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Newswatch clears salary arrears, lays off 70% staff Two 70-yr-old photographers affected T SAM OLUWALANA Ibrahim

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday fired the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, over an apparent conflict of interest in the on-going power sector privatisation programme. According to a twoparagraph statement issued last night by President Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Rueben Abati, the President said CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

he management of Nigeria’s leading news magazine, Newswatch, has paid salary arrears owed its entire workforce, while it

Sovereign Wealth Fund takes off October

also laid off 70 per cent of its staff to pave way for the successful implementation of its ongoing restructuring proCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Call Aviation Minister to order, Rep tells Jonathan

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Okonjo-Iweala

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FG sacks Power Minister, Nnaji Labour expresses hope on reforms

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Politicians lack integrity, says Obasanjo

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Former staff of Mainstreet Bank protesting the non-payment of their entitlements after the termination of their appointments, in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Opposition parties hit back at Jonathan President blasts Buhari over corruption in oil sector

N5,000 note will boost banking reform –Sanusi

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$400bn oil revenue mismanaged –Ezekwesili P.6

Cross section of newly-trained 8,000 students in calisthenics display during the inauguration of the Osun Schools Calisthenics Programme at the City Stadium in Osogbo, Osun State, yesterday.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Opposition parties hit back at Jonathan AYODELE OJO AND OBIORA IFOH

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igeria’s opposition political parties yesterday hit back at President Goodluck Jonathan, describing his lamentation over the state of the nation as an admission of his government’s failure. The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, described Jonathan’s statement as “an admission of failure, incompetence and unpreparedness to govern” while the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, stated that the Jonathan’s administration took the negative lead of all the ex-

isting governments before it. The All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, said that Nigerians were worse off under the Jonathan administration. President Jonathan had on Monday at the opening of the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, described himself as the world’s most criticised president. He also demanded to know why he was being held responsible for the decaying infrastructure, state of insecurity, power failure among others. Jonathan had said: “It is not easy and you don’t have the magic wand that probably with a wave of

the hand, ill health will go away and prosperity will appear but in pure governance issues, it takes time. “Sometimes people who have held offices in government criticise me sometimes to the extent of personal abuses. “Sometimes I ask were there roads across this country and Jonathan brought flood to wipe out these roads within two years or we had power and I brought hurricane to break down all the infrastructure or if they say Boko Haram is because of poverty? “Were there massive irrigation projects where agriculture can thrive and massive farms and Jonathan brought drought

to wipe out these farms under two years, is it possible? “Well, time will tell but what I can tell Nigerians is that let those who criticise continue to criticise. “We will do our best and as we progress, Nigerians will know the truth and will see that we are committed and we will surely transform this country.” The ACN, speaking yesterday through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described President Jonathan’s statement as “an admission of failure, incompetence and unpreparedness to govern” for President Jonathan to be asking why he was being held responsible for the

L-R: Former President/Guest Speaker, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Leadership Initiative, Mr. Yinka Oyinlola; Executive Director, Corporate Banking, First Bank Plc, Mr. Kehinde Lawson and EVP Private Banking, Mrs. Bernadine Okeke, at the NLI Guest Speaker Forum co-sponsored by First Bank Nigeria in Lagos, yesterday.

FG sacks Power Minister, Nnaji CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

he “has accepted the resignation with immediate effect of the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji.” “President Jonathan thanks Prof. Nnaji for his services to the nation under the present administration and wishes him well in his future endeavours,” the statement added. Nnaji’s departure followed disclosure of his interest in some of the firms bidding for controlling interest in subsidiary companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, slated for privatisation. It was learnt that the minister was asked to step down to ensure that the privatisation process

was seen to be fair and transparent, though he was not accused of any wrong doing. Nnaji had also been involved in a running battle with power sector workers over severance benefits and gratuity, which had threatened to derail the privatisation process. The President was said to have been embarrassed by media reports of the proceedings at the meeting of the National Council of Privatisation, NCP, last Friday chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, where a decision was taken to cancel the technical bid evaluation process conducted for Afam Generation Company Limited and Enugu Distribution Company

Limited. This was after Nnaji had told the council that O&M Solutions of Pakistan, members of one of the consortia bidding for the 776 megawatt Afam Power plant in Delta State, had worked for Geometric Power as a contractor. Nnaji is the founder of Geometric Power, which built a 22megawatt plant in Abuja and is also constructing another integrated power plant in Aba, Abia State. The minister was also said to have informed the NCP that Geometric Power owns a minority stake in Eastern Electric Nigeria Limited, which had submitted technical and financial bids for Enugu Distribution Company

Limited. As a result of the disclosures the minister had to leave the meeting to avoid participation in consideration of the bids, which were cancelled eventually as the minister’s nominee was on the evaluation team for the Enugu disco. Nnaji had maintained that he had resigned his appointment in Geometric Power, transferred his shares to a blind trust since he was appointed as the president’s Special Adviser on Power and later as Minister of Power, and does not participate in the day-to-day operations of the company. The NCP however announced that seven of the 25 bids it received last month for the six genera-

“Hasn’t anyone told state of insecurity, power failure, decaying infra- President Jonathan that stucture even though his his responsibilities as administration inherited President include clearing the mess left by his predethese problems Mohammed said at cessors in office while at a time of crisis, what a the same time leaving his nation expected from a own legacies? “Does President JonaPresident were words that would inspire the citizens than expect sympathy and give them confidence from the citizens by this that the helmsman was open admission of incomon top of the situation petence and resignation to and not the kind of words failure?” the party said. The CPC National Pubcredited to “President Jonathan which are only ca- licity Secretary, Rotimi pable of demoralising the Fashakin, said that there citizenry and telling them had not been any govthings are out of control ernment that was more and that he is completely wanting in patriotism and honour as the Jonathan at loss as at what to do. “Great leaders in regime. CPC stated: “He came the world like Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisen- into office out of the exhower, J. F. Kennedy are pediency of regional balremembered today more ancing and by default; importantly for the qual- not necessarily out of ity of leadership they sheer competence. In the provided their various history of Nigeria, that is, aggregating the years nations at moments of of experimentation with crisis. Even in the face of imminent defeat and para- military and civillian relysing casualties, Winston gimes, there had not been Churchill was still able any that is more wanting to inspire and rally his in patriotism and honour people to victory and faced as the Jonathan regime! “In financial recklesswith Cuban Missile crisis, President J. F. Kennedy ness, it is unparalleled. In did not throw up his hands budgetary imprudence, it is unrivalled. In decadent in despondency. “Hasn’t anyone told administrative incompePresident Jonathan that tence, it has unassailable the buck stops on his desk? lead over others. “In paucity of ideologiHasn’t anyone told President Jonathan that an ad- cal depth and initiative, ministration inherits both it is the numero uno. In terms clueless and blinthe assets and liabilities of his predecessor in office? CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

tion companies (Gencos) created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) had scaled the hurdle for the next round. The seven were said to have met the cut-off mark of 750 and above during the technical evaluation process and were prequalified to have their financial bids open on September 25. The successful companies are: CMEC Energy and GPN Nestoil Power Services Limited for Sapele Power Company; Phoenix Electricity, Transcorp Consortium and Ampiron Power Distribution Limited, which bid for Ughelli Power Company. Others are: Ampiron

Power Distribution Limited, Mainstream Energy Solution Limited and North South Power Company Limited which were prequalified for Geregu, Kainji and Shiroro Power Companies respectively. In a swift reaction, the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, General Secretary, Mr. Joe Ajaero, said the removal of Nnaji as Minister of Power by President Jonathan means the government is ready to proceed with the privatisation process of the power sector. He told our correspondent on telephone that if the removal of the former minister is what is required to move the sector forward, then the union CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


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Photo News

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Director-General, Benin Republic Customs Service, Col. Soussia Theophile (left) and ComptrollerGeneral, Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, during a two-day working visit of Col. Theophile to Customs headquarters in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communication Technology, Dr. Ibrahim Daudu; Minister, Mrs. Mobolaji Johnson and Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati, briefing newsmen after a presentation on the 2012 budget implementation to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (left) presenting a souvenir to Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Olaniyi Babalola Ogunjini, during a courtesy call on the governor in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, yesterday.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mr. Anthony Ozodinobi; Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Chief Olajumoke Akinjide, during Onaiyekan’s courtesy visit to the minister in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

National News

N5,000 note ’ll boost gains of banking reforms –Sanusi •Introduction of high denomination unnecessary, says don SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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overnor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has again defended the decision of the apex bank to introduce N5,000 note in 2013. His defence came on the heels of the suspension of the proposal by the Senate on Monday. Writing on an internet discussion forum, NigerianWorldForum, through his mail box after the suspension, Sanusi said the new note was to serve as a follow-up to the gains of CBN’s programme since 2010 which ensured increased operational efficiency of the banking system aimed at reducing overheads by 30 per cent in three years. However, a university lecturer, Prof. Mike Obadan, has faulted Sanusi’s explanation that the CBN was introducing the N5,000 note to shore up the value of the country’s currencies, reduce the amount of paper in circulation and reduce the pressure on cash in the various tools of

the system such as ATMs and vaults. Obadan said the planned introduction was unnecessary. But Sanusi said in 2010, the CBN embarked on a programme of increasing operational efficiency of the banking system aimed at reducing overheads by 30 per cent in three years. He said: “This programme has led to a number of initiatives - shared services for cash movement and management, inter-operability of ATMs and Point of Sales, POSs, Nigerian Inter-bank Settlement System, NIBSS, instant transfer, mobile and telephone banking etc. As part of the effort to reduce the use of paper currency, we have had a number of logically connected policies. “To understand this, please, note that when we analysed transaction data from the industry for cash transactions, we discovered that only 10 per cent of cash transactions were for more than N150,000. “However, this 10 per cent accounted for 70 per cent of the value of cash

transactions. So, roughly 70 per cent of the total cost of printing, moving, sorting, storing, counting, securing and briquetting cash is spent on 10 per cent of customers who are heavy cash users. To reduce this cost, we took a two-pronged approach. First, we levied a charge on heavy withdrawals to push more transactions to electronic channels. “Second, we are printing N5,000 notes to store more value and reduce the amount of paper required to do so. The cost to us of printing N5,000 notes is the same as printing N1,000 notes. So, you can see the seignorage effect. If a bullion van moves from Abuja to Lagos with N5,000 notes, it would have to do the trip five times to carry the same value in N1,000 notes. We need five times as much paper, ink, costs, etc to do N1,000. ATMs have to be replenished five times more. Vaults carry 20 per cent of value etc. By reducing production of lower notes and replacing with N5,000, we reduce all these costs.” However, reacting to Sanusi’s claims, Obadan,

a former Director-General of the National Centre for Economic Management and Administration and lecturer of Economics and Statistics at the University of Benin, UNIBEN, told our correspondent that the conditions that could warrant the introduction of the higher denomination into the nation’s financial economy were not available right now. The lecture added that hyper-inflation was currently non-existent. He said: “If inflation were such that one requires N10,000 or so, for example, to buy a loaf of bread, then the value of money would be so low and under such conditions, large notes may be more convenient for transactions. “One thing to note is that our policy makers do not learn from the good practices and experiences of good and successful countries. The United States, the largest economy in the world, which issued large dollar bills including the $10,000 bill for large financial transactions, from the beginning of Government Issue has, in the face

of low inflation and prevalence of electronic means of payment, discontinued large dollar bills since 1969. “As at today, the dollar bill is printed in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars. Now, in the 21st century, our policy makers are responding to highlevel technological developments by acts of backwardness, rather than focusing on actions that will make the cashless society policy work.” On the way out, Obadan suggested that the CBN should surrender its surplus and idle funds to the government for a more productive deployment. He said: “The CBN seems to be having too much money to spend. If it is not competing with the executive arm of government and its Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, in spending on different sectors, it is spending on social-political activities in the name of corporate social responsibility.” Obadan urged Sanusi and the CBN executive to re-examine their priorities and concentrate on mon-

etary and financial stabilisation. Meanwhile, the leader of a Niger Delta-based organisation, Dr. Chukwuma Nwaonicha, has praised the Senate for suspending the introduction of N5,000 note. He said: “I agree with the Senate that the project needs to be reviewed before the CBN proceeds because of its implications. Is the CBN aware of the superdollar (also known as super-bill or super-note)? This is a very high quality counterfeit United States $100 bill, alleged by the U.S. Government to have been made by an unknown organisation or government. “The super-dollar nearly ruined the American economy until international action was taken by the U.S. Government. Let us learn by example and not through the hard way. Counterfeiting may turn to a lucrative business due to the introduction of this N5,000 note. This reason alone is good enough to stop this crazy idea from nowhere. The CBN should come out with good ideas that will help the economy and not the ones that could ruin it.”


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have no quarrel with the President’s decision. He admitted that workers in the sector had in the past called for the resignation or sack of Nnaji, adding that the decision to remove the minister is not coming as a surprise, moreso, when consideration is given to the gravity of the allegations and petitions against him. On his part, the Presi-

FG sacks Power Minister, Nnaji dent of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Corporation, SSAEAC, Mr. Bede Opara, described the minister’s removal as capable of bringing the negotiations with government to a final close. Opara, who said that the association will com-

Newswatch clears salary arrears, lays off 70% staff CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

cess. The management however pledged to recall some of the laid off staff who might be considered suitable for reengagement. Among those sacked were two 70-year-old photographers. The company’s management in a statement yesterday described the move as the first step towards a comprehensive surgical operation, necessary for its corporate turnaround by the Publisher and internationally-acclaimed turnaround expert, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR. It added that the publisher was already in London, to discuss with a manufacturer of top quality printing machine for the magazine. The Chief Operating Officer of the magazine, Mr. Femi Ige, expressed gratitude while praising the ef-

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forts of the Publisher and Group Managing Director of Global Fleet for his magnificent business acumen which had turned the near-comatose publication into a leading magazine in the country. “We just cannot thank him enough for his efforts at turning the company around and for the hope he has given us for the future. We are starting a re-engineering process now, which involves the re-training of the editorial staff,’’ he said. The management also thanked its workers for their loyalty and perseverance, promising to repay them with top class welfare package when it resumes publication. It appealed to the public and its distributors to bear with the management during the re-packaging period, while promising that their darling publication would hit the stand soon in a better format.

ment fully on the matter in the coming days, said power sector workers are desirous of seeing Nigerians enjoying uninterrupted power supply. Meanwhile, the ongoing discussions between the Federal Government and the electricity workers on severance benefits yesterday ended in a stalemate, as both parties could not agree on key issues. At the meeting were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu and representatives from the two labour centres, the Trade

Union Congress, TUC, and Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC. The meeting was again shifted to Wednesday (today) for further discussion. It would be recalled that both sides have been entangled in issues bothering on gratuity and pension payment for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, workers; the drafting of military personnel to man major electricity installations in the country as well as open opposition to privatisation bid by the Federal Government. Wogu simply said: “Tomorrow talks continue, that is all I have to say.” Shortly before other par-

ties rose from the meeting, Nnaji left the meeting venue, with no words to reporters. Also, President of the TUC, Peter Esele, who spoke on behalf of other labour members, said both sides just established the necessary parameters that would set the tone for further discussion today. “We held a discussion and as at this moment, I do not think we have come to any conclusion, and we are looking at meeting again tomorrow, by 4p.m. What we are requesting, we have made certain requests from PHCN management, we have also made certain requests from government which

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we are hoping would be made available tomorrow and that would help us to either move forward or to have a stalemate. “Government made an offer and what they were talking about is that they want to pay 15 per cent from 2004–2012 while the other 25 per cent would be pre-pension act reform. “But we are saying the defined benefits scheme that was available should still remain in place, so tomorrow we would look at all the naira and the kobo that would resort from that,” he said. Reports by: Ayo Olesin, Udeme Akpan, Rotimi Fadeyi , Meshack Idehen and Olufemi Adeosun.

Director, Parastatals, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr. Mohammed Haruna; UNHCR Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Angele Dikongue-Atangana and Acting Chief Executive Officer, National Commission for Refugees, Mr. Wuese Al, at the World Humanitarian Day celebration in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Opposition parties hit back at Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

kered understanding of statecraft, it is the champion. What about festering corruptive tendencies with the attendant ethnocentric justifications? “This regime transcends all others before it. A regime that spent N2.67trn as against budgeted N240bn has no rival (in terms of demonstrable impunity) in Nigeria’s history!” ANPP National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu, told National Mirror that the government’s policies are unpopular. “President Jonathan’s government policies are not popular. Nigerians voted mainly for him expecting to get commensurate dividends but he has failed the country woefully. It is very clear that his government is not popular and it

has even elicited criticism from all quarters including people that are politically inactive. It is certain that this government cannot deliver and Nigerians will be worse off,” Eneukwu told National Mirror. But the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, described the criticism of the president by the president as unfair. PDP National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon, noted that at the end of Jonathan’s tenure, Nigerians will be proud of him. Kwon said: “The criticisms are not fair in the light of the efforts Mr. President has been making to realise the campaign promises made to Nigerians such as the delivery of credible elections and ensuring that the difficulties Nigerians experience over fuel scarcity have now be-

come a thing of the past. “You can see that the insecurity situation is already paling and Nigerians will be proud of their President just like he said that by the time he will be leaving office, we will be grateful that he lead this nation.” Meanwhile, the Presidency yesterday fired back at Buhari over his comment that President Jonathan was responsible for the corruption in the petroleum sector. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe said: “Gen. Buhari made a great mistake in including Jonathan among presidents that have killed the oil industry with corruption.” He insisted that that the president should be commended for repositioning the petroleum sector.

His words: “That President has successfully put together the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, that is acceptable globally as the best industry practice is a great achievement on the part of the present administration. “It is also under this administration that the perennial fraud in the oil subsidy was exposed. So, Buhari made a great mistake for including President Jonathan as among those superintending corruption in the petroleum sector.” Jonathan also accused Buhari of double-standard in his charge to leaders to always keep their words. “One cannot but remember while in office, Buhari faulted the laws made by his administration in the controversial 53 suit cases scandal and the visit of

underage children of his deputy, Tunde Idiagbon, to Mecca, whereas the administration made a law banning underage children from visiting Mecca,” he said. “The President has kept his promise as evidenced in the development in the power sector, where over 7000 megawatts of electricity being generated. It is on record that there is a free and fair election in the country, even at the detriment of the President’s party,” he added. Okupe also berated the ACN for twisting the president’s comment on the criticism trailing his government, saying “the ACN interpretation is jaundiced and a total misrepresentation of the facts of what the president said.” His words: “It is either that ACN or its National

Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed is suffering from mental blockade or pathological deafness. The correct interpretation of what the President said is that upon his assumption of office that he inherited several crisis plaguing the country and that it will take some time for the challenges to be resolved. “As a statesman, which he is, President Jonathan has promised Nigerians that in spite of the illogical, untruthful and irresponsible attacks by the ACN and its media apparatchik, the President will deliver according to his promises on or before December 2013.” The presidential aide stated that the Jonathan administration’s effort in reformation remains legendary.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Payment to ex-militants is threat to nation’s security, says ANPP OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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L-R: Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Peter Igho; Media Specialist of Nigeria Communications Commission, Mrs. Yetunde Akiloye and Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck, at the NBA Annual General Conference in Abuja, yesterday.

$400bn oil revenue mismanaged – Ezekwesili EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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ormer Vice-President of the World Bank, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, has revealed that an estimated $400bn accrued to the federation account since independence. The former Minister of Education, however, regretted that the huge accruals had been largely misappropriated over the years, with about 80 per cent of the sum being diverted by politicians, government functionaries and individuals. This development, she said, accounted for the level of poverty and underdevelopment Nigeria currently witnesses. Ezekwesili made this revelation while presenting a paper at the on-going 52nd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) holding at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. In her paper entitled:

“Corruption, National Development, The Bar and The Judiciary” Ezekwesili said the fight against corruption must be total and that government must show more commitment in order to win public confidence as well as convince the international community of its sincerity. She said: “Results reveal that as much as 20 per cent of the entire capital expenditure will end up in private pickets annually. The negative effects of corruption is starkly demonstrated by the fact that based on current track record, Nigeria will miss all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target set, despite the richness of its natural and human resource endowments. “There is no doubt that at the heart of any progress towards meeting these goals is the quality of governance at all levels. “Poor governance of public resources and assets in Nigeria is worsening at every level of government,

across our institutions of state, the private sector and fast engulfing the wider society. The other and perhaps more significant way corruption hurts is its impact on the government bottom line and those teacher-less, deskless schools only hint at the extent of the problem in Nigeria. An estimated $400 billion of the country’s oil revenue has been stolen or misspent since the country’s independence in 1960. “In one study by my former institution, the World Bank, a data modeling revealed that annual worldwide losses due to corruption amount to between one to four thousand US Dollars. The Global Financial Integrity estimated that between 1970 and 2008, Africa lost more than $854bn in illicit financial outflows, an amount which is far in excess of official development inflows. “Another report of the Transparency Interna-

Immigration Service promotes 2,021 officers OMEIZA AJAYI

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he Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board has approved the promotion of 2, 021 officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service. This is even as the board approved the upgrading of 59 degree holders and 785 holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates. According to a statement signed by spokesman of the Service, Joachim Olumba, a breakdown of the newly

• Upgrades 844 promoted officers shows that 55 were moved from the rank of Deputy Comptroller of Immigration (DCI) to Comptrollers of Immigration Service (CIS) while 93 Assistant Comptrollers of Immigration (ACI) bagged promotion to Deputy Comptrollers of Immigration (DCI). “In the Superintendent cadre, a total number of 1, 349 officers were affected by the promotion exercise. One hundred and fifty Chief Superintendents of

Immigration got elevated to Assistant Comptrollers of Immigration as 300 Superintendents of Immigration were promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Immigration,” Olumba said. Comptroller General of the Service, Mrs. Rose Uzoma, congratulated the officers, urging them to see their elevation as an opportunity to rededicate themselves to the effective discharge of their statutory responsibilities.

tional (TI) put the amount of bribes companies paid politicians and other public officials in developing and transiting economies annually at $ 40 billion in 2009 and consider that Africa would constitutes major part of since we know the continent’s ranking on governance in the lower regions of the TI’s corruption perception index.” On the independence of the judiciary, the minister said: “An independent judiciary and the Bar is important for preserving the rule of law and is, therefore, most important facet of good governance.

he All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has described the alleged payment of N5.6bn annually to former Niger Delta militants for guarding oil pipelines by the Federal Government as a threat to the nation’s security. By the Federal Government’s action, ANPP said that the apparatus of national security was put in the hands of the former militants with no proven background in oil-facility security. The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu, said that given the severe security challenges currently confronting the country, other destructive elements might misread the government’s gesture. According to the ANPP, the Navy, the police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) are the legitimate security bodies to whom such monies should be apportioned. The party said: “Rather, the government left the police in a less than desirable state of welfare and turned to former militants, who already have almost half a billion dollars

budgeted to be spent on them in 2012 alone.” ANPP, therefore, called on the National Assembly to probe what it described as the unreasonable action of the Federal Government. It said: “We believe in a united, peaceful, stable and prosperous Nigeria, and we maintain that body language and perception are as powerful as potent weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, those that represent the people of Nigeria must not lose sight of the big picture – that of the integrity of the nation as an entity.” The Wall Street Journal, an American newspaper, broke the news last week that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has a schedule of regular payments to Government Ekpumopolo, alias Tompolo, N3.6bn; Mujahhid Asari Dokubo, N1.44bn; Ebikabowei Victor Ben, alias Boyloaf, N560m and Ateke Tom, N560m – all former militants. The Wall Street Journal said the former militants were paid the money annually to guard the NNPC’s pipelines which are vital to the evacuation of crude oil for export and the transportation of fuel products across the country.

FG rates GSM performance low ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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inister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, yesterday rated the performance of the major network providers in country low in the coverage of the country, saying that penetration of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication, though at 60 per cent, still remains the lowest in Africa. Speaking yesterday after briefing President Goodluck Jonathan on the 2012 budget performance of her ministry, Johnson identified lack of adequate infrastructure as a major challenge in the expansion and performance of the sector. The minister, who noted that the telecomminications industry recorded rapid growth in the coun-

Jonathan

try, explained that service providers were having difficulties growing their infrastructure because of discriminatory policies on right of way for roll out of fibre optics cables. According to her, the Federal Government would fashion out policies that would urgently address the challenge in order for the government to attract additional invest-

ment to the industry. Comparing the situation in Nigeria with what is available in the United Kingdom, Johnson said the United Kingdom, which has three million square kilometer of fibre optic and 50-60,000 base stations serving about just about one third of Nigeria’s population whereas in Nigeria, there was just 100,000 square kilometer of fibre optic and 20, 000 base stations serving 167million people. She said: “So, in the UK, you don’t experience drop calls and all of that and that their broad band is fast. Just think back to Nigeria, we have about 100, 000 square kilometer of fibre covering 1million square kilometer of the country. We have 20, 000 base stations trying to serve all of us. So, it is a case of demand and supply.


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Call Aviation Minister to order, Rep tells Jonathan PHILIP NYAM ABUJA

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he Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abdulrahman Suleiman Kawu, has accused the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, of ethnicity and marginalisation of the north in the aviation sector. Kawu, who made this allegation in a statement yesterday in Abuja, also called on President Goodluck Jonathan, to prevail on the minister to retrace her steps. He accused the minister of denying permission to three foreign airlines to commence commercial flight operations to the nation’s capital, Abuja. The affected airlines according to Kawu are Etihad, Turkish and Emirates. “I call on President Goodluck Jonathan, to as a matter of urgency, call her to order as she is portraying him and his government as that which is regional and

is all out to under-develop the north. “I am also calling on our people in the north, irrespective of tribe or religion to ‘open their eyes’ widely to see the ongoing attempt to alienate us from the country,” Kawu advised. Continuing, the lawmaker said; “There is no justification for her action except that she is a tribalist and no amount of grammar can explain her refusal to grant them the much needed permit because they have enough passengers coming to Abuja. “Why must she insist that they land in Enugu? Why does she want them to connect with local airlines to fly their passengers from Enugu to Abuja? This is a clear indication of sectional agenda that the minister is implementing.” He noted that the minister “is hell bent on marginalising the north in the aviation industry. While Lagos represents southern Nigeria, Abuja represents northern Nige-

Shun corruption, Lagos CJ urges support staff K AYODE KETEFE

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he Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Philips, yesterday urged the support staff of the Lagos State High Court to shun all forms of corruption in the discharge of their duties as the state judiciary under her watch, would not tolerate any nefarious activity that could hamper the administration of justice. The chief judge, who was represented by a Magistrate, Mr. Tajudeen Elias, said this while speaking at the opening ceremony of a workshop on promoting ethics at the lower courts.

The theme of the workshop, which was organised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Projects (SERAP), in conjunction with the Royal Netherlands Embassy Abuja, was; “Magistrate Courts Ethics, Integrity and Improving Citizens’ Access to Justice: The Role and Responsibility of Magistrate Courts’ Registrars.” While seeking for the cooperation of judiciary workers in effective dispensation of justice, the chief judge also promised that the welfare of the support staff would be given top priority while her administration lasted.

Tinubu appointed LAUTECH chancellor

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he governments of Oyo and Osun states have appointed the former Lagos State governor and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso.

This was contained in a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday by the Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo. LAUTECH, a university jointly owned by the two state governments, was established by the old Oyo State in 1990.

ria and why must she deny them permit to land in Abuja? “Shortly when she resumed as a minister she also appointed people from her ethnic group as heads of all the eight major agencies under her ministry. I have had cause to institute a parliamentary investigation into the matter on Oc-

tober 27, 2011. “How can passengers from Benue be refused landing in Abuja but were forced to go to Enugu? Is this fair or just? “The South-East zone has the Managing Directors of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigeria College of Aviation Technology Zaria (NCAT),

Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), while the South-South got the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the South-West got three slots of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) whereas the entire northern region comprising of

three geopolitical zones was left with nothing. “These lopsided appointments, project location and other actions such these on the three affected airlines violate the Federal Character Act and the constitution which states that there should be no dominance of one tribe or region in any government agency.”

L-R: Colonel Michael Adegbesan of the Nigerian Army School of Medical Sciences and Executive Director, LASACO Assurance Plc; Mr. Jide Wright, during a visit to LASACO office recently.

Sovereign Wealth Fund takes off October TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday said the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF, would become operational effective October 2 this year, following government’s approval of its board and appointment of its key management officers. Disclosing this at a media briefing in Abuja, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said commencement of the SWF operations was the result of a rigorous and transparent process which lasted almost a year. The minister named a former board member of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Alhaji Mahey Rasheed, as Chairman of the SWF board, while Mr. Uche Orji, former Managing Director of JP Morgan, was announced as Chief Executive Officer of the Fund. The Chief Executive Officer has a tenure of five years. Other members of the

board include Mr. Arnold Akpe, Mr. Jide Zeitlin, Mrs. Bili Awosika, Barrister Bisi Soyebo (SAN), Alhaji Hassan Usman and Mrs. Stella OjekwêOnyejeli, who will serve as Chief Risk Officer of the Fund. Okonjo-Iweala added that the selection process involved a professional services company, KPMG, which helped in sourcing the 730 applications, submitted. The minister said based on the report of the Task Force headed by renowned banker, Fola Adeola, and other efforts of the Executive Nomination Committee headed by herself, 16 candidates were short-listed for the executive positions out of which three were finally selected. She explained:”In all,730 applications were received for three executive positions - Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director (Investments) and Executive Director (Risk). 40 of these were long listed by KPMG which assisted in sourc-

ing suitable candidates, 16 candidates were short listed before the final three were selected“With the development, the country is firmly on the path to reaping the benefits of this tried and tested strategy for achieving fiscal prudence and economic transformation. “The establishment of an institutional foundation for the Sovereign Wealth Fund is a victory for all Nigerians and a credit to the President who assented to the Bill in May this year”, the Minister added. Okonjo-Iweala, who recalled the various steps taken over the past few years by the Federal Government and other stakeholders, including the State Governors and former Ministers of Finance to ensure that the SWF dream comes true, said the operations will kickoff with the agreed US one billion dollars and be committed to the projects and programmes as spelt out by the enabling Act. According to her, the take-off of the Fund

would not disrupt the operations of the ECA which, she said, had accrued $7.35 billion, adding that both would continued to be operated side by side until the latter will ultimately fold into the SWF. On the Council of the Fund, the Minister said the constitution of the membership which will include Governors, Ministers, members of the civil society and the organised labour, amongst others, would be after the operations of the Fund had taken off, possibly by the first quarter of 2013. It will be recalled that the Act establishing the Authority was assented to by the President on May 27 this year as an independent statutory corporation with a mandate to, build a savings base for future generations of Nigerians; enhance the development of the nations infrastructure, and promote fiscal stability for the country in times of economic stress, and carry out such other matters as may be necessary in furtherance of these objectives.


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South West

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politicians have no integrity –Obasanjo ONUKWUBE OFOELUE

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ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo said yesterday that there were people who believed that Nigeria would disintegrate after his tenure. The former president spoke at a leadership forum organised by the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, NLI,

•Says they love lying, stealing, killing in conjunction with First Bank of Nigeria Plc. In a lecture entitled: “Leadership Foundation and Underpinning,” Obasanjo spoke extensively on the qualities of competent leadership and the virtues of successful leaders. Speaking at the event held at Four Point Sheraton

Hotel, Ikoyi in Lagos, the former president disclosed that when he came to power as a military leader, he envisioned Nigeria as “a united country with a self-reliant economy.” Obasanjo said he met $3.7bn in the country’s coffers, but left $45bn, with over $25bn in excess crude ac-

count “for a rainy day”. “When I left, they said the rain has come, and it (the money) was gone,” he said. The former president also lambasted politicians, saying unlike the military, they lacked integrity. He said: “Contrary to what people believe, a military leader is not a dictator,

but a consultative leader. He consults his lieutenants before war, and believes in them. It is only when you betray him that you get courtmarshalled. But one thing I find odd in politics is that lying, stealing, killing, deceits are very normal to them (politicians). And they will say ‘it is politics’. How can killing be politics? How can lying be politics? How can stealing be politics?” Responding to questions, Obasanjo said the greatest pitfall anybody could fall into was not to believe in Nigeria. He, however, agreed that there are many things which are wrong with the

country. The former president said these challenges would not shake his faith that Nigeria would become great. Obasanjo said when he returned in 1999, some people came to tell him that Nigeria was on the path of disintegration. He said: “Some people came to tell me that I will be the last president of this country. They said, ‘we want to tell you that you are deceiving yourself. Babangida deceived us and left, Abacha deceived us and died, Abdusalami deceived us and is about to hand over to you to deceive us. But you will be the last president.”

‘Lagos Cardiac and Renal Centre will check heart, kidney diseases’ MURITALA AYINLA

L L-R: Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun; Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Vice President, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Mr. Zhou Thianxiang; Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu, at the CCECC plaza in Beijing, China, yesterday.

Ekiti varsity students cry out over police harassment, extortion ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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tudents of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti have cried out over alleged harassment, extortion and indiscriminate arrests by the police. The students alleged that policemen, “who are cash-strapped following the dismantling of roadblocks on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed, now see us as meal tickets”. The angry students, who pleaded anonymity, told journalists in Ado-Ekiti yesterday that the Students Union Government, SUG, would have confronted the police to check their excesses but for its proscription by the school authorities. The students, particularly those resident at the Adebayo and Adehun areas of the state capital, said they were being picked up indiscriminately on trumped up charges of robbery and cyber crimes at cafes, eateries, restaurants and on the streets, just as driving a car had become an offence for them. “The Inspector-General of Police had ordered the

dismantling of roadblocks and these were avenues for the police to make money, so we want to believe that this illegal operation is a way of making up for the lost grounds and we will not tolerate it,” they said. Sources said the policemen usually arrest the students, detain them and grant them bail after paying between N3,000 and N5,000. It was gathered that owners of cybercafés in Adebayo area of the state capital are now apprehensive, as the po-

lice usually swoop on them and arrest those browsing on their computers, even when they are not accused of committing cybercrime. But the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Victor Babayemi Olu, said police were only combing suspected criminal hideouts and black spots in the state. Olu said such actions should not be misinterpreted as indiscriminate arrest. He said: “We are not mopping young boys off the streets. As at now, there is an

operation going on and that is operation raid all black spots and criminal hideouts within Ado-Ekiti. The target is to drive criminals out of Ekiti and not to victimise anybody.”

Uniform school bus colour for pupils’ safety –FRSC IGP Mohammed

Akeredolu emerged through due process, ACN insists KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has refuted allegations that it lacked internal democracy, saying that it should rather be credited as the most disciplined party in the country. Its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said this yesterday in Ibadan as a guest at a forum organised by the Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, at the Press Centre, Iyaganku. Reacting to questions on

the emergence of the ACN gubernatorial candidate in Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Muhammed said the offence of the party in the eyes of its critics was the insistence of its leadership for discipline and ethical standard. He said: “So many issues have been raised that our party does not have internal democracy. I want to say with all emphasis that we have the highest respect for internal democracy but we follow strictly the provision of the party constitution on the choice of party candidates. “When the issue of Ondo

agos State Government said its decision to build the Cardiac and Renal Centre was informed by the increase in heart and kidney diseases. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who made the disclosure yesterday, said the decision to build the centre at the Gbagada General Hospital was in line with the determination of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration to deliver quality health services to the residents of Lagos. He pointed out that when completed, the centre would handle cases such as kidney transplant, heart transplant, cardio thoracic surgeries

and other heart and kidneyrelated ailments. The commissioner added that the centre would also serve as an avenue for the training of local specialists in the care of heart and kidney diseases. Speaking during a facility tour of the centre and the Burns and Trauma Centre, Idris expressed concern over increase in heart and kidney-related diseases. Idris said the government had to sponsor some victims abroad for treatment. He said: “Often times, we see quite a lot of people being afflicted with heart and kidney-related problems and many of them we have had to sponsor abroad for definitive treatment which we feel should not be so.

State gubernatorial candidate was to be discussed, all the 44 aspirants, as of then, were invited with all of them conceding that it was the turn of the northern senatorial axis of the state to produce the next governor. “We fixed another meeting which involved only the aspirants from the northern senatorial axis and again, after deliberating on the appropriate axis to produce the next governor between Owo and Ikare, the aspirants agreed on Owo and that was what led to the choice of Akeredolu. He was never imposed by the party leaders.”

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, has said its decision to impose uniform colour on buses of private schools across the federation was to ensure safety of the pupils to and from school. The Ekiti State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr. Rindom Kumven, who gave September 1 as the deadline for compliance with the new directive, said yesterday that it would also ensure uniqueness and standard in buses used to convey students to and from schools. Kumven said during a

sensitisation programme for school owners on the new policy that the use of hazardous means of transporting school children across the country had brought about increase in accidents involving school children. He said: “The FRSC initiated the School Bus Scheme, SBS, to safeguard pupils from the observed hazards through standardisation of school bus use in Nigeria.” The sector commander, who said the policy was acceptable to the school owners, explained that all stakeholders including Nigeria Industrial Standard were carried along, just as the National Council of Education had approved the policy.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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10 die, one injured in Ogun auto crash FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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o fewer than 10 persons lost their lives in a fatal accident that occurred at Obada Oko along Abeokuta- Lagos Expressway

within Ewekoro Local Government area of the state on Monday night. The accident, which involved a commercial bus marked Lagos CZ 269 MUS and an articulated vehicle marked Lagos LSD208 XB, was said to have left the

11th passenger of the bus critically injured. The Itori Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Mr. Fatai Bakare, who confirmed the accident, said that the crash occurred when the bus had a head-on

collision with the articulated vehicle. Bakare said that the articulate vehicle was driving on the wrong lane of the road without a headlamp as at the time the incident occurred. He added that the articu-

late vehicle was on its way to Lagos on the wrong lane when the commercial bus rammed into it. Bakare, however, said all the deceased had been deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, and Ifo

General Hospital. The only survivor was taken to FMC. The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, also confirmed that the crash, but claimed that it occurred at Awowo village.

Osun inaugurates calisthenics programme

• Govt promises to develop physical education WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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overnor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has said that his administration would pay attention to physical education as part of efforts aimed at restoring the lost glory of the education system. Aregbesola spoke yesterday during the inauguration of school calisthenics programme in Osogbo, the state capital. He said that formal education would be incomplete without its physical development component. Describing calisthenics as a well-conceived programme, the governor said: “We, as a government, find it regrettable that other fruitful activities like photography, chess, karate, quiz

and debating, not to mention assemblages like the Boys Scout, Boys Brigade and Girls Guide, have either declined or disappeared altogether. This is one of the programmes designed to restore to our school system some of the vibrant, but disappearing activities of its glorious past. “It is also meant to bring global best practices to bear on our formal education system. We are fully conscious of the fact that, just as many wholesome endeavours in our lives have been on the wane over the years, the importance of physical education in our learning institutions has also been rapidly diminishing. Thus, the need for this programme to arrest this decline, as well as re-examine the place of physical activities in our lives.”

Ondo PDP asks Jega to expose those behind illegal registration HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State yesterday called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attaihu Jega, to name the parties suspected to have engaged in illegal registration of voters. Reacting to a claim by Jega that some political parties have engaged in illegal registration of voters, PDP said, in a statement signed yesterday in Akure by its Director of Publicity, Ayo Fadaka, that Jega’s claim confirmed there was illegal registration in the state. Fadaka said Jega’s claim affirmed the earlier alarm raised by the party accusing the ruling Labour Party (LP) of perpetrating the illegal registration using biometric data with a view to smuggle data collected into the INEC voters register. Fadaka said: “This claim

confirms our strident claim that a political party in Ondo State actually embarked on the prosecution of an illegal registration with a view to smuggling the data collected into the INEC voters’ register. “This action is being undertaken because in the fraudulent minds of the perpetrators of this crime, it will give them an advantage over other parties in the forthcoming election.” Fadaka recalled that PDP alerted members of the public and the electoral commission about the illegal registration, saying: “We had alerted the nation that illegal registration was being conducted in the Government House and some few headquarters of some agencies of government. “The manner of the prosecution of this action was shrouded in utmost secrecy which underscores the fact that it was designed to achieve some despicable purpose.”

Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSTROMA) officials rehabilitating the Mokola-Cultural Centre-Premier Hotel Road as OYSTROMA begins what it called “Operation No Pot Hole” in Ibadan.

Dimeji Bankole, H.I.D Awolowo in closed door meeting FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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ormer House of Re p re s e n t at ive s Speaker Dimeji Bankole yesterday paid a private visit to the Matriarch of the Awolowo family, Mama H.I.D Awolowo, in her Ikenne home. Bankole, who arrived at the Ikenne home of the Awolowos at about 1:18 pm, was received by H.I.D Awolowo in company of her daughter, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu. The former Speaker, who drove himself to Ikenne in a black Mercedes GL 550 4Matic jeep, was clad

•I prefer to remain silent on national issues –ex-Speaker in his usual white Kaftan with white cap and black sandals to match. He immediately went into a secret meeting that lasted close to 45 minutes with Mama H.I.D Awolowo. Although detail of the meeting was not made known to journalists, National Mirror gathered that it might not be unconnected with the glaring marginalisation of the Yoruba race by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. It will be recalled that the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) last week met at

the Ikenne home of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, where issues relating to the alleged marginalisation of the SouthWest region by President Jonathan’s administration were discussed. Shortly before Bankole went into the closed door meeting, he said that he preferred to remain silent on national issues because he wanted to live long. He said: “I did not run away; you know since I left office, I have not said a word, I prefer it to remain so. I will continue watching from a distance, I don’t

Oyo retirees get N2.4bn pension arrears

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he Oyo State Government has released N2.4bn for the payment of monthly arrears of its retirees from January till July 2012. The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Zacheaus Adelabu, stated this in a statement issued yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital. He said N1.5bn had been paid as the 142 per cent pension arrears cov-

ering September 2011 to July 2012. Adelabu said the 142 per cent pension arrears had been paid to over twothirds of the retirees up till 1994, adding that the screening of pensioners, who retired between 1995 and 1998, would begin on September 1, 2012, preparatory to their payment. The commissioner said that the prompt payment of monthly pension allowance of pensioners in

the state was another evidence of Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration’s commitment to the welfare of the senior citizens. Adelabu said: “With this, the state government has set a record that is unequalled with any past administration in Oyo State. This is a testimony of Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s fulfillment of his promises.” Calling for the continued support and coop-

want to dabble into what is happening because I want to live long”. Attempts by journalists to get the former Speaker to grant an interview failed as he went into his jeep and drove off.

Bankole

eration of the pensioners with the governor, Adelabu assured them that the government would continue to accord their welfare necessary priority. “I want to assure our senior citizens that Governor Ajimobi has them in his heart. He has sympathy for them and he has always promised that he would do all he could to ensure that their past labour was not in vain,” the commissioner said.


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South East

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Police arrest three suspects suspected bank robbers CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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olice in Anambra State have arrested three suspected members of a gang which invaded Umunze, the head-

quarters of Orumba South Local Government on Monday evening and robbed three banks. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ralp Uzoigwe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, disclosed this in an in-

terview with our correspondent. The robbers, who struck about 6pm, blew up vital areas of the banks with dynamites. Speaking on the incident, Uzoigwe said: “Some men in

five unmarked vehicles invaded Access Bank, Umunze. They also attacked two other banks. Police gave them a serious chase and three suspects were arrested. We got the distress call very late in the day and our men on the

ground, with the reinforcement that was sent, responded appropriately.” He also said the state police command had commenced investigation into the incident, adding that the search for other suspects had

also begun. Uzoigwe said so far, he was not aware that any life was lost during the operation. He, however, advised banks to liaise with the police to find solutions to their security challenges.

Two men escape death for killing vultures DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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L-R: House of Representatives member, Uche Ekwunife; Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi and Business Development Manager, Sab-Miller Breweries, Onitsha, Mr. Peter Stuttard, displaying a special brand of beer to the governor, during the assessment of projects to be commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan in Anambra State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Imo lawmaker-elect: PDP threatens suit to ensure swearing-in GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said it would explore legal means to ensure Chief Eugene Dibiagwu’s swearing-in as the representative of Oguta constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly. Dibiagwu, the PDP candidate, emerged winner of Oguta Assembly poll conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on August 11, yet the leadership of

the House of Assembly had refused to swear him in on two occasions. The South-East PDP Vice-Chairman, Chief Austin Akobundu, who made the position of the party known in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia yesterday, described the refusal to swear in the Assembly member-elect as “lawless”. He said: “What is going on in Imo State can be best described as an aggregate of lawless activities within that government, because the honourable member has been given a certificate

of return by INEC. The election was properly conducted, free, fair and without violence. “It beats my imagination why the speaker of Imo State House of Assembly will be playing hide and seek game over the swearing-in of a duly elected representative for Oguta state constituency. “We will explore all legal means to ensure Dibiagwu is sworn in without overheating the polity. Our appeal to Oguta people and members of PDP is to be calm because we are ad-

dressing the matter procedurally.’’ Meanwhile, it was learnt that the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, had approached an Owerri High Court presided over by Justice Ngozi Opara on August 16 for an injunction restraining the Imo Speaker, Mr. Ben Uwajumogu. from swearing-in Dibiagwu on August 22. APGA claimed there was a pending court matter before INEC conducted the August 11 election and thereafter issued certificate of return to Dibiagwu.

Budget implementation crucial to people’s welfare –Rep DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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House of Representative member, Mr. Linus Okorie, has said that the National Assembly believed that budget implementation had direct bearing on the welfare of the masses. Okorie, representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo federal constituency in Ebonyi State, made the assertion while inspecting some constituency projects in his area. He decried the antics of some contractors who would hurriedly do shoddy jobs to justify their initial

mobilisation fee only to abandon the projects later. The lawmaker frowned at the speed and quality of job done at the Skill Acquisition Centre, Mgbom Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State whose contract was awarded in 2008. He said the contractor, Lonna Nigeria Limited, must show evidence of seriousness and capacity to handle the project before September 17, when the House would resume or prepare for sanctions. The legislator rejected explanations by the company’s Site Engineer,

Razak Musa, that the non-settlement of the payment certificate it generated made it to suspend further work on the project. He said the quality of job, including sagging ceiling, protruding walls and poorly fixed roofing of the uncompleted building did not justify the N5m the company had so far collected for the job. Regretting that the skill acquisition equipment provided by the state government had been lying fallow at the Ohaozara East Development Centre for over a year owing to the delay in the completion of the cen-

tre, Okorie asked the site engineer to inform his employers on the need to remedy the noticeable defects in the structure. While being conducted round the Electricity SubStation in Ugwulangwu, by the engineer of Enugu Electricity Company handling the construction of the installation of 33KVA transformer, Mr. Simeon Akpata, the lawmaker disclosed that N30m was released in the current fiscal year to ensure the completion of the project even as he commended the cooperation of members of the community with the contractors.

ut for the quick intervention of policemen, two young men would have been lynched by the natives of Nkerefi community in Nkanu-East Local Government Area of Enugu State. The young men were accused of killing vultures which the villagers revered. One Wale Alabi from Ibadan in Oyo State and Polycarp Onyia from Udi in Enugu State had gone to Ohuani Nkerefi community where they allegedly poisoned about 23 vultures which perched on the ancestral tree inside the village shrine. “The vultures started

dying while they (Wale and Polycarp) packed them inside their sacks and when the villagers noticed this, they gathered together and started querying why their ancestral shrine should be desecrated and were in the mood to mob the two men before the police were alerted and their prompt intervention saved the situation,” a police source said. The people of Nkerefi regard the vultures living in the Eke Market ancestral shine as scared birds which they believe have bearing with their ancestors. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the incident. He said the command had commenced investigations into it.

Oil well dispute: No resolution yet –Enugu DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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nugu State Government has refuted claims that the rift between it and the Orient Petroleum Plc, OPR, over oil wells has been resolved. The OPR Managing Director, Mr. Emeka Nwawka, was recently quoted by the media as saying that the issues relating to the operations of the oil wells in Ojjor, Iggah and Asaba communities, all in the UzoUwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, were resolved at a meeting between officials of the state government led by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Amaechi Okolo, and the company. However, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke, described Nwawka’s claim as an “unfortunate misrepresentation of the facts”. He said though the government would continue to encourage OPR and other private sector investments in the state or elsewhere in the country, it had become necessary to correct the

wrong impression created by Nwawka that the issues had been resolved. The face-off is over the refusal of the company to acknowledge that it has oil wells in Enugu State and not only in Anambra State and the need to reflect the existence of oil wells in the three communities in all its communications and instruments. Admitting that the two parties met over the matter on the July 31, the commissioner noted that “no resolution of any sort was reached” as the company merely briefed the representatives of the state government on its operations in the affected communities and even proposed that a conflict resolution committee be set up to address the issues while holding further talks on it.

Governor Chime


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

11

Oyerinde’s murder: Police regret conflict with SSS SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he Nigeria Police yesterday appeared to be regretting the conflict between it and the State Security Service (SSS) in the investigation of the murder of Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole’s Principal Private Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. The police have since the murder of the governor’s aide detained a human rights activist, Rev. David Ugolor, over the issue. Fielding questions from journalists on the conflict-

ing reports, Assistant Inspector of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone ‘5’, Alhaji Hamisu Argungu, said it was quite unfortunate that two federal investigative agencies working on the same matter would make different arrests and return different reports on the matter. Argungu spoke at the Nigeria Union of Journalists state council Secretariat in Benin City, where the police came to relate with journalists to diffuse tension and ensure security ahead of the state council election scheduled for today.

Argungu, who did not state whether the police have analyzed the call logs of the detained activist and those of the arrested criminals said; “It is an unfortunate thing that two agencies of government are giving conflicting statements on one single issue. “I call it unfortunate because of what I said that the criminal justice system works together. “What I want you to understand is; if you look at the structure of the criminal justice system, which

are the agencies, whether in uniform or whether civilian involved in the structure of the criminal justice system? “Also, look at the broad issue of the system. It is just like the human system because if one part of the human system is rotten, it may likely affect the whole body. So, I am speaking metaphorically in the sense that each and every organisation, when it comes to security aspect, should work hand in hand so that they can achieve common objec-

tive and common cause.” While insisting that every security agency have its specific duties and functions as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, Argungu enjoined the police and the SSS to work together towards a common goal. On the confusion of which of the two agencies with the different reports on the murder of Oyerinde has to be believed, he declared; “I expected you to know where the problem lies. The problem we have today is ‘wrong replacing

right and right replacing wrong’. “That is why we have this problem. I have heard it from the radio and television where they said they will hand (them) over to the police to continue investigation. “Something is wrong. In those days when we were still young, both the SSS and the police work handin-hand towards a common goal. But now something is wrong. We expect you to dig in and find out where the problem lies.”

Delta to tap into Israel’s agricultural strides

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he Delta State government said it will explore the opportunity of tapping into the agricultural strides of Israel in boosting its agro-allied programmes. State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who dropped the hint when the President of Tailor Made Tours (TMT) in Israel, Mrs. Josephine Zinder, paid him a visit in Asaba, said that the state Christian pilgrims visiting Israel will now tour established farm sites. According to him, this will enable the state understudy Israel’s approach to agriculture, boost the state agriculture and increase food production as well as create employment for the teeming youths. Uduaghan said as one of the biggest agricultural producers in the world, partnering with Israel would boost agriculture and enhance the state’s drive to build a “state beyond oil.” The governor, who said the state government will continue to sponsor pilgrims to Israel, said apart from spiritual rejuvenation, there was the need for pilgrims to observe some of the developmental strides made by Israel. His words: “We take responsibility in sponsoring our people to Isreal for spiritual rebirth. Apart from this spiritual renewal, they should also learn about agriculture and this will make them contribute positively to our programme of Delta beyond oil.” He commended the President of TMT for making

pilgrimage to Israel stressfree, especially for Deltans by always making comfortable arrangements for the state’s contingents. Earlier, the TMT president urged the state government to explore all available opportunities in the agricultural sector in Israel in addition to the spiritual benefits of visiting pilgrims. Zinder said TMT will continue to assist and promote the bond between Delta State and Israel, stressing that agriculture will be used as an avenue to open and fortify an alliance between Delta and Israel.

Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (left) being decorated as ‘Ambassador of Goodwill’ by President of Tailor Made Tour, Mrs. Josephine Zinder, during a courtesy call on the governor in Asaba, yesterday.

Delta PDP crisis: State exco members petition Bamanga Tukur

• Demand inauguration within 14 days SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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embers of Delta State executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose inauguration was suspended last week have petitioned the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, for redress. To this end, the embattled party leaders, who were elected during the congress of the party held on March 17, 2012, have demanded their recognition and inauguration within 14 days. They threatened to seek legal redress at the end of the two-week ultimatum. It will be recalled that the inauguration of the elected Treasurer, Chief Akpos Edafevwotu; Vice-Chair-

man, South Senatorial District, Mr. Ekenwan Akwagbe and Legal Adviser, Mr. John Ishaka, was suspended while some other elected officers, including the state Assistant Secretary, Delta Central Senatorial District, Mr. Patrick Edatire, were replaced by fresh nominees during the swearing-in ceremony in Asaba, last week. But, the petition to Tukur, made available to National Mirror yesterday, was signed by only two persons, Ishaka and Edatire. The event, witnessed by the state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, was superintended by the party’s South-South Zonal Chairman, Dr. Steve Oru. Although, no reason was given for the action, National Mirror learnt that Oru acted on the prompting of

a former Minister of Information and a factional leader of the party in the state, Chief Edwin Clark, who had protested the composition of the state’s executive. Clark, who was abroad during the congress, objected to those who emerged as members of the executive from his own faction of the party, insisting that they were not known to him. He questioned the judgement of a prominent member of his faction and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, who sealed the deal with Uduaghan, on behalf of his group. In the petition dispatched to Tukur and copied to Uduaghan and the state Chairman of the party, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, they insisted that the action of Oru constituted an infraction of the PDP’s constitution and a breach of their rights.

Army wants special courts to try oil bunkerers CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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he Nigerian Army has recommended the establishment of special courts to try all those found culpable in illegal oil bunkering activities in the country. According to the Commander of the 2 Amphibious Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt, Brigadier-General Tukur Buratai, who gave the suggestion yesterday while delivering a lecture entitled; “Oil theft in the Niger Delta as an economic and security challenge: The role of stakeholders,” creating such a court would minimize the challenge where culprits obtain quick bails and immediately return to continue the illegal business. The lecture was at the occasion of the 82 Division officers and senior non-commissioned officers

study period. The topic doubled as the theme of for this year’s study period. “The special court could be established by way of legislation in the National Assembly. In addition, the relevant security agencies involved in the control of bunkering crimes could have the capacity to effect direct prosecution of oil bunkering suspects in the special courts, to minimize bottlenecks and prolonged justice experienced in the present chain of prosecution,” he said. The commander said oil theft is a complex and lucrative business with high stakes which involves a lot of people within and outside the country. “The criminals involved range from peasants to rich individuals and companies”, he said, adding that the huge losses that the illegal activities cause the country is giving well meaning Nigeria serious cause for concern.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Suspected terrorist killed in Maiduguri explosion INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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relative peace witnessed in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, in the last few days was yesterday disrupted following a bomb explosion that rocked Ramat Square along West End Road. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was also discovered at Gwange Ward of the city by the Joint Task Force (JTF). The Ramat Square ex-

Flood destroys farmlands in Kano, as dam collapses

plosion, however, killed the person suspected to be the brain behind it. National Mirror learnt that a bomb was wrapped and hidden in a wheel barrow by a suspected terrorist, who disguised as a fruit seller, and when he reached where his targets were, he detonated it. But luck ran against the suspect as the explosion killed him only at about 8:35 am. JTF, however, said the IED was planted at Gwange Ward by yet to be identified individual. JTF said, acting on intelligence report, it immedi-

ately stormed the area to cordon it off, before inviting Bomb Disposal Squad to the scene. In a statement signed in Maiduguri by its spokesman, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa, JTF said: “There was a bomb explosion today at West End, Ramat Square General Area of Maiduguri metropolis. The explosive device was concealed in a wheel barrow by a suspected terrorist and it exploded at about 8:35am. The owner of the wheel barrow was killed instantly while attempting to escape”. JTF said apart from the

mastermind of the blast, no casualty was recorded and that the area was cordoned off and swept by the bomb disposal unit.” JTF added: “An undetonated Improvised Explosive Device was discovered by troops in Gwange-Sabonlayi, Maiduguri Metropolis, at about 11:29am today. The explosive device was strongly suspected to be planted there by terrorists. It was recovered and detonated by the bomb disposal arm of the JTF by 11:40am.” JTF, however, urged members of the public to go about their normal ac-

tivities unhindered. Meanwhile, stray bullets killed a baby, while the mother sustained bullet injury on her leg as a result of a gun battle between JTF troops and some terrorists in Maiduguri. The incident occurred after the bomb explosion that rocked Ramat Square. An eye witness, who did not want his name mentioned, said that contrary to JTF claim that only the suspect was killed in the Ramat Square explosion, an infant was hit by stray bullets, while the mother sustained gunshot injury in her leg.

AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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ast acres of farmlands in Tudun Wada Local Government Area of Kano State were destroyed by flood on Monday. The flooding, it was gathered, was aggravated by the collapse of a dam in the area, resulting in the overflow of the river located between Doguwa and Tundun-Wada local government areas. In a prompt reaction to avert major disaster, the state government ordered the commencement of repair work on the damaged dam with the release of the needed fund, according to the state Commissioner of Water Resources; Dr.Yunusa Dangwani. Dangwani said after inspecting the dam, that there was no cause for alarm, as government had responded promptly to prevent further damage that may cause harm to residents and farmers. Areas affected are Dongokawo, Burji and Guman villages, just as it was learnt that prior to the collapse of the dam, cracks were noticed on the wall of the dam, following torrential rains. The commissioner said necessary repair work was in progress, as contractor handling the project had a deadline within which to complete it. He told journalists that the state government immediately approved fund to execute the rehabilitation of the dam to prevent further destruction of property.

L-R: Bauchi State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hajiya Amina Katagum; Governor Isa Yuguda; Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Alhaji Yahya Miya and Group Managing Director, Yankari Transport Company, Alhaji Ibrahim Sule, during the inauguration of 50 Yankari Express Buses in Bauchi on Monday.

Eminent Nigerians seek end to nation’s insecurity JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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iscussions by eminent Nigerians on ways to end the security challenge confronting the country yesterday opened at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, near Jos, Plateau State, with President Goodluck Jonathan reiterating that Nigeria has the potential to tackle the problem headlong. Participants at the discussion with the theme: “Complex Insurgency in Nigeria” are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon, governors and ministers, among others Declaring the meeting open yesterday, President Jonathan identified terrorism as the greatest threat to Nigerian democracy.

Jonathan, represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade, said: “Terrorism is the most potent threat to Nigerian today, destroying the nation’s human resources and frustrating our economies. “The Federal Government has directed a comprehensive blue print on how to combat terrorism as part of the ongoing transformation agenda of the current administration. “Government has been providing logistic support for security and intelligence gathering and has not renenge on such efforts because it is the desire of this administration to sustain the unity and indivisibility of this country.|” Earlier in a welcome address, NIPSS Director General, Prof. Tijani Muhammed Barde, said: “Nigeria has the capacity to tackle its internal insurgencies, which was why the eminence personalities

and experts from across the country were assembled to discuss the issue. “It is our culture at the institute to co-ordinate discussion on topical issues that concerns the nation, this is what NIPPS has been doing since creation as a “Think Tank” of the nation and I have no doubt that from here the solution we have been looking for will emerge. “The National Institute will continue to deal with similar issues bordering the nation as this is an undertaking we cannot shy away from as a people.” Speaking at the event, Obasanjo said: “The meeting is mainly to discuss peace that is obviously lacking in the country. Represented by Gen Joshua Dogoyaro (rtd), he said: “We are here to discuss a very important subject that touches on the survival of this country, seeking for peace, because without peace our democ-

racy will become useless. “We need peace at all cost as a nation; we need peace in all the six goe-political zone of this country. And I am strongly convinced that that solution we need shall be formulated by the eminent personalities and expert assembled for that purpose.” In his remark, Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, represented by his deputy, Ambassador Ignatius Longjan, said: “The Plateau State Government is ready to support any move to seek peace in the state or anywhere in the country. “Not much has been done to stem the rate of loss of lives and properties in the country which is why as a government appreciate the initiative of this platform to deliberate on this national issue”. Calling on religious leaders to talk to their follower, Jang urges prominent Nigerians to rise up to the current security challenges.

Kwara plans foundation to honour late cleric

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he Kwara State Government says it will establish a foundation to honour the late Islamic cleric, Shaykh Adam Al-Ilory. The Commissioner for Commerce and Co-operatives, Alhaji Mohammed Raji, stated this yesterday at the international conference on the life and works of the late cleric held at the University of Ilorin. Raji said: “Al-Ilory left a legacy of academic dynamism and intellectual eclecticism through his vast writings on Arabic and Islamic studies and other fields as diverse as History, Political Science, Islamic mysticism and others, so he deserves to be emulated”. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other scholars at the event described Al-Ilory as a world-class intellectual who revolutionalised the teaching of Arabic and Islamic studies in Southern Nigeria. Prof. Stefan Reichmuth, the Director of the Institute of Oriental and Islamic studies, University of Ruhr, Bochom, Germany, described the cleric as “encyclopaedic.”

Kogi not yet developed at 21 –Senator OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Kogi State is yet to attain the development expected of it in its 21 years of existence, said the Senator representing Kogi Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman. Abatemi-Usman spoke in a statement made available to journalists, where he congratulated the state on its 21st anniversary. Kogi State was created on August 27, 1991 by the regime of former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. Lamenting that despite the numerous mineral and natural resources at its disposal, he said Kogi still remains backward, particularly when compared to some other states that were created at the same time. The lawmaker, however, urged the administration of Governor Idris Wada to make a difference in the governance of the state.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

O Oyo: Ladoja races towards 22015 poll

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Politics

Bakassi: We’ve been made persona non grata in our state – Ita-Giwa

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Oshiomhole not qualified to contest, Airhiavbere tells court SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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ajor-General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the July 14 governorship election in Edo State, yesterday told the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that Governor Adams Oshiomhole does not have prerequisite qualification to contest the election. Airhiavbere stated this while formally replying to the address of the re-elected Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate and 1st respondent, Oshiomhole, at the Tribunal in Benin City. The petition was marked Petition No: EPT/ ED/G/01/2012. It listed Airhiavbere and the PDP as the petitioners. It also listed Oshiomhole, ACN, Independent National Electoral Commissiion (INEC), Edo

State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and the Returning Officer as respondents. In his reply to the respondents’ address, Airhiavbere claimed before the tribunal that Governor Oshiomhole was not qualified to contest the governorship election as stipulated in Section 177 (d) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and infraction of Section 182 (1) (j) of the same Constitution (as amended). The petitioner also claimed that the primary school that the respondent claimed to have attended was not in existence as at the time he claimed to have attended the school and further added that the winner of the disputed election did not complete his secondary education. Airhiavbere’s reply in the eight-paragraph document that was filed by Chief E. L. Akpofure (SAN),

Forum predicts APGA’s 100-year reign in Anambra NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State has vowed to continue its leadership of the state uninterrupted for the next 100 years. In a statement issued in Onitsha, Anambra State yesterday, the APGA Ambassadors’ Forum said that the party was poised to offer leadership that would maintain the trust and confidence of the people of the state which would guarantee their support for the party at least for the next 100 years. The Forum also said that the rumour making the rounds that Governor Peter Obi would soon dump APGA and join the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) was a calculated propa-

ganda and effort to deceive and mislead the masses of Anambra State. The Forum in a statement signed by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Comrade Sylvanus Mabechukwu, said APGA is Igbo political identity and infrastructure engineered and powered by Obi. It urged the people to disregard the rumour peddlers who thought that they could replace Governor Obi with bogus claims and sheer propaganda. It stressed the need for Igbo to uphold a political identity on which platform they would negotiate power sharing at national level. The Forum declared that “there is no crises whatsoever in the APGA family. The normal internal family squabble is what those who wanted APGA dead call crises.”

Messrs S. O. Agwinede; P. O. Itua; D. O. Inegbeboh; R. I. Okunbo (Mrs.) and K. I. Aigbe, also claimed that the INEC, the 3rd respondent, did not follow its laid down rules and regulations in registering voters for the election. He also said that the electoral body did not carry out a revision that it expressly prohibited before the election; did not observe laid down accreditation and

voting procedures for statistical data, and produced a new manual register for use in the election. Paragraph seven stated: “In specific reply to paragraphs 24 of the 2nd respondent’s reply to the petition, the petitioners state that the 1st respondent is not the owner of the Secondary Modern School Certificate and the altered Testimonial presented to the 3rd respondent and the 1st does not

have Primary School Leaving Certificate.” In particulars that were attached to the paragraph, the petition further stated: “There was no Iyamho Primary School, Iyamho in 1957. The 1st respondent was barred from enrolling into and entering primary one in 1957 having not attained the minimum age of six years by the provision of Western Region of Nigeria Gazette No. 17, Vol. 5

dated 5th April, 1956. “The 1st respondent dropped out of the Secondary Modern School in the second year and did not complete the mandatory three years course at Blessed Martins Secondary Modern School, JattuUzairue, which he claimed to have attended between 1963 and 1965, pointing to an unexplained discrepancies in the academic certificates presented as foresaid.”

Members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Egbeda and Ona Ara Local Government areas of Oyo state, protesting the imposition of local government chairmen on them in Ibadan on Monday.

PDP meets Ondo factions in Abuja HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE.

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here are indications that the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a giant step

to resolve the crisis within the party in Ondo State. According to a source, the two factions of the party in the state have been summoned to Abuja for a meeting today to resolve the crisis.

The meeting will also come up with strategies on how to recapture the state in the October 20 governorship election. National Mirror gathered that a letter of invitation has been extended to all

ACN alleges plot to rig Benue LG poll HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he Benue State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has raised the alarm over a grand design to rig the November 24 local government election in the state. The party’s spokesman, Hon. Titus Dzam who raised the alarm while fielding questions from

journalists yesterday at the party’s secretariat in Makurdi, alleged that members of the State Independent Electoral Commission are card-carrying members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and as a result will not ensure a free, fair and credible poll. The ACN’s spokesman particularly pointed out that one of the officials of the Benue State Indepen-

dent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) is a cousin of a serving commissioner and called for an immediate dissolution of the team. But in a swift reaction, the BSIEC chairman, Prof. Philips Ahire, debunked the ACN claim, saying there is no iota of truth in the allegation that officials of the commission are card-carrying members of the PDP.

the leaders and stakeholders of the party in the state. The letter of invitation sent to the factions and signed by the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, stated: “I am inviting you to a meeting taking place on Wednesday August 29 at Legacy House, Shehu Shagari way, Maitama Abuja. Your attendance as a committed member of the party would be highly appreciated” Some of the leaders expected at the meeting include members of the House of Representatives and Senate, former governor, members of the state House of Assembly, former ministers and leaders of the party from the two factions.


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Politics

Senator Rashidi Ladoja last week foreclosed his return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), assuring that he is preparing his party, Accord Party, for the 2015 polls. KEMI OLAITAN writes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oyo: Ladoja races towards 2015 poll

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ormer Governor Rashidi Ladoja is today more or less the issue in Oyo State politics. No thanks to the fact that he has become “the beautiful bride” courted by all that matter politically both within and outside the “Pace Setter” state. The Ibadan born politician at the inception of the present democratic dispensation in 1999 did not play any significant role but was to emerge as the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003 with the backing of the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and subsequently defeated the then incumbent governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, who was elected on the platform of the Alliance of Democracy (AD). Though the businessman turned politician was elected for a tenure of four years, his government was to be characterised by series of crisis as he engaged in a battle of supremacy with his erstwhile godfather, Adedibu. The climax of the crisis between the two was to come in January 2006, when Ladoja was impeached by 18 members of the state House of Assembly who were loyal to Adedibu and had the support of the Presidency. However, Ladoja was to return to the Agodi Government House after 11 months when the Supreme Court declared his impeachment as illegal. His ambition to return for a second term under the platform of the PDP was to be truncated as the ticket was given to his deputy, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala. And determined to pay the party back in its own coin for denying him the second term ticket during the 2007 elections, Ladoja rather than campaign for Alao-Akala went on air calling on the people of the state to cast their votes for the candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Senator Abiola Ajimobi. While Ajimobi lost the elections to Alao-Akala, the import however was not lost on the people of the state that the Ibadan high chief has become a force to be reckoned with and had a firm grip of politics not only in Ibadan but throughout the state. During the 2011 general elections, the situation was to repeat itself when Ladoja confirmed his relevance as a grassroots politician because contrary to the expectations of the generality of the people, his party Accord Party (AP) formed less than four months to the elections and under which platform he contested the gubernatorial election almost turned the table against the PDP and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Apart from winning four seats in the House of Representatives, the party also produced seven members in the state House of Assembly. This feat turned Ladoja to a beautiful bride courted by both the PDP and the ACN, knowing fully that which ever side he turned would benefit politically in terms of the support he enjoyed in the state. And to underscore the importance of Ladoja, the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, shortly after the inauguration of his government entered into a gentleman agree-

Ladoja

ment for support with his party such that a lawmaker elected on the platform of the party was to emerge the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly and was nominated by an ACN lawmaker. The PDP whose leaders regarded the platform as the natural habitat of Ladoja also mounted pressure on him to return to the party. Apart from notable leaders of the party in the state that include his erstwhile deputy, Alao-Akala; former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), Chief Dejo Raimi, Elder Wole Oyelese, Senator Lekan Balogun, Senator Teslim Folarin and Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide who were part of the team to lure him back to the party, Ladoja himself also held meetings with President Goodluck Jonathan and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and leaders of the party in the South-West towards his expected return to the party. And buoyed by the assurances given by Ladoja to the PDP leaders, many political watchers in the state expected that his return to the party would be a matter of time, especially before the national convention of the party last March. Indeed, at many fora, the former governor was quoted to be saying that his return to the PDP would be very soon and the participation of the members of his Accord Party in the ward congress of the PDP was a sign that he is fully back in the party with his teeming supporters across all the 33 local government areas of the state. Ladoja was to confirm this when he said: “Yes it is true that we participated in the congresses of the PDP held in Oyo State, what it means is that I am fully back in the party with other members of the Accord Party.” While political observers in the state were already preparing themselves to the

IT WOULD BE TOO MUCH OF LADOJA TO EXPECT THAT HE CAN SINGLE-HANDEDLY CONTROL THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF THE STATE NO MATTER HIS ALTRUISTIC MOTIVE reality that Ladoja is back in the PDP with his large followers in the Accord Party, a new twist emerged, when some months back he accused the leadership of the party of not being sincere in its negotiations as it refused to meet the terms which he set for his expected return. And between that time and now, a lot had happened politically in the state with Ladoja himself travelling outside the state for close to four months. In his absence, one of the lawmakers in the state House of Assembly elected under the platform of his party defected to the ACN. The former senator who only returned about a week ago was to enliven political discourse in the state when he said his party has no working relationship with the Senator Ajimobi-led ACN government. Ladoja who spoke with newsmen at his Bodija, Ibadan residence, disclosed that though the Accord Party assisted Ajimobi to stabilise his government, pressures being mounted on him by some leaders of his party have made him to renege on his promise. He, however, was to drop a bomb shell when he described the Accord Party as an alternative party to either PDP or ACN

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while also recalling how former President Obasanjo and the President Jonathan, Akinjide, Raimi, and many leaders of the PDP had asked him to return to the PDP. His words: “For now, we are open to discussion on terms that will be acceptable to all parties. We are happy to be free in our party and we encourage other people of like minds to come and join us. We will be happy to receive them. “Let us get it straight away that we in the Accord Party have no working relationship with the ACN. We were invited by the ACN governor to stabilise the state so that he (Ajimobi) can be able to run a safe government. He has not yet told us that he doesn’t need that again. I am not unaware that some leaders are not happy with him and that they have even been mounting pressure on him by making things difficult for him to make him fulfil the agreement he had with us. I sympathise with the governor, but at the same time, we had an agreement and I believe as a gentleman, he should live up to it.” Already, Ladoja is gearing towards the 2015 polls. This came to the fore recently when last week he received back into his political camp, notable politicians in the state that included the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) during his administration, Chief Dele Adigun from the PDP and Engr. Bukola Agboola, a leader of the ANPP in Lagelu Local Government Area of the state alongside other prominent members of the party. The former governor while welcoming the politicians into the Accord Party said his doors are now wide open for those who have good intentions for not only the people of the state but the entire South-West to enter, while declaring that the region would no more tolerate those who deceive the masses using the name of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to get into office and then leave the people to suffer. Ladoja added that he would soon unveil the Accord Party master plan for the South West which is in need of genuine development. While there is no doubt that the Ibadan high chief has a bigger role to play in the political future of the pace setter state most especially come 2015, political analysts and politicians are afraid that should he not tread softly, he may not achieve much to the extent that his past political achievements could be rubbished. A chieftain of the PDP in Ibadan North-West Local Government, Prince Bimbo Makanjuola, maintained that the way Ladoja is going, very soon he will make himself irrelevant such that no political party will take him serious for his refusal to make up his mind on where he wants to be. According to Makanjuola, in as much as the former governor has become a force to be reckoned with, political maturity would be needed to navigate the political ship of Oyo State for him to be relevant between now and 2015. He said: “It would be too much of Ladoja to expect that he can single-handedly control the political future of the state no matter his altruistic motive. He certainly needs to come back to the PDP where he naturally belongs. With him in the party every other members will fall in line as he would automatically become the leader of the party in the state as a former governor.” As situation unfolds in the coming months, time will tell whether the shipping magnate would become the godfather that will determine who gets what come 2015.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Bakassi: We’ve been made persona non grata in our state – Ita-Giwa Senator Florence Ita Giwa, one-time Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, in this interview with journalists in Lagos, speaks on the plight of the people of Bakassi, 10 years after the oil-rich peninsula was ceded to Cameroun by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE reports.

settled as painless as possible with our social, political and traditional institutions intact. As peace-loving people, we agreed to be relocated and resettled for the sake of peace. Like I said before, I was a living witness to the earlier hostilities in the peninsula and my people were not prepared to be the reason for a war between two African nations. Simply put, we opted to be the sacrificial lambs to bring peace and prove to the world that two brother African nations can peacefully resolve issues between them. Ten years after the ICJ judgement and six years after formal handover of the peninsula, what then happened to Obasanjo’s promise of painless resettlement? It would appear that no matter the sincerity of the Federal Government on this issue, it is when the state government gets involved; a lot of extraneous issues come to play. While I was supposedly being consulted by the state Commissioner of Land for a possible relocation site, the state government was sponsoring a spurious bill at the House of Assembly surreptitiously creating a new local government under the guise of adjusting the boundary between Akpabuyo and Bakassi. The bogus ‘Law Number 7’ which was hurriedly passed by the House shamelessly expunged our political institution and, in fact, what they actually did was to create a new local government from the three wards carved out of Akpabuyo Local Government in Ikang without recourse to the National Assembly, a sine qua non for the creation of new local government.

There have been controversies surrounding the Bakassi Peninsula. When exactly did it become an issue in Nigeria? At the tail end of General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime, the Camerounian gendarmes who had cohabited with us for many years suddenly effected a change of name of our ancestral villages. This development later triggered a chain of events that culminated in military hostilities between Nigeria and Cameroun during General Sani Abacha’s administration. As a living witness to that particular conflict, I can attest to the fact that there were heavy casualties. In fact, I gave a reading at a combined mass burial service for fallen soldiers and civilians on the invitation of the Nigerian military command. It is for this reason that I opposed the use of military force to regain the peninsula. Not long after the hostilities you have just referred to, the Abacha administration created the Bakassi Local Government Area. What were the events that led to this? In the course of the hostilities, Nigeria regained control of the territory and it was after the hostilities that the Abacha administration embarked on the process of organising a constitutional conference. I recall that I was one of those invited by Abacha to take part in the conference as a government nominee because of my advocacy for Bakassi. At the conference, I and a few other leaders from Cross River State successfully made a case for a Bakassi Local Government, which General Abacha graciously acceded to. Did the creation of the local government solve the Bakassi people’s problems? To a large extent, the local government contributed to the provision of hitherto non-existent infrastructure like health centres, clinics and schools. However, it also attracted hostile gestures by the Camerounian gendarmes who persistently maltreated Bakassi indigenes at every opportunity. What else did the Camerounians do to make life unbearable for your people? Aside from the aggravation from the gendarmes, the Camerounian government took Nigeria to court over the peninsula, but General Abacha refused to subject Nigeria to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice at the time to the frustration of the Camerounian government. In fact, General Abacha is regarded as a hero by the people of Bakassi for his role in liberating Bakassi territory from gendarmes and creating our local government. If Abacha refused to subject Nigeria to the jurisdiction of the ICJ, what then led to the peninsula been ceded to Cameroun? You must recall that in 1999, Nigeria returned to democratic governance. It was at this time that our democratically elected president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, decided to respect the rule of law, one of which was the 1965 declaration to subject itself to the jurisdiction of the ICJ, which made Nigeria to join issues with Cameroun at the court. Did Bakassi people play any role in contributing to the case at the ICJ? From the onset, we have been made victims of the political machinations of different forces. Not one Bakassi

Ita-Giwa

native took part in preparation by the Nigerian legal defence team. In fact, at no time were we consulted; no one asked us for any information concerning our sojourn on the peninsula. No one briefed us on the Nigerian defence team’s strategy. All of these must have contributed to Nigeria loosing the case. Like someone said recently, it was a case of shaving a man’s head in his absence. How did your people receive the news of the judgement of the ICJ that ceded Bakassi to Cameroun? We had resolved that because we were never consulted in the matter, we as a people were not obliged to accept the judgement. We, in fact, gave notice to the Federal Government that we were taking the option of self determination. How did the Federal Government react to this decision? The then President Obasanjo appealed to us and assured us that in spite of the judgement, there were some options he was considering. I can attest that he entered into negotiations with some world powers and even tabled a buy back option to Cameroun. But the option seemed not to have worked then. Obasanjo, having tried his best, he informed us that the ceding was inevitable. He, however, promised that we would be relocated to a place of our choice, properly re-

WE HAVE BEEN MADE VICTIMS OF THE POLITICAL MACHINATIONS OF DIFFERENT FORCES... AT NO TIME WERE

WE CONSULTED; NO ONE ASKED US FOR ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING OUR SOJOURN

ON THE PENINSULA.

NO ONE BRIEFED US ON THE NIGERIAN DEFENCE TEAM’S STRATEGY...

How has the ‘Law Number 7’ adversely affected your cause? The bogus ‘Law Number 7’ has effectively made us persona non grata in our state. Take the issue of political appointments in the state since the ceding, no Bakassi indigene has been appointed into the state executive council. No Bakassi indigene sits on a state or federal board. In fact, since the inception of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), no Bakassi indigene has represented Cross River State on the board, even though the NDDC Act stipulates that state representation on the board ought to hail from an oil producing local government and it is on record that the old Bakassi Local Government Area was the only council in Cross River State that could lay claim to being oil producing. More ridiculous is the instance where a non-Bakassi indigene was appointed to represent the state in the mixed commission overseeing the handover of Bakassi to Cameroun. Since you have clearly rejected the ‘Law Number 7’ relocation option, where have you identified as an alternative for relocation? The ceding of the old Bakassi Local Government territory was not total as erroneously believed in most quarters. Three islands namely: Kwa Island and Day Spring 1 and 2 were not ceded to Cameroun. In fact, we were registered to vote and indeed voted on those islands in the presidential, national and state Assembly elections. How could this have happened when the state ‘Law Number 7’ listed the new Bakassi LGA as being elsewhere? This so-called ‘Law Number 7’ you keep referring to was never and, to date, has never been ratified by the National Assembly and so does not have the force of law. Incidentally, by divine providence, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) impartially saw through the ruse of the bogus ‘Law Number 7’ to completely disenfranchise the Bakassi people and insisted that voters’ registration and voting exercise of the Bakassi people should take place on the islands which constitute the unceded part of the Bakassi Local Government Area. In fact, all documents produced by INEC for the 2011 general elections bore the original ancestral names of our 10 wards, a situation that prevented INEC from conducting elections at Ikang.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

17

On performance contract for ministers PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

P

resident Goodluck Jonathan has forced his cabinet ministers to enter into performance contract. The contract is intended to propel a focused, transparent and accountable leadership. It would provide benchmarks to assess the ministers within a time limit. This development has been celebrated as capable of improving the efficiency of the Jonathan administration. The contract is also viewed as crucial to the implementation of the transformation agenda of his government. The development became imperative against the backdrop of performance gap for the ministers and poor implementation of budget provisions. I suspect it would likely exert pressure on them to meeting identified targets and identifying non-performing ministers. This contractual relation, however, may not be imperative where Mr. President to be assertive. He is an executive president with enormous discretionary powers; very important is the fact that he appoints his ministers who are individually responsible to him. In that wise, he could fire them on account of performance or otherwise. At

the outset, the appointment of a minister suggests that he ought to have targets and pursue same within a time limit. His/her retention ought to be tied at each point in time to his/her performance as the political head of a ministry. Dr. Jonathan has shown weakness in disciplining non-performing ministers. He has been highly sensitive to the political balancing factors of ethnicity and religion in retaining incompetent and non-performing ministers. Besides, there is no basis for ministers of state when there are permanent secretaries in the ministries. It is a waste of public fund and deliberate job creation ploy for party members and supporters, thus the phenomenon has been used to foster patronage politics to the detriment of the economy. The President should bear in mind that the performance contract with the ministers would not likely work without an efficient bureaucracy. The bureaucracy in Nigeria is highly corrupt, inefficient and ineffective. The challenge is to recreate it to meeting the tasks of modern political economy. It is also imperative to reduce the size of the Presidency with its retinue of advisers. The social cost implication of over bloated Presidency for the country is huge. The Green Tree Agreement: Matters arising The dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon over Bakassi Peninsula culminated in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment that declared this sub-territory a component part of the former. The ICJ judgment has created mixed feelings in the

THE RICH MINERALS DEPOSIT IN THIS DISPUTED TERRITORY MAKES IT MORE IMPERATIVE FOR

NIGERIA TO SEEK A REVIEW OF ICJ JUDGMENT Peninsula with the higher percentage of its population preferring to join Nigeria. The resettlement plans for the Bakassi people, however, in Nigeria has been shoddy. Quite recently, the Supreme Court judgment on the oil wells dispute between Cross River and Akwa Ibom states has renewed the Bakassi question. The Cross River State government had lost 76 oil wells to AkwaIbom through this court judgment. In this context, the former has urged the Nigerian government to ask for a review of the ICJ judgment. Meanwhile, experts and analysts have differed on the prospect of a review of ICJ judgment. To Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, ICJ will not likely reverse itself, concluding that such appeal would be a waste of time and resources. The former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola concurred. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been blamed for enforcing ICJ judgment and ceding Bakassi to Cameroon on the ba-

sis of the “Green Tree Agreement” without recourse to the National Assembly. The former President’s decision is illegal and unconstitutional. He cannot cede a part of the federation without the consent of the National Assembly. This lacuna makes it imperative for the 7th National Assembly to revisit the Bakassi question. The rich minerals deposit in this disputed territory makes it more imperative for Nigeria to seek a review of ICJ judgment. The realities of global politics suggest that nation-states consider their territorial boundaries as core national interest, which may require war option to defend. Nigeria should defend its strategic interest at all time; its foreign policy ought to be redefined in the context of national interest as against the interest of the dominant fraction of the governing elite. The articulation and aggregation of our national interest have always been camouflaged to reflect and respond to the preferences and interests of dominant social class groups. Meanwhile, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has suggested negotiation with Cameroon on Bakassi. The negotiation option contradicts the call for a review of the ICJ judgment. The country is either filing for a review or negotiating with Cameroon. It is imperative to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine the prospect of each option. I will opt for astute negotiation with Cameroon to attract certain concessions. The National Assembly should re-discuss the issue to underscore the illegality in the concession made by ex-President Obasanjo.

Capital market probe: Misdirected venoms on regulators AKINJO OLUROTIMI Continued from last week

A

nother jaundiced part of this House Committee report on the near collapse of the capital market is its damning and absolutely reckless comment on the processes which led to the nationalization of the three banks. The Ad-hoc committee pointed out that the CBN, NDIC and AMCON did not wait till the September 30, 2011 given to the banks to recapitalize. “Generally, the roles of NDIC, CBN, AMCON, CAC, and the act of omission by SEC in all these are quite condemnable. There is no doubt that these nationalized banks were contrived in misrepresentations of monumental proportion. The nationalization of these banks is built on forgeries, with presentation and appearance of fraud and corruption. It makes a mockery of corporate governance, and lacks in due diligence, ethics, professionalism, integrity and legal compliance”, the report imputes. It is pertinent for the legislators to be educated that it would have been criminal for the CBN, NDIC and AMCON to wait till September 30, 2011 before deciding whether to save the troubled banks or liquidate them. The truth is that the NDIC/CBN could not afford to wait for the September 30 deadline because there was a continuous deterioration in the financial conditions of the banks. Their shareholders funds were negative and they were living on life support system of the CBN. Most importantly, they were not able to attract new credible

THE NDIC/ CBN COULD NOT AFFORD TO WAIT FOR THE

SEPTEMBER

30 DEADLINE

BECAUSE THERE WAS A CONTINUOUS DETERIORATION IN THE FINANCIAL CONDITIONS OF THE BANKS investors that would enable them meet the September 30, 2011 deadline set by the CBN. The regulatory authorities could not fold their arms and watch helplessly while depositor’s funds were being dissipated. The Ad-hoc committee members should also be told that the NDIC and CBN consulted widely before the adoption of the bridge bank mechanism. Consultations were also held with the Minister of Finance, the Attorney-General of the Federation and in fact, the Presidency before the action was embarked upon. Insider sources revealed that other stakeholders and regulators involved in consultations include the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Federal Inland Revenue Service. The Board of NDIC reportedly deliberated on the matter and gave its approval for the corporation to embark on the regulatory interven-

tion of establishment of the bridge banks in compliance with section 39(1) of the NDIC act of 2006. The committee also condemned the establishment of shelf companies namely: Shokun Chukin Limited, Klinki Osaka Custodian Limited and Michi Noku Resolution Limited, which later transformed to the three bridge banks that took over the failing banks’ assets and liabilities. Industry watchers believe that this was done to ensure utmost secrecy and confidentiality in order to safeguard the assets of the three affected failing banks. In any case, all banks were incorporated and registered as companies before being granted licences by the CBN, and there was nothing different in the present case other than they were not right from inception registered with the banks’ names. Again, this was done deliberately to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the intervention process. The share capitals of the shelf companies were 100,000 each to ensure they would not attract any undue attention. The people who were referred to as “faceless persons” by the committee in its report were nominees of the NDIC and natural persons who were acting in their professional capacities as agents and legal advisers of the corporation. These actions, according to industry watchers, were taken to ensure discretion and avoid leakages which would further worsen the precarious financial situation of the intervened banks. If this had been allowed to happen, it would have led to an unquantifiable loss of confidence in the banking sector. With the acquisition of the bridged bank by AMCON, an additional 24,999,900,000 shares were re-

portedly created to comply with the CBN’s minimum regulatory capital requirement of N25 billion for the deposit money banks (DMBs). AMCON subsequently bought the entire new shares that were issued along with those of the NDIC nominees who merely served as temporary directors of the shelf companies for the purpose of registration. It follows therefore, that other directors whose names replaced the nominees of NDIC were AMCON’s appointees to the nationalized banks’ board. Thus, it is a misconception and a misrepresentation of facts for the committee to conclude that the process of nationalizing the three banks were fraught with irregularities and fraud. Instead, the House Committee should have commended the NDIC and CBN for acting promptly to safeguard the capital market by ensuring that depositors and investors’ interests were protected, while thousands of jobs that would have been lost, if the three banks had been liquidated, were saved. The attacks on the regulatory agencies were therefore, absolutely unnecessary and a misfired salvo. Concluded Olurotimi, a policy analyst, wrote from Abuja 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 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

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STEVE AYORINDE

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YELE AKINROLABU

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ED OPERATIONS

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FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Reconstituting the National Judicial Council

hortly before his retirement not too long ago, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Mudsdapher, kicked off the argument for the reconstitution of the National Judicial Council (NJC). Clamour for the amendment of the relevant sections of the constitution to effect the reconstitution of the body has indeed been on for some time now. We recall that quite recently, three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), which include the Chairman, Body of Benchers, Chief Idowu Sofola, canvassed the re-composition of the NJC based on their conviction that the Council as presently constituted is structurally defective and works against the objectives for which it was set up. The SANs’ calls were against the backdrop of the proposed 52 amendments to the 1999 constitution made to the National Assembly by Justice Musdapher. Protagonists of rethinking the NJC membership argue that the body in its present state allows certain individuals, like the CJN, to be too powerful, whereas the representatives of some bodies like the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), for example, are rendered impotent. Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in the Third Schedule, Part 1, made provision for the composition of the NJC, with the CJN as the Chairman,

and the next most Senior Justice of the Supreme Court as the Deputy Chairman. The President of the Court of Appeal is a member as well as five retired justices of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, to be selected by the CJN. Members also include five Chief Judges (CJs) of states to be appointed by the same CJN from among state CJs and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Five members drawn from the NBA are also appointed by the CJN. The power of the NJC include the recommendation of persons for appointment to the offices of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, justices of the Supreme Court, the president and justices of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge and the judges of the Federal High Court. Put simply, the Council has powers to recommend persons for appointment to the offices of virtually all key judicial positions at the federal and state levels. Consequently, the NJC wields awesome constitutional powers, hence the great need to exercise commensurate caution in the appointment of members of such an important body. To concentrate the power of appointment of its members in one person (the CJN), which has more or less been the case all along, is a leeway to the promotion of dictatorship. In the pres-

TO CONCENTRATE THE POWER OF APPOINTMENT OF ITS MEMBERS IN ONE PERSON (THE CJN),

WHICH HAS MORE OR LESS BEEN THE CASE

ALL ALONG, IS A LEEWAY TO THE PROMOTION OF DICTATORSHIP ent dispensation, the CJN seems synonymous with the NJC, considering the fleeting powers of appointment he is constitutionally entrusted with. Indeed, such powers are at grave risk of being abused where a dangerously ambitious character emerges as the CJN. This, perhaps, could help explain the strong suspicion of many in the roles of both former CJNs, Justice Aloysius KatsinaAlu and his immediate successor, Justice Musdapher, in the face-off between Katsina-Alu and the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami. Besides, Section 20 (i) of the Third Schedule (Part 1) of the 1999 Constitution which approved of the membership of five NBA members rendered their membership redundant with the proviso that “the five (NBA) members

shall sit in the Council only for the purposes of considering the names of person(s) for appointment to the superior courts of record.” We consider this as, perhaps, a conscious aberration that should be redressed pronto. What seems appropriate is for the NBA to be allowed constitutionally to nominate its members for appointment into the NJC and for the representatives of the Bar to play active roles in all facets of NJC’s activities. Considering the NJC’s disciplinary roles in the judiciary, the Council should appoint more of retired justices with proven integrity as members instead of serving judges. Likewise is the need to appoint sound minds from the civil society into the body to avert possible Bench/ Bar conspiracy in sensitive matters of national interest, like the Katsina-Alu/Salami saga. Perhaps, more importantly is the need to recognize the country’s federal status. One NJC recommending the appointment of judicial officers for both the Federal Government and states smacks of over concentration of power at the centre. It works against efficiency and the federal principle. There is thus the need to amend the relevant sections of the constitution to enable states have their own equivalents of the NJC since states operate their own judicial service commissions.

ON THIS DAY August 29, 2007

August 29, 2003

United States Air Force (USAF) nuclear weapons incident: Six US cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads were flown without proper authorization from the Minot Air Force Base to the Barksdale Air Force Base. As a result of the negligence and following investigations, four USAF commanders were relieved of their commands while numerous other personnel were disciplined and/or decertified to perform certain types of sensitive duties.

Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the Shia Muslim leader in Iraq, was assassinated in a terrorist bombing, along with nearly 100 worshippers as they left a mosque in Najaf. Hakim ( 1939 - 2003), also known as Shaheed al-Mehraab, was one of the foremost Twelver Shi’a Muslim leaders in Iraq until his assassination in the bombing. He was the son of Grand Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim Tabatabai and al-Hajja Fawzieh Hassan Bazzi.

August 29, 1922 The first radio advertisement was broadcast on Western Electric AT&T Fone (WEAF-AM) in New York City, United States. In February 1922, AT&T announced they would begin selling “toll broadcasting” to advertisers, in which businesses would underwrite or finance a broadcast in exchange for being mentioned on the radio. WEAF of New York was credited with airing the first paid radio commercial, on August 29, 1922 for the Queensboro Corporation, advertising an apartment complex.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Health & Wellbeing Dial 122: Ogun introduces Emergency toll free number

Coping with sickle cell disorder

21

Stroke: Warning signs you must not ignore!

Danger signals

TOBORE OVUORIE

S

troke, referred to as Cerebro-Vascular Accident- CVA in medical parlance, is one of the leading causes of sudden death and disability. It is a common but serious brain illness that occurs suddenly as a result of blockage or rupture of a blood vessel (arteries) which supplies blood to the brain. This could be either vascular rupture and bleeding, or vascular blockage and denial of oxygenated blood to brain tissue. Most often, strokes are caused by a blood clot in an artery but the commnest cause of vascular rupture and bleeding is sever hypertension. According to the current edition of Emergency Cardiovascular Care Programmes, a publication of the American Heart Association, a stroke may precipitate pther conditions that may require either emergency aid to breathing or chest compressions or both. While an older person is more likely to suffer a stroke, experts warn that any person of any age group may suffer one. This makes it essential to be aware of the early warning signs of stroke so that emergency care can be started promptly. Any of the highlighted warning signs may be temporary, in which case the patient might be having Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), lasting less than 24hours or sometimes just a few minutes. However, when one occurs, a physician should be sought immediately since prompt medical or surgical treatment can prevent a stroke. The American Heart Association also note that similar signs may result from alcohol or drug intoxication, insulin reactions, or other diseases, but stresses that stroke should never be ruled out, even when the signs are temporary. Successful treatment of the victim is linked, like always, to early recognition, activation of emergency management systems, and/ or rapid transport to the hospital. The fundamentals of basic life support are important in the care of the patient with stroke, particularly when consciousness is impaired and airway obstruction occurs. According to experts, there are controllable and uncontrollable risk factors for stroke. Among those that can be controlled are hypertension, cigareffe smoking and heart disease, all direct risk fac-

55

Effect of stroke by National Stroke Association of Malaysia

tors for stroke. For the latter, a diseased heart can be both a defective (weak) pump and a source of blood clots. High red blood cell count is another controllable risk factor for stroke. The reason is that increased red blood cells thicken the blood and make clots more likely. Uncontrollable risk factors include

age, gender, race and diabetes mellitus. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs): TIAs are stroke-like symptoms that disappear in less than 24hours. TIAs are extremely important; they are strong predictors of stroke. They are usually treated with drugs that help keep clots from forming.

• Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body • Loss of speech, slurred or incoherent speech • Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness, or sudden falls • Dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye • Loss of consciousness • An unusually severe or sudden intense headache (can be an important warning sign of a brain haemorrhage) …For stroke caused by VASCULAR BLOCKAGE • Headache may be felt • Convulsions may occur • Consciousness is usually maintained and the features tend to present even while the person is at rest …For stroke caused by VASCULAR RUPTURE • Bleeding may occur along with • Severe headache • Vomiting precede • Convulsions and • Loss of consciousness OTHER SIGNS TO LOOK FOR • In both types of vascular accidents, initial features are followed by a one-sided paralysis of the face, upper and lower limbs • The paralysis is usually flaccid at the onset, but later becomes spastic • There’s loss of skin sensation on the paralysed side • Visual difficulties may occur • If the dominant side of the brain is affected, speech difficulties are to be expected Cerebral haemorrhage portends greater danger. Where bleeding is severe, consciousness is never recovered, and over 80 percent of those affected die within 48 hours. Management of stroke is largely symptomatic. Once the stated features are detected, prompt medical attention is crucial. However, there’s yet to be a drug that can reverse the effects of stroke.

People likely to suffer a stroke • The aged- incidence of stroke more than doubles every 10 years for people older than 55 years • Gender- Men have a greater risk of stroke than women. But women who take oral contraceptives, especially if they also smoke, have a greater risk than other women. • Race- Blacks (Negroids) have a greater

risk of stroke than Caucasians (Whites) • Hypertensives- High blood pressure (hypertension) is the most important risk factor for stroke. The higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk. Much of the decline in the incidence of stroke is secondary to the improved management of high blood pressure • Those at risk of atherosclerotic nar-

rowing of the arteries (a complication of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and high cholesterol blood level, obesity, or aging) • Smokers • Diabetes • Sicklers • The obese –Courtesy: American Heart Association


20

Health & Wellbeing

How to care for HIV positive children

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Health Beat Sam Eferaro

eferaro@yahoo.co.uk 08094082123 (sms only)

Time to have a forensic lab

E

Health-care providers should recommend HIV testing and counselling as part of standard care to all children

T

he mother needs to decide which infant feeding practice is the safest and the most manageable for her circumstances: Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the child’s life protects the infant from death due to diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition. There is, however, a risk of HIV infection through the breast milk. The risk of transmitting HIV to the infant is much lower with exclusive breastfeeding than with mixed feeding (breast milk and other foods and drinks). The risk can also be reduced by shortening the duration of breastfeeding once a nutritionally adequate and safe diet without breast milk can be provided to the child. feeding the baby a breast milk substitute (infant formula) alone eliminates the risk of transmitting HIV through breast milk but can greatly increase the risk of dying from infections such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, especially in the first 6 months of life. This is a good option only if the mother has access to clean water and the means to obtain the formula for at least 12 months, and the use of infant formula is acceptable to her and her community. Breastfeeding beyond 6 months should continue until safe and adequate replacement foods, including infant formula and other milks and foods, are available. Once a nutritionally adequate and safe diet can be provided, all breastfeeding should stop. all infants, whether they are receiving breast milk or breast milk substitutes, should receive other nutritious foods and drinks from 6 months of age onward to provide the energy and nutrients needed to support their growth and development. 4. All children born to HIV-positive mothers or to parents with symptoms, signs or conditions associated with HIV infection should be tested for HIV. If found to be HIV-positive, they should be referred for follow-up care and treatment and given loving care and support. The earlier a child is tested, diagnosed with HIV and started on HIV treatment, the better the chance of his or her survival and living a

longer and healthier life. The health-care provider should recommend HIV testing and counselling as part of standard care to all children, adolescents and adults who exhibit signs, symptoms or medical conditions that could indicate HIV infection or who have been exposed to HIV. HIV testing and counselling should be recommended for all children seen in health services in settings where there is a generalized HIV epidemic. A child whose mother is known to be HIVpositive should be tested for HIV within six weeks of birth or as soon as possible. Infants have their mother’s antibodies for several weeks after birth, and therefore standard antibody tests are not accurate for them. A special polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is required to tell if an infant has the virus around 6 weeks of age. If positive, the child needs to begin treatment immediately. The health-care provider can help the family set up a feasible and appropriate antiretroviral therapy regimen for the child. The parents should receive counselling and social services. An important part of HIV care and antiretroviral treatment (ART) for children is the antibiotic cotrimoxazole. It helps prevent ‘opportunistic’ infections related to HIV, especially PCP (pneumocystis pneumonia). This treatment is called cotrimoxazole preventive therapy, or CPT. Children with HIV should be given ART in fixed-dose combinations. These can be prescribed by a trained health worker, who can also provide follow-up support. If the child is going to school, the school can also provide support to make sure that the child takes the medicines while at school. It is critical to encourage children taking ART to keep taking the medicines on the recommended schedule. This will help ensure the treatment remains effective.

ven in their sorrow and as they mourn their loved ones, relatives of the ill fated Dana plane crash still owe the Lagos state government some gratitude. For the first time in the history of air crash in this country, victims were duly identified and released to their relatives for burial instead of being given a mass burial. The tension was palpable at first, especially when it became clear that relatives would have to wait for some time for the DNA results that would ensure proper identification of the corpses. I remember the commotion and the fireworks as tempers flared. People rained curses on LASUTH mortuary officials for what they perceived as negligence and inefficiency. The state Chief Medical Examiner, Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa who was saddled with the task of ensuring proper preservation of the bodies, taking and processing necessary tissue samples for DNA tests overseas was not left out. He was accosted by many of the relatives and accused of deliberately frustrating efforts to release the corpses. Relatives besieged his office on a daily basis and he sometimes had to rely on security agents to save him from the angry mourners. In the heat of such flairing emotions, a family angrily “donated” the corpse of their female relation to the government. After waiting for about two weeks or so, the family performed all necessary funeral rites and members who came from abroad travelled back to their base vowing never to collect the corpse whenever the government was through with whatever they wanted to do with it. It was quite traumatic. But normalcy has returned, thank God, everyone seems happy now with the turn of events. The DNA results are out and nearly all the corpses, including the ‘donated one’, have been released to relatives for burial. Families now have the death certificates to process whatever compensation is due to them. Prof. Obafunwa has suddenly become the relatives’ darling. It has been praises and commendations all the way from most of them for a job well done. Safe for about 12 corpses yet to be identified, I think we are gradually getting over the unfortunate disaster. Our prayer and wish is that the nation will not experience such ugly disaster again. But have we learnt any lesson from the Dana plane crash? I won’t talk about the need to make our air space and roads accident-free. But if it happens again, will people not go

LET THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ADD THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FORENSIC LABORATORY TO THE

2013 BUDGET. WE MUST ACT NOW

through the same harrowing experience which the hapless relatives of the Dana crash had to bear? The Lagos state government is yet to tell how much was sunk in the DNA exercise abroad but it’s easy to guess it must have been an expensive venture. Just how many states can afford that, simply because the crash occurred within their territory? Now we know how reliable the DNA can be. The state government actually recorded about 94% accuracy in the identification exercise even with some of the victims burnt beyond recognition. Isn’t it time for us to have at least one functional forensic laboratory in the country? It has been repeated over times by forensic experts and police authorities that our inability to solve most high profile murders over the years is due mainly to the absence of a real forensic lab. The Nigerian police does not even have finger print equipment! Well over two months after the Dana plane crash and in view of the fact that the victims had to be identified through costly DNA tests conducted abroad, it is certainly not out of place to expect that the Federal Government should be thinking of establishing a forensic lab to save us from future agony and embarrassment. A functional forensic lab will not only take care of such identification problems but assist in a big way to help reduce crime in the country. It could even be a source of revenue for government as it could also serve the neighbouring countries as well. One is certainly not expecting too much here. A forensic lab should actually be one of those basic facilities that should be taken for granted in a country that believes in the sanctity of human life. It should be expected that a country of 160 million people will not need to rely on foreign countries for tests to bury its citizens. Let the Federal Government add the establishment of a forensic laboratory to the 2013 budget. We must act now.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Health & Wellbeing

21

POSSIBLE: Good health for sicklers from childhood to adulthood

Coping with sickle cell disorder TOBORE OVUORIE

D

o you know that you can live up to 80 years and beyond as a sickler? Though it is generally believed in Nigeria that people

Go for good medical care Sickle cell disorder could be quite complex if not properly handled thus good quality medical care from doctors and nurses who know a lot about the condition would help prevent some serious problems. Often, the best choice should be a hematologist (a doctor who specializes in managing blood related ailments) working with a team of specialists.

Get regular checkup Regular health checkups with a primary care doctor can help prevent some serious problems.

Prevent infections According to the medical experts, common illnesses, like influenza, could quickly become dangerous for a person with SCD. The best defense is to take simple steps like washing your hands frequently to help prevent infections. Here are some ways to go about this: 1. Vaccines: These are a great way to prevent many serious infections. Adults and children with SCD should have the influenza vaccine every year, as well as pneumococcal vaccine and any others recommended by their doctor. 2. Penicillin: According to one of the medical experts; Dr. Efunbo Dosekun, a Pediatrician with over 20 years experience, penicillin is of

Sicklers can also live long if…

living with sickle cell disorder don’t live long due to frequent illness. Experts say people with the disorder can still live a full life and engreat help to people living with SCD especially children as it helps put infections at bay. She advises that they (children with SCD) should be given penicillin or other antibiotics prescribed by their doctors every day until they are at least 5 years of age. 3. Hands washing: Though seems quite simple, if done properly, it will help you prevent getting an infection. According to the health experts, people with SCD, their families, and other caretakers should wash their hands with soap and clean water as many times as possible each day. If there is no access to soap and water, gel hand cleaners with alcohol in them could be used in killing bacteria. Here are some times to wash your hands: Wash your hands before: • Making food. • Eating. Wash your hands after • Using the bathroom. • Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. • Shaking hands. • Touching people or things that can carry germs, such as: • Diapers or a child who has used the toilet. • Food that has not been cooked (raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables). • Animals or animal waste. • Trash.

joy most of the activities that other people do if they adhere to some very simple and natural health principles. Here’s the way to go. • A person who is sick. 4. Food Safety: To stay safe and healthy when cooking and eating, avoid exposure to bacteria especially a popular but harmful one called salmonella which could be especially harmful to children with SCD. Here are ways to achieve that: * Wash your hands, cutting boards, counters, knives, and other utensils after touching uncooked foods. * Wash vegetables and fruit well before eating them. * Cook meat until it’s well done. The juices should run clear and there should be no pink colouration inside. * Do not eat raw or undercooked eggs. Raw eggs might be “hiding“ in homemade ice cream, homemade cookies and frostings. * Do not eat raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products (cheeses). Make sure these foods have a label that says they are “pasteurized”. 5. Avoid Reptiles—Salmonella mentioned earlier is present in some reptiles and can be especially harmful to people with SCD. Make sure children and adults stay away from snakes, and lizards. Learn healthy habits Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day and eating healthy food will help to maintain hydration and proper nutrition. People with SCD should maintain a balanced body temperature, getting neither too hot nor too cold. Participating in physi-

cal activity to help stay healthy is very important. However, it’s essential that you don’t overdo it, rest when tired, and drink plenty of water. Seek clinical information about SCD Always seek new clinical information about your condition as research studies occur frequently and these might give you access to new medicines and treatment options. Seek support Find a patient support group or community-based organization that can provide information, assistance, and support with regards to your health condition. It is very important that you and every other person with SCD have a plan for how to get help immediately—at any hour—if there is a problem. Be sure to find a medical facility that will have access to your medical records or keep a copy that you can bring. Go to an emergency room or urgent care facility right away for: • Fever above 101°F. • Difficulty breathing. • Chest pain. • Abdominal (belly) swelling. • Severe headache. • Sudden weakness or loss of feeling and movement. • Seizure. • Painful erection of the penis that lasts more than 4 hours. And call a doctor right away for: • Pain anywhere in the body that will not go away with treatment at home. • Any sudden problem with vision.


22

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Skip breakfast, risk Type 2 diabetes, doctor warns D r. Ibukunolu Oluwaseye of Excellence Health Foundation, Jos, has said that people who regularly skip breakfast risk developing Type 2 diabetes. Oluwaseye told newsmen on Thursday in Jos that regular skipping of breakfast increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes because the hormone insulin, which is responsible for processing blood sugar, is secreted mainly in the morning. “If you constantly skip

breakfast, the secretion of the insulin is discouraged; this begins with the secretion of a minimal quantity of insulin and it might lead to the eventual stoppage of the production of insulin. “When this occurs, Type 2 diabetes sets in. This type of diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough or totally no insulin to regulate the blood sugar level,” he explained. According to him, breakfast is very vital to one’s health.

“But most Africans place no importance on breakfast. Breakfast is to be taken within the first three hours of getting up from bed.” “People should inculcate the act of having breakfast regularly and at the appropriate time because research has shown that people, who barely skip breakfast, always produce insulin commensurate to the sugar they consume so their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes is very low.

“This is not the case with those who skip breakfast constantly because the act inhibits the production of insulin which in turn leads to Type 2 diabetes,” he said. Oluwaseye also listed family history, environmental factors, sedentary lifestyle, excessive intake of alcohol and gestational diabetes usually induced by pregnancy as other factors that could increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes. He identified major symptoms of diabetes as

frequent urination, excessive thirst, burning sensation, blurred vision, sexual weakness, swollen legs/ arms, loss of appetite and excessive hunger. Others, he said, included slow healing of cuts and wounds as well as the loss of feelings. The doctor further stated that constant breakfast skipping could lead to other health challenges such as weight gain or obesity, cardiovascular (heart) problems and a reduction in a person’s level of

concentration and performance. “When you skip breakfast, you tend to crave for junk food and these junks are usually high in transfatty acid and sodium which gives rise to bad cholesterol and excessive weight gain,” he said. Oluwaseye advised people to inculcate the habit of having breakfast regularly irrespective of their work schedule as a means of reducing the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes and other health challenges.

HIV: Ogun rated second worst in S/West

I

ndications emerged on Thursday that Ogun State has the second highest prevalence rate of Human Immuno Virus (HIV) in the South-West zone of the country. It was gathered that the prevalence increased from 1.5 percent in 2003 to 3.1 percent in 2010. Disclosing this at the Dissemination of Ogun State HIV/AIDS Epidemiological and Sexual Behavioural Survey Findings in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Programme Manager, Enhancing Nigeria’s Response to HIV/AIDS (ENR), Mrs Foluke Omoworare, noted that prevalence of HIV was slightly higher in urban areas than rural areas. She noted that the prev-

alence of HIV in urban areas was 3.8 percent compared to rural areas with 1.7 percent. Omoworare said that Ijebu-Ode had the highest prevalence rate of the virus with five percent, while Ayetoro recorded the lowest rate at 1.3 per cent. She said the objective of the exercise was to contribute towards efforts to understand the epidemic and HIV prevention and response in the state. According to her, it would help the state improve on the scope, relevance and comprehensiveness of its HIV prevention efforts. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Olaokun Soyinka, urged stakeholders

to ensure effective sensitisation on HIV/AIDS in the state and environ. The commissioner decried low knowledge of HIV/AIDS by the people of the state. He noted that the State Specific AIDS, Reproductive and Child Health (SPARC) survey which was conducted in 2011 would, henceforth, be conducted every two years. Dr Soyinka added that the survey would, among others, provide monitoring and evaluation data for the state health and HIV/AIDS programme. The Director, Ogun State Action Committee on AIDS, Dr Ranti Oladeinde, while summarizing the SPARC findings, stated that stigma and discrimination still remained high, while knowledge of HIV/AIDS stayed low.

Firm assures safety at Gulder Ultimate Search screening TOBORE OVUORIE

I

n a bid to prevent casualties being recorded during its forthcoming physical drilling across four regions in Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries Plc has assured participants of best safety and health practice during the exercise. Mr. Walter Drenth, Marketing Director, NB Plc disclosed this in an exclusive interview with National Mirror recently during the flag off of season 9, Gulder Ultimate Search. According to him, “since Nigerian youths who are the future of the nation have always turned up en mass for the screening since 2004, we

in turn deem it responsible on our part to ensure their safety, health and security before, on and off the search. “Hence, we are not going to take chances. We will ensure healthy practice of highest standards possible. Already we have in place fully equipped ambulance, well-trained medical team, comprehensive insurance cover with one of Nigeria’s most reputable insurance companies and modern communication gadgets to ensure minute-to-minute monitoring of all involved. All these are meant for the four regions across the country: Lagos, Owerri, Benin and Makurdi. Shedding more light on why much attention is being given to the health of

prospective participants, Drenth noted that “we know that the search which ought to promote values of confidence, discernment, courage and determination in youths is equally quite stressful. “Over the years, we have come to understand that it actually stretches them to the very limit of their endurance notwithstanding the fact that we had initially done comprehensive health screening to be sure that they are fit to come on board. In view of these, notwithstanding us giving N20million prize money to the winner and other sums to the other participants, their health and safety are topmost on our list”.

A cross section of participants at a mentorship and capacity building programme organised by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, for research ethics committees in health institutions in the country in Lagos recently

Establish disability prevention programmes –NAHCAN president TOBORE OVUORIE

G

overnments at all levels in Nigeria have been charged to initiate a holistic process that will promote an all-inclusive development process including empowerment for people living with disabilities. The call was made by Mr. Adewale Adeyanju, President, National Handicap Carers Association of Nigeria (NAHCAN) at this year’s disability awareness week public lecture held recently in Lagos. Adeyanju who is living with hearing and speech impairment disclosed that people with disabilities in Nigeria are still looking forward to enjoying dividends of democracy noting that “this can only be achieved if government places emphasis on quality and effective

service delivery”. He however added that should this be done, poverty rate in the country would be reduced, standard of living increase, mass employment created, quality education for Nigerians would be sustained thus, creating an enabling environment for all. Going down memory lane to 1960 when Nigeria gained her independence, Adeyanju decried the present state of the country. According to him, “Nigeria is in a sorry state, if not, look at our roads which are full of potholes and craters large enough to swallow a car. These are results of inefficient service delivery by corrupt contractors and public officials which unfortunately is claiming the lives of many Nigerians and leaving many others with permanent disabilities on a daily basis.

“In the manufacturing sector, we take pride in singing ‘buy made in Nigeria goods’, much as this slogan promotes patriotism, the activities of some criminals who manufacture anything fake and sub-standard from drugs, electrical appliances, foods and beverage drinks should be of major concern. It is through these fake and substandard products that many citizens’ lives have been cut short while many bear the scars of disabilities as evidence”. It will be recalled that some state governments such as Lagos have enacted disability laws in their domain with a view of seeing that people living with disabilities are well cared for. Already, some of these persons have been appointed to various public offices including office of special assistants, advisers among others.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

23

Arts Lounge

Our designs will get you noticed –Babatunde

Women directors take front row at Venice film festival

25

26

NFC/NFVCB: To merge or not to merge? TERH AGBEDEH

S

ince the Steve Orosanye-led Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals and Agencies presented its report to President Goodluck Jonathan, there has been hue and cry from stakeholders affected by the recommendations therein. The media has been awash with opinions on how best to conduct the business at hand. Stakeholders in the Nigerian movie industry are not left out. Most of them are concerned over the proposed merger of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) said to be one of the recommendations in the report from the Orosanye committee. Veteran filmmaker, Dr. Ola Balogun, when reached for his views, said he had not heard about the merger recommendation but that the NFVCB and the NFC have distinct functions. “The NFC is supposedly for production whereas the Censors’ Board (NFVCB) is the regulatory body to prevent things that are immoral, among others, from reaching the audience”, he said, while agreeing that most of the agencies of government in the country have failed in their statutory functions. “They have failed that is clear but what is the solution? The civil servant cannot sit down by himself and understand what the solution is without recourse to the people in the industry. That is what I said when I learnt NEXIM bank and Bank of Industry are to administer money for culture”, he declared. Dr. Balogun explained that failure is guaranteed if such decisions are arrived at without input from the people who are in culture and the arts. He stated further that no country in the world administered cultural policies through bank loans; what they give out is grants. Balogun, who feels merging the agencies is not proper, said that leaving the two agencies the way they are

BUDGETS OF THESE ORGANISATIONS ARE

10 TIMES WHAT

THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE; CORRUPTION IS THE ROOT OF ALL PROBLEMS IN

NIGERIA

at the moment is not the solution as they have to be honestly administered. “They should have an effective board of directors supervising them. The film corporation originated from and should go to the ministry of culture; they (agencies) should have a board of directors headed by a person knowledgeable in culture”, he said. “They are collecting huge amounts but there is nothing to show for it. How many productions have the film corporation been involved in the last eight years?” he queried. Mr. Etuk Brian, who is the NFC’s Head of Public Affairs differed with Balogun on this however when he adopted an allegory to explain that the NFC has continued to work with a smaller budget year-on-year. “We are not generating money from anywhere. If you build a house for me and give me N20,000 every month to maintain it. Before I know what is happening, you stop giving N20,000 and you give me N15,000 instead. If you give me the N15,000 and I’m supposed to be taking three square meals, I have to reduce the meals now to two. I have not failed; it is what the principal has given me that I will use”, Brian explained. But Balogun insisted the budgets of those organisations are bloated concluding that corruption is the bane of the country. “First of all, the budgets of these organisations are 10 times what they are supposed to be; corruption is the root of all problems in Nigeria. The cost of running those places should be about one tenth of what it

Adesanya

is”, he explained. Balogun also queried the logistics of the merger saying the film corporation is based far away in Jos, Plateau State, while the Censors’ board has offices in Lagos and Abuja. The filmmaker and musician also said there should have been a public hearing where stakeholders would have come forward to make input before the committee came up with its report. Balogun’s views jell with those of another veteran filmmaker, Eddie Ugbomah, who said he was certain that the NFC would be merged with the NFVCB. Ugbomah said he had played a major role in reversing a similar planned merger in 2004 when Chukwuemeka Chikelu was Minister of Information. He recalled that he had written a memo to the minister then and was given the opportunity to make a presentation. “That was how I told them the history of the movie industry and the merger was stopped”, he said. Reminded that nothing is being done at the moment by those in the industry and the merger may well go on. “They don’t know about it. They don’t know what is happening,” he stated. Like Balogun, Ugbomah agrees that nowhere in the world is a film corporation merged with a censors board. “It is not done because one is a regulatory body while the other should be involved in production”, he said. Brian, who said he does not know what the committee recommended, was emphatic that the NFC has not failed in carrying out the functions it was set up for. “I don’t know because I’m not a member of the Steve Oransanye Com-

Balogun

mittee and I don’t know what it recommended. We are just hearing it about this development of whether we are going to stand alone or whether the merger is going to take place”, he said. Brian explained that like every agency invited, the NFC made its presentation to the committee, which had three terms of reference. (1) Why you should be merged (2) Why you should not be merged (3) Why you should not be scrapped. “So, when you appear before the committee you specify any of those three. The committee will now make its report to the government. I don’t have any idea what it will become”, he said. On the appropriateness of the merger Brian aligned with the Nigerian movie industry stakeholders. “We have said it before, the operations of the corporation and the board are different things all together. In fact, the censors board is a classification board and they classify films”, he said. Arts Lounge also reached authorities at the censors board but up until press time, no comment was forthcoming from there As Mr. President considers the report, Nigerians have continued to ask questions bordering on the level of development achieved with so many overlapping bureaucratic agencies over the year s. Some others say that this is the best way to cut the fat in the system. While some worry that this exercise, if it is carried out, will result in more job losses in a country where there is need to create more employment opportunities. Some even fear that only time will tell whether these mergers will indeed come to pass.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria’s antiquities abroad must return VOICES

YUSUF A BDALLAH USMAN

A

very large number of Nigeria’s priceless artefacts left Nigeria’s shores long before the country came into being as an independent nation. The high point was the infamous assault on Benin in 1897. Dispossessing Nigerians of their heritage went on throughout the period of colonial domination and more recently it has been rearing its ugly head through looting of heritage archaeological sites and museums. The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), the organ charged with the responsibility of preserving Nigeria’s antiquities considers the return of all these objects an issue of paramount importance that is why it is paying quality attention to it including setting up of a special unit to handle it. It must be stated that since 1996, thefts of antiquities have not been recorded from National Museums’ collections. So the claim that the recently intercepted terracotta pieces in US were stolen from National Museum Lagos is absolutely false. No object has been stolen from any Nigeria museum since the last series of burglaries in the early 1990s. Even then, Lagos museum was not involved and all the stolen pieces were put on ICOM red list. Indeed many of them have since been recovered and

MUSINGS Granny and Google Grand Ma! Pray let Google be Though your barn be filled with wisdom, Google’s garden is our new kingdom When boiling water fails to boil You say because the pot’s uncovered, shy water would neither dance nor toil You say the Sun is ready for bed When it’s Sunset but what Google says your ears will dread Your honeyed tongue like a welltravelled road tutored by restless feet lies fallow at the mercy of metal winged sojourners You, with time will to go bed While uncle Google roams the net Hey Grand Ma Pray let Google be Your bag of wisdom weighs us down, there are quicker ways On our webbed sights Please Grand Ma Let Google be For when the hen returns to roost Your wisdom awaits our famished butts like a time tested stool. ©Segun Adefila 2012

NIGERIA’S EFFORT AT RESTITUTION WAS RECENTLY REWARDED WHEN

TERRACOTTA

EFFIGIES OF MORE THAN

1000 YEARS

OLD WERE RETURNED FROM

CANADA

returned to the museums. The looting of heritage archaeological sites and museums has been an age-long and worldwide problem. In Nigeria, the problem reached epidemic proportions in the 1990s when Nok and North-Western Nigeria’s (Kwatarkwoshi) archaeological sites were massively raped and ripped of their priceless objects. These objects were spread throughout Western Europe and the USA illustrating the devastating scale of the problem. While the problem abated in the beginning of the new millennium, recent field studies indicate that it has not fully stopped. At the onset of the present Management of the NCMM in 2009 under my leadership, the issue of looting of archaeological sites by illegal diggers reduced due to the use of a multi-pronged approach. Within the last three years, the Commission has embarked on several sensitisation programmes involving law enforcement agencies, media, local community and traditional rulers at Abuja and Kaduna and also in the rural areas especially at Nok and Janjala. In the meantime, approval to employ 600 security and crafts men to police our heritage site is awaiting cash backing from the budget office. From the legal perspective, the Commission has made substantial progress in her bid to review her laws with a view to tightening the loose ends against the smuggling of antiquities. This review will give the Commission the power to the unequivocal proclamation that all antiquities buried under the ground are the properties of the Federal Government of Nigeria. It will also make it possible for the Commission’s Antiquities Inspectors to search and arrest, with or without warrant, malefactors. The Commission will equally be endowed, through provisions in the reviewed law, with the power of prosecuting offenders. The Commission has some registered antiquity vendors who bring objects to it for acquisition. Through them, the Commission has acquired very good and invaluable objects. However, in recent times due to dwindling financial resources the Commission has been unable to pay as at when due. When the vendors bring in these antiquities the Commission is obliged by its Act to collect them even when it does not readily have funds to pay compensation, for the simple reason that

Usman

these are the heritage of the nation and so cannot be allowed to remain outside the protection of the NCMM. We are currently dialoguing with the vendors with a view to finding means of compensating them. Thus, we are seeking intervention funds from the Federal Government to enable us defray the debt owed them in order to prevent the objects from being sold to foreigners and private collectors. It is important to note that the issue of purchase of Antiquities is of prime importance to the nation. Meanwhile, we appreciate the understanding and patience of the vendors who are helping us to continually increase the number of our collections besides other means of acquisition such as: field collection, donations, seizures and restitution. It is pertinent to note that objects taken out of their archaeological context have little significance to social and historical reconstruction. Accordingly, we try to regulate the activities of these vendors in order to balance curatorial needs with scientific archaeological considerations. In the meantime, the Commission in pursuing restitution and return has adopted approaches that are firmly anchored within the framework of the foreign policy direction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is principally dialogue rather than undue combativeness. These efforts at dialoguing have brought us into discussions with nations, particularly our West African neighbours through the auspices of ECOWAS. This is necessary because most smuggled artefacts are taken out through the borders we share with these nations. The Commission in its effort at getting our objects back to Nigeria has also been operating through the ICOM/ UNESCO framework and has also been dialoguing with professionals in foreign museums. We indeed believe that dialogue is more productive than confrontation. This however must not be misunderstood as weakness on our part. We do believe that our professional colleagues abroad and the law enforcement agencies will continue to cooperate with us

in our legitimate pursuit for the return of our antiquities. Efforts at dialoguing have brought about recent interface with most of the major museums in Europe. The Commission instigated discussions on modalities of returning Benin objects to Nigeria. This has resulted in the meeting of the major museums in Europe and the Commission in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany in 2010 and 2011 respectively. A third meeting is scheduled for Benin City before the end of this year. The heads of these European museums have signified their intention to attend this meeting. It will be recalled that Nigeria was one of the strong voices in the Egyptian Conference of 2010 where pieces of each countries priceless antiquities were demanded to be returned to their countries of origin. Nigeria is also involving the InterGovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation. This Committee has helped Tanzania in recent times to reclaim its famous Makonde mask. We are confident that this Committee will aid our current demand for the return of the 32 works of Benin Art recently donated to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston which we have reasons to believe came from 1897 Punitive British Expedition to Benin. The NCMM is in direct contact with this Committee through Nigeria’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO. Similarly Nigeria is taking steps to join the United States’ Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA). Nigeria’s effort at restitution was recently rewarded when Terracotta effigies of more than 1000 years old were returned from Canada on the 24th of February, 2009. Before this, the L’Office central de repression du vol des oeuvres et des objets d’art (O.C.R.V.O.O.A.) had also returned three Ife bronze heads stolen and found in France. Benin bronze artefacts sold to Galerie Walu in Zurich were also returned to Nigeria. In September this year, the Commission shall be receiving from the Embassy of France five Nok Sculptures which were intercepted in August 2010 by the French Customs from shipments originating from Togo. While a Management inherits the image of an organisation, it is also fair to acknowledge efforts being made in tackling an age-long problem. The NCMM, AAN and other stakeholders have reaffirmed their commitment to work together in tackling the menace of illegal excavations and export of our priceless antiquities. The statutory mandate of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments is to acquire, protect, promote, conserve and develop our cultural objects, heritage and sites. If it is to succeed, the support of Nigerians is critical. Mallam Usman is the Director General of NCMM.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Arts Lounge

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

ARTISTE UNCENSORED

25

MIDWEEK JUMP Umukoro launches four books at a go!

A

Breeze36 clients model ‘Tradition’ design.

Grafitti flip flops (slippers).

Babatunde

Our designs will get you noticed –Babatunde Breeze36 Urban, the fledging urban wear brand run by Babatunde Afolabi, is sweeping through the fashion scene and winning clientele on the strength of the label’s contemporary and refreshing outlook to presenting African ethnicity on clothing items for everyday wear. ADENRELE NIYI

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typical Breeze36 design is akin to a work of art meticulously conceived, shaped out and hemmed together in the artist’s sewing room. Babatunde’s edge as a designer lies in his unique African perspective and painstaking attention to details. Every thread, embellishment, seam, embroidery and motif is sewn or etched in carefully to give a perfect finish of rich cultural heritage on clothing and accessories. Operating out of Lagos, Breeze36’s trendy wears are highly sought-after in Port Harcourt, the oil rich capital of Rivers State, which is fast becoming the fashion capital of south-south Nigeria. Style-savvy urban dwellers in Abuja, the nation’s capital, are similarly not left out of the rush for Breeze36 creations; the demand has seen the brand’s head designer frequently transverse between Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. Babatunde’s works are that authentic and original. This graduate of Urban and Regional Planning from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, attributes his keen eye for fashion strictly to God-given talent, saying at no time did he receive training for what he does adeptly and with ease. “All I can remember as a child of about eight years, was that I enjoyed drawing cloth designs. My mum couldn’t understand this interest and she scolded me for concentrating on design sketches when I should be focused on academics.

I never went through fashion training at any level. My art is God-given and it amazes me too how they come to play”. But studying Urban and Regional Planning may have prepared him for a career in fashion designing more than Babatunde realises. This subject teaches prospective Urban and Regional Planners to develop an astute mind in formulating plans for the controlled use of urban and rural land; it also requires a vast knowledge of the local terrain in order to design environment specific solutions for land use. In his undergraduate years, Babatunde’s learning mind must have soaked in his environment alongside its cultural symbols; today, these motifs, colours and lifestyle attributes are vividly captured as patterns on his creations. Items in the Breeze36 design range include polo tops, T-shirts, screamer jackets, graffiti slippers and shoes. The label also caters to specific bespoke or customised needs while offering branding services to corporate organisations that require an edgier representation of its products. Babatunde puts it this way; “Our fashion is for the youth or the youthful at heart who is stylish and fun in wardrobe choices. With Breeze36, you must not be afraid to be different and stand out because our designs will surely get you noticed. It’s easier said like this- ‘we are hip in style’; my mum calls our brand the hip-hop generation (smiles)”. Giving kudos to respected high fashion designers like Mudi, Zizi Cardow and Dakova who paved the way for emerging names such as himself, the clothes maker insists that “it’s high time we, the New

School, introduced urban fast-forward fashion because Nigeria’s design history lacks an account of our type”. Asked the sort of challenges a fashion business deals with daily, the young entrepreneur mentions workers who are reluctant to ‘see things the way you see them’... a factor which hinders an effective work process. His other nagging concern is “the issue of electricity which seems to be a long bridge we have to sweat to cross. Power is one major consumption in this business and we run our own power source most of the time which adds to our overhead”. Those pesky issues aside, Babatunde is fired up about his new line of “Tradition” mask T-shirts which are all the rage among his clients and the soon-to-be launched range of embroidery tops embellished with studs. According to him, this range would be stocked in select stores only. The design is so intricate it would be a tough nut for those who have been stealing his fashion concepts. However, the forward-looking label is not coasting on its early hits; plans are underway to open sales outlets as well as expand the collection to include perfumes, wristwatches and sneakers. “Our mission is to show the world, not only Africa or Nigeria, how we see urban fashion in our own form and detail. If brands like Fubu, Nike, Marc Ecko etc could make urban fashion popular from America to the world, then I don’t think it is too much for Breeze36 to do here in Nigeria and throw out to the world”, Babatunde declares.

rare harvest of books is slated for the University of Ibadan this Friday, August 31 as Dr. Matthew Umukoro, scholar, playwright, newspaper columnist and former Head of Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan (U.I.) presents four books to the public at once. The books, which cover diverse areas of scholarship and disciplines include; The State of the Nation (a compilation of Umukoro’s 40 insightful articles in The Guardian and Daily Sun between 2006 and 2011). The Performing Artist in the Academia and The Art of Scholarship (scholarly works in which he distils knowledge of the theatre profession and the arts). Lastly, The Scholarship of Art and Obi and Clara (A play and adaptation of Prof. Chinua Achebe’s classic novel, No Longer at Ease). All the books will be launched at the Pope John Paul II Centre (opposite the U.I. Bookshop) under the distinguished chairmanship of Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan.

Scenes from Idi-Araba to Akoka

O

tun Rasheed, a writer and lecturer from the University of Lagos is out with a new play titled Idi-Araba to Akoka, a dramatic account of the 50 years existence of the University of Lagos. It chronicles major events, issues and challenges facing Unilag’s existence and also takes a plunge into the future of the University. The play presentation takes place on Thursday, August 30 and Friday, August 31 at Unilag’s Main Auditorium, Akoka. Special Guest of Honour is the Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Ramon Bello and Royal father of the day is HRM Oba Abdul-Fatai Aremu Oyeyinka Aromire, Oyegbemi II Ojora of Ijora Kingdom.

Spinlet hosts rave gospel artistes

S

pinlet, Nigeria’s premiere digital distribution platform, is set to thrill fans tomorrow with another exciting edition of the monthly music fiesta, “Gospel Night Live” featuring fan favourites Eben, Provabs, Onos, Benita, Dbass, Psalmos, Efe, Uddy and House of Psalms. This month’s event will hold at Dream Factory Studios, Alausa, Ikeja-Lagos and will be broadcast live for the first time ever on selected channels on Digital Satellite TV (DSTV). Gospel Night Live has hosted notable artistes such as saxophonist extraordinaire, Mike Aremu, bestselling singer, Sammie Okposo, hip hop icon, M.I, Benita, Midnight Crew, Bouqui and many more.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FAR AND NEAR

Bits & Pieces Culture pivot for promoting harmony -Gov. Ahmed

National Anthem composer gets paid NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

C

omposer of the National Anthem, Pa Benedict Odiase, (MON), has received the sum of N150,000 being proceeds from the usage of his composition “Arise O Compatriots”, which was adopted as a ringtone by a telecommunication content provider in the country. The copyright payment for the use of the National Anthem was made possible by one of the content providers who obtained the necessary licence from the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria, MCSN for the purpose of deploying the work as telephone ringtones on the network of telecommunications companies operating in Nigeria. MCSN is the assignee of the copyright in all works written, composed and authored by Pa Benedict Odiase, including the work now known as the Nigerian National Anthem. In a recent letter signed by the Director General of the MCSN, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran and addressed to the ex-police officer, MCSN informed Odiase that the money being paid accrued from the use of his composition-‘National Anthem’ as a ringtone through one of the contents providers operating in Nigeria. “Arise O Compatriots” was chosen and adopted as the Nigerian National Anthem on October 1, 1978, but there is no record to show that Pa Odiase, a retired Assistant Police Commissioner, has been duly recognised and compensated for his contributions to this national edifice.

Pa. Odiase

Al Mansour

Women directors take front row at Venice film festival

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tarting today, Hollywood veterans will brush shoulders with up and coming starlets and auteurs in Venice for the film festival in which women directors are set to take centre stage. “Maybe this is a sign that something is finally changing in the world of cinema, which as we all know, is very sexist”, festival director Alberto Barbera told reporters in Rome last month as he unveiled the line-up. Women directed a total of 21 of the 52 films being shown and there will be a particular focus this year on the economic crisis gripping the Western world, the Arab Spring revolutions and the theme of religious fundamentalism. American movie icon, Robert Redford, will fly in for the first time to the world’s oldest movie festival, where Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master will be among the 18 films vying for the Golden Lion prize. Barbera said: “A festival should not just be a catwalk for celebrities. Festivals should revert to their original roles of exploration, of scoping out innovation, instead of relying only on established producers”. Barbera revealed he had “taken risks” with a mix of “established directors and many unknown young directors from

countries without cinematic traditions”. Music is also on the menu with Spike Lee’s hotly anticipated “Bad 25” documentary about pop icon, Michael Jackson and Jonathan Demme of The Silence of the Lambs fame with his homage to Neapolitan crooner Enzo Avitabile. The first edition of the festival was held in 1932 on the terrace of the glamorous Excelsior Hotel on the Venice Lido and featured movies of some of the best known directors of the time like Frank Capra and Howard Hawks. Among the newcomers is Haifaa AlMansour from Saudi Arabia – where cinemas are banned and women face sweeping daily discrimination – with her film, Wadjda, about a little girl desperate for a bicycle which she is not allowed. The festival kicks off with a showing of U.S.-based Indian director, Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist – a political thriller about a young Pakistani man torn between Wall Street ambitions and the call of his homeland. It winds up on September 8, when a jury headed by U.S. producer, Michael Mann with Hong Kong director, Peter Chan, British actress Samantha Norton and French model Laetitia Casta pick winners of the Golden Lion.

PSquare, Bez top Headies 2012 nominee list

P

op stars PSquare and alternative singer, Bez have emerged the highest nominees for this year’s edition of The Headies, Nigeria’s leading awards for urban music and hip hop/pop culture. PSquare, who have had an interesting year musically, with groundbreaking collaborations, chart-topping videos and bestselling concerts, packed six big nominations, including nods for Album of the Year, Artiste of the Year and Song of

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the Year. Bez, a rapidly rising singer-musician, who is winning accolades from fans and critics, is this year’s other major contender, with six nominations. Bez is up for Revelation of the Year, Best Vocal Performance (male) and Best Collabo; as well as Best R&B/Pop Single and Best R&B/Pop Album. PSquare and Bez are closely followed by A-list artistes, Wizkid, Davido and Ice Prince who grabbed four nominations each. Praiz, who continues to grow

steadily as a singer to court, also got four nods from the awards committee. The popular ‘Next Rated’ category will have Davido, Eva Alordia and Praiz competing for the prize, which comes with a brand new car. This year’s Headies (also known as Hip-Hop World Awards) is rewarding deserving works released into the Nigerian market between March 2011 and February 2012. Some other nominees include Naeto C (three); Chuddy K (two);

D’Banj (three); Wande Coal (three); Tiwa Savage (two); Iyanya (two); Brymo (two); Terry G (one); Waje (one) and Cobhams (two). The full list of nominees covers a diverse range of talents, from pop to R&B, hip hop, soul and several emerging Nigerian sounds. The Headies 2012 is scheduled to hold at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suites, in Lagos on Sunday, October 20. Iconic hip-hop act, M.I and award-winning singer, Omawumi will host the highly anticipated event.

The Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdufatah Ahmed has charged stakeholders in the tourism sector to use culture as a major pivot to promote peace and harmony in the country. Representing the governor, his deputy, Elder Peter Kishura, gave this charge last Friday at the 8th meeting of the National Council on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation in Kwara State held under the theme, “Leveraging Tourism, Culture and National Orientation for National Peace and Unity”. Ahmed enjoined the Council to leverage on the cultural identity to foster greater peace and unity in the country as part of a larger movement for true federation. Ijeoma Ezeike, Abuja

Ace DJ, Jimmy Jatt, signs with Spinlet Spinlet has announced the signing of iconic jockey and Africa’s leading DJ, Jimmy Jatt, on to its platform. The prolific DJ has produced multiple hit tracks for many music heavy weights, while providing music for some of the biggest events on the continent. “DJs like Jimmy Jatt are a very important bridge in promoting artistes music to their numerous fans and Spinlet has always been in the business of empowering and effectively promoting our artistes and in extension, the rich and vibrant music of Nigeria”, says Mark Redguard, Chief Marketing Officer, Spinlet. Other artistes signed on Spinlet include: JJC and Big Boyz Entertainment, Oritse Femi Ekele, Muma Gee, Fada Kane, M Trill, General Pype, Ebi Chris and Capital Hill Music, amongst others. Adebimpe Olatuja

Aregbesola tasks artistes on cultural value Nigerian artistes have been charged to use acting to promote cultural values, education and moral development. Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff Mr. Gbenga Adebusuyi said this at an event tagged Artiste Night in Osogbo the state capital. “Collectively and individually, you as artistes must not forget your place in the society, because, culturally, you are the conscience of the society and as celebrity and role model, a huge responsibility is place on your shoulders. Whatever you do must reflect the core value of our people as well as promote our cultural heritage and identity”, he noted. The event full of cultural activities was in celebration of the 21st anniversary of the creation of the state. Wale Folarin, Osogbo


27

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Team Nigeria on redemption mission

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

The Lone Star are not in disarray as they make us believe. We must be wary of the Liberians - FOOTBALL ENTHUSIAST, DAYO LAWAL

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AFCON qualifier: Eagles undergo tests as Liberia boasts A FOLABI G AMBARI Lagos Commisioner Sports, Enitan Oshodi

for

Eko 2012 LOC receives six buses

T

he Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos, slated for November 27 to December 9, has taken delivery of six buses. The LOC’s Media Officer, Ademola Oyida, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that the vehicles comprised two 32-seater Coaster and four Toyota Hiace 14-seater buses. Oyida said the buses were to ease the transportation problems the members of the LOC might face before and during the festival. “The state is not leaving any stone unturned to stage the most successful and glamorous fiesta in the recent past,” she said. She added that the LOC would brief its officials on how best to use the buses to achieve the purpose for which they were meant.

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ith barely nine days to the all-important final round Nations Cup qualifier against the Lone Star of Liberia, management of the national team yesterday subjected Super Eagles players to injury tests. At yesterday’s training, the medical and technical crew examined the players with a view to fishing out those hiding injuries. Coach Stephen Keshi who took the players by surprise said it was important because some of them might have hidden injuries that would not help the cause of the nation, hence the need to fish them out by the technical and medical crew. Media Officer of the team, Ben Alaiya, said that after a close examination of the players by the Team Doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran and physiotherapist, Wale Oladejo, no serious injury on the players was detected, but Kabiru Umar and Benjamin Francis were pulled out for special attention. “The team is physically intact and there is no cause for alarm, we just want to ensure that all our players are in good shape since they have been away from the national camp for sometimes,”

said Dr. Gyaran. Meanwhile, apparently drawing inspiration from Nigeria’s failure to appear in the last Nations Cup finals in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea, Liberia Football Association (LFA) President, Musa Biliti, has said that the Super Eagles can be beaten by the Lone Star on September 8. Biliti, who spoke yesterday on a radio programme monitored in Lagos, said the Eagles’ reign in Africa had waned in recent years, saying it was indicative of football evolvement on the continent. “What we know for sure is that the Nigerian team is in the rebuilding process and this fact is glaring,” Biliti declared. “We are also in the same process but who wins on the day will be determined by who gets the acts right. But I can assure you that Nigeria cannot come to ride over us in Monrovia easily as we have a history of victory supporting our resolve,” the FA boss further said, describing Nigeria’s 2-1 victory over Lone Star in a friendly in February as “none issue.” Biliti expressed worry that the Nigeria Football Federation was yet to respond to the LFA’s several correspondences on the coming match.

‘Eaglets wary of Niger U-17 team’

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olden Eaglets’ Coach, Manu Garba, yesterday admitted that Niger, their opponents in the 2013 African U-17 qualifiers, would pose a challenge to the team’s quest for glory. Garba said in Calabar that his fears were heightened with Niger’s national U-17 team’s victory against Zambia at the justended Airtel Rising Stars Africa Championships held last weekend in Nairobi, Kenya. The Eaglets are currently camped in Calabar, ahead of the qualifiers with their Nigerien counterparts on September 9 in Niamey. “Although Niger defeated Zambia via penalty shootout after a pulsating goalless draw in extra time, the victory is an indication of how good they are. Consequently, the

Eaglets would have to be mentally strong to dislodge them. “The Nigerien Under-17 team must be very good to have won the tournament in Kenya and we must respect them when we meet. Of course, we respect all our opponents and we would be ready to play against them,” Garba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Meanwhile, Golden Eaglets’ Chidera Ezeh last weekend led River Lane FC to win the maiden edition of the Enugu North Under-17 Championship, with a 5-0 thrashing of Dynamos FC. The former Under-15 star striker, who was released to feature for his local team, said he was so glad to captain the team to win yet another trophy.

Mikel dreams Euro Super Cup

N

igeria’s Mikel Obi said he hopes to emulate compatriot Celestine Babayaro by helping Chelsea win the UEFA Super Cup on Friday. In 1998, Chelsea parading Nigeria international defender, Babayaro, beat Real Madrid 1-0 to win their first-ever Super Cup. And Mikel has now told MTNFootball.com that he hopes he could repeat that feat as ‘The Blues’ battle another Spanish club, Atletico Madrid, for the prestigious trophy. Mikel was part of history last season as Chelsea won their firstever UEFA Champions League trophy and he has now said he wishes to add to that piece of silverware

inside the Stade Louis II in Monaco. “The game will be interesting and tough. Atletico Madrid are Europa League champions, that says a lot about them. They won this same trophy last season and will want to retain it,” Mikel told MTNFootball. com “But I am looking forward to a good game and victory against them. It would be great for me to win this cup, my first and Chelsea’s second.” Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, will be aiming to lift this cup for the second time. Juventus, Anderlecht and Valencia are the teams who have won the trophy twice in history.


28

Sport

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Hockey: Union Bank, Niger draw IEI game

Drogba, Anelka face salary problem

F

AFOLABI GAMBARI

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he International Energy Insurance (IEI) National Premier Hockey League entered its fourth day yesterday with one of the toughest pairings of the tournament at the Abuja Hockey pitch. Lagos club, Union Bank and 2010 winner Niger Flickers squared up in a thrilling match that ended in a draw but drew capacity crowd at the venue. Union Bank came into the match unbeaten having defeated Plateau Tigers 2-0 in the opening match on Saturday while picking a goalless draw with Ondo Flickers. With four points in the kitty for the bankers before the match, a dream win occupied their minds to push them into the semi final from the Men’s group B, which also has Plateau Tigers, Police Machine, Ondo Flickers and arch rival Niger Flickers who also went into the game with four points after drawing Police machine 1-1 and beating Plateau Tigers, who appear to be the whipping team of the group. The match however ended 1-1 and both teams are favoured to pick the two tickets in the group. In the Women’s event, defending champions Bayelsa Queens are also looking good to make it beyond the preliminaries. Nine male teams and eight female teams grouped in two are participating in the tournament, where the two top teams would move into the semi-finals after the round robin. Winners and runners-up in both categories would represent the country at the Africa Club Championship in November. Heartland Flickers, who have won the Club Championship back to back from 2010, would contend with Bayelsa Queens who are defending their title.

Today’s matches Union Bank

vs

Police Machine

Niger Flickers

vs

Ondo Flickers

4th position A

vs

4th position B

3rd position A

vs

3rd position B

Chika Chukwumerije

Chukwumerije makes quit U-turn A FOLABI GAMBARI

A

bout two weeks after reports claimed that Nigeria’s taekwondoist, Chika Chukwumerije, had considered London 2012 Olympics as his last for flying country’s flag, the athlete said yesterday that he would consider competing again. Chukwumerije, who spoke in Lagos, said his physical and mental state would however determine his representation of Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympics. “I am a determined person but suffices it that I get the hurt from losing the medal at the London Games out of mind first before making further comments on my availability,” he said, adding, “I think I will need up to two or three months to make up my mind.” The Beijing Olympics bronze medalist described his London performance as an unlucky situation, saying he was satisfied with his preparation for the event. “In sports, it is like that-one person must win while another must lose and I have taken it that way, even though it is painful.” Meanwhile, Chukwumerije, who was

Why Lobi lost to Heartland – Uwua

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ormer Flying Eagles’ coach, Godwin Koko Uwua, has explained why Lobi Stars of Makurdi failed to win the Federation Cup on Sunday in Lagos. Uwua, who guided Lobi to its only Federation Cup title in 2003, said Heartland coach Ndubuisi Nduka, had capitalized on the technical deficiency of the Makurdi team to retain the trophy for the Imo State representatives. According to Uwua, the Stars could have won the game after going ahead if the team had a competent coach in charge.

“As a Benue indigene, I’m not happy that Lobi lost the trophy after playing so well in the first half and scoring first,” the club’s former gaffer said yesterday in Lagos. “They deserved to win the game but unfortunately the technical crew was deficient and it showed in the manner that the Heartland bench exploited the weakness,” he added. Uwua, however, commended the Makurdi side for making it to the final of the 63rd edition of Nigeria’s topmost domestic competiUwua tion.

Team Nigeria captain in London, has denied a Sports Ministry’s order banning the athletes from talking to the media. “It’s not true as far as I am concerned. We are all adults and I think we should be free to express our minds with lawful limits,” he submitted. According to him, the development of budding taekwondoists will engage in the next months. “I intend to use my foundation to discover talents across the country and we can now see what follows next. I think this is legacy I hope to bequeath.”

Indigenes laud Heartland’s feat

I

mo State indigenes residing in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State yesterday rejoiced with Heartland FC of Owerri, on the team’s 2-1 victory over the Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi on Sunday to retain the Federation Cup. Heartland won the competition for the third time, having won it earlier in 1988 as the then Iwuanyanwu Nationale FC and will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup, next season. The indigenes, in interviews with NAN, remarked that the feat had placed Heartland among the leading clubs in the country. Former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Ebonyi, Chief Victor Anyanwu, said the success showed that local coaches could match their foreign counterparts in the right atmosphere. “Coach Ndubuisi Nduka met a club in crisis, but deployed his technical and managerial acumen to salvage the situation,” Anyanwu said. A businessman and sports promoter, Chief Okechukwu Onuoha, said with the right atmosphere, players could be motivated to give their best to their clubs. A civil servant, Mrs. Philomena Chilaka, however urged relevant stakeholders not to politicise Heartland’s victory, but should ensure that the club was re-modelled of the team to enhance its performance on the international scene next season.

ormer Chelsea strikers, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, could be sold by China’s Shanghai Shenhua due to an escalating equity stake row among shareholders, local media have reported. The futures of Drogba and Anelka could be in the balance if Shenhua fail to make their salary payments. Both reportedly earn over $300 000 a week. Chairman Zhu Jun, who holds a 28.5 percent stake, would only pay his share of the club’s daily costs if his demands for greater control were met, according to the China Daily. Zhu currently controls the Chinese Super League club along with five state-owned enterprises after becoming a shareholder in 2007. The agreement was that if he invested $23.6 million over two years, his stake would increase to more than 70 percent, the newspaper reported. The Oriental Sports Daily reported that Zhu had ploughed more than $94 million into the club in the past five-and-a-half years, while the state-owned companies had spent nothing. The transfer of shares stalled in 2009 and again last year, a source told the Oriental. “It is annoying and has had a bad effect on many of our tasks. The biggest problem is that the operation and financing work of the club cannot be carried out normally,” a club official said, adding, “The equity stakes issue has become the biggest bottleneck for the development of Shenhua.” If unresolved, Zhu, who has been signing all the cheques, could decide to cough up just 28.5 percent of the club’s expenditure, potentially affecting player salaries. Colombian Giovanni Moreno missed the match against Shandong Luneng last weekend amid speculation Shenhua had fallen short on his transfer fee with Argentina’s Racing Club. Despite investing heavily in big-name foreign players, Shenhua sits 10th in the 16-team Chinese Super League on 27 points from 23 matches. Leaders Guangzhou Evergrande are on 47 points.

Drogba


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nigeria Premier Nig League

29

Cricket

with

IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Israeli side dumps League hotshot

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PL leading scorer Sibi Gwar will after all not be given a contract by Israeli club Bnei Yehuda as he failed to impress while on trials. Coach Dror Kashtan has therefore released the Niger Tornadoes striker and Bnei Yehuda will continue to shop for players to strengthen their attack after the departure of Dino Ndlovu to Maccabi Haifa. MTNFootball.com learnt that Gwar, who has netted 16 goals in NPL before he left for the trials, passed medical at the Israeli club and was looking forward to pen a deal but did not impress the coaches during a trial match.

Agbaji eyes league title with Lobi Stars

“It is true, Yehuda said they are not satisfied with his output but this is a surprise to me and Sibi himself considering his ability. He is now expected back in Nigeria,” a source close to Sibi Graw said. The former Kwara United and Enyimba star, who was recently capped by the Super Eagles, also has offers from Turkey and Singapore. Disappointed Gwar is expected to return to Minna on time to star in Niger Tornadoes’ final league game against Jigawa Golden Stars. The former Enyimba striker will be looking forward to scoring in the encounter to consolidate his position as the league top scorer.

L

Brendan Ogbu

Ogbu waiting for Tom Tom money, MVP medal

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eartland striker Brendan Ogbu is yet to receive his Tom Tom MVP prize money of N250 000 and the MVP medal and prize money of N300 000 sponsored by the Lagos State governors, organisers of the Federation Cup final, National Mirror can exclusively report.

Gwar

NPL League standing Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

1

Lobi Stars

37

21

3

13

45

27

18

66

2

Enugu Rangers

37

18

7

12

47

27

20

61

3

Kano Pillars

35

16

10

9

44

25

19

58

4

Sunshine Stars

39

16

8

15

46

40

6

56

5

Enyimba

37

16

7

14

38

30

8

55

6

3SC

37

16

7

14

34

33

1

55

7

Akwa United

37

16

6

15

33

32

1

54

8

Warri Wolves

36

14

10

12

34

29

5

52

9

Heartland

37

14

10

13

32

31

1

52

10

Sharks

36

16

4

16

43

45

-2

52

11

Dolphins

37

15

6

16

39

40

-1

51

12

Gombe United

37

15

6

16

43

48

-5

51

13

Wikki Tourists

36

16

3

17

35

45

-10

51

14

Jigawa Golden Stars

37

15

6

16

31

44

-13

51

15

Kwara United

38

15

5

18

34

41

-7

50

16

ABS FC

37

14

7

16

45

42

3

49

17

Niger Tornadoes

37

14

6

17

39

43

-4

48

18

Kaduna United

34

14

4

16

34

40

-6

46

19

Rising Stars

36

10

10

16

24

35

-11

40

20

Ocean Boys

33

7

9

17

20

43

-23

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Ogbu was decorated with a medal for winning the MVP award sponsored by the organisers but was dramatically asked to release the medal because the medals were not enough to decorate the third-place winners, Prime FC. The former Rangers striker was told his MVP medal would be returned to him later but as at press time, the only medal in his personal cabinet was the Federation Cup winners’ medal. Close sources revealed the confectionary giant, Cadbury was yet to communicate the striker who only joined the Naze Millionaires this season. Ogbu, who did not return to Owerri with the team due to his trip to South Africa this week for trial at Supersport United, has also yet to be presented with his cheque of N300 000 from the organisers for emerging the MVP Meanwhile, the for-

mer UNTH FC hit man has expressed delight in winning the Federation Cup title as well as the individual awards as Heartland beat Lobi Stars 2-1 on Sunday to retain the Federation Cup. The former Rangers hit man headed in the winner in the last minute to send the travelling Naze Millionaires’ fans into wild celebration. Ogbu, who was making his first Federation Cup appearance, said he was yet to get over the excitement of heading his club into retaining the title they won last year, in his very first appearance in the Federation Cup final. “I have received calls from all over the world for this great feat for me. You can imagine how elated I have been since Sunday,” Ogbu said. “Clubs abroad have also made enquiries and I feel honoured for this. I’m happy that things have turned out this way for me and I can’t stop thanking God.”

obi Stars’ defender, Anthony Agbaji has said his side’s quest for silverware has shifted to the league. Lobi are second on the log on 63 points, one point adrift of leaders, Kano Pillars, who play away to Sunshine Stars in the last game. The Makurdi-based side’s Cup title ambition was halted by Heartland in the final on Sunday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Agbaji said the Cup losing finalists will return to base and work out a plot that will see them edge Kaduna United in the season’s last game on September 7. “We have to win the league title after a dashed hope at the Federation Cup. “We have to put the loss behind us right away, sit back and go to the drawing board and fashion out plan to beat Kaduna United. “Lobi play better football at away, I’m sure we’ll get the maximum points in Kaduna. “With God on our side, definitely, Lobi will be crowned champions 2011/2012 NPL season,” he told supersport.com. Agbaji said Heartland shocked them with their five-star performance in the Cup final. “I feel bad but I give God the glory for taking us this far, I hope next year will be a good turn out for Lobi. “I was not expecting too much from Heartland but they came out very well. They’re a good side, I think the better side won,” he said. Lobi lost 1-2 to Heartland in the Federation Cup final in Lagos.

Matthias eyes Euro return

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igerian-born Togo international, Emmanuel Matthias, has told National Mirror he would be returning to Europe any time the right offer comes. The Benue State native signed for Heartland after his contract at Israeli club, Hapoel Petach Tikva and would go on to play a part in Heartland’s Federation Cup triumph on Sunday. The Togo international was introduced in the second half as Heartland searched and grabbed a vital 2-1 win over Lobi Stars on Sunday. He said it was a great achievement for him winning the Federation Cup in the short spell at Heartland and reckoned it was time to move on with his mission. “I have received offers from clubs in Africa but I wouldn’t want to play in Africa anymore,” the dreadlocked defender declared. “I would also not want to return to Hapoel Petach Tikva because they were relegated at the end of last season. I wouldn’t want to play second division football. “My manager is working out something for me in Europe and I will move at the right time.”


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Sport

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

LONDON 2012 PARALYMPICS…

Team Nigeria on redemption mission Against the backdrop of Nigeria’s disastrous outing at the London 2012 Olympics, YEMI OLUS, writes on the chances of the country’s physically-challenged athletes to put smiles back on many gloomy faces as the Paralympic Games open.

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he burden of overturning Nigeria’s dismal outing at the Olympics has been placed on the physically challenged athletes as the 2012 Paralympics takes centre stage in London with the opening ceremony scheduled to take place at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford later today. Team Nigeria, made up of 36 athletes, is set to show that there is ability in disability even as members of the contingent hope to put up a better show than their colleagues who competed in the main Olympics but won no medal. Team Nigeria will only compete in four out of the 21 events taking place in various sporting centres between today and September 9. Sixteen special athletes will feature in power lifting, table tennis (3), athletics (15) and wheelchair tennis (2). The powerlifting team is made up of eight male and eight female and the female athletes include Adaure Obiji (82kg) Ivory Nwokorie (44kg), Esther Oyema (48kg), Lucy Ejike (52kg), Alice Olufemi (75kg), Grace Anozie (82.5kg), Joy Onaolapo (52kg) and Joy Orumezie. Their male colleagues are Bambo Jegede (80kg), Owolabi Taiwo (67.5kg), Chinonso Nnajiofor (60kg), Christian Obichukwu (52kg), Yakubu Adesokan (48kg), Anthony Ulonnam (56kg, Abdulazeez Ibrahim (90kg) and Aligekwe Obioma (100+kg). Five of the lifters, including Adesokan, who set a new world record at the power lifting Paralympics qualifiers held in Dubai in March, are world leaders in their event. Adesokan lifted 177kg in the 48kg weight category to erase former record of 175kg. Four others are ranked second globally while two of them are the third best in the world rankings. This result portends a good omen for the team as powerlifting is regarded as the major event that consistently hauls medals for the country. Head Coach of the Powerlifting Federation, Feyisetan, is optimistic that his athletes will continue the trend in London. “I am not saying we are winning certain number of medals, but I am optimistic that we shall pick some medals and improve on our ratings in the world.” Veteran athlete, Lucy Ejike, will be making her fourth appearance at the Paralympics having competed in the 44kg category at the Sydney 2000 Games, where she won a silver medal. She improved on that performance in Athens four years later in 2004 where she smashed the world record twice on the way to winning the 44kg class gold medal with a lift of 127.5kg before moving a notch higher in Beijing where she broke the world record by 7kg on her first attempt, eventually setting another record of 130kg to win her second gold medal. Another athlete to watch out for is Njideka Iyiazi who took the women’s shot put title

Njideka Iyiazi competing in the women’s discus at the 2008 Olympics

Lucy Ejike competing at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics

Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike celebrating her gold medal in Beijing

with a World Record of 10.96m four years ago. Iyiazi and 13 other athletes will compete in various Track and Field events. Her colleagues are Chibuike Orihe (400m), Suwaibidu Galadima (100m, 200m), Johnwill Frank (100m), Saidi Adedeji (100m, 200m), Yunusa Bashiru (200m, 400m), Silver Ezeikpe (javelin, shot put, discus), Samuel Sodamola (shot put, discus) and Abdullahi Ayuba (100m, 200m). Other members of the athletics team are Patricia Nnaji (400m, shot put), Chituru Nwaozuzu (discus, shot put), Olubukola Adebayo (javelin, shot put), Monsuru Adebajo (long jump), Unyime Uwak (100m, 200m) and Olusegun Rotawo (100m, 200m). Only Egbinola Oluade (Men’s Class 3), Adisa Tunde (Men’s Class 9) and Alabi Olufemi (Men’s Class 10) three players will take part in the para-table tennis event. The duo of Wasiu Yusuf and Alex Adewale, who secured their spot for the Paralympics after winning the wheelchair Tennis Paralympics qualifiers in Nairobi, Kenya earlier this year, will be the flag bearers in the wheelchair tennis event. The team also made a debut in the Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup holding from May 21-27 in Seoul, South Korea as part of preparations for these Games while other members of the Nigerian contingent were camped in South Korea for a few weeks. It is pertinent to state that the physically challenged athletes have always secured more medals than their able bodied colleagues. Yet, little mention is made about their impressive performance over the years. At the Sydney Games in 2000, the Paralympics team won seven gold, one sil-

Ruel-Ishaku performing at the Beijing Paralympics

TEAM NIGERIA WILL ONLY COMPETE IN FOUR OUT OF THE 21 EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN VARI-

OUS SPORTING CENTRES BETWEEN TODAY AND

SEPTEMBER 9

ver and five bronze medals as against the one gold and two silver medals won at the Olympics that same year. In 2004 it was almost the same story as the Paralympics team won five gold, four silver and three bronze medals to finish in 28th place overall. Nigeria won a paltry two bronze medals at the Olympics in Athens, but took the tally to a silver and three bronze medals in Beijing four years later. However their colleagues

who featured at the Paralympics won four gold, four silver and a bronze medal. National wheelchair tennis coach, Francis Tarmena, has decried a situation where physically challenged athletes are given less recognition after uplifting the country’s image, calling the situation double standard. “I was on a team that made Nigeria proud four years ago in Beijing. The able-bodied athletes got only one silver and three bronze medals but the special athletes won four gold, four silver and a bronze medal that redeemed our image,” Tarmena said last week. “This development is discouraging to other physically challenged persons who want to compete for Nigeria,” she added. Members of the Team Nigeria, who arrived in the Games Village in London on August 21, will commence competition tomorrow as Oluade plays in the preliminary round of the men’s Class 3 in table tennis.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance ‘Power sector paradigm shift will spur industrial growth’ Commissioner for Information, Delta State, Chike Ogeah

We shall soon commence the registration of importers of cables into the country in order to develop data base of stakeholders DIRECTOR GENERAL OF STANDARD ORGANISATION OF NIGERIA, JOSEPH ODUMODU

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Export Expansion Grant not under threat – Aganga OLUFEMI ADEOSUN

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he Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has said that the Export Expansion Grant is not under threat of being discontinued by the Federal Government. He said that the government was committed to strengthening the processes and procedures involved in the implementation of the EEG in order to make it more beneficial to exporters as well as government. The minister spoke during a-two day facility visit and assessment of industries in Kano. The Export Expansion Grant is an initiative of the Federal Government, aimed at encouraging exporters of non-oil products, including agro-commodities as part of efforts to cushion the effects of infrastructural deficiencies, reduce overall

unit cost of production and increase the competitiveness of Nigerian products in the international market. The grant usually ranges from 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the Freight On Board value of the products being exported and confirmation that the export pro-

ceeds have been repatriated. Aganga noted that the Ministry of Trade and Investment was putting structures in place to ensure that the EEG was insulated from being abused in the future. He said, “The EEG is not under any threat.

The Federal Government has no intention of terminating the EEG. Instead, what we are trying to do is to strengthen the processes and procedures involved in the implementation of the EEG to ensure that it becomes most beneficial to both the exporters and the government.

“We are putting structures in place to make sure that the EEG is not abused in the future.” The minister disclosed that as part of its Industrial Revolution Plan, the Ministry of Trade and Investment would partner the Kano State Government on boosting capacity utilisation of industries in Kano State, especially in the textile, leather, agribusiness and food processing sectors where the state had comparative and competitive advantage.

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LAGOS: 01-8446073, 08094331171, 08023133084, 08034019884 ABUJA: 08033020395, 08036321014

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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 General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Peter Igho; Media Specialist, Nigeria Communications Commission, Mrs. Yetunde Akiloye and Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck, at the Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual General Conference in Abuja, yesterday.

16 fuel-laden ships waiting to berth at Lagos ports

ixteen ships carrying petroleum products are waiting to berth at oil terminals in Lagos Ports, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has reported. The “Shipping Posi-

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

tion”, a document of the NPA, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos, showed that 12 of the ships were carrying petrol. According to the document, three are laden with aviation fuel, while one has diesel. NAN reports that the tankers will discharge

their products at New Oil Jetty, Atlas Cove Jetty, Bulk Oil Plant, Single Buoy Mooring and Ibafon. The document also indicated that four other vessels carrying rice were waiting to discharge their contents, while two laden with fish were also waiting to berth. It showed that three other vessels were carry-

S/African investors, NNPC partner for infrastructure rehabilitation

32

ing bulk wheat, fertiliser and soda ash. The document also showed that 29 vessels laden with containers were expected at various terminals in the ports from August 27 to September 29. According to the document, seven ships containing diesel are also expected at the ports as well

as five others laden with petrol. The NPA document indicated that four ships were coming in with Kerosene, while three others were laden with old and new vehicles. NAN reports that 20 other ships are also expected at the ports with fish, rice, bulk wheat and general cargo.

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

234.6271

USD

155.84

CHF

159.2642

SDR

235.0535

CFA

0.2924

GBP

244.1701

EURO

191.3715

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$123.39

-0.78

NYMEX

$108.45

-0.11

OPEC BASKET

$122.86

+1.16

NATURAL GAS

$2.83

-0.03

Osun State plans N30bn bond issue to upgrade infrastructure

Marketers square up for massive petroleum products import

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Business Finance

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S/African investors, NNPC partner for infrastructure rehabilitation JOHN UWE ABUJA

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business delegation from South Africa has expressed its readiness to collaborate with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to bring on board cutting edge technology to help rehabilitate the oil and gas pipelines in the country. This followed the visit by the South African High Commissioner, Kingsley Mamabolo last week seeking for economic ties with the NNPC in the oil and gas sector. Speaking on Monday during a working visit to the NNPC Towers, Abuja, the leader of the business delegation, Mr. Stephan Mcburger said the vis- L-R: Representative of the wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Arinola Sodipo; Managing Director, Nestle Nigeria, Mr. it was to explore the abundant Martin Woolnough and representative of the Minister of Health, Mr. George Obumneme, during the official presentaPHOTO: OLUpotentials in the Nigerian pe- tion of enriched Golden Morn in Lagos, yesterday. troleum sector by the various business investors from South in the country,” Mcburger reEarlier, the Group Managing the economy stressing that the vealed. Africa. Director of the Corporation, draft Petroleum Industry Bill According to him, the vari“We are here to introduce Mr. Andrew Yakubu stated that forwarded to the National Ascutting edge technology that ous business investors from NNPC is ready to collaborate sembly by the Federal Governwill help in rehabilitating the South Africa will also help in with investors willing to de- ment for consideration and pasNNPC oil and gas pipelines training Nigerians on the job sage into law would create the velop the oil and gas sector of that cut across the country and that will help in sustaining this will also create job oppor- their numerous investments in tunities for the army of youths Nigeria. that cocoa farmers should be MESHACK IDEHEN allowed to recommend the type of chemicals to be procured for them, and that the chemicals he President of Cocoa should be distributed according to the size of each farmer’s coFarmers Association of alongside the interest of NUNigeria (CFAN), Alhaji coa plantation. MESHACK IDEHEN PENG members who had not Raheem Adeniji has said the asAccording to him, the Fedbeen paid salaries for over sociation is urging the Federal eral Government should direct five months. Government to urgently review the Federal Ministry of AgriNUPENG said the ministhe procedures currently being culture and Rural Development he Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natu- ter’s refusal to say anything used in the procurement and to listen to the farmer’s views ral Gas Workers (NU- on the non-functional refin- distribution of agro-chemicals and opinion in the interest of the country’s cocoa economy. PENG) said the union or its eries, bad roads, SPDC ma- to cocoa farmers. Explaining what the assoAdeniji said cocoa farmers members cannot and will not nipulation of oil workers work or take actions against pension funds and Chevron’s in the country ought to be con- ciation’s grouse with the agro unfair labour practices was sulted if formulas introduced chemical procedure, the CFAN the interest of Nigerians. NUPENG also said the surprising, considering that by the government are to be president described the procedure as unscientific and devoid union is condemning certain she mentioned subsidy pay- hitch-free. In a statement that was made of proper consultation with the comments credited to the ments only as the union’s deavailable to journalists on Tues- most important stakeholders Minister of Finance, Mrs. mands. However, the union said day after the conclusion of which are the cocoa farmers. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that He said, “We have written to NUPENG is anti-Nigerians it commend the “maturity” CFAN summit, he said further because of its last strike over displayed by the Secretary to unpaid subsidy claims and the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius other issues. KUNLE A ZEEZ A statement made available Anyim, “who painstakingly ing the NCC on a framework to to National Mirror on Tues- looked at the issues involved control the emerging menace. day by the NUPENG General and proffered solutions and Citing instances of such spuSecretary, Mr. Isaac Aberare, an amicable settlement which rious SMS being circulated, he National Association of said the union is stating cat- led to the suspension of the Telecommunications Sub- Ogunbanjo said: “In the month egorically that the minister’s strike, and agreed that our scribers has urged the Ni- of July and August, 2012, some comment is “selfish, deceit- members owed five months gerian Communications Commis- subscribers sent SMS warnful, not in good faith and will salary should be paid. sion to put a framework inplace ing people not to use finger“NUPENG will be the last only succeed in heating up to check the rising wave of Short nails to scratch off the coating organisation to collaborate the polity”. Messages Services, SMS being on scratch tickets because the Aberare said the minister’s with the wrong people, as we distributed by mobile phone users coating contains a substance reaction was done in haste, have often stated that those to send false health warnings in called “Silver nitro oxide” that and that she did not really involved in the subsidy can cause skin cancer.” the country. take time to look at the de- scam should be prosecuted. Also, some subscribers, he said, The President of NATCOMS, mands of the union which We have never held the naChief Deolu Ogunbanjo, in a state- sent SMS warning people about the NUPENG scribe said tran- tion to ransom on behalf of ment yesterday, said the trend was cosmic rays from Planet Mars into scends the payment of sub- siding the wrong people; as becoming worrisome, creating a our Planet Earth and that people sidy claims to marketers who our past speak for itself ”, he serious concern to the telecom- should switch off their phones in passed the verification tests, added. munications industry, while task- order not to be affected.

enabling environment for investors and bolster investment in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria. Represented by the Group Executive Director Corporate Services, Dr. Peter S. Nmadu, the GMD averred that the PIB when passed into law would provide a veritable platform for investors from different parts of the globe to invest in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry in the country. “Certainly at a time like this when critics are expressing uncertainties about the Petroleum Industry Bill, what we are witnessing today is a endorsement of the Nigeria Oil Industry. We have a huge delegation of investors from South Africa to discuss with NNPC on potentials of investment in the oil and gas sector. I think this is a positive development because it is a clear testimony to the fact that the PIB is not an impediment to investors as is being touted but a real catalyst for investors,” the GMD said.

Cocoa farmers want review of chemicals procurement procedure

We are not anti-Nigerians, says NUPENG

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the ministry in charge urging it to follow the request of the farmers, but it has continued to ignore our demands. We also rejected the type of agro-chemicals procured for us by the government. “How do we explain the inclusion of three different brands of agro-chemicals of the same potency in a single box, purportedly meant for the same usage for cocoa trees? Are they saying different brands of agro-chemicals should be sprayed simultaneously or be sprayed differently on the same farm.’’ While reacting to the farmers complaints, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture on Media, Dr. Kayode Oyeleye, said the complaints of the farmers will be addressed.

NATCOMS seeks framework to check bogus SMS

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He, however, said the information in the warning messages had been confirmed untrue by NATCOMS. According to him, “The coating on scratch tickets is made of specialized latex inks. There are no credible references to a compound called Sslver nitro oxide. “There are no credible medical or scientific reports that suggest that scratch ticket coating has been linked to skin cancer. There are no credible references to an organization known as the “Medical Research Authority of the United States. The warning is a hoax and should not be forwarded.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Osun State plans N30bn bond Ernest Ndukwe joins RIA board issue to upgrade infrastructure R ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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s the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola rose from the just concluded Nigerian Diaspora Investment Summit, where plans to boost agriculture was a major mission, indications has emerged that the cocoa-producing state of Osun is to issue a N30bn 7-year bond this year to help fund infrastructure projects. Osun state is said to be in a dire need of upgrading its roads, schools and hospitals to open the windows of opportunities for potential Diaspora investor. According to report, the state was expecting final approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Fi-

nance Ministry before launching the issue which would be priced to yield 14.5 per cent yield. Although no time frame was given, National Mirror gathered. Governor Aregbesola had unveiled a massive plan by its administration to boost the state agriculture through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and partnership with Nigerians in the Diaspora. Aregbesola, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori, at the Nigerian Diaspora Trade and Investment Summit held at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding in Osun, Osogbo had said his government has already embarked on strategic intervention by revamping the old farm settlements that were key elements of the success

recorded in agriculture in the old Western Region. Part of the plan was to increase output of cash crops such as cocoa, yam, maize, cassava, millet, plantain and rice with much revenue to be allotted to Cocoa and palm produce which are main cash crops. “At current production levels, Osun is second only to Ondo State in cocoa production,” Aregbesola said. The Head of Delegation, Mr. Collins Nweke at the summit also noted that the government needs its Diaspora in the fourday trade mission which covers health, equity, women empowerment, specifically human capital development, housing, environmental and waste management, as well as agriculture to support the economic growth of the state.

L-R: Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Bank Limited, Mallam Ahmed Kuru; Executive Director, Mrs. Louisa Olaloku; Chairman, Geolly Farms, Sir George Efughinamba Akomas and Board Chairman, Enterprise Bank, Mr.Emeka Onwuka, at the bank’s Customer Forum in Onitsha, Anambra State recently.

Orient Refinery to be ready in 12 months, says MD

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he management of Orient Petroleum Resources Plc, has said that its refinery, which would be sited at Nsugbe-Umuleri in Anambra, would to be completed in the next 12 months. This is contained in a statement by the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Nnaemaka Nwakwa. It stated that the company was going to further strengthen the Nigerian oil sector and contribute positively to the nation’s economic activities. “The 3Dimension Seismic contractor is still working and following the interpretation of the data, OPR plans to drill some high capacity wells to guarantee the crude oil feed stock for the Orient Refinery. “The phase will facilitate the fast tracking and early completion of the refinery ex-

pected in the next 12 months. “OPR’s refining activities will contribute significantly to the supply of petroleum products for consumption in Nigeria, as well as export abroad, thereby conserving foreign reserves and boost Gross Domestic Product. “The company’s supply of natural gas from its OPL to the nearby factories will trigger industrial growth and provide economic empowerment for the people and create job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths in the country.” The refinery, which got its Environmental Impact Certificate (EIC) in 2005, would be fed from the two oil blocks, OPLs 915 and 916. The oil field covers an approximate area of 2,158 square kilometres, lying predomi-

nantly in Anambra but extending into Kogi, Edo and Delta and Enugu states. According to the statement, the company has been in constant contact with the state governments and community leaders in its area of operation, to ensure a harmonious relationship and eliminate negative social and environmental impacts. It said the exploration activities went beyond states and in cases where hydrocarbon deposit was between state boundaries, it was the function of the Federal Governments to determine ownership and benefit among the states. “ Petroleum is on the exclusive list of the Federal Government which grants licences for exploration, production, sales etc to suitably qualified companies like OPR.

esearch ICT Africa Networks (RIA) has appointed Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, Chairman of Open Media Communications Limited, as a member of its Board of Directors. The South Africa-based renowned ICT firm conducts research on ICT policy and regulation that facilitates evidence-based and informed policy making for improved access, use and application of ICT for social development and economic growth. It also conducts public-interest research on ICT policy and regulation that responds to national, regional and continental needs. In a statement by Alison Gill-

wald, Executive Director of Research ICT Africa and Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, Management of Infrastructure Reform and Regulation programme, RIA noted that “it is a privilege to welcome Dr Ernest Ndukwe, one of the fathers of African telecom regulation and former head of the Nigerian Communications Commission to assist us to carry on with our mission to develop research capacity and undertake research that facilitates informed policy making and regulation for improved access, use and application of ICT for social development and economic growth”.

NAMA challenges workers to show commitment OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, Engr. Nnamdi Udoh has challenged workers in the agency to remain focus and join hands together in order to achieve the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. He also urged the workers to stop accusation and petition writing against the government, saying that this would not move the country forward. Speaking yesterday at the Special General Meeting of the National Association of Aeronautical Engineers (NAAE) held at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Udoh noted that some disgruntled workers in the agency had been

writing petition against the management. He said that some of the petition writers are members of NAAE, maintaining that some of the petitions were fictitious, stressing that he is a bona fide member of the association. The NAMA boss added that surprisingly, since he became the managing director of the agency, staff that are not from his primary constituency; Air Traffic Controllers have been supporting in his projects. He called those writing petitions in the agency to drop the idea and urged them to join hands with others to ensure that the organisation attain greater heights in its duty of ensuring safer skies. According to him, “People writing petitions within the system do so due to lack of knowledge.’’

Mainstreet Bank workers protest unpaid salaries MESHACK IDEHEN

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ome disengaged workers of Mainstreet Bank Plc yesterday in Lagos, protested the non payment of their salaries and entitlements by the bank, with others accusing their labour union leaders of complicity and bias in the matter. This latest round of disagreement between Mainstreet Bank and some of the for mer workers of the bank is unfolding, even as the umbrella body of the ex-bankers, the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions E m p l oye e s, ( A S S I B I F I ) , s a i d it is totally in support of the for mer bankers protests against Mainstreet Bank.

The protesting ex-workers, most of who were sacked by Mainstreet Bank’s management on June 22 this year, also blocked the gates of the bank’s headquarters at Marina, while chanting solidarity songs and calling on the bank’s management to give them heed. Many of protesters also complained that most of them had worked for more than 30 years with the bank, only for the management to have their jobs ter minated without any cogent reason or welfare. The for mer bankers during the protest also said they are rejecting the N30, 000 benefits which the bank is offering to pay the workers each, describing it as an insult and not acceptable to them.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Energy Week

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

Petroleum tank farm

Marketers square up for massive petroleum products import For the past few weeks, supply of petroleum products was greatly threatened as a result of conflict between marketers and government agencies over payment of fuel subsidy. UDEME AKPAN reports that the firms have returned to business as a result of assurance that government will continue to honour its obligations.

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etroleum products occupy a prime place in Nigeria’s energy mix. For instance, the nation consumes about 32 litres of petrol daily. Incidentally, a bulk of the product and others, including diesel and kerosene are imported from the international market while the balance is processed from local refineries. Consequently, the nation shakes each time stakeholders; especially importers threaten to stop importation. For instance, a few days ago, oil marketers threatened to stop importation over alleged this nonpayment of subsidy. They explained that constrained them from embarking on importation of petroleum products. This sent fears down the spine of many consumers who feared that shortage was imminent in the nation. This was a bad news to consumers and others, including relevant government ministries and agencies. But the good news now is that the impending shortage has not only been averted but also that the marketers have embarked

on importation, importation targeted at boosting supply in different parts of the country. The Second National Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Mike Osatuyi who confirmed the resolution of the case and commitment of marketers to sustain importation said, “We have resolved to embark on importation because of the realisation that the government is committed to subsidy payment. In fact, evidence abound that it has been paying and will continue to pay the subsidy.”

He remarked that there were commercial stocks of the various petroleum products in the market. The survey of depots and retail outlet showed in Lagos and its environs indicated that marketers have stocks of products such as petrol, diesel and kerosene that could last for a few months. The feat was accomplished through the swift intervention of the Ministry of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who met with various interest groups, including marketers and labour in Abuja and Lagos. The minister’s spokesman, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu who confirmed the development stated that it aimed at ensuring that adequate supply of petroleum products are maintained in all parts of the nation. The minister who met with representatives of OANDO Plc, Sahara Energy, Folawiyo Petroleum and Nipco Plc explained that government was willing to listen to all marketers with genuine claims and attend to such as

WE HAVE RESOLVED TO EMBARK ON IMPORTATION BECAUSE OF THE REALISATION THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO

SUBSIDY PAYMENT. IN FACT, EVIDENCE ABOUND THAT IT HAS BEEN PAYING AND WILL CONTINUE TO PAY THE SUBSIDY

a way of forestalling any crisis that might be caused by some indicted marketers that have embarked on cheap blackmail of government in the downstream sub-sector of the petroleum industry. She said, “We are talking about the fact that they have outstanding claims which have not been paid and that is the basis of the dialogue and as I have said to you earlier, yes, they have outstanding claims, we also have claims outstanding against them and that is what the dialogue is all about. So, we will dialogue with each other on these claims and hopefully at the end of this, we will be able to come to some agreement about the net claims that will be paid and then we will be able to move on. We are very willing to listen if there are genuine people that want to talk with government.” The Chairman of the Presidential committee on the Review of the Fuel Subsidy Payments, Mr. Aigboje AigImokhuede, stated that the findings of the Committee indicated that recommendations in the report as they affected the four marketers were not of any degree of severity in the fuel subsidy payments and expressed the hope that if the issues of their claims are resolved, it would significantly impact on the volume of products in the market. Commenting on the development, CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


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Energy Week

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Marketers square up for massive petroleum products import

Olorunishola

Mark

Yakubu

THE NATION IS A BIG OIL PRODUCER IN AFRICA

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 the National President of the Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria (OGSPAN), Mr. Colman Obasi remarked that it is wrong for the nation to over depend on imported petroleum products. He stated that, “The nation is a big oil producer in Africa and the world who should use the proceeds of many years of petroleum operations to stimulate developments in downstream sector and other sectors of the economy.” He remarked that the government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), owns an average of 57 per cent equity in the various joint ventures with the mul-

AND THE WORLD WHO SHOULD USE THE PROCEEDS OF MANY YEARS OF PETROLEUM OPERATIONS TO STIMULATE DEVELOPMENTS IN DOWNSTREAM SECTOR AND OTHER SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY tinationals such as Shell Petroleum Development, Mobil and Total among others. Obasi stated that this and other sources enabled it to generate substantial foreign exchange for the funding of activities in other sectors of the economy. Incidentally, the national president

noted that not much has been done to boost investment in the downstream sector, involving refining and marketing of petroleum products in the nation. He remarked that, “The nation has not also done enough to maintain existing facilities. This partly explains why the nation cannot do without massive

Refiners slash September West African crude imports by 9.4%

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efiners of petroleum products in Asia have slashed the imports of West African crude in September by 9.4 percent from August to near the lowest level this year, a survey of six traders and an analysis of loading plans have shown. Refiners bought 51 cargoes totaling 1.6 million barrels a day from Angola, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Chad and Gabon, the survey showed. This is less than the 59 shipments amounting to 1.76 million barrels a day planned for this month, and close to the year-low of 1.41 million barrels in July. Exports from Angola fell below one million for the first time in 2012. Buyers in Asia can opt between Middle Eastern crudes or Atlantic Basin grades, and their choice normally depends on the value of the lighter, sweet blends from the North Sea and West AfCountries

rica versus heavier, sour grades from Saudi Arabia and Iran. Lighter crude yields more lucrative products such as diesel and gasoline. Sweet grades contain less sulfur than sour. The value of the two is measured by the prices of benchmarks Dated Brent and Dubai crudes. The Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps averaged $3.45 a barrel in July, compared with $2.47 in June, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd. The spread rose to $5.23 on August 13, the highest since November 8. Traders make less profit from shipping crudes from Europe or West Africa to Asia when the spread between the two contracts widens. A source said, “Maintenance in the North Sea has led to European refiners buying additional barrels of West African crude to make up for lower North Sea output,” which reduced availability

Number of Cargoes

Total Volume

September

August

September

August

China

31

34

973,917

1,044,677

India

14

17

432,500

491,774

Taiwan

4

5

126,667

153,226

Indonesia

2

2

65,000

61,290

Japan

0

1

0

12,903

Source: Bloomberg

to Asian buyers. Refiners in China bought 31 cargoes, three less than August, the survey showed. China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Unipec, cut its purchases by four lots to 21. India will also reduce imports to 14 consignments in September, three less than this month, the survey showed. Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, bought nine shipments, including four lots of Nigerian benchmark Qua Iboe blend, according to the survey. This compares with seven cargoes for August. Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), which owns the world’s largest refining complex, will reduce its imports to two consignments from eight in August, the survey showed. Taiwan’s state-owned CPC Corp. purchased four shipments of Angolan crude, one less than this month, the survey showed. Nigeria will export 2.14 million barrels a day of crude next month, while Angola will ship 1.63 million barrels, Bloomberg calculations based on loading programs showed. Qua Iboe was at $1.54 a barrel more than Dated Brent on Aug. 21, the highest since June 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The following tables show details of planned Asian imports. Most cargoes are for 950,000 to 1 million barrels. All the volumes

Stanley

fuel importation.’ A source in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources remarked that while government would continue to rehabilitate the refineries, it may not go into many new investments as the private investors have the direct responsibility to do so. He stated that the government would rather create a conducive enabling environment for private investors to invest in the sector and other sectors. However, plans are underway for the nation to become more self sufficient in products supply through the creation of a National Strategic stock. The government that proposed the creation in its new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) maintained that the institution shall administer and ensure compliance, distribution and storage of the national strategic stocks of petroleum products in accordance with regulations made by the Minister on the advice of an agency. The body is to determine the amount to be charged as a levy for the financing of the national strategic stock, which shall form part of the retail price of each petroleum product; and designate, in conjunction with the appropriate authorities and national security agencies, the strategic points across the country where the national strategic stocks shall be distributed and maintained. It stated that, “The agency shall monitor the prices of petroleum products applying in the domestic market to ensure that there is no pricing collusion or manipulation; and any activity of any operator in the downstream petroleum sector that, in the opinion of the agency, is likely to adversely affect the prices of petroleum products.” The agency is expected to inspect the metering of pumps and other facilities at retail outlets to ensure they conform to existing national standards. It is to inspect all facilities at retail outlets to ensure that the products conform to such quality standards as set by the agency and inspect any facility used in the storage and transportation of petroleum products in whatever quanCONTINUED ON PAGE 37


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Energy Week

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

37

OPEC basket price rises to $113.56 per barrel from the euro zone ahead of a Sept. 6 meeting of the European Central Bank. Fighting in Syria and tensions over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme have helped support oil prices this summer, although they are still below the August peak of $117.03 a barrel. Other supply concerns are also helping to support Brent prices. Delays in Iraq’s pipeline construction threaten to stall production at Royal Dutch Shell’s Majnoon oilfield for at least three months, forcing the field to miss a 2012 target of 175,000 barrels per day. In Norway, oil services workers broke off wage talks with oil companies on Friday, taking the sector a step closer to its second strike within two months. Norway’s vital oil sector was hamstrung last month when production workers held a 16-day strike over pay and the right to early retirement, driving up oil prices. U.S. gasoline prices also increased after a fire at Venezuela’s biggest refinery, the 645,000 barrels per day (bpd) Amuay plant. One factor that could cap gains on oil is possible oil reserve releases by Washington or the International Energy Agency. The IEA, whose chief recently dismissed the need for a release, is now thought to have agreed to the idea, the industry journal Petroleum Economist said, citing unnamed sources. Reuters reported that the White House was “dusting off ” old plans for a possible release on fears that rising oil prices could undermine the effect of sanctions on Iran.

UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he price of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of 12 crudes has risen from $112.20 to $113.56 per barrel, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). The current price showed $41 per barrel in excess of the 2012 budget reference price of $72 per barrel, meaning that the government will generate adequate funds to implement the budget. Market watchers said the prices of the various crude oil grades would likely remain high throughout a greater part of the year. Already, the prices of crude oil futures rose above $114 a barrel, this week lifted by worries that a Tropical Storm could suspend U.S. oil production and hints of another round of monetary stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Reuters confirmed that, “Supply cuts have already played a role in pushing prices up nearly 30 percent since June with international sanctions hitting Iranian exports and maintenance

Alison-Madueke

affecting North Sea oil flows. Brent crude futures were up $1.04 at $114.63 a barrel by 1022 GMT. U.S. crude was up $1.0 at $97.20.” It maintained that, ‘Central bankers and economists are due to meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week where Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver a speech that will be scoured for clues on a third round of quantitative easing.” He told a Congressional oversight panel in a letter that the Federal Reserve has room to deliver additional monetary stimulus to boost the U.S. economy. The markets will also look for policy signals

Marketers square up for massive petroleum products import CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 tity, whether used legally or otherwise. Consequently, the the PIB documented that, “A person shall not - obstruct or assault any officer of the agency or any person authorised by the agency in the exercise of the powers conferred on to the agency under this Act; refuse any officer of the agency access to any premises, facilities or retail outlets, or refuse to submit to a search of any premises, facilities or retail outlets by any authorised officer or agent of the agency refuse to acknowledge the receipt of any summons by the agency issued and duly delivered to any person; or fail to comply

with any lawful demand, notice, order or requirement of an officer or authorised person of the agency in the execution of the officer’s duties under this Act.” It stated that a person or company shall not - engage in refining, marketing, distributing or operating any petroleum or gas processing plant or transmitting facilities, terminal or premises without a valid licence; remove, destroy or damage any pipeline or other works or installations utilised for the purpose of supplying petroleum products. It also maintained that, “Any person who violates the provisions of Section 226 of this Act, commits an offence and is liable on

conviction to payment of a fine which shall be as prescribed by the minister in a regulation made pursuant to this Act.” These underscore the relevance of the Bill in the industry, meaning that there is a compelling need for legislators to expedite work on the PIB. Despite the non availability of the Act at the moment, government and other stakeholders should work to ensure that the supply of petroleum products is not disrupted now, and even during the end of the year when demand is expected to rise significantly as a result of Christmas and New Year celebrations. Source: Bloomberg

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

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

96.09 113.60 95.47

0.62 -0.17 -0.38

0.65% -0.15% -0.40%

07:14 07:26 08/27

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

312.88 313.48

1.70 -2.00

0.55% -0.63%

07:15 07:13

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

2.62 2.79 2.92

-0.04 0.00 0.08

-1.43% 0.00% 2.82%

07:14 08/27 08/27

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

24.59 38.81 32.63

-0.45 3.30 -2.00

-1.80% 9.29% -5.78%

08/27 08/27 08/20

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

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

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

Source: Oilprice.com

FG calls for retention of oil quota The Federal Government will support the retention of the present Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota beyond this year. The position of the nation is said to be based on the fact that the market has witnessed increased stability in recent times. A source in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, who confirmed this said, “The government feels that it does not make sense for watchers of the market to start calling for a change in quota because we are not doing badly at the present price of over $133 per barrel.” He said, “The market has witnessed stability than in the past. The stability is likely to continue throughout the remaining part of the year.” Consequently, the cartel may keep its output ceiling for Nigeria and other members unchanged when it meets later this year. The European Union and OPEC re3cently held consultation to review the oil market. OPEC stated in a statement that, “The stable relations achieved via this dialogue have allowed both parties to remain focussed, particularly in challenging times, on constructive exchanges to foster market stability in the interests of both producers and consumers.”


Energy Week

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Harness mining potential for development –Shehu tells FG

NEITI reports encourage reforms of oil, gas

38

T

he Federal Government has been urged to harness the potential of the mining sector of the economy for sustainable development. The President of Miners Association of Nigerian (MAN), Mr. Sani Shehu said the sector has potential which has not yet been fully harnessed for the development of the nation. He said, “The potential of the mining sector to contribute substantially to the national economy is there, but I cannot say that the sector is contributing enough because for the sector to contribute enough to the national economy, the sector needs to be supported to an optimal level to enable it contribute what is expected of it.” Shehu said when the sector enjoyed that kind of support in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, it proved that it had the potential to support the national economy. He said, “We all know that in those years, tins and columbites contributed a lot to national growth. In addition to tins and columbites, a lot of minerals of high values have been discovered in the country. Now, if very few minerals could contribute to the economy in the past, and now we have higher value minerals added to them, it is logical for one to demand that government should develop the sector so that the sector will in turn support the government.’ Shehu said, “The sector did that in the past, it still has the potential to support the economy through the generation of foreign exchange. Remember that most of these minerals are exportable minerals and therefore, have the capacity to support the Federal Government with foreign exchange.” He said it also has high potentials to provide employment for millions of unemployed Nigerians that are roaming the streets. Given the necessary support, the sector is capable of providing economic support for the country and also provides jobs for Nigerians.

UDEME AKPAN

P

resident Goodluck Jonathan has reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the full implementation of the principles of extractive industries transparency initiative in the Nigerian oil, gas and mining sector. The president gave this assurance through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim while inaugurating the Board of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Abuja. “On behalf of Mr President, I wish to state the unequivocal commitment of the Federal Governme nt to the full implementation of transparency and accountability as enshrined in the NEITI Act and the principles and criteria of the global Extractive initiative Industries Transparency Initiative’. He explained that NEITI, through its independent reports set the pace for government’s to carry out massive reforms in the extractive industry. “Your appointment is therefore coming at a time that the work of NEITI in the extractive sector has set the pace for the Federal Government to embark on massive reforms of the sector especially the oil and gas industry to ensure that revenues from the industry support Mr President’s transformation agenda” He explained that, “The Petroleum Industry Bill now before the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law is a testimony of government’s determination to reform the sector to conform to NEITI principles and objectives of transparency and accountability in all business transactions in the extractive industry”.

Conoil targets N33 bn revenue from lubricants UDEME AKPAN

C

onoil has concluded plans to invest N1.5 billion to reinvigorate the totally deregulated and high marginyielding lubricant business over a four-year period with projected revenue of N33 billion over same period. Towards generating the volume to achieve the projected revenue, Conoil has upgraded the filling lines at its Apapa Plant with additional four lines to increase its production capacity to 50 million litres per annum. The company has also projected 25 million litres per annum each from its Port Harcourt and Kano plants. Strategically, the Apapa Plant in Lagos is positioned to cater for the engine oil needs of the South-west, while Port Harcourt and Kano plants will cover South-East and the North, respectively. The oil marketing company, which recorded N8 billion revenue from lubricant sales in 2011, is projecting a growth rate of N13 billion in 2012, N18 billion in 2013, N25billion in 2014 and N33billion in 2015. The Nigerian lubricant market, according to statistics from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is projected to grow by 25 percent over the next three years. Co-

A filling station

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

noil currently controls 20 per cent of the industry market share, from its current production of 20 million litres per annum. The company’s award-winning lubricant brands, Quatro and Golden Super Motor Oil, are formulated to industry world set standards for automobile and industrial machines’ engines. The brands consist of a range of high quality brands of automotive engine oils, gear oils, transmission oils and multi-purpose bearing greases. Market survey shows that Quatro and Golden Super have grown a formidable customer base and have become the fastest-growing lubricant brands in Nigeria. The Quatro brand, which has won awards back to back for its world-class quality, contains special additives that ensure minimal fuel consumption, retain oil thickness and protect car engine from rust. Its detergent and dispersant properties clean car engine, keep it sludge-free thereby enabling it to run at its best. Other Quatro range includes Quatro Ultra and Quatro Premium for petrol engines, Quatro HDX Turbo and Quatro HDX for diesel engines. On the other hand, GSMO brand offers adequate engine protection in older, gasoline fuelled cars. Its performance features include comprehensive additive package, good detergency and dispersancy, good oxidation stability and good anti-wear properties.

Mitee

The president identified as priorities to the new Board: making NEITI Audit reports regular, current and user friendly, implementation of NEITI’s five year development plan, human capacity development, effective communications, expanding NEITI activities to states and local govern-

RUSAL to cut capacity

R

ussian group RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminium producer, said it would cut capacity 3 percent by the year-end and was taking a charge on its investment in Africa, as it grapples with weak prices and rising power costs. RUSAL, which produces 9 percent of the world’s primary aluminium, has been hurt by persistently weak prices for the metal used in drink cans, car parts, aircraft and iPads. Slack demand and overproduction have pushed prices close to two-year lows. It reported a net second-quarter loss of $37 million on Monday, including a $167 million impairment related to its Friguia alumina refinery in Guinea, where it faces a government challenge to its operations. Chief financial officer Evgeny Kornilov said in a conference call: “Since April, the plant is on strike, which is illegal as ruled by the local court. Also, the plant has a high cost of production, which makes operations there, at present, uneconomical.” Unions say that a 2006 contract that sold the Friguia refinery to RUSAL should be annulled. RUSAL continues to operate in Guinea where it also owns Compagnie des Bauxites de Kindia (CBK), its largest raw materials asset, which together with the Friguia complex accounts for more than 40 percent of the company’s bauxite output. RUSAL also owns the Dian Dian bauxite project in Guinea. It said that the planned cut of 150,000 tonnes of aluminium capacity by the end of 2012 -- about 4 percent of expected 2012 output -- would be part of a review of 275,000 tonnes of capacity that could be replaced by cheaper smelters being built in Siberia. Capacity cuts would be at RUSAL’s Russian aluminium smelters Nadvoitsy (NAZ), Bogoslovsk (BAZ), Volkhov (VAZ) and Novokuznetsk (NkAZ). Early this year, RUSAL said it planned to cut aluminium capacity by 6 percent within 18 months. Investment firm SUAL Partners, a co-owner of RUSAL, said on Monday that it opposed RUSAL’s plan to shut down some aluminium capacity in Russia and voted against the programme. It suggested that RUSAL could instead shut down its Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), which SUAL says is making a loss. SUAL Partners owns a 15.8 percent stake in RUSAL, which is controlled by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska. SUAL, led by ex-RUSAL chairman Viktor Vekselberg, has been in a dispute over the giant supply deal between RUSAL and commodities trader Glencore since


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Energy Week

39

industry –Jonathan Manitoba pledges to boost electricity transmission ments, coordinated legal framework and building better inter agency alliances as well as priority to NEITI compliant programmes. He advised the Board to maintain highest ethical standard expected of a Board supervising anti-corruption agency like NEITI. Responding, the Chairman of NEITI National Stakeholder Working Group (NSWG), Mr. Ledum Mitee promised to take NEITI principles of good governance, transparency and accountability to all nooks and crannies of the extractive industries. Mitee pledged that while focusing on the oil and gas sector, NEITI under his leadership will expose, explore and expand the potentials in the Nigeria’s solid minerals through a coordinated programme built on EITI principles. The composition of the new National Stakeholders Working Group includes, Mr. Ledum Mitee-chairman, Hajia Mariam Ladi Ibrahim -member, Dr. Kate Okparaeke -member, Mr. Isaac Boyi - member, Barr. Patrick Udomfang - Member, Mrs. Abiola Enitan Edenaike Member, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmud, SAN - member and Engr. Musa Nashumi - member. Others are Chairman, OPTS, (Rep. of Extractive Industry Companies) - Member, National Coordinator, Publish What You Pay, in Nigeria (Rep. of Civil Society) - Member, and President of PENGASSAN (Rep. of Labour Union)-member. Also on the Board is Mr. Dominic Nwachukwu-Member, Mr. Bassey Ekefere - Member, Group Managing Director (NNPC) - Member, and the Executive Secretary of NEITI Mrs Zainab Ahmed - member and Secretary to the Board.

3% by year-end

the spring. Meanwhile, concerns about weakening demand have also prompted rivals Alcoa and Norsk Hydro to cut capacity. RUSAL revised down its full-year forecast for global primary aluminium consumption to 6 percent growth, from 7 percent, and said that it expected 10 percent growth in demand from China, against a previous estimate of 11 percent. It said that demand from China is likely to speed up in the second half of the year, driven by economic stimulus programmes being launched by the government. Tight cost controls helped RUSAL to beat earnings estimates despite a 72 percent drop in recurring net profit. RUSAL and rivals Alcoa and Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) are struggling with aluminium prices down 5 percent this year. “Second-quarter earnings were better than expected, largely due to better cost controls and higher LME premiums, but otherwise no surprise,” said Robin Tsui of BOCI Research. “RUSAL should outperform its rivals and be able to make a profit at the current aluminium price level due to its relatively low production costs.” Despite its market-leading position, the weak operating environment has increased pressure on the company, which is also embroiled in a shareholder battle over its stake in Norilsk Nickel. RUSAL’s Hong Konglisted shares, which have fallen 12 percent this year, were up 0.2 percent at HK$4.34 ($0.56), compared with its IPO price of HK$10.80 in 2010. The company said that second-quarter recurring net profit fell 72 percent to $143 million, compared with a forecast for $110 million in a Reuters poll. Recurring net profit is defined as adjusted net profit plus the company’s net effective share in the results of Russian group Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest nickel and palladium miner. Its earnings are sensitive to aluminium prices. A 10 percent price increase could nearly double the company’s 2013 earnings, Standard Chartered said in a research note. RUSAL said that it had net debt of $10.9 billion at the end of June and no short-term obligations until the end of the year. It said it will have to pay $450 million to lenders in 2013 and has sufficient liquidity to meet those obligations.

UDEME AKPAN

M

anitoba Hydro International has pledged to work closely with the personnel of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), in order to effectively and efficiently transmit electricity for distribution to all parts of the nation. The new Chief Executive Officer of TCN, Mr. Don Priestman who confirmed the development said that the new management will work closely with the legacy TCN staff, particularly during the transitional month to ensure a seamless takeover from legacy management. He said this at a familiarisation meeting convened by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission at the headquarters yesterday. Priestman, who was accompanied by other senior management staff of TCN, presented a diagnostic picture of TCN, focusing on the inherent manpower levels and skills deficit and succession planning. He presented a proposal for steps that should be taken towards full TCN unbundling and ring fencing of Transmission Service Provider (TSP), System Operator (SO) and Market Operator (MO) functions by way of sufficient sustainable TCN revenues and capital budget approvals, staff training, skills development and succession planning and strong enforcement of Market Rules by NERC, to name a few. The Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act of 2005 requires that TCN be made up of two entities namely System Operations and the Transmission System Provider. Market Operations which is domiciled in System Operations, is also to be ring fenced. Ring fencing refers to separation that translates to financial and operational autonomy. It is believed that the separation of these entities will lead to reduction of bureaucracy and ultimately, enhanced efficiency. The Chairman/CEO of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, told Priestman and his team that the Commission wanted to see an efficient transmission system, and has promised to work closely with TCN to realise this. Manitoba, won the contract in April this year through a bidding process conducted by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). They assumed operational control of the company on 30th July, 2012. Meanwhile, Manitoba has started developing and implementing measures aimed at turning the state owned enterprise into a commercial and efficiently operated private outfit for eventual privatisation. Investigations showed that the measures would likely affect the present structure and staffing of the organisation whose personnel have taken to arms against the Federal Government over the engagement of the contractor. The transmission company presently performs the functions of Market Operator (MO), System

Electricity transmission station

Operator (SO), and Transmission Service Provider (TSP). But the contractor would prepare it to perform slightly different roles in the coming months. MHI that confirmed this stated 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.” It maintained in a statement posted on its website that, “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 utilizing 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.” It confirmed that, “The study will result in a strategic plan aimed at reducing losses in the near- and long-term. MHI will thoroughly analyse and assess the power generation, transmission, and distribution systems all over the country in respect to attaining the full picture, enabling a better strategic plan to reduce power losses of the grid.” MHI added that, “After completion of the analysis, MHI will attempt to identify the source of the losses and then make recommendations to mitigate against both short-term and long-term losses using realistic loss-reduction targets.”

Samsung partners Bayelsa on local content; to open fabrication yard

S

amsung Heavy Industries and Bayelsa State government have agreed to partner in order to promote Nigerian content in the country. The alliance was strengthened when the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, received a high powered delegation of Samsung Heavy Industries from Seoul, Korea. The delegation led by the Senior Vice President, Mr. J. H. CHUNG discussed and concluded plans to establish a fabrication yard in Bayelsa State, to cater for potential Liquefied Natural Gas and Off-shore business in Nigeria, and to train Bayelsa youths in Samsung’s Geoje shipyard in South Korea. The firm has also sponsored a team of 20 youths from Niger Delta, to its fabrication yard in Geoje, Korea, for training in several areas of welding, cutting, sandblasting and painting, and upon graduation, cvertificates of completion, and excellence, was issued to the participants. Available records showed that it is Asia’s major construction company, providing the quality technology.

Samsung is said to have recorded the lowest accident rate in carrying out its activities, because of its strict safety management standards set out. These are the standards the company is transferring to Nigeria’s economy, via capacity building. It is the intention of Samsung and their Nigerian affiliate, to partner with Bayelsa state government in youth empowerment, and skills development in the first instance. The second stage will consist of the construction of a world-class mega fabrication yard for LNG carriers, and maintenance. In addition, the yard will be capable of fabricating large off-shore structures and offer employment to the trained youths. It is believed that at full capacity, this facility will employ approximately 10,000 indigenes and also stimulate other secondary and tertiary businesses in the state. This welcome gesture by the government of Bayelsa is in furtherance to the leadership’s commitment to re-position the state and improve the capacity and economic relevance of the indigenes.


40

Energy Week

World oil demand in 2013

Despite the similarity in world Gross Domestic Product between this year and next year, global oil demand growth is estimated to be almost 0.1 mb/d lower compared to 2012. The economic picture is vague and the horizon full of turbulence. There is much uncertainty surrounding the world’s oil-use estimate in 2013. Next year’s oil demand forecast is based on assumptions, such as higher GDP, the same level of retail petroleum prices as this year and uncertainty in the total world economy during the year. The downward risk potential has greater probability in the forecast than the upward risk one. Therefore, the gloomy picture could reduce the world oil demand growth forecast by 20per cent next year. Furthermore, US oil demand, which is the main player in next year’s world oil demand, can change the rhythm of the oil demand pattern. This, of course, would be dependent on the health of the economy and international oil prices. For 2013, US auto sales are expected to slow down to growth of approximately 3per cent reflecting lower expectations in the US and European economies. Canadian vehicle sales are projected to increase by only a slight 1per cent, as a result of rather pessimistic market sentiment. As a result of gloomy expectations about the development of the economy, 2013 is forecast to be another declining year for the European car industry at approximately the same level as in 2012. Demand for new cars in Japan is expected to grow again strongly, however at to a lesser degree than this year’s 8per cent y-o-y. The outlook for the South Korean market is largely dependent upon developments in the US and Euro-zone economies, while Chinese domestic auto sales are forecast to show an increase of around 11per cent. Non-OPEC oil supply in 2013 is expected to grow by 0.92 mb/d to average 54.10 mb/d, indicating an upward revision of 120 tb/d to the average, while expected growth has remained unchanged from the previous MOMR. Historical revisions to 2011 and 2012 have been carried over to the 2013 supply forecast. Additionally, there have been a few revisions that have changed the supply profile of some individual countries. On a regional basis, North America is expected to have the highest growth in 2013, followed by the FSU, Latin America and Africa, while OECD Western Europe is seen to decline. On a quarterly basis, non-OPEC supply in 2013 is expected to average 53.83 mb/d, 53.75 mb/d, 54.04 mb/d and 54.77 mb/d respectively. The oil supply forecasts for the US, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Vietnam, Argentina, Yemen, Gabon and the Sudans have experienced some upward revisions for 2013, while the supply projections for the UK, Malaysia, Brazil, Colombia, Syria, Kazakhstan and Other FSU have been revised down. The majority of the revisions were due to Change changes to the 2011 estimate and 2012 forecast, which were carried over to 2013. The Sudans’ supply is forecast to grow by 0.12 mb/d in 2013 to average 0.33 mb/d, an upward revision of 180 tb/d from the previous MOMR. The revision was introduced when an agreement was reached between the two sides on oil transit. Yemen’s supply is expected to increase by 40 tb/d in 2013 to 0.21 mb/d, representing a 25 tb/d upward revision to growth from the previous month.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Panel on pension fund in power sector begins work UDEME AKPAN

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he panel established by the Federal Government to investigate pension fund management in the power sector has started work in Abuja. It is said to be documenting findings that will form part of its report to government this week. Investigations showed that the panel, which has the former Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Joseph Ajiboye as chairman will submit its report to the Federal Government this week. A source in the Ministry of Power who confirmed the development said, “The panel has since started work. Many stakeholders, including organisations have been invited to make presentations.” He said “The panel has two weeks to submit report. That is why it has been holding meetings to ensure that the assignment is completed and report submitted to the government.” The source who declined to provide details said, “it is too early to disclose findings now. But what we can say at this stage is that some revelations have emerged which will be reflected in our report to the government.”

Nnaji

The Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji set up the panel last week to investigate pension matters in the power sector. The panel, which was inaugurated at a ceremony held in the conference room of the Federal Ministry of Power, was mandated to investigate the status of pension vis-à-vis the pension laws of the nation. It is to identify officers involved in any act of misconduct, review the Report of Agary Committee on Pension Matters, recommend measures to guard against occurrence of similar incidents in the future and propose sanctions to be taken against culprits. However, Nnaji said that the

privatisation of the subsidiaries of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, would go on as planned despite the lingering dispute with the labour unions over severance benefits. He said that the government had offered the workers a generous package in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004. But the unions had insisted on getting severance benefits based on defined payment from a superannuated fund that is grossly underfunded at present. Nnaji said that the workers had given considerable concessions, including a 50 per cent salary increase and payment of monetisation benefits arrears since 2003. He added that the superannuated fund on which they relied for pension payments was in a deficit of over N160bn due to mismanagement. The minister blamed the present situation on the failure of the PHCN management and union leaders to implement provisions of the Pension Act, which directed government and private sector employers to switch over to the contributory pension scheme. Nnaji, however, noted that the PHCN fund was being investigated and a report was expected in two weeks. He said, “I must stress that the companies are not going to be 100 per cent privatised; government would only reduce its holdings

in the companies to a minimal level. “The hydro power plants would, however, not be privatised as government would only concession them to the investors and do everything to accommodate the workers.” He also noted that the private sector investors would still rely on PHCN staff to operate as they had the requisite experience and might even be offered enhanced terms of service. The minister added that government would not do anything to jeopardise the interest of the workers. Speaking on the reforms, Nnaji said that government had made significant progress with the creation of an industry regulator; emplacement of a commercial tariff regime and establishment of a bulk trading company to guarantee power purchase from the power companies when privatised. He also said that the power infrastructure had been overhauled, resulting in improvement in the supply of electricity in the country since July. The minister said: “I believe that power has improved in the country and we are doing everything we can to sustain it. Once we are able to solve the problem, the international community will be able to invest in the country.”

China refiners make investments overseas UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT

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hina Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, Asia’s largest refiner, and rival PetroChina Company are poised to seek assets overseas to diversify as domestic earnings are depressed by state-controlled prices for processed fuels. Refining losses resulted in China Petroleum, known as Sinopec, reporting a 41 percent decline in first-half net income to 24.5 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) yesterday. PetroChina, the nation’s biggest oil and gas producer, last week said first-half profit declined 6 percent to 62 billion yuan. Bloomberg who captured the development stated that, “Chinese refiners, which sell gasoline and diesel below cost because the government caps retail prices to contain inflation, aren’t waiting for the controls to be relaxed. PetroChina said it plans to generate more than half its oil and gas output from overseas projects by 2020 to offset refining losses, while China Petrochemical Corp., Sinopec’s state-owned parent, said it would more than double its foreign pro-

duction by 2015.” “Every dollar spent on domestic refining projects would be a waste of a dollar, since it generates absolutely no return,” said Simon Powell, the Hong Kongbased head of Asian oil and gas research at CLSA Ltd. “Overseas acquisition is a short cut to balance refining losses, but it’s a gradual process and takes a long time because of political scrutiny and availability of assets globally.” China’s state oil companies have spent more than $100 billion on assets over the past decade to supply the world’s largest energy importer. Sinopec lost 9.3 percent in Hong Kong trading this year through today, while PetroChina fell 1.8 percent, matching the drop of the 25 member MSCI Far East Energy Index. Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil and natural gas maker with no refining operations, has proposed the nation’s biggest overseas acquisition, offering $15.1 billion for Canada’s Nexen Inc. Canadian and U.S. regulators are reviewing the takeover. “If the Cnooc deal is approved, we can expect more Chinese energy investment in those countries almost right away,”

A chinese refinery

said CLSA’s Powell. Sinopec lost 18.5 billion yuan after processing 811 million barrels of oil in the first half compared with PetroChina’s loss of 23.3 billion yuan from refining 489.7 million barrels. “The loss came purely from the government’s policy of capping retail fuel prices,” said Laban Yu, head of Asia oil & gas equity research at Jefferies Hong Kong Ltd. “There is not much Sinopec can do. We believe current low inflation will allow higher refiner margins in the second half and quite possibly a change in the fuel-pricing mechanism.” Gasoline and diesel prices are set by the National Development

and Reform Commission, China’s economic planner, under a system that tracks the 22-day moving average of a basket of crudes, including Brent, Dubai and Indonesia’s Cinta. The cycle may be shortened to 10 days, China Petrochemical said March 28. NDRC has indicated it may relax price controls on natural gas and fuels in the second half, PetroChina President Zhou Jiping said at a post-earnings briefing on August 23. The fuel pricing reform may not materialise in the second half, especially after the government has made and missed similar commitments in the past, said Shi Yan, a Shanghai-based energy analyst at Uob-Kay Hian Ltd.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Executive Discourse

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Power sector paradigm shift Commissioner for Information, Delta State, Mr. Chike Ogeah, speaks of the challenges of delivering power and other critical infrastructure to support industrial development in this interview with AYO OLESIN and SAM OLUWALANA. Excerpts. What is your government’s strategy in delivering electricity and what is your blueprint since you came in? The first thing I always say anytime I have the opportunity to talk about power situation is that you must understand the dynamics as first and foremost regards power. Like in our own case in Delta State, we have about three to four power stations, Federal Government-owned and operated situated but, of course, situated in Delta. Then, we have gone further to build our own IPP plant. Now, you must understand that Delta State, I think, accounts for about 25 per cent or more of what is generated as power for the whole of Nigeria. Now, under the federal structure we operate, power is one of the items we have on the exclusive list of the constitution. What happens, in effect, is that when we generate this power, it goes into the national grid and later finds its way to different locations in the country whether it is Kano, Sokoto; whether is Bornu, whether is Calabar, or Ogbomoso or Ibadan and we still have major power challenges in Delta. And that was why the governor now went taking into consideration that all the programmes in he has embarked on in Delta or in Asaba have the projects I can call mega project. These are projects that are put there to impact so many other aspects of the economy and one of those is the IPP power station but the question to ask is that: Where are we in Delta and what are the frustration with are feeling vis-as-vis the total achievement of the federal structure we operate. Now, one thing you must know is that the turbine is not something you can for buy and put in as if you are buying furniture for your house. It usually takes up to a year or more going through the situation analysis, the configuration, before you now come to design. As I speak with you now, we usually have a problem of the first place to site it. Communities felt that locating such a power project in their community will degrade their environment given their experiences and what they have heard about oil spillages and thing like that. That delayed us a bit. Finally, we got somewhere in Ogariki, where we have done it now and the only problem we have, as I speak to you – the turbines are already here. They have to come by special air cargoes into Port Harcourt – is how to transport the equipment from Port Harcourt and that is where we are having an issue because when you want to site these things you need to site them near water. This is because apart from the hydro part of it, the power equipment cannot be moved by road. We have to move them by heavy cargo ship and now, river transport is an issue again. We are getting into this problem with the federal government because dredging of our waterways for seamless transportation is also exclusively the responsibility of the Federal Government. Those channels have not been dredged and that is why Delta which has for natural ports use to put a lot of pressure on Lagos. It is because our waterways are all shallow now and the Federal Government is saying it does not have fund to dredge the waterways. So these are the issues and once those things are sorted out about the dredging of that water that IPP would be put together and I know that what you are going to get from that is enough to sort out all Delta power needs and we will have enough to even sell out because with the new power reforms coming up now, there is what we call Power Sharing Agreement, which we have already even done. Can you give more details about this arrangement? We have sealed that aspect of it whereby when we come when our IPP gets on stream; we will require XYZ for Delta State YZ cost then they can do whatever they want to do with the power generated. These are all the things in the new power bills and powers reforms the Federal Govern-

Ogeah

THESE ARE PROJECTS THAT ARE PUT THERE TO IMPACT SO MANY OTHER ASPECTS OF THE ECONOMY AND ONE OF THOSE IS THE

IPP POWER STATION

ment is doing and that project will be the best legacy any administration whether state or federal can give to the people. Nigerians are very enterprising and intelligent people. Nobody wants to beg for bread in Nigeria, I can assure you. Rather, what people are asking for is for you to create the enabling environment for them thrive in their business endeavours. If you go across the Niger, where the people are mainly merchants – it is in their blood- all these people are crying for is water and light- that’s electricity and they will give you products that are better than Taiwan’s there; they will start fabricating every single part we need in Nigeria. And it is those kinds of people in Nnewi in Onitsha and such kind of activities they do that made my governor to establish a first-class airport like the type we have in Asaba. That airport is sup-

posed to have a cargo section and there is agriculture section for food storage and warehousing for storing of agricultural produce for export to the international market and you can imagine what that will do to those six states around Delta in all the eastern states, Delta and Edo. Who are your partners in the project because we are going towards private sector management in Nigeria in the area of power? What I can tell you now is that as long as government is doing all these things it is doing, government must protect the investments because, don’t forget anything government does, it does it on behalf of the people. So, it is the people’s money. When that time comes, and there is a need to get the private sector


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Executive Discourse

will spur industrial growth

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partners that will run this project, I am sure the government will do that. However, I am sure we have some local partners that had been working the government on this project but I know, just as you rightly said, that when it starts getting to fruition and in line with what power agreement is and the general reforms Do you think the workers in the power sector also share this view? Yes and that is what I call the paradigm shift because anything you want to change, that has been norm for so many years will face some resistance. Human beings by our natures don’t like changes, especially when the change involves some thing that has been comfort zone for some for so many years. Look at Malaysia; we have gone there on several occasions. Malaysia took its first palm seed from Nigeria in the 70’, now; it is the headquarters for palm oil in the world. But the truth is that Darfur has today grown from under-developed country to the firstworld country in about 30 years. If you look at general human development indices between Nigeria and Malaysia and such other countries, you will see that we were better than them in terms of par capita income, ante natal death and all that but now, we are still struggling in that old state and those countries have gone very far ahead of us and they will tell you that one of other things, apart from other things we are still doing Delta, that catapulted them from the third world to first world country are just two major things: power and competitiveness. In the area of competitiveness, they redesigned their ports and get their port working and their ports become a heaven of sort for all kind of shipments and then, they also developed Small and Medium Enterprises. A lot of young people are the ones active in the ports and all the different facets of the economy and that was how they were able to get to the enviable economic state they have found themselves today. They have modern technology, modern infrastructure, and modern transportation system. That is where Nigeria should be. What other projects do you have that will impact on the people assuming the challenges you are facing on the power projects continues? I’m sure you must have heard about our Warri Industrial Park. It is another audacious project we have on ground, which is going to be second to none in Nigeria in the sense that, don’t forget we have the Escravos Gas plant that employs over 10, 000 Deltans. Chevron is the chief operator there at the Warri Industrial park. Where we are now, we had a meeting with a committee recently and it was pointed out that the land acquisition is a major problem as you need to pay to the owner of the land in terms of compensation and all of that. WE are working on that and already, we have named down the major infrastructures in terms of the kind of the infrastructures you will put down there that will attract the tenant companies to come in there. There has been a more or less like a road show to sell the idea of the park to the world. It was even held here, not even under the auspices of the Delta State government. It was the Nigerian-South African Chambers of Commerce that saw what we were doing in Delta and got investors worldwide and the interest has been tremendous. Initially, we were thinking on what to do for the year to market the park. Do we go on a road show or what and I think we concluded that there was no need to go on a road show yet; let’s just put the infrastructure on ground and maybe by next year, we can start a full-blast road show. That’s where we are now. To create Nigeria’s version of the Silicon Valley because we have the ICT

CURRENTLY, WHAT WE SAY IS THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT A DELTA BEYOND ALL, SO THAT IF TOMORROW THE OIL WELLS RUN DRY, WE COULD HAVE SOMETHING TO FALL BACK ON Park in Asaba as well, when you come, we will take you there. We have a special adviser in charge of Technology, who will take you round to see the project for you to see what they are doing. That is also another of those big projects that I told you the current administration in the state is embarking upon. These are mega projects that must undergo various projects cycles and that’s why we are still saying that they generational projects. They are projects that will continue even after this administration. Successive administrations must come in and continue with them but they are projects that of they are followed within a period of 10-15 years down the line, can take Delta to first-world state, if looked at as a country, though it is a component unit of Nigeria. It is that kind of situation we are looking at. We are also in Udu because my governor very strategic in taking the projects around the senatorial districts. So, this one I told you about – the Warri Industrial Park- that is in Delta South; we have airport as a major project in the Delta North so we also have that ICT park coming up there; we also have full mechanised farming, which will take care of the whole aspects of farming for Nigeria for chicken and for eggs. And we go to Delta Central where we have Udu Park. That is supposed to be a leisure park. It is something that is being handled by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It is also a major project. Currently, what we say is that we are looking at a Delta beyond all, so that if tomorrow the oil wells run dry, we could have something to fall back on. Because we just must be asking yourself: What if the oil wells dry up. Are there legal framework in place for all these projects, especially the power project, to ensure its continuation by successive administrations in the state? Yes. That is why if you notice, people talk all the time that what we want is strong institutions and

not strong men. Nobody needs strong men. Strong men don’t leave any legacy and I can assure you that is what we are trying to do in Delta and that’s why we want to have very virile ministry of justice headed by a Senior advocate of Nigeria and we ensure that anything we do in the state is done in accordance with the rule of law. Don’t worry we went into litigations in this country in terms of election. So, what I’m trying to say is that we are not leaving anything in doubt in terms of providing the legal framework to safeguard most of these things but most of important is that Nigeria as a whole and Delta, indeed, is making a lot of progress because we believe that no matter the decree or edict that you put together, you still need to orientate the people to understand. Like I told you, we are getting to that state when we will know that discrediting other people to make other people look bad doesn’t make you look good because that has been a problem with government in Nigeria. When a new government comes to power, it looks for a way of discrediting the previous administration. It is time we start building a culture of continuity such that when a new administration comes to power, it gets on with what is on ground and while adding other projects but not to just abandon the existing projects. Government is a continuum and I believe that culture is beginning to hold sway now even in the West and even here. No new government should come to Delta now and say, for whatever reason, they are going to stop the Asaba Airport because it is a state-of-the-art project that may be the best airport in Nigeria all because we want to play politics. The people are so much enlightened today that they will not allow you to forestall such a project knowing the huge economic benefits it will bring for the state. All a successive government needs to do is to look at where the project stops, appraise what is on ground and determine the next thing remaining to be done so that the project can be completed because we are doing the project to open the state to the world.


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Global Business

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Spanish recession deepens as austerity damps outlook

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

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

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

German consumer confidence to hold steady in September

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel

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

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

South African GDP growth quickens as mining rebounds

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

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

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

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

Hungary to avoid rate cut on inflation, bailout concern

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

Hungarian President, Pal Schmitt

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


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Global Business

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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

IMF says Singapore should allow temporary rise in inflation rate

Singapore’s President SR Nathan

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

Hollande loses bond market as growth stalls

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

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

Connecticut homes biggest losers as Wall Street cuts jobs

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Hollande

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

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

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

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

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy

Brezhnev bonds haunt Putin as investors hunt $785 billion

T

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

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

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


46

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NSE to delist Union Dicon Salt, 11 others J OHNSON O KANLAWON

T

he Nigerian Stock Exchange is set to delist 12 firms from the Daily Official List for non-compliance with the post-listing rules of the Exchange. In a notice pasted at its website yesterday, the firms are in the process of being delisted from the Exchange for late submission of their financials, unauthorised publications, insufficient financial information as a result of nonapproval of financials by primary regulator among others. The companies are

Pinnacle Points Group Plc, Poly Products Plc, Udeofson Garment Factory Plc, Lennards Plc, Nigerian Wire Industries Plc, Aluminim Manufacturing Company of Nigeria Plc and Union Dicon Salt Plc. Others are Capital Oil Plc, Rokanna Industries Plc, West African Glass Industries Plc, Hallmark Paper Products Plc and Afroil Plc. Also, 36 firms are rated below listing standard. The firms are African Alliance Insurance Plc, Equity Assurance Plc, Goldlink Insurance Plc, Great Nigeria Insur-

ance Plc, Guinea Insurance Plc, International Energy Insurance Plc, Linkage Insurance Plc, Neimeth International Plc, Premier Breweries Plc and Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc. According to the notice, others are Staco Insurance Plc, Standard Alliance Plc, Unic Insurance Plc, Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc, G Cappa Plc, Golden Guinea Brewery, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc and Nigerian German Chemicals Plc. Others are Costain West Africa Plc, Adswitch Plc, Multi-Trex Integrated Foods Plc,

Nigerian Enamelware Company Plc, Nigerian Wire and Cable Plc, West African Aluminium Products Plc, IPWA Plc, Daar Communication Plc and so on. The notice said that account year end for Neimeth International Plc has changed from March to September and the company is expected to file its eighteen months audited account in December 2012. It added that companies that have submitted statements of affairs are Golden Guinea Breweries Plc, Stokvis Plc and Nigerian Sewing Machine Plc.

Source: NSE Source: NSE

NIBOR QUOTES 27 AUGUST & 28 AUGUST 2012 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00

27-Aug-12

ASI rises by 0.2% on banking stocks rally JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he appetite for banking stocks lifted equities’s benchmark indices on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took advantage of the relatively low prices of stocks. The sector’s performance lifted the All Share index by 0.16 per cent to close at 23,531.63 points, compared to the increase by 0.39 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 23,491.17 points. Market capitalisation rose further by N13bn to close at N7.49trn lower

than the appreciation of N29bn recorded the preceding day to close at N7.48trn. The banking index led sectorial indices by 0.68 per cent to close at 1,101.83 points, followed by the insurance index by 0.27 per cent to close at N122.97 points. The NSE 30-index rose by 0.15 per cent to close at 1,101.83 points. But the Lotus Islamic index lost 0.25 per cent to close at 1,370.24 points. The consumer goods index shed 0.23 per cent to close at 1,984.18 points, while the oil and gas index closed flat at 164.82 points. Cement Company of

Northern Nigeria Plc led the gainers’ table with 20 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at N4.22 per share, followed by Roads Nigeria Plc with 34 kobo or 4.90 per cent to close at N7.28 per share. Smurfit Plc gained six kobo or 4.65 per cent to close at N1.35 per share, while Eterna Oil Plc appreciated by 11 kobo or 4.60 per cent to close at N2.50 per share. Ikeja Hotel Plc rose by five kobo or 4.59 per cent to close at N1.14 per share. On the flip side, University Press Limited lost 21 kobo or 4.86 per cent to close at N4.11 per share, while NASCON Plc dipped by 24 kobo or

4.82 per cent to close at N4.74 per share. Nigeria Police Microfinance Bank Plc shed five kobo or 4.76 per cent to close at N1.00 per share, while May and Baker Plc dropped seven kobo or 4.55 per cent to close at N1.47 per share. Neimeth Pharmaceutical Plc fell four kobo or 4.44 per cent to close at 86 kobo per share. Transaction volume in equieties dropped by 9.99 per cent, as a total of 239.7 million shares valued at N1.76bn were exchanged in 3,757 deals, compared to 251.9 million shares worth N2.90bn traded in 4,174 deals the preceding day.

US stocks little changed ahead of Bernanke’s speech

U

nited States stocks were little changed, following Monday’s drop in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, as investors watched economic reports ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech on the economy in three days. Lexmark International Incorporation added 14 per cent after the printer maker said it plans to cut 1,700 jobs and shut a factory in the Philippines as it explores a sale of its inkjet technology. H.J. Heinz Company rose 3.1 per cent after reporting preliminary profit that topped esti-

mates, while KLA-Tencor Corporation, a maker of machinery used in the production of semiconductors, slumped three per cent after Deutsche Bank AG cut its rating. The S&P 500 rose 0.1 per cent to 1,412 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 5.97 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 13,130.64 points. Trading in S&P 500 companies was down 21 per cent from the 30-day average. “It will be interesting to see what Bernanke says about the economy,” said Liz Ann Sonders, the New York-based chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab Corporation, which has $1.82trn in

client assets. “I wouldn’t expect to hear much about easing other than: we’re going to keep the door open. The US may not be shining relative to the rest of the world, but certainly has a trajectory that is far more positive.” Data yesterday showed that home prices in 20 US cities climbed in June from a year earlier, the first gain in almost two years, indicating the market that triggered the recession is beginning to rebound. Confidence among US consumers fell in August by the most in 10 months as households grew more pessimistic about the economic outlook.

Bernanke probably won’t provide specific plans for further monetary action at the Fed Bank of Kansas City’s annual Jackson Hole symposium this week, according to Pacific Investment Management Company Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian. The Fed signaled last week it’s ready to take further steps to spur the economy. Many policy makers said additional stimulus probably would be needed soon unless the economy shows signs of a durable pickup, according to minutes released August 22 of the central bank’s most recent meeting.

28-Aug-12

Market indicators Market indicators

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

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

CCNN

4.02

4.22

0.20

4.98

ROADS

6.94

7.28

0.34

4.90

SMURFIT

1.29

1.35

0.06

4.65

ETERNA

2.39

2.50

0.11

4.60

IKEJAHOTEL

1.09

1.14

0.05

4.59

DNMEYER

0.69

0.72

0.03

4.35

AGLEVENT

1.19

1.24

0.05

4.20

ROYALEX

0.51

0.53

0.02

3.92

FIDSON

0.77

0.80

0.03

3.90

LIVESTOCK

1.30

1.35

0.05

3.85

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

UPL

4.32

4.11

0.21

-4.86

NASCON

4.98

4.74

0.24

-4.82

NPFMCRFBK

1.05

1.00

0.05

-4.76

MAYBAKER

1.54

1.47

0.07

-4.55

NEIMETH

0.90

0.86

0.04

-4.44

DANGSUGAR

4.37

4.22

0.15

-3.43

PZ

23.75

23.00

0.75

-3.16

REDSTAREX

2.76

2.70

0.06

-2.17

BAGCO

1.57

1.54

0.03

-1.91

SKYEBANK

2.70

2.68

0.02

-0.74

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

30,647.81

13.50

23-Aug-12

182-Day

20,000

15.50

23-Aug-12

364 -Day

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

178Days

34,470.71

14.08

30-Aug-12

118-Day

50,282.86

14.08

23-Aug-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$200m

N/A

$126m

27-Aug-12

$180m

N/A

$147m

22-Aug-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

47

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 28, 2012 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


48

Cocktail

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oddities

Angry Nepali man bites cobra to death in revenge

A

Nepali man who was bitten by a cobra snake bit it back and killed the reptile in a tit-for-tat attack, a newspaper said on Thursday. Nepali daily Annapurna Post said Mohamed Salmo Miya chased the snake, which bit him in his rice paddy on Tuesday, caught it and bit it until it died. “I could have killed it with a stick but bit it with my teeth instead because I was angry,” the 55-yearold Miya, who lives in a

village some 200 km (125 miles) southeast of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, was quoted by the daily as saying. The snake, called “goman” in Nepal, is also known as the Common Cobra. Police official Niraj Shahi said the man, who was being treated at a village health post and was not in danger of dying, would not be charged with killing the snake because the reptile was not among snake species listed as endangered in Nepal.

Lunchtime Links: Cows delay traffic during rush hour on ass highway

I

t wasn’t an accident or a tire changer that slowed traffic on a Massachusetts highway during rush hour: It was cows. State police say they received a report at about 7:30 a.m. Monday of two cows in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 195 in Dartmouth.

Troopers called a local farmer, and cruisers slowed traffic as he loaded the bovines into a truck and removed them from the area by 8:30 a.m. State police say they are usually called to help remove livestock from highways in the more rural western part of the state.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mice attack! Prank sign scares London commuters

L

ondon commuters were left fearing their toes may be nibbled by a gang of wild mice on the underground today, after a prankster put up a sign warning them not to become the “victim” of an “attack”. Just this weekend, the

residents of Essex feared for their lives after a lion was reported to be on the loose in a field. Now, a gang of rampaging mice appear to be striking fear into the hearts of London commuters, after being reported to be nibbling their

toes. Passengers at Farringdon station were left puzzled after an officiallooking sign warned the mice had been “attacking” customers. The handwritten notice advised: “Please place the bottom of your trousers

into your socks to avoid being a victim of the Farringdon mice”. The sign, which was immediately photographed by baffled passengers and placed on social networking site Twitter, has now been viewed by thousands of people.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

Community Mirror “The quality of people in the House reflects the quality of deliberation. You cannot get something out of nothing.”

Osun Osogbo festival to boost tourism -Aregbesola

50

FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, CHIEF RICHARD AKINJIDE

Pastor arrested with human skull FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State Police Command has paraded a Pastor identified as Michael Oyewole, for exhuming a human skull in Sabo area of Abeokuta metropolis in the state. The 29-year-old Oyewole was paraded along with his accomplice, Mathew Akiode 30, at the command’s headquarters at Eleweran. The Commissioner of Police Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, stated that his command was able to arrest the duo after a tip off that someone was digging a grave. “We apprehended him immediately he severed the head from the body and he told us it was one Pastor Oyewole who sent him, “he said. He said that Oyewole was subsequently arrested and both accused persons would be charged to court as soon as investigation was concluded. Speaking, Akiode, who confessed to the crime, said that he used to work for pastor Oyewole, even as the latter eventually told him he could make more money if he could gets him a human skull. Pastor Oyewole, who claimed to be a clergy with the Cherubim and Seraphim Church in Abeokuta, however, dismissed the claim, as he denied ever sending Akiode to perpetrate the act, saying, “I am a man of God and pastor.

“I heal people in God’s name and not with human skull, he is telling lies and I don’t know what I have done to him. Only God can save me now, “he said. In a related development, the command said it has arrested 12 suspects in connection with the religious crisis at Ososa in Odogbolu Local Government Area on Eid-el

Young cart pushers taking a break at Maza-Maza bus stop in Lagos.

Employees docked for stealing goods FRANCIS SUBERU

F

our sales boys with Adide Stores, Obanikoro, Lagos, have been arraigned before a Somolu Magistrate’s Court, charged with stealing provisions and other goods worth N522,000 belonging to their employer. The accused persons, Abdulahi Ahmodu, 42,Ajayi Abayomi, 32, Abudulazeez Zakari, 27, and Ibrahim Babangida, 23, are facing a one-count charge of stealing The prosecutor, ASP Adegoke Akinlebi , said all four suspects were residents at No. 30 Anifowose Street, Bariga,Lagos. He said the goods were stolen

Fitri day. It would be recalled that violence had erupted between the former and current Chief Imams of Ososa Muslim community, over who would lead the Eid-el-Fitri prayers and where to observe it. The town has, over the past four years, been wracked by crisis and divided the two

on August 4, 2012 from a store at No. 6, Ajose Adeogun Close, Obanikoro, Lagos. “The four returned to the shop some hours after its official closing and stole goods worth N522, 000. There was no evidence of forced entry, the four were on duty on the day and consequently, were in custody of keys to the shop,” Akinlebi said. He said the offence contravened Section 285 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State. They all pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Magistrate, Mrs Bola Osunsanmi, granted each of them bail in the sum of N150, 000 and two sureties each. She adjourned further hearing to September 12, 2012.

groups after a new Chief Imam was allegedly appointed for the community by a prominent Muslim son in the town. The CP, however, stated that those arrested are undergoing interrogation at the state CID, Eleweran and will soon be charged to court. He also assured the public

to go about their normal businesses without fear, even as he urged their cooperation towards effective policing of the state. He said anyone with useful information that could lead to apprehension of criminals should not hesitate to do so, as the identity of such informants would be protected.

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Cleric seeks dissolution of marriage over lack of support FRANCIS SUBERU

P

astor Israel Oluwatoke of the Christ Apostolic Church, is seeking the dissolution of his five-year-old marriage, claiming his wife does not support his pastoral calling. The clergy told a Shomolu Customary Court in Lagos, that his wife has refused to support his religious ministry, as this had made him fall out of love with her. Pastor Isreal of No. 24 Titilayo Street, Ije-Ododo, Ijegun, Lagos, said his wife, Olufunke, refused to attend his ordination ceremony in April, 2012 at

Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, Idioro, Mushin also in Lagos. “It was a terrible shame not to have my immediate family’s support; it almost cost me the appointment. She has refused to give her support in every way possible; she insults me at will and had become violent. In fact, she moved out of our home two years ago; there is no more love between us,” he said. The cleric pleaded with the court to dissolve the union, which has produced a 5-yearold daughter, to enable him forge ahead in his pastoral duties. The respondent, a petty trader, who broke down in tears during her testimony, alleged

that the petitioner had failed in his duty to provide for his family. “When I married him, he had a paying job; but had from the very beginning neglected me financially. Taking up a pastoral assignment was simply a guise to further neglect his responsibilities. He never brought home money. I paid the hospital bills when I had our daughter; I’ve made provisions for her up till date. “Many times, he would leave home for weeks without prior notification and still return empty handed, that was why I left home. I am willing to return if he is ready to be responsible for us again,’’ Olufunke said.


50

Community Mirror

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Osun Osogbo festival to boost tourism –Aregbesola FRANCIS SUBERU

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he Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, had reiterated the importance of improving the socio-economic status of the state through culture and tourism. Speaking at the ongoing Osun Osogbo Festival, he said it remains the most

popular festivals in SouthWest Nigeria, as it offers a huge potential source of revenue generation and economic development, adding that his administration is ready to do everything within its power to promote culture and tourism in the state. “One cardinal policy of the administration is promotion of culture and tourism. We have ensured that

Governors’ wives asked to develop the grassroots IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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ives of state governors have been charged to use platform of their petprojects to champion sustainable development initiatives in their respective states with emphasis on the grassroots. The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, gave the advise in Abuja, when the wife of Kogi State Governor, Hajiya Halima Ladi Wada paid her a courtesy visit. She said “for any meaningful development to be effective and thorough, government must develop the rural areas and empower rural women who are the backbone of the economy. About 70 percent of what we consume is being produced by women. Apart from empowerment, they also need to be educated

and facilitated on healthcare, reproductive health, evacuation and transportation of farm produce, among others”, the minister added. She emphasized the need for relevant government agencies to provide access roads into the rural areas for movement of goods and services that are necessary to sustain development initiatives and projects. The minister further urged wives of state governors to establish skills acquisition centres in their states and local governments to train women in various economic ventures, healthcare and political empowerment. On issue of women’s participation in politics, the minister noted that “We have a lot of women with great potentials to participate in politics, but there is the need to enlighten them to understand the dynamics of supporting women candidates”.

Lovers arraigned for alleged theft

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or allegedly burgling a house and dispossessing the occupants of valuables worth N420,000, two lovers have been arraigned before an Ojo Magistrate’s Court in Lagos. The defendants – Happy Odili, 27 and Kingsley Nwachukwu, 27 – are facing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy, burglary and stealing. When the charge was read to them, they pleaded not guilty. The prosecutor, ASP Friday Eze, told the court that the two, who are unemployed and residents of Okokomaiko and Cassidy areas of Ojo in Lagos, allegedly committed the of-

fence on June 10. Eze said the defendants allegedly conspired and burgled the residence of Mr Kennedy Ehinebo at Igbeyinadun, Monkey Village, Iba New Town, Lagos. The prosecutor said the defendants allegedly entered their victim’s premises and removed six burglar proof iron rods valued at N85, 000 and window louvres valued at N335, 000. He said that luck, ran out on them as they were apprehended by a vigilante group, which handed them over to the police. Eze said that the complainant,one Mr. Nwachukwu, later identified the items allegedly stolen as his properties.

our culture and festivals are packaged in such a way it can be on global tourism map. Our mission is to develop Osun Osogbo festival and groove and make it a major international tourist centre equipped with modern up-to-date infrastructural facilities. Aregbesola said tourism is a viable means of improving on the nation’s socio-economic development, even as it enhanced cultural communication. “One of the major challenges of our unity as a nation is the absence among various people of the country, of a sense of national cultural identity. The aggressive promotion of tourism on a national scale would go a long way to miti-

gate this problem and help spur a pan-Nigeria cultural consciousness upon which a national identity can then be encouraged,” Aregbesola said Meanwhile,Chief promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation and leader of Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Otunba Gani Adams, has reiterated the importance of fluency in Yoruba language, saying speakers should see the language as superior to others. He said this in his welcome address at the foundation’s celebration of Osun Osogbo Festival, at Laaro Primary School, Osogbo, Osun State. According to Adams, language is one of the values that culture holds, ex-

pressing fears that when a language becomes weak and unused, the ideas, philosophies and cultures imbedded in it will disappear. He said: “A language transmits the ideology of a culture while culture is a channel for social cohesion. It is very hard to see a home in Yoruba land that is not encouraging the speaking of foreign languages, especially English language. The worst is that, many parents now take fluency in the English language as yardstick for measuring intelligence. “Are we then saying a fluent Yoruba speaker who has no competence in English language is not intelligent? When we continue to encourage desolation of the

Yoruba language, the values and ideologies we need, to nurture our existence as a people of Oduduwa will die. It is a general expression that no language is superior to one another. But, I will be different on this, Yoruba language is superior in anything related to me. This is the same way I want Yoruba people to uphold their language, irrespective of the others they have learnt for use.” Otunba Gani Adams said culture as an instrument of social cohesion holds the streams of all moral values, adding that with cultural festivities like Osun Osogbo and others, Yoruba culture and values could be promoted.

Devotees taking water from the river during the Osun Osogbo festival.

MASSOB arrests robbery suspect NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

T

he Movement for Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, said it has arrested an armed robbery suspect, two days after it smashed a six-man gang in Onitsha, Anambra State. The Regional Administrator in charge of Onitsha Region, Chief Arinze Igbani, said the suspect, identified as Chinonso, a native of Umuezeala, Otulu in Oru Local Government Area of Imo State, was arrested following a tip-off after his gang robbed a victim.

Igbani said the suspect had in company of his members now at large, allegedly snatched a hand bag containing N20, 000, cell phone and other valuables from a woman on the Onitsha-Owerri road. He said, “Our security personnel received a distress call that an armed robbery gang was operating on the Onitsha-Owerri road and they swung into action and saw a woman been robbed on a tricyle”. The MASSOB chieftain disclosed that his men arrested a teenager who confirmed knowing one of the suspects who lived at No 50

Cooperative Street, Okpoko who was consequently arrested. The organization’s Director of Security, Mr. Chukwuneke Aguoha, said the suspect has confessed to the crime. Mr. Aguoha said, the gang has been responsible for serial raping of ladies and armed robberies on the highway, adding that their base is at the ‘New Park’ in Onitsha. Speaking to newsmen, the suspect, Chinonso, confessed to the crime and said his gang members were responsible for most robberies along the road, adding

that he received N3, 000 from the operation. He however said though he belonged to the six man gang, he was not part of the group that blocked the road the night Chibuzor was arrested. Narrating her ordeal, the victim (name withheld) who runs a restaurant on the express way, said she ran into the robbery suspects when the tricycle was involved in an accident. Meanwhile, the suspect had been handed over to the police while efforts are being made to arrest the fleeing gang members.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

51

World News

Arafat: France ‘opens murder inquiry’

– Norway Prime Minister, Mr Stoltenberg

52

TOBORE OVUORIE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

A

grenade was thrown yesterday at police in the Kenyan city of Mombasa, reportedly killing two people and wounding 16. Muslim youths have been involved in running battles with the police since Monday after the murder of radical preacher Aboud Rogo Mohammed. Mr Rogo, who the US accuses of backing Islamist fighters in Somalia, was killed in a drive-by shooting. Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga has appealed for calm, saying the country should avoid an “inter-religious war”. “Let’s act with restraint as law enforcement agencies get to the root of the matter,” he said. “We urge Muslims and Christians not to fight.” One person was killed and churches were attacked in clashes on Monday. A senior police intelligence officer in Mombasa, Benedict Kigen, announced the grenade attack. Aboud Rogo Mohammed was shot in front of his family. “They have attacked our officers.... Two people are dead, one of them is an officer, the other is a civilian,” Reuters news agency quoted him as saying. Sixteen policemen were wounded in the attack, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reports. Ben Lawrence of Human Rights Watch told the BBC that he

“We can never correct mistakes made in the past, but we can learn from the past.”

Youths attack police over Kenyan cleric’s death

A

Pirates have seized a Greekowned oil tanker and its 24 crew off the coast of Togo, a maritime group reports. The attackers exchanged fire with a Togolese patrol boat but escaped on the tanker, the International Maritime Bureau says. Piracy is said to be increasing in West Africa, with six ships seized in 2012. Ships are usually held for several days and the cargo transferred to a waiting tanker, before the crew of the original ship is freed. This is a different method to that used by Somali pirates, who demand a ransom for the ships they capture and often keep both vessels and crew for many months until they are paid.

Somali children blown up in school playground Kenyan Policemen trying to put out fire from the grenade attack yesterday.

PHOTOS: AP

saw running battles between the police and protesters. “I saw at the end of the street... billowing smoke and running battles between police and rioters. It came towards us, down the side street where I was located. People shut up their shops and ran in the opposite direction,” he said. “There’s been shops set on fire, looting, police trying to control the situation with tear gas, but so far, apparently failing.” Hotel owners said the violence

had badly affected Mombasa’s tourism industry, the backbone of the city’s economy, Reuters added. “It’s tricky to even take them [tourists] or pick them from the airport because the main highway from the airport is the epicentre of the chaos,” said Mohammed Hersi, who runs the Whitesands Hotel. Somalia’s militant Islamist group al-Shabab condemned Mr Rogo’s killing and said Muslims in Kenya should boycott next

year’s presidential election. “Muslims must take the matter into their own hands, stand united against the Kuffar [nonMuslims] and take all necessary measures to protect their religion, their honour, their property and their lives from the enemies of Islam,” it said in a statement. However, police spokesman Charles Owino said al-Shabab killed the cleric in an attempt to galvanise support among the youth.

grandmaster and opposition Russian politician Garry Kasparov and former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy. In a statement, Dr Tutu’s Office said: “Ultimately, the archbishop is of the view that Mr Blair’s decision to support the United States’ military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible. “The Discovery Invest Leadership Summit has leadership as its theme. Morality and leadership are indivisible. “In this context, it would be inappropriate and untenable for the archbishop to share a platform with Mr Blair.” Tony Blair’s office responded by saying he was sorry that Dr Tutu had pulled out, adding that

the former prime minister and the former Archbishop of Cape Town “were never actually sharing a platform” together. The statement continued: “As far as Iraq is concerned they have always disagreed about removing Saddam by force - such disagreement is part of a healthy democracy.” “As for the morality of that decision we have recently had both the memorial of the Halabja massacre where thousands of people were murdered in one day by Saddam’s use of chemical weapons; and that of the Iran-Iraq war where casualties numbered up to a million including many killed by chemical weapons. “So these decisions are never easy morally or politically.” Archbishop Tutu’s withdrawal comes as the local Muslim

party Al Jama-ah is reported to be planning a protest against Mr Blair’s participation at the event because of his support for the Iraq war.

Archbishop Tutu snubs Tony Blair over Iraq rchbishop Desmond Tutu has pulled out of an event because he refuses to share a platform with Tony Blair. The veteran peace campaigner said Mr Blair’s support for the Iraq war was “morally indefensible” and it would be “inappropriate” for him to appear alongside him. The pair were due to take part in a one-day leadership summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday. Mr Blair’s office said he was “sorry” the Archbishop had decided to pull out. Dr Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 in recognition of his campaign against apartheid, and Mr Blair were due to appear at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit. Other speakers include chess

WORLD BULLETIN Pirates seize Greek oil tanker off Togo

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

At least six Somali children have died after picking up explosives in their school playground, a local official has told the BBC. “I heard a very loud explosion, and minutes later, I saw mothers crying,” witness Abdifatah Mohamed told AFP. The children were aged from five to 10. Another four were injured in the explosion in the town of Balad, which was recently seized from Islamist militants. It is 30km (20 miles) north of the capital, Mogadishu. The explosion reportedly happened shortly after school opened on Monday. Although pro-government forces have gained much territory recently, al-Shabab, which has joined al-Qaeda, still controls many southern and central areas of the country.

Nine Gambia prisoners executed Nine prisoners have been executed in The Gambia, despite international alarm at an apparent official policy to carry out all death penalties by next month. The prisoners were shot dead by firing squad on Sunday, the Interior Ministry said. President Yahya Jammeh had vowed to kill all 47 death-row inmates by mid-September. Rights groups and the international community have expressed alarm, calling on Mr Jammeh to halt the executions. Amnesty International attacked the policy last week when it reported that the executions had been carried out three days earlier. Many of The Gambia’s death row inmates are former officials and top military officers who have been detained for treason since 1994, when Mr Jammeh took power in a coup.


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World News

WORLD BULLETIN Norway’s PM, Jens Stoltenberg, apologises over Breivik Norway’s prime minister has apologised for failings in the authorities’ response to last year’s attacks by Anders Behring Breivik. In an address to parliament, Jens Stoltenberg said he took responsibility for mistakes and promised a raft of new anti-terror measures. An official report concluded that police could have stopped Breivik sooner on the day of the attacks. The bombing and shooting rampage left 77 people dead. Breivik was sentenced last week to 21 years in prison by a court in Oslo, although his term can be extended if he continues to be deemed a threat to society. He has said he will not appeal. Mr Stoltenberg was speaking at a session of parliament convened to discuss the 500-page report, following an inquiry into last July’s bomb attack in Oslo and shootings on the island of Utoeya.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Arafat: France ‘opens murder inquiry’ F rench prosecutors have opened a murder inquiry into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, sources have told the French news agency AFP. His family launched a case last month over claims that he was poisoned with polonium-210, a radioactive element. Polonium was apparently found on some of Arafat’s belongings by Swiss scientists.

The medical records of Arafat, who died near Paris in 2004, say he had a stroke resulting from a blood disorder. However, many Palestinians continue to believe Arafat was poisoned by Israel because he was an obstacle to peace. Israel has denied any involvement. Others allege that he had Aids. Al-Jazeera TV commissioned Lausanne University’s Institute of Radiation Physics to analyse

Arafat’s belongings as part of a documentary, which also featured contributions from Arafat’s widow Suha. The scientists told the channel that they had found “significant” traces of polonium-210 present in items including Arafat’s trademark keffiyeh. Following the documentary, Arafat’s family lodged papers with the French authorities asking for an investigation.

Bomb kills Russian Muslim cleric, others in Dagestan A bomb blast has killed a leading Islamic scholar and at least five others in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus republic of Dagestan. Sheikh Said Afandi, a 74-yearold Sufi Muslim, was killed by a suspected female suicide bomber in his home, Russian media quoted police as saying. The blast happened in the village of Chirkey in the southern republic, which borders Chechnya. Dagestan’s security forces regularly clash with armed Islamist militants. The mainly Muslim, multi-ethnic republic has seen some of the worst militant violence in the North Caucasus in recent years. Sheikh Said Afandi was reported to have been giving a sermon in his home, when a woman, posing as a pilgrim, approached and blew herself up. Militants have increasingly been targeting moderate Muslim leaders who have criticised extreme forms of Islam.

Vietnam War reporter, Malcolm Browne, dies A journalist who captured an iconic image of a burning South Vietnamese monk in 1963 has died at the age of 81. Associated Press (AP) correspondent Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from Vietnam in 1964. But his photograph of Thich Quang Duc, an elderly monk who set himself on fire in Saigon, became one of the first defining images of the escalating conflict. Browne died near his Vermont home after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. After spending decades as a globe-trotting reporter, covering conflicts for the New York Times for some 30 years after leaving AP, Browne spent his final years struggling to move around and using a wheelchair.

Yasser Arafat led the Palestine Liberation Organisation for 35 years

The French news agency AFP on Tuesday reported that prosecutors had agreed to begin a murder inquiry. The agency quoted unnamed sources close to the case. Last week, the Swiss scientists said they had received permission from Suha Arafat and the Palestinian authorities to travel to Ramallah to analyse his remains. Arafat led the Palestine Liberation Organisation for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996. He fell violently ill in October 2004 and died two weeks later, at the age of 75, in a French military hospital. French doctors bound by privacy rules did not release information about Arafat’s condition. In 2005, the New York Times obtained a copy of Arafat’s medical records, which it said showed he died of a massive haemorrhagic stroke that resulted from a bleeding disorder caused by an unknown infection. Experts who reviewed the records told the paper that it was highly unlikely that he had died of Aids or had been poisoned.

Deadly car bomb hits funeral in Damascus

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welve people have been killed by a car bomb at a funeral in the Jaramana suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, state TV has reported. Injuries were also reported, with state media saying 48 people were wounded. The funeral was for two supporters of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a UK-based opposition group. Activists estimate over 20,000 people have died since March 2011, with over a million thought

to be displaced. The two who were being buried had reportedly been killed in a bomb attack on Monday. A taxi had been used to carry the bomb, according to state-run news agency Sana. The suburb of Jaramana where the blast occurred is predominantly populated by Christians and Druze, who follow an offshoot of Shia Islam. Pictures of the aftermath of the bombing showed several destroyed vehicles and damage to

Isaac hits hurricane strength as it nears New Orleans

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powerful storm bearing down on the Gulf Coast and New Orleans is now a hurricane, US forecasters say. Hurricane Isaac boasts sustained winds at least 75mph (120km/h), and is likely to make landfall by Tuesday night. The storm is expected to hit New Orleans seven years after the much stronger Hurricane Katrina. US President Barack Obama has warned residents in the path of the storm they should not “tempt fate” and should heed evacuation warnings. At 11:20 CDT (16:20 GMT), the storm was 160 miles (250km) south-east of New Orleans, moving north-west at 10mph (17km/h). Mr Obama has declared an emergency in Louisiana, allow-

ing federal funds to be released to local authorities. “As we prepare for Isaac to hit, I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions - including if they tell you to evacuate,” Mr Obama said on Tuesday. Speaking from the White House, he added: “Now is not the time to tempt fate. Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings. You need to take this seriously.” Isaac has killed at least 24 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and caused significant flooding and damage in the Caribbean. It largely bypassed the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, but prompted a daylong delay to proceedings there.

surrounding buildings. Violence continued across Syria on Tuesday, with reports of shelling around Damascus and fighting in the northern province of Idlib. Several districts to the east of Damascus came under heavy attack, activists said, as government forces step up efforts to clear the area of anti-government forces. The flow of refugees into Turkey has increased significantly in recent weeks, the UNHCR says.

Opposition fighters regrouped there after the regime claimed to have expelled them from the capital a month ago, the BBC’s Barbara Plett reports from neighbouring Lebanon. Anti-regime forces have been using guerilla-style hit-and-run tactics in the capital since then, our correspondent adds. Over the weekend, more than 200 people were reported killed in the town of Darayya near Damascus, the latest in a series of mass killings which have shocked Syrians.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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54

North

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Councillor, wife, sister, other die in Katsina auto crash JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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councillor from Malumfashi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Moh’d Sada and his wife and sister, including their driver, were yesterday killed in an auto crash that occurred in the state. The accident, which oc-

curred in the early hours of yesterday along the Malumfashi-Bakori Road, also left one person critically injured. But, the victim was, however, said to be receiving treatment at the Malumfashi General Hospital. Eyewitnesses told journalists that the accident involved a Honda Civic car and an articulated

lorry with the car coming from the opposite direction, when the accident occurred. They said the driver of the Honda Civic had lost control while speeddriving and colluded with the articulated lorry; and that the four people in the Honda car had died instantly while the injured was rushed to the nearest

hospital. Meanwhile, the Transition Committee Chairman of Malumfashi Council, Mansur Banki, has commiserated with families of the deceased. Banki described the late Sada as a complete gentleman, saying his death was a great loss to the local government council.

L-R: Former Minister of Industry, Chief Kola Jamodu; Executive Chairman, Adhama Textile and Garment Industry Ltd; Alhaji Saidu Dattijo; Mr. Olufemi Boyede and Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, during the inspection of textile products at the company in Bompai, Kano State, yesterday.

Flood kills 15, destroys N120m property in Kano

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he Kano State Rehabilitation and Emergency Relief Agency (KSRERA) yesterday confirmed the death of 15 persons in a flood that swept through nine local government areas of the state. Director of Operations at the agency, Alhaji Shehu

Maitama, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the flood destroyed houses and farmlands estimated at about N120 million. According to him, more than 2,000 families were displaced by the flood. Maitama listed the local government areas, where houses were destroyed, to

Nasarawa to build 54 healthcare centres

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he Nasarawa State Commissioner for Planning, Hajiya Maryam Buba, has said that 54 primary health centres would be constructed in the state through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Buba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lafia that this was to address the high rate of child and maternal mortality in the state. “The state government through the MDGs’ counterpart funding programme for 2011 has concluded arrangement to construct new primary health

care centres and to as well renovate infrastructure in the existing centres. “The old health centres will be renovated and equipped with modern facilities like laboratory equipment and solar-powered boreholes,” she said. The commissioner said a drug revolving scheme would also be put in place to ensure adequate supply of drugs to the centres. Buba decried the poor state of health centres and the inability of some personnel to handle womenrelated cases which, she said, often led to avoidable deaths in the rural areas.

include Bagwai, Bebeji, Gabasawa, Garun Malam, Karaye, Nassarawa, and Sumaila. He also said that farmlands were washed away in Doguwa and Tudun Wada Local Government Areas. The director said the agency had requested for

relief materials from the state government, after a thorough assessment of the affected areas. He added that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had been informed about the incident and that its verification team was being expected in the area.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

JUTH grounded as workers commence warning strike JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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edical services and other activities at the Jos University Hospital Teaching Hospital (JUTH) yesterday came to a standstill following a three-day warning strike embarked upon by staff of the health institution. The workers, who are asking for a reversal of the implementation of the new tax regime introduced by government, have also given the management of the institution a 21-day notice to stop the implementation of the tax regime or risk total strike by the workers. In a statement signed by Dr. Ewuga Ovye, on behalf of the Association of Resident Doctors; Mr. V. Lohdip, on behalf of the National Association of Nigerian Pharmacists and Mr. Dakwal Manglet, on behalf of the Forum of Federation of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, and obtained by our correspondent in Jos yesterday, the workers expressed disappointment over the insistence of the management to go ahead with the implementation of the circular. But, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the institution, Dr. Ishaya Pam, has described the action as unnecessary and uncalled for and an attempt to inflict undue hardship on patients because it was a Federal Government directive. Pam told our correspondent in an interview in Jos that President Goodluck

Jonathan had, in June last year, signed the new tax law and it was expected to commence immediately, but the circular got to the management last month and the implementation should start with the August salary. The CMD said that moreover, the non-implementation of the circular carried some sanctions and expressed dismay that the workers could give less than 24 hours notice before embarking on the warning strike. He said the issues involved were very clear as the money was not going to the management but to the government and wondered why the workers could protest a Federal Government decision to the extent of shutting a whole teaching hospital. “Pam’s words: “The Federal Government released the new tax law in June 2011 and we got the circular to implement. The law exempted some allowances and unfortunately the money is not coming to the management and the workers are resisting it. “I see their action as uncalled for and an attempt to subject the people to unnecessary suffering because the new law was not the making of JUTH management. “It was a government decision, which we have been given the order to implement. We started the implementation with August salary with the hope that we will go into negotiation on the payment of the arrears before the warning strike.”

Yuguda commissions 50 mass transit buses E ZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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he Bauchi State government has commissioned 50 units of 14-seater transit buses through the intervention of the Federal Government’s N10bn public mass transit scheme spread across the country. Commissioning the buses at the premises of Steyr Nigeria Limited in Bauchi, the state Governor, Isa Yuguda, said the Yankari Transport Service in the state purchased the buses on loan through the assistance of the Urban Develop-

ment Bank. According to Yuguda, after his inauguration for a second tenure, one of the priorities of his administration was to provide adequate transport services to the people of the state, which he noted will boost employment opportunities in the state. He lamented the lack of management and the decay in the transportation sector of the country, saying; “The transport sector in the country is undergoing very big challenges. I recall vividly how the Federal Government liquidated the Nigeria Air-

Gov. Yuguda

ways because of its lack of management. The most disturbing aspect of the liquidation was that it started at a time when Saudi Airlines was established and till today, the airlines is still working while Nige-

ria Airways packed up. As a result of the liquidation, a lot of people lost their jobs and they resigned themselves to fate. What more can I say, the rail system and water transportation is still backward today.” The governor, who warned the management of the Yankari Transport Service in the state against indolence and misappropriation of the funds, advised the company to improve on its service delivery to the people of the state, adding that with time the company will be sold to private investors so as to ensure efficiency in its operations.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

55

How to increase condom use –WHO

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Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Jide Idris; Permanent Secretary, Dr. Femi Olugbile and LASUTH’s Apex Nurse, Mrs. Modupe Shode at the commissioning of new Mobile Intensive Care Unit Ambulances for the state ambulance service recently.

Dial 122: Ogun introduces emergency toll-free number SEKINAH L AWAL

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gun state government has introduced an emergency toll-free number, 122, which can be accessed by anyone anywhere in the state during emergencies through any mobile network. Revealing this recently, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka said a communication system has been put in place to enable speedy response to emergencies. According to him, a fleet controller, who is the emergency call centre coordinator, would be on ground at all times and would be in contact with all ambulances and accident and emergency centres”. Government recently launched its rebranded ambulance services and has become the first in the country to join the United Nation’s Decade of Action on Road safety to reduce deaths on the highways. He called on other stakeholders such as the State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE), Nigerian Police Force and those in the works and transport sectors as well as other private enterprise such as the Critical Rescue International, to prevent emergencies arising from road crashes. Dr. Soyinka disclosed

that all the agencies form the “Road Safety Coalition” and their focus is to keep the roads structurally safe and well-maintained, enforcing traffic rules, improving signage and responding promptly to accidents. The Commissioner stated that the top range advanced life support ambulances would be located across the state and each of them will be manned by a crew of trained personnel. “Our crews have undergone extensive specialist training. For the first time in the state, we have purpose-trained paramedics and this will in future be the minimum benchmark for all our crews.” Warning all road users to desist from habits that could lead to accidents such as alcohol drinking, non-

usage of helmet on motor bikes, over speeding, nonusage of seat belts amongst others, he emphasized that, if accidents occur, the public should remember to dial 122 for immediate medical attention. Across the world, public telephone networks have a single emergency line, oftentimes known as the universal emergency telephone number or occasionally the emergency services number that allows callers to contact local emergency services for medical or other forms of assistance. However, these vary from state to state and country to country and it is usually a three digit number that can be easily remembered and dialed quickly. In view of this, Ogun state in recently joined

the league of states with a readily accessible and available number that can be reached promptly when the need arises. Others are partnering with the state to manage this rapid response scheme in emergency cases and enhance faster mobilization. They include; the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Nigerian Red Cross and the Nigerian Aid Group. Speaking on the preparedness of the state for this service, the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun submitted that; “we have sponsored all our emergency personnel for training on First Responder Skills, Basic Life Support and Advance Cardiac Life Support Certification from the American Heart Association.”

L-R Representative of the former chairman of Sky Bank, Mrs. Osezua. M.O, chairman of the event, Mr. Wale Aboderin, Author, Pastor Emmanue Ibekwe, representative of the Chief Launcher. Pastor Ighodalo Ituah and Chairman BOT HEWAN, Dr. Enabulele during the launching of the book, Sickle cell disorder: Early warning signals in Lagos recently.

arketing campaigns can double the likelihood of condom use, according to a study published this month in the WHO Bulletin. The study showed that people were twice as likely to use condoms, on average, if they were exposed to marketing methods, such as an effective supply of locally-branded condoms, compared to those who had not come across marketing campaigns. Similar results were also found when analysing condom use in the most recent sexual encounters. Condom use again increased significantly, with rates almost twice as high on average, after they had been targeted at consumers in a marketing drive. The research – the first of its kind – was based on all available evidence contained in six studies carried out in India and sub-Saharan Africa between 1990 and 2010, and involving more than 23 000 people.

Michael Sweat, one of the lead authors of the research from the Medical University of South Carolina, said: “Condom social marketing was associated with a doubling of condom use in communities. This is impressive, and demonstrates the need to maintain access to lowcost and free condoms in developing countries.” “The findings underline the importance of using condoms and the need to continually increase awareness and access to condoms through targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with local consumers and help bring about a change in behavior,” added Dr Sweat. The analysis was done through a collaboration with researchers from WHO headquarters in Switzerland, together with staff from the Medical University of South Carolina, Family Health International and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, all in the USA.

Group donates pillows to Kogi patients ADEMU IDAKWO

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n a bid to alleviate pains experienced by patients in some hospitals in the country, a group, ‘Give a Pillow Campaign’ donated 300 pillows of Fiber products to the Kogi state government for upward distribution to six state owned hospitals across the state. The provision of the pillows was in conjunction with Vitaform Nigeria limited. The benefiting state owned hospitals are Ankpa, Dekina, Idah, Okene, Kabba and Koto-karffi general hospitals respectively. Accepting the pillows on behalf of the state government, the commissioner of health, Dr. Idris Omede commended the group for providing the items for the state hospitals, adding that government alone could not provide all the component needs of all hospitals in the state. He therefore appealed to spirited individuals and groups to collaborate with the state government and emulate the group by par-

taking in the health sector through the provision of basic needs of heath care for the betterment of the people. In his remarks, president of the group, Rev. Tope Popoola said that he was motivated in providing the pillows to the state government when he had a health challenge some years back. According to him, he was admitted in a hospital and discovered that most of the wards in the hospital had no pillows for their patients to rest their heads. Rev. Popoola then explained that Kogi state is the third beneficiary of the ‘give a pillow’ campaign in the country, stressing that, “with God on our side and with the collaboration of Vitaform we will continue to provide the much needed pillows for our hospitals across the country”. He therefore urged the benefiting hospitals to use the pillows for the purpose intended, praying that, “those that will use the pillows will get well but those that stole the pillows to their respective homes will get sick because the pillows is meant for those that are sick”.


WORLD RECORD

Most characters played in a one man show

Vol. 02 No. 436

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

N150

Laxman Deshpande (India) plays all 53 parts in his one man play Varhad Nighalay Londonla. The three hour play, which he first performed in 1979, is a comedy about a marriage party from India going to London for the wedding of one of their sons.

Lamentations of a President

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resident Goodluck Jonathan is not known to have a predilection for openly voicing perceived anger and frustrations in public. Whatever opinion he has on any issue is never shared in the public domain. And for this, a perception of weakness and incompetence has been bandied around his personae, thereby making him look not only spineless but more so incapable of appreciating the burdens of leadership. His opponents see him more or less as an accidental president, who happened to come into political authority by default. Therefore, they claim that such reluctance and unpreparedness to face the byzantine rigours of governance, is responsible for the lack of impact the administration has so far made on the national stage. Opponents have not missed nor spared any opportunity to tar him with the brush of amateurism and dawdling incompetence. By extension, it means that the

B

ritish hope, Laura Robson, will take on Belgian Kim Clijsters in the second round of the US Open after the former came through a tight tussle Samantha Crawford at Flushing Meadows yesterday. The 18-year-old was not

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

country has been slouching from near mishap to another, while the president has been spending precious time in Aso Rock indulging his epicurean taste. Any observer would be hard pressed to dismiss such accusations, especially after taking a cursory look at the despair and forlorn state of the nation. From dilapidated infrastructure to massive unemployment and from the precarious security situation to Babel of discordant and antagonistic voices championing ethnic and regional interests, one comes away with the impression that this country is doomed under his watch. Compounding his miseries is the fact that he lacks the gift of gab and an arresting swagger that would have come in handy when rallying his supporters or routing his traducers. The lack of these attributes is helping his opponents to have a field day, while making him fly an ordinary pitch. And for this, many citizens believe the president is overwhelmed by the enormous responsibility of the office and so provides leadership by doing nothing. But is this perception true? Even President Jonathan has acknowledged such public misgivings and yet, finds it difficult to place the blames where they belong. Now he wants to fight back. According to him, he is the most criticised President in the whole world because the constant and consistent barrage of attacks from opponents have made people to see him as a not- so- hands- on- administrator. “I have experienced that before in

WHAT PEOPLE ARE ASKING OF HIM, IS A CONCRETE LOGICAL SEQUENCE OF ACTION TO PUT THE COUNTRY BACK TO A FUNCTIONING STATE my journey as governor in Bayelsa State and I told people close to me that in my first 12 months, especially you will hear all kinds of things but as we progress you will see dramatic changes”. That was his submission at the recent Nigerian Bar Association Conference in Abuja. If one may ask, what changes did he bring in Bayelsa during his interregnum as governor? Evidence did not show he initiated or executed any earth shaking policies or projects that gave the state any headwind in the race to be the reference point for economic or political development in the country. By the time he was winched from Yenegoa and parachuted into the grounds of the Presidential Palace at Abuja, his home state was still solemn and unobtrusive, even when it received munificent dollops of federal handouts. Even at this, the problems confronting the country are greater than that faced while presiding as chief executive in Yenegoa. While the glacial

pace of reforms could have been tolerated back then in Bayelsa, the larger Nigerian constituency is becoming impatient with such perpetual talks of transformation without concrete actions to show for it. It is not enough blaming the rot in the polity on some mythical forces or absolving himself of any guilt, what people are asking of him, is a concrete logical sequence of action to put the country back to functioning state. From the time he was sworn in as President of Nigeria, the onus of responsibility is on him to bring a magical wand and conjure solution to all the problems facing the nation. His stewardship would not be judged by the permissive incompetence of his predecessors but by how he brings his super human attributes to ameliorate the pangs of hardship being faced by the citizens today. No one remembers that the crumbling roads, electricity, schools, hospitals, industries and even the persistent insecurity in the North were a holdover from a wicked and insensitive past; the onus of fixing and making the country safe in the next four years lies with him. For history to be kind or harsh on him would be dependent on how he leverages his political and mental capacity to bringing the country back from the brinks. In November, Americans will be going to the polls to elect a new president to rule them for the next four years. The incumbent, Barack Obama, has been battling for his political life against an equally formidable opponent, Mitt Romney, and of course the ever lurking depressed economy, which is even more threatening to his second term bid. Instructively, Obama inherited the parlous economy from a former Republican President, George Bush (Jnr). Even at that, Republicans point to the persisting recession as Obama’s failure, despite repeated excuses that the decline was not his own making. The moral is that Nigerians will continue to criticize President Jonathan until he proves his mettle by bringing them out of the present political maelstrom and economic doldrums in the shortest possible time.

Sport Extra

US Open 2012: Clijsters gets rookie’s challenge at her best but won the points that mattered in a 6-3 7-6 (8/6) victory - with a clash with three-time champion Clijsters, who is playing in her final professional tournament.

Robson, who was playing in a grand slam as a direct entrant on ranking for the first time and found herself in the unusual position of being the senior player, had the

better of three straight breaks to lead 5-3, holding the set before quickly finding herself down a break in the second. She hit back to level at 3-3 and from there both

players held serve to take the set into a tie-break before donating the first set point to her opponent with a double fault, which Crawford should have exploited.

Kim Clijsters

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012  

FG sacks Power Minister, Nnaji. Newswatch clears salary arrears, lays off 70% staff. Opposition parties hit back at Jonathan. President bla...

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