presidency. His words: “In the last

few days, there have been speculations out there in the media; all kinds of theory, all kinds of assumptions on whether there is friction in the villa, whether there is confusion in terms of the President’s information management process.” “I know there will be all kinds of interests who will like to give an impression that they are fighting in the villa; that they are confused, that they have Reuben Abati, why do they need to have Dr. Okupe again.”


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6, 467 graduate from Lagos technical colleges MURITALA AYINLA

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bout 6,467 students of Lagos State government technical colleges yesterday graduated from the scheme after successfully completing their training in 370 different vocations, just as the state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, commissioned an ultra modern Samsung Engineering Academy for training of youths. Governor Fashola used the occasion to reaffirm his administration’s

commitment to investing massively in the establishment of vocational trainings to reduce unemployment and drive the state’s economy. He said that the era in which vocational skills training are seen as inferior education has gone for good as only the people with such skills could meet the needs of the society today. Speaking at the graduation ceremony and special awards ceremony held at the school premises in Agidingbi, Ikeja, the governor described

the event as a landmark achievement for the state government toward driving the state’s economy through reduction of over dependence on university degrees which in most cases do not match the demands of the society. While urging the graduands to be honest so as not to betray the trust of their prospective clients, Fashola said the dearth of people with technical know-how has contributed to the unemployment situation in the country; a situation he said has

made foreign technicians take over some jobs in the country. He stressed the need for the trainees to see themselves as an important element of the society. The governor, who later presented the graduands with their certificates, however, urged them not to relent in furthering their education up to university level, saying it will improve on their capacity and horizon to be relevant in the scheme of things. He commended Samsung on the establishment

of the technologically equipped engineering academy and expressed optimism that it will go a long way in impacting on the technical and engineering skills of youths in the state. Governor Fashola added that the partnership with the electronic company was aimed at empowering the youths to acquire skills that will make them self-reliance, adding that education is the bedrock of any country’s technological development. Earlier, in his remarks,

the Managing Director of Samsung Electronics, West Africa, Mr. Nicholas Shin, said the academy was part of the company’s vision of manpower development among youths in Africa, who will be trained to maintain and service its range of products. He added that the academy, like its counterparts in Kenya and South Africa, will after providing training, present trainees with an opportunity to work in any of the company or become self-employed.

Aregbesola approves new council for University of Osun

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L-R: Registrar, University of Ibadan, Mr. Olujimi Olukoya; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Academics, Prof. Idowu Olayinka; DVC Administration, Prof. Arionla Sanya; Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adewole and guest lecturer, Prof. Olabode Lucas, at the inauguration of first Environmental Health Sciences Lecture in Nigeria, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Customs arrests alien over stolen car

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27-year-old man from Benin Republic has been arrested by men of the Oyo/Osun Command of the Nigeria Customs Service while trying to take a stolen car out of the country. Parading him before journalists in Ibadan yesterday, the Customs Area Commander, Mr. Amade Abdul, said the suspect was a trusted security guard working for the owner of the car in Kano. Abdul said the suspect was caught by men of his command at the weekend at Saki, a border town with Benin Republic, while driving the car. According to him, the car is a Chevrolet with Kano registration number AG 189 GRZ. He said the suspect

could not provide the registration papers of the car while he was unable give a satisfactory answer about its ownership. The area commander said a search conducted on the vehicle’s interior by his men led to the discovery of a bank teller bearing the name and phone number of the owner. He said a call made to the number resulted in the owner confirming that he had been searching for the car while the suspect was a security guard at his house in Kano. Further investigation, he said, showed that the suspect came to Nigeria about four years ago and had been shuttling between the country and Benin. The customs chief said

the suspect had gained the confidence and trust of the car owner so much that he left his house in his care whenever he travelled. Abdul said it was after his employer left for his last trip recently that the

suspect used the opportunity to steal the car. He said arrangement had been concluded by his command to hand over the suspect and the stolen car to the Oyo State Police Command for further investigation.

sun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday approved the reconstitution of the council of the University of Osun (UNIOSUN), the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere, has said. According to a statement issued by the commissioner and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo, the seven-member council has Prof. G.A Olawoyin (SAN) as Chairman. Other members of the council are; Mr. Remi Olowude, Prof. Akinyinka Omigbodun, Prof. G. A. Adegboyega, Prof. Obafemi Ajibola, Sir Ademola Aladekomo and Dr Abeke Omotosho. Statutory members of the governing council are the vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellor

and four representatives of the university’s senate. Members of the governing council also included one representative of the university alumni, one representative of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance. NAN reports that the current Deputy ViceChancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunde, has been appointed as the acting vice-chancellor to replace Prof. Sola Akinrinade. According to the statement, the appointment of the seven members will be for four years while the statutory members will vacate their membership as soon as they leave their positions.

Ekiti teachers on rural posting may get special allowance

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eachers posted to rural areas in Ekiti State may get a special allowance, Chairman of the state Universal Basic Education Board, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, has said. Adelabu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that the resolve to pay special allowance to rural teachers was borne out of the need to appreciate the peculiarities associated with rural setting.

She said though public service posting was a routine exercise, there was need to compensate teachers posted to rural areas in view of the effect on dependants. Adelabu said contrary to the impression in some quarters, the state government was teacher-friendly and was ready to uplift the teaching profession. She said 1, 953 primary school teachers had been promoted while pledging that all others due would

be accommodated in the next phase. Besides, she said government had also designed a programme under which all dilapidated structures in the state’s public schools would be rehabilitated within the next seven weeks. She urged all teaching and non-teaching staff in public schools to embrace the education policies of government by shunning indolence and being dedicated to their duties.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Political coverage: NBC threatens to sanction Ondo broadcast stations HAKEEM GBADAMOSI

AKURE

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he National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, said it might be forced to sanction some radio and television stations in Ondo State for violating the political coverage rule. The NBC Director-General, Mr. Yomi Bolarinwa, issued the threat yesterday at a media parley in Akure, the state capital. Bolarinwa said the approach being adopted by some stations in the state to broadcast political events and issues fell far below international ethical standard. He said: “As the regulator of the industry, we are determined to be firm in the enforcement of the broadcast rules, no matter whose ox is gored.” Bolarinwa said the actions of the stations were capable of inciting the public against the government with their imbalance reports and programmes “full of innuendos” and the use of abusive language. He said: “In line with the universal best practices, practitioners and stakeholders in the broadcast industry, following its deregulation in 1992, collectively agreed that the content of

every radio and television broadcast shall be guided by the principles of fairness, truthfulness, decency and high integrity. “We resolved that broadcasting in Nigeria shall match the best in the world, uphold human dignity, inform, educate and entertain our people in a matter that is ennobling. “Unfortunately, our experience in Ondo State in recent times has been heartbreaking with broadcasters who should know better, offering their channels for these violations without any sign of remorse. “For instance, despite the Electoral Law which allows 90 days for political campaigns in the media, some stations in the state started running campaign jingles in excess of 60 seconds since August 2011. “From August 2011, which is 11 months ahead of the stipulated date and now, we have witnessed with shock, the complete disregard for broadcast rules by some stations in the state. “The political jingles are in excess of 60 seconds full of language that is abusive and inciting while the airwave is charged with indecent and unacceptable rhetoric, innuendoes, euphemism, and metaphors.”

L-R: Deaconess Oyenike Ayeni, Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, President, Council of the Institute of Information and Records Management of Nigeria, Dr. Jide Ayeni and Secretary, Alhaji Abolade Wasiu, at the presentation of award of Fellow of the Institute to the governor in Lagos, yesterday.

2012 budget: Senators will frustrate Jonathan’s impeachment - Akintola Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, yesterday said that the House of Representatives’ threat to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan would be frustrated by senators backing him. The legal luminary, who spoke with journalists in Ibadan, said Jonathan knew that members of the National Assembly were weak and would only make noise to attract attention. Akintola said the President did not need to lose sleep over the threat by the House of Representatives to impeach him, adding

that he had strong backers in the Senate. He said: “The House of Representatives alone cannot impeach the President; it is quite unfortunate that the Senate is part of the problem. The senators backslap him. Members of the House of Representatives are young and want to put things right. Senate and Mr President know what it is. We are not there yet; we are far. We have left Egypt but we are not there yet, as we are still groping in the wilderness.” Akintola said that by not implementing the 2012 budget, Jonathan was toeing the paths of past presidents

to pay outstanding debt owed the petitioner. The judgment was sequel to a Motion on Notice brought pursuant to O.13

R and 0.20 of the High Court State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

ABIODUN NEJO

tion, for the injection of about $33m into the project. He said the housing units would comprise 300 two-bedroom bungalows at the cost of N4.5m each, 500 three-bedroom bungalows which will go for N5.5m each, and 200 duplexes worth N12m each. According to him, work is ongoing on the Ire Brick Industry, where he said no fewer than 500 youths would be engaged when the company was fully revamped and ready to begin operation. Osinkolu, who lamented the poor industrial development of the state, assured of the government’s readiness to give tax relief to any intending investor in Ekiti.

KEMI OLAITAN, IBADAN

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Firm asks court to declare G Cappa bankrupt WALE IGBINTADE

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firm, Eurotech Aluminium Limited, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to wind-up a construction company, G Cappa and declared the company insolvent following the inability of the construction company to pay N46.3m judgment debt. In a petition written to the court signed by counsel to the petitioner, Mr. Wale Adesokan, the applicant/ petitioner urged the court to appoint liquidator to supervise the winding-up process in order to pay the debt and interest as ordered by the court. A 13-pragraph affidavit in support of the petition, deposed to by one Oluwole James, an accountant in the petitioner’s firm, said the petitioner in suit No: LD/1786/06 instituted against G Cappa before Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi

of a Lagos High Court obtained judgment in its favour in the sum of N48,823, 239.59. The counsel said that upon receipt of the judgment, the petitioner’s erstwhile counsel, Chinedu Ezemmaduka, visited the General Manager of G Cappa and served him a copy. Besides, he added that the petitioner was only able to recover N2,500,827.09 from the respondent’s bankers, leaving a balance of N46,322, 412. 50. He added that by a letter dated April 11, 2012, the petitioner’s solicitor wrote to the respondent making demand for liquidation of the indebtedness since the company had failed to pay the undisputed judgment of the court. Justice Olateru-Olagbegi had in his judgment dated October 28, 2009, entered judgment against G Cappa and ordered it

Company plans N4bn housing estate in Ekiti ADO EKITI

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ountain Holdings, a Public-Private Partnership company is proposing a N4bn housing estate in Ado-Ekiti to address accommodation problems in Ekiti State. The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Olusegun Osinkolu, who disclosed that some interested partners had already shown interest in the project, said it would involve construction of 1,000 low-cost housing units. Osinkolu told journalists in Ado-Ekiti yesterday that the organisation had already secured the commitment of a foreign partner, J.D. Forbes Incorpora-

in the country. He added that no Federal Government had ever fully implemented the budget passed by the National Assembly. He said: “Non-implementation of the budget is not a new thing; they have been doing it the way they like as the lawmakers do not know what is right. For instance, there are many breaches by the Federal Government and yet nothing is being done to correct them.”

On the inability of Jonathan’s administration to make meaningful impact on the country’s development, Akintola said the President had done badly as his activities were disastrous. “People,” he said, “canvassed and voted for him but in voting for him, the votes were misplaced as we did not get it right in voting for him. President Jonathan does not understand the political arithmetic of this country.”

Ajimobi orders ministries to repair roads, bridges

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yo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has directed the Ministries of Works, Environment and Physical Planning to embark on minor repairs of some of the bridges damaged by the recent flood to reduce the hardship being faced by the residents. The Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde, disclosed this yesterday while addressing journalists shortly after inspecting some road and bridge projects under construction within the Ibadan metropolis. Flood, which attended the recent heavy rain, damaged some roads and bridges across the state but more importantly, in Ibadan, the state capital. Akintunde said that the ministries were expected to carry out minor repairs on the roads and bridges due to the raining season, pending the commencement of major works on the infrastructure. The commissioner said that government would not relent in its efforts to upgrade the infrastructural fa-

cilities in the state to ensure the well-being of the people. He said: “We are trying to upgrade infrastructural facilities in Oyo State. We have just shown you an integral number of the wonders the government is performing in Oyo State.” Akintunde restated government’s desire to ensure that any project embarked upon would be completed within record time, adding that all the projects inherited by the last administration would also be completed. He expressed satisfaction with the level of work done by the contractors handling the various projects inspected, urging them to ensure speedy completion. In their various comments, the residents of Ajibode, Alfonso, Iwo Road, Ogbere Babanla areas of Ibadan commended the Ajimobi administration for the rehabilitation of roads and reconstruction of bridges in their respective areas, saying that they had never witnessed such quality of jobs being done.


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Orji threatens to prosecute corrupt officials GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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bia State governor, Dr Theodore Orji, yesterday threatened to arrest and hand over any official of the state found wanting for any fraudulent activities to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Governor Orji, who also threatened to sack such official, has directed the state commissioners to close all ministries’ accounts which they have opened to deposit funds meant for the state government treasury with immediate effect. He said there were indi-

ces of dwindling Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and over dependence on federal allocation, asking the officials to go home and think about the blueprint on how to increase the revenue of the state apart from the revenue coming from the Ariaria market in Aba, the commercial centre of the state. The governor said he has evidences that nine of the state’s revenue generating ministries have been pocketing all the revenue they were generating instead of remitting same to the state’s coffers. The ministries he said include: Ministries of Health, Environment,

Commerce and Industry, Lands, Urban Renewal, Agriculture, Transport, Public Utilities and Finance; alleging that all those touts that were engaged as revenue collectors be stopped forthwith. The governor said the fraudulent activities and incompetence of the revenue collectors forced the state government to engage the services of a consultant, adding that ‘any other revenue collector in the state is illegal and should be disengaged immediately.’ He said that the commissioners have turned Ariaria market into their personal revenue collection

centre, imposing different taxes on traders rather than looking into the various industries that are scattered in Aba and other parts of the state. The governor said the meeting was to address the dwindling revenue from the federal government, saying that the vandals who break oil pipelines on daily bases have made the revenue accruing to the state to reduce drastically. “Last month we received N3.4bn and last night I was with the accountant-general and the finance commissioner trying to disburse the money and pay salaries, not forgetting that the wage bill of the state is N2.5bn,

Mr. Paul Egwuatu (right), of Akannato Omor Rice group, receiving the cheque for their cooperative society, being part of the N1bn agricultural loan for farmers in the state from Governor Peter Obi at the Women Development Centre, Awka, yesterday.

Hospital pledges continuous training of neurosurgeons DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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emfys International Hospital for Neurosurgery in Enugu, has pledged to continue to assist in the training of medical students drawn from universities and colleges of medicine in the South-East. The students are those offering medicine, radiog-

raphy, physiotherapy and psychology. In addition, the hospital, adjudged a centre of excellence for brain and spine surgery in the continent, was said to have restored hope to thousands of their patients, who came for various types of treatment. Marking the 10th anniversary of the hospital, the Foundation President of African Federation of Neurosurgical Societies

(AFNS), Prof. Sam Ohaegbulam, said as the only accredited hospital in the South-East to run full training in neurosurgery, it has assisted colleges of medicine in universities and in specialist hospitals in the geo-political zone and parts of northern Nigeria, in the training of students of medicine, physiotherapy, radiography, psychology and other health-related disciplines

since 2002. Ohaegbulam, however, said that despite the high cost of training facilities, coupled with that of maintaining staff, the hospital management as part of its corporate responsibilities to society, does not collect fees from the undergraduate students, adding that the performance of all medical graduates, who passed through the hospital had been impressive.

Obi flags-off N1bn agriculture credit scheme CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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nambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday flagged-off the state’s N1bn commercial agricultural credit scheme with the disbursement of money to the beneficiaries that include, Adichie Lawrence, Mrs. Ebele Aroh, C. Martins Global Resources, among other beneficiaries. The event

which was co-hosted by the state government in conjunction with the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Anambra State chapter and the Fidelity Bank Plc, Awka branch, was held at the Women Development Centre (WDC), Awka. Addressing the beneficiaries, Obi urged them to ensure that the loans are well utilised and used purely for farming. He also called on them to

Orji

repay the loan appropriately so that others will benefit at the end the day.

The governor said agriculture is very dear to his government and that he will continue to implement programmes and policies that would boost farming in the state. Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of AFAN, Anambra State chapter, Chief Nnamdi Meko, had while thanking the governor for his support, he said the loan scheme will go a long way in touching the lives of over 5, 000 farmers positively.

how do we survive,” he asked. Governor Orji said the state was facing a funding gap of N1.6bn, “Where do you expect me to generate

that amount to pay salaries, instead you and the civil servants are busy siphoning money meant for the state into your private pockets.”

Constitutional crisis looms over LG chairmen’s tenure CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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new constitutional issue capable of causing a fresh crisis in Imo State was yesterday said to be looming between the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and the 27 local government chairmen over the tenure of the latter. While the chairmen and their councilors in 305 wards are hoping to spend three years in office which will expire in August 2013, the state government is working on the permutation of the former governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, who clandestinely reduced the tenure of the council bosses from three to two in a bid to return back to office for the second time. Ex-governor Ohakim failed to make it for the Government House the second time, but it was gathered that he assented to such a bill passed by the House of Assembly before

leaving office last year. It was also learnt that this was the trump card the current administration of Governor Okorocha plans to use against the chairmen this month. The issue was compounded by the Appeal Court’s judgment which did not mention when the tenure of the local government chairmen would expire, thereby creating the impression in government quarters that the chairmen would be leaving office this August. Even at their meetings, neither the government nor chairmen discuss anything about the tenure, it was gathered, however, that there were underground plans to pull the carpet under the council chairmen at the expiration of their tenure this month. National Mirror gathered yesterday from reliable sources close the chairmen that they may soon be heading to court to redress the issue.

APGA crisis: Umeh fails to vacate interim order DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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ational Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), yesterday failed to vacate the interim order placed on him by the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, restraining him from taking any step to convoke national, state, or local government executive committee meeting of the party. Despite several arguments canvassed by counsel to Umeh, Mr. Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), to make the chief judge vacate the order, Justice Umuzulike said; “Reflection of these cases is of course demanded; this makes it impossible to give magisterial ruling on the matter by the court as it would have wished. “If you cannot develop the law, it would be wrong

to destroy it. It is better to endure temporary hardship and serve the cause of justice. The interim order stays and this matter is adjourned to September 17, 2012 for continuation of hearing.” Justice Umuzulike said so many weighty legal issues were raised and canvassed after which five broad issues were formulated: namely locus, nature of the suit, domestic business of a political party and estoppels, adding that 59 cases were also cited by the counsel. Umeh’s counsel, Ikwueto, had challenged the competence of the suit saying that “APGA is neither a plaintiff nor defendant in the matter; the party is a corporate organ whose interest is in jeopardy and ought to have been joined in the suit to state their side as regards the facts.


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Wednesday, August 1 , 2012

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I’m being framed with Oyerinde’s murder —Ugolor SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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rest and detention in a cell under an inhuman condition at the Police Area Command in Benin City. Ugolor, who has been held incommunicado since Friday, pleaded to be granted bail to a reliable surety since he had made useful statements which were recorded or as an alternative be moved out of the cell.

While promising not to obstruct police investigation, the suspect urged the IGP to consider his health. Following a media report that Ugolor paid Oyerinde’s killers N20m, the police reportedly paraded Ugolor among other suspects. Reacting to the allegation that Ugolor was identified in the parade, Afola-

bi said: “The tape wherein our client confronted the said suspect after the identification parade should be made available to you Sir, for you to take a closer look at same and the Inspector-General of Police will easily deduce that our client is being framed up by somebody whose evil intention and those behind him need to be made

to the general public. “Another question which will agitate the policemen handling the matter is the fact that our client fought with the medical personnel at Specialist Hospital Benin City in the middle of the night when they were very slow in attending to Olaitan Oyerinde who at that time has not given up

uman rights activist and Executive Director of the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, said he did not pay N20m to assassins to murder Edo State Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole’s Principal Private Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. The detained activist and acclaimed bosom friend of the late Oyerinde spoke yesterday through his counsel, Olayiwola Afolabi. He said there were no better ways to prove his innocence than the fact that he rushed to the home of the deceased to take him to the hospital when he was informed by Oyerinde’s wife, and also ensured he was promptly attended to at the Central Hospital. Ugolor added that he led a protest to condemn Oyerinde’s assassination. In a petition to the Inspector-General of Police copies of which were sent to President Goodluck Jonathan and Oshiomhole, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi (right) Mr. Ami Lustig of Israeli firm, LR Group, after signing an MOU to establish a multiUgolor condemned his ar- billion naira 2000-hectare farm village in Rivers State, yesterday.

Anger over Rivers N1,200 job registration fee CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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ontroversy and anger have continued to trail the Rivers State Government’s directive to applicants for jobs in its school system to register for the job examination online through scratch card sold for N1,200.

While some of the hapless applicants are grumbling about the directive, some concerned people have described as unfair the decision to compel job seekers to pay money. The Rivers State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, described the action as robbing Peter to pay Paul. The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Jer-

ry Needam, said in a statement that the move was “vexatious, ridiculous, and insensitive to the plight of these poor applicants, an extortionist and a calculated attempt to deny the children of poor parents the job opportunity. “We see the scenario in Rivers State as similar to the job scam under the ousted regime of Governor Ikedi Ohakim of the

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Imo State, which rather than reduced the high rate of unemployment, increased their woes after making payments to the bank; the same thing Rivers State Government is currently doing. “It is regrettable that the Rivers State Government does not feel the hardship these future leaders go through to look for money

JTF destroys vessels with 1.2m tons of crude oil EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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en of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, have set ablaze two impounded barges loaded with 1.2 metric tons of crude oil at Sangana River in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Both vessels, MV Premiar and VI Suntrax, loaded with 600,000 tons of crude oil each, were intercepted last Saturday at Sangana

Komboro, while the JTF men were patrolling the waterways with the new K38 gunboats donated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika. The crew on board the vessels all escaped before the arrival of the military men, but the owner of the vessels, Joshua Orupere, is in the custody of the JTF at its headquarters in Yenagoa. The JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this on Monday

at Sangana, while parading Orupere, who was arrested on Sunday in Yenagoa when he allegedly tried to bribe the JFT head, Col. Azinta, with $30,300 (N4.8m). The 40-year-old suspect hails from Bilabiri in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. “You can imagine the quantum of economic loss to this great country. The Commanding Officer of 343 Artillery Regiment, Lt. Col Muhtar Adamu, led a team of operatives of the

JTF to intercept the two vessels last Saturday in the early hours. T he owner of the vessels, Mr. Joshua Orupere, has confessed to this crime. “He went further to make an attempt to bribe the Chief of Staff of the JTF, Col. Azinta with $30,300 (N4.8m). Joshua also, having tagged along with the Chief of Staff, went ahead to make an undertaking of other payments in the future and all these are with us,” Nwachukwu added.

to pay and queue for several hours in the bank to purchase these scratch cards.” But the Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, explained in a telephone interview that the government was not making any money from job seekers. She explained that N1,000 would go to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, which the government contracted to conduct the job examination, while N200 was for bank charges. However, on his part, Mr. Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, a member of the Board of Trustees of International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ESCR-NET, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, told our correspondent that the imposition of the fee on job seekers was not only exploitative but inconsiderate, unjust, criminal, insensitive and a violation of their socioeconomic rights to a decent living and life of dignity.

the ghost. This led to the discipline of some medical personnel and these crucial facts are on record and can be verified. The question now is this: Can somebody who fought for the treatment of the slain Olaitan Oyerinde and who battled medical personnel to save his life now be the same person to plan for his death?”

Rivers, Israeli firm partner on multi-billion naira farm village

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overnor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said his administration was determined to make agriculture one of the mainstays of Rivers State economy and rapidly develop an agro-based economy which would compete favourably with the oil industry. Amaechi spoke yesterday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, for a multi-billion naira 2,000-hectare Farm Village with an Israeli firm - LR Group Limited - in Port Harcourt. He said: “I will continue to tell the state that we are investing in agriculture to create employment, and also to diversify our economy from just oil to also have an agricultural based economy.” From the beginning of his administration, the governor said he had pursued this vision hinged on three sectors of education, agriculture and Information Communication Technology, ICT. “We have done some major developments in the area of agriculture. We have the Banana Farm that is ongoing, now about 2,000 hectares. It is an investment between us and a Mexican company. “We have the Songhai Farm which basically is a local attempt of taking the local means and ways of agriculture to the next level,” Amaechi added. He, however, said the Etche Farm was another novel attempt by the state to build on its successes, since the facility would have an industrial processing plant. The governor expressed the hope that when it takes off, it would provide jobs for the people and further attract more investment opportunities to the state.


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North

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Police uncover explosives in FCE Kano Yakowa sets up panel AUGUSTINE MADU WEST KANO

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omb experts attached to the Kano State Police Command yesterday prevented what would have been another major disaster in the commercial city of Kano when they uncovered and detonated assorted explosives planted in the premises of the Federal College of Education (FCE) Kano. The Bomb Disposal Unit was again called to duty when reports reached the command that objects suspected to be bombs were

found in different locations at the FCE. The bombs, which were hidden in dark alleys of some of the school buildings, were suspected to have been planted by local terrorists with the aim of blowing up the institution, which at the time of the shock discovery, was in session. The development caused panic and fear around the institution following sounds of explosions in the direction of the college even as rumours went round that the institution had been attacked by terrorists.

But the state commissioner of police told National Mirror that the sounds of the explosions were as a result of the detonation of the bombs by police bomb experts, adding that the command was informed of the presence of some strange objects suspected to be explosives and immediately dispatched members of the bomb unit who mopped up the IEDs and detonated them. He said there was no cause for alarm as the situation was under control. “There were no casualties; it was our men who detonat-

ed the bombs, which sound was misinterpreted to mean an attack on the college. “There was no explosion until our men arrived,” the police chief said as he admitted that explosives were planted inside the school premises by unknown persons. It will be recalled that police on Sunday night foiled an attempt by gunmen to blow up a Mosque near Kabuga. Four persons were killed in that confrontation and police identified the four killed as members of a terrorists group.

Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai (left) and Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, at the matriculation ceremony of pioneering students of Federal University Dutse, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Fund police from capital market, says Gov Ahmed WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he Federal Government has been implored to fund the Nigeria Police from either the capital market or the bond market in order to get them better equipped to confront the spate of violence in certain parts of the country. Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who said this yesterday argued that the unabated security challenges in the country have become worrisome and require urgent solutions, particularly, proper funding of security agencies. The governor said to overcome the security challenges, the Federal Government must raise funds from the capital market in order to accomplish what would

have ordinarily taken more than five decades to do in a year. He said there was no doubt that there was an urgent need to adopt a long term investment approach in strengthening the security sector, pointing out that the slow pace of the police was due to lack of modern equipment capable of stemming the tide in the country. “Nigeria is blessed with formidable and dedicated security personnel whose zeal and ability to perform is often hindered by lack of sophisticated equipment and poor remuneration,” he said. He added that; “Security issue is a lifelong affair and must be given long term investment approach only if our yearnings and aspirations for our dear nation are to be adequately achieved.”

on fuel subsidy funds A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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aduna State governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, has approved the implementation committee set up by the state government on projects and how to implement such with funds accruing from its share of the fuel subsidy removal. The committee has the Deputy Governor, Dr Ramalan Muktar Yero and the Acting Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, Adamu Atama as chairman and secretary respectively. Others include the Commissioners of Economic Planning, Finance, Education, Women Affairs and Social Development, Youths and Sports, Works and Transport, Special Duties (Poverty Alleviation), Agriculture and that of Rural and Community Development. The Kaduna State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mallam Yusuf Idris, is also a member, among others. In a letter of appointment issued by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Lawal Samaila Abdullahi, the governor said the committee is expected, among other things, to prioritise projects and their implementation in line with the

Kwara govt, LG workers may clash over unpaid salaries WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

I

ndication emerged yesterday that the Kwara State government and local government workers in the state may clash over the former’s non-payment of the workers’ June salaries. To this end, the workers are contemplating embarking on an industrial action to drive home their demand for the payment of their salaries. It will be recalled that workers in 15 of the sixteen local council areas have been having undue delay in the payment of their salaries and allowances according to National Mirror findings which got awry last month. The state government

through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs had before the matter got to its peak, been offering explanations that were inconsistent thereby drawing the anger of the council workers. The government had first said the delay was due to an alleged late release of federal allocation to the state and local governments across the country in one breadth and that the workers were not paid on time because of the reports of verification of the state workforce in another breadth. In an interview with National Mirror, the commissioner in charge, Alhaji Issa Bawa, had insisted that NULGE members were not paid for the latter reasons alone, promising

that the ministry was looking at complaints arising from the reports as it affected a cross section of the workers before payments could be effected. However on Monday, the workers had locked all gates to the local government area offices in Pake, Ilorin East Local Government which prompted the state government’s quick intervention. The protesters gave the government an ultimatum expiring this Friday by which all allowances should have been paid failure of which the workers said they would take to the streets. The workers had alleged that their leaders had been bribed and threatened to beat them up before the government’s intervention yesterday.

Yakowa

broad objective of securing, uniting and developing the state. According to the letter, the committee is also to work out modalities and processes for the implementation of the government white paper in such a manner that would ensure fairness and equity in the allocation of resources to the identified projects and communities. The letter further said that the committee is to ensure that projects as conceived are commensurate with available resources in order to avoid the incident of abandoned projects after take-off.

LG poll: Opposition parties flay Benue electoral body HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he state Chairman of the Conference of All Nigerian Political parties (CNPP) Benue State chapter, Engr. Baba Agan, has berated the state’s Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) for her inability to give a three-month notice prior to the election as specified in the guidelines before calling for stakeholders meeting preparatory to the election. Agan, who spoke to journalists shortly after the meeting of stakeholders organised at the instance of BSIEC yesterday in Makurdi, said the meeting was to prepare for the forth coming local government election scheduled to hold November 24, 2012 in the state. He observed with dismay that no prior notice was given to political parties before the stakeholders forum was organised to inform them of the election that would hols in the 23 council areas across the state.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nigeria deserves fiscal federalism – Uduaghan

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

Subsidy scam and Tukur’s moral burden

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ACN accuses Mimiko of intimidating opposition • They brought thugs into Ondo – Govt ing under the belly punches to his perceived political foes rather than engaging in a redemptive mission. His words: “That is what is making Mimko jittery, giving him sleepless nights and unfortunately making him to resort to giving under the belly punches to his perceived political foes. But even that is too late in the day. And it will not work. The good people of Ondo state will prove that come October, 20.” But in a swift reaction, the state Commissioner for

Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said Akeredolu is being economical with the truth as the Police and other security agencies, at the weekend said the ACN are the aggressors. The government’s spokesman said Governor Mimiko is not intimidating the opposition parties with thugs, as there is no reason for doing that. Akinmade, who spoke with National Mirror on telephone last night, accused the ACN of bringing thugs into the state to cause

he governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the forthcoming election in Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu has accused the incumbent, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of using paid thugs to create a sense of fear amongst the people of the state. Akeredolu, in a statement by his campaign organisation signed by its Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, also accused Mimiko of desperation for power, given his perception that ACN is out to undo it by all foul means. The ACN candidate cited example of the recent attack on his convoy at Oyemekun Road, Akure on his way to Owo, insisting that he would not be cowed in his quest to provide purposeful leadership to the state. He said: “While we recognise the fact that accessing political power in Nigeria has become one fierce battle all because of the winner’s penchant to dip his hand into the oily till for self serving reasons ratherthan to satisfy the wishes and aspirations of the electorate, we in the ACN are making the paradigm shift; using good performance as the benchmark. “Perhaps, even Mimiko may have enjoyed our

patronage if he has performed creditably well. But he has not. That is the bitter pill that he has found too hard to swallow. Was it not the ACN he turned to when he was up the creek against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) without a paddle in 2007?” Advising Mimiko to curtail his excesses and acknowledge the fact that he has not kept faith with the pledge he made to meet the needs of Ondo people as well serve only one term, Akeredolu further insisted that the crude Machiavellian tactics being employed by the incumbent governor to bully his political opponents will not work. He said: “Over time, Mimiko has blatantly refused to heed the wise counsel from eminent politicians to change his style of governance; to embrace the contributions of others under a peaceful atmosphere. But like a selfdestructive hunter’s dog he turned deaf ears to the concerned views of other stake holders. Instead, he has been listening to his inner urges and of course the deafening drumbeats of sycophants.” He said Mimiko has been put on the edge as a progressive purveyor of good governance like the ACN has come out to intervene in the perilous political situation in the state. This, he noted is making Mimko jittery and unfortunately making him to resort to giv-

EMMANUEL ONANI

Lawyers sue Jonathan over debt profile

FELIX NWANERI

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ABUJA

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ome Abuja-based legal practitioners have dragged President Goodluck Jonathan before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over his alleged failure to set limit for the amount of consolidated debt to be accumulated by the three tiers of government. The plaintiffs are Aja

Nwani Aja, Lawrence Ogbonna Ukpai, Kingsley Osaigbovo Obue, Adaobi Chioma Peace, Best Owie and Abdulmumuni Mohammed Tahir. The plaintiffs are averring that, by virtue of section 42 (1) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and pursuant to the provisions of item 7 and 50 of part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the

mayhem. He maintained that LP is not losing sleep over the ACN, describing its members in the state as agents of foreign gods that are not in tune with the reality in Ondo State. His words: “Labour Party (LP) is the party to beat. Who do we want to intimidate in the ACN when all the people that matter have moved out of the party. They are just minors.” Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the orgy of violence being perpetrated by the members

of the LP in the state. The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Wale Ozogoro said the LP has been terrorising the opposition in the state, saying some members of the PDP were attacked in Irele on Sunday when the LP thugs tried to prevent members of their party from defecting to PDP. He said: “The level of violence is becoming alarming as citizen’s lives are at stake. The party will continue to condemn violence as we will always maintain peace and play politics without bitterness.”

L-R: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim; Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama and Director-General, Budget Office, Bright Okogu, at a Joint Senate Committee on Appropriation and Finance Interactive Session on implementation of 2012 Budget in Abuja yesterday.

‘Panic response won’t stop call for Tukur's resignation’ OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said the “highly

constitution, as amended, President Jonathan is mandated to within 90 days from May 29, 2011 set overall limits for the amounts of consolidated debts for the three tiers of government. They further maintained that the House of Representatives on March 27, 2012 did pass a resolution urging Jonathan to implement section 42 (1) of the Fiscal Re-

predictable and jejune response” of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the call for its national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to resign, following

sponsibility Act. Accordingly, the lwayers urged the court to declare that the president, by his action, is in breach of his oath of office, which he took to, among others, discharge his duties as President in accordance with the 1999 Constitution. No date has been set to commence hearing of the matter.

the role of his son in the fuel subsidy scam, has done nothing to convince Nigerians on why he should not step down, especially now that the unprecedented fuel subsidy scam starring the PDP has come to trial. The ACN said this in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, adding that not even PDP’s resort to rationalisation has changed the reasons for the call. Mohammed again called on Tukur to accept moral responsibility and step down from his high office not only because his party

is right at the centre of the biggest corruption scandal in the history of Nigeria, but also because his son is among the suspects, saying. It added: “Any linkage between a huge scandal like the fuel subsidy scam and the party immediately raises a red flag over the commitment of its government at the centre to effectively tackle this cankerworm. ‘’It is therefore imperative for Alhaji Tukur, whom we agree has made a name for himself within and outside the country, to uphold that name and keep his integrity intact by vacating the leadership of the PDP today.”


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Politics

On Friday, July 20, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan presented the position of Delta State during the retreat of the Senate Committee on the Review of 1999 Constitution held in Asaba, Delta State. AYODELE OJO, who covered the session, brings excerpts:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nigeria deserves fiscal federalism – Uduaghan THE PRINCIPLE OF FISCAL FEDERALISM UNDERLYING THE

1999 Constitution The 1999 Constitution was born under unusual circumstances. It was a document midwifed by the military and handed over to civilians. By its structure, military orientation is not often in alignment with popular democratic wishes of the people. Indeed, a number of prominent voices have faulted the preamble to the Constitution that asserts “we the people” as false. The validity or otherwise of this assertion notwithstanding, I feel having practiced democracy under the current 1999 Constitution, its review should eventually bring this constitution to align with the aspiration of the people and will legitimately make it a people’s constitution and not a constitution fashioned by the military. It is also on this note that I am calling on the promoters of the Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to step forward with their proposals and make same available to your committee as part of their inputs in building a Constitution that will herald better democratic governance.

Delta Government position I want to declare that the government and people of Delta State remain committed to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble entity under God. We also renew our faith in a constitution that will promote unity in diversity, brotherhood among the Nigerian people and welfare of all persons based on the principles of freedom, equity and justice as a basis for one indivisible and indissoluble nation. It is our view that the 1999 Constitution as it stands, fall short of our collective expectations in many respects by, for instance, not providing enough autonomy for the government and people of the state in the control of our natural resources and sufficient legal framework to promote and sustain our socio-economic aspirations. Delta State Government believes it has sufficient human and natural resources to create employment, promote development and generate prosperity for her people. However, we are restrained by the overbearing unitary provisions of the constitution which cripples substantially the spirit and letters of federalism upon which this nation was built. It is our view that the constitution needs a radical review in order to enthrone: true federalism and fiscal federalism

True Federalism Federalism in our view is a system of government adopted by diverse nationalities who, otherwise would have been on their own, but who desire a central government to pursue common objectives. A federation, therefore, while promoting unity among the federating nationalities, does not promote a union in which the constituents lose their peculiarities and identities. This was the vision of the founding fathers of our federation. Time and time again,

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

1999 CONSTITUTION IS INEQUITABLE AND FLAWED IN THAT IT HAS LEFT THE STATES OF THE

NIGER DELTA

PROSTRATE

Uduaghan

it has been made clear to us that any shift from this vision will produce great disunity and less cohesion for our people in the Nigerian nation. Therefore, the federating states in the federation must retain a measure of independence and autonomy that will enable them to sufficiently define and shape their internal affairs unhindered. Our view on this is that the distribution of the legislative, executive and judicial powers in the 1999 Constitution are strongly skewed in favour of the Federal Government with states becoming its mere appendages.

Fiscal Federalism Fiscal Federalism is about allocation of resources to secure the autonomy of the respective federating units as well as the central government in a true federation. Needless to say that the principle of fiscal federalism underlying the 1999 Constitution is inequitable and flawed in that it has left the states of the Niger Delta prostrate. They now appear, as said earlier, to be appendages of the Federal Government who they go cap in hand to seek help from. As a consequence, the rich gains of a healthy federal competition which endured under the 1960 Constitution have been severely eroded. Worse still, the nationalisation of the natural resources of state and communities, particularly, the Niger Delta, to support the national economy is too burdensome, if not oppressive. This is particularly so in view of the expropriatiory provisions of the Constitution and other pieces of legislation confiscating, as it were, these resources without compensation and corresponding allocation of the proceeds to them to address the adverse impacts of oil exploration on the people and environment for the past 40 to 50 years.

Delta Beyond Oil Mr. Senate President and distinguished Senators, fellow Deltans, considering the controversy on the issue of fiscal federal-

ism, I am going to dwell a little bit more on it as it relates to revenue allocation because of the misperception in some quarters, either largely out of mischief, blackmail or sometimes, one may grant real concern. Delta State accounts for about 30 per cent of Nigeria’s crude oil reserve and derives 65 per cent of its GDP from oil and gas and 85 per cent of our revenue from FAAC, yet the cost of building infrastructure is one that has posed enormous financial challenges to us despite the best effort we are making. We have a land area of 18,050 square kilometres, substantial portion of which is riverine, marshy and underdeveloped. Yet populated by our people who have opted to live in their ancestral land – which in many cases are locations of oil facilities: flow stations and pipelines. Our people are also desirous of development and improvement of their well-being from the proceeds of the resources taken from their land. It is in this difficult terrain untouched by any development or sometimes poor development that compelled us to institute and fund Delta State Oil Mineral Development Commission (DESOPADEC), set up to address some of the issues highlighted and it has been getting in line with the law that we created 50 per cent of the 13 per cent derivation with a mandate to complement the state government’s programme of developing the oil producing and impacted areas of the state. The state government and DESOPADEC tasks have been arduous for good reasons. I mentioned terrain challenge imposing excruciating cost on infrastructure; the other is the high poverty incidence. We have decided to get to the root of the high poverty incidence by commencing initial steps of developing a poverty map of the state. In most of these places, we are building infrastructure like schools, hospitals, access roads, bridges, electricity and provide clean water from ground zero. We face additional pressure on other fronts, arising from the damage to the environment. Ravaged by oil pollution and its attendant damage to the environment, the main economic activity of our people who are fishermen and farmers were lost. Unable to fend for themselves, many of our people faced destitution and became restive. We have had to intervene by initiating various social programmes. What I have outlined was the root cause of the crisis in the Niger Delta.

Furthermore, transferring large chunk of funds to DESPODAEC has its consequences – and if I might add, political costs. Clearly, it greatly depleted the funds available to the state government, but our sense of equity and justice warrants that we do everything possible to bring development to the most deprived of our people in our riverine and oil impacted communities. I am happy that despite the initial misgivings, the state government has not wavered in using DESOPADEC as a stabilising factor to bring development to its mandate areas. We believe the DESOPADEC experiment can only get better as we continue to fine-tune areas of lapses in delivering quality service and making the right impact in the mandate areas. Commendable as its work has been, I believe we can do far more if more funds are available. Our initiative to diversify the economy of our state has been termed ambitious by some observers. I believe they are correct. It is a staggering ambitious programme, to build an economy beyond oil or “Delta Beyond oil” as we have christened it. To do that and succeed is to completely alter the economic, social and cultural landscape of Delta, if not Nigeria. I do not regret that we began this journey; I am rather pleased we had the confidence and willpower to even begin it at all. Future generations will, I am sure, look to this moment and salute our courage. On the whole, what we are saying is that real action is taking place at the state level, where the impact of government is mostly felt. So when we clamour for higher revenue allocation, it is targeted at the legitimate aspiration of the people.

Expunging obnoxious laws In this regard, we wish to urge that all obnoxious laws such as the Petroleum Act, 1964 Cap. 350, LFN, 1990, Interpretation Act, 1964, Cap 192, LFN 1990, and the Land Use Act, 1978, Cap. 202, LFN 1990, which, amongst other enactments vest the resources of the Niger Delta in the Federal Government be declared as unconstitutional and expunged, including Section 44(3) of the Constitution which states that: “Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria shall vest in the Government of the Federal and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.” Section 162(1) and (10) should be defined to exclude income or derivation to the government of the federation accruing from natural resources and expunge the proviso to Section 162(2) of the Constitution to secure full control of the natural resources for the federating state in return for which the Federal Government can derive appropriate tax and royalties. The alternative suggestion will be to raise the principle of derivation from 13 per cent to not less than 50 per cent.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Subsidy scam and Tukur’s moral burden FELIX NWANERI writes on mounting calls for the resignation of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over his son’s alleged involvement in the fuel subsidy scam in which the country lost over a trillion naira to oil marketers.

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he trial of Mahmud Tukur, son of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, over alleged involvement in the fuel subsidy fleece, has pitched him with the opposition, who are calling on him to relinquish his position to demonstrate his party’s commitment to the fight against corruption. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had last week arraigned the younger Tukur alongside the sons of a former National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Mamman Nasir and Ibadan-based businessman, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola Alao, Abdullahi as well as others for shady deals in the oil subsidy regime at a Lagos High Court. They are facing a nine-count charge relating to conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence, forgery and use of false documents. Specifically, Tukur, Alao, Ochonogor Alex and Eterna Oil and Gas Plc were charged for fraudlently obtaining the sum of N1.8 billion from the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) for a purported importation of 30.3 million litres of petrol. Tukur is the managing director of the company. Although each of the accused persons were granted bail in spite of strong opposition from the EFCC in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum, the issue has placed a moral burden on the shoulders of their parents, especially the PDP national chairman, who just took charge in March. Already, a group in the PDP has asked him to resign his position. The group, which styled itself as PDP Stakeholders Forum, is of the view that Tukur lacks the morality to continue as the national leader of the party in view of his son’s indictment for corruption. The group’s leader, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said they are spearheading the protest to demand the resignation of Tukur from the party’s top job, because the indicted company belongs to his family and that his son was only operating it on behalf of his father. He further claimed that the indictment of the younger Tukur and the company has brought the PDP to ridicule, adding that it has however vindicated those who opposed Tukur’s emergence as the party’s chairman at the first instance. His words: “With the commencement of the trial of the subsidy looters/prosecution of Mahmud over their shameful act of using their family company (Eterna Oil and Gas Limited) to fraudulently obtain N1.9 billion for importation of 80.4 million litres of fuel which they never did, PDP members are calling for the resignation of Bamanga Tukur to help save

Tukur

Tukur (Jnr)

THE FUEL SUBSIDY SCAM TRIAL WILL BE HELD IN TWO

COURTS...

WHILE

ALHAJI BAMANGA TUKUR IS NOT FACING ANY CHARGES IN THE COURT OF LAW OVER THE SCAM,

HE IS DEFINITELY A STAR SUSPECT IN THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION PDP from further public embarrassment, which the trial will bring. Bamanga lacks the moral right to remain in office. “This trial has vindicated our earlier alert three months ago on Tukur’s economic crimes. The exit of Tukur will save the PDP from the many months of illegality, ineligibility and incompetence which his chairmanship has visited on the PDP.” The group is not alone in the “Tukur must go” campaingn. It has the backing of opposition parties led by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The ACN in a statement issued in Lagos at the weekend by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said though it subscribes to the constitutional provision that deems an accused person innocent until proven guilty, Tukur’s resignation will ensure that the trial of suspects in the scam, including his son, will go unimpeded and save the country’s anti-corruption battle. The party said: “It is important to say here that the fuel subsidy scam trial will be held in two courts: the court of law and the court of public opinion. While Alhaji Bamanga Tukur is not facing any charges in the court of law over the scam, he is definitely a star suspect in the court of public opinion. That is why many Nigerians are already insinuating that nothing

will come out of the trial, especially as far as his son is concerned. This is an allusion to the influence bestowed upon him by his high office. “While we have nothing but absolute confidence in the ability of the judicial process to ensure justice, we believe that anything than can reinforce the impression of thwarted justice in the fuel subsidy scam trial should be removed. Alhaji Bamaga Tukur’s continued stay in office is one of such. “We also believe that since Tukur, as the PDP chairman, has a say in who becomes the chair of the boards of the key agencies in the oil sector that are linked to fuel subsidy (NNPC, PPPRA and PEF), his continued stay in office is inimical to efforts to clean up the tainted sector.’’ Another opposition party, African Renaissance Party (ARP), which also called for Tukur’s resignation, queried: “Is it a coincidence that the stars in the court trial of the subsidy scam include the sons of the past and present chairmen of the PDP? Will it be wrong to say the sons of Ali and Tukur benefitted from the subsidy largesse because of their father’s positions in the ruling party?” The Presidency has however allayed the fears of the opposition parties, insisting that due process must take its course on the matter though it described the indictment of the children of its chieftains’ as unfortunate. Newly-appointed Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who gave the assurance, said the trial was part of a silent revolution being carried out by the present administration. His words: “The arraignment of the sons of Bamanga Tukur and Ahmadu Ali with others involved in the oil scandal probe is part of the silent revolution going on in this country. And I can assure you that President Goodluck Jonathan will not intervene.” Noting that many would be wondering whether such trial was possible in Nigeria as Tukur was one of the first in the North to support the President’s aspiration in 2011, Okukpe urged Nigerians to ponder over the possibility of same in any of the ACN controlled states.

The PDP has also assured that it will not intervene in the trial even as Tukur deplored attempts by critics to attack him over his son’s alleged complicity in the scam. He said Mahmud, as an adult, is old enough to answer for his actions. The National Publicity of the party, Chief Oliseh Metuh, who stated the party’s position, dismissed the splinter group calling for Tukur’s head. “You don’t expect a serious party like the PDP to react to an unfounded allegation. I don’t want to make a statement on this because it is not an issue. We have some serious problems at some states’ chapters that we are concerned about, this one is too trivial to comment on,” Metuh told National Mirror. A chieftain of the party, Samfo Nwankwo, who spoke in like manner, said there was no basis for asking the PDP chairman to resign since he was not the one that committed the alleged crime. His words: “I don’t see the connection in the suggestion that Alhaji Bamanga Tukur should resign. The firm indicted belongs to his son and the young man is old enough to answer any question that may arise in the whole matter. “I am happy that the leadership of PDP did send the right message on the matter. The young Tukur is over 40 years and like other people indicted and taken to court, he is old enough to bear his cross,” Nwankwo maintained, adding that the call for the PDP boss to resign amounts to distraction and a subtle way to destabilise the party by the opposition. Tukur on his part, pleaded with Nigerians not to crucify him for the sins of his son. He told journalists in Abuja at the weekend through his Special Adviser on Monitoring, Mr. Bernard Mikko, that there was no need to diminish his person because of the perceived ‘sins’ of his son. He insisted that as an adult and managing director of a publicly quoted firm, his son should be allowed to carry his own cross. “Our laws are clear and even a primary school pupil knows we are all presumed innocent until proven otherwise and convicted by a competent court of law. “The sons of the past and current PDP chairmen are no exception. Mahmud is the son of Bamanga Tukur, the current PDP national chairman, but since the reported arraignment of the former, the trial seemed to have not only shifted from the court to the media, but also shifted from the son to the father,” Mikko avered. Quoting from the Bible to support his position, he added: “What is happening now is in contrast to Deuteronomy 24:16, which says ‘the father shall not be put to death for his children and the children for fathers, every man shall be put to death for his own sin.’ This Biblical verse underscores the point that every individual is accountable for his or her own action.” Though Tukur had in the wake of the submission of the report of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime called on the EFCC to prosecute all those who are indicted in accordance with the law, Nigerians cannot, but watch if he will “allow” his son get convicted, given the implication of such conviction to his political dynasty.


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Politics

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chief Isaac Shaahu was a Second Republic Minister of Communications and a close ally of late Senator J.S. Tarka. In this interview with HENRY IYORKASE he speaks on calls for the creation of additional states and other issues. Excerpts: There have been calls for the creation of more states. Do you support the agitation? My opinion on creation of more states is very simple; let there be more states. You cannot stop anybody from asking for more states. We have 36 states that were created under the military, but under the constitution, we have none. Well, I will even ask for a Tiv State because we have no governor in this country, we have no state, and we have no identity. We have fought for states for other people, it is now our turn to ask for our own state. As far as I am concerned, that is it. We need a Tiv State, with headquarters in Gboko. For a people with one language and coming from the old stock, I feel one Tiv State is ideal; we can get more in relation to our numerical strength. We started with 12 states; now we have 36 states and Abuja; that is 37. I cannot see us creating more than 40 states at this time. I think the highest we can have is 50. So, supposing we reach the 50, definitely we have 13 other states to be created out of which the South-East has always been complaining about having only five states and therefore they should be made to have equal number of states like other regions. Alright, if they have five and others seven, by the time new ones are being created, they can ask for more and the whole thing is balanced up. But for me, one Tiv state at the moment is okay. The younger ones can create more states when they are stable. How do you see the growing rate of corruption in the system? I am sorry to say that it is the greedy young people who are trying to get everything overnight that are responsible for the corruption going on in the country. This house (referring to his house in Gboko), has taken me 50 years to build and I haven’t finished it. If my children like, they can finish it up. But now, somebody comes in as a governor, as a chairman, or as a representative, he wants to take the whole money; it is not his money, it is the money of the people and he wants to build houses all over the place, one in his village, one in Abuja, one in Lagos and so on. So, it is the young men who are in a hurry, who have brought corruption.

OLUSOLA BALOGUN

O

n Saturday July 21, Ogun State exited the ranks of the states whose local government councils are governed by un-elected officials, when it conducted the local government election to elect officials to run the 20 local government areas of the state. The contest was keen and the struggle intense and gruesome. But after the dust settled, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was victorious. The Chairman of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), Alhaja Risikat Ogunfemi, announced that the ACN swept all the 20 chairmanship seats on offer and also won 226 of the 236 councillorship seats contested for. But typical of an average Nigerian politician, who won’t concede defeat, the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its splinter group, the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) cried blue murder, alleging that the OGSIEC rigged the election in favour of the ruling ACN in the state. Even the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, weighed in, alleging that Ogun ACN was undeserving of the victory. But the truth is this: the victory is

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I’ve lost hope in Jonathan’s administration – Shaahu You supported the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as president; are you satisfied with his style of leadership so far? I worked for him but he doesn’t know me. At that time, I was the National Chairman of the Middle Belt Forum and I used my car, money, and everything to work for him because he is from the minority creating an opportunity for a Tiv man also to become president some day. But today I am disappointed. I thought he would do better; he has not. He has failed the minorities. He has failed the minorities because the first mistake was the fuel subsidy issue. When the ordinary man was happy with N65 per litre, he jerked it up to whatever he wanted. Is that a democratic man? Well, he said he had no shoes when he was going to school. Is that how he will pay back the ordinary person? I am disappointed, so disappointed. And since then, I have lost hope in his administration. The bigger groups can only sit and laugh at the minorities and would always say, look at what he is doing; he messed up this country.

Shaahu

I worked under Alhaji Shehu Shagari as a minister and at the time Shagari was the president, he didn’t have a house of his own except his official residence. I know that because I was there and he told us that it wasn’t necessary that we loot. You accumulate all things and when you die, are you going to go along with it? You will leave that backload to your family and they will be fighting over your property. May be Shagari now have a house. As a minister, I was getting only N1,000 a month and I was satisfied with that. Now a member of the National Assembly is getting N4 million per month. It is unfortunate. My advice to public office holders is that they should not take more than they can finish. I saw money but I ran away from money. God helped me. Look at the import license; I never had one for myself.

As 2015 elections inch closer, where are you tilting your support towards in Benue State? May God take me to that time. As for now I cannot talk because who and who is coming out I don’t know. Until I see who is coming out, then I will know the calibre of the person and then say well at least this man is better than the other as I did for the late Rev. Fr. Adasu. I said I am not going to contest again, and gave him to my people that this is a reverend gentleman, let us try him. I gave him one of my cars and went out with him and he won the elections. It’s unfortunate he didn’t last long but he left behind indelible marks. Of recent, you were attacked by some group of hoodlums. Do you suspect any foul play? All I know is that, the leader of the group that tore down my flags and attacked me is the youth leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and being the youth leader of the PD,P he cannot dissociate himself from Governor Gabriel Suswam, because that is his party. You know I was a member of the PDP Board of Trustees but I left the party because of some of their actions. So, that is where the attack came from. The person who is against me is Suswam.

Why ACN swept Ogun LG poll the difference between the preparations of the political parties involved in the electoral contest. The critics failed to grasp the full meaning of the axiom: ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. The crisis that hit the state PDP in the run-up to the 2011 polls is still simmering. In the run-up to the election, a fierce legal battle raged between the two factions of the PDP in the state over which should present candidates for the election. When the OGSIEC eventually settled for the candidates presented by the faction loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, those loyal to former Governor Gbenga Daniel rushed back to the PPN to contest election. Interestingly, while the two factions were locked in a battle of attrition, Governor Ibikunle Amosun and leaders of the ACN in the state were busy traversing all the 20 local government areas, selling the candidates of the party to the electorate. During the campaign tours, the governor built bridges, placating party members, who felt aggrieved with some choice of chairmanship candidates of the party. Some chairmanship aspirants that were particularly bitter were compensated

Amosun

with appointments. Ogun State ACN campaigned as a unit and later broke into groups with commissioners and other political office holders also leading campaign teams to win their wards and local governments. They went door-to-door canvassing for votes. Again, the approval rating of Governor Amosun remains very high, because of

his committed and dedicated performance since he assumed office. For instance, despite the paucity of funds, the free education programme of the government is smooth sailing in all public primary and post-primary schools, the governor has restored sanity in the security of the state and has introduced prudence into public accounting of the state and as well as maintained excellent relationship with workers. His government recently bought a whopping 500 electricity transformers for distribution to communities in need of such and commissioned the Ibara-Sokoro-Totoro road. He also flagged off an agricultural revolution in the state with the introduction of a salivating incentive for prospective investors in the agricultural sector of the state and has so far employed over 10,000 workers. The governor has commenced the rebuilding he promised the people and they felt the best way to assist him to achieve his goal is to install his party men at the local government level. The result of the election was therefore not a surprise. It was a re-affirmation of the April, 2011 gubernatorial mandate handed the governor by Ogun indigenes. Balogun is a media aide to Gov. Amosun.


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Views

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

17

My reflection on Makoko demolition PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

T

he Lagos State government has finally put paid to its resolve to demolish Makoko, a shanty settlement at the estuaries of the Lagos Lagoon. By this development, the state government has indicted its own initial plan to evacuate Makoko residents to Epe in the context of the megacity plan. The state government, in line with the mega city plan, has been committed to building and expanding social infrastructure to meet the demand of a growing city. The Makoko demolition, however, has drawn huge criticisms and protests from the residents and discerning Nigerians because of the way it was handled. Makoko is largely populated by fishers who had settled in this community for about a century. It is populated by urban poor who are not involved in the formal sector of the national economy. The settlement is largely concentrated on waters without electricity, schools and health outfits. The residents still reside on the estuaries despite these harsh social conditions. They, however, would be willingly to relocate when alternative residential location is provided for them. Meanwhile, the demolition has spurred reactions, protests and condemnation by

the settlers. The Makoko community organized a civil protest to Alausa, the seat of government to express the anger over their inhuman treatment. It was obvious the demolition was done in a hurry, because there were no serious thoughts on planning, development and other sociopsychological issues it would throw up. The Lagos State government has not demonstrated adequate resettlement plans for the residents. It is doubtful whether the Epe relocation plan would ever be concretized. The relocation plan should not be pursued to the neglect and social alienation of indigenous people on the estuaries. The state’s modernization agenda should respond to and reflect local conditions and realities. The Lagos city renewal project should not be pursued to the detriment of residents of poor neighborhoods. The relocation project should reflect the right to dignity of the displaced people. The Lagos mega city project should be pro-poor, pro-rural residents, and it should ventilate their preferences. The government had erred to give a short notice to the residents without making available relocation centers and providing logistics for such movement. The project should not be done with coercion. The government should bear in mind the psychological attachment of the people to the terrain they had lived for generations. I urge the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola to integrate sociological issues in his development agenda.

Ogun LG elections

The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) penultimate weekend conducted elections into local

THE THIRD TIER OF GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME A PLATFORM FOR POLITICAL MANIPULATION AND IMPOSITION OF CRONIES OF STATE GOVERNORS government councils in the state. The local council elections held against the backdrop of gross violation of the relevant provisions of extant Constitution of Nigeria as it affects administration of the local government councils. In many states of the federation the local government councils are largely administered by caretaker chairmen and councillors. The state governors often ignore agitations to conduct elections into council because of their private political gains. The third tier of government has become a platform for political manipulation and imposition of cronies of state governors. This feature of local government administration in the country has promoted misappropriation of funds, looting, poor social service delivery and unaccounting government. The non-democratic nature of the local government councils encourages impunity of public officials and disdain for the populace. The non-performing nature of local government councils is partly rooted in this context. The Ogun LG elections were majorly a straight contest between the ruling

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The elections recorded minor conflicts in isolated locations in the state. The elections were vitiated by apathy and low participation. Several callers from Ogun State to the Television Continental (TV live coverage program on the elections alluded to the low participation of voters in the three senatorial districts. The callers referred to imposition of candidates and the substitution of candidates of the ACN. The callers had accused the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun of imposing candidates and denying popular choices for the elections. A well known, public affairs analyst, Mr. Biodun Sowunmi had described Amosun’s role as ‘positive intervention’ to ensure the emergence of quality candidates. He noted that some of the candidates earlier picked lack the literacy and knowledge to contest. Critics insist that the concept of ‘positive intervention’ is authoritarian and undemocratic. I share the argument on the undemocratic nature of ‘positive intervention’. The parties should provide level playing fields for aspirants to participate in the congresses to elect candidates. The phenomena of consensus and ‘positive intervention’ are a negation of competitive politics and should therefore, be jettisoned. The parties’ selection processes should be transparent, credible and democratic to elicit popular participation in local, state and national elections. Governor Amosun should have a rethink on his perception of leadership recruitment, especially at the party level; it is not consistent with the logic of democracy.

Managing energy supply in Nigeria for efficiency JULIUS ELUSAKIN

E

nergy is an important foundation resource of human society’s development. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world energy consumption will be increasing by 54 percent in the period 2001-2025. Due to increase in human population and technological advancement, man’s need for energy sustenance has expanded because human beings are basically dependent on sustainable energy. In Nigeria, the average annual population growth in the past five years was 2.5 percent, according to World Bank report released in 2011. Meanwhile, the annual power generation capacity was averaged largely around 4000MW in those years. Nigeria needs improved energy management due to the inadequacy of energy supply and the concomitant hike in the cost of energy commodities. Nigeria is well endowed with energy resources. Among the world’s oil producers, she is ranked 10th and 8th as exporter of crude oil. It has large proven and potential reserves of about 37.2 billion barrels of crude oil and 5,110 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The prices of energy commodities (electricity, petrol, diesel, kerosene etc) are very expensive, despite the abundance of energy resources in the country. Across the 11 distributions zone of PHCN in Nigeria, the 2012 tariff order varies between N4 and N23 for residential consumer class;

NIGERIA NEEDS IMPROVED ENERGY MANAGEMENT DUE TO THE INADEQUACY OF ENERGY SUPPLY AND THE CONCOMITANT HIKE IN THE COST OF ENERGY COMMODITIES N15 and N20 for commercial consumer class; N15 and N22 for industrial consumer class; and N15 and N22 for special consumer class like Government House and hospitals. It is N11 and N17 for street lighting per KWH. These costs are very high and detrimental to companies’ growth and profitability, and residential comfort. Provision of individual power is even more expensive. The price of petroleum products is grossly becoming unbearable as government withdraws from subsidizing the importation of the products. Petrol, that is, premium motor spirit (PMS), diesel - automotive gas oil (AGO) and dual purpose kerosene - kerosene (DPK), currently sell for N97, N160 and N100 per liter respectively. The alternative renewable solar energy source is still on the expensive side. Solar market research and analysis show that the cost per unit of solar energy is 45 to 60 percent higher than PHCN’s new

multi-year tariff order (MYTO). The energy demand forecasting, based on reference growth scenario of a GDP growth of 7 percent per annum, revealed that Nigeria’s energy need for year 2010 was 15,730MW. Meanwhile, the average energy supply in the last one year did not exceed 4,300MW. This implies that consumers had to source for the shortfall of 11, 430MW from individual power generation. In spite of inadequate supply of electricity to the economy, Nigeria exports annually about 70MW to Niger Republic and 560MW to Republic of Benin, both members of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), of which Nigeria is a member. The nation’s consumers are left with the option of individual power plants that consume expensive petroleum products. The consumers need energy management to reduce their demand and save cost. Energy auditing and planning have been found to be the best strategic approach to managing available energy at relatively low cost. Energy audit provides an accurate account of consumption and reveals the detailed information needed for determining the possible opportunities for conservation. Due to lack of planning, many consumers run generators with higher capacity and operational cost compared to their energy needs. Some consumers use bulbs with 60 watts and 100 watts, while they can equally go for energy-saver bulbs of 15watts, which will still produce equivalent illumination. Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) could be installed on fans/pumps of Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipments as this

will reduce the energy consumption and save cost. In Nordic countries such as Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway, where HVAC are mandated in all buildings due to their weather condition, energy management has become a culture and helped in reducing their energy demands. The Norway energy efficiency policies and measures Report in 2007, showed that energy-saving strategy, among other measures, was responsible for the 13 percent reduction in the energy consumption against what the demand could have be in the country over two decades. The Nigerian consumers need to checkmate growth in energy demand through management measures to cut down their cost. This practice, if integrated into the Nigerian energy consumption culture, is capable of reducing demand considerably. The government could also help by giving greater preference to equipment with comparative lower power rating to be imported into Nigeria by charging lower tariffs and imposing higher duty on the equipment with higher rating. Elusakin is a staff of the Premier University of Sao Tome & Principe Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


18

Editorial

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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

STEVE AYORINDE

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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LANRE OYETADE

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

HEAD, GRAPHICS

Reps’ impeachment threat and Jonathan T

he relationship between the federal executive and the legislative arms of government, which, at best, is tenuous, might further slide to a record time low over the implementation of the 2012 Appropriation Act, if the impeachment threat on President Goodluck Jonathan by the House of Representatives is not properly managed. The Reps, on July 19, 2012, threatened to commence impeachment process against the president if by next September, the budget, said to have been implemented up to a paltry 36 percent, does not achieve 100 percent implementation. The Reps made reference to Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which makes provisions for the removal of the president and the vice president through impeachment for gross misconduct. Reports credited to the Senate at the weekend said the upper legislature would not be part of the move; having not so contemplated before the senate proceeded on its annual vacation over a week ago. President Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), according to reports, have been dialoguing with the Reps leadership to thrash out the contentious issues. The executive says 100 percent implementation of the budget by September is impossible; though the president has accepted the invitation of the Reps to throw more light on ter-

rorism and other pressing security deficits in the country. Budget implementation to an appreciable level is, without doubt, central to the performance of the economy of nations, the wellbeing of the people and effective service delivery by government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). Simply put, the budget is a document that matches revenue with expenditure. It has a legal lifespan because all appropriations must conform to the content of the said document over a given period. Budgets also have political and economic imperatives which must be balanced. But the history of government budgeting in Nigeria has been one replete with executive arrogance, misplaced priorities, poor implementation, and above all, misapplication of funds. It is obvious that the country is passing through perilous times. There are visible signs of stress and strain everywhere. Beyond the pervasive insecurity that has defied all solutions so far, the economic situation is grinding, coupled with deficit infrastructural provisioning, socially unacceptable levels of unemployment and underemployment, and high cost of service delivery. Addressing the said problems is one of the reasons countries indulge in the annual ritual of public sector budgeting, a process that is proposed and executed mainly by the executive arm of govern-

IT SEEMS A WAKE-UP CALL ON PRESIDENT JONATHAN AND HIS RATHER IDEALISTIC

FINANCE MINISTER AND COORDINATING MINISTER OF THE ECONOMY, DR. NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA ment once approved by the legislature and signed to law by the head of state. The 2012 Budget, for example, contains hope-raising features that if well implemented, could lift up the economy, provide succour to distraught Nigerians and enhance service delivery by the MDAs. The N180 billion earmarked for projects under the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), for instance, is a positive safety net aimed at assisting the poor and unemployed, while the N1.33 trillion set aside for capital projects, if released with due diligence, could boost economic activities and the disposable incomes of Nigerians. That only N404 billion had been released to the MDAs six months into the life of the budget seems an unveiled indication that the letter and spirit of the document are at

grave risk. Likewise the fate of the SURE-P and other projects tied to the budget. The seeming patriotic stand of the Reps has, therefore, raised hopes that, indeed, the mechanism to curb executive ineptitude and impunity is not in deep slumber. The threat of impeachment has psycho-political cleansing effects. It seems a wake-up call on President Jonathan and his rather idealistic Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, not to foot-drag in taking economic decisions that can mitigate the pains of Nigerians. It is, perhaps, worth reiterating that the SURE-P projects call for urgent execution. The programme is a pact with Nigerians; a balm, though palliative, to mitigate the excruciating pains of the increased pump price of fuel under the guise of purported subsidy removal. We are, nevertheless, optimistic that the Reps would be realistic in handling the impeachment threat, especially taking into cognizance the thinking that over 30 percent performance in July, for a budget passed in March and signed to law in April, cannot be rightly adjudged as too poor. The budget can perform better in the months ahead. And in view of the extremely high level of fraud and corruption in the land, exceptional care must be taken to ensure that future funds disbursement matches visible performance.

ON THIS DAY August 1, 2007

August 1, 2004

The ‘I-35W Mississippi River’ bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed during the evening rush hour. The I-35W Mississippi River bridge (officially known as Bridge 9340) was an eight-lane, steel truss arch bridge that carried Interstate 35W across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. During the evening rush hour on August 1, 2007, it suddenly collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 145.

A supermarket fire killed 396 people and injured 500 in Asuncion, Paraguay. The Ycua Bolanos supermarket fire was a disastrous fire that occurred on Sunday, August 1, 2004 in Asuncion, Paraguay. The three-story Ycua Bolanos supermarket and commercial complex, which included a restaurant, offices, and an underground parking garage, caught fire, causing two explosions on the first floor. The fire burned for seven hours before firefighters were able to extinguish it.

August 1, 1964 The Belgian Congo was renamed the Republic of the Congo. The Belgian Congo was the formal title of present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between King Leopold II’s formal relinquishment of his personal control over the state to Belgium on November 15, 1908, and Congolese independence on June 30, 1960. Until the later part of the 19th century, the Europeans had not yet ventured into the Congo.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Health & Wellbeing Yoga may help stroke survivors improve balance

Herbal drugs don’t have full registration –NAFDAC

21

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TOBORE OVUORIE “

P

lease, beg government to do something”. This was the plea from Mrs. Badamosi, a breast cancer survivor, during a cervical cancer workshop organised for media professionals on Saturday by Sebeccly cancer care and support centre, Lagos. Badamosi, who has had several bouts with breast cancer, successfully pulled through only by the grace of God, as well as financial and medical care rendered by the Non Governmental Organisation which commenced operations just six years ago. Before her encounter with Sebeccly, she had, like other persons diagnosed with cancer, left the hospital untreated due to lack of funds for tests how much more treatment. Quite emotional that she’s still alive notwithstanding the pains from cancer, all she could say in tears was: “If Sebeccly can make me stand in the presence of everyone today, I don’t see what government is doing. Please, help us beg the government to make real the fight against cancer for it is worse than HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)”. According to Prof. Rose Anorlu, a Consultant Gynecologist with Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Badamosi is just one lucky Nigerian woman who has been through the travails of cancer and is alive to tell the story. “There are 100.9 per every 100,000 of the country’s female population out there who aren’t so lucky. The fact that they don’t know their status makes it worse”. Speaking with National Mirror, Prof. Anorlu expressed fear that people don’t perceive cancer as a developing world concern, yet, it is the cause of 70 percent of deaths in low income and developing countries in the world; of which Nigeria is one. “It is worse than HIV and in 2020, there will be an upsurge of cancer in the world” she added. Unfortunately, research results indicate that the flashlight is not yet on cancer as people are globally talking about maternal and child deaths. This, Anorlu said is out of place as the maternal and child phenomenon has dropped while that from cancer is on the increase. “The gap between maternal and child deaths and that from cancer is quite large, while the former is actually nose-diving, the latter is sky rocketing. For instance, 4-6 new advanced cervical cancer cases are diagnosed daily in LUTH and it is now the most common cause of death in the Gynecological ward of where I work (LUTH). Cancer, especially cervical cancer is quite preventable, yet not being prevented in Nigeria” she stated. Cervical cancer is a disease in which cells in the cervix grow out of proportion. The cervix is the neck of the womb which connects the vagina to the upper part of the womb. Unlike other cancers, cervical cancer is caused by an infection related to a common virus called human papillomavi-

Badamosi

Sowunmi

Incredible! Cancer now major cause of death in Nigeria ...still gets less attention than treatable diseases

Ugly faces of cancer

Anorlu

rus (HPV). This virus is contracted during sexual activity including intimate skin contact but sexually active women of all ages are mostly at risk. Often with no signs or symptoms, it can be successfully treated at the early stage when detected by getting vaccinated and going for regular cervical screening. Notwithstanding the fact that it is preventable and treatable at the early stage, Nigerians are still languishing and dying from these ail-

ments; often time, unknown to them. Dr. Anthonia Sowunmi, a consultant Radiotherapist and Oncologist at LUTH said this has been the case and will continue to be until the several challenges being experienced in the Nigerian health sector are addressed. According to her, one of the major reasons the fight against cancer is at a snail speed in the country is due to the insufficient medical personnels, especially Oncologists- experts in the treatment and management of cancer. Indeed, as at last September, there were only 15 Oncologists in the country, while recent investigations by National Mirror revealed the number to have increased to 22. A study on cancer age distribution in Nigeria carried out by LUTH in 2007 revealed the reproductive age group is most affected. It also revealed the six most common cancers in Nigerian adults in descending order of frequency to include breast, cervix, prostate, colorectal, liver and NHL. Unfortunately, children are not spared by the life threatening disease. In children, 3.3% die

of cancer annually while the five common childhood cancers are NHL which is associated with a kind of malaria called Epstein Barr Virus and malnutrition, retinoblastoma, nephroblastoma, sarcoma cancer, leukemia, and brain tumour. The World Health Organization’s estimated incidence of cancer from all sites of the body in 2002 for Nigeria revealed 90.7 per every 100,000 males and 100.9 per every 100,000 females while the initial had a mortality rate of 72.2 and the latter 76. Currently, the actual figure of people now living with cancer in the country remains unknown due to poor data collation. According to Dr. Patience Osinubi, Director, Cancer Control, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), “getting the actual figure of Nigerians living with the condition may not be easy because a large percentage of Nigerians patronise alternative medical care instead of the hospitals and this in turn tells on the data being churned out of the cancer registries in the country”. On the way forward, Dr. Felix Osia, a Gynecologist with the Federal Medical Centre, Namoda, Zamfara state noted that “though having just 22 Oncologists is a frightening figure when compared with the rate at which Nigerians are dying from cancer, it is not really the fault of the doctors. First and foremost, we need more people to study medicine but so many humanities graduates are being churned out by Nigerian Universities, while many of these graduates want to be entertainers”. “Again, the Nigerian socioeconomic situation has not and is not helping matters. This has made so many Nigerian doctors who go abroad for courses stay back. Good hands are being drained by other nations while so many Nigerians go abroad especially to India for cancer medical attention, a major reason for this alarming figure”, Osia added. Increasing incidences of this worldwide public health problem which entails the uncontrolled, abnormal division and growth of cells in the body can be attributed to poor awareness about risk factors as well as changes in lifestyle. He advised that cancer prevention through regular check up and living healthy lifestyles can substantially reduce the prevalence in Nigeria since it yet has no cure just as the real causes are unknown.


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Caring for pregnant women, children suffering from malaria M alaria is very dangerous for pregnant women. Wherever malaria is common, they should prevent malaria by taking antimalarial tablets recommended by a trained health worker and by sleeping under an insecticide-treated mosquito net. Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from malaria than other women. The disease is more dangerous during pregnancy, especially during the first pregnancy. This is due to changes in a woman’s body that lower her previous level of resistance to malaria. Malaria can cause severe anaemia (‘thin blood’), miscarriage, premature birth or stillbirth. Babies born to mothers who have had malaria during pregnancy are often underweight. This makes them more vulnerable to infection or death during their first year. Women in their first pregnancy in areas where malaria is prevalent often do not show the typical signs of malaria. As preventive treatment, pregnant women in malarial areas, especially those in their first pregnancy who can be asymptomatic (without symptoms), should take

antimalarial tablets in the second and third trimesters as recommended by a trained health worker. The health worker will know which antimalarial tablets are best to take. It is also important that pregnant women sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Pregnant women with signs and symptoms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria must be treated immediately by a trained health worker with quinine in the first trimester and ACTs in the second and third trimesters. A child suffering or recovering from malaria needs plenty of liquids and food. A girl or boy suffering from malaria should be offered liquids and foods frequently to help prevent dehydration and malnutrition. Frequent breastfeeding prevents dehydration and helps the child fight infections, including malaria. Children who are breastfeeding and suffering from malaria should be breastfed as often as possible.

Pregnant women suffering from malaria should take antimalarial tablets in the second and third trimesters as recommended by a trained health worker

Frequent malarial infection can cause anaemia. A child who has had malaria several times should be checked for anaemia. What every family must know about HIV HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV touches the lives of children and families in every country in the world. Over 2 million children under age 15 are living with HIV (infected with HIV). Millions more are affected by HIV (not infected but living in families with infected members). An estimated 17.5 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS; more than 14 million of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. (Latest data available, 2007) HIV is transmitted through unprotected sex with an HIV-

infected person; (2) an HIV-infected woman to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding; and (3) blood from HIVcontaminated syringes, needles or other sharp instruments and from transfusion with HIV-contaminated blood. HIV is not transmitted through casual contact or by other means. Children are among the most vulnerable to HIV. But they typically receive the fewest services. The disease can progress rapidly in young children. Antiretroviral drugs are used to treat HIV because they restore the immune system and delay progression to AIDS. However, most children infected with HIV do not begin taking these drugs until they are 5–9 years old. This is too late. Without antiretroviral treatment, half of all babies born with HIV will die by their second birthday.

Although HIV is still incurable, it is a manageable condition. If infected infants and children are diagnosed early, receive effective treatment and take antiretroviral drugs as prescribed, they have a better chance to grow, learn, develop and have dreams for the future. Families and communities, especially women and girls, are the first lines of protection and care for children living with or affected by HIV. Families should receive the support they need to provide their children with a nurturing and protective environment. Keeping HIV-positive mothers and fathers alive and healthy is vital for children’s growth, development and stability. Without the security of the family, children run a greater risk of being exploited and discriminated against.

Yoga may help stroke survivors improve balance SCIENCE

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roup yoga can improve balance in stroke survivors who no longer receive rehabilitative care, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. In a small pilot study, researchers tested the potential benefits of yoga among chronic stroke survivors -- those whose stroke occurred more than six months earlier. “For people with chronic stroke, something like yoga in a group environment is cost effective and appears to improve motor function and balance,” said Arlene Schmid, Ph.D., O.T.R., lead researcher and a rehabilitation research scientist at Roudebush Veterans Administration-Medical Center and Indiana University, Department of Occupational Therapy in Indianapolis, Ind. The study’s 47 participants, about three-quarters of them male veterans, were divided into three groups: twiceweekly group yoga for eight weeks; a “yoga-plus” group, which met twice weekly and had a relaxation recording to use at least three times a week; and a usual medical care group that did no rehabilitation. The yoga classes, taught by a regis-

tered yoga therapist, included modified yoga postures, relaxation, and meditation. Classes grew more challenging each week. Compared with patients in the usualcare group, those who completed yoga or yoga-plus significantly improved their balance. Balance problems frequently last long after a person suffers a stroke, and are related to greater disability and a higher risk of falls, researchers said.

Stroke survivors do advance floor yoga postures focused on hip and ankle range of motion and strength. PHOTOS: American Heart Association.

Furthermore, survivors in the yoga groups had improved scores for independence and quality of life and were less afraid of falling. “For chronic stroke patients, even if they remain disabled, natural recovery and acute rehabilitation therapy typi-

cally ends after six months, or maybe a year,” said Schmid, who is also an assistant professor of occupational therapy at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and an investigator at the Regenstrief Institute. — Science Daily

The longer you’re awake, the slower you get

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nyone that has ever had trouble sleeping can attest to the difficulties at work the following day. Experts recommend eight hours of sleep per night for ideal health and productivity, but what if five to six hours of sleep is your norm? Is your work still negatively affected? A team of researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have discovered that regardless of how tired you perceive yourself to be, that lack of sleep can influence the way you perform certain tasks. This finding is published in the July 26, 2012 online edition of The Journal of Vision. “Our team decided to look at how sleep might affect complex visual search tasks, because they are common in safety-sensitive activities, such as air-traffic

control, baggage screening, and monitoring power plant operations,” explained Jeanne F. Duffy, PhD, MBA, senior author on this study and associate neuroscientist at BWH. “These types of jobs involve processes that require repeated, quick memory encoding and retrieval of visual information, in combination with decision making about the information.” Researchers collected and analyzed data from visual search tasks from 12 participants over a one month study. In the first week, all participants were scheduled to sleep 10-12 hours per night to make sure they were well-rested. For the following three weeks, the participants were scheduled to sleep the equivalent of 5.6 hours per night, and also had their sleep times scheduled on a 28-hour cycle, mirroring chronic jet lag.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Herbal drugs don’t have full registration –NAFDAC Dr. Hashim Yusuf is the Director, Narcotic and Controlled Substance and Chairman Federal Taskforce on Counterfeit Medicines at National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC). In this interview with MARCUS FATUNMOLE at the recently concluded 55th National Council on Health in Abuja, he sheds light on activities of traditional medicines practitioners in Nigeria among others. EXCERPTS: How does NAFDAC regulate traditional medicine in Nigeria? Traditional medicine involves so many things. There are herbal medicines which are products that are indigenous to us which people use in healing. The way the traditional medicine is done in Nigeria, I think we have progressed. But, with the products, the medicines themselves, there are lot more to be done. What NAFDAC does today is what we call, “listing” of medicines. We don’t give these herbal medicines full registration. We do listing because many of them, their safety profiles are not determined fully. We take them; we run tests to check toxicological components of their products and also contaminants or other substances that can cause contamination to the users such as bacteria or other organisms that can infect consumers of such products. So, we try to remove contaminants and the toxic substances. When we are through with this process, we give a listing for the product. Listing means we put the product on supervision for two years; we will be looking at it as it is being used by the public. Are they complaining? Is it giving unfavourable reactions? What is expected to be remedied? Then, the report is put together. If there is no further harm, then, we put it together; but, we will not give it full registration. Even if the owner wants to do full registration, they have to do what is called clinical trial. That is when they have to do proper safety check on it. Once you do a clinical trial and it is satisfactory, then, we give you full registration. Even if products are with NAFDAC registration number when they are on listing, we will give a disclaimer. It will say that such products have not been evaluated by NAFDAC. Given the popularity of such products in the public, they could be bought, but, we believe you should be able to identify and understand the information telling you about such disclaimer from us. If you buy it, you do so at your risk. However, we have evaluated the minimum risk that can cause harm to users in terms of toxicology and micro-contaminants. That we must check. But, the clinical test involves putting the products on tests for a long period to ensure a wider safety margin. How do you address the claim of multifunction including the specification for use of the products as a regulatory agency? The truth is that one product can contain many active ingredients; therefore, it can have the potential to treat many things. It is true. The problem is the quantity. What quantity? How will it not

harm consumers? This is what we call standardisation, which our practitioners do not have knowledge about. We have to do something about that. That is why we are now building capacity in them; calling them, we train them, talk to them to go to the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development to learn more. Go to NORTA where you will see technology on how to, for instance, pack your material. That will ensure the safety of the product. When packaging of your product is bad, it can contaminate the product. We also do more of public sensitisation, using mainly the media to help us educate the masses and the producers what their rights and obligations are. Hygiene is also as much as important as the components of their products. We always tell them to be conscious of hygiene in whatever they offer the public. Offering the public unhygienic products is as giving them what could affect their health or compound their problems. We do not only check what they produce, the environments where such products are made are of utmost importance to us. This is part of the standardisation we are talking about. There must be a sustained process from getting herbs from the trees, drying, powdering, and making syrups or capsules among others. This is what we have been working upon to ensure standardisation. We are encouraging them to standardise. They can start gradually. Another thing we are telling them is that they should always give full information about their products. If you are giving some people your products, make sure you know their names and addresses. Try as much as possible to see what your drug is doing to them. By the time you do this with sincerity, you will discover you get a compendium of information about your product. Then, you can come out to say boldly that you have given the product to a 100 people at so and so locations. This is what happened. You will have enough facts to back your claims. You can even write it in vernacular if you know it will favour the locality where you operate the more. It is the same information in different language. But, it is unfortunate that many of these practitioners do not document. That is one of the challenges we are facing. What is NAFDAC doing to stop illegal hawking of medicines on the streets, especially the orthodox medicines? Truly, we are trying in that regard. We are working very hard to stop it. We believe the communities can help us in this campaign. We have to educate the community to keep away from it. This

Dr. Yusuf

WE DO NOT ONLY CHECK WHAT THEY PRODUCE, THE

ENVIRONMENT WHERE SUCH PRODUCTS ARE MADE ARE OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO US thing thrives because there is patronage. Another thing we noted was that we needed to talk with the people who sell to the hawkers. If they don’t sell to them, they will not sell. Another thing is that we need to enforce the law. The law is there and we have the Task Force that is working with us on this. We have inaugurated the Task Force in about 27 states of the federation and we shall soon convene for a national meeting. This Task Force consists of The Nigeria Police, Lawyers, The Consumer Protection Council, Pharmacists’ Council, NAFDAC and other NGO’s who work with Federal Task Force in states to checkmate them. They are many, especially in the local communities. That was the reason we brought in the Council Chairmen to help us in their various councils and wards. Sachet water production is one business that seems to allow all comers in the country. What are you doing to regulate the activities of these people? The challenge is a two-way thing. You the consumers are part of us in this. It is your well-being that determines our achievements. What we do is that when we go to inspect a place of production, and it is certified good and hygienic for production, we assume that everything about that product should not change. But, if there is a change of taste, we

would not know. It is the consumers who know there is a change in taste of such product or a compromise in standard by the producer. Such consumers should come to us or shout to any institution around them that could be of help. They should blow the whistle. We call them whistle-blowers. Once you blow or someone says as a result of consumption of a product, he has been sick, we will stop that product first to check if it is true. If we discover that such allegation is true, we stop all the batch of that product. Then, we go back to the production site of that product to check if the producer is doing it illegally. If eventually we discover the product is produced illegally, we will arrest and prosecute the producer. If it is a fault in the line of production, we stop it and ask him to effect necessary correction promptly. We are a regulatory agency, we do correction. Once you come and invest your money in production of goods that could be of good somewhere, you may not know; but the consumers can note it from the taste. And, once they shout, we run to you. We check the product if it was deliberately or accidentally allowed to go into the market; from there we take necessary action. How would the National Council on Health impact on the activities of NAFDAC? The National Council on Health is bringing people in the health sector from the whole country together. From here, you can learn more from the knowledge of others. It is only through interactions of this kind that the sector can move forward. By the time this meeting ends, every segment of the sector must be impacted positively in the direction in which the health sector should best be driven in the country. I am sure NAFDAC would not be left out of that.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Use new technology for eyecare –Optometrists told STORIES BY TOBORE OVUORIE

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ptometrists in the country have been charged to develop new ways of managing eye and vision-related challenges to achieve Vision 20-20: The right to sight. Stakeholders gave the charge in Lagos recently at the opening ceremony of the 36th Annual General Meeting/ Conference of the Nigerian Optometric Association where with theme Expanding the Frontiers of Optometry in Nigeria. The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi who was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Health Prof. Olusola Fasuba in

his keynote address said that in order to achieve blindness free society, a lot of work is still needed to be done. He added that the association should embrace new technologies to correct eye problems such as refractive errors and low order aberrations as was already being done in other countries. He noted that to expand the frontiers of optometry in the country, there is need for collaboration with other industries such as the academia to upgrade the education of optometrists after graduation. Fayemi also stressed the need for professional certifica-

tion by the Board Post Graduation to ensure the highest standard of practice as in other parts of the world. He lamented the lack of reach of public health optometry in communities which were most in need as compared to private optometrists who regularly visited communities to provide eye care. Fayemi added that it was disheartening that only three institutions in Nigeria trained optometrists adding that with blindness affecting over a million Nigerians above the age of 40, it was necessary to train more hands. “There is need for the asso-

ciation to partner with government in affected zones to establish schools of optometry in the zones where there are none. With a membership strength of just 2000 and optometrist to population ratio of 1:70,000 Nigerians, I know it is terrible and even worse in rural areas” he noted. He also added that education about blindness should be a priority as most people, especially mothers were ignorant about the causes. “Measles, poor nutrition and premature birth are leading causes of preventable blindness among them. With early detection and treatment we know half of these children can be saved from losing their sights “he disclosed. The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris who was

represented by Dr. Taiwo Oyeleye said that it was necessary to have at least one optometrist in each of the 57 flagship Primary Health Care centres in the state. He explained that this would greatly improve eye care in the state therefore enabling Vision 2020 more achievable. He encouraged optometrists in the state to partner with other professional groups and NGOs to plug the gaps that exist in effective eye care delivery. The Chairperson, Lagos State Branch, Nigerian Optometric Association appealed to the state government to provide them a piece of land to build a secretariat in order to meet from time to time to deliberate on matters to move the state forward. He promised that all the suggestions given at the conference would be put to good use to improve eye care in the country.

China, others seek medical investment belts in Nigeria

M L-R: Mr Ansel Sotubo of Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; Director, Student Support Services, Babcock University, Dr. Augustina Olaore; Prof. Vickie Ogunlade, Counsellor/Psychotherapist, Spelman College, Atlanta Georgia and her husband, Chief Alani Ogunlade at the media briefing on the role of social work profession on health and education in Nigeria recently.

19 million Nigerians infected with Hepatitis

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he Chief Medical Director, Benue State Teaching Hospital, Prof Abraham Malu has said that with statistics of 19 million Nigerians currently being infected with Hepatitis, a lot of work is needed to be done. He made the call in Lagos recently at the 2012 World Hepatitis Day symposium organised by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in collaboration with Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of Nigeria (SOGHIN). Malu who noted that awareness about the disease was still very low in Nigeria, said more avenues for education about the disease should be created. The CMD also added that only few centres were available in the country for Hepatitis screening while screening cost was also expensive in such centres. “Some people especially in the rural areas have never heard of Hepatitis, those who have do not have screening centres around them and those who know of the few centres, cannot afford screening. “In order to help people know their status and treat affected

people early, the government needs to create avenues for awareness and give free screening and treatment”, he said. The Director General, NIMR, Prof Innocent Ujah said that the government also needed to invest in research and capacity building to reduce the incidences of Hepatitis. Ujah said that as the institute’s mandate was to collate and disseminate important health research data, it was necessary to build capacities and provide more funds for research. He lamented the insufficient awareness of policy makers and the public on the role of research, inadequate manpower, lack of capacity building and irregular power supply. He added that accurate collation and analysis of Hepatitis data in the country would go a long way in forming policies which would tackle the scourge of Hepatitis in Nigeria. “We believe that to be able to contribute to the effective intervention in the reduction of perinatal transition of Hepatitis, national survey that will generate credible evidence must be undertaken.

“The government therefore needs to invest more in research and capacity building to tackle Hepatitis in the country.”He said Dr Olufunlayo Lesi, Specialist Gastroenterologist, Department of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) called on the government to be proactive in terms of management of Hepatitis of Nigeria.

edical and health investors from China, India, Germany, United States and other developed countries are seeking to find comfortable belts for investment across Nigeria, with eyes for providing solutions to common healthcarerelated problems in the country and others in the west African region. The firms, numbering hundreds, are hoping to make the best of opportunities to be provided during the upcoming West African Health (WAH) conference and Exhibition scheduled to hold in Lagos. Confirming this development, Coordinator of WAH, Dr. Wale Alabi, disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria is setting everything in motion to provide a comfortable investment ground for these firms, most of which are ready to berth their west African operational bases in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s health minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, was at the seventh edition of WAH, held in Accra Ghana. There, he disclosed that the Nigerian government through the ministry of health and relevant agencies have opened a door of opportunity for private sector players to partner them in solving the country’s health problems. It was also confirmed during the week that no fewer than 20 potential investors under the Bavaria group are keenly awaiting the trip to Nigeria to explore local investment opportunities in the country. The group of investors in medicine and health is to be led into the country by Mr. Torsten Wagner from Bayern International and Mrs. Susanne Ackermann from the chamber of commerce, Passau, where they have booked exhibition stands at the upcoming WAH Nigeria 2012 to be held between September 5-7 in Lagos.

Firm launches drama series to promote NHIS

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n a bid to increase awareness about the importance of health insurance especially in communities, Bufferzone Limited, a public relations agency recently in Lagos launched an advocacy drama called Bridges. The 13 episode drama sponsored by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is expected to air on television and radio stations in all six geo-political zones of the country. The Executive Secretary, NHIS, Dr Abdulrahman Sambo said that in order to increase access to health care for all, it was necessary for communities to adopt the community based health insurance.

Sambo explained that this would help protect individuals and communities from the challenge of financial constraints when they needed medical attention. He said that the community based insurance scheme was such that individuals within a community would come together to contribute money while they are healthy and put to use when any of them needed medical care. Sambo dispelled the fear that the funds would be mismanaged saying that the NHIS would work together with such communities to ensure safety of the funds. He disclosed that NHIS had

already appealed to the government to assist communities under the scheme in terms of subsidizing cost for some health services they might need. “NHIS is already paying subsidy for pregnant women and children under five in three communities under the scheme per state. “All communities under this scheme are also assured of this subsidy by NHIS which would make it easier for them to access health services” he said. He added that the members of the community also had the advantage of choosing the ailments they wanted the scheme to cover depending on the level of their monthly contribution.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Arts Lounge Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature heralded in Lagos

S Skillz will sshowcase talents in N Nigeria -Abinibi

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COPYRIGHT

NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

ADMINISTRATION

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t is an age-long war that has allegedly been dogged by lots of lies, treachery and possibly corruption. Interestingly, it has equally seen one of the parties taking the supervisory agency, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), to court. It has also been remotely linked to the replacement of some officials at the regulatory agencies. But it is yet to be over. Worse still is the fact that intellectual property creators are at the receiving end of the ugly scenario. Although the problem has taken many forms over the years, the major issue in contention seems to be the decision of the NCC to restrict copyrights collection in the country to only one society, Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, led by Tony Okoroji. This move, which left the MCSN in the cold, has been seen as a wrong move judging from the ruling of Justice Charles Archibong, who exactly one year ago awarded damages to the tune of N40m to the MCSN for what he termed, ‘subverting the proprietary rights of copyright owners’ after MCSN dragged NCC to court. While the said penalty is yet to be paid, letting sleeping dogs lie has remained a problem. In all these however, the average artiste, whose works do not get rightly remunerated remains the end loser. According to intellectual property lawyer, Uche Nwajei, the lingering crisis amongst collectors is a loss to the government as much as it is to the artistes. “It is in the interest of the government to make this sector work. If you ask me, I see the government benefitting from many collecting societies, because it means they will be earning revenues from multiple sources. So, if the government continues to pay lip service to this issue, they will continue to lose money. Aside that, the artistes will not be getting what is due to them. It is particularly imperative now that the movie and music industries in Nigeria are getting a boost outside the shores of the land. It means it has the potentials to be a huge income earner for the govern-

NEEDS TO BE MADE MORE COMPETITIVE IN

NIGERIA FOR

THE ARTISTES TO ACTUALLY BENEFIT

Afam Ezekude, D.G. NCC

Mayo Ayilaran

Tony Okoroji

Towards peace in Nigeria’s copyright administration Effective copyright administration in Nigeria has been hindered by a litany of suits aside the war of supremacy amongst the major stakeholders. How can a truce be brokered for the well-being of the Nigerian artistes?

ment, because whatever right is exploited will return tax income to government. So the government is losing as well”. Speaking with Arts Lounge, Mayo Ayilara, the DirectorGeneral of MCSN said the crisis is responsible for many Nigerian artistes being regrettably poor. “That is why most of our artistes are poor. That is why they are cheaply exploited by all kinds of users of music. Every average Nigerian musician should be treated like a king, but these same users exploit them and give them pittance. If the industry is working the way it should, the average artiste should surround himself with professionals. As it is, there is confusion for the artistes. They cannot go to the government agencies for the administration of their rights. Then,

the private agencies that are supposed to represent the artistes are not being allowed to work by government agencies. It is affecting the musicians negatively and this has given the impetus to pirates to operate freely. People are reaping from where they did not sow. It is all as a result of the whole confusion”. A lawyer, Mike Awala, recognised that it is in the interest of the artistes for the collecting societies to unite. “Copyright administration needs to be made more competitive in Nigeria for the artistes, who are the currency of trade in terms of copyright administration to actually benefit. If there are many, he would have options. He would make up his mind on which society to join. I think restricting them makes room for monopoly, which is

disadvantageous”. If the way forward in the industry, as rightly noted by Mike Awala, would be to get the conflicting interest to a round table, why has it been difficult for MCSN and COSON to form a common front for the benefit of all the parties? Ayilara explained to Arts Lounge all the efforts his group has been making to broker this truce: “To us in MCSN it is not difficult. We have written proposal upon proposal to COSON, even when they were PRMS. We have written several proposals to them asking them to collaborate with us. I know that if both of us are chasing the same rat, the rat will not possibly escape from the two of us. But if we are doing it independently, the rat will not only escape from us, they will continue to devour

our property. All the way COSON refused. They are asking us to dissolve and join them one after another. Our position is that it is unreasonable, because this is an entity for crying out loud. The repertoire that MCSN holds does not belong to a single person. Even when we agree to merge there are procedures and guidelines to follow. We have to write to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Every group will also have to bring their assets and liabilities to the table. I will attribute the failure to work together to the inability of COSON to follow laid-down procedures in terms of this. When PRMS changed to COSON, we told them that the best thing to do is to start a joint licensing scheme, where we form a central licensing committee that will be licensing for us and spilt proceeds according to an agreed ratio, but we got a rain of abuses in return”. In this light, Ope Banwo, a lawyer believes the way out is for the two collecting societies to form a consortium. “And on COSON and MCSN, I’ve said it from day one and that is ultimately where we are headed. I’ve written blogs on it. In fact, I still published a blog less than three weeks ago. “Maybe it is time, because right now, in as much as I feel bad about what is going on, about how MCSN is being treated. But I realised as this battle goes on, COSON is not getting money, MCSN is not getting money. People are out there exploiting our right. A time will come, even if we won’t merge, we can form a consortium. Because Mayo won’t give way to Okoroji, Okoroji won’t give way to Mayo. I’m saying if merger can’t work. Let us form a consortium”.


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Arts Lounge

MEMORABLE READS

ROBERT FOX Professor of English and African

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Securing BOI’s N1.8bn fund for distribution network YINKA OGUNDAISI

T What book has influenced you the most?

I cannot give an answer to that really. One thing I can tell you is I read a lot of books when I was a child, literature books that my parents brought for me. Don’t you have a book that you will like to read over and over again?

The problem is I have a lot of them, my kids have asked me exactly the same question, because they are so many books that I can give a list of hundreds of them. So no, I don’t have a specific book that I would read over and over again. Do you have a favourite author?

I like James Joyce; he is an Irish writer. I like several books of his, but my favourite and his most famous book is Ulysses. What is your annual budget for books?

Oh, I buy a lot of books; I also buy a lot of music albums. In a year, I buy hundreds of books, so I cannot specify how much I budget in a year for my books. In what way do you think we can improve on the literacy level in Nigeria?

Well, the fact that that people came for this programme (Wole Soyinka’s 78th birthday lecture last month); I can see people are interested in reading and writing more. The turnout was very positive and I believe this can help.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

he Nigerian entertainment industry is about to exit its present prostrate condition as Gabosky Films Incorporated, the film productions and distribution arm of Gabosky Ventures Limited, owned by a prominent industry stakeholder, Igwe Gab Onyi Okoye, aka Igwe Gabosky successfully concluded a funding arrangement with the Bank of Industry, BOI for a N1.8bn facility to establish and fund the operations of a 10,000 national movie and music distribution network. The loan will provide a revolving capital to a minimum of 10,000 grassroots traders that the company intends to partner with in each strategic neighbourhood of the country. The journey, which started in September 2011 when the company submitted its application, business plan and financials to BOI, has over the months been progressing steadily. At the last Zuma Film Festival in Abuja, Igwe Gabosky was one of the three applicants of BOI mandated by the bank to present their projects to the stakeholders. On Thursday, July 18, 2012, Gabosky Films submitted their bankers’ letter of intent to BOI for a Bank Guarantee (BG), to cover the first tranche of the loan. Earlier in its letter of May 30, 2012, BOI had written Gabosky that; “the bank is committed to financing a project like yours with potentials to provide the infrastructure needed to sustain the growth and development of the Nigerian creative/entertainment industries”. Now preparatory to its disbursement of the first tranche, the bank is tidying up its documentation. A period of 90 days have been earmarked to engage all interested existing video works (music/movie) traders across the country and other Nigerians wishing to do legitimate business to the benefits of Nigerian producers and musicians for access to their revolving capital. The project is structured on territorial basis to comply with the provisions of the National Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB’s New Distribution Framework, NDF, with all its inherent auditable and transparent business features. Essentially, the goals of the network are to: • Provide a structure that will align Nigeria’s movie industry with the global practices in movie/music distribution which all interested national/regional distributors can use to fully activate and operate their licences towards leading the industry out of its present challenges of piracy, inferior productions and poor returns on investments • Establish a level-playing ground for competitive rivalry amongst practitioners, with self-motivating incentives for quality output.

VOICES

THE NETWORK WILL FUNCTION AS A NATIONAL INSTITUTION WHICH ALL INTERESTED

NIGERIAN PRODUCERS AND MUSICIANS CAN USE TO RAISE FUNDS • Entrench a global distribution-compliant model with auditable feature to stimulate and sustain financial investors’ interest in the industry towards gearing it to a full economic self-reliance and contribution to the national economic growth and development. • Assist the governments at all levels in their poverty alleviation programmes through the project’s mass employments and investments opportunities. • Compliment the governments’ rural areas development initiatives through the neighbourhood retail centres that will also serve their communities as economic convergence and catalyst outpost. • Create a reliable structure for the governments at all levels to measure the actual financial worth of the industry for planning purposes and to administer the practitioners’ taxable earnings. Although the project is a private initiative of Igwe Gab Onyi Okoye and he is personally carrying the risks of the loan by providing its collateral, the network will nonetheless function as a national institution which all interested Nigerian producers and musicians can use not only to raise funds for their productions but also for the profitable marketing of their works. It is also open to all licensed distributors of the NFVCB but only for video works censored and classified by the Board. This is to avoid all forms of illegality and create a levelplaying ground for bona-fide producers and musicians to maximise the market opportunities for their works. It will be extremely difficult for the video works on the network to suffer piracy and in the unlikely event of it ever occurring; the network’s protective mechanism will promptly identify and isolate the anomaly for immediate remedial actions. The retailers’ revolving capital is a virtual credit usable only to buy the movies or music of their choices distributing on the network. There will be a national ICT distribution portal attached to the network. Registered retailers will use their registration pin no to access the portal to browse available movies/music, place their orders and instruct the bank to debit

Ogundaisi

their account and credit the distributors of their chosen movie/music. The aggregate value of the retailers’ orders is total amount payable to the distributor. At any point in time, producers, press or members of the public can access the portal to check the market performance of any movie/music on the network. With the network in place, the present major headache of producers and musicians to raise funds and have reliable and acceptable collateral for their production loans will be eliminated. The NFVCB, state and local governments will also be able to license their State and LGAs distributors to revert the framework to its original plan of pyramid model of distribution; NationalRegional-State-LGA-Community. Fund disbursement is expected to commence in August when the project will also be formally presented to the public. In the interim, activities are being focussed on firming up the project’s partnership with banks, regulatory agencies, telecomm companies, and other industry stakeholders. Yinka Ogundaisi is a seasoned Nollywood practitioner and an advocate of lasting reforms in the local movie industry.

MUSINGS His Journey A gulp. No more A requiem mass Eya to bid evermore The house journeys home But the occupants home Tarry not longer Oshare Alas! Oshare heeds not Strange his home A gulp. No more No requiem for him How could we know Eya’s Journey magnets misery? He dreamed dreams Saw visions, healed sicknesses Yet foresaw not his journey nor laid hands upon himself He worked your work Olorime: why allow your own conk out as dogs? © Tobore Ovuorie 2011


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Arts Lounge

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

25

Skillz will showcase talents in Nigeria -Abinibi James Abinibi, an award winning graphic/web designer, is the first to create a digital magazine called Skillz; it focuses on creative arts, web design, graphic design, cinematography and photography in the country. The young Nigerian displays pure talent and determination to succeed in his chosen career path. OLUSEUN AGBESUA

J

ames Abinibi’s success story can be said to be one of nature and nurture. The Edo-state indigene (but born and bred in Lagos), developed a keen interest in drawing at about the age of six. While growing up, he used to make all sorts of drawings and from there on honed his art skills. “During my primary school days, I started making comic books of my own and after I finish each comic book, my friends would buy them off me’’. In SS1, he was already making money from selling customised birthday and romantic cards till he completed secondary school. Afterwards, Abinibi went on to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, to study Fine and Applied Art where he taught himself computerbased graphics design and eventually became good at it with constant practice and research. The graphics designer recollects that the art was something he was born to do, “but I wasn’t just sure what type of art”. At a point, he was into drawing, then painting and later moved on to graphics design mixed with flash animation and web design. His immediate family encouraged him with their appreciations of the drawing he made back then and that was what kept him going. In 2008, his dream officially took off when he created Abinibi Multimedia where he performs as the creative director till date. The company is a full-serviced multimedia studio specialising in corporate branding, prints media, digital arts, web design and development. He has rendered services to top multinationals and top names in the entertainment industry. Abinibi Multimedia has also been responsible for visual rebranding of Julius Agwu’s Crack Ya Rib shows both in Nigeria and London; design and website jobs for Ali Baba, PSquare, Ruggedman, Banky W and many others in the industry. He has also worked with top producers in the film industry (such as Kunle Afolayan who engaged Abinibi for design creations on Afolayan’s movies Phone Swap, The Figurine and Irapada). In the same way, Abinibi described Skillz Magazine “as a dream come true, I see it as a platform to show the world talents deposited in Nigeria”. The magazine delivers global latest news on the most recent and relevant applications including review on

ARTISTE UNCENSORED

SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I AM COMPETING WITH MYSELF AND BEFORE ANYONE ELSE, I HAVE TO IMPRESS MYSELF gadgets and content/perform analysis. The young man’s mission is to reach and educate the largest audience of skilled and unskilled creative persons such as brand managers, art directors, copywriters, designers and cinematographers. The talented designer, who takes pride in his brand name “Abinibi”, explained that a typical day for or him is tasking as he gets messages es almost on a daily basis from one ne person appreciating his works orr just wanting to work with me. “II don’t let this go into my head like e I have ‘arrived’ or something; that is why I always challenge myself to do better than the last work. Sometimes, I feel like I am competing with myself and before anyone else, I have to impress myself ”, said Abinibi. According to him, the major challenge faced by young entrepreneurs in Nigeria is the constant lack of power. “The fact that I have to run a generator daily is unfair, uneconomical and really frustrating”, he lamented. Another challenge for him would be lack of proper appreciation, in terms of value for what one does. “A lot of people l think since your work is computer based you shouldn’t charge or earn much, forgetting that you are actually charging them for ‘brain work’. The good thing about Skillz Magazine is that everyone in the creative industry falls in love with it at first sight and therefore you need not say much to convince them about the magazine”, he proudly disclosed. In less than a month of publication, the magazine has sales agents across nine major states in Nigeria including Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja and Lagos. Speaking about his aspiration for the future, Abinibi said because of passion for the local creative industry, he is always looking for ways to increase creative awareness. The artist revealed he has a lot of projects on his plate but abstains from announcing half-completed products based on past experiences. For now, there is the Abinibi Creative Academy, where he teaches Graphics to individuals on weekends; he has been running that suc-

cessfully for almost four years. He has also started a workshop/seminar programme tagged, The Design Session, where he hosts colleagues and art enthusiasts to an interactive session on ideas, work processes and techniques.

Abinibi

MIDWEEK JUMP Nigerian thespians star in power-packed plays in London

O

ver the weekend, Bank of Industry and Lufodo Productions presented three power packed plays which featured star actors live on stage at the Nigerian House, Theatre Royal Stratford, East London. The first play presented was The naming ceremony written by Sefi Atta and staged on Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29. This play tells the story of a couple, Akin and Tola, who just had their first child. Tola, the young mother goes through trying times with her husband, mother and mother in-law, on the occa-

sion of her first child’s naming ceremony. While the second play was the Lion and the Jewel a play written by the Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka which was slated for July 30 and 31. In the play, the lion represents Baroka who fights with the village school teacher, Lakunle over a young beautiful maiden Sidi who is also known as the jewel. This play goes deep into the argument of modernisation, social conventions and the power to change. The play was directed by Niji Akanni. Fred Agbeyegbe’s The king must dance naked is the third and final play to come on stage on Friday,

August 3 and Saturday, August 4. Nigerian thespians featured in these performances include Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Justus Esiri, Keppy Ekpenyoung Bassey, Tosan Ugbeye, Segun Arinze, Bimbo Akintola, Edmond Enaibe, Najite Dede, Lola Akindoju, Doyin Owobamirin and many more.

Joke Silva


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FAR AND NEAR

Senate makes case for NCMM ...urges NICO to focus on dying languages IJEOMA E ZEIKE ABUJA

T

he Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Mallam Yusuf Abdallah, has told the Senate that no funds was provided for the maintenance, restoration, preservation of monuments and heritage sites in the 2012 budget. Abdallah, who made this known last week in Abuja during the oversight visit of members, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, said the existing museums in the country are crying for attention pointing out the urgent need to maintain them in order to serve the purpose of creation. He hinted further that a lot of projects are still hanging because of lack of funds. “Our Museum of Traditional and Nigeria Architecture (MOTNA) situated in Plateau state is in a terrible state; it is supposed to be a centre of unity for the country but nothing has been done to provide the necessary facilities’’, he said. ‘’This Commission runs 33 museums, maintains six monuments and two World Heritage Sites, while 100,000 antiquities from all cultural areas are in our custody but adequate funds is needed to maintain them’’, Abdallah added. Giving a breakdown on what had been done so far, the D.G. said that two out of the four museums of National Unity meant to be established in four states had been completed and upgraded with necessary facilities. “Currently, 12 new projects are still under construction in different states of the Federation, while a community museum and laboratory is on-going in Ogbomoso, Oyo state and Tafawa Balewa Mausoleum has been upgraded recently’’, he revealed. Responding, the leader of the delegation, Senator Ahmed Barata urged the commission to focus more on the maintenance of the existing museums instead of building new ones. Barata frowned at the lack of money for the purchase and maintenance of antiquities and promised to intervene in their case. Meanwhile, while at the office of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), in Abuja, the senators also urged for more focus on languages that were dying instead of going to already existing ones. ‘’If we want to encourage our people to participate in their culture, we have to go to the ones that are dying and not the ones that are dominating others. There are small ethnic groups that are phasing out, we need to encourage people to speak their own languages’’. Responding, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma solicited the senators’ support to provide necessary funds to ensure NICO plays its proper role in the country.

L-R: Member, Board of trustees, Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Mr Akin Ajayi, Director of Events and Sponsorship, Globacom, Mr. Bode Opeseitan, Chairman, Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Mrs Francesca Yetunde Emmanuel and CEO, Lumina Foundation, Mrs Ogochukwu Promise at the press briefing on 2012 edition of Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa sponsored by Globacom in Lagos on Monday.

Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature heralded in Lagos ADENRELE NIYI

T

he 2012 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, established in 2005 by Lumina Foundation, received a major boost recently when telecoms giant, Globacom came on-board as a big budget sponsor. The sponsorship announcement was made yesterday at a press conference held at the Boat Club, IkoyiLagos to herald the biennial literary awards, also known in many circles as the The African Nobel. Present were; member, Board of Trustees, Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Mr. Akin Ajayi; Director of Events and Sponsorship, Globacom, Mr. Bode Opeseitan; Chairman, Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emmanuel and CEO, Lumina Foundation, Dr. Prom-

ise Ogochukwu. It was also announced that from 2014, the prize would no longer be awarded across several literary genres as previously done but on rotation through the following genres: Published Prose; Drama; Poetry and Essay on Political and Human Rights. Although a shortlist for the 2012 prize would be announced later this month, the panel of distinguished judges for the fourth edition has assessed 402 entries from 26 African countries namely: The Beauty I have never Seen, Tanure Ojaide; Bitter Chocolate, Toyin Adewale Gabriel; That Other Country, Hyginus Ekuwazi; The Book of the Dead, Kgebetli Moele; The Unseen Leopard, Bridget Pitt; On Black Sister’s Street, Chika Unigwe; The African American, Dike Ogu Chukwumerije; Roses and Bullets, Akachi Adimoa-Ezeigbo; Young

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Blood, Sifiso Mzobe; The Colour of Power, Marie Heese; Pride of the Spider Clan, Odili Ujubuonu; Lazarus Effect, H.J. Golokai; Fallout, Sue Rabie; The thin line, Arja Sala Franca and Only a Canvass, Olusola Olugbesan. The 15 candidates listed above are from seven African countries namely; Nigeria, Liberia, South Africa, Mali, Uganda, Gambia and Kenya. Speaking at the event, Dr. Ogochukwu commended Globacom for taking giant pride in promoting this prestigious African prize while giving kudos to other sponsors who had stood by the foundation from inception of the literary prize. According to her “the prize is intended to serve as an African equivalent of the Nobel Prize, and also to recognise and encourage professional and personal excellence”. She also spoke about the exceptional authors and their works, plans for the award night and also about the past award winners and some of their works. Also making his remark, Mr. Bode Opeseitan of Globacom restated the company’s commitment to giving value to its subscribers as well as contributing to intellectual development of the communities where the company has its footprints. “Globacom and our dearly beloved Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka share similar aspirations and characteristics in terms of developing a strong, virile African society. While Prof. Soyinka generally explores the medium of literary works to develop human capital across society and cultures, Globacom has continued to create value with its products and services that enrich the lives of the average African, using the ICT space”, he said. Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel disclosed that ex-President of Ghana, John Kuffour would be the Special Guest of Honour at this year’s edition of the prize while Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola would also be special guests.

Budding writers given wings TERH AGBEDEH

T

he fifth edition of the international writing workshop by Fidelity Bank Plc came to a successful end recently, where 27 budding writers learnt the rudiments of writing in Lagos. With the theme: The Write Way to Greatness it was taught by U.S.based Nigerian writer and teacher at George Madison University, Helon Habila, who led two other female writers: Sally Keith, U.S. and Aminatta Forna from the UK. The event held at Ocean View Restaurant in Victoria Island, Lagos. The bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, expressed delight at the yearly training intervention his bank was making in boosting Nigerian writing through the workshop. He said the bank intervened when awardwinning author, Chimamanda Ngozi

Adichie, started the workshop, which had grown with Habila effectively taking over and sustaining it. The top banker told the gathering that writing is something he thought “you need to learn; if you don’t read enough, you’re not likely going to write well. But reading should not be about motivational books”. He said new ideas were being brought in to enrich the workshop and make the series more exciting, interesting and better. He noted that the compendium that came from last year’s edition had been repackaged to make it more appealing. Participants read out their poems to delight the audience and the workshop teachers also read excerpts from their works. Habila urged participants to take their training seriously, as he noted that there was no university in Nigeria offering degree programme in Creative Writing. The Fidelity Bank Creative Writing Workshop, he said, was

Michaela Moye receives her certificate from Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Ihejiahi

therefore one way of getting skills in creative writing in the country, which they should consider a privilege. Some attendees included: Odia Ofeimun, Tade Ipadeola, Toni Kan, who partly organised; Emman Usman Shehu; Rotimi Babatunde (Caine Prize for African Writing 2012 winner); Jude Dibia; Daggar Tolar, Lagos ANA chairman; Jumoke Verissimo, Maxim Uzuator and Deji Toye.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Coventry nicks brilliant come-back

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Let’s be assured that it’s not over for Nigeria Tennis. But let’s also resolve to do the right thing - FORMER NIGERIAN TENNIS STAR, SADIQ ABDULLAHI

Early exit shocks Akinyemi N

igeria’s first Olympic slalom canoe competitor, Jonathan Akinyemi, is yet to come to terms with his unsuccessful bid to move ahead in the men’s kayak K1 event on Monday. The 23-year-old who has scored a first to compete for Nigeria in the white water of Lee Valley is still devastated, according to the secretary of the Nigeria Rowing Federation, Bunmi Oluode. “It’s a sad one for us and for Akinyemi. He is still lamenting his loss and is greatly affected by that. He was greatly looking forward to doing his best for his fatherland,”

Oluode said. “We’ve told him to look at the positives of representing Nigeria and he has learnt one or two things of doing well in the sport. For us, we are not happy,” the secretary added. But Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, who watched Akinyemi as he struggled against the massive waters, described his efforts as soullifting. “I’m proud with his efforts and you needed to see his bravery against the churning waters. He has started something that will definitely open doors for other Nigerians in the sport,” Abdullahi had said at the venue.

No accreditation for minister

S

ports Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has no accreditation for the ongoing London 2012 Olympic Games. National Mirror learnt that the minister has suffered inconveniences as a result and the situation is causing ripples in the Nigerian camp. Abdullahi’s plight resulted from the fact he had overseen the sports ministry while being substantive minister of Youth Development at the time that sports minister was required to get accreditation for

Abdullahi

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Athletics: Ogba promises semis berth

T

Jonathan Akinyemi

First Bank lifts Olympic Village

T

hree days to beginning of the athletics events, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Solomon Ogba, has promised that his athletes would make the semi-finals of their events. “All I want to see here is for our athletes to get to the semi-final stages of their different events. From there, anything can happen,” Ogba said at the Nigerian House which has become a bee-hive of activities for Nigerians and non Nigerians who come to savour the delicacies of the country and wine and dine with Nollywood stars. “The athletes are ready and I am moved by their commitment,” the AFN boss said. At very difficult times where Team Nigeria struggled, Ogba and his athletics team had brought relief, respect and excellence to the country. At the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and the All Africa Games in Maputo, Ogba and athletics excelled and participants here believe that Nigeria’s first medals in these Games would come this weekend.

the games. he presence of First Bank cated on the Kessington Gardens It was also learnt that Nigeria Plc is felt at the on- in the highbrow Central Lonthat top officials of the going Olympics, especially don, with each having a space NSC are not happy with at the Association of National to showcase its culture, arts and leadership of the Nige- Olympics of Africa (ANOCA) craft and cuisine. ria Olympic Committee Village located in South KessingBut for First Bank, however, (NOC) over the latter’s ton. the Nigerian stand would have inability to break protoFirst Bank is a partner of the been empty, non-existent and col and secure accredi- Nigeria Olympic Committee overlooked. tation for Abdullahi, (NOC) and the Official Banker First Bank’s Head, Marketeven after the closure of Team Nigeria and the bank ing Communication, Mrs Folake of the process. has also has top sprinter and Ani-Mumuney, said that the globThe minister’s move- Olympic medal hopeful, Bless- al financial institution is determent here has been ing Okagbare as an Ambassa- mined to fulfil its part of the deal hampered and could dor to these games. with Team Nigeria, while also continue unless he is ofAfrican countries participat- making its range of banking fafered a daily pass by the ing in the London Games are cilities available to participants games organisers. Ogba sharing a hospitality village lo- here. Aside Abdullahi, however, there are other directors and top officials of the NSC without accreditations but are here despite the minister’s earlier statement that London 2012 would not be a jamboree. It was learnt yesterday from insiders in Team Nigeria that the minister had ordered three of the directors to leave London immediately and return to Abuja in the aftermath of the impasse, but the directors’ identity was shrouded ostensibly to avoid further conflict in Lithuania’s Jonas Maciulis (l) and Paulius Jankunas sandwich Nigeria’s Al-Farouq Aminu during their group game yesterday. Lithuania the Nigeria camp. won 72-53


28

Sport

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Accolades for Ye Shiwen… Meilutyte

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FROM THE LOND

Two teenage swimmers are the talk of London 2012 after stunning victories at the Aquatics Centre. China’s Ye Shiwen, 16, secured 400m individual medley gold in a world record time, completing the last 50m quicker than men’s champion Ryan Lochte. The performance prompted US coach John Leonard to describe her performance as “disturbing”, but the British Olympic Association’s chairman Lord Colin Moynihan said she had passed drugs tests and deserved recognition for her talent. Ye went on to break the 200m IM Olympic record on Tuesday, the same day 15-year-old Ruta Meilutyte won the 100m breaststroke. Meilutyte set a world leading time to qualify for the final, where she became Lithuania’s first ever Olympic gold medallist in the pool.

Sharron Davies “When you have 15, 16 and 17-year-old youngsters they can make huge improvements. American 15-yearold Katie Ledecky knocked five seconds off her best time at the US trials to qualify for the 800m. “Missy Franklin is a phenomenon at 17. On Monday, she got out of the water from a race and 10 minutes later went back in and won the 100m backstroke. These things do happen. “The big question is over the way Ye swam in the last 50m, that’s what we’re all finding a little bit difficult to take in. But Becky Adlington’s last 50m of the 800m was also quicker than Lochte’s, so we have to be careful that we don’t jump to ridiculous conclusions. “I watched a lot of the Chinese girls train at Bath University and every day for nearly two weeks their workrate was colossal. Ye is probably one that was targeted when Beijing got the 2008 Olympics and she’s had the last 10 years to prepare for this event. “If you work it out in percentage terms, Meilutyte actually made a bigger percentage improvement over the 100m than Ye has in the 400m.”

Zara Phillips of Great Britain riding High Kingdom in action in the Eventing competition

Ian Thorpe “If we had an athlete from Great Britain who dropped three seconds we would say ‘wow’. I took five seconds off my time in the 400m freestyle from the age of 15 to 16. “We have to remember young swimmers can take off chunks of time others can’t. We should wait. This is what I don’t like in sport - when athletes are successful, people say it’s because of drugs.”

Adrian Moorhouse “First of all, Ye Shiwen is no overnight sensation as she won gold at the World Championships last year. I think it is sour grapes and insulting. “Meilutyte has won a gold medal in the breaststroke and we’re all captivated by that because she trains here in Britain, but nobody is questioning her. “There are a lot of people in China and the base of their pyramid is so wide that if they train thousands and thousands of kids, they might have just found their Michael Phelps. “At 17, I took four seconds off my best time in the 200m breaststroke and won a European bronze medal. At that age you can make big leaps.”

Jon Rudd

Mohammed Samandi of Tunisia (l) competes against Husayn Rosowsky of Great Britain during the round of 64 men’s Foil individual

“A big swim, around the 1:05-1:06 mark, has been brewing for a while. It was just a case of her putting all the elements together on one day. “She’s a great talent, but also an extremely vigilant and conscientious worker, and when you get talent and work ethic you’ve got the ideal kid. “I don’t know if there’s a box left unticked. Everything about her is pretty much as we’d want it - her work in the pool, her work in the gym, her attention to detail. She’s very conscientious about her nutrition and rest. “Plymouth College and Plymouth Leander as a partnership, the school and the club, do a fantastic job in making sure she’s looked after well in the classroom, medical facilities, everything she needs. My philosophy is to leave no stone unturned. We’ve done that with her.”

Lord Colin Moynihan

“Ye Shiwen has been through the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) programme and she’s clean. That’s the end of the story. She deserves recognition for her talent.”

Lee Sung Jin of Korea competes in the women’s individual Archery eliminations match

Ryo Tateshi of Japan competes in the men’s heat 4


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Sport

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

29

DON 2012 LENS

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Heredia Cuesta Jackelina of Columbia during the 104Kg clean and jack event yesterday

Maria Antonelli of Brazil serves durng the Women’s Beach Volleyball preliminary match against Germany

Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan plays a forehand during the Women’s Singles Table Tennis match against Yuegu Wang of Singapore

Meilutyte holds her gold medal

Medals table

Gemma Howell of Great Britain (blue) competes with Gevrise Emane of France in the women’s -63kg Judo

200m Breaststroke

Angelique Kerber of Germany returns a shot during the second round of women’s singles tennis.

Photos: ESPN

China

10

6

3

19

United States

7

7

5

19

France

4

1

4

9

Korea

3

2

2

7

DPR Korea

3

0

1

4

Kazakhstan

3

0

0

3

Italy

2

4

2

8

Germany

2

3

1

6

Russian Fed.

2

2

4

8

Japan

1

4

7

12

Australia

1

2

1

4

Romania

1

2

1

4

Brazil

1

1

1

3

Hungary

1

1

1

3

Netherlands

1

1

0

2

Ukraine

1

0

2

3

Georgia

1

0

0

1

Lithuania

1

0

0

1

South Africa

1

0

0

1

Slovenia

1

0

0

1

Great Britain

0

2

2

4

Colombia

0

2

0

2

Mexico

0

2

0

2


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Sport

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Murray makes last 16

B

ritish Andy Murray raced into the third round of the men’s singles at the Olympic tennis tournament with a dominant 6-2, 6-4 victory over Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen under the roof on Centre Court. The third seed, who will also play mixed doubles with Laura Robson here, looked in fine fettle and next faces a rematch with Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, who he beat in the third round of Wimbledon. Murray and Nieminen know each other well having met four times previously, most recently in the second round of the French Open earlier this summer, while they also played at Wimbledon two years ago in a match watched by the Queen. The Scot won all those meetings, although he had to struggle through a back spasm to come through their Roland Garros clash. No such dramas were expected yesterday, with Nieminen having won only one match since that encounter and Murray fit and in great form, and the home favourite raced out of the blocks. Murray, who has made no secret of his desire to make amends for his first-round exit in Beijing, then made the best possible start to the second set with another break. There were plenty of British flags in a big but not entirely full crowd and a decent level of noise, but Murray was simply having too easy a time of it to generate an electric atmosphere.

Andy Murray sweating against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen yesterday

Judo: Saudi ‘hijab’ dispute resolved

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audi Arabia judoka Wojdan Shaherkani will compete at the Olympics after a dispute over a hijab was resolved. The International Judo Federation said the 16-year-old must fight without the headscarf for safety reasons, but the Saudis threatened to withdraw Shaherkani. An International Olympic Committee spokesman said: “The judo federation will allow her to wear something which will not compromise her safety, which I think they use for competitions in Asia.” A Saudi official said earlier this month that the country’s two female athletes at London 2012-Shaherkani and 800m runner Sarah Attarmust obey Islamic dress codes. But judo officials claimed a headscarf could cause choking, in a sport that involves grabbing and throwing. Shaherkani will fight Puerto Rico’s Melissa Mojica, ranked 13 in the world, in the first round of the +78kg category on Friday.

Luis Suarez (9) in action in the men’s football first round match against Senegal on Sunday

Football: Suarez sparks fresh controversy

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ruguay striker, Luis Suarez, says the Millennium Stadium crowd should focus on their own team ahead of today’s showdown between Team GB and Uruguay. The Liverpool striker was repeatedly jeered at Wembley as Uruguay went down 2-0 to Senegal on Sunday. But speaking ahead of his side’s crunch showdown with Team GB, Suarez said: “Fans should focus on themselves and their own team. What inter-

ests me is the Liverpool fans and the Uruguay fans.” Craig Bellamy, who played alongside Suarez at Liverpool believes the controversial star is Uruguay’s biggest threat. Team GB will progress with a draw, but the South American side must win to feature in the knockout rounds. And Bellamy said: “The great thing about Luis is that he has such a big heart. He is a really terrific player and the one thing I’ve seen over and over

again is that he is able to create something out of absolutely nothing.” “You sometimes think he is going down a dead end but then he will show that spark of creativity that change things completely. He will come up with a little flick or knock the ball through an opponent’s legs and that’s what makes him so dangerous. He is a special talent and I feel fortunate to have trained and played with him,” he added.

Coventry nicks brilliant come-back

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imbabwean swimmer, Kirsty Coventry, shook off the disappointment of failing to reach the final of the 200m backstroke by securing a place in the 200m individual medley final at the London Olympics. Coventry, 28, was eighth quickest overall as the 16-year-old Chinese sensation Ye Shiwen won the semi-final with a blistering time of 2:08.39. The first semi-final in which Coventry came third was won by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in 2:10.74 – but her time was only enough for fifth overall. Australian Stephanie Rice, the fifth swimmer from Shiwen’s

group to reach the final, came in with the sixth best time of 2:10.80. Great Britain’s Hannah Miley, who finished second behind Hosszu in the first semi, was seventh overall ahead of Coventry (2:10.93) with a time of 2:10.89. Reaching the final is a huge relief for Coventry, who won silver in the same event in Beijing four years ago with a time of 2:08.59 – an African record. On Sunday night, Coventry suffered a setback when she crashed out of the 100m backstroke semi-finals–leaving the 200m individual medley and 200m backstroke events as her only other chance of winning a medal in London.

Kirsty Coventry (r) rejoices after her feat in the 200m individual medley


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance Mining sector will revive the nation’s economy

Nigerian banks have enough core capital and the Capital Adequacy Ratio is between 10 per cent and 15 per cent so if there are shocks, they can absorb it

Minister of Mines and Steel, Mr. Musa Mohammed Sada

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES COMPANY, BISMARCK REWANE

42-43

Price of Bonny Light hits $105 per barrel UDEME AKPAN

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he price of Bonny Light has risen to over $105 per barrel at the international oil market as a result of increased demand. The new price showed $33 in excess of the $72 per barrel reference price of the nation’s 2012 budget, meaning that the government may be in a position to generate adequate foreign exchange for the implementation of the budget. A survey of some markets around the world showed that the prices of many crude oil grades have risen tremendously in the past few weeks, due mainly to improved demand. Bloomberg that confirmed the development stated that, “Oil in New York headed for the first monthly increase since April before meetings of central bank policy makers to discuss the economy and a report tomorrow that may show U.S. crude stockpiles declined.” It maintained that futures were little changed after advancing as much as 0.6 percent. The European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve

hold meetings this week, with ECB President Mario Draghi having pledged on July 26 to preserve the euro. U.S. crude inventories probably dropped 1.1 million barrels last week. The agency quoted a market analyst, Andrey Kryuchenkov as stating that, “Crude futures are taking their cue from the broader market.” It stated that, “Crude for September delivery was at $90.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the

New York Mercantile Exchange, 29 cents higher, at 1:39 p.m. London time. The contract yesterday slid 0.4 percent to $89.78, the lowest close since July 26. Prices have climbed 6 percent this month and dropped 9 percent this year.” Brent oil for September settlement on the Londonbased ICE Futures Europe exchange traded little changed at $106.27 a barrel. The European benchmark crude was at a $16.20

premium to New Yorktraded West Texas Intermediate grade. The spread was $16.42 yesterday, the widest in almost 10 weeks. Oil in New York has long-term technical support along its 50-month moving average at $84.25 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Futures settled above this indicator at the end of May and June. Buy orders tend to be clustered near chart-support levels. Crude fell for the first

time in five days yesterday as economic confidence in the euro area decreased. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 17-nation euro area slid to 87.9 in July from 89.9 in June, the European Commission in Brussels said. That’s the lowest since September 2009. The European Union accounted for 16 percent of global oil demand last year, according to BP Plc (BP/)’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy.

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he Nigerian foreign exchange reserve fell 1.4 per cent monthon-month to $36.40bn at July 25, from $36.93bn on

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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: Director, CMC Connect, Mr. Tunde Dabiri; Managing Director, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya and Chairman, Mr. Akin Opeodu, at the company’s 15th Annual General Meeting in Lagos recently.

Forex reserve dips by 1.4% as dollar demand rises ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

June 25. The foreign reserves stood at $36.71bn at the end of June, higher from $33.45bn in the same period of 2011. The Central Bank of Nigeria attributed the decline to the falling oil prices and strong demand for dollars. The Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okojo-Iweala, had

on July 26 said that the reserves continue to drop on the back of global developments, saying that government target is to keep the reserves at $50bn by the end of the year. She said that government has resolved to rebuild the country’s depleting Excess Crude Account which recently went down to $3.6bn to $10bn by the end of the year 2012, add-

ing, “Nigerian economy remains vulnerable and buffers need to be built up.” The Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, had said recently the appreciation of the United States dollar is forcing a gradual slide in the country’s terms of trade. He had pointed out that the oil price decline and the currency impact

Condemnation trails FG panel’s report on Dana crash

Apapa Customs nets N146bn revenue in six months

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has reduced the country’s share of world export from 0.63 per cent to 0.58 per cent, saying that China now controls 17.5 per cent of the country import, US 9.1 per cent and Indian 4.7 per cent. Rewane had explained that the correlation between oil price and forex revenue remains positive, and the economy is valuable to oil price shocks.

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

233.8045

USD

155.84

CHF

159.6231

SDR

235.3807

CFA

0.2904

GBP

244.9026

EURO

190.2027

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$118.13

+0.82

$99.99

+1.32

OPEC BASKET

$116.27

+1.09

NATURAL GAS

$5.55

+2.63

NYMEX

FG resolves conflict, set to boost electricity transmission

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Business Finance

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Condemnation trails FG panel’s report on Dana crash OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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takeholders and professionals in the Nigerian aviation industry yesterday condemned last week’s Technical and Administrative Review Panel on Domestic Airlines (TARPDA), submitted by the Chairman of the committee, Grp. John Obakpolor and eight other members. Those who spoke with National Mirror said that the report was to discredit the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority who they claimed had done a lot to improve the civil aviation in Nigeria since 2006 while it failed to look at the operations of other domestic airlines in the country bedside that of Dana. It will be recalled that the Federal Government barely two days after the crash had set up a nine-member committee with Grp. Capt. John Obakpolor as its Chairman while it has Capt. Austin Omame, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia, Capt. Mfon Udom, Capt. Dele Sasegbon, Dr O. B. Aliu, Engr. Fidelix Onyeyiri, Capt. Muhtar Usman and the Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Dr. Anthony Anuforom as members. A member of the Nigerian Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers and an engineer with

L-R: Registrar and Chief Executive, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, Alhaji Bello Kankarofi; Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans and Chairman, APCON Governing Council, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, during Etisalat’s visit to APCON recently.

the defunct national carrier, Engr. Mohammed Gambo condemned the report in its entirety, adding that it said very little about the safety practices of the airlines, to a limited extent on Dana. Gambo explained that the report seemed to be more of what NCAA was not doing while it was silent on what the agency had been doing over the years. He emphasised that for in-

21 million people are victims of forced labour, says ILO MESHACK IDEHEN

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he International Labour Organisation, (ILO) has said that nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labour across the world, and that many of the victims of forced labour are trapped in jobs in which they were coerced or deceived into, and in which they cannot leave. According to a statement by the ILO made available to journalists on the new global estimate on Tuesday, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced labourers in the world, with 11.7 million (56 per cent) of the global total, followed by Africa at 3.7 million (18 per cent) and Latin America with 1.8 million victims (9 per cent). The ILO’s Head of Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour, Beate Andrees, in the statement, said that the methodology for arriving at the figures has been revised and improved, since the ILO’s initial estimate in 2005, and the numbers are more robust now. According to Andrees, the ILO has come a long way over the last seven years since in working to arrive at the numbers, “we first

put an estimate on how many people were forced into labour or services across the world. We have also made good progress ensuring most countries now have legislation which criminalises forced labour, human trafficking and slavery-like practices”. Of the figures, the ILO said 18.7 million (90 per cent) are exploited in the private economy, by individuals or enterprises, out of which 4.5 million (22 per cent) are victims of forced sexual exploitation and 14.2 million (68 per cent) are victims of forced labour exploitation in economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing. The ILO said also that 2.2 million (10 per cent) are in stateimposed forms of forced labour, like in the prisons, or in work imposed by the state military or by rebel armed forces, and that 5.5 million of that amount (26 per cent) are below 18 years. According to the ILO, the number of victims per thousand inhabitants is highest in the central and south-eastern Europe and Africa regions at 4.2 and 4.0 per 1,000 inhabitants respectively, and at its the lowest in the developed economies and European Union at 1.5 per 1,000 inhabitants.

stance, the term of reference was to “thoroughly review the maintenance practices of Dana Airlines as well as other domestic scheduled operators and asses their level of compliance with the NCAA regulations. “The entire review is silent on what other airlines do, scanty on what Dana does, and extensive on perceived failures of NCAA. It doesn’t add up. An examination

of every other term of reference clearly demonstrates that the panel’s sole preoccupation was to find a way to ultimately find fault with NCAA.” Gambo noted that the panel and it report had pre-empted the Accident Investigation Bureau report by determining the cause of the accident, stressing that the report insisted that the cause of the crash was poor maintenance of the air-

craft and NCAA’s failure to sufficiently carry out its functions in that respect. He said that with this, the government may have invited liability on itself, adding that lawyers who wish to sue would sue Dana and NCAA for poor maintenance and negligent oversight leading to the accident. “Some lawyers already sued in America citing poor design and manufacture of the aircraft against Boeing. This now effectively eliminates that scope of inquiry and limits the cause to Dana and NCAA. The fear is a potential for several class actions against Dana and NCAA,” he said. Also, the General Secretary of the body, Capt. Mohammed Joji maintained that AIB is the only body recognised under the law to investigate air accident in the country. Joji noted that it would be illogical to conduct investigation when the body statutorily charged with that responsibility was yet to conclude its investigation. He said, “In any aircraft accident all over the world, public hearing into aircraft accident are not held in public because of its volatility due to loss of lives in such an accident as in the present circumstance as it could heat up the polity.”

FG’s N100bn debt worries construction workers MESHACK IDEHEN

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resident of the Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA), Mr Augustine Etafo, has said the rising domestic and foreign debt profile of the Federal Government is hindering the construction sector from performing to its optimal capacity. Etafo said also that the huge debt owed construction companies in Nigeria and overseas by the Federal Government, is stalling the execution of further de-

velopment projects in and around the country. Speaking in a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday, after a fund-raising programme, Etafo said the current situation in the sector has forced many contractors to resort to borrowing from commercial banks in order to be able to execute projects The construction workers’ president said there is not serious commitment from the government to settle the debt at local and internationals, which describing the current owed to be estimated at N100 bn.

According to him, most contractors apart from relying on borrowed funds from banks to execute projects, also have resorted to borrowing from “unusual sources” stressing also that often times government keeps failing to reimburse the contractors long after such projects have been completed. He said, “In as much, we appreciate the difficult times our industry is passing through due to the huge debt owed to some of our companies by government, the association also wishes to reflect on our concern as a body.”

ment of e-business activities and encourage bet web communication practice. The results, which were announced in the presence of the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, and key decision makers in the financial services industry and information and communications technology sector showed that Nigerian companies have made much progress in the use of their websites to conduct electronic commerce in the last 10 years. The Web-Jurist rating results which were announced by the Chief Executive Officer of Phillips

Consulting Limited, Mr. Folusho Phillips showed that Etisalat and Starcomms came second and third in the overall best websites while MTN emerged best website for technical structure and security, Visafone best content website and Starcomms best customer aesthetics website categories respectively. In the banking sector, Zenith Bank and Access Bank emerged second and third in the overall best website while Zenith Bank, Access Bank and GT Bank carted awards in the best customer experience, best web transaction and best technical structure and security categories respectively.

Web-Jurist rating: MTN, GTB, others rated best websites KUNLE AZEEZ

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TN Nigeria, GT Bank Plc, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance and Kakawa Discount House have emerged the 2012 Web-Jurist overall best websites in the telecommunications, banking, insurance and discount market segments of the economy conducted by Phillips Consulting Limited. in its 10th year, Web-Jurist rating which is an initiative of the technology division of Phillips Consulting Limited to measure the effectiveness of websites in the private sector to ensure continuous enhance-


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Business & Finance

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Apapa Customs nets N146bn revenue in six months FRANCIS EZEM

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he Nigeria Customs Service Apapa Command at the end of the first half of 2012 collected a total of N139.2bn revenue into the Federation Account and other levies and fees for the Federal Government and its agencies. The command was at the beginning of the 2012 fiscal year given a N324bn revenue target out of the N1trillion target given to the service by the government, which translates to N27bn per month. Customs Area Controller in charge of Apapa, Alhaji Adamu Garko who briefed newsmen on the activities of the command for the first half of the year, said the command generated a total of N139.2bn between January and June, 2012. This represents a growth rate of 33 per cent compared with the N104.7bn generated in the comparative period of last year. After a dismal performance in the first three months of the year, which it attributed to the uncer-

tainties that characterized the beginning of the year such as the fuel subsidy removal and the crisis it generated, the commands revenue collection went up on a monthly basis. For instance, it collected a total of N19.7bn in April, N24.6 billion in May and set a new record in June, collecting a whopping N36.7bn to surpassing the existing record of N25bn collected in September last year. The command had in January collected N15.4bn, in February it collected N21. bn and in March it collected 21.2bn. This brings to a total of N57.9 bn for the first quarter as against the targeted N81bn on the basis of N27bn monthly revenue. According to the controller, with this impressive revenue record for the second quarter of the year, the command is certain that it would make the N324bn target for the year and by implication raises a glimmer of hope that the service would make its N1tr 2012 fiscal year revenue target. On trade facilitation, he disclosed that a total of 115 compa-

nies have hooked up to the command’s fast track facility under which based on the high level of compliance of the importers, their containers are given express exit via the green channel, which implies that the consignment under the scheme go through the green channel. It was gathered that currently, a total of 800 containers are cleared under the fast track scheme monthly, an indication that importers are yet to embrace the scheme. The customs management had at the beginning of the year introduced what it called a benchmark duty value on a total of 26 imported items, especially electrical and electronic products, which stakeholders believed was part of the desperate bid to meet the N1trn target. Many importers had, following the imposition of the benchmark abandoned their consignments, which also contributed to the sharp decline in revenue at most of the commands including Apapa.

L-R: Nollywood Actor, Mr. Tom Njemanze; winner, Mr. Chimezie Godwin; Representative of Director General, National Lottery Commission, Mr. Emmanuel Jeminiwa; Comedian, Chief Chika Okpala and MTN Masterbrand Specialist, Ms. Adlene Okeke, at the presentation of Hyundai Suv’s to winners of MTN Goodwill Automania Promo in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Disabled traders, farmers appeals to FG for support STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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he National Association of Nigeria Disabled Traders (NANDTF), affiliated to National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and Farms Management Association of Nigeria (FAMAN), has to appealed to the Federal Government to come to their aid, as they are struggling to eke a living. The National Coordinator of the group, Mr. Ojo Akande , who made the appeal on their preparation to hosts the first ever business/economic roundtable seminar/conference, in Lagos , stated that if poverty must be reduced drastically, a concerted effort must be taken to train,

equip and fund person with disabilities in order to enable them cope with life and living conditions excruciating poverty has forced them into. Akande lamented that various level of government have not considered them in their scheme of things, “Imagine, as government lay emphasize on wealth –creation , food security and employment opportunities , we are relegated in their plan/ policies .This lad to mass poverty and unemployment among disabled popular in Nigeria”. He added,” it’s not easy to be disabled entrepreneur; you cannot access bank loans for hefty interest and collaterals. Many of us manage with small business enterprises as many businesses are dying and in state of comatose now due to lack of funds to

implement ideas and not necessarily for lack of ideas.” Akande , said that they need level playing field in all strata includes banks extending to disabled loan facility , government should stop paying lip services to their plight, that henceforth policies geared towards wealth creation and employment opportunities, they should carry them along. Commenting on the upcoming event tagged “the role of the banks and financial institutions in uplift of the disabled”, he explained that it was a programme put together to address so many issues affecting person living with disabilities in Nigeria with a view to finding solutions to myriad of these problems confronting their members in the society.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Telecoms firm closes operation over insecurity KUNLE AZEEZ

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he increasing spate of insecurity of life and property has forced a telecoms company, CNSSL, down its operations in Jos, the capital of Plateau State. The telecoms/outsourcing company operates its call centre in Jos to provide call centre services for MTN Nigeria, the countries’ largest telecoms network. The company, in statement yesterday, said the closure was occasioned by the continuous state of insecurity in Jos and its environs. The noted that the consequence of the insecurity had had significant impact on our operations, personnel and therefore our ability to deliver on our contractual obligations

to MTN. According to the statement, “CNSSL regrets to announce the closing down of its call centre operation in Jos, Plateau State. It will be recalled that CNSSL had entered into a contract to operate and staff the Jos call centre on behalf of MTN Nigeria in July 2010, and we have been doing so until recently. “The current state of insecurity and threat to our personnel has been heightened by recent developments in Jos. “Since we conduct our operations in accordance with international best practice, we consider the safety of human lives as more important than financial gain or consideration. We have therefore informed MTN and all other concerned stakeholders including our staff.”

TD named Microsoft top regional partner KUNLE AZEEZ

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igeria’s indigenous Information and Communication technology distribution firm, Technology Distribution Limited has been adjudged winner of the Microsoft’s Top Regional Partner of the Year Award. TD, the Nigerian company that controls 60 per cent of the IT space in West Africa, was named the strongest performing Microsoft partner for West, East, Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, WECA at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 which held in Toronto. Speaking at the conference, Vice President, Microsoft Dynamics Partners and Support Services, Mr. Doug Kennedy, said the event was for Microsoft family to come together

to recognise and celebrate the achievements of top Microsoft partners and support services. Kennedy, who described Microsoft as a partner-centric business, said that the success of Microsoft was directly dependent upon the expertise, commitment and performance of its partners. “The annual Microsoft Partners award winners are clearly an elite set of partners, the best of the best. On behalf of Microsoft, I thank our award winners and congratulate them for their achievements this past year and for their dedication and support of Microsoft applications,” he said. Speaking on the recognition, the Managing Director of Technology Distributions, Mrs. Chioma Ekeh, dedicated the award to TD resellers in the West African region “for being responsive to professional spurs from TD marketing.”

Savage, Akinkugbe appointed Mouka directors

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he Board of Directors of leading manufacturer of mattresses, pillows, beddings and other polyurethane products, Mouka Limited has appointed more industry titans into its Board to enhance good governance and implement company’s business strategy, in achieving its market leadership objectives. According to a company statement issued yesterday, Mr. Babatunde Savage and Chief Olaolu Akinkugbe joined the Board of Mouka to enhance corporate governance, manage the oversight function of the business and long-term strategy and objectives of the company while evaluating and directing implementation of company controls and procedures. Savage’s career in Guin-

ness Nigeria Plc has spanned 26 years. In that period, he held executive positions in Finance, Corporate Planning and Corporate Relations. He joined the Board of Guinness Nigeria in 1996. Tunde Savage holds an honours degree in Physiology from the University of Ibadan. He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN). He is the Chairman of the Beer Sectoral Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and a council member of both the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Akinkugbe is the Chairman/ CEO of L. A. Consultancies Limited.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Energy Week

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

Power transmission station

FG resolves conflict, set to boost electricity transmission Operations of the Transmission Company of Nigeria were threatened when labour embarked on a nationwide protest over the appointment of Manitoba Hydro International of Canada to manage the nation’s electricity transmission system. UDEME AKPAN reports that with the resolution of the conflict, activities would likely be stepped up in the sector in the coming weeks.

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he power sector is full of challenges that cut across generation, transmission and distribution. For instance, the nation lacks adequate feedstock, especially gas to power its thermal stations. The situation is worsened by limited infrastructure, particularly pipelines which are often vandalised in different parts of the nation. There are also other problems such as equipment failure and illegal connection that often leads to destruction of transformers and other facilities put in place to ensure steady supply. The Federal Government does not appear to be unaware of them. A fortnight ago, the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji emerged with short, medium and long term plans for the sector. Under the short term plan, which is to last between two and seven months, the ministry expects moderate improvement in power supply, especially through improved distribution. During the period, the ministry expects that there would have been completion and operation of some new power generating plants, transmission lines and a more developed distribution pattern. It further expects, the reconstituted NERC to ef-

fectively implement the new tariff which implementation started on June 1, 2012. The minister remarked that, “It will interest Nigerians to know that whereas there is tariff of N7 per kilowatt is 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. Three ratings will be involved in the payment for power supply. The new electricity tariff, which has been approved by Mr. President, has a great consideration for the poor in our midst and the R3 will be used to provide billing for the users of electricity above 50 kilowatts per hour.” Under the medium term, scheduled for implementation between 2013 and 2015,

the reform would allow the privatisation of the generating centers and the distribution centre, which will then give higher efficiency and have input of high funding levels to increase power supply to the people. Nnaji confirmed that, “key to the citizens of Nigeria is the fact that the divestment plan by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), will be conducted in a transparent manner in order to give Nigeria and Nigerians the best investors in this sector. It is also our belief that it will fast track development and snowball into better management of the power sector. The minister stressed that, “The impact on the labour force in the power sector would be more positive and sustainable,

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLANS WAS SERIOUSLY THREATENED WHEN LABOUR PROTESTED AGAINST THE APPOINTMENT OF

MANITOBA HYDRO INTERNATIONAL OF CANADA TO MANAGE THE NATION’S ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION SYSTEM

while Nigerians would benefit with a sustained power service delivery. Suffice it to say that the medium term, which runs between 2013 to 2015, would provide generation of power to a higher level of adequacy with increased transmission lines. Under the long term, there would be increased diversification into renewable energy source. This will include small and medium hydro-power, solar, bio-waste to energy and coal. These seem to be good plans. Consumers are however watching to see how these and others would be implemented to make positive impact on the sector and economy.” However, the implementation of the plans was seriously threatened when labour protested against the appointment of Manitoba Hydro International of Canada to manage the nation’s electricity transmission system. Confirming the development, Nnaji said, “It has come to our attention that a handful of workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), have since Wednesday, July 18, 2012, been disturbing the peace and serenity of the corporate headquarters of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), following CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG resolves conflict, set to boost electricity transmission

Jonathan

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 the introduction to the TCN management the previous day of Manitoba Hydro International of Canada as the company which will from Monday, July 23, 2012, begin to manage TCN, one of the PHCN successor companies.” The minister remarked that, “These misguided workers who are purportedly acting under the auspices of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) alleged that security forces have been unleashed on them, that the TCN has been privatised and consequently handed over to Manitoba International to retrench the company’s workforce without their severance benefits being paid.” Nnaji who debunked such allegations stated that, “Since September, 2011, been enhanced at all PHCN installations and facilities across the nation because of the obvious security challenges in some parts of the country. We are glad that deployment of soldiers to assist the police to protect the workers and the public assets from potential terror attacks has proved to be farsighted. It is important to reiterate that the TCN has not been privatised, and will not be privatised. Since the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act in 2005, the Federal Government has always made it clear that the TCN will not be privatised, but rather managed by a company with a requisite record in this field.” The minister remarked that, “It is, therefore, a distortion of facts for some misguided staff of PHCN to allege that the TCN has been sold to any firm and that its workers are about to be retrenched without the payment of their entitlements. In fact, far from TCN employees being laid off, the Ministry of Power has consistently made it clear that that the TCN is grossly understaffed. Justifying the engagement of

Nnaji

Manitoba, Nnaji remarked that, Manitoba is coming with only eight expatriate workers. He said, “The Nigerian employees of the TCN, including the top management staff, will not leave their current positions but will stay on as deputies and “shadows” to understudy the new managers with a view to improving their technical and managerial skills and subsequently taking over the management of the state-owned enterprise as soon as possible.” He stated that, “We would like to use this opportunity to inform the Nigerian people that, contrary to the allegation by some trade unionists in the power sector, there are no sufficient funds in the PHCN Pension scheme to settle the retirement benefits of the 50,000 PHCN workforce. Up to July 1, 2004, when the Pension Reform Act came into force, the PHCN operated a noncontributory pension scheme. As much as N88billion is required to pay the retirement entitlements of the 50,000 PHCN staff members as of June 30, 2004, but only N3 billion is available in the PHCN pension scheme account. This scheme is administered jointly by the PHCN management and the three trade unions in the power sector.” Nnaji promised that PHCN employees would not be made to encounter undue hardships as the government has offered to provide the shortfall of N85billion in the PHCN Pension Scheme account. The minister confirmed that, “Some of the far-reaching steps which the Administration has taken to improve the welfare of the employees are the payment of N57billion monetised benefits which were denied them for a whole seven years; conversion of about 10,000 casual workers to permanent staff, with even retroactive effect; and a 50 per cent salary increase across the board, with even a N9 billion grant (not

Akinniranye

Ajaero

THESE MISGUIDED WORKERS WHO ARE PURPORTEDLY ACTING UNDER THE AUSPICES

NATIONAL UNION OF ELECTRICITY EMPLOYEES (NUEE) ALLEGED THAT SECURITY FORCES HAVE BEEN UNLEASHED ON THEM, THAT THE TCN HAS BEEN PRIVATIZED OF THE

loan) to enable the PHCN to start paying the new huge wage bill.” Investigations showed that the chaotic atmosphere has been normalized, following the swift intervention of the government through the Ministries of Labour and Power, among others. Specifically, the intervention made it possible for all parties to review the situation that culminated in the protest. Labour was indeed assured that TCN and workers would not be privatised and retrenched respectively. From, all indications, Manitoba have come to be. The firm was on March 26, 2012, named the winner of the bid to manage TCN after a rigorous competition with some other world-class electricity firms. Be this as it may, the questions most members of the society are asking are: Who is Manitoba? What value is the firm bringing to the table? And how would that impact positively on the nation’s power sector? Available facts and figures have it that Manitoba assists power utilities, governments, and private sector clients around the world in the efficient, effective, and sustainable delivery of electricity. As a whollyowned subsidiary of one of the largest and longest-standing electric power utilities in Canada, MHI has provided utility and asset management; consulting; and training solutions to over 70 countries worldwide.

Formulate policy to promote LPG consumption - Nipco tells FG STANLEY IBO

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he Federal Government has been tasked to formulate a functional policy, capable of promoting massive application of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) for domestic cooking in the country. The Managing Director of NIPCO, Mr. Venkataraman Venkatapathy who made the call at the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) 2012 first Quarter Business Forum in Lagos said the nation’s gas market was large with high potential demand. Venkatapathy remarked that the time has come stakeholders to encourage the use of LPG as the main energy for domes-

tic cooking in households. The managing Director, who reviewed activities in the sector said the policy would go a long way to check massive consumption of firewood and deforestation in the country. Venkatapathy said that the Nigerian market was large with high potential demand, yet to be tapped, adding that the LPG could substitute imported kerosene. The managing director said that ``this will save the nation foreign exchange to the tune of N200 billion ($1.25billion)’’. He tasked the government to waive taxes, duties and levies on imported LPG kits. ``Government should waive VAT on domestic LPG sources; remove all forms of duties and levies on LPG imported

kits, cylinders and accessories. He said, `` All levies like land tax, DPR Levies, and other government taxes be waived for setting up LPG kits and bottling plants in the country.’’ Venkatapathy said that Nigerians consumed 11 million litres of kerosene daily, saying that out of this, eight million litres were consumed by Nigerians who were under-privileged. ``The rural poor need an additional income of N800 million per day to meet their kerosene consumption needs.’’ Venkatapathy said that for massive LPG growth programme, ``government needs to approve capable public and private companies with the capacity to produce’’.

MHI provides electric utility expertise in the planning, design, construction, and operations management of generation, transmission, distribution, and retails sales infrastructure to its international clients. In response to current industry trends, MHI has developed specialised expertise in the areas of utility management and training services. It has established itself as an ethical, environmentally responsible provider of high-quality utility services to the international power sector for over two decades. Manitoba Hydro was established in 1880 and currently holds assets approaching $13 billion, with $2.4 billion in annual revenues, and over 6,200 employees. It is a major power utility, involved in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of all elements of power infrastructure. As a utility operator, Manitoba Hydro serves over 537,000 electricity customers and 265,000 natural gas customers. In addition, Manitoba Hydro exports up to 40 per cent of its energy production to the North American marketplace, which includes over 35 utilities and marketers in the mid-western USA, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. Manitoba Hydro is a highly successful and efficiently run electric utility that consistently ranks high in the areas of customer satisfaction, generation, transmission, and distribution reliability. Manitoba Hydro is proud of the fact that it provides its domestic customers with some of the lowest electricity rates in North America. Since 1985, MHI has successfully brought Manitoba Hydro’s expertise to electric utilities, governments, and donor agencies throughout the world in the form of consulting, training, and management services. Manitoba believes it would add tremendous value to the nation’s power sector. As it puts it, “MHI has been awarded a management contract by the Transmission Company of Nigeria. The operation of TCN includes, but is not limited to, the key three functions of Market Operator (MO), System Operator (SO), and Transmission Service Provider (TSP).” CONTINUED ON PAGE 37


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Energy Week

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

37

OPEC daily basket price stands at $102.92 per barrel UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he price of OPEC basket of 12 crudes stood at $102.92 a barrel on Friday, compared with $101.47 the previous day, 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). The present price showed an excess of over $30 the nation’s 2012 reference price of $72 per barrel, meaning that the Federal Government would be in a position to generate sufficient foreign exchange for the execution of the budget. Oil prices changed course as gloomy economic news raised hopes that global central banks will take more steps to stimulate growth. Benchmark U.S. crude added 47 cents to end the day at $88.97 per barrel in New York. It fell below $88 earlier when a report showed a significant increase in U.S. oil supplies. Brent crude increased by 96 cents to

finish at $104.38 per barrel at the London oil market. A commodity analyst, Phil Flynn is said to have remarked that investors were betting that the Federal Reserve and its counterparts around the globe will take action soon. Without more stimulus the global economy will be weighed down by recessionary conditions in many parts of Europe, a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing and sinking U.S. consumer confidence. The Associated Press that confirmed the development stated that “Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said earlier in July that the central bank is considering new measures to boost consumer spending and borrowing. But he didn’t outline what steps the Fed would take.” It stated that, “There wasn’t any other reason for oil to rise. The U.S. added to its ample supplies of oil last week. The Energy Information Administration reported that the nation’s crude supply grew by 2.7 million barrels last week. Analysts were expecting supplies to fall by 250,000 barrels, according to a survey by Platts, the energy-information arm of McGraw Hill.” AP stated that, “U.S. crude supplies have grown this year to the highest levels since 1990. Gasoline supplies rose more than expected. The EIA said that gasoline supplies increased by 4.1 million barrels last week. Analysts were expecting sup-

Alison-Madueke

plies to grow by only 750,000 barrels.” The agency stated that, “Meanwhile retail gasoline increased by nearly a penny to a national average of $3.485 per gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. A gallon of regular unleaded has increased by 15.5 cents this month, though it’s still cheaper than at the same time last year.” It also maintained that in other futures trading, heating oil added 1.96 cents to end at $2.844 per gallon while gasoline lost 3.19 cents to finish at $2.7929 per gallon. Natural gas fell by 11.7 cents to end at $3.07 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Rise in oil demand shoots up prices

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est African crude oil differentials held steady as Asian end-consumers bought cargoes via tender, soaking up some of the remaining barrels due to load in August and September. Taiwan’s CPC bought four cargoes of Angolan crude for loading in September, while India’s BPCL bought one Nigerian and one Angolan cargo. Indian refiner IOC was also expected to take several Nigerian cargoes. Most of the 10 Qua Iboe cargoes due to load in September were still unsold with some sellers holding back cargoes in the hope of placing them into Asia tenders. Oil vessel

Sellers of September Qua Iboe were said to be indicating around dated Brent plus $1.50 with buyers 20-30 cents lower. Two thirds of Angola’s 49 cargoes

scheduled to load in September were reported to have been placed but cargoes of many of the smaller streams were still on offer, traders said. Three of the four cargoes of Cabinda taken by CPC Taiwan and one of the BPCL purchases were Cabinda. Traders assessed the grade at around dated Brent plus 50-70 cents fob and said the tenders may have reflected a slightly higher price. India’s Bharat Petroleum Corporation bought around 1 million barrels each of Nigerian, Angolan and Libyan crude oil from Total, traders said. BPCL bought one cargo of Nigerian.

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

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

90.24 107.59 89.78

0.46 0.26 -0.35

0.51% 0.24% -0.39%

08:25 08:36 07/30

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

PRICE*

CHANGE

286.90 292.88

-1.01 -0.80

-0.35% -0.27%

08:17 08:19

TIME

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

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

3.19 3.15 3.35

-0.03 0.06 0.09

-0.78% 1.94% 2.76%

08:25 07/30 07/30

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

24.59 31.11 95.00

10.24 -3.22 25.50

71.36% -9.38% 36.69%

07/30 07/30 07/30

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

Source: Oilprice.com

FG to boost electricity transmission CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 It also added that, “Throughout the term of the contract, one key objective for MHI will be to reorganise TCN such that the TSP becomes a separate entity from the MO and SO allowing it to become a privatised commercial company. MHI expects to turn TCN into a technically and financially efficient, stable, and sustainable company; a company that will be market-driven and capable of utilising its maximum generation capacity and then distributing the energy throughout Nigeria 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To do this, MHI will have to focus on developing the proficiency of local personnel.” Indeed, these are great expectations that would likely make positive impact in the sector. It is against the understanding that many observers, including Professor Hilary Inyang, Duke Energy Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, and Professor of Earth Science at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA, maintained that the state of the sector does not require further instability but that the various energy resources should be carefully selected to form a suitable energy mix for the nation.


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Energy Week

West Africa Crude-low Bonny

Nigeria will load lower volumes of its Bonny Light crude oil in September, a provisional loading programme showed, which could boost differentials for the grade. Spot trade was slow over the weekend, with traders focused on gathering Nigerian loading programmes. Bonny will load 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September compared with 200,000 bpd initially planned for the August programme. More cargoes were then added to the programme, leading to a slump in the grade relative to the other main benchmark grade Qua Iboe. In another sign that could be bullish for West African grades, European oil refiners increased production in June to take advantage of better margins and cheap oil feedstock. Qua Iboe: Valued by traders at between dated plus $1.00 and dated plus $1.50 a barrel. Bonny: Set to load five cargoes or a total of 4.2 million barrels, a provisional list showed. Forcados: Provisional lists showed that September volumes will fall to 172,000 barrels per day from 224,000 barrels per day in August. September offers have firmed versus August after shipping lists showed that crude oil exports are set to fall to the lowest level since June 2011. India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. issued a tender to buy crude including Nigerian and West African grades for loading

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Select appropriate energy mix for power STORIES: UDEME AKPAN

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he Federal Government has been tasked to focus on massive exploitation of natural gas for utilisation in the nation’s power sector of the economy because of commercial endowment. The Duke Energy Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, and Professor of Earth Science, University of North Carolina, Professor Hilary Inyang who made this known in Lagos over the weekend said the nation’s 187 trillion standard cubic feet of gas could be exploited to meet the demands of thermal power stations. Instead of flaring, which still goes on in many parts of the Niger Delta, he said operators should harness the product for use in the sector. He also called for exploitation and application of other resources, including solar, wind and water because of their environmental friendliness.

Inyang who presented a keynote lecture on the subject at the presentation of Udeme Akpan’s Fundamentals of Energy and Environmental Journalism over the weekend said, “gas is easily available in the country. The nation should work towards ending flaring. It should ensure that adequate infrastructure; especially pipelines are established to enhance the delivery of the product power plants.” He said, “At present, it has not been possible to harness significant gas for the use of the power plants because of inadequate pipelines. The pipelines were not put in place when the projects were constructed.” He said, “With continuous gas flaring and oil pollution and other environmentally unfriendly practices, there are indications that the nation has not done much to protect the environment for the present and future generations of our people.” Inyang said, “This is not peculiar to Nigeria. Many other African nations have not also shown adequate concern for the

Inyang

environment. This is not good enough as the present and future generation have the right to good environment.” He is the President of the International Society for Environmental Geotechnology (ISEG) and the Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction (GADR). In

Nigerian Content: Shell, OEMs to inject $62m in three years

OPEC’s annual statistical bulletin ready The OPEC Secretariat has announced the release of the online edition of its 2012 Annual Statistical Bulletin, the ASB. Now in its 47th year, the ASB is a compilation of statistical data about oil and natural gas activities in OPEC’s 12 Member Countries (Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela) as well as in nonOPEC oil producing countries around the world. It provides detailed time-series data on different aspects of the global petroleum industry, including imports and exports, upstream and downstream projects, and exploration and production activities. Some highlights from this year’s ASB are as follows: World crude oil production increased in 2011 by 0.9 percent, with different regions showing heterogeneous results. While Canadian, US and Middle East crude production increased, Western European and African production showed declines. In OPEC Member Countries, crude oil production was up 3 per in 2011 year-on-year. World oil consumption last year also increased by 0.9per, but this growth was seen solely in emerging economies, primarily in Asia and in particular, China - but also in Latin America and the Middle East. In OPEC member countries, oil consumption increased by 0.2 mb/d or 2per cent year-onyear.

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Sunmonu

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he Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and Shell Petroleum Development Company have signed an agreement with five original equipment manufacturers who have committed to invest $62m in local components manufacturing in Nigeria within the next three years. The five companies are part of the 58 manufacturers of oil and gas equipment that have met the technical requirements prescribed by NCDMB in its Equipment Components Manufacturing Initiative and have been issued Nigerian Content Equipment Certificates. The ECMI is geared at getting manufacturers of oil and gas equipment or their representatives to commit to credible proposals on domiciling local manufacturing of some

components of their equipment at the shortest possible time. Under the ECMI, importation of some vital industry equipment by the manufacturers is only allowed by the Board after the suppliers have committed to domiciliation plans. Speaking at the event in Port Harcourt, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Ernest Nwapa explained that the investments planned by the five companies is expected to create 250 skilled employed employment for Nigerians. Other benefits will include the transfer of technology know-how, development of manufacturing skills and development of after-market maintenance skills. Nwapa however, clarified that obtaining the Nigerian Content Equipment Certificates is not a license to win contracts in the industry. He added that the Board had an in-built mechanism to track investment commitments and domiciliation plans and will apply appropriate sanctions to defaulters. The executive secretary further explained that the Board will, in keeping with Section 48 of the Nigerian Content Act make recommendations to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, for a fiscal framework that will impose a

higher tax burden for equipment utilised in the industry with less than 50 per cent local content. This will help address issues of price competitiveness usually associated with locally made goods. He congratulated the five companies for being the first set of OEMs to register footprints in Nigeria under the Shell-OEM scheme. In his comments, the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria and Chairman of Shell Group in Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sumonu explained that his company supported the Equipment Components Manufacturing Initiative because of the multiplier effects it will bring to the Oil and Gas Industry and Nigerian economy. To ensure the success of the investments, he said SPDC was committed to lead the exercise, offer logistics assistance to the OEMs and maintain large demands for the equipment. He added that, “Shell has strategically chosen the focus areas to extend support to foreign investors by identifying some of the prime bottlenecks in the business environment, namely electricity, access to land and security, which contribute to over 11 per cent loses in sales and will support, to a certain extent, the increase of activities in country.”

2008, he was selected as a Technical Judge of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. From 1997 to 2001, he was the Chair of the Environmental Engineering Committee of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, and also served on the

FG to build super

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he Federal Government has concluded plans to build super electricity grid in the country. The grid aims at building capacity and improving electricity transmission. The Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji who made this known at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka said “Our transmission network is being improved remarkably, and the President has graciously approved the building of transmission super grid of 765KV, more than doubling the capacity of current transmission lines of 132KV and 330KV.” The minister who raised hope on transmission as a result of the development said generation which suffered a major setback because of inadequate supply of gas has also started to improve. He said “there was a considerable decline in power supply from the first week of March when we experienced a big shortage of gas supply and suffered low water levels in the dams which supply water to the hydro stations at Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba.” He said “The good news is that power supply has, in the last two weeks, been increasing. We are getting close to the record 4,400MW we reached in January. By the end of the year, we shall add a minimum of 1,000MW and double whatever we have generated in national history by the end of 2013.” The minister recalled that when President Jonathan as-

Power


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sector –Inyang Effluent Guidelines Committee of the National Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. Prior to his position at the University of North CarolinaCharlotte, he was DuPont Professor/University Distinguished Professor at the University of Massachusetts, where he helped establish the Graduate School of Marine Science and Technology of the University System, while serving as the Founding Director of the Lowell-based Center for Environmental Engineering, Science and Technology (2000-2005). He taught previously at Purdue University, George Washington University and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he started his academic career 22 years ago. He has helped establish research institutes and operate educational programmes in Brazil, Japan, Korea, India, Canada, Nigeria, Ghana, United Arab Emirates and China at where he has been an Honorary Professor/Concurrent Professor (CUMT and Nanjing University) since 2004 and 1999, respectively. Inyang was the first African-

American to be endowed as a distinguished professor in environmental engineering in the United States, as well as the first African immigrant to Chair an Engineering Science committee of the congressionally mandated national science advisory body of a US agency. During his career in academe, the private sector and government, he has developed innovative materials, systems (including GEORAD Barrier Concept) and performance estimation tools for long-term (10010,000 years) containment of contaminants and suppression of dust to reduce environmental and health risks in climatic zones, ranging from the hot/humid tropic to the frigid Arctic. He has led/performed research expeditions to Jiangsu Province of China on mining subsidence and erosion; Siberia (Russia) on oil spills; Niger Delta of Nigeria on oil spills; Alaska on Permafrost degradation due to global climate change; and Minas Gerais region of Brazil on fugitive dust emission studies.

electricity transmission grid

plant

sumed office in May, 2010, the nation was generating about 2,800MW. He said, “Within one year the quantum of power rose by 1,000MW. By January, this year, it had risen to a record 4,400MW. The transmission grid-which could not wheel 3,800MW in August, 2010, when Nigeria generated this quantum ever in its history-- was able to transport everything this time.” Nnaji said the government has extended the reform to the distribution network, human capital development, PHCN staff welfare, rural electrification, diversification of power sources and others. He said this would go a long way to support the realisation of the millennium development Goals. Nnaji remarked that,“In September, 2000, the United Nations held the famous Millennium Summit in New York which led to the articulation of Millen-

Energy Week

Wednesday,August 1, 2012

nium Development Goals. There are eight MDGs, but the mass media often give the impression that it is only one goal, namely, reduction of extreme poverty and hunger by a half by 2015.” Nnaji said after several years of fierce opposition to the liberalization of the power sector and the privatisation of PHCN successor companies, officials of the labour unions recently came out to state they were not opposed to liberalisation but to “the privatisation of our national patrimony”. He said “They, therefore, advocate that the successor companies should not be privatized but rather allowed to compete with electricity companies set up by private sector operators. This reasoning is, of course, specious. It contradicts every inch of the way the 2005 Electric Power Sector Reform. Every nation must respect all its extant laws, otherwise we all will return to Thomas Hobbesian state of nature where life is nasty, brutish and short.” The minister said, “The proposal by the trade unionists that we jettison the privatisation of PHCN assets runs against the choice which the Nigerian people have boldly and freely and unequivocally made. The first item in Dr Jonathan’s campaign manifesto in the April 2011 presidential election is the power sector reform. The most important aspect of the reform is arguably the privatisation of the PHCN successor companies. On the basis of this promise, millions of Nigerian citizens voted for him overwhelmingly in the election.”

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Power generation rises towards 4,000 mw

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he nation’s power generation has risen towards 4,000 megawatts (mw), thus raising hope for improved supply in the nation. The National Coordinator, National Association of Electricity Consumers of Nigeria (NAECN), Mr. Ganiyu Makanjuola stated that the quantum of power generated in the country has risen from about 3,200 mw of two weeks ago to 3,917.1 mw as of July 30. Makanjuola, who gave the commendation in a statement in Lagos described the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, as “a worthy Nigerian citizen and public officer who matches his promise with concrete action”. He said the minister had as early as April assured the nation of a considerable improvement in power supply from the middle of July because of the scheduled increase in natural gas supply from the Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and in the volume of water at the lakes in the nation’s three hydro power stations at Kainji,

Shiroro and Jebba, all in Niger State. Makanjuola stated that the quantum of power generated in the country has risen from about 3,200Megawatts of two weeks ago to 3,917.1mw as of July 30. “This means that the nation is a heartbeat away from the historic 4,400mw it generated last January and which the national transmission grid was interestingly able to wheel effortlessly”, he remarked. Giving a breakdown of how about a capacity of 700mw was recovered, the leader of electricity consumers said that the Shiroro power plant, which was working for only three hours in a day when the near drought in neighbouring countries like Mali resulted in low water levels at the dams, now generates 500mwfrom three units while Jebba generates 322mw from four out of six installed units because the fifth has been out of service for several years and the sixth undergoing retrofitting. Makanjuola noted that only 63MW is being generated from the 760mw Kainji station built

NNPC unveils state-of-the-art data centre

Yakubu

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he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), inched closer to its dream of becoming a first class National Oil Company with the launch of an ultra-modern data centre . The Green data center which is designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact is built with leading industry standard technologies adjudged by experts to be second to none in the country. Speaking at the brief unveiling ceremony, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu described the data centre as a highly secure, fault-resistant facility which will be available for use by the private sector and other industry stakeholders on commercial basis so as to generate revenue for the corporation. “During my inaugural address to staff at the amphitheater on 3rd July, 2012, I marshaled out a line of thought and set agenda which I believe, with the full support of management and staff will reposition our dear NNPC on the path of growth and profitability. Today we

begin a bold and crucial journey in our collective quest as a corporate entity with an eye for the future by inaugurating the New NNPC Data Centre,” Yakubu stated. He said the philosophy behind the project is to establish a center where equipment central to the Corporation can be hosted. Thus, business applications like SAP, Nipex, etc. as well as Microsoft Exchange messaging, Intranet systems, and other specialized systems for the NNPC enterprise are to be hosted on the platform. “It is common knowledge that in today’s global corporate space, Data Centers are not only prevalent but have become indispensable. These centers are specialised environments that safeguard a company’s most valuable equipment and intellectual property, housing the critical enterprise applications and systems that process business transactions, store data, maintain financial records, and provide reliable network availability. The NNPC Data Centre is conceived to do just that and even more,” the GMD enthused. He noted that the NNPC Data Center will save the Corporation billions of naira that would otherwise be expended in third-party hosting of critical applications central to NNPC’s operations like NIPEX, SAP, etc. “As a group, the data center will eliminate the prevalent duplication of efforts across the various Strategic Business Units and Corporate Service Units of our corporation by providing an environment for the central storage of business tools which will be accessible corporate-wide,” he stated.

in 1968 because of poor maintenance and praised Prof Nnaji for working in close collaboration with the World Bank to rehabilitate some of its units. On the thermal plants, the engineer said that the improvement in gas supply has enabled the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) facility at Olorunsogo in Ogun State to run four out of the seven installed units with each producing 38mw while that of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) generates 120MW from one of the four commissioned units. He also said that the NIPP plant at Geregu in Kogi State now generates 140mw from two units and that of Omotosho in Ondo State produces 120mw. “With the condensate problem in gas supply to the Sapele power plant in Delta State now being solved,” according to Makanjuola, “coupled with an increasing gas supply from the NNPC, the nation can only expect greater power supply across the nation in the near future”.

BP begins negotiations with Rosneft for TNK-BP purchase British Petroleum has confirmed it would begin negotiations with Rosneft for the potential purchase of BP’s shareholding in TNK-BP. BP also confirmed that while conducting parallel discussions with Rosneft and any other interested parties, it will negotiate in good faith with Alfa Access-Renova in accordance with its legal obligations. BP welcomed today’s announcement by Rosneft of its interest in commencing negotiations. BP and Rosneft confirmed they have signed a non-disclosure agreement. On July 19th BP began a 90-day period of good faith negotiations with Alfa Access-Renova regarding the potential sale of BP’s shareholding in TNK-BP as required by the TNK-BP shareholder agreement. This followed notification by Alfa Access-Renova of its intention to exercise its right to enter a period of negotiation to purchase part or all of BP’s 50 per cent share in TNK-BP. There can be no guarantee that any transaction will take place. TNK-BP is a leading Russian oil company, owned equally by BP and Alfa AccessRenova. The company was formed in 2003 as the result of the merger of BP’s Russian oil and gas assets and the oil and gas assets of Alfa Access-Renova. TNK-BP is vertically integrated with a diversified upstream and downstream portfolio in Russia and Ukraine and international interests in Brazil, Venezuela and Vietna.


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Energy Week

Oil, gas, others demand rise

Global coal production grew for the twelfth straight year, global natural gas production increased by over 2er cent, and oil grew by 1per cent, but nuclear electricity production dropped by more than 4per cent due to a 9.2per cent decrease in OECD countries. Total global coal production increased by 6.6per cent in 2011 – the twelfth consecutive year of growth – according to the latest official data from the International Energy Agency (IEA). While coal production only increased by 0.8per cent in OECD member countries, non-OECD production climbed by 9% with China taking over from Japan as the world’s largest importer, and Indonesia becoming the world’s largest exporter, surpassing Australia. These statistics are drawn from Coal Information 2012, one of a series of annual IEA statistical publications on major energy sources. These annual IEA statistics books, which also include Oil Information 2012, Natural Gas Information 2012, Electricity Information 2012 and Renewables Information 2012, are being released throughout the summer. Global oil demand rose by around 1per cent in 2011. However demand from OECD countries was down by 0.8per cent in 2011, as a result of low economic growth. Motor gasoline consumption – accounting for about one third of oil demand in the OECD – dropped by more than 2%, continuing a downward trend which began back in 2006. Global natural gas consumption increased by 2.1per cent in 2011, a much smaller increase than the sizeable 7.2per cent leap seen in 2010. With consumption in OECD countries remaining flat, the growth came from non-OECD countries, which account for slightly more than half of gas consumption in the world. Electricity production in OECD countries dipped by 0.9per cent in 2011; due in large part to the consequences of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. In Japan, nuclear electricity production decreased by 65per cent, while in Germany production dropped by 23per cent. Looking at renewable sources, their share in the total primary energy supply increased to 8.2per cent in OECD countries in 2011, compared to 7.8per cent in 2010. Wind power was not only the leading non-hydro renewable energy source for electricity, but it also had the largest increase out of all renewable sources in the OECD, growing by 65 TWh. In addition to these publications on major sources of energy, the IEA has also released two publications which focus on statistics and balances in OECD countries: Energy Statistics of OECD countries 2012 contains data on energy supply and consumption in original units for coal, oil, natural gas, electricity, heat, renewables and waste; and Energy Balances of OECD countries 2012 contains data on the supply and consumption of coal, oil, natural gas, electricity, heat, renewables and waste presented as comprehensive energy balances expressed in million tonnes of oil equivalent. These books highlight a 9.2per cent decrease in nuclear energy supply in OECD countries, which led to a 1.9% decrease in total primary energy supply in 2011.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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CSR: PIB to boost development of oil communities UDEME AKPAN

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he Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), would stimulate the sustainable development of oil and gas producing areas through the establishment of a fund to be known as the Petroleum Host Communities Fund, otherwise known as ‘the PHC Fund’. The PIB, which President Goodluck Jonathan has already sent to lawmakers documented that, “The PHC Fund shall be utilised for the development of the economic and social infrastructure of the communities within the petroleum producing area.” It documented that, “Every upstream petroleum producing company shall remit on a monthly basis ten percent of its net profit as follows - for profit derived from upstream petroleum operations in onshore areas and in the offshore and shallow water areas, all of such remittance shall be made directly into the PHC Fund; and for profit derived from upstream petroleum operations in deepwater areas, all of the remittance directly in to the Fund for the benefit of the petroleum producing littoral states.” The PIB stated that for the purpose of this section ‘net profit’ means the adjusted profit less royalty, allowable deductions and allowances, less Nigerian Hydrocarbon Tax less

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ahi 1, a Gbagi-speaking rural community of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja has become the latest beneficiary of Total’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative with the commissioning of a water project sponsored by the company. The scheme which consists of two water boreholes with 6000 litres of storage capacity each, one of which will support the community’s’ clinic, was executed through Women and Youth Environmental Safety and Empowerment Organisation (E-Way for Development), a Non Governmental Organization (NGO). The ceremony to deliver the project was also an opportunity for the NGO to commission the Community Clinic built and equipped with the support of the United States Embassy in Nigeria through grants from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In his remarks, the GM Corporate (CSR), Dr Justus Pearse, commended the NGO for driving the dream and the community for embracing the projects. “We at Total Upstream are re-

David Mark

Companies Income Tax. It stated that, “At the end of each fiscal year, each upstream petroleum company shall reconcile its remittance pursuant to Subsection (1) of this section with its actual filed tax return to the service and settle any such difference. The contributions made by each upstream petroleum company pursuant to Subsection (1) of this section, will constitute an immediate credit to its total fiscal rent obligations as defined in this Act.” The bill stated that, “Where an act of vandalism, sabotage or other civil unrest occurs that causes damage to any petroleum facilities within a host community, the cost of repair of such facility shall be paid from PHC Fund entitlement unless it is established that no member of the community is responsi-

ble. The minister shall, subject to the provisions of section 8 of this Act, make regulations on entitlement, governance and management structure with respect to the PHC Fund established under this Act.” The oil bearing communities have over the years complained of neglect. They have at various times complained about not being a fair share of the benefits of oil and gas production, even though the products are produced from their environments. Under the present arrangement, some stakeholders execute projects and programmes aimed at improving the plights of the people. The stakeholders, including oil companies also pull resources together through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to further develop the areas.

NDDC was established in 2000 with the mission of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful. The commission has the mandate to conceive, plan and implement, in accordance with set rules and regulations, of projects and programs for sustainable development of the Niger Delta area in the field of transportation including roads, jetties and waterways, health, employment, industrialisation, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications. It has the mandate to prepare master plans and schemes designed to promote the physical development of the Niger Delta region and the estimation of the member states of the Commission. The Commission has the mandate to execute all the measures approved for the development of the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government and the states of the Commission. It also has the mandate to identify factors inhibiting the development of the Niger Delta region and assisting the member states in the formulation and implementation of policies to ensure sound and efficient management of the resources of the Niger Delta region.

Total commissions community project ally pleased to be anchoring this initiative as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility here in our corporate Office in Abuja. As we all know, the availability of safe potable water is essential in any community,” he said, explaining that it was in the character of the company to express such gestures in her host communities and locations. Giving a brief on the projects, the Executive Director of the project, Mrs Anne Addeh said the initiative followed a request from the community leader, Alhaji Adamu Dogo who said water was life to them and expressed gratitude to the company for the gesture. “The TOTAL intervention in Nigerian communities through their Corporate Social Responsibility is vast and immeasurable, and this kind gesture of your corporation will go a long way in reducing vulnerability of children and eradication of water borne diseases,” she said. Community leaders and Women from the community said the projects were the realization

Guy Maurice

of a dream and paid tribute to the NGO and Total for making life better for them through the projects. The ceremony was also graced by dignitaries and people from various walks of life including Nigeria’s Ambassador to Portugal, Mrs. Ijeoma Bristol; a representative of the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and Country Coordinator PEPFAR, Mrs. Shirley Dady; a former

Executive Director Human Resources and Corporate Affairs of Total, Mr. John Addeh; a representative of Abuja Municipal Area Council ( AMAC), Dr. Mrs. Adeyinka; the president of Medical Association of Nigeria, Dr. (Mrs.) Joyce Barber; former Lady Captain of IBB Golf and Country Club, Mrs. Nana Abubakar and women from the NNPC Cooperative Estate .


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Executive Discourse

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Mining sector will revive As the Federal Government pushes for economic diversification, the Minister of Mines and Steel, Mr. Musa Mohammed Sada looks at the potentials of the solid minerals sector and speaks on measures being taken to address the challenges bedevilling the sector in this interview with JOHN UWE and MARCUS FATUNMOLE. Excerpts: Looking at the mining sector what prospects does it hold for the growth of the economy? The mining sector holds a lot of prospects for the economy. In fact, some of us now look at the sector as what is going to be the saving grace for the economy of the country for the simple fact that it has a lot of potentials for job creation. Anywhere you go, the economies of the world are driven by the number of jobs that could be created and sustained. Currently, if you look at our country, you will find out that from the revenues we normally get, one of the major issues we do contend with economically is availability of jobs. People don’t have work to do, which means wealth is not being created. As long as we are not creating wealth, we cannot say we are growing. If we have industries that are not employing, we have resources that are not exploited; we have skills that are not being tested day in, day out, then, we have a problem. What sort of revenue are you looking forward to generating? The revenue will come. For instance, in the first half of this year, and for first time in the history of Nigeria that the mineral sector is contributing to the Federation Account. We are not bothered by how much was contributed, but it has started. This means the potential is there to grow. This is what we are looking at; jobs, import substitution by providing the basic raw materials for our industries to grow and the revenue itself that can come along with those objectives. Given the volume and diversity of mineral resources available in the country, which of these resources is government paying greater attention to, as part of the drivers of its Transformation Agenda? Currently, what we have is what is called seven strategic minerals. At the time the decision was taken, it was basically to consolidate efforts on certain minerals so that energy will not be dissipated. At the last count, there was discovery of 34 mineral types. You are just starting. By the time you say you want to drive all the 34, you are likely to get confused. So, limestone. Why limestone you would ask? It is because currently, we are embarking on a lot of infrastructural development. We are replacing those that have decayed. So, we need cement. And, that is why we are running into self-sufficiency in cement production. It was largely because of the activities of the mining sector in making sure that the basic raw materials for making cement is discovered and made available. That is why Dangote is busy expanding. Two, we are looking at iron ore. The reason for choosing iron ore is that if you are talking of industrialisation, you cannot industrialize without steel.

Sada

Iron ore is the basic raw material for steel making. The country had started making effort in establishing the steel sub-subsector. Unfortunately the decision to privatise did not go in the right way. Yet, if you come back to do things right, you will still be sure of progress. Iron ore stands to be the leading world mineral now because countries are industrialising and they need steel. The third is coal. We need power. Whatever we can do to generate power is welcome. Coal is part of

AS AT NOW, WE ARE PRODUCING COAL THOUGH WE ARE NOT PRODUCING POWER; MOST OF THE CEMENT COMPANIES NOW USE LARGE QUANTITIES OF IT TO FIRE THE LIMESTONE

what is required to run industries. As at now, we are producing coal even though we are not producing power; most of the cement companies now use large quantities of it to fire the limestone. The other one is lead zinc. We have large deposit of it. We used to be one of the leading producers of it. It is a highly required mineral for the production of batteries and insulation materials among others. Others are bitumen and barites. These seven are the ones that we are concentrating on. As the sector seems to be undergoing this development, what measures is government putting in place to protect the environment? Few weeks ago, the President inaugurated the Surveillance Task Force for mining activities in the country. We requested for that to be put in place. In


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Executive Discourse

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nigeria's economy –Sada

the Task Force, we have the Inspector General of Police, the Director State Security Service (SSS); Comptroller General of Custom Service, Comptroller General of Immigration, the Minister of Environment and the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It is a high-powered team. One of the major things they will have to do is that the team must be physically present on location where there are mining activities to take decision as to control.

How would you appraise the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources, an intervention of the World Bank that expired in May this year, and is there any plan by government for its extension? The programme is one of the best things that have happened to the sector because it basically initiated the reform in the sector. The programme started sometimes in 2004. Since then, it has initiated the new law. It has supported the ministry in so many ways like bringing regulatory and institutional set up. The whole of the idea, even from the name of the project, is to create sustainability. That is why it is called Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project. The idea is to put us on line so that we pick up from there. And what we have done is that we got an approval to establish the Mineral Development Fund. The Fund is what will now take over and continue to support the sector. In the law, it is what is supposed to take over and continue. We are now at what is called, “Closed-up Project Window”, of the World Bank. When their activities finished, they still needed to finalize and make their audit and final report within four months. Our hope is that within these four months which would end in November, we would have put in place something what would continue the drive. For reasons of sustainability, one of the first things we could do is to bring the financial institutions into it so that you can, on your own, go to the bank and get cheap money to do this. Some of these banks have expressed their readiness to render necessary assistance to ensure loan is given out to interested members of the public as part of ways of enhancing government’s commitment to lifting the sector by making people really invest in the industry. We have also concluded that mining desks be established in our banks. Why we called it mining desk is that it will be specialising in that area. If you get a loan for less than three to four years, you are not going to make it because it needs long time of gestation. You don’t know what you are going to meet on the ground. So, you need time to articulate yourself to be able to have a programme of what to do and how to apply your money. For you to comfortably take a loan from the bank and engage in a successful mining project, you need a minimum of five years. We need to have borrowing desk that will give you money for that period of time. How are you sure such loans would be used for the purposes they are intended for? That is the problem. We are however, going to organize workshop on how to go about this. Would you say the SMRRP has achieved its objective? I will to some extent. The reason I said that is that I had to go back to the World Bank to ask for a phase two. When the World Bank project started, this ministry was then known as Ministry of Solid Minerals. The “Steel” part was not yet added. As I said earlier, the steel is of great importance to the world today. So, we need to support the two sectors. Apart from steel, the components that I met on ground that was being used to support the activities were for small and artisanal miners. These miners were not given money;

OUR HOPE IS THAT WITHIN

THESE FOUR MONTHS WHICH WOULD END IN

NOVEMBER,

WE WOULD HAVE PUT IN PLACE SOMETHING THAT WOULD CONTINUE THE DRIVE they were given only equipment. If they needed tipper or any other equipment, they got it. It was a kind of cooperative. They started growing into what we call métier. At the métier level, you need more money. If you make me grow to where I cannot support myself, I would collapse and fall to where I was before. So, there was need to support the métier because it is at the métier level that you can create more jobs. It is at the métier level that you can pay tax. It is at this level too that you can pay royalty. These people that have grown to this level need to be supported so that we get the advantage of the whole sustainability. We now bring out people that can pay tax to government so that government can get revenue. We now get to a level where people can employ people, keep books of accounts, pay salaries, and get people on permanent or temporary job. This is that level at the métier. There is now the need to improve the programme where they can be supported on funding. That is why I said I am satisfied to some extent. Currently, the programme is not yet closed. That is what we are discussing with the World Bank and the Ministry of Finance so that they support it as a way of moving the sector forward. These are the two issues that are currently on ground. The metal sub-sector has no law regulating it till date. What are you doing about it? Currently, we have completed the draft that we are sending to the Attorney General‘s office. We did a stakeholders’ forum where people were invited to come and review this thing. We took the time to incorporate the observations that were made. What is state of litigation at International Court of Arbitration on Ajaokuta steel? We had a meeting with the President who gave a deadline to Ministry of Justice to make sure that the case is concluded. He said whatever it would take, they had to conclude it. He gave them a deadline and I think it is going to expire very soon. I am sure the Attorney General is working hard on it. We have a lot of interests. Some weeks back, the original people that work on it came to us, but we could not do anything with the law in place. That is why the President said we should settle the litigation first before we move forward. Let me make it clear, this time around, we are not going to deal with anyone who doesn’t have the technical know-how because that is the cause of the problem at hand. We will only work with people that understand the system very well. What is happening to the non-performing rolling mills sold by the government? There is a little problem on that. When they were sold, the ministry was not involved in making the agreement. And just like you rightly pointed out, there is no law controlling the steel sector. So, it left us out of the whole thing. We were not part of the agreement. It was all Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). What we are doing currently on personal level is to bring the people and discuss with them. I am appealing that we settle all matters out of court because some of the mills in question are not producing when they have the capacity.

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There are speculations that people are conniving with criminals to divert explosives meant for rock blasting for bombings. How true is the claim? It is not true. You need to know the composition of explosive to understand that you can’t just use it anyhow. It is not just something you can use anyhow. Explosives are only active when you take them into the ground; you drill, you put them there, then you charge them. It is just part of the scheme; sometimes, criminals will tell you that, only to scare you. We were sitting here when we received a report that they wanted to use some mineral types to create bomb. If you are educated, you will know that it is a laughing matter. We also received a letter from the security agency. We, as experts, know the behaviours of minerals. They are not just something you can just put together and get such a result. Do you know how long it takes to make a bomb? If you read Chemistry, you have a periodic table where you have uranium. It is the most potent mineral you can use to make bomb. All the metals on the left and right hand side of uranium have some bits of characters of uranium. The farther they go away from uranium, they less it becomes with the property. So, if anybody is using such to scare the public, how does the criminal develop it to take it to weapon stage? Taking any mineral to a weapon stage where it could be used for explosion for killing or destruction is not a small task. For how long have we gotten our Nuclear Centre here (in Nigeria) that we are even unable to make a fire cracker? What is the ministry doing to improve on the health of the affected communities in Zamfara where lead poisoning wreaked havoc? We have involved the Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Medical Centre in Gusau as a unit responsible for treating those infections. The President has also approved intervention fund to procure immediate drugs. There is a presidential committee that I serve as its chairman. Other members of the committee include Ministers of Labour, Health, Science and Technology, Environment and Water Resources. We also have technical group comprising doctors and mining engineers. They have been going there, doing some technical work. After their preliminary report, there is a plan for these ministers to go to Gusau for some days and do a fact-finding and town hall meeting with the people.


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Global Business

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Crude oil rises, set for first monthly advance O il in New York headed for the first monthly increase since April before meetings of central bank policy makers to discuss the economy and a report tomorrow that may show U.S. crude stockpiles declined. Futures were little changed after advancing as much as 0.6 percent. The European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve hold meetings this week, with ECB President Mario Draghi having pledged on July 26 to preserve the euro. U.S. crude inventories probably dropped 1.1 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before Energy Department data tomorrow. Enbridge Incorporated said it won’t restart an oil pipeline to Midwest refineries that leaked until at least today. “Crude futures are taking their cue from the broader market,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, who predicts New York oil will remain in a range from $84 to $93 a barrel. “Euro zone policy makers are still boosting sentiment this side of the Atlantic by reiterating their commitment to the single currency union.” Crude for September delivery was at

$90.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, 29 cents higher, yesterday. The contract yesterday slid 0.4 percent to $89.78, the lowest close since July 26. Prices have climbed 6 percent this month and dropped 9 percent this year. Brent oil for September settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange traded little changed at $106.27 a barrel. The European benchmark crude was at a $16.20 premium to New York-traded

Mario Draghi

West Texas Intermediate grade. The spread was $16.42 yesterday, the widest in almost 10 weeks. Oil in New York has long-term technical support along its 50-month moving average at $84.25 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Futures settled above this indicator at the end of May and June. Buy orders tend to be clustered near chartsupport levels. Crude fell for the first time in five days yesterday as economic confidence in the euro area decreased. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 17-nation euro area slid to 87.9 in July from 89.9 in June, the European Commission in Brussels said. That’s the lowest since September 2009. The European Union accounted for 16 percent of global oil demand last year, according to BP Plc annual Statistical Review of World Energy. The U.S. Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets for two days starting today. The ECB’s Governing Council and the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will convene tomorrow.

Gasoline stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer, were probably unchanged in the seven days ended July 27 after rising to 210 million barrels, according to the median estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Refineries are expected to have kept operating rates near a five-year high, the survey showed. Crude runs probably averaged 92.5 percent of capacity last week, from 93 percent in the prior period. Rates dropped to as low as 81.8 percent in January. The industry group collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the Energy Department for its weekly survey. Enbridge shut its Line 14, which runs from Superior, Wisconsin, to Griffith/ Hartsdale in Indiana, after the 317,600 barrel-a-day link leaked on July 27. The line could return to service August 1 at the earliest after repairs, Ed Culhane, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said yesterday.

Consumer spending in U.S. was unchanged in June Deutsche Bank to cut 1,900 jobs in bid to save EU3 billion

Eric Green

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onsumer spending in the U.S. stagnated in June as Americans used the biggest gain in incomes in three months to boost savings, indicating a weak handoff to the second half of the year. A shopper carries a bag from Lucy in downtown La Jolla, California. Retailers’ results foreshadowed the weakness. Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, were unchanged after a 0.1 percent decrease the prior month that was previously reported as little changed, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for a 0.1 percent rise. Incomes rose 0.5 percent, lifting the savings rate to 4.4 percent, the highest in a year. The results may raise concern limited job prospects are causing Americans to pull back, crimping sales at companies such as Coach Inc. at the same time business investment is cooling. Federal Reserve policy makers meet today and tomorrow to determine whether more monetary stimulus is needed to shore up an economy that’s slowed for two straight quarters.

“We have a consumer that’s obviously a lot weaker,” said Eric Green, global head of foreign exchange, rates and commodities at TD Securities in New York. “The labor market is not really strong.” Stock-index futures maintained gains after the figures and before the start of the Fed’s policy meeting. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in September rose 0.2 percent to 1,383.2 at 8:54 a.m. in New York. Projections of the 76 economists surveyed by Bloomberg for spending ranged from a drop of 0.1 percent to a gain of 0.4 percent. The May reading was previously reported as unchanged. Adjusting consumer spending for inflation, which renders the figures used to calculate gross domestic product, purchases dropped 0.1 percent, the most since August, after a 0.1 percent increase in the previous month, today’s report showed. Spending on durable goods, including automobiles, was unchanged after a 0.4 percent drop. Purchases of non-durable goods, which include gasoline, fell 0.4 percent. Spending on services was unchanged. The Bloomberg survey median called for incomes to rise 0.4 percent in June. The 0.3 percent gain in May was revised up from 0.2 percent. The saving rate increased from 4 percent. Wages and salaries climbed 0.5 percent after a 0.1 percent gain. Disposable income, or the money left over after taxes, increased 0.3 after adjusting for inflation. It rose 0.5 percent in the prior month. The June results indicate the consumer was losing steam as the quarter drew to a close. Household spending rose 1.5 percent from April through June, the slowest pace in a year, Commerce Department data showed last week. Gross domestic product climbed at a 1.5 percent annual rate, cooling from a 2 percent pace in the prior three months.

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eutsche Bank AG (DBK), Germany’s biggest bank, said it will eliminate 1,900 jobs, including 1,500 at the investment bank, as part of an effort to save 3 billion euros ($3.68 billion). Deutsche Bank, based in Frankfurt, forecast “substantial costs” to achieve the savings without giving a figure in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday. Light trails made by passing automobiles are seen in front of the Deutsche Bank AG headquarters in Frankfurt. Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities, talks about the outlook for the banking industry. Bove speaks with Tom Keene, Scarlet Fu and Michael Moore on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance.” The job reductions are part of a strategy review Deutsche Bank ’s new co-chief executive officers Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen are conducting as the lender grapples with declining revenue from the

investment bank, which reported a 63 percent decline in second-quarter earnings today. The job reductions are part of a strategy review Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen, Deutsche Bank’s new co-chief executive officers, are conducting as the lender grapples with declining revenue from the investment bank, which reported a 63 percent decline in second-quarter earnings yesterday. Pretax profit at the corporate banking and securities unit slid to 357 million euros ($439 million) from 969 million euros in the same period a year earlier, missing the 835 millioneuro average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Investment banks are cutting staff to reduce costs as the debt crisis curbs trading and leads to a slump in stock and bond offerings. Deutsche Bank is reviewing its compensation practices and codes of conduct.

U.S. stocks fall as Germany comments on banking license

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nited States stocks fell, trimming a second straight monthly rally for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after the German finance ministry said it sees no need to give Europe’s bailout fund a banking license. The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent to 1,384.21 at yesterday in New York. The benchmark gauge has rallied 1.7 percent so far this month. The rules of the European Stability Mechanism don’t foresee a banking license to allow refinancing at the European Central Bank, the Finance Ministry said today in an e-mailed response to a question on a newspaper report. The ministry isn’t holding talks on the topic and neither are secret meetings taking place on such a proposals, the ministry said. Stock futures rose earlier after companies from U.S. Steel Corp. to Pfizer Incorporated reported earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Profits at 73 percent of S&P 500 companies which reported quarterly results

have beaten analysts’ estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will probably forgo announcing a third round of large-scale asset purchases this week, and is more likely to wait until September to unveil plans to buy $600 billion in housing and government debt, according to median estimates of economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Residential real estate prices declined less than forecast in the year ended May, another sign that the housing market is on the mend. Another report today showed consumer spending in the U.S. stagnated in June as Americans used the biggest gain in incomes in three months to boost savings. Other data may show confidence among U.S. consumers dropped in July for a fifth consecutive month. The gain in U.S. stocks since June has coincided with a drop in short interest and a weakening measure of market breadth, a combination that suggests the rally may not last, according to Bank of America Corporation.


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Global Business

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Spain urges more regional budget cuts as deficit deepens

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udget Minister Cristobal Montoro will urge Spain’s regions to extend budget cuts today during a meeting Catalonia plans to boycott, as efforts to prevent them defaulting deepen the central government’s own deficit. Representatives of Spain’s 17 semiautonomous regional governments are scheduled to convene in Madrid at yesterday for a budget checkup. Data released yesterday showed the central government exceeded its target for the 2012 budget shortfall with half the year still to go. The biggest contributor to Spain’s economy, the Catalonia region centered on Barcelona, said today it won’t take part in the meeting to protest the central government’s rigid stance on deficits. No news filtered out from a separate gathering before the talks between Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and regional executives from his People’s Party. Rajoy is struggling to avoid a broader bailout after gaining the right to borrow as much as 100 billion euros ($123 billion) from European rescue funds for its banks.

Its budget gap, the euro area’s third largest, remained almost unchanged from 2010 at 8.9 percent of gross domestic product last year. The yield on Spain’s 10-year bond was at 6.62 percent today, compared with a euroera high of 7.75 percent on July 25 even as Rajoy announced his fourth round of austerity measures since December 30. It fell after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said last week he would do whatever is needed to protect the single currency. The central government’s shortfall surged to 4.04 percent of gross domestic product in the first half of 2012 from 3.41 percent in the five months through May as it transferred funds to the rest of the public sector to prevent a liquidity squeeze, Deputy Budget Minister Marta Fernandez Curras said yesterday in Madrid. That compares with a central-government target for the year of 3.5 percent. Spain’s overall 2012 deficit goal, which includes all levels of government, is 6.3 percent.

Default concerns make Belize bonds worst in emerging markets

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elize’s notes are the worst performers in emerging markets this month as the Central American nation’s budget deficit widens and concerns grow that the government will force holders of $544 million of bonds to take losses in a restructuring. Belize’s dollar bonds have fallen 2.5 percent this month, the most among 52 emerging-market countries tracked by JPMorgan Chase & Co’s EMBIG index. Brazilian and Indonesian bonds have gained 4.2 percent over the same period. Yields on Belize’s socalled superbond due in 2029 climbed 145 basis points, or 1.45 percentage point, to 20.08 percent this month as the country nears its second restructuring in five years. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who campaigned on a promise to restructure the bonds, told lawmakers in June that lowering the debt burden is “unavoidable.” The government faces an Aug. 20 payment of about $25 million and Barrow said Belize’s budget deficit will swell to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product next year from 1.1 percent this year. Investors are starting to “appreciate the difficulty” the government will have in meeting creditor demands, said Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist at Exotix Ltd. “The market has underpriced the risk until this month,” Culverhouse, who downgraded the bonds from hold to sell on July 5, said in a phone interview from London. “People are now beginning to focus on when the concessions are happening.” Officials at Belize’s Finance Ministry didn’t return calls seeking comment. The superbond accounts for about half of the nation’s $1.2 billion debt, which has fallen to 81 percent of gross domestic product from 91 percent in 2007, Barrow said. He vowed to pursue more lenient payment terms after interest rates on the notes rose to 8.5 percent this year from 6 percent as part of an accord reached with bondholders in 2007. “The imperative for restructuring is therefore irresistible,” Barrow said in his budget presentation to Congress on June 29, describ-

Barrow

ing the 8.5 percent coupon as “harrowing.” Moody’s Investors Service cut Belize’s credit rating for a second time this year on June 1 to Ca, 10 levels below investment grade, citing weak growth in the $1.4 billion tourism-based economy. Moody’s first lowered the rating in February, prompting Barrow to say he “doesn’t give a damn” about ratings companies.

Montoro

Excluding 15 billion euros of transfers to regions, town halls, the social security system and the European Union, the central government’s gap through June was 2.56 percent of GDP, Curras said. The regions are set to present budget plansyesterday as several show signs of deficit slippage, according to the ministry.

Investors cautious as central bank meetings loom

U

nited States stocks were mixed yesterday while European shares snapped a three-day rally and oil slipped on fear central banks may not deliver enough stimulus this week to quell concer ns about a global slowdown. Equities and oil had been climbing steadily since European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he would do whatever it took to save the euro. Markets interpreted that to mean the ECB could announce at its Thursday meeting plans to lower Spanish and Italian borrowing costs by buying those countries’ bonds. Signs of flagging growth in the United States had also raised hopes the Federal Reserve, which begins a two-day rate-setting meeting yesterday, will step up bond purchases of its own, though most economists expect it to hold fire until September. “The markets have run ahead of themselves. And I think certainly the ECB and the Federal Reserve will hold back from pumping in

Fiat losses in Europe widen as debt crisis hits demand

F

iat SpA, the Italian carmaker that controls Chrysler Group LLC, posted a wider second-quarter loss in Europe compared with the previous three months as the region’s debt crisis sinks auto demand. The loss in the region before interest, taxes and one-time items including investments was 184 million euros ($226 million), the Turin-based company said in a statement today. That compared with a first-quarter loss of 170 million euros. Without Chrysler Group LLC, Fiat SpA would have posted a net loss of 152 million euros in the quarter compared with a profit of 76 million euros a year earlier. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne is reducing spending in Europe by 500 million euros in 2012 because of a fifth straight year of falling sales in the region,

The regions, which account for more than one third of public spending, were mostly responsible for the 2011 slippage as they overshot their limit by more than 100 percent. This year, Rajoy’s seven-monthold government has organized as much as 41 billion euros in bank loans on top of budget transfers to allow them to pay suppliers and redeem bonds. Still, Curras said Spain is on track to fulfill its commitments as an income-tax increase and corporate tax changes implemented this year are not yet having their full effect. Curras said revenue from value-added tax will also improve, after falling 10 percent in the first half, as an increase announced in July will be implemented in September. This year’s deficit targets for the central government, regions, town halls and social security remain unchanged at 3.5 percent, 1.5 percent of GDP, 0.3 percent and zero respectively, even after other euro-area countries agreed July 10 to raise Spain’s combined 2012 target to 6.3 percent from

Marchionne said in an interview last month. The planned Grand Punto hatchback, originally scheduled to be built in 2013, is being reconsidered and may be part of a partnership that Fiat may set up, he said at the time. “Contrary to earlier management communication, losses in Europe actually increased,” Erich Hauser, an analyst with Credit Suisse in London, said in a note to investors. Fiat dropped as much as 22 cents, or 5.4 percent, to 3.96 euros and traded at that level as of 3:39 p.m. in Milan yesterday. Without Chrysler, Fiat would have posted a net loss of 152 million euros in the quarter compared with a profit of 76 million euros a year earlier. Those figures exclude unusual items and include minorities.

more money at this point in time,” said Manoj Ladwa, head of trading at TJ Markets. Neither central bank is expected to stay on the sidelines for long, though, and that has helped pull the euro off recent two-year lows and take US stocks to their best year-todate rise since 2003. The euro was last up 0.3 per cent at $1.2296, while US gover nment bonds also rose, with the benchmark 10-year US note up 7/32 in price to yield 1.48 per cent. But some traders said the ECB may not be able to live up to market expectations, particularly if news from the debt-stricken euro zone continues to get worse. Capital flight from Spain gathered pace in May while the central gover nment’s deficit widened, raising fears that the country may soon need a full-scale bailout. “Everybody is waiting for Thursday to see if Draghi can deliver,” said Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages $500m of assets. “He’d better pull a big rabbit out of his hat.” The safe-haven Ger man bond market reflected the growing fears that whatever Draghi says at the bank’s policymaking meeting is likely to disappoint markets. European shares, which were heading for their best month since October after soaring more than five per cent in the last three sessions, went into reverse, with the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 down 0.9 per cent. Investors in European shares were also given pause by weaker-than-expected ear nings from Deutsche Bank and other major banks. The region’s ongoing debt crisis has hurt revenues.


46

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FCMB to complete merger with Finbank in Q3 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

F

irst City Monument Bank Plc said it would complete a legal and operational merger with former rival Finbank by the end of the third quarter. The Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Ladi Balogun told an investor conference call that the bank took full control of Finbank in February 9, and a complete integration is on the way, adding, “it will happen by the end of the third quarter.” “We have received approval in principle for the acquisition from the Securities and Exchange

Commission, and we are looking at getting a date to arrange a court-ordered meeting of shareholders in the next few days,” he said. The bank expected Finbank to contribute more than 10 per cent to profits this year after the merger. FCMB declared a profit after tax of N6.72bn for the half year ended June 30, 2012, an increase by 26.3 per cent when compared with N5.32bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s gross earnings rose by 56.7 per cent, from N33.5bn in 2011 half year to N52.6bn in 2012, while intrest income appreciated by 59.2 per cent, from N26.6bn in 2011 half year to N42.3bn in 2012. According to the bank, net

assets stood at N864.5bn in the rview period, from N602.9bn in the corresponding period of 2011, while deposits from customers increased by 37.1 per cent, from N410.8bn in 2011 half year to N563.3bn in 2012. The bank in a statement noted that the result, which included the financials of its recently acquired entity, FinBank, a wholly owned subsidiary, showed a steady improvement in the bank’s year-on year performance. “It is expected that, when integration is completed in the third quarter of 2012, the synergy effects will offset restructuring costs and barring unforeseen circumstances lead to cost income ration reduction and improvement in

the profit after tax.” the bank said. Speaking on the results, Balogun said that the bank was marginally ahead of its forecast net revenue for the second quarter of 2012, in spite of the adverse interest rate environment, but profitability was dampened by the surge in expenses arising from the ongoing streamlining and consolidation of FinBank. “With the delays in regulatory approval almost out of the way, we expect that the synergy benefits will not only be substantially realised in the fourth quarter of the year, but also still have a positive contribution to the 2012 financial year-end,” he added.

Lafarge WAPCO posts N8bn profit, as equities drop N76bn JOHNSON OKANLAWON

L

afarge WAPCO Plc has declared a profit after tax of N8.81bn for the half year ended June 30, 2012, an increase by 175 per cent when compared to N3.19bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s turnover increased by 57.1 per cent, from N29.5bn in 2011 half year to N46.3bn in 2012, while taxation stood at N3.28bn in the review period, from N1.45bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. According to the result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, net assets appreciated by 11.7 per cent to N62.6bn,

from N56.1bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s long term debt dropped to N37.1bn in 2012, from N49.7bn in 2011 half year, while short term borrowings stood at N2.71bn in 2012, from N4.04bn in the corresponding period of 2011. Meanwhile, shares snapped a two-day rally on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as some investors sold their holdings to take profit from the gains recorded the previous days. The All Share index lost 1.03 per cent to close at 23,061.38 points, in contrast to the increase by 0.04 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 23,302.22 points.

Market capitalisation shed N76bn to close at N7.34trn, as against the appreciaton by N3bn recorded the preceding day to close at N7.42trn. National Salt Company of Nigeria Plc led the gainers’ table with 22 kobo or 4.99 per cent to close at N4.63 per share, followed by Portland Paints Plc with 15 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at N3.16 per share. Glaxosmithkline Plc gained N1.33 or 4.97 per cent to close at N28.10, while Champion Breweries Plc appreciated by 15 kobo or 4.79 per cent to close at N3.28 per share. Lafarge WAPCO Plc rose by N2.02 or 4.78 per cent to close at N44.30 per share.

On the flip side, Dangote Cement Plc lost N6.00 or five per cent to close at N114.00 per share, while Chellarams Plc dipped by 32 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at N6.11 per share. ARBICO Plc dropped by 95 kobo or 4.96 per cent to close at N18.19 per share, while Forte Oil Plc fell 56 kobo or 4.96 per cent to close at N10.73 per share. May and Baker Plc shed eight kobo or 4.91 per cent to close at N1.55 per share. Transaction in equities rose by 173 per cent, as a total of 408.78 million shares worth N3.69bn were exchanged in 4,291 deals, compared to 149.62 million shares valued at N1.31bn traded in 3,657 deals the preceding day.

UBS loses $356m to Facebook share price crash

U

BS lost $356m on Facebook’s initial public offering after its stake plunged 39 per cent in value Continue reading the main story Swiss bank UBS lost 349m Swiss francs ($356m) due to problems with the launch of Facebook shares, more than halving its profit. UBS blamed the Nasdaq exchange’s “gross mishandling” of the flotation and said it would be seeking compensation. It said system problems had left it with more Facebook shares which have fallen in value- than it had ordered. UBS’s second quar-

ter profits were $425m Swiss francs ($434m; £276m), compared with 1bn francs a year earlier. UBS shares were trading six per cent lower at 10.26 francs on Tuesday afternoon. “UBS’s losses [on the Facebook shares] resulted from Nasdaq’s multiple failures to carry out its obligations, including both opening the Facebook stock for trading and not halting trading in the stock during the day,” the Swiss bank said. UBS’s pre-market orders were not confirmed until several hours after the stock had started trading. “Orders were entered

multiple times before the necessary confirmations from Nasdaq were received. Nasdaq, ultimately, filled all of these orders, exposing UBS to far more shares than our clients had ordered,” the bank said in its statement. Facebook was valued at $104bn at its flotation in May, but the shares are now 39% below the initial sale price. As a result of the Facebook losses, UBS’s investment bank reported a loss in the quarter. That is compared with a profit of 730m Swiss francs a year earlier. UBS also warned that failure to resolve problems within Europe’s

banking system “accentuated by the reduction in market activity levels typically seen in the third quarter” meant its next set of earnings were likely to be flat. As a result, UBS said it would look at making further cost savings. The Swiss group is already in the process of cutting 3,500 jobs. The company also said it was on target to meet new Basel III bank rules and would not have to issue new shares to generate additional money. Its ratio of high quality - tier 1 - capital to lending was 8.8%, just shy of the 9% that will be required from next year.

Source: NSE

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 23,061.38 points Market capitalisation 7,340trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

NASCON

4.41

4.63

0.22

4.99

PORTPAINT

3.01

3.16

0.15

4.98

GLAXOSMIH

26.77

28.10

1.33

4.97

CHAMPION

3.13

3.28

0.15

4.79

WAPCO

42.28

44.30

2.02

4.78

VITAFOAM

3.14

3.29

0.15

4.78

LIVESTOCK

1.32

1.38

0.06

4.55

AGLEVENT

1.10

1.15

0.05

4.55

UBN

4.20

4.39

0.19

4.52

PRESCO

14.70

15.34

0.64

4.35

CHANGE

% CHANGE -5.00

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

DANGCEM

120.00

114.00

6.00

CHELLARM

6.43

6.11

0.32

-4.98

ARBICO

19.14

18.19

0.95

-4.96

FO

11.29

10.73

0.56

-4.96

MAYBAKER

1.63

1.55

0.08

-4.91

CAPHOTEL

6.94

6.60

0.34

-4.90

FCMB

3.29

3.13

0.16

-4.86

PAINTCOM

2.27

2.16

0.11

-4.85

OKOMUOIL

31.39

30.00

1.39

-4.43

ETERNA

2.17

2.08

0.09

-4.15

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

34,888.90

13.85

26-Jul-12

182-Day

83,229.89

16.10

26-Jul-12

364 -Day

50,000.00

9.06

26-Jul-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

62 Days

14,116.00

14.50

2-Jul-12

63 Days

55,629.87

14.50

2-Aug-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$200m

N/A

$200m

30-Jul-12

$250m

N/A

$217m

25-Jul-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

47

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at July 31, 2012 1st Tier Securities Sector

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48

Cocktail

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oddities

Fake $100 bills had Lincoln watermark

P

olice in Arizona said they were trying to identify a suspect who alle gedly tried to pass two counterfeit $100 bills bearing a water mark of Abraham Lincoln. Prescott police said the man first attempted to use a phony $100 bill about 8 p.m. July 18 at a Goodwill store. A worker noticed the security strip was incor rect and the water mark bore the image of Lincoln

instead of Benjamin Franklin, The Daily Courier, Prescott, reported Monday. Police said the man left the store before of ficers ar rived and attempted to use a similar bill less than a half hour later at a Safeway store, where a manager noticed the flaws in the forgery. The suspect again left before police ar rived. The Safeway manager said the man left in a black, fourdoor passenger car.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Woman tried to break into US jail P olice in southwest Ohio are perplexed about why a woman tried to sneak into a county jail before telling authorities to arrest her. Deputies with the Butler County Sheriff â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office arrested 36-yearold Tiffany R. Hurd when she was caught trying to climb over a fence into Butler County Jail in Hamilton, near Cincinnati. The Sunday morning arrest came after jail staff told Hurd to leave the property, but she told them to arrest her. Deputies then

repeatedly asked Hurd to leave, but she refused and attempted to climb the fence again. Deputies say was intoxicated.

Hurd was arrested on misdemeanour charges of criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct. She is now at the county

jail. Hurdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bond has been set at $2,500. Her attorney did not immediately return a message Monday.

Couple, 85, to remarry after 48-year divorce

T

hey got hitched while still in their teens, divorced 20 years later and are getting remarried after nearly a half-century apart. For Lena Henderson and Roland Davis, the second time around is finally here, even if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re both 85. The Buffalo-area

couple plans to get married again on Saturday, with four generations of their family on hand to see it happen. The couple tells The Buffalo News (http:// bit.ly/QpWbCc ) they met as teenagers in Chattanooga, Tenn., and after marrying had four children together. They

divorced in 1964 but always kept in touch. Henderson moved to West Seneca 30 years ago. Davis, a military retiree, was living alone in Colorado after his previous wife died several months ago. During a telephone conversation with Henderson, he proposed to her, and she said yes.

Hurd

PHOTO: AP


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

Community Mirror NDLEA arrests three female drug couriers

50

“The cost of running a university is enormous; it is a money-guzzling institution without corresponding revenue coming to the coffers of the government. ” OSUN STATE GOVERNOR, RAUF AREGBESOLA

Experts counsel families of Dana Air crash victims LEONARD OKACHIE

A

non- governmental organisation, Nigeria Leadership Initiative, NLI, has organised information forum for families and dependants of victims of Dana Air tragedy, meant to assist them during the grieving process and also disseminate information on the preliminary accident report and their options and rights. The forum, which held at Muson Centre, Lagos, enabled those concerned to listen to a panel of experts speak to families affected by the tragedy. The families were also delighted to hear from the NLI CEO, Mr. Yinka Oyinlola. In his opening remarks, Oyinlola said, “one of the reasons for the forum is to show the organisation’s sympathy and honour the memory of the departed by seeking ways to protect the living against a repeat of the June 3, tragedy.” He also introduced “The Safer Sky Initiative,” which would enhance awareness of issues with Nigerian air transport, place maximum pressure on airline authorities and operators, improve overall air safety and ensure that the families’ rights are fully enforced following the tragedy. The expert panel was moderated by Prof. Oba Nsugbe QC, SAN (an NLI Senior Fellow and a legal). Each expert made detailed presentation and answered questions from the audience. Dr. Femi Olugbile, a consultant Psychiatrist and Fellow of the Royal College, dealt with the differences between grief, bereavement and healing; identifying the meaning and impact of each, and identifying clear strategies for ways in which people could deal with each stage. In addition to dealing with the numerous issues thrown up by grief, bereavement and healing, Olugbile emphasised that the country needs to strengthen its institutional structures for reacting to and coping with large scale disaster and attendant human consequences. Mr. Jim Morris, a Boeing pilot and aviation law expert, dwelt on analysing a preliminary report by the Nigerian AIB, which had been reported in the dailies and the international aviation law aspects

of the case. He said: “The ability to improve flight safety, provide answers for families and to identify those who should be held to account in relation to their legal rights, flows from the effectiveness of the accident investigation and the identification of the full chain of events that resulted

in the tragedy.” Mr. Jibola Dalley, a lawyer gave a summary of the Nigerian law that applies to the accident. He explained that the rights of the families of passengers were governed by the Civil Aviation Act 2006 and that for damages proven up to the value of $100,000, the airline could not

exclude or limit its liability. He also emphasised the importance of obtaining specialist legal advice before accepting payment or signing any document from the airline or its insurers. He explained that settlement of the case is funded by the insurers who are desirous to minimise payments they make.

A Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) official in bathroom slippers with a club at his duty post in Lagos.

Mrs. Bridget Itsueli, a social psychologist and NLI Senior Fellow, spoke on the importance of social counselling and rebuilding lives shattered by the tragic loss of loved ones. She also said it was time for a public enlightenment programme on the importance of protecting live and issues of safety.

PHOTO: AJASA OLUFEMI

Power supply improves in Ilorin WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he decision of the Federal Government to private the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (PHCN), has been lauded in Ilorin, Kwara State. This followed an observed steady power supply in the city for the first time in 10 years despite intense rainfall and at a time staff of the company were

locked out of their premises to give room for the conclusion of the privatisation process. A cross section of the public who spoke with Community Mirror expressed happiness the steady power, without any reported cases of transformer blow out and other phantom electrical faults. Last week, the workers were barred from their offices by armed police following instructions from the authorities, even

as the staff maintained that the privatisation exercise would fail. Also, they demanded that security agents drafted to their premises be withdrawn to allow for the servicing of equipments. The workers made their position known through a protest to the PHCN district offices at Challenge and Baboko in Ilorin. But in a curious twist, the presence of armed soldiers

at the premises has led to improvement in power supply to the city and environs. Among those who commended the development were business centre operators, cyber cafes, government offices, small scale factories and private residents. A trader, Hadjia Biliqis Akanji ,said that business activities have improved and sales were better as a result of constant power supply.


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Community Mirror

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NDLEA arrests three female drug couriers

three suspected female drug traffickers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA,

Abuja, over smuggling of 4.500kg of narcotics in under wears and hair wigs. The agency said two

of the suspects who were to board an Egypt airline flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, through Cairo

were caught with 3.6kg of methamphetamines neatly hidden in customised under wears and hair wigs. Another female sus-

pect who claimed to be three months pregnant was found to have ingested 900 grammes of substance that tested positive for cocaine.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ramadan Special

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

‘Be compassionate towards the sick even after Ramadan’ L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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he Medical Director of Mushin General Hospital has urged Muslims to be more compassionate and kind to the sick as a way of impacting on the society during and after the holy Month of Ramadan. Mushin General Hospital CMD, Dr Kayode Akinlawon said this during a courtesy visit by The Muslim Congress Mushin local government to the hospital where the

branch donated armpit Thermometer and weighing scale to the hospital as a gesture to the development of the hospital health care delivery system. Dr Akinlawon commended the organisation for remembering the poor masses especially the sick and urged other Muslim organisations and people of other faith to imitate such act. He said the Lagos state government is trying its best to help indigent and helpless people to have access to free health care fa-

cilities and also urged the people not to misuse the opportunity but rather be grateful for this. Meanwhile, the Wakil of the local goverment Ustaz Abdl Wahab Jubril said the programme is an annual event by the organisation to show the community that TMC is concerned about the affairs of especially people in its immediate environment. He encouraged government to do more by giving people the privilege to have to good health care facilities as he urged other nongovernmental organi-

zations to continue being a parley to the government to meet the needs of the people. He said that part of the programme of the organsiation is to pray for the patients so that Allah grants them quick recovery and to also give them words of encouragement to boost their confidence in God. “The government should realise that we are their subjects and they should know that whatever they do to us, either positive or negative, they will account for it on the

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Day 13 Pray for us, Amosun tells religious leaders

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gun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has called on Muslim clerics and other religious leaders to continue to pray for peace in the state and the success of the present administration. Amosun made the call while hosting the League of Imams and Alfas in the state to a break-of-fast meeting at the Government House, Oke Igbein, Abeokuta.

He assured that the development projects witnessed so far “are a foretaste of what to expect in the future across the state.” While congratulating all Muslims for witnessing another holy month of Ramadan, he thanked the clerics and all religious leaders for their prayers, promising that government would fulfil all it had promised the people of the state.

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, addressing the league of Imams and Alfas during a break-of-fast meeting at the Government House in Abeokuta on Monday.

Head of Mahuta, Alhaji Bello Abdulkadir (right) and pupils of Fudayya Islamic Primary School in Malumfashi, happily displaying the ram they won at Hali Memorial Primary Schools Quiz Competition in Maslumfashi, Katsina state, yesterday.

‘More people are accepting Islam across the world’ L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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renowned international motivational speaker from Seattle United Kingdom, Shaykh Khalid Yasin has announced that about 6,000 people have become Muslims in America despite the war against Islam across the world. He said more people are becoming Muslims in Europe, France, Germany, Belgium which he said is a sign of the universality of Islam as a symbol of peace and eternal bliss. Shaykh Yasin made this known at a public lecture organised by the Islamic Platform where he addressed over 6000

Muslims at Sky Pavilion Adebola House on being good followers of the religion to hold a good family life as a good factor to promote human dignity. He urged Muslims to strive towards achieving righteousness by meeting the needs of the less privileged by spending from what they love most which he said includes sacrificing wealth, health and family to promote the course of religion. “If you are good to people, so many of them will accept Islam from you”, he said. He urged Nigerians to pray for the day when Nigeria and the whole of West Africa will go back to the Quran and follow it teachings and he stressed

that good leaders will never come except there are good followers on ground. Each and every citizen of Nigeria is responsible is responsible for the present condition of the Country and he advised everyone to each his attitude for good to help the Country improve. However, the President of Islamic Platform, Imam Abdulkareem Shefiu said the organsiation has stagged the programme to keep people abreast of international issues as it affects Islam. He said its aim is to bring people closer to God and to make every Muslim appreciate the blessings in the religion which he said can only be achieved by having good relationship with neighbours.

Shaykh Khalid Yasin addressing converts on the stage during the Ramadan lecture organised by Islamic platform organsiation of Nigeria in Opebi, Lagos.

Chief Matron Madiebo representing Apex Nurse Monebi Idera Oluwa, The Medical Director of Mushin General Hospital, Dr Kayode Akinlawon and Head of Administrative Personnel of the hospital Miss Titilayo Salako accepting donation made to the hospital from executive members of The Muslim Congress, Mushin Local government.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

World News

14 killed in Iraq’s car bombings

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PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton departs this week on a trip that will take her both to Africa’s newest nation, South Sudan, and on a visit to the continent’s elder statesman, 94-year-old antiapartheid icon Nelson Mandela. While Clinton’s public focus will be on Africa’s democratic achievements and economic potential, the trip also underscores U.S. security ties in the face of an array of growing threats --from Islamist extremists to narcotics cartels. “The security threats are becoming much more visible and in some ways dangerous than they were before,” said Jennifer Cooke, the head of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “There are big global issues on the table, and the U.S. does not have the kind of finances available to mount splashy new economic initiatives in Africa.” Clinton’s trip -- potentially her last as America’s top diplo-

“I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East peace process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including the Israeli people” – Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi

Clinton heads to Africa, eyes security issues mat -- begins yesterday in Senegal, and continues on to South Sudan, where she will be the most senior U.S. official to visit since the country declared independence in July 2011. Further stops include Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa, the State Department said. Clinton is expected to highlight U.S. programs on development, education and HIV/AIDS -- long the backbone of U.S. engagement with Africa -- as well as U.S. economic interest in a continent whose rich resources and enviable growth rates have drawn rival suitors including China and India. She will also likely emphasize projects for women and girls, one of her central themes in a job she says she will leave in January even if President Barack Obama is elected to a second term.

Ghana appoints Central Bank Governor as VP

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hanaian Central Bank Governor, Kwesi Amissah Arthur has been confirmed as the Vice to President Mahama. He beat competition from renowned economist, Dr Kwesi Botchwey to annex the prestigious position. Sources close to the President have confirmed this to a Ghanaian news agency. In accordance with the constitution, the president after he was sworn into office last Tuesday following the sudden death of President John Atta Mills, has chosen the Governor of the Bank of Ghana the second in command. With this confirmation, Amissah Arthur will become the natural vice presidential candidate of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the December polls. Earlier yesterday, academic and political analyst Dr Lloyd Amoah, told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that it would strategically unwise to select Arthur to partner him. Amoah believes technocrat

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Arthur

PHOTO: CENTRAL BANK

“will not bring in that fire, that energy that is required” to win the elections for the president. He said Amissah Arthur had no constituency and would not do much to help the NDC. But it appears the president and the NDC has other ideas as they have settled on the Central Bank Governor, the Ghana to Ghana News has reported.

Hillary Clinton speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Monday in Washington, DC. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Six dead in Sudan’s transport fare protests

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ix people have been killed in violent protests against high transport prices in the Darfur region of western Sudan, local officials say in a report from the BBC. Police in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, fired tear gas at protesters throwing stones and burning tyres in the streets, witnesses said. Several protesters chanted slogans calling for the government’s downfall. Since June, Sudan has seen sporadic protests against government austerity measures, including fuel subsidy cuts. The country’s authorities have been trying to cut spending since Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil revenue when South Sudan seceded last year. Demonstrators in Nyala chanted “No to high prices” and “People want to change the regime”, according to witnesses. Bothina Mohmed Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the state of South Darfur, said it was not known how the six deaths had happened, and that an investigation had been launched.

Opposition activists and media accused the police of using live ammunition. The protests started on Monday when local students “rejected the price of transport announced by the government”, the African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur, UNAMID, told the AFP news agency. The mission’s spokesman, Christopher Cycmanick, said “other groups” had joined the protests and attacked government buildings. “This has been happening on the main roads and in the main market area. There’s been some damage to buildings,” he told AFP. The anti-austerity protests in Sudan began in June among students in Khartoum, but have since spread to other social groups and areas. They had recently dwindled as a result of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on 20 July. Until this year, Sudan had escaped the unrest characteristic of recent uprisings in Arab countries such as neighbouring Egypt, but economic hardship caused by austerity has led to growing dissatisfaction with President Omar al-Bashir.

WORLD BULLETIN ‘Namibia illegally sterilised women’ Namibia’s government sterilised three women infected with HIV without obtaining proper consent after forcing them to sign agreement forms they did not understand, a judge has ruled. Judge Elton Hoff’s ruling yesterday, which rejected lawyers’ accusations that doctors sterilised the women to prevent mother-to-child transmission in a country where the virus remains endemic, was applauded by activists, Al Jazeera has reported. The activists say they worry more women in the southern African nation are coerced into the procedure, as other cases pending before courts allege women suffered similar treatment at the hands of doctors. The three women all sought care at government hospitals in Namibia. All of them signed release forms that allowed doctors to sterilise them, though at the time they did not realise what they had agreed to, said Nyasha Chingore, an HIV project lawyer with the Southern Africa Litigation Centre. In one case, a woman signed a form that used only acronyms to describe the procedure, while another signed after being told she did not have a choice, Chingore said. “The consent forms were all signed when they were in labour,’’ she said. Corinna van Wyk, the lawyer who represented the women in court, said the government had 14 days to appeal Hoff’s ruling. All three of the women will be entitled to monetary damages, though that portion of the case will be delayed as the court deals with other similar cases. However, the major point of the case that women should have the right to be properly informed and allowed to make their own free decision about being sterilised has been upheld by the court, she said.

Zimbabwe’s thief asks for life jail A man convicted of housebreaking in Zimbabwe has asked the judge to jail him for life, state media report. Lovemore Manyika, 22, wrote a note which was read out in the Harare court, saying: “Life in prison is better than life in the streets.” The Herald newspaper reports that he was disappointed to be only sentenced to three years. Manyika was released from prison in April after a previous conviction, the paper says. He broke into two houses in central Harare in July, stealing two mobile phones, a plasma TV and $1,800 (£1,150) in cash. Six months of his prison term were suspended if he repays $1,956 by 30 September, the paper says.


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WORLD BULLETIN Australia seizes $500m drugs from Hong Kong ring Australian police have seized drugs worth over half a billion dollars and broken up a Hong Kong-based drugs ring. Four Hong Kong nationals and three Australian residents were also arrested in raids in Sydney on Monday. Over half a tonne of drugs, including 306kg (674.61lb) of crystal methamphetamine - also known as ‘’ice’’ - and 252kg of heroin, were seized. The haul is the largest seizure of ‘’ice’’ and the third largest seizure of heroin, police said. The drugs are estimated to be worth A$500m (US$526m; £335m), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement. The raids and arrests followed a year-long investigation. “Countless lives would have been affected had this seizure made its way to Australian streets,” Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin told Australian media.

World News

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

14 killed in Iraq’s car bombings

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win car bombs in Baghdad killed 12 people and wounded at least 47 others yesterday, while another attack west of the capital killed two and wounded three, security and medical officials said. The latest violence brings the number of people killed in attacks across Iraq in July to at least 271, according to a news

agency’s tally based on security and medical sources. An interior ministry official said the twin blasts in Baghdad’s central Karrada area killed 12 people and wounded 47. The official said the first attack was by a suicide car bomber who blew up a vehicle at the rear of the police major crimes headquarters. A medical official put the

toll at 19 killed, including five police, and 50 wounded, among them 10 police. The explosions could be heard around a kilometre (half a mile) away. One of the blasts destroyed the entire front of a building and multiple cars, shattered shop windows and scattered debris across the street. Emergency vehicles and se-

Scientists concern over new flu virus in seals Scientists in the United States have identified a new strain of influenza in harbour seals that could potentially impact human and animal health. The H3N8 flu has been associated with the deaths of harbour seals in New England last year. Researchers say the virus may have evolved from a type that had been circulating in birds. They say the discovery highlights the potential for pandemic flu to emerge from unexpected sources. Researchers were puzzled by the mysterious deaths from pneumonia of 162 harbour seals around the coast of New England last year. Autopsies on five of the marine mammals indicate that they died from a type of H3N8 influenza A virus that is closely related to a strain circulating in North American birds since 2002. One of authors of the research paper is Prof Ian Lipkin, from Columbia University in the US.

Pakistan, US sign troop supply deal Pakistan and the U.S. say they have signed an agreement regulating the shipment of American troop supplies to and from Afghanistan. The deal signed yesterday codified a largely informal arrangement that has allowed the U.S. to contract trucks to ship goods destined for the Afghan war through Pakistan over the past decade. Pakistan pushed for a written pact in drawn-out negotiations that led to the supply line’s reopening in early July following a seven-month blockade. Islamabad cut the route in retaliation for American airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border. Pakistan state television and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed the signing of the agreement.

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People and security forces gathering at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Baghdad, Iraq yesterday

PHOTO: AP

curity forces quickly descended on the scene of the blast. Separately, two people were killed and three wounded by a car bomb north of Fallujah, which lies to the west of Baghdad, a major in the Anbar police and doctor Assem al-Hamdani of Fallujah Hospital said. The attacks came a day after gunmen shot dead a television presenter and wounded his mother, wife and four-month-old baby boy, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory media rights group and a police officer. Iraq regularly ranks near the bottom of global press freedom rankings. It was at 152nd place out of 179 countries in media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders’ 2011-2012 World Press Freedom Index, down 22 from the year before. Iraq saw a spike in unrest in June, when at least 282 people were killed in Iraq, according to the AFP tally. Violence has declined sharply from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common.

Romney concludes overseas tour amid media tensions

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S presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up his overseas tour in Poland, as frustrations between his campaign and journalists boiled over, BBC has reported. In a foreign policy speech in Warsaw, the former Massachusetts governor praised Poland’s economy as a model of small government and free enterprise. But it was a Romney spokesman who captured headlines by lashing out at US reporters asking questions. The Republican is set to challenge President Obama in November’s polls. Yesterday, Romney’s travelling press secretary, Rick Gorka, lost his cool with reporters who tried to question the candidate after he visited Warsaw’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At a public plaza near the memorial, journalists from CNN, the New York Times and Washington Post asked Romney about “mishaps” and “gaffes” on his trip. Gorka said: “Kiss my ass. This is a holy site for the Polish people.” He then told a reporter from Politico to “shove it”. The press secretary apologised soon afterwards to correspondents. Romney later told Fox News that journalists had been more interested in “finding something to write about” other than reporting on the economy and national security threats. But US media have been com-

plaining that Mr Romney only took three press questions - outside Downing Street in London - during the entirety of his six-

day trip. Romney’s tour of the UK, Israel and Poland was intended to burnish his profile globally,

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with wife Ann gesturing to Polish WWII veterans and a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp yesterday in Warsaw, Poland. PHOTO: AP

but it has been overshadowed by media reports of his perceived missteps. At the weekend, he declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, even though US policy holds that the city’s designation is a matter for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He was also accused of racism after he told an audience of Jewish donors that cultural differences explained why Israel’s economy was much larger than that of the Palestinians. And he was excoriated by the British media on the first leg of his tour in London, when he questioned the country’s readiness to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Yemen arrests suspected Qaeda leader

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emeni security services have arrested a suspected Al-Qaeda leader, Abdulrahman al-Baihani, wanted for plotting “terrorist’ attacks in the capital, state news agency Saba said yesterday. The suspect is “one of the most dangerous wanted Al-Qaeda elements and among the prominent leaders plotting to carry out acts of terrorism and sabotage in the capital,” Saba quoted a high-ranking security official as saying. Baihani, who was arrested on Monday, “took part in fighting armed forces in Abyan province” from which Al-Qaeda militants were ousted in June following

deadly battles with Yemeni forces. He also “brought children whom he sent to fight alongside Al-Qaeda in Abyan and Shabwa provinces,” the official said. Earlier in July, Yemen announced it has placed its security services on high alert to prevent “terrorist” attacks after it uncovered a plot to launch assaults against security and military checkpoints. Al-Qaeda militants have carried out several deadly attacks against Yemeni security services since President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who has repeatedly vowed to battle extremists, came to power this year.

In May, a Yemeni soldier detonated explosives packed under his uniform in the middle of an army battalion in the capital Sanaa, killing 96 troops and wounding around 300. The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, believed to be the global network’s most effective and lethal franchise, had claimed responsibility for the attack. And on July 11, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of a police academy in Sanaa, killing eight cadets and wounding several more. Officials had accused Al-Qaeda of carrying out the assault.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kano violent attacks: Commercial motorcyclists fear clampdown AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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resh attacks in parts of Kano city by gunmen operating on motorcycles have sparked off fear of a clampdown on commercial motorcyclists by the Kano State Government This is coming barely two weeks after the state lifted its six months restriction on movement of the commercial motorcyclists. In the spirit of the Ramadan, Governor Rabiu

Musa Kwankwaso announced the lifting of the ban on commercial motorcyclists in the state. With the order, commercial motorcyclists, who were prohibited from the Kano streets after 6p.m. are allowed to operate up till 8p.m. Kwankwaso said the gesture was to ease transportation problem within the metropolis, especially during Ramadan, even though the government had purchased vehicles for commercial purposes to fill the gap created by

the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called “Achaba”. Following the ban, the operations of tricycles, known as Keke NAPEP, have become more pronounced in the state capital. The decision to restrict the movement of the commercial motorcyclists followed pockets of night attacks by gunmen using motorcycles, particularly in remote parts of Kano city. On Sunday, gunmen on three motorcycles

launched an attack on a checkpoint manned by men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, at Rigiya Zaki quarters in the university town of Kabuga. The Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said the attack was repelled while four of the attackers lost their lives. Most of the commercial motorcyclists operating in the state capital told our correspondent that if the attacks continued, the government might be forced to impose restrictions on their operations.

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Niger CJ sets 65 prisoners free PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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bout 65 people, including three women, who were inmates of the Old Minna Prison, have regained their freedom in Niger State. The state Chief Justice, CJ, Justice Jibril Ndajiwo, set the people free yesterday during his annual visit to prisons in the state. Speaking shortly after delivering judgment on some special cases at the prison, Ndajiwo said the decision to set the prisoners free was to decongest the prison. He added that it was part of efforts to improve the welfare of prison inmates in the state. The 65 people were granted freedom because of the state of their

health, lack of diligent prosecution and overstay in prison custody. Indajiwo also reviewed the case of a woman who was accused of killing her rival. He sentenced the woman to six months in prison for showing remorse as well as the official report attesting to her good behaviour, even while awaiting trial in the prison. The CJ also charged the released prisoners to eschew all forms of negative behaviour which would bring them back to prison. He said: “My advice is that you should avoid going back to crime and criminal activities.” Ndajiwo disclosed that some prisoners at the New Minna Prison would also be set free as part of the yearly effort to decongest prisons in the state.

Agency plans to hand over healthcare centres to Kogi MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

T Bauchi State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Talatu Barwa (left), presenting gifts to the Special Assistant to the governor, Hajiya Izatu Ayuba, during distribution of Ramadan and Sallah gifts in Bauchi, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Investment in agric will end insurgency – Shettima INUSA N DAHI MAIDUGURI

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overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has said that one of the best ways to tackle insecurity, especially the Boko Haram insurgency was to create job opportunities for the youth by harnessing the agricultural potentials in the North. Shettima said this yesterday in Konduga Local Government Area of the state at the launch of Electronic Wallet System under the Growth Enhancement Support Programme by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to benefit farmers across the state. The programme, according to him, is timely and in line with the policy of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of his administration.

Shettima said 80 per cent of the state population engaged in farming as a means of livelihood. The governor said that was why his government was dedicating the larger chunk of its limited resources to the sector to create job opportunities, fight poverty, hunger and insecurity generated by youth idleness. He said: “Agriculture is the backbone of the rural economy and food security is a fundamental human right, as such, we need to invest in the sector to allow us to maximise this potential and contribute to job creation and food security at all costs.” The governor therefore commended the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for initiating the programme. He promised that his

administration would partner the Federal Government and other donor agencies in the quest to improve the agricultural production in the state. In his address, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Ti-

jjani, said his ministry, under President Goodluck Jonathan’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda, would continue to support the state in the area of provision of adequate fertiliser and farming inputs for the overall development of the state.

he National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, said it was ready to hand over all the primary healthcare centres it constructed in Kogi State to the state government. The Executive Director of the agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad, disclosed this during his recent visit to Governor Idris Wada in Lokoja, the state capital. Muhammad said apart from handing over the newly constructed centres to the state, the NPHCDA was ready to offer technical assistance to the state to enable it run

the centres. He also called on the state government to intimate the agency with developments in the provision of primary healthcare services in the state. Mohammad urged the state government to redouble effort in its routine immunisation exercise, saying the state had only 46 per cent immunisation coverage. He, however, commended the governor for his support whenever the agency carried out immunisation programmes in the state. In his remarks, Wada, who spoke through his deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, said his administration had taken the gesture as a clarion call.

Don’t buy recruitment forms, TESCOM warns job seekers ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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ogi State Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM, said it did not mandate anybody or organisation to sell recruitment forms to the applicants seeking teaching appointments in the state. The TESCOM Acting Chairman, Alhaji Salawu Aliu, said this yesterday while addressing journalists on the rumour that

some people were selling forms to applicants seeking employment in the commission. Aliu disclosed that Governor Idris Wada had recently approved the recruitment of 2,000 teachers into the teaching service because of inadequate teachers in most of the secondary schools in the state. He said the governor directed the commission to come up with data of the teachers in the state

to enable it know which schools and subject teachers were required before the commencement of the recruitment exercise. Aliu, who urged the public to report any person or group of people asking them to buy recruitment forms to the law enforcement agents, said the recruitment had not begun. He said: “When the exercise begins, we shall engage an independent examination body, so as

to ascertain the fitness of the applicants, since we are looking for quality and productivity, which will be done in the open.”

Gov. Wada


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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WORLD RECORD

Oldest magic shop Vol. 02 No. 416

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

N150

The world’s oldest family run magic business is Davenports founded in 1898 by Lewis Davenport (UK) at his home on Ryles Road, Plaistow, London, UK in 1903.

Hot air over impeachment

t is not surprising that members of the House of Representatives are hell bent on impeaching President Goodluck Jonathan over what they perceive to be his lack of speed in implementing the 2012 budget. They are piqued that despite the pains and rigours put in passing the budget, the President is not enamoured at bringing the benefits of their gargantuan efforts to ordinary Nigerians who are earnestly waiting to share in this unique El Dorado. In order to protect this democracy and save the citizens from excruciating deaths arising from non implementation of the cure - all budgets, the person responsible for the gridlock and who happens to be the president of Nigeria must go. Such show of moral grandstanding is all that the House needs at this time to redeem its battered image after the debacle of the oil subsidy scam and the sore show of shame emanating from shocking revelations at the Capital Market probe. On

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

both scores, the House was thoroughly defeated, while members’ egos were utterly deflated as they watched their own being remorselessly dragged as common criminals before the court of public opinion. Smarting from these self inflicted wounds, they are now out to find scapegoats on which to heap the blames for all that have wrong with the Nigerian society. Given that the tool of impeachment is provided for in the nation’s constitution, the drafters were conscious of the fact that like the sword of Damocles, it should be rarely brandished and only for purpose of checking the excesses of a benighted president. Moreover, impeachment threats must not be self serving nor employed for blackmail. But from the look of things, the present pontification of the House points in this direction. What really is behind the present feuding? The House, in wanting to exculpate itself from the present economic inertia affecting the economy, had tried to accuse the president of lacking in zeal, gumption and political will to throw money at the problems. In baying for blood, they are insisting that Jonathan had only implemented 34 percent of the budget so far and it is nigh impossible for any magic wand to be applied to ameliorate the situation. Consequently, the Reps see in the president, a man so laid back and incapable of getting a firm grip on the rubrics of governance which entails the effective supervision of those under his charge and whose peripatetic disposition leaves

BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT NGOZI OKONJO IWEALA HAS BEEN VERY SLOW IN RELEASING FUNDS MEANT FOR THE SO CALLED

“CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS” him little room to be involved in the nitty gritty of statecraft. For the House, such executive abnegation is putting the economy on an uneven keel and something drastic must be done to bring it back to a predetermined course, and that means impeachment. Such argument makes for sound logic and politics. But in staving off the onslaught, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has claimed victory in the battle to effectively implement the budget. According to her, the implementation rate is a modest 56 percent and this was achieved as at July 20, while a whooping N404 billion had already been released to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The crux of the matter is that, the Minister went into a tuto-

rial session in trying to knock into the heads of House members the fact that no country in the world and not even the advanced economies can achieve 100 percent budget implementation. All they try to do is to get to 80 or 90 percent of the appropriation. This is what has roiled the political waters, as the House committee chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed is accusing Okonjo Iweala of being economical with truth. For him, only N324 billion was made available to the MDAs for capital projects out of the N1.5 trillion earmarked for the purpose. But where is the rancour in all this? Then listen. In trying to get out of his corner, Zakari gave away their angst with the presidency, and this has to do with their much prized constituency projects and who should be responsible for their implementation. Hear him: “For the avoidance of doubt, constituency projects represent less than 10 per cent of the 2012 capital expenditure. How can this be the reason for the slow implementation of the budget?” In backing this claim, he relied on Section 6 of the Appropriation Act, 2012 which states that “the Minister of Finance shall ensure that funds appropriated under this Act, are released to the agencies and organs of government as and when due”. But the problem is that Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has been very slow in releasing funds meant for the so called “constituency projects” which over the years have become a veritable cash cow for members who indulge in spending the millions to their hearts contents. Now they are up in arms because the Minister is insisting that all of the phantom projects to be executed in House members’ constituencies must pass the test of scrutiny, which means that they must be technically feasible, appropriately costed and executed through due diligence. This is a far cry from the recent past, when lawmakers were given keys to the nation’s safe to spend monies without appropriate checks and supervision. In the end, such monies ended up in private pockets without any sign of projects or other wealth creating initiatives to show for it.

Sport Extra

W

ant away Queens Park Rangers loanee, Taye Taiwo, was unveiled yesterday by Russian club Dinamo Kiev, ending days of speculations about his future after AC Milan declared the Super Eagles defender surplus to requirement.

Transfer: Taiwo makes Dinamo switch Reports said however that Kiev hoped for a permanent deal in the region of 2 million pounds if Taiwo impresses the club in the new season. “It was a dream to move

to AC Milan but to be honest I never had the chance to show what I am capable of doing, but that is life,” Taiwo said at his unveiling. “I chose to come to Dy-

namo Kiev because of the opportunity to play in the Champions League and also to experience a new life,” he added, stressing, “It was very important to consider my international

career and I took this decision with that in mind.” Taiwo has become the fourth Nigeria player at Dynamo Kiev after joining Brown Ideye, Lukman Haruna and Yusuf Ayila.

Taye Taiwo

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Wednesday, 1st of August, 2012