Confab proposes govt shutdown in cases of budget delay OMEIZA AJAYI AND WOLE OLADIMEJI
n the event of the nonpassage of the nation’s annual budget within a stipulated timeframe, the
Vol. 4 N0. 868
ongoing National Conference has proposed the shutdown of government rather than engaging in spending non-appropriated funds. According to the delegates, where the President CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
S’Korea aims to repeat 2002 feat
Friday, June 6, 2014
CBN to slash interest rates
N150 TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he new Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday announced plans to slash interest on deposit and lending rates and abolish all fees associated with limits on bank deposits. He said this new policy
direction would encourage improved credit access to key sectors and unleash the productive potential of the Nigerian economy for employment generation, poverty alleviation and inclusive growth. The benchmark interest rate has remained at 12 per cent for over two years under the previous CBN reCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
...says no plan to devalue naira Emefiele lists 10-point agenda
L-R: Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; Deputy Governor, Monetary Policy, Dr. Sarah Alade and Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, during the governor’s maiden press briefing on the New CBN Outline Vision in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
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FG orders military hardware to confront Boko Haram 50 killed in fresh Borno, Adamawa attacks
Corruption: Reps won’t be intimidated by Presidency –Tambuwal
Friday, June 6, 2014
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FG orders military hardware to confront Boko Haram OBIORA IFOH, INUSA NDAHI AND CHIDI UGWU
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that the Federal Government had placed orders for much needed military hardware to suppress the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East. He also declared that the defection of five governors to the rival All Progressives Congress, APC, had no negative impact on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Jonathan, who spoke at the 65th National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the party, in Abuja said the days of the Islamic insurgency were numbered. According to him, with the equipment being purchased, it was a matter of time before the sect was brought to their knees. “I assure you that those issues of equipment, and other things for the military, we are handling them. God willing, these challenges of Boko Haram, and other criminal challenges, will soon come to be history in Nigeria. “While contending with the security challenges, we’re still totally committed to our developmental programmes based on the party manifesto,” he said. The Nigerian military has been accused of lacking the fire power to contain the insurgents who launch raids on both military and civilian targets almost on a daily basis. The lack of requisite equipment has also led to low morale among troops fighting the insurgents, with the sect said to possess more sophisticated arms and other equiqment in most cases than soldiers. Jonathan, who also spoke on the internal wrangling within his party, said some of the governors who defected to APC were afraid to conduct local government elections and incapable of securing electoral victory in their wards. The President said: “I appreciate our PDP governors. Though some of them and some other people left us, we are not noticing their absence. When some governors moved and some National Assembly members moved, some people thought
they would soon overrun the party, but when I looked across, from my privileged vantage position, I didn’t really see the threat. “I told the National Chairman, ‘let us organise national unity rallies, to demonstrate our strength, so that people will know that one or two persons leaving us is inconsequential.’ “I am not even sure they can win their wards in an election now, because some of those states are totally PDP states. And when they left you think they would be leaving with the whole state, but by the time you get there, you will discover that others stayed back and are continuing with the PDP. Some of these governors are even afraid to conduct local government elections. “Governor Akpabio, Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Jang, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, and other governors have shown great commitment. Though some left, those who remained are working better than when there were more. “PDP is still solid, it’s still the dominant party, and surely, this party will win our elections, free and fair. In terms of people decamping, the trend is also changing.” He also explained that the problems, which existed at the National Assembly had given PDP leaders cause for worry, adding that the issues have embarrassed him in the company of his ECOWAS colleagues. “At a time we had issues in the NASS and as PDP members we were beginning to worry. When I attend ECOWAS and at meetings, people keep asking me what the problem is as what was coming out of the National Assembly does not reflect the fact that the party controls the assembly,” he said. National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Ahmadu Mu’azu, acknowledged that PDP had never been so challenged but gave assurances that everything would soon be resolved. He explained further that he was encouraged that in spite of the challenges, Nigerians and the international community still rallied around President Jonathan. He also added that his efforts towards restoring the party’s glory have started yielding the desired results
as most of the aggrieved party members now share common ground and are coming back. He also said he would reconstitute the Financial Committee, Disciplinary Committee, the Board of the Peoples Democratic Institute and also organise a fund raising dinner to source funds to complete the national secretariat. At another forum in Abuja also yesterday, President Jonathan decried the level of prominence being given to insurgent groups by the media urging practitioners to endeavour to define the thin line between the urge
to report and the need to protect people who may be tempted to copy the characters of terrorists. President Jonathan, who spoke at the public presentation of a book, “What they don’t teach you in broadcasting” at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, accused the media of making national icons out of terrorists to the detriment of national interest. The President, who was represented on the occasion by the Information Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku, urged the media to be careful in the way it reported the activities of insurgents and
terrorists, stressing that the terrorists groups were taking undue advantage of real media to sell their ideology. Meanwhile, at least 45 people were killed while several others sustained gunshot wounds when Boko Haram members attacked Bargari village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State on Wednesday night, while another five people were killed in Madagali, headquarters of Gulak Local Government in Adamawa State yesterday. The attack also left many people displaced as the terrorists set ablaze houses, shops, vehicles, motorcycles
and bicycles before carting away with food items and livestock. A resident of the village, who escaped the attack, but returned back to pick up the pieces, Mallam Abubakar Maikudi, said over 45 people were killed by the insurgents. “I counted 45 dead bodies, including one of my neighbours. “The gunmen came into the village at about 9pm on Wednesday, gathered residents in one place convincing them that they came into Bargari to propagate the teaching/preaching of CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
L-R: Vice-President Namadi Sambo; National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu and President Goodluck Jonathan arriving at the National Secretariat of the party for the 65th National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
CBN to slash interest rates CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
gime led by Mallam Lamido Sanusi despite a significant drop in inflation rate to single digit in the recent months and calls for a reduction. The new CBN boss also assured that there was no immediate plan to devalue the naira and warned that fraudulent borrowers would know no rest as appropriate sanctions would be applied for any breach of existing laws as they apply to default on bank loans. He also made it clear that his regime would steer clear of politics and maintain a strict professional approach in the discharge of its duties. The new governor spoke in Abuja at his maiden press conference entitled: “Entrenching macroeconomic stability and engendering economic development” where he unveiled a 10-point reform agenda, seeking to
improve the integrity of the financial services sector and entrench it an a catalyst for growth. He said the bank under his leadership would focus on people-oriented policies that would reduce the level of poverty, create jobs and ensure sustainable inclusive growth of the economy. Emefiele maintained that his efforts would be geared towards sustaining the current macroeconomic stability through appropriate monetary policies and adopt some other proactive measures that would enable the operations of the apex bank to impact positively on the citizens. Specifically, he stated that during his tenure, the CBN would a pursue a monetary policy regime that will achieve exchange rate stability, encourage investments, shore up of foreign reserves; and build sectorspecific expertise in bank-
ing supervision to reflect loan concentration of the banking industry. In addition, he explained that more commitment would be given to risk-based supervision mechanism of Nigerian banks; adopt measures to address the challenge of inadequate trigger thresholds from a macro-prudential perspective in the banking system and abolish fees associated with limits on deposits and review the current practice in which all fees associated with limits on withdrawals accrue to the banks alone. The governor also hinted that the apex bank would introduce a broad spectrum of financial instruments to boost enterprise areas; establish a secured transaction and national collateral registry and a national credit scoring system to improve access to information on borrowers; build a resilient financial infrastructure that
serves the needs of the lower end of the market; and also canvass the creation of commercial courts for adjudication on loan default and related offences. According to him, the vision of the new Board and management of the regulatory institution is to “be the model central bank delivering price and financial system stability and promoting sustainable economic development”, adding that the new vision derives from the new team’s understanding of the multiple mandate of the bank. While noting that the CBN’s exchange rate policy, which is based on the managed float regime, has served the financial system well by properly anchoring expectations, creating policy certainty in macroeconomic management amongst other benefits, the new Governor however pointed out that there was room for improveCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
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L-R: All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Sen. Kashim Imam; former Borno State Governor, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, Interim National Chairman, APC, Chief Bisi Akande and National Secretary, Alhaji Tijani Tumsah, during the inauguration of the states, chairmen of the party in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA L-R: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; Chairman,151 Products Limited, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and Chairman, Venus Processing and Packaging Limited, Otunba Adeoye Tugbobo, during the 3rd AgrikEpo in Lagos recently.
L-R: Managing Director, UACN Property Development Company Plc, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran; Chairman UPDC, Mr. Larry Ettah and Secretary, Mr. Godwin Samuel, during the Annual General Meeting of UACN in Lagos on Wednesday. PHOTO: SAMUEL ADETIMEHIN
L-R: Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr. Emeka Ezeh; representative of President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Labaran Maku; Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr. Ladan Salihu; author of the book, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji and his wife, Esther, during the presentation of the book, ‘What They Don’t Teach You In Broadcasting,’ in Abuja, PHOTO: NAN yesterday.
Corruption: Reps won’t be intimidated by Presidency –Tambuwal TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of using the judiciary to interfere with the constitutional responsibilities of the National Assembly. Addressing lawmakers yesterday at plenary as part of the 7th House third anniversary, Tambuwal said the incessant resorts to courts by functionaries of the Executive to stop the House from holding them to account to the people was an affront on democracy and the principle of the separation of powers. “During the session, we witnessed the dawn of a disturbing trend, whereby people now go to court to stop the National Assembly from exercising its constitutional mandate and conduct its internal operations. This is unheard of in jurisdictions where genuine democracy is practised and venerated.
“It is neither usual nor appropriate for the judiciary to be used pre-emptively to stop the legislature from acting in the first place. This is an encroachment on the powers of the legislature and a slap in the face of the principle of separation of powers,” he said. The Speaker also lambasted the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu for banning protests on the abducted Chibok schoolgirls without clearance from his superiors. “The nation recently woke up to the sad dawn of a Commissioner of Police acting on his own initiative, without clearance from his superiors and in flagrant contravention of the clear Constitutional guarantees of the right of citizens audaciously purporting to ban the peaceful assembly of Nigerians. “This is an unacceptable abridgement of the rights of Nigerians to freedom of speech, association and peaceful assembly, and this House must treat this mat-
ter with the seriousness it deserves,” he said. Tambuwal regretted that impunity and corruption were worsening among public officials, especially in the Presidency. He said: “Findings at oversight visits as well as
complaints and petitions from members of the public consistently revealed the extent to which corruption has eaten into the fabric of the stewardship of public resources. “Strangely, the collective experience of our members
in the course of exercising their oversight functions is that there is a growing culture of impunity on the part of public officers in Nigeria, which makes them inclined to resist the ethos of accountability.” Tambuwal warned that
the House would not be a rubberstamp of the Executive arm. “Those desirous of a National Assembly that would merely rubberstamp a draft budget submitted to it by the Executive must look elsewhere,” he added.
Committee on Chibok abduction denies allegation of manipulation
he Presidential Fact-Finding Committee on Chibok Abduction yesterday denied the allegation that the Presidency was on a mission to either frustrate or manipulate its report. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the spokesperson of the committee, Mr. Kingsley Osadolor. The statement said the committee had read recent reports insinuating that the presidency was on a mission to either frustrate or manipulate its report. It said the reports had emerged on the heels of reactions to comments
credited to some officials of the Federal Government. “The Presidential Factfinding Committee on Chibok Abduction wishes to state categorically that those who have expressed their opinion on aspects of the committee’s terms of reference are not members of the committee. “They have never attended any meeting of the committee, nor have they been participantobservers at the various interactive sessions the committee held in Abuja, Maiduguri, and Chibok,” the statement said. It added that no presidency official had been privy to the minutes of
the proceedings of the committee since it commenced work following its inauguration on May 6, It also said that the committee had issued statements and granted interviews as the need arose, adding that the committee had communicated through its spokesperson. “The committee wishes to assure Nigerians and other stakeholders that the statements credited to certain officials are their personal views, which did not emanate either directly or indirectly from the committee. “Since its inauguration on May 6, there has been
no meeting between the committee or anyone or more of its members and the presidency. “The committee has never been invited to give any secret or open briefing on its work or findings so far,” it added. The committee stressed that it was not being teleguided. It also said that the committee was now on the home stretch of its assignment, adding that no staff of the presidency had been obliged with a snippet of what it was working on. The statement stressed that the committee had not issued any interim report.
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CBN to slash interest rates CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
ment in the policy environment. On the monetary and exchange rates policy regime, he said the CBN will, under his leadership, pursue a gradual reduction in interest rates, especially the Treasury Bills rates, and also work vigorously to ensure exchange rate stability for the national currency. Emefiele said: “To enhance financial access and reduced borrower cost of credit, we would pursue policies targeted at making Nigeria’s T-bill rates more comparable with other emerging markets and by extension, pursue a reduction in both deposit and lending rates. While a reduction in deposit rates would encourage investment attitudes in savers, a reduction in lending rates would make credit cheaper for potential investors. “The Bank would also begin to include the unemployment rate as one of the key variables considered for its Monetary Policy decisions. In the interim, we would continue to maintain a monetary policy stance, reflecting the liquidity conditions in the economy as well as the potential fiscal expansion in the run-up to the 2015 general elections”, he said. On financial system stability, Emefiele expressed the hope that the apex bank
will sustain the effective management of potential threats to the system and avoid systemic crisis, adding that “the core of my vision is to effectively manage potential threats to financial stability, and create a strong governance regime that is conducive for financial intermediation, innovative finance and inclusiveness”. To achieve this agenda, he said the CBN’s leadership hoped to anchor the drive on two main pillars namely, managing factors that create liquidity shocks and, zero tolerance on practices that undermine the health of the financial institutions. The new apex bank’s helmsman also indicated his intention to better align the Cashless Policy with a view to eliminating some of its operational flaws that are still making customers critical about it, including the charges being imposed on cash deposits. To give a breather to depositors, he ordered immediate stoppage of charges on cash deposits and also unveiled a planned review of charges on excess withdrawals by individual and corporate bank customers, which now go entirely to the commercial banks. In the area of developmental banking, he said the CBN’s functions will include, credit allocations and direct interventions in key sec-
tors such as power, health, agriculture, MSME and oil and gas, just as he unveiled a new Framework for SMEs funding, which will create a stronger partnership between the Bank and the Organised Private Sector, OPS; resolve their challenges in areas of access to collateral and offer them enterprise development support and development of a nationwide credit scoring system; amongst others. Emefiele said that aside from this new collaboration with the private sector, the CBN will also design a programme for people who need as low as N50,000 to get loans without collateral through registered and accredited local cooperatives and encourage venture capital companies and business angels to fund SMEs. He explained further that under his leadership, the
apex bank would revisit the goals and implementation of its intervention programmes in the agricultural sector, including the disbursement of the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), amongst others, in order to ensure that high value addition is obtained from funds provided just as interventions would be driven towards improving productivity in areas with high domestic demand and where opportunities exist to improve domestic supply. For instance, he explained that as part of the Bank’s efforts to boost productivity in food commodities such as rice, wheat, fish and sugar on which the country is paying substantial part of its N1.3trn yearly food import bill, the CBN will take measures that will help in improving local production on the four
commodities in view of the positive multiplier effects on the economy. To achieve this goal, Emefiele said that 60 per cent of the CACS will now be targeted at the identified commodities even as he announced the increase of the loan limit under the Scheme to N50m to expand resources available to small agricultural projects. On the planned intervention in the Power Sector, the Governor said the Bank would facilitate investment in key parts of the value chain by providing funds at concessionary rates to targeted investments in the sector. In addition, he also announced that the CBN would also support investments in renewable energy in rural areas through matching funding schemes, and providing first loss guarantees. For the Oil and Gas sec-
tor, the financial expert said the apex bank will support efforts, in collaboration with the relevant ministries and agencies, at domesticating the nation’s oil and gas resources to ensure that more of the resources were produced and utilised locally, adding that this approach would stimulate inclusive growth, create jobs and reduce pressure on the exchange rate. According to him, CBNinitiated measures would be designed to align with the policy intent of the PIB through contributions to the policy development and that in order to optimise the operations of the Upstream sector, the apex bank will look at investment incentives that encourage local Niger Delta-based SMEs to play an active role in metering services and pipeline protection technologies.
FG orders military hardware to confront Boko Haram CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
Islam, and when almost all residents were gathered, another set came from nowhere and opened fire on the congregation. “We started running for our dear lives, I was able to escape without being shot, but the gunmen killed over 40, with many injured, before they started looting properties and setting structures ablaze, razing the whole village completely in the process,” he said. Also another escapee, who did not mention his name said, “The gunmen numbering of 20 ambushed the village with 4 Toyota Hilux vehicles, AK47 rifles, Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs and petrol bombs, wrecked havoc before they fled towards the Sambisa forest”. A BBC Hausa service report monitored in Maidu-
guri by our correspondent also reported that about 45 people were killed by Boko Haram sect in Bargari village of Borno state on Wednesday. The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jubrin’s could not be reached by telephone but a senior police officer confirmed the attack, pointing out that, “45 people were killed when suspected terrorist group invaded Bargari village near Maiduguri, leaving several others seriously injured”. In a related development, five people were on Wednesday evening shot dead when some group of terrorists riding a Volkswagen Golf saloon car opened fire on a group of residents killing five of them and fled without any arrest.
Students of Lagos State University protesting the hike of fees in at the Lagos State Government House, Alausa, yesterday.
Confab proposes govt shutdown in cases of budget delay CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
or the National Assembly fails to meet the timelines set for the passage of the Appropriation Bill, government will have to shut down operations. This was even as delegates approved an amendment to Section 147(3) of the 1999 Constitution, which provides for the appointment by the President of at least one minister from each state of the federation. According to conference delegates, the President should be made to appoint not more than one minister from each state of the federation, saying there was no need appointing six more ministers from each of the six geo-political zones as is
the practice now. The conference held that Section 82 of the 1999 Constitution be amended to stop any expenditure by government in the event of a delay in the passage of the budget. The section authorises the government to make some spendings while the budget is yet to be passed. The Committee on Public Service headed by former Head of Service, Ebele Okeke, had while submitting its report advocated that the Appropriation Bill for the coming year must be presented to the National Assembly on or before September 30 of every year. It added that the process of passage by the National Assembly must be completed
within two months for presidential assent in December. Three amendments were suggested to include that Section 59 (3) of the 1999 Constitution be amended to include that “where the National Assembly fails to consider and pass the Appropriation Bill within the stated time frame, the bill shall be sent to Mr. President for his/her assent. “That failure to adhere to the time frame stated for the presentation of the Appropriation Bill shall form part of the definition of misconduct as stated in Sections 142 (11) and 188 (11) respectively. “In the event that the budget is not approved by the 2nd of January, Government should operate on the
basis of 75 per cent of previous year’s Budget as an interim measure to avoid shut down.” The delegates, however, kicked against the amendments, saying the failure to pass the budget within the timeframe must result in a shut down in order to stem the current situation where both the Executive and the Legislature do not seem to be bothered about delays in budget presentation and approval. However, an amendment that minimum wage be raised from N18, 000 to not less than N40, 000 for public servants was roundly defeated by the delegates during consideration of recommendations.
Friday June 6, 2014
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APC faults Clark’s call for complete emergency rule
... says it can enthrone illegality OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he All Progressives Congress (APC) has faulted Chief Edwin Clark’s call for removal of democratic structures in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which are under a state of emergency over the activities
of the terror group, Boko Haram. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said apart from pushing the President to commit an unconstitutional act, Clark is also working to help the PDP devise an undemocratic way to win elections
in 2015 by forcefully overthrowing elected officials in the state. It said Clark’s outburst against the Attorney-General of the federation for ‘’misadvising’’ President Jonathan on the declaration of emergency in the three states is not aimed at clipping the wings of the insurgents but simply to give an unfair advantage to PDP.
The APC said contrary to insinuations by the Federal Government, the three state governments have given the troops deployed to their states unprecedented support both in cash and kind, without which the war on terror there might have been harder to fight. ‘’The Borno State government, for example, has provided equipment and
logistics worth N10 billion to the military, and this includes the provision of armoured personnel carriers, 400 brand new patrol vehicles, regular fuelling, provision of accommodation for soldiers and cash as immediate palliatives to families of slain soldiers, training, kitting and payment of stipends to civilian volunteers and robust intelligence support for the military using residents, hunters, vigilantes and the traditional institutions. ‘’It therefore baffles any informed observer how this massive support could have hindered the fight against Boko Haram, as Chief
Clark insinuated in his unnecessary diatribe, which he made with his usual flair,” the party said. It added: ‘’Will the removal of the elected officials in the three states improve security in the states and immediately end the insurgency? Will it make the army better equipped? Will it provide better intelligence? Will it scare Boko Haram away? Will it increase the number of troops? Will it improve military logistics and planning? Will it inspire the people or build their confidence and sense of security? Will it translate to a better trained and nimble military force?
NNPC moves to minimise effects of harmful chemicals on environment CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
T L-R: Minister of Sports, Mr. Tammy Danagogo; Chairman, Governing Board of the National Institute for Sports, Col. Idu Enonche (rtd) and member, Mr. Felix Obuah, at the inauguration of the board in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Ex-SGF chides govt officials over neglect of populace ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
ormer Secretary to the Federal Government, Adamu Fika, yesterday lashed out at Nigerian leaders, saying they no longer care about the people they govern. Fika did not mention any name but the sweeping comment attacked all leaders serving in various positions at the three tiers of government. He spoke at the public presentation of a book titled ‘A Life Shared’, biography of Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, SAN. The book was written by a law professor, Yemi Akinseye-George, SAN. While claiming that several reasons were behind the country’s retrogression, Fika however identified refusal to adhere to rule of law as the chief cause. According to him, leaders nowadays behave as though laws were only made to apply to the lowly
and to be broken by the high and mighty at will. He said that all the arms of governance had failed to respect the rule of law or to adhere to proper procedure in the conduct of public affairs. His words: “Nigeria is systematically being turned into a lawless, almost failed entity. “What is happening in Nigeria today is not democracy: it does not even resemble it. It is just a reenactment of the naked doctrine of might is right.” He also said that the media had failed to investigate, expose and report the excesses and abuse of office by wielders of public power. He said: “The media has joined the others in the conspiracy of silence against the people of Nigeria.” He recalled instances where leaders in the First Republic made sacrifices to serve the people by agreeing to a reduction in their salaries in order to
boost revenue and meet the needs of the people. He explained, “In the event of such happening, a minister’s salary was reduced from 3,000 Pounds to 2,700 Pounds while his permanent secretary remained on 2,940 Pounds or 3,180 Pounds, in each case earning higher than the former.” According to him, leaders then did not send their children to private schools and colleges overseas, nor travel abroad for medical check up or treatment. He said: “But within the last 25 years things have changed for the worse. Our leaders have generating sets installed in their offices and residences, operated and maintained at public expense; their children are sent abroad to attend the best schools and colleges directly or indirectly at the public expense; they travel abroad for medical check up and treatment.” The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mukhtar,
at the event described Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim as a noble man whose exemplary leadership qualities should be emulated by young lawyers. In his speech, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, said Abdullahi’s contribution to the legal profession was unparalleled. Three past chief justices of Nigeria, Muhammadu Uwais, Alfa Belgore and Dahiru Musdapher attended the book presentation. Former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Israel and Cyprus, Professor George Obozor described Abdullahi as a “genuine patriot and a man of peace, tolerant and patient, a bridge builder and a self-confident man.” Alhaji Abdullahi was a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Science and Technology and Minister of Transport and Aviation.
he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has said it has deployed strategies to ensure discontinuation of harmful and unsafe chemicals to environments where its oil facilities are located. Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Divisionb of NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, in a statement said the corporation expressed its determination to initiate and sustain policies that are environment- friendly through the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies and upgrade of its production facilities. According to the statement, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, made the decision known at an event organized by the Group Health Safety and Environment Department to commemorate the 2014 World Environment Day with the theme ‘Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level’ at the NNPC Towers, Abuja. Yakubu noted that the NNPC as a responsible corporate citizen has deployed strategies to ensure discontinuation of harmful and unsafe chemicals to environments where its oil facilities are located. “NNPC has reduced routine gas flaring from over 30% to about 11% in the last three years. We are
pursuing renewable energy development in line with the Kyoto Protocol. We are ensuring pollution control and swift remediation of impacted site whenever they occur,” the GMD said. The NNPC helmsman called on Nigerians to collectively address the issues of climate change and strengthen their resolve towards tree planting that will make the environment a better place for sustainable development. He observed that the NNPC as a major player in the oil and gas industry has raised health safety and environment standards, stressing that the event reaffirmed the corporation’s commitment to staff wellbeing, safety at work place and environmental protection. Delivering a paper with the topic, ‘Climate Change: It is Time for Action,’ Dr. Engobo Emeseh, a guest lecturer from the United Kingdom, said climate change was the highest security risk confronting the contemporary society which has led to draught, flooding and famine in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. She implored the NNPC and other organizations to embark on operations that are environment-friendly, noting that if effects of climate change were not mitigated, the water level would rise and submerge some of the installations of the corporation.
Enogieru is Edo’s new NDDC commissioner SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
resident Goodluck Jonathan has apparently capitulated to pressure mounted on him by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to appoint a nominee backed by the party as the commissioner for Edo State, on the board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. National Mirror exclusively gathered yesterday in Benin City, the state capital, that the president had forwarded the names of Mr. Peter Enogieru to the Senate for screening and approval for the position. Until now, Edo had been the only state without a commissioner, even after the current board was inaugurated last December, thereby stalling development projects of the agency in the state. By the announcement, the president has also
staved off the plan by youths in Edo State to give him a hostile welcome whenever he visits the state. They also vowed to ‘effectively side-step’ Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, who nominated the immediate past commissioner in the NDDC board, Mr. Henry Okhuarobo, for re-appointment, unlike the case of other crude oilproducing state governors whose nominees were appointed commissioners. Apart from Enogieru, the Personal Assistant to Senator Ehigie Uzamere, who represents Edo South Constituency in the Senate and recently decamped to the PDP; Edo PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih nominated Mr. Chris Nehikhare; while Senator Odion Ugbesia of Edo Central Constieuency, nominated Mr. Osahon Ahunwan.
Friday June 6, 2014
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Jonathan appoints Alkali as Political Adviser
…Baraka Sani as SSA ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan has appointed the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prof.
Rufa’i Alkali, as his new Special Adviser on Political Affairs. Alkali, who hails from Gombe State, replaced Ahmed Gulak, who was sacked in April. A statement issued yesterday by Special Adviser
to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said Alkali, a political scientist, apart from his past position as the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, was also appointed Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of
Technology, FUT, Minna, last year. According to the statement, the president has also appointed Hajia Baraka Sani as his Senior Special Assistant, SSA, for Schools’ Agriculture Programme.
Obasanjo Library seeks ‘local actions’ on global warming FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
s Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the year 2014 Environment Day, the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL, yesterday recommended seven ‘local actions’, which it said would mitigate the dangers of global warming and enable humans to live comfortably and sustain the planet. In a press statement issued yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, by the Director, Centre for Human Security, CHS, an educational arm of the OOPL, Prof. Peter Okebukola called on all Nigerians to raise their voices against actions, which make the
planet melt polar ice, thereby bringing about global warming and raising sea levels. OOPL also warned Nigeria and other nations on the increasing dangers of global warming and its harmful effects on the environment, brought about by carbon dioxide. Okebukola, who explained in the release that global warming is mainly caused by the release of carbon dioxide from emissions in motor vehicles and other engines which burn petrol, diesel as well as kerosene, recommended that humans should adopt a more environmentally friendly means of transportation such as trekking and riding of bicycles.
Director General, National Orientation Agency, NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri (left) assisting the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Aminu Wali to unveil the commemorative Centenary Flag during its presentation ceremony in Abuja, yesterday.
Insurgency: Minister kicks against mass burial MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA
he Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has expressed displeasure with the mass burial of victims of insurgencies in the country. Chukwu disclosed this yesterday, while fielding questions on Federal Government’s efforts in alleviating the pains of people of the North-Eastern part of the country, who are
most affected by growing insecurity in the nation. The minister, who spoke at this year’s Safe Motherhood Day Commemoration in Abuja, said casualties of insurgency must be buried in a dignified manner. His words: “As a Minister of Health, I don’t support mass burial. We need to identify every dead and give to their families. We are working with the pathologists to ensure this is realised.”
In his address on the state of mother and child health in the country, the minister said figures from office of the Bureau of Statistics showed that maternal mortality stood at 350 per 100,000 live births, while infant mortality was 59 per 1000, and that under-five mortality remained 94 per 1000. He said despite Federal Government’s efforts in ensuring rapid implementation of universal health coverage for the
Oduah denies incurring N174bn debt as minister OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ormer Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, has denied reports that she left behind a staggering debt of N174bn, as a minister in the sector, between July 2011 and February 2013, when she was disengaged
by President Goodluck Jonathan. She stated that rather than the debts being liabilities to the sector, the industry would, from 2016, be benefiting from the several projects commenced by her under the aviation master plan. Speaking through her Special Assistant, Dr.
Daniel Tarka, Oduah said that the agenda for the transformation of the aviation sector, which warranted the conceptualisation of the master plan, was for the industry to be fully self-sustaining by 2016 and would begin to yield additional revenues for government through improved Internally Gen-
erated Revenue, IGR. She explained that in order to achieve the set goal, the ministry embarked on the upgrading and rehabilitation of the 22 federal governmentowned airports across the country, under the airport remodelling programme. Oduah stated that as part of measures to ef-
fectively implement the master plan, several sources of funding were identified, including the annual budgetary allocations, IGR, Airport Development Levy and Security Surcharge, Bilateral Air Services Agreement, BASA, funds and low interest loans, among others.
population, 10 per cent of the people are covered by the programme. According to him, those covered are mainly federal government employees, “leaving out the more vulnerable segments of the population who have higher disease burdens, lower incomes and are in most need of protection.” He maintained that this year’s theme: ‘Universal Health Coverage for Improved Maternal and Newborn’, was strategic as, according to him, it brings to focus the importance of universal health coverage: unlocking the door for significant improvement in the health status of Nigerians. While highlighting efforts of government on maternal and child health, he pledged government’s commitment to the health of the citizenry, especially for mother and child.
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Friday, June 6, 2014
Hike in fees: LASU students barricade Fashola’s office FRANCIS SUBERU
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (left) and Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Ayo Olubori, during the 2014 World Environment Day celebration with the theme, “Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level’’ in Abeokuta, yesterday.
INEC inaugurates 8-man advisory committee on voter education FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Ogun State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, in Abeokuta, the state capital, inaugurated an eight-man Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on Voters Education and Publicity, NICVEP, as part of its strategies to promote and entrench sound democratic practice in the state. The committee comprises members from eight agencies, including INEC, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, National Orientation Agency, NOA, Ogun State ministries of Information, Women Af-
fairs and Social Development, Ministry of Education, as well as the two state owned radio and television stations. The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Sam Olumekun, who spoke with newsmen at the event, said that the advisory committee would assist INEC to promote voter education and sound democratic practices, as enshrined in section 2 and 153 of the Electoral Act (as amended) amongst others. Olumekun also said that the commission is worried over the alarming level of voters’ apathy, exhibited by Nigerians at every election, as well as the number of votes rejected during past elec-
tions, hence, the need to inaugurate the committee. The REC further explained that the review of the post-2011 general elections necessitated the dire need for a ‘deliberate, conscious, planned and sustainable voter education and publicity programme’, notwithstanding that the commission has always engaged in such. He however, hinted that the committee would carry out a review of the existing framework and also advise the commission on areas to improve upon before subsequent elections. While stressing that the committee is to proffer advice on effective strategies for voter education,
Olumekun also said that the eight-man committee is also to monitor implementation of voter education strategies to ensure the realisation of set goals as part of its terms. Speaking with journalists after the inauguration, a member of the Committee, Wale Jokotoye, pledged that the committee would develop new ideas and evolve more responsive strategies on how voter education could be more effective in the state. Jokotoye, who is the state correspondent of NAN expressed optimism that the measure would considerably reduce voter apathy, if not totally eliminate the vice in the state.
he crisis rocking the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, yesterday took a new twist as the students, in their hundreds, trooped out to occupy the Lagos State Governor’s Office, Ikeja, in protest against the hike in their school fees. The students, who stormed the office in six buses, barricaded the governor’s office with the buses and sat in front of the gate chanting solidarity songs. They stormed the governor’s office ready with different cooking utensils and making fire to prepare beans meal right in the front of the office. They also mobilised a sound system, with a power generating set, blaring songs of the late Afrobeat King, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, even as they held mid-day prayers to seek divine intervention on the issue. The students also mobilised firewood, with the girls filtering beans for cooking in front of the gate to feed themselves, as they promised to pass the night outside the gate. The students vowed to spend the night and remain on that spot until the governor reduces their tuition fee to N46,500 flat for every student in the school. The students in a release addressed to Fashola, entitled; “Save Our Future”, which was made available to journalists, alleged that the hike in school fees has taken education beyond
the reach of the masses. The release read in part: “The Lagos State Government in 2011 decided to take education out of the reach of the masses by introducing more than 100 per cent increase in our tuition fee. “After several peaceful marches the governor on March 31, 2014 said reversal is not possible he therefore asked the students union to come up with a proposal of how much they can pay. We proposed N46,500 for returning students and N65,500 for fresh students. The proposal was submitted on Thursday, April 24, 2014 and several reminders were sent to the governor on reduction of LASU school fees,” it read. Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, had, on Wednesday, said the government had, before now, reached an agreement with the stakeholders on the way out of the lingering crisis. They wondered why the crisis has continued despite assurances that government was awaiting a report from the Executive Council Committee on LASU it constituted to resolve the issue. The commissioners said the committee will not be able to reach a conclusion on the issue till June 9th, saying the students and stakeholders raised a lot of issues that needed interrogation or conclusive position.
Osun spends N2.5b on channelisation B OLADALE BAMIG BOLA OSOGBO
sun State Government, yesterday, said it has spent about N2.5billion on dredging of waterways and canals to ensure free-flow of water and save the state from flooding. Speaking to newsmen on the occasion of World Environment Day in Osogbo, the Osun State Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Professor Bukola
Oyawoye, said that in the last three and half years, the present government has taken necessary precautions to ensure a flood-free raining season in the state. Oyawoye added that apart from clearing waterways, the administration has also embarked on sensitisation of the populace on the dangers of dumping refuse on water paths. She said: “Before the present government came on board, things were extremely bad, as
towns in the state usually experience flooding. The most devastating one occurred in the state capital on July 7, 2010 when a pupil was swept away by flood. “But what could not be done by the past administration, this government has done and, in the last three and half years, we have not experienced any incident of flooding. It is due to the ingenuity of the present administration, which deems it fit to dredge waterways in
the state. The commissioner said that the world is at risk of extinction, as a result of gas flaring, emissions from industries and other anthropogenic and natural activities released into the atmosphere, leading to depletion of the ozone layer. She added that the results of this in the contemporary world are coaster erosion and severe flooding, calling on the people to desist from blocking waterways
so as not to endanger themselves. “People are always at risk when water rises as a result of dumping of refuse on waterways and blocking of water channels. When rain falls and it is not allowed to flow freely, there will be negative effects on the environment,” Oyawoye said. In his words, the Special Adviser to the governor on Water Resources and Rural Development, Kunle Ige, stated that the present administration will con-
tinue its ongoing beautification exercise across the state. Ige, who spoke through the Project Manager, Rural Water Environmental Sanitation Agency, RUWESA, Alhaji Olaposi Adiatu, said in the last three and half years, Aregbesola’s administration has committed huge amount into making environment safe for people to live in, calling for peoples’ support to ensure clean and safe environment.
Friday, June 6 2014
NULGE dares confab to scrap LGs KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he last may not have been heard on the recommendation of the on-going National Conference for the scrapping of the 774 local governments in the country, as leaders of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, yesterday, kicked against it, describing the move as a plot by the elite to kill the third tier of government. NULGE leaders from across the South-West states, led by their National Vice-President, West, Comrade Oludare Famoofo, at a news conference in Ibadan, said the confab committee on restructuring and forms of government were composed of the elite: former governors, ‘presidential apologists’ and ‘state governors’ stooges’. Famoofo, who led the National Treasurer, Comrade Oluyemi Esan, National Trustee, Akeem Ambali, Titilola Sodo (Oyo), Adekomi Jacob (Osun), Ajimoko Olubunmi (Ekiti), Ayuba Olatunji (Osun), and Deputy National Secretary Lawal R.O., said the com-
position of the committee deliberately excluded local government stakeholders. He added that the composition was orchestrated to be at variance with the yearnings of the people and, more importantly, reports of the Etsu Nupe Commission of Inquiry and the subsequent position of the National Assembly. He said: “In fact, it comprised of many personalities who do not have close affinity with the people/ grassroots they claim to represent, but have many things in common with the people they were there to represent. “We urge the plenary session of the confab to critically look into the report on local government administration, as well as the following points, among others. “It is an attempt to achieve, through the back door, what the governors failed to achieve at the people’s parliament and National Assembly,” he revealed. The NULGE chieftain added: “The committee declines to fulfill the aspirations of Nigerian masses on local government administration, but prefers to
satisfy the insatiable appetite of the state governors for more funds and power. “However, it should be pointed out that the committee lacks the power to undo/ reverse Nigerian masses’ position on local government administration, especially when the exercise was lawfully conducted by the elected legislators. It is to this extent of its contradiction, null and void,” he added. While stressing that the composition of the committee deliberately excluded local government practitioners (serving or retired, who know where the ‘shoes’ hurt), the NULGE boss, said the recommendations created more confusion than providing solutions, as some of the members were too distant to the reality and understanding of the needs of the masses. Famoofo further stated that the position of NULGE, which was in tandem with the result of peoples’ parliament, should stay that it is Section 7 of the constitution which states, “The system of local government by democratically-elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed.”
Police, task force clash has vindicated us, says Lagos APC
he Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has said the recent clash between the police and members of the Federal Task Force in Ojota, Lagos, has vindicated its earlier stance that the socalled task force is a group of hoodlums assembled by inordinate individuals to disrupt the peace and progress of the state. The party said the existence of the task force would seriously impede the peace and progress of Lagos, and called for its immediate disbandment. In a release in Lagos, signed by the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Joe Igbokwe, the party said that the formation of the task force was purely political, as it has no legal or statutory backing.
It urged all Lagosians to be vigilant and report the activities of the task force to relevant security agencies, as Lagos was prepared to deal with the ‘political nuisance’. He said: “We recall that we had earlier called attention to the existence of this so-called task force in a FERMA facility in Ojota, Lagos, some weeks ago. It was pointed out that the inordinate mission of the task force is the recruitment of hoodlums to leverage mayhem in Lagos in the guise of securing federal roads in the state. “We have alleged that this was the resurrection of the FERMA thugs the erstwhile Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, recruited when he presided over the complete ruination of Nigerian roads while being fixated with disrupting the
relative peace and progress Lagos was then enjoying. “We recall that FERMA was to deny being behind this task force some days after our allegation, but no one has come to claim being behind this task force. “Surreptitiously, this group has attached SURE-P/ FERMA task force to its name, even as there is no proof of legal backing behind it and even after having been proved that it exists only in Lagos. And the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Umaru Manko, had earlier come out to declare the task force illegal. “We noted the spirited efforts by those alleged to have packaged that illegal task force had made to disown the group, even when no effort had been made to stop its illegal operations,” he added.
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Rising sea level threatens Lagos coastline – Fashola FRANCIS SUBERU
s the effect of climate change continues to bite harder, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has raised alarm over the increasing sea level in the state, saying that it threatens every coastline across the globe. Fashola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, raised the alarm yesterday in his address at the 2014 World Environmental Day celebration, held at the Blue Roof, LTV 8, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, where he was the special guest of honour. The theme of this year’s Environmental Day fiesta is: ‘Small Island, Developing States and Climate Change’. According to the governor, no nation in the world is completely free from the negative effects of climate change, since pow-
erful storms and floods threaten every continent. He said: “The reality before us is that no nation, however large or small, developed or underdeveloped, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change. “Rising sea levels threaten every coastline. More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent. Drought and crop failures deepen hunger, and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive. “This in turn affects productivity of the population and thus economic recession. The problems may seem daunting, but they are not insurmountable,” Fashola said. According to the governor, “The choice is ours: to form a global partnership to care for the earth and one another, or risk the destruction of ourselves and diversity of life. “The current reality of unsustainable pattern of development is largely
threatening human existence, and this has become a major source of worry to discerning minds around the world,” he warned. The governor said fundamental changes were needed in our values, institutions and ways of living, to mitigate the negative effects of global warming. He also said that his administration was not leaving anything to chance, given the peculiarities of Lagos as a coastal state and its vulnerability to flooding arising from climate change. Fashola said: “Indeed, our own example in Lagos State is a clear case of resilience and innovation in tackling the challenges confronting our development as a coastal megacity. “Over the past decade, in addressing climate change, we have institutionalised the tree-planting campaign and have planted over five million trees so far,” he added.
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Bakassi: Senate leader expresses concern over tension in C’River
• Nigeria must not lose 1mm of her land —Mark GEORGE OJI ABUJA
enate Leader, Senator Victor NdomaEgba, yesterday alerted the Senate of escalating tension in Cross River State, resulting from the on-going demarcation exercise of boundaries between Nigeria and Cameroun over the Bakassi peninsula. The lawmaker told the Senate that the boundary demarcation exercise was being conducted by officials from the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU). The exercise is the fallout of the judgement of the International Court in The Hague which, in 2002, ceded some communities in the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun. Rising under Section 42 of the Senate standing rules on matters of urgent public importance, Ndoma-Egba explained that the demarcation going on in his constituency was causing anxiety among his constituents. “They fear that at the end of the exercise we will be losing not just communities but a number of communities to the Cameroon,” he said. The Senate leader explained that the essence of the motion was to seek and obtain senate’s nod to enable him raise a formal motion on the matter. Senate President, David Mark, who expressed surprise at the development, warned that Nigeria must not concede any part of the nation to another country under any guise whatsoever. According to him, “This country must never, never, under any circumstance, surrender one millimeter of our land to any country, irrespective of who is supervising it; whether it is the UN or the AU. The matter will be discussed in our next legislative day,” he declared. While fielding questions from newsmen at the end of plenary, the Leader explained that the reason why he deferred the motion to the next legislative day was to enable him get details on the matter, noting that, “otherwise I would have taken the mo-
tion today.” He said, “But I have information that right now pursuant to the Green Tree Agreement, remember the agreement that resulted in the ceding of Bakassi to the Cameroon that some boundary adjustment exercise is going on and they are right now in a place called Danari, Danari is in Boki Local Government of Cross River State and it is in my constituency.” He said: “There is a lot of anxiety among the people that the exercise will result in loss of territory to the Cameroons. I don’t have the details but I just thought Nigerians should know that this is going on and this is the anxiety. I am going to the constituency now when I get home I get more details and then bring a formal motion on the floor.” Commenting on the judgement of the International Court in The Hague, the lawmaker said, “Well the Green Tree Agreement came in with consequent boundary adjustments right from Borno down to Cross River. I am told that this is part of the exercise that was envisaged on the Green Tree Agreement. “The Green Tree Agreement wasn’t all about Bakassi it involved well established international boubdaries from Borno state right down because we have boundaries right through with the Cameroon from Borno state through Adamawa down to Cross River,” he said.
Friday, June 6, 2014
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32m people in N’Delta under threat of sea level, says FG OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Federal Government has raised the alarm over the plight of the people living in the coastal zones. It feared that 32million of them could be displaced as a result of the rising sea level. It raised the alarm just as Nigeria was joining the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Environment Day. Theme of this year’s day is ‘Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level’. It is aimed at addressing climate change and the impact of sea level rise on the environment. Speaking during the event, which was celebrated yesterday in Abuja, and is held yearly worldwide
every June 5, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, lamented the various environmental challenges confronting the nation. In particular, she stated that studies had projected that people in the coastal regions of the Niger Delta were living under devastating environmental challenge, due to rise in sea level. She said: “Studies have projected that with an accelerated sea level rise of 0.5 metres, 35 per cent of the Niger Delta landmass will be lost and with accelerated sea level rise of 1.0 meters, 75 per cent of the Niger Delta will be under water. “Given this scenario, it implies that nearly 32 million people (22.6 per cent of the national population)
who live along the coastal zone are at risk of becoming environmental refugees. “Such forced movement could result in social fractions arising from demands of land resources for economic activities by the refugees,” she warned. The minister said the climate change effect was not limited to the creation of refugees, it could also affect their means of survival, knowing full well that the people of the region were essentially into fishing. Mallam, however, used the opportunity of the occasion to highlight the Federal Government intervention in environmental concerns. For instance, she said while the ongoing Great Green Wall project was aimed at addressing the is-
sue of desertification and its attendant consequences in the 11 frontline northern states, the Nigeria Erosion problems and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, was aimed at solving erosion problems across the country. The Director-General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Mrs. Ngeri Benebo, said the significance of the event was to bring to the fore the essence of tending to the environment. According to her, some of the practices that are impacting negatively on the environment are human induced, adding that some of the nation’s environment concerns will be addressed through mere attitudinal change.
L-R: Economic Adviser to the Delta State Governor, Mr. Afam Obiago; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ogeah, during the African Finance and Investment Forum to promote entrepreneurial initiative in Cologne, Germany, recently.
Industrialisation, private sector is key to growing economy —Uduaghan
c o m p r e h e n s iv e package to creating a clement environment for the private sector to thrive and drive investment in technology and industrialization has been unveiled by the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, for the global investment community. He spoke in Cologne, Germany, where he led a delegation from Delta State to unfold the one-stop shop investment incentive before the largest concentration of private fund manag-
ers. A five-year tax holiday, duty drawback for exportoriented concerns and tariff incentives on value chain enterprises top the log of the carrot Uduaghan dangled before the Cologne Forum, host of the 2014 African Finance and Investment Forum (AFIF). In his presentation: ‘Investment Opportunities to Enhance Economic Development’, the Delta State governor listed other incentives as land acquisition concessions, reduced stamp duty charges, per-
mits and license cost cutting and timeliness, and liaising with federal regulatory agencies to facilitate operational licensing procedures. Explaining that industrialisation remains the key driver of his Delta Beyond Oil initiative, Uduaghan said the private sector was leading the establishment of industries in the state through harnessing the economic potentials of the immediate environment and leveraging on the state’s comparative advantage.
With a population of 5.1 million and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $24.88 billion in 2013 as well as huge investments in physical infrastructure development, security and human capital development, Uduaghan said Delta State offers an exceptional and profitable haven for investors. Three special economic zones targeting diverse areas have been set up with the private sector leading their development. These are the Koko/Ogidigben Free Trade Zone, Warri Industrial Business Park and
Asaba ICT Park. Using the Delta Beyond Oil initiative, Uduaghan identified five key investment opportunities in Delta State. They include power, manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure and tourism. He emphasized that Delta State is the most viable destination for investors, a situation boosted by its status as a leading oil and gas producer, a coastal state with access to four seaports, having a young, educated and active population and continuous investment in security.
Friday, June 6, 2014
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Why Aregbesola deserves another term –Lawal-Oloki STORIES: BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA OSOGBO
stalwart of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Osun state, Prof. Adekunle Lawal-Oloki, yesterday gave reasons why the incumbent governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, must be returned to office on August 9. He said the need to sustain the fast growth the state witnessed since the inception of the
present administration for another four years, is enough to return him to office for another term. The initiator of Adekunle Lawal-Oloki, ALO Group, while speaking to newsmen on the planned formal launch of the group in Osogbo, said even members of the opposition parties in the state could not say the present administration has not done well in building better infrastructure across the state and called for the support of all and sundry
to return Aregbesola to office for another term. He said the huge crowd at the rallies the APC has held since the party launched its governorship campaign are indications of the massive following the governor still commands in the state and called on members of the party not to relent but to work harder on bringing more members into the APC fold. He said: “The governor deserved to be re-elected
because of what he has done and for him to do more and sustain the growth we have recorded for another four years. “We are all stakeholders in the affairs of Osun and as lovers of development; we must all work to ensure Aregbesola gets another term.” Commenting on the controversial Osun school re-classification policy, the United States of America-based professor said: “What is the big
deal in introducing a wellthought policy that will turnaround a moribund sector, where the system hitherto in operation has failed? “I have travelled round the globe and I know what good educational policy looks like. The re-classification programme of the present administration will completely turn around education sector in this state in the next two years.”
64 DAYS TO GO
Ekiti/Osun polls: Group urges parties to abide by rules
pan Yoruba group, Oodua Democratic Movement, ODM, yesterday urged political parties participating in governorship polls in Ekiti and Osun states to play politics by the rules in the interest of the people they intend to govern. ODM said any act subversive to the peace of the two states, where elections will hold on June 21 and August 9, respectively, should not be allowed by the security agencies. Addressing a press conference in Osogbo yesterday, ODM, speaking through its chairman, Comrade Yemi Adetuberu, said ODC was embarking on sensitisation exercise to help the electorate know their rights and to enable them choose rightly at the poll. Imploring the electorate to fully participate in
the electoral process irrespective of class or status and conduct themselves in the most peaceful manner, remembering that their votes is their only tool to effect change, Adetuberu averred that all eligible voters in both Osun and Ekiti states must ensure that their votes count by ensuring that they protect their votes through every legal means. “We also implore security agencies to be up and doing and bring to book all violators of electoral laws. Nobody should hide behind electoral process to unleash violence on the people,” Adetuberu said. ODM publicity secretary, Mr. Yomi Adegoke said the coalition shall continue to advocate for change of leadership where necessary and ensure that dividends of democracy reach the citizens.
Secretary to the State Government of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (2nd left) with chairman, All Progressives Congress, APC, Iwo Local Government, Alhaji Semiu Ayofe (left) addressing a rally to mobilise support for Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s second term in office in Iwo, yesterday.
Start house-to-house campaigns, PDP boss charges
sun State chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa, has charged members of the party to commence house-to-house campaign
Setback as Senator Lanlehin dumps APC for Accord GEORGE OJI ABUJA
he opposition All Progress Congress, APC, has lost one of its senators, as Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, representing Oyo South senatorial district, has dumped it for Accord Party. Lanlehin defected to Ac-
cord to actualise his gubernatorial ambition in Oyo State. Elected on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Lanlehin formally announced his defection yesterday through a defection letter addressed to Senate President David Mark. He is believed to be dump-
ing APC for Accord as a result of alleged irreconcilable differences between him and the governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. A governorship aspirant in 2011 before he was prevailed upon to step down for Ajimobi, he was compensated with a ticket to contest for senatorial election in Oyo South, which he won.
to mobilise more supporters for the party ahead of the August 9 governorship poll. Olaoluwa, in an exclusive chat with National Mirror yesterday, said this was necessary to enable PDP gain the support of many undecided eligible voters and further brighten its chances at the poll. Saying that the party has concluded arrangement to flag off its governorship campaign on Monday, June 9 and ensure that the tour round the state to canvass for votes for PDP governorship candidate will be hitch free, Olaoluwa said
that the party is prepared for issue-based campaign. He said during its rallies, the PDP intends to explain to people of the state reasons why they must vote for it on August 9, adding that every “actions and inactions” of the present administration will be reviewed to get the citizens better informed about them. Explaining that during PDP campaigns, adequate security arrangement has been made to secure lives and properties of member, he added that the party “has not spared efforts to make sure that we have successful rallies. I am as-
suring that our campaigns will be issue-based.” He added: “We intend explaining reasons to Osun people why PDP candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, remains the best out of the lot seeking to become governor of the state at the moment. He has good programmes and we will take time to explain in details what we will do to make a difference. “ He then urged the ruling party to deal with issues during its campaign and desist from attacking personalities so as not to heighten tension in the state.
Friday, June 6, 2014
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Ekiti’s future’ll be shaped by poll –Fayemi’s wife STORIES: ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
ife of Ekiti State governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, has said that the June 21 governorship election in the state is beyond the second term ambition of her husband, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Governor Kayode Fayemi. Speaking yesterday at
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the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, EKSUTH’s inaugural Nurses’ Week at the School of Nursing, Ado-Ekiti, she described the election as a watershed that would determine the future prosperity of the state, sustainable peace and wellbeing of its people. Erelu Fayemi charged the electorate, saying they owed the future generation a sacred duty to scrutinise the antecedents of candidates jostling to govern the state from October before pitching their tent with any of them. She was decorated as the Grand Matron of the EKSUTH unit of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM. She said: “This election is not just about Governor Fayemi or the APC. It is about the future of Ekiti
and our children. This election will determine what the state will look like in the next 15 years. “What do we want Ekiti to be like in 10 to 15 years down the line? Do we want an Ekiti that will continue to be inheritor of chaos, disunity, misgovernance, looting of state treasury or of a lack of future for our children? “Will it be what it was in the recent past when people ask us how we came about having certain people as our leaders? Will it be like when Ekiti was treated like a pariah among the elite? “We believe that this election will give us an opportunity to establish
a foundation that will ensure that Ekiti becomes the state where other people will come and do business and be proud of. We cannot afford a reversal of our fortunes. Describing her husband as “intelligent, competent, savvy and focused,” Erelu Fayemi said he stood tall among other contenders for the governorship position, adding that the governor needs another term in office to consolidate on his accomplishments since he mounted the saddle on October 16, 2010. She appealed to the nurses to use their positions as grassroots professionals to educate the people on the need for them to
vote for her husband who, she said, had a track record of achievements. Assuring the nurses of being accorded same recognition and respect as their counterparts in developed countries, she promised that the government would assist them in the construction of a crèche, while also pledging a bus to the nurses’ association in the foreseeable future. EKSUTH Chief Medical Director, Dr Kolawole Ogundipe, said that the hospital had employed a number of nurses in special areas to bring more improvement to its healthcare services. He praised the Fayemi
administration for making healthcare delivery in the state an envy of others by ensuring quality assurance in term of equipment and manpower. Keynote speaker, Prof Reuben Fajemilehin, of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who spoke on the theme ‘Nurses: A Force for Change, a Vital Resource for Health,’ urged nurses to always reflect on their roles with the mind of helping people in distress. He urged the nurses to maintain professional culture of respect and love for their patients and stressed the need for quality education, which he said was the bedrock of life.
INEC has no preferred party, candidate –Ekiti REC
ndependent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that it does not have any preferred party or candidate in the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State. INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Ekiti State, Alhaji Halilu Pai, said all the political parties and their candidates would be given levelplaying ground to operate to ensure free, fair, credible and acceptable election. He also charged the police and other security agencies whose job, he said, was crucial to the success of the election to be on the top of their operations and avoid bias and partisanship. Speaking in Ado Ekiti yesterday at a training organised for top police officers in Ekiti State by the British Department for International Development, DFID, tagged: “Policing Election Project,” Pai urged men of the police to allow INEC take full control of the conduct of the election in all the polling units, saying unhealthy rivalry between the two bodies could mar the poll. He urged the law enforcement agencies to deploy more men to areas marked as flashpoints and
those with history of violence to achieve success. DFID National Programme Manager, Mr Bob Arton, said the programme was aimed at reinforcing police knowledge and skills in the art of policing for the maintenance of democratic process, adding: “Ekiti election is very crucial because whatever happens will be a pointer to what will happen in the 2015 general elections”. Ekiti State Police Commissioner, Felix Uyanna, said the police would do everything necessary to ensure free, fair, credible and acceptable election. Uyanna, who said 12,000 policemen trained for election duty would be deployed to monitor the poll, disclosed that he had necessary assurances from the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar on efforts to ensure success of the election.
inister-designate, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will win the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State convincingly, expressing confidence that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, would be so
Supporters of the Ekiti State Labour Party during a rally in Ekiti recently.
Bamidele weeps at slain supporter’s burial
he remains of 33-year-old Mr. Foluso Ogundare, a supporter of Labour Party, LP, governorship candidate, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, who was killed on November 3, 2013 was, yesterday, interred at Emure Ekiti, his hometown amid tears and wailing. Bamidele, who, alongside other mourners arrived Emure Ekiti in the
motorcade, which conveyed the slain supporter’s body from the Federal Medical Centre, Ido Ekiti, could not hold back tears as he visited Ogundare’s family house in the community. Ogundare was shot dead at the venue of a ward meeting of Bamidele’s Ekiti Bibiire Coalition by unknown gunmen who stormed the meeting.
A member of the state House of Assembly, Hon Kehinde Aboluwade and five others are standing trial over their alleged complicity in the murder. Ogundare’s corpse was received by hundreds of youth and LP members clad in black attires with the portrait of the deceased, who held procession to pay him homage. Bamidele, also clad in
black attire, was at the Ogundare family’s house at Odo Emure in company of his deputy, Alhaja Maryam Ogunlade, who also hails from the town and LP state chairman, Barrister Akin Omole. The LP flag bearer betrayed emotion and could not speak as tears flowed down his cheeks. Ogundare was survived by two wives.
Adeyeye sure of landslide victory for PDP embarrassed that it would not be able to go to election petitions tribunal. Adeyeye, nominated as a minister by President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday, told PDP supporters at
a meeting in Ado-Ekiti yesterday that no effort must be spared to ensure resounding victory for the party. Charging leaders of his group, the Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement, PAAM, to go
to their respective wards and polling units and ensure that they delivered their wards to the party, he said: “Obviously, the masses of Ekiti State will liberate themselves from the APC deceitful government on
June 21 by voting massively for the PDP such that it won’t be able to challenge our victory in court.” He thanked President Jonathan for finding him worthy to serve in his cabinet.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
head of the June 12 summit of all political parties, an influential advocacy group, Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, has thrown its weight behind the summit. The summit, which is jointly convened by the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, to the President and the office of the Special Adviser to the President on InterParty Affairs, will attract
Friday, June 6, 2014
Post election violence: TAN endorses all political parties’ summit delegates from all the registered political parties, socio-political pressure groups, civil society organisations, youth and women structures, international democracy building institutions and members of the diplomatic corps. In a press statement released in Abuja by TAN’s Director of Public Communications and Strat-
egy, Dr Udenta O. Udenta, it declared that TAN declared that since the all politicians’ summit of 1995, this is perhaps the most important gathering of Nigeria’s political stakeholders given the giant strides the nation’s democracy has recorded since 1999 and the persistent political, economic and security challenges it still confronts.
TAN stressed that the summit which theme is “Inter-Party Collaboration, Social Stability, National Security and Democratic Consolidation”, is timely. Udenta said: “TAN believes that the theme of the political summit is both timely and appropriate given the need for Nigerian political parties and politicians to rise
above partisan divisions and narrow-minded viewpoints and throw their weight behind the nation’s just struggle against extremist insurgencies and terrorism.” He said that TAN believed that the summit will have salutary impact on the nation’s democratic process, especially
APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh speaking to newsmen after the tribunal judgment
he All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday said it would not hesitate to throw out any state executive committee chairmen whose elections failed the credibility test. The party also said that Nigerians who are desirous of registering as members of the party will, in the next three months, do so through the internet. Speaking at the inauguration of 35 state chairmen of the party at its national headquar-
GEORGE OPARA UMUAHIA
he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will on Saturday, June 14, hold a mini National Convention in Abuja to ratify the appointment of Alhaji Adamu Mua’zu as its National Chairman.
APC inaugurates state excos ... vows to sack state executives whose elections fail credibility test ters, Abuja, interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, said the interim national executive, whose tenure will expire next week after the party’s national convention, has successfully discharged the assignment given to it. The former governor of Osun State said on inauguration in July, 2013, the interim national executive was saddled with the responsibility
of conducting membership registration as well as restructuring the party by supervising congresses at the ward, local government and state as well as the national convention. He said: “On the issue of membership registration, we did it very successfully. In two or three months, your names would be registered and you can check it in the internet. We are putting
together a party of new generation. You will also be able to register your membership through and deregister the internet. “We have also restructured through conducting the congress in the ward, local government and state levels. There are complaints about how some officials emerged; we are not going to sweep it under the carpet. Some will be thrown out if not properly elected.”
the overall political tone of the 2015 general elections in the areas of issue based campaigns that are decent, decorous and civilised, the adherence by political parties and politicians to the code of conduct that they willingly subscribed to in 2011, and the need for non-violent, fraud-free 2015 elections.
Akume debunks rumour of defection to PDP HENRY IYORKASE
edia Officer to the Senate Majority Leader, senator George Akume, Mrs. Becky Opune, has debunked the rumours making the rounds that the former governor of Benue State may soon defect to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the All Progressive Congress, APC, ahead of 2015 general elections. The rumour mill have been agog with claims of Senator Akume’s moves to rejoin the PDP, a party he earlier left but in which he still has a lot of allies. Akume has been, in recent times accused of imposing his favourites in the executive council of the APC, a development which was said to have led to the defection of stalwarts of the party to the PDP A source, who craved anonymity, told National Mirror that ineptitude and uncompromising attitude demonstrated by the Senate Minority Leader who also doubles as the leader of the party in the state has made many big wigs of the party to part ways with it. His leadership style has also been said to be responsible for the dwin-
dling fortunes of the APC in Benue, where he was alleged to have imposed every party officials from the ward to the state levels. National Mirror findings revealed that the once bubbling and vibrant party which took the state by storm in the last general elections is gradually becoming a shadow of its former self, as many of its supporters, especially in zone C, have deserted the party. But Opune said that the rumour of her principal’s defection to PDP was unfounded insinuation, adding: “You know that people who were not able to make appreciable impact in the party and consequently left are just making propaganda and it’s not in the best interest of anyone, she said” She said that same was said of Senator Joseph Waku, only for them to discover that he was a member of the committees putting finishing touches to the upcoming APC national convention, stressing: “Therefore there is no iota of truth in the rumour and it is not in the character of Senator Akume to be a political jobber. Those peddling the rumour should be disregarded. “
PDP to ratify Mu’azu as National Chairman Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Umuahia shortly after he returned from Abuja where he attended the PDP National Caucus meeting. Mu’azu was appointed
last year after the controversial ousting of former chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, which the build-up to his removal nearly pitched President Jonathan against some PDP governors. Orji, the chairman of
South East Governors, Forum, who also represented the South East PDP in the National Caucus of the party, said the convention will ratify the appointment of the National Chairman of the party in line with the
party’s constitution. He said: “Yes, we held a meeting of the National Caucus and the main issue we discussed was holding a mini National Convention on June 14 to ratify the position of our National Chairman. This
is in line with the extant code of INEC and PDP. He commended Mau’azu for bringing peace and unity to the party since he came on board, saying that he has been working hard for the party.
Friday, June 6, 2014
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All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER
ACTING EDITOR, SUNDAY
COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF
FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM
REGIONAL DIRECTOR, S/SOUTH
As National Conference draws to an end
n about two weeks from now the curtain may be drawn on the national conference put together by the President Goodluck Jonathan government last March 17. From the initial 12 weeks life span, the conference got an extension of four weeks, and thus altogether, 16 weeks of intensive national conversation is being witnessed by Nigerians and the world at large. In convoking the conference, Mr. President voiced his expectation that it would be a forum for Nigerians to engage in “intense introspection about the political and socioeconomic challenges confronting the nation; and to chart the best and most acceptable way for the resolution of such challenges in the collective interest of all the constituent parts of our fatherland”. The entire exercise would have also cost the nation a whopping N10 billion of tax payers’ money; a staggering sum for a nation that is contending with multi-faceted developmental and security challenges. However, it would be money well spent if the outcome of the conference matches the expectations of Nigerians. Herein is the crux of the problem. This current editorial would bring to three the number of opinions this newspaper has contributed since the inception of the national dialogue. We have followed the conference’s proceedings right from day one,
weighed the contributions from the floor and the interventions from the appointed moderators. Our painful conclusion, however, is that so far, what would pass as the reasonable resolutions of the conference would not address the nation’s prevailing reality. The critical ingredients for a realistic resolution of the national question - selflessness, broad-mindedness, thinking outside the box and of course, courage – appeared to have been discountenanced on the altars of political expediency and appeasement. It does seem the country is likely to continue on its sad path of federalist hypocrisy. Like we noted in our last editorial, ‘genuine and sincere dialogue to allow for mutual appreciation of issues, interests and concerns by the parties through the sharing of information for illumination and understanding in order to reach accommodation’, appears the most plausible strategic execution framework of the project at hand. The delegates, before and after the editorial, had pathetically strayed from the circle of execution. The maniacal spirit of power game took control of many of the delegates. And so geopolitical agenda were more or less what the dialogue has turned to. Instead of boldly exorcising the demons that have made the country an under-performer, the conferees have been steeped in
IT DOES SEEM THE COUNTRY IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE ON ITS SAD PATH OF FEDERALIST HYPOCRISY the atavisms of the old, canvassing positions that have stunted the socio-economic and political development of the country. That the two core issues of fiscal federalism and political and administrative federalism were cavalierly treated underlines the prominent dispositions of the conferees to the status quo ante. The undue politicization of the issue of resource control is very unsettling. For a balanced federation to exist, the economic component of federalism (resource control), cannot be subsumed under primordial considerations. Any attempt at such grandiose balancing act as has been going on at the conference is inherently a repudiation of the federal spirit. It will be a permanent sore in the fiscal relations among the constituent units of the federation. Similarly, the retention of the country’s present 36-state structure, instead of the adoption of the well considered suggestion of regionalization that could engender robust political federalism, shows that the forces of ‘unitarism’ are
ON THIS DAY June 6, 1984 Tetris, one of the best-selling video games of alltime, was released. The Tetris game is a popular use of tetrominoes, the four-element special case of polyominoes. Polyominoes have been used in popular puzzles since at least 1907, and the name was given by the mathematician, Solomon W. Golomb, in 1953. However, even the enumeration of pentominoes is dated to antiquity.
Letters tothe theEditor Editor Letters to
June 6, 2005 In Gonzales v. Raich, the United States’ Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning cannabis, including medical marijuana. Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ashcroft v. Raich), 545 U.S. 1 (2005), was a decision by the US Supreme Court that under the Commerce Clause of the American Constitution, the country’s Congress may criminalize the production and use of home-grown cannabis even where states approve its use for medicinal purposes.
deeply entrenched. Indeed, it appears the present concentration of power at the centre, a development that ensures a subservient relationship between states and centre, is of consummate appeal to some entrenched, vested interests bent on using their control of power at the centre to further personal and geopolitical agenda. But for Nigeria to move forward, she cannot escape from genuine federalism in the end. One other curious resolution of the conference is the planned abrogation of local government areas as a constitutional centre of power in the country. This is an ill wind that will blow no good on any Nigerian. For, leaving the local government system in the hands of state governments will sound the death knell of grassroots, pluralistic democracy. It must be noted that grassroots democracy is a training ground for politicians in any democratic country. On the security service delivery template, decentralization of the policing system remains the best option. There is the need for a rethink on the resolution that supports leaving the police under the control of the FG. States should be allowed to operate their police forces. The rapacious insurgency in the North East, for example, has shown that controlling the police from Abuja slows down the force’s delivery capability.
x June 6, 2012 The Al-Qubeir massacre during which 78 people were killed, occurred in a village near Hama, Syria. Al-Qubeir is described as a ‘Sunni’ farming settlement surrounded by Alawite villages in the central province of Hama. According to preliminary evidence, troops had surrounded the village which was followed by pro-government Shabiha militia entering the village and killing civilians with ‘barbarity’.
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Friday, June 6, 2014
Our one way economy NEW HORIZON Wale Ajao With
firstname.lastname@example.org, 08023112006 (sms only)
espite 15 years of democratic governance, the Nigerian economy is still a mono-product one. The biggest organized private sector group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry,(LCCI), observed recently that “oil dependence has created serious vulnerability risks in the economy due to the lack of political will to reform the oil and gas sector and also diversify the economy, a development which has become a major shortcoming of democratic governance over the past 15 years.” Compared to the over three decades of military rule, the economy seems to be better under civil rule. The LCCI also noted this when it said “we note the progress being made in the agricultural sector reform, but it is also important to observe that the sector cannot be transformed in isolation of infrastructure development and industrialization”. The Nigerian economy shows a clear case of disconnect between one administration and another. The Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration dismantled all the bureaucratic bottlenecks surrounding fertilizer distribution and agricultural production. The Umaru Musa Yar Adua and Goodluck Jonathan administrations have, however,
not sustained the tempo of agricultural, civil service and anti-corruption reforms initiated during the Obasanjo era. Yet, what is needed is a comprehensive repositioning of agriculture in terms of provision of modern implement, input and manpower as to draw the large number of unemployed youths back to land. There is a need for urban and rural infrastructural development to break the dependence on oil. This is why LCCI observed further that “there are concerns about the weak impact of the growth performance on private sector productivity and the welfare of the people. Weak infrastructure and institutions have adverse effects on efficiency, productivity and competitiveness of enterprises in the economy. These conditions pose a major risk to inclusiveness and job creation”. What this means in practice is that diversification of the economy will also of necessity involve provision of efficient infrastructural facilities. With particular reference to agriculture modernization, rural electrification would be very germane. Of course, it is easy to understand that poor electricity power generation and distribution also makes the growth of small scale and medium scale enterprises very difficult. Yet small and medium size enterprises account for about 70 percent of work force in the country. Poor power supply also affects big businesses. It is in fact one of the indices used in calculating the cost of doing business in a country. Fifteen years of democratic governance has also not brought out an efficient power
THE RESULT OF OUR POOR ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT IS SUCH THAT POVERTY IS GRADUALLY BECOMING THE IDENTITY OF AN AVERAGE
generation and distribution system. Almost two years since the power sector reforms started, the power generation companies (GENCOS) and power distribution companies (DISCOS) are yet to stabilise. Pre-paid meters, which are the crux of the system, are yet to be made available on a large scale. Also impacting negatively on our economy is the hydra-headed and ubiquitous corruption. The Transparency International recently rated Nigeria as the 27th most corrupt country in the world. Corruption has become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the social fabric of the nation forcing the vast majority of Nigerians to live below $2 per day. This is why the recent rebasing of the economy has not brought joy to most of our people. Nigeria was ranked 37th largest economy in the world in 2012; the country is now the 25th poorest country in the world. About 80 million people out of the total population of about 150million people live below $2 per day. The cost of food is rising even though official figures say agricul-
tural transformation has been taking place. There are about three federal universities of agriculture and one private university of agriculture. All of them have not made significant impact as to make food cheaper and readily available. The inability of the state to diversify the economy means loss of huge revenue. There are mineral resources all around the entire land area of the country, but the federal laws places exploration in the hands of the federal government, which in the past 15 years has been paying lip service to diversification. The continuing reliance on oil means that national budget depends on income from oil sales. When all other internal dysfunctional forces like insecurity, elite wrangling and political bickering among the ruling class are added to dependence on oil and mismanagement and opportunism among the leaders, the pitiable state of affairs becomes glaring. The result of our poor economic management is such that poverty is gradually becoming the identity of an average Nigerian. Lack of diversification of the economy renders government incapable of long term planning. Poverty increases along with hunger and violence. As long as our economy is on only one way, poverty keeps rising and violence is also increasing, democratic dividends will continue to be a tantalizing mirage. Diversification of the economy is, therefore, a national imperative, which deserves urgent attention.
Please, negotiate with Boko Haram TOCHUKWU EZUKANMA
he administration of Goodluck Jonathan has been unable to contain and emasculate the terrorist group called Boko Haram. The abduction of 276 school girls in Chibok, Borno State and their persisting elusiveness from the radar of the Nigerian government for close to two months is a potent arraignment of the President and his military and security chiefs. The development makes a mockery of the war on terror. I am totally ignorant of military matters and the strategic doctrine that informs the war against Boko Haram. However, common sense tells me that the vehicular or pedestrian movement of 276 girls and their captors, even, under the cover of a starless, moonless night could not have eluded the detection of Nigerian soldiers and other security agents, supposedly deployed in large numbers in Borno and adjoining states to combat the insurgents. It is questionable that they were unable to spot and intercept that multitude of school girls and terrorist goons as they moved through the by-ways and by-passes of the town/village into farmland/bushes and disappeared into their redoubt in Sambisa forest. It is corruption that is making it impossible for the Jonathan government to mount an effective campaign against Boko Haram. The United States Under Secretary of State, Sarah Sewall, stated that “despite Nigeria’s $5.8bn security budget for 2014, corruption prevents supplies as basic as bullets and transport vehicles from reaching the front lines of the strug-
THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO TALK TOUGH ON TERRORISM…
IT LACKS THE
WHEREWITHAL TO BACK UP ITS BLUFF WITH ACTIONS gle against Boko Haram.” The Economist magazine recently reported that Nigerian soldiers are not motivated in the fight against terrorism because “their commanders pocket a bulk of their salaries leaving them with little incentive to fight the well-equipped guerrillas”. Ayo Olukotun, in a newspaper article referred to it as “a system so corrupt and dehumanizing (that) it scores goals against itself”. Consequently, Boko Haram gained an upper hand in its war against the Nigerian government. Almost uninhibited, it is indiscriminately attacking civilian centres and gratuitously butchering and maiming the innocent and defenseless. It is a heartrending reality succinctly captured by the dolorous words of an exasperated Jos resident, “Last month they abducted over 200 schoolgirls; on Thursday, they attacked two schools in Bauchi State; on Sunday, they bombed Kano city. Today, it is the turn of Jos. God, where are we heading for in Nigeria?” It is against this background that the administration of Goodluck Jonathan should
consider the Boko Haram’s peace overture. It is proposing swapping the girls with its members in Nigerian government incarceration. The Nigerian government should take advantage of this peace proposal from this, otherwise, spooky and inscrutable terrorist group. Disconcertingly, in response to the peace proposal, both the Interior Minister, Abba Moro and the Senate President, David Mark are of the view that: the government will not negotiate the release of the girls. And President Jonathan stated that “the government would not release the incarcerated Boko Haram members in exchange for the girls”. In other words, the Nigerian government is refusing to negotiate with terrorists. That is reminiscent of the American government’s verbal flamboyance on terrorism. American government officials bluster about their abiding tradition of not negotiating with terrorists. But then, the American government has proven, time and time again, that it can back up its rodomontade with action. For example, it refused to negotiate with Al Qaeda, and then, successfully, tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders. The Nigerian government cannot afford to talk tough on terrorism and refuse to negotiate with terrorists because, unlike the American government, it lacks the wherewithal to back up its bluff with actions. Therefore, it must parley with Boko Haram, and if necessary, swap the girls with its members in government imprisonment. The most important concern of the Jonathan administration should be the safe return of these girls to their parents and loved ones.
The satellite imageries and military intelligence offered to the Nigerian government by some Western powers may not yield dividend immediately. The US State Department spokesman, Jen Psaki, cautioned the Nigerian government “against expecting quick results from the surveillance fights because this is a difficult mission, we are looking for the girls in an area roughly the size of New England”. In other worlds, the girls, most likely, will continue to languish in captivity and their families sorrowing and pining for them for a protracted period of time. And when the satellite imageries and the surveillance and reconnaissance flights finally reveal the location(s) of the girls and their captors, and with the government still refusing to negotiate with terrorists, what will be the government’s course of action - the storming the terrorist redoubts to release the girls? That will be the most reckless, coldhearted and appalling approach to the abduction crisis because it will invariably result in causalities, not only of the combatants but of the innocent girls. The death of any of these girls must be avoided at all cost. The greatest victory for the government and people of Nigerian in this unfolding moral drama is the return of our girls alive and unharmed. Tochukwu Ezukanma writes from Lagos, Nigeria. 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.
Friday, June 6, 2014
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FERMA Federal Task Force and the reign of impunity
T The Bawl About 2015!
hen the most devastating Boko Haram’s atrocity ever unleashed on Nigeria took place in Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja last month and the abduction of 276 girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, a scandal of unimaginable proportions, was effected effortlessly, nonchalance was the reaction of our national leaders. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan could not wait for the dust of Nyanya to settle before he was airborne en-route Kano for a macabre political rally. Not minding the loss in humans and properties, the pains and traumas the nation was going through, Mr. President was live on television stations chattering, dancing, smiling and hauling abuses on the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Kano State governor for unproven fraud and nonperformance in Kano. Also the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Publicity Secretary, Olisah Metuh was quoted as saying that “the APC was behind that deadly bomb blast that took place in Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja”. To some Nigerians it was a statement taken too far! And when it was discovered that the statement was false, there was no rebuttal, neither was apology offered by the PDP. Irrespective of the causalities, tragedies, traumas, and destruction unleashed by the Boko Haram insurgents on hapless Nigerians, nothing stops our politicians from criss-crossing Nigeria on campaigns ahead of 2015. Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi, Lagos.
ut for the intervention of Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, the nation would have been plunged into avoidable crisis by the ever overzealous Mr. Joseph Mbu, Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital City. CP Mbu, after all the damage he did to Rivers State’s civil society through unconscionable methods, has come to FCT, Abuja with the same mindset. He feels he has the right to use unlawful means to maintain law and order. One of his overreaching actions is to ban #BringBackOurGirls protest in Abuja. Anita Udo, Keffi, Nsarawa State.
Letters to the Editor
he apprehension of FERMA Federal Task Force operatives by the Lagos State Police Command is not only commendable but must be appreciated in view of the fact that they were only living up to their constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and properties. Traffic management has become a global issue because it in-
volves the safety of human lives and protection of property. Management of traffic involves serious training on its rudiments. For us in Nigeria this is very crucial in view of fact that the United Nations 2011 statistics on road accidents fatalities ranked Nigeria 191st out of 192 countries with the worst rates of road accidents globally with 162 death rate per 100,000 population.
A beggar slept off the road on Broad street, Lagos.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, over 1.3 million people are killed annually in road accidents while over 50 million people sustain different degrees of injuries from such crashes. It is predicted that if action is not taken to arrest this dangerous trend deaths from road accidents in sub Saharan Africa might over take deaths from HIV/
Honestly, INEC needs help
he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not lived up to the expectations of Nigerians in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities of conduct of free and fair elections in the country. Since 1999, no national and state elections conducted by the body, had not been vigorously contested. Yet, INEC has always come in handy with excuses to explain its shortcomings. Badly conducted elections are real threat to public peace and an embarrassment to our country’s image. The conduct of elections
starts with the electoral umpire getting it right from the registration of voters, an exercise that must be carried out effectively. Reports from INEC staff on the field in 10 states where it is presently conducting the continuous voters’ registration exercise are indicative that all is not well with the body. Nigerians must either come together now to help INEC out or be prepared for another round of sham general elections in 2015. The DDC machines necessary for the success of the exercise are bedevilled by series of
problems ranging from missing cable, dead batteries, dysfunctional machines, etc. If voters’ registration cannot be successfully handled, there is no guarantee that the voters’ registers that would be used on elections days are reliable. Honestly, INEC needs help and the earlier we come out to cry loud, the better for our democracy and country. INEC must not be allowed to mess up the 2015 general elections just like others before now. Nigerians, the ball is in now in our court. Johnnie Andy, Abuja.
Priority on job creation
am pained to acknowledge that Nigerians are daily short changed in the access to the so-called dividends of democracy. Addressing this problem is the surest way to forging the elusive national cohesion. Make no mistake about it, Nigerians are alienated from the governance process because the leaderships are disconnected from them. The governments have to acknowledge the fact there is mass poverty
in the land and there are also employable young Nigerians who for lack of gainful employment resort to the most disgraceful and dehumanizing ways to make a alive. Most painful is the fact that the children of the rich and the politically connected flaunt a standard of living only seen in the First World. The government of Lagos State should know that the world is created for the rich and the poor; Governor Ba-
batunde Fashola should also know that poverty is a social condition that could be ameliorated by the right policies. So, there must a conscious effort on his part not to be too harsh on okada riders and petty traders. Conducting the affairs of government in a manner suggestive that the poor are not welcomed in Lagos is a discrimination of the worst order. Donatus Aje, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos.
Aids. In view of this alarming statistics of road accidents, which are caused by a number of factors, it would be suicidal, irresponsible and inhuman of any serious government to commit the lives of innocent road users to a bunch of untrained persons. Definitely, Nigeria must exhibit strong commitment to road safety through positive actions if we are to be taken serious in the world. So serious is global concern on the issue that the decade 2011-2020 has been declared the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety. It is hoped that this will help reduce the number of fatalities caused by road accidents by 50 percent by the year 2020. A dangerous dimension to the menace the FERMA operatives wanted to constitute on Lagos roads before they were arrested is that this task force is not a creation of the law, whether state or federal. The question that comes to my mind is that are we a banana republic where any person or group of persons can just gang up and take over our roads or public institutions built and maintained with tax payers money? Have we lost focus of the fact that a society can only exist and thrive when there are regards for due process and rule of law? So in this context, one can appreciate the action of the police in arresting this illegality before a bad and dangerous precedence is set. However, one cannot but condemn the sponsors of this illegal outfit called federal task force who have taken advantage of the unemployment crisis in the country to exploit our youths by fraudulently obtaining money from them, endangering their lives and enlisting them into an illegal body. Our findings revealed that the innocent youths employed as the federal task force operatives paid huge sums of money to enlist, procure uniforms and open bank accounts into which they were promised that their salaries would be paid into. What a scam! One is hereby calling on the Lagos State Police Command to immediately investigate the activities of this task force and ensure that the full weight of the law is brought to bear on the sponsors of this illegality and criminality. While commending Commissioner of Police Umar Manko for acting swiftly to prevent a breakdown of law and order, it is equally important to reiterate that the police must ensure that the fundamental human rights of the offenders are not violated. They should be promptly arraigned if found to have committed proven offence. Nelson Ekujumi, Akure Ondo State.
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Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week
The Nigerian Student Fashion & Design Week, Season 2 will be ending today, 6th June 2014 at the Indoor Sport Hall, University of Lagos. Nigerian Student Fashion & Design Week is scheduled to feature over 48 students and aspiring designers from across Nigeria over a two day period as well as over 30 exhibitors that would be showcasing the creativity of the next generation of ‘fashionista’. An estimated 10,000 people are expected at the venue.
Plein Air continues to mark World Environment Day
A three-day event, ‘Plein Air’ will tour Lagos Island in commemoration of the 2014 World Environment Day (WED) which lasts from Thursday June 5th to Saturday June 7th. Participants will assemble at Tinubu Square every day. The theme of this year’s edition is “Think. Eat. Save” to emphasise the effects of man’s culture of waste on the environment. A salon exhibition of selected works from the exercise will show (on easels) at the Art Gallery, Freedom Park, Lagos by 6pm on Saturday June 7th.
Taruwa Festival of Performing Arts ends at TerraPark, Lagos
‘Taruwa Festival of Performing Arts in Nigeria’ will be ending tomorrow. The festival which is designed to be a three-day cocktail of events, is an annual event to paint Lagos in all shades of art through music, poetry, theatre, dance, fashion and screening of short films, holding at TerraKulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. The adaptation of Bobo Omotayo’s bestselling book ‘London Life, Lagos Living’ will be featured live on stage with a stellar cast. A musical performance and the one-woman play, ‘Chronicles of a Heroine’ will also be featured on the last day of the event.
ance hall star, Duncan Mighty Okechukwu has concluded plans to drag the Rivers State Government to court for debts valued at about N50m. His suit which joins the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, is to seek redress for the perceived wrong meted to him, when he, with the approval of the governor organized, ‘Celebrity Youth Endorsement Concert’ in Port Harcourt, which held on 30th of March, 2011. According to the musician he has only been able to get N10m, after funneling his life savings and other loans into the show which paraded the likes of Flavour, Banky W, M.I, Ice Prince, Timaya, Stereo Man, Terry G, Jessy Jagz, DJ Jimmy Jatt, I Go Die, and I Go Save. In a statement by the musician: “The project was concluded as scheduled and the results were achieved, but since then it has become almost impossible to have an audience with the Governor so as to get my balance. I also visited the Government House on several occasions, and all efforts to get my money proved abortive. However, the last straw that broke the camel’s back was when the governor systematically started avoiding my calls and personal visits in a bid to deprive me of the balance of the money for a job which I successfully executed. It is also on record that I have not charged the Rivers State Government a single dime of my professional appearance fee, due to my personal resolve to give back to the society which made me, starting from the Government of Rivers State as a mark of honour and respect. The rumour mills have it that the Governor of Rivers State has given me juicy contracts including all manner of flashy cars, but I stand here today to debunk such tales, because I have not received as much as a bicycle spoke from Governor Amaechi. My love for the Ikwerre ethnic nationality, the Niger Delta project and the Nigerian dream has seen me working for virtually everything I own today because there is dignity in labour, hence I can never resort to cheap blackmail or character assassination of any person, group or association, therefore I stand to make this declaration that all I am asking for is the payment of my money, thus, this should not be seen as a political campaign of any sort. I have tried frantically on several occasions to meet with the Governor one on one so as to resolve this issue
unequivocally told me that
remember that when we did that transaction he was still working with
Chief of staff, Hon. Nyesom Wike
but all to no avail. Most recently I was invited to a dinner between the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and the Governor of Rivers State. Immediately after my performance at the said event inside Government House, I ran after the Governor to demand for my money in my usual way, but to my utmost bewilderment the Governor unequivocally told me point blank that I should remember that when we did that transaction he was still working with his former Chief of staff, Hon. Nyesom Wike who is now the Minister of State for Education. This is exactly what prompted me to take this decision of writing this article in other to recover the money which I worked to earn. This issue also led to the problem that transpired on Friday, the 23rd of May 2014 when I got to the Govern-
ment House gate at 8am, one of the security details named Mr. Jude rudely ordered me to park my car outside the gate, a situation which led to a scuffle and heated argument between me and the said security officer, as a result of this, I subsequently held a meeting with my staff on the way forward concerning this same issue after which we agreed that we should channel the ongoing matter through the Office of the Chief Press Secretary to the governor Mr David Iyofor. This we did and the CPS after hearing the story promised to help contact the governor who happens to be his boss, but to my chagrin the Chief Press Secretary rather stopped taking my calls up till this moment. Prior to this time I have not played any event for the commissioners and other cabinet members due to the fact that they thought they couldn’t afford to pay my appearance fee because I was the governor’s favourite hence will be unaffordable to them. I have also not charged the state government my usual professional appearance fee on events. The present Chief of Staff to Rivers State Government, Tony Okocha and Senator Magnus Abe are my witnesses on this.” Friday Flavour however sought the reaction of the Rivers State Governor, through his spokes person, David Iyofor and he said: “I have heard you, but I have a call on the other line. Let me answer it first and get back”. Subsequently, he would neither pick his call nor reply the text message sent to his line.in this regard.
Inside FCT P. 24-33
Re-election concert: Musician sues Amaechi over debt
Nigerian Student Fashion & Design Week ends at UNILAG
16 PAGES OF ARTS, REVIEWS, LIFESTYLE AND BUZZ TO START YOUR WEEKEND
Friday , June 6, 2014
VOL. 4 No. 837
Artman In The House
Friday, June 6, 2014
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My problem with Nollywood –Taiwo Ajai-Lycett One of the most-talented actresses in Nigeria, Taiwo Ajai Lycett (TAL) cut her acting teeth while in London in Wole Soyinka’s play, The Lion and the Jewel, facilitated by Williams Gaskill, a director in 1967. Since then she has not looked back, in doing roles on stage, television and film, a proof of her versatility. She speaks about her life as an actress in this interview with OLAWALE OLUWADAHUNSI How would you describe Taiwo AjaiLycett? I am an actor, journalist and an educationist. Tell us about your childhood? I was raised here in Lagos. My people are the ‘Aworis’. And in fact, my cousin is the present Ologba of Ogba. So some people call me princess. My paternal grandmother was a female king. I believe that the present Lagos State secretariat used to be her farm. It’s pronounced ‘Alausa’ meaning the people who owns the walnut fruit and not the popular ‘Al-Hausa’. So I am an ‘omoonile’, son of the soil. My paternal grandfather came from Ewututu. The land where ‘Concord’ newspapers used to be was his farmland and he used to be a musician. There was a time when people in the family were talking about me bringing the name of my family down because I was an actor. My father told me to put my mind at rest, that I was a throw-back of my grandfather. Then when he performed, the whole village closes down to watch
him play. I was brought up here before I went abroad. I was going to be a lawyer. I am a twin. I lost my twin 26 years ago. How did your acting career begin? I never had the ambition of becoming an actor. It was just one that I accompanied an actress friend of mine to location. I was standing at the lobby of the Royal Court Theatre in London, when the producer saw me and asked if I was an actress. I answered ‘no’ and he asked if I would like to join. I obliged. That’s how I began and the next week, I started working with the BBC. They asked if I had an agent and of course I didn’t have. Alan Jeffery’s of Premier House Management became my agent. I decided to go to school to learn so they won’t say I committed a fraud. I attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, between 1968 and 1974 which is one of the top drama schools. And in fact, I had private tutors who taught me voice training, singing and dancing. I danced at the Royal Opera House. It was huge. I also attended City Literary Institute, the Actors forum and the Dance centre. Which play was your first? It was Wole Soyinka’s ‘The Lion and the Jewel’ in 1967. Let’s talk about ‘Some Mothers’ Do ‘ave Them’ Again, I was working. They contacted my agent,
Alan Jeffery’s. They checked my professional diary and I wasn’t even called for an audition. That first edition went all over the world and I still receive residuals from them till today. Tell us about your journey in Journalism? It’s just like my journey into acting. I do voice-overs and modeling for the BBC and write-ups. The publisher of ‘Africa magazine’, (Chief Ralph Uwechue, who just died recently was the ambassador of Biafra to France) called me after a stage play and told me to join his team of writers as an Associate Editor. Then, ‘Sunday Times’ was owned by the Thomas family. That was in 1975. Africa Magazine is an economic, political, and social journal, based in London. That same year, I launched ‘African Woman’, a political, economic and social magazine for Black and African men and women in the Diaspora. I covered the inaugural Conference of the International Women’s Year in Mexico and the then Germany’s East Berlin, as a photojournalist, for both Africa magazine and African Woman. Then, I interviewed great personalities like the former British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan. It was a wonderful experience.
over the years. I don’t blame this brilliant director, Kunle Afolayan for wanting to relocate to the United States. He has worked so hard to produce wonderful evergreen films, but the Nigerian system and pirates haven’t made life easy for him. Why won’t he have hypertension? When he can barely make enough profit from the films he produces. Sincerely too, I actually wanted to wait to change to some irregularities but some years back, robbers came to my house and carted away everything I had. I was devastated and got tired of everything. I had to relocate to the United Kingdom. It was ‘Tinsel’ that brought me to Nigeria and I have decided to stay. What can be done about it? See, art owns the world! If the United States of America wants to project a particular image of them, they use art. That is, those in the fore front…the media, fashion and artistes they will use and that’s what they have been using. The government needs to do more. What are you doing about it as a veteran? Presently, I hold workshops and personal classes for those who want to learn.
Twenty years after, you have not joined Nollywood. What’s your issue with them? Nollywood has not evolved yet. They called me to come and join them in acting but I decided not to. Their stories are too stereotyped and you can know the end from the beginning. It had no depth. They started with fetish stories where juju and shrines were involved. Also the love stories are not psychologically balanced. Some of the love stories try to copy their Hollywood counterparts and they don’t do it well. They don’t spend enough time to research and gather good scripts and the technicalities in their production are just above average. They think it is just about commercialisation, professionalism is key! When I was on set for ‘Some Mothers Do ‘ave Them’, they provided all the costumes from my head to my toes, including bra and panties. All the costumes were all in my hotel room waiting for me. ‘Tinsel’ is one soap opera I give credit to. Their logistics are superb.
Why don’t you establish a drama school? I can and I will. But presently, I am very busy. I don’t want to establish a school where I will not be physically present. Also, it is capital intensive. I need to save some money so I can eat.
But why didn’t you go in to change the course of things? Why should I? Can a tree make a forest? When we have a government of corrupt people, and you being a saint, tries to go in there to change things to the way it should be done, you are only deceiving yourself because you will soon join them and perhaps, become worse than they are. The best you can do is to be a light where you are and shine. Do the best you can do wherever you are and through this, they will be able to see the light. That is what I have done.. I personally give credit to those that are trying their best to change things in the Nigerian film industry. I told the producer of recently to keep it up. I also starred in Tunde Kelani’s new film, ‘Dazzling Mirage’. These are people who have decided to come up with brilliant ideas
in love but still
Why not partner with organisations like the British Council? I won’t do that. It is like a slap on my face and the face of Nigeria as a whole. This is what is keeping us impoverished. Even though I appreciate what they are doing, I still see it as Neo-colonialism. We should be the ones to solve our problems and train ourselves internally. It is better for me to partner with indigenous organisations. It’s what the U.S will term “you can’t get a lunch for free”. It’s like they are doing us a favour. When we get them to sponsor us, we owe them a lot. A time will come when they will want to implement something, they will of course call on those they have sponsored and we end up doing what they command us. Anyway, plans are on the
That’s how I fell wasn’t interested
When he came back, he said, ‘I don’t
want to be your boyfriend and
don’t want you to
be my mistress.
dear, you have to marry me’
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Artman In The House
Friday, June 6, 2014
film productions way to establish a drama school. What’s your advice to the new actresses? In this country, we just try to copy what big countries are doing. Every female actress wants to bleach. When I was in the U.K, I acted the way I was. I loved and I still love my skin. Where is the popular saying that ‘Black is beautiful’? It seems to have gone to oblivion! I dress to look beautiful, even with the fact that I covered my body. My talent is what they were after and I delivered. Many people think being an actor is all about glamour and paparazzi. It’s hard work! Here, the new actresses believe they must show their skin to become attractive and accepted. They post several pictures of their new SUVs and cars on the media within a short time of their acting career. My dear, if it is not hard work, then, it can only be one thing…prostitution! It’s either they have a ‘big aristo’ giving them the money. You hear stories of men ‘doing’ men and women ‘doing’ so many men. That’s the result of wanting to be ‘big’ all of a sudden. Many of them live fake lives and it will tell later it the future. Look at me; am I not looking beautiful at my age? I am seventy four. I was seventy three last February. I can only be seventy three once. It is because I decided to be natural. Many a times, I make my hair myself without using any attachments before I go on set in the U.K, to the extent that my makeup artistes sit down to learn from me. But many actresses will buy Brazilian, Arabian, Colombian, Peruvian hair or whatever they call it to look beautiful and when they cannot maintain that kind of expensive life, they look for a ‘big’ man to ‘assist’ them. This make up we are talking about originated from Africa. We started it here! We started adding colour to our skin ourselves and we looked beautiful. Why should we overdo it using artificial and unhealthy methods? And we say we are educated. Being educated means being in control of your mind. I am very much in control of my mind. Nothing rules me, I rule. I know what is right and I make sure I do it. The ‘oyinbos’ we are trying to copy do skin toning before they go on set. The skin you see on screen is not real and after they go back to what they were. Before, what was in vogue was slim lips. But now, the ‘oyinbos’ themselves do lip implant. Kim Kardashian is an African that is why she has big bums and that is what we have here in Africa for free. The whites now go and do bum implanted with Silicon, so they can look attractive. It’s only the black Americans that we can argue about having inferiority complex and will desire to be a white. Why should we also place ourselves lower than them? We really need to be educated. Tell me about your husband, Thomas Aldridge Lycett? I was widowed about 20 years ago. I was just divorced then and I wasn’t interested in getting married again. We met in London. I was relatively successful then because of my regular theatre displays. I wanted to relocate and I told my agent to look for a place for me. He did and found a place for me at East Anglia. Coincidentally, it was a block of flats that had only artistes, painters, actors and writers residing in other flats. My husband’s house was opposite mine and he said that as soon as he saw me, he was going to marry me. I wasn’t interested. The next day, my co-
Being appreciated by fans
With Ayo Balogun and Madam Kofo
On Orisun TV set
artistes decided to do a welcome party for me. It was quite interesting. My husband attended and we began talking about so many things especially books. Books are in high regard just like films such that we look forward to read new books every week. The next week, he travelled to several countries for about a month because he worked with Shell Oil Company and we talked everyday of his travel. That’s how I fell in love but still wasn’t interested in marriage. When he came back, he said “I don’t want to be your boyfriend and I don’t want you to be my mistress. My dear, you have to marry me”. He arranged the wedding in the registry and he got two witnesses. My uncle, Prof. Sowemimo was around in London then. He was the best man. My husband had already arranged a house for us to stay. It was so beautiful! We did the wedding and I left for work the next hour like nothing actually happened. What’s new with Taiwo Ajai-Lycett? As I said before, ‘Tinsel’ brought me back to Nigeria. They got my number through Lillian Amah and called me while I was in London. I told them to meet with my agent but they insisted I should please
Being educated means being in control of your mind.
I am very
much in control of my mind.
Nothing rules me; I rule
come. I have enjoyed working with them. It is a global soap opera showing in about 46 countries. The logistics are just on point and the production is very detailed. I also worked with Toyin Oshinnaike, Tunji Sotimirin, Opeyemi Dada, Bimbo Akintola, OC Ukeje, Mercy Dolapo Oni in ‘Belong’, a stage play at Federal Palace Hotel, during Easter. I also featured in Tunde Kelani’s ‘Dazzling Mirage’. He told me after the production that he was wowed by my performance. ‘Hear Word’ is another very wonderful theatre performance I featured in. I co-starred with Joke Silva, Iretiola Doyle, Bimbo Akintola, Omonor Somolu, and Dakore Akande. Mr Rasheed Gbadamosi, the owner of Ragolis water came to watch me. After the play, he said ‘Ma, with your performance, I will give you a plaque at the end of the year’. Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria came to meet me too and asked us to package the same play for them to watch in Ghana. I still write. I am a weekly columnist with ‘Daily independent’. What are your influences? My parents; especially my father. He made sure we had a library. These days families don’t have libraries in their homes. My dad was an avid reader. We developed reading culture from home and it helped me a lot. It taught me to be confident, to be tough. It’s different from being aggressive. It means you are seasoned, strong and so you are able to love. If you ask me, my religion is people. I love meeting people. I love to share their pain, empathies. My higher religion is the theatre. My love for people has helped me to express myself effortlessly. How do you relax? I listen to music and go to choice places
FACT FILE •
Started acting in 1967 in Wole Soyinka’s ‘The Lion and the Jewel’
Honoured with Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON) in the 2006
In 1975, she joined Africa magazine, based in London, as an Associate Editor. That same year, she became the Editor and launched Africa Woman, a magazine for women in the Diaspora.
In 1975, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett covered the inaugural Conference of the International Women’s Year in Mexico and the then Germany’s East Berlin, as a photojournalist
She was the Secretary to the UK Organising Committee for FESTAC ’77; the Secretary Women’s Organisation of Nigeria (WIN/UK); a Member and Secretary of the Commonwealth Countries League; a Roving Lecturer for the Commonwealth Institute, London, at various institutions of Higher Education, and Teacher Training Colleges in Britain, on African, Art, Music and Dance
Member of several professional bodies in Nigeria and abroad, including the Black Programming Consortium, USA; The British Actors’ Equity; The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON); The National Association of Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP); The Nigerian Institute of Management; The Governing Council, Nigeria-Britain Association.
to watch plays with deep meanings. What kind of music do you enjoy? Jazz, classical jazz relaxes me. The recent ones we listen to now are just not for me.
Friday, June 6, 2014
Pulse of nation in words
Songs for a Nation in Agony published by Xlibris Corporation UK, is a poetry collection with words gliding smoothly like water from an uphill river Ife Watson
he collection of poems can be likened to a quintessential piece, as it documents the poet’s gradual growth from a time of innocence to experience and also the evolution of the nation, Nigeria – the painful ills and resultant aches of her citizens. Each of the sections marks a phase, a process or system in this evolution of growth. In Entrance, the poet persona talks about his initiation into poetry, how poets are scorned and their voices stifled. This thought bears down strongly on the reception of poetry in the Nigerian society. Poetry bears the status of an elite art; one which is limited to the cult of the educated and ‘morosely serious’. Although, the poet bemoans the ‘death’ of poetry, he embraces his art as can be seen in the lines below: …Poetry, I would have bid you bye at my birthplace but there you anointed me to be your voice And though this feeling arises in me that I’m yet another voice, just an extra voice; …Let me sing that same song, but with another tune…. In Home and Abroad, the prophetic image of the poet is made visible as Dike projects into the future, envisaging the pos-
sibility of ‘a black president in the white house’. Also in that section, the poet criticises the liberal policies of the black president especially in regard to his support of gay relationships. The third poem in this section, “Societal Ironies” produces a biting sarcastic comparison of the Nigerian nation and her citizens being passionate over American governance whilst they ignored their own domestic affairs. Learning to Live explores the frustration and disillusionment that comes with living in a failed nation – a nation where the cowards and braves occupy the same graves, where people have become passive to their sufferings and hook on to the crumbs handed over to them. One of the poems in this section, “Serving the Nation” chronicles the failure of the government in regard to the National Youth Service Corps. These lines offer a searing depiction of the system: We are called to salvage the nation while they are called to savage they teach us slogans that will deliver us to the hangman’s noose doctrines of ‘under the sun or in the rain’ Hordes of flies led on by lords of the flies mosquitoes gigantic feeding fat on naked flesh innocent souls Boko-Haramed out of existence cheerful hearts and bodies mangled and disfigured in avoidable road mishaps on endless journeys …. Cultivating Anarchy, is the longest section in the collection as it addresses the major concerns of the poet. In this section, Dike explores the several ways in which
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men in uniforms and their love for taking bribes. The poem takes on the imageries of church offertory services – the officer becomes the minister and the citizens the congregation. In all of these poems, Onyeka Dike shows an adept mastery of satire – sarcasm becomes him like a well-donned apparel. To get a full experience, one would have to traverse the whole collection of vibrant lyrical poetry. Here, is an appetiser from the lot, a short poem with so much intrinsic nuances:
Nigeria has failed as a nation. In “Songs for a Nation in Agony”, from which the collection takes its title, the poet is the otimpku, town crier who sings the songs of agony of a nation groaning in pains – from “deregulation, privatization,/subsidy removal, minimum wage decrease/endless panels and probes with no results…” Also in this section, “What a Police Officer Told me” is a ridicule of the shenanigans of
Onyeka Dike’s poetry finds its uniqueness in its lucidity – simplicity of ideas that are beautifully and creatively presented
Vanity The head of state bought a jet worth a meagre sum of ten billion dollars because he had a project to commission he flew to our street some one hundred metres from government house to commission a project that cost the government a whooping sum of ten thousand naira. In the last section, Contemplations and Resolve, the poet persona comes to a culmination of the phases in the other sections. After highlighting the ills pervading the nation, Dike projects into a future where the citizens take up arms to conquer the decay in the society. This is not a war with weapons that draw blood, but “with the nuclear weapon of words.” However, another poem in this section differs from that kind of pacifist appeal – while “Taking up Arms,” calls for bloodless wars, “Driving the Demons to Hell,” calls for “for violent demonstrations/ armed with stony metaphors of strong will.” Onyeka Dike’s poetry finds its uniqueness in its lucidity – a simplicity of ideas that are beautifully and creatively presented. Poetry does not have to always read like a crypt material that only the poet himself can unravel. African literature is an art for life’s sake, therefore poems should not be enshrouded in needless vagueness. Ife Watson, is a literary critic based in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Apaye: Art of succeeding against odds At the 2014 Africa Movie Academy Awards, Apaye shot in Bayelsa State clinched the Best Actress award for Clarion Chukwurah; an honour welldeserved. Ngozi Emedolibe
he success of this film will go a long way to justify the huge expenses that has been made by the Government of Bayelsa State on hosting the Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA over the last one decade. The film directed by Desmond Elliot is a typical Niger Delta story, and was also shot in Bayelsa, giving the community a bite in the blossoming film industry. In an industry where success begets many followers, it is expected that so many producers would soon follow ‘Apaye’s footsteps, in terms of location and story. Aside location, a lot worked for the production. Apaye is the story of Elder Irene Yepayeye Uriah, born in the creeks of what is now Bayelsa State, abandoned by her husband and left to fend for her six children.
She struggled and toiled to provide for her family and to make sure they enjoyed a life that she never had. Against the odds, she became a woman of substance in a community that never believed any good could come from her. Yepayeye, gets married to an already married man after his endless wooing. Things start off great for her in marriage but along the line new developments occur and the man she is married to turns into something else. If there is one aspect of Apaye that was most pleasing, it was the way they managed to integrate some of Nigeria’s history into the storyline. Now of course, we have no way of confirming that the timeline is correct but it was definitely interesting to watch the historical developments – from Biafran war to coups – and how they affected the character that we had grown to empathize with. The second greatest achievement of this movie was the emotional aspect. Since most Nollywood movies started moving back and away from this multiple parts for one movie phenomena it seemed like the works lose something in character development and therefore the ability to empathize amongst the audience. However, this does not apply to Apaye, as the movie goes on one feels for her. Yepayeye is played by Bellinda Effah in her early years and Clarion Chukwura in her later years. Yepayeye, the character, signified strength and required intensity
This movie will also redefine the directorial career of
Desmond Elliot, though many
always see him through the prism of a Nollywood actor
like no other. Belinda Effah did a good job attempting to portray this intensity in the character’s earlier years. One could see the spaces in her presentation occasionally when it was obvious that she was trying. However, she did a splendid job because even though you could tell that Belinda was exerting she never lost conviction for the character. And along came Clarion Chukwura. In
her older years, Yepayeye is played by Clarion who was effortlessly able to represent the intensity of the character like no other person possibly could. In the scene where she eventually confronts her husband – (played by Kanayo . O. Kanayo. Without a doubt, Clarion was the standout character in this movie. Kanayo O. Kanayo as the husband holds his own. There is no charm to this character because for the most part one was just thinking, “this is pedophilia”. And then there is Mbong Amata. I was scared when I saw her name in the cast line-up that this would be the movie’s one loose end. But her character did not have enough speaking scenes that she could impact the movie negatively, and even when she spoke she gave it all that was required and nothing else.
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Friday, June 6, 2014
Health meets dance, drama Performance at Terra
Performance art highlights the dangers of cardiovascular diseases.
flawless dance or drama production is a crowd-pleaser any day. However, when dance and drama meets on the same script and the same stage the effect is fitting for only a classic romance adventure. It is even more interesting when a tedious branch of medicine is seamlessly combined to dance and drama. The result is better experienced than told or imagined. I attended the last show of the dance drama, Take Heart from the stable of Star Art Stage Productions at Terra Kulture. Take Heart as narrated by the character ‘Dr Thomas Udoh’ is the painful story of Paul, a promising young man bent on pursuing his passion for football. However a heart condition (dilated Cardio myopathy) stood in the way of realising his dreams. He will require a heart transplant surgery as soon as possible or face imminent death. Caroline is his steadfast girlfriend who vowed to do anything including donate her heart to save her man’s life. According to the doctor she will have to die first before they will take her priceless treasure. Paul will have none of it. He preferred death to taking Caroline’s heart. Paul’s mother was his only family. Her primary focus at the time was to save her son’s life and will stop at nothing including selling her business to raise money for Paul’s heart operation.
Across town were newlyweds, Michael and Rose who were enjoying their new life together. Michael was gainfully employed while Rose was a proprietress of famous restaurant in town where Paul’s friends hangout. Everything seemed magical and smooth until Michael traveled and was involved in a horrific road accident. His heart beats but his brain was dead. When she couldn’t take the pain anymore, Rose agreed to donate Michael’s heart to someone that will need it to live. Fortunately for Paul, he was a perfect match and on top of the surgery list. The surgery was successful; Paul had his second chance at life. He will be able to fulfill his dream of football. However, Caroline does have a lot to worry about when she encounters Paul and Rose getting uncomfortably close. Does Paul’s heart still beat for her? The actors talk and dance their way through emotion-packed two hours. These are two hours of intimately shared moments of love, pain, tears, laughter, loneliness and comradeship. My date dabbed her eyes several times and snuggled closer the rest of the times. The cast in Take Heart left no one in doubt they knew what they signed up for. A well-choreographed stage movement; dance steps that left the audience often on their feet; facial expressions and exchanges that interpreted each scene to near perfection; seamless line deliveries; a meticulous attention to sound media and light interfaces made it an awestruck night for the audience that took every space in the about five hundred capacity hall. Theatre practice in Nigeria is said to be on a decline because of low patron-
age by practitioners and their patrons. Theatre practice outside the university is different in terms of the awareness. I recall that while in the university the publicity was fervent. The troupes will go round the university for many days – sometimes using carnival floats, to invite students and everyone to attend. It is a bigger society outside the university and will not likely be covered with such ease or fervency. Besides there are other forms of entertainment competing for people’s attention which is why I believe producers of Take Heart exerted themselves commendably in publicity. It is heartwarming and encouraging witnessing a large turnout of theatre faithful at the event. It was like those days in the university. Theatre patronage may not necessarily be in decline, but standards such as was set by Star Stage Art Productions may be in decline. Patrons are aching for productions that will offer them such intimate moments as Take Heart did. Hence for the arts, Take Heart was a triumph. According to the Artistic Director, Gbenga Yusuf, Take Heart was a passionate effort to raise “public awareness about cardiovascular disease. Every
The actors talk and dance their way through emotion-
packed two hours.
These are two
hours of intimately shared moments of love, pain,
tears, laughter, loneliness and comradeship
year 17.5 million people are dying from the epidemic. This is a disease that does not discriminate.” Onuoha, is a stage drama enthusiast and critic based in Lagos.
Friday, June 6, 2014
Succour as FCTA boosts city transport with buses
ver since the restriction of mini buses (Araba) from plying the city centre for commercial purposes, transportation has been hard for the common man in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The city all of a sudden seems over populated, people stand for hours on end at Bus Stops waiting to catch a bus to their different destinations. This explains the unalloyed excitement that greeted the commissioning of 100 modern high capacity buses purchased by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) to boost city transportation. Particularly, civil servants at the Federal Secretariat say the coming of the buses will immensely alleviate the sufferings of the workers who go through agonising experience everyday in order to find their way to their various offices. Virtually every commuter who spoke to ‘Inside FCT’ on the development expressed excitement saying it will bring sanity into the transportation system in the city and make movements around the metropolis easy and comfortable. A staff in the Ministry of Education, who gave her name as Angela Dangama, described the development as saving grace urging the authorities to quickly deploy the buses to save people from daily hardship. Also, Martin Nwamadi, a shoe vendor in the Secretariat car park, said he was highly elated by the sight of the buses because of what he sees commuters go through on a daily basis.
“It is a welcome development, commuter suffers a lot since the ban of Araba” he said. Vice-President Namadi Sambo while commissioning the buses said President Goodluck Jonathan administration sees the transport sector as very crucial to the attainment of economic and social wellbeing of the people. ``We have reiterated the crucial role of transportation in the promotion of economic and social well-being of our people as one of the key drivers of economic development. ``I am therefore, very confident that not only would the teeming commuters of the FCT greatly rejoice but it shall be at the disposal of all that ply the FCT roads. ``Worthy of note is the FCT initiative which forms part of the comprehensive Federal Government transportation roadmap designed to address the challenges being faced by the sector. ``The comprehensive roadmap examines the source of attaining such lofty targets through a huge financial investment to be sourced through public sector investment as well as Public-Private-Partnership. ``We intend to tackle the transport sector challenges holistically through the involvement of intra and inter-transport networks to connect Abuja city centre to the rest of the country, using all relevant
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means of transportation.’’ The Vice-President expressed the determination of the government to ensure that Abuja had world class transport network system that would connect the capital city with the rest of the country. He noted that the network, when completed, ‘‘will significantly ease the problems of accommodation and transportation in the city as workers would rather choose to live in the satellite towns and commute to work in these improved and efficient mass transit systems.
Virtually every commuter who spoke to ‘Inside FCT’ on the development expressed excitement saying it will bring sanity into the transportation system in the city
The VP hailed the FCT Administration for delivering on its promise to provide adequate transportation service for residents and visitors to the FCT. Sambo also charged the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company to ensure that its services were administered in line with global best practices and urged the company to embrace a healthy maintenance culture. Sambo charged members of the public to reciprocate this gesture of the provision of brand new buses that will charge minimal fares by not defaulting in payment. In his remarks, the Minister of the FCT, Sen. Bala Mohammed, said that the buses had state- of- the- art facilities to ensure security and comfort of the passengers. According to him, the administration plans to procure 200 of such buses, annually, for the next three years and also plans to set up an assembly for the buses in Abuja.
Poor returns for drinking joints in Abuja Tordue Salem
he fear of attacks by the dreaded Boko Haram is draining businesses in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. From Nyanya to Zuba, residents of the Federal Capital Territory are gripped by fear that they may be attacked while trading or even in their offices. But the fear is a major threat to business people running restaurants and beer parlours in the city. The fear of the terrorist group has increased since 2012 when the sect raised the stakes of terror in Abuja. Although a resilient lot traders and business men in the capital have adopted precautionary measures in carrying out their businesses. Sadly for these garden owners, they are mostly not authorised by the Ministry of the FCT to operate, so they suffer double tragedy as they are fast losing customers, some of whom now prefer to drink at their homes. The business of running joints is not only shrinking in Abuja, it is fast becoming risky with the news of incessant attacks at drinking joints coming from the
north east part of the country. A survey shows that only those on serious appointments now bother to visit such places because they provide hideouts for discussions on business proposals. “I love to do time at a garden. It helps me to relax a lot. I used to sit at lounges,
but that was a long time ago. Lounges can be too enclosed and uncomfortable for me”, a civil servant, Tony Uwah says. Another businessman who visits Abuja from Lagos regularly, Teju Samuelson says he likes Abuja because of the gardens.
The business of running joints is not only shrinking in Abuja, it is fast becoming risky with the news of incessant attacks at drinking joints coming from the north east
“The only difference for me between Abuja and Lagos, is the gardens, so I love it at the gardens. Well, I am sometimes scared of Boko Haram”, he says. “No longer for me. I won’t touch any garden in Abuja again with a long pole. Looks like those devils (Boko Haram) don’t want us to sit at gardens any longer, so until everything calms down, count me out”, Korede Obafemi, a female fuel attendant said. Despite the threats to gardens, these resorts are however not provided with protection by neither the police authorities nor the FCT. A garden operator at Emeka Anayaoku Street, Area 11, Ms. Comfort Nenge told the reporter that she had applied severally for security at her exquisite garden, without positive response from the authorities. “I’m tired of raising the alarm. I may not say we have been attacked here yet, but anything can happen. We have sought severally to have security people here, but nobody answers us. It looks like we are been told to be on our own, so right now we are just managing to see how we can survive this”, she bemoaned.
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Friday, June 6, 2014
Road in a satellite town
Residents bemoan dilapidated roads in satellite towns Ubong Ukpong
esidents of the Federal Capital Territor, FCT, have tongue-lashed the Administration’s Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, over the widely noticed dilapidated roads throughout all satellite towns of the nation’s capital. The residents who spoke with ‘Inside FCT’, accused the Minister of paying so much attention to the development and beautifying of Abuja city centre, while abandoning the satellite towns. The accusation is coming as the territory joined other states in the country to mark 15 years of uninterrupted democracy and residents in the satellite towns said they were not enjoying their own dividends of democracy in the territory given the bad roads that seem to have become one of the major features of satellite towns in Abuja. Most of those roads were said to have been built and maintained by military regimes several decades ago, but nothing has been done to give them a facelift since the return of civil rule. The FCT has six Area Councils- Abaji, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali, Bwari and the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, where the Abuja city belongs. The satellite towns have been relegated to mean every other towns within these Area Councils except those in the city centre which has Garki, Maitama, Wuse, Wuse II, Asokoro, Utako, Jabi, Mabuchi, Life camp, Gwarimpa, Kado, Apo amongst others under this category, mostly occupied by the ‘high and mighty’ in Abuja. On the contrary, the satellite towns were believed to have been specifically designated for the low and middle class income earners, as they were not expected in such places in the city centre categories, which are very expensive and competitive. However, the FCT Administration under Bala Mohammed, even his predecessors, were said not to have considered the interests of the lower class in all developmental programmes of Abuja, as they concentrated road constructions and maintenance on the city centre while those of the satellite towns were left under continuous dilapidation. It was learnt that some of the roads are so bad that residents have to mobilise
themselves and their resources to fix them to a tolerable state, to ease their movements. ‘Inside FCT’ learnt that some roads within Lugbe Federal Housing have gone very bad and the authorities of the AMAC, who were said to have the responsibility over them, were looking the other way, to the extent that residents now taxed themselves to make the roads accessible. Some residents who spoke with ‘Inside FCT’ said that this was the case with many satellite towns in the territory. Abubakar Yusuf, a businessman, who
lives in Gwagwalada Area Council, said that roads within the town were under very deplorable state. “Apart from the major entrance into Gwagwalada town that connects few distance from the highway because of the flyover, the rest parts of the road into the town are bad”, he said. It was learnt that the Dobi road, just after the Teaching Hospital, was constructed and abandoned for some years now. At Kuje Area Council, ‘Inside FCT’ learnt that even the major road into Kuje linking the Musa Yar’Andua expressway
needed serious maintenance. Apart from this, the road within the town that links to Gwagwalada, towards the Medium prison was abandoned and dilapidated for years. Even the road leading to the Medium prison too was said to be very terribly under bad condition. Pricilla Edem, a civil servant living in Kuje said, “the roads into the residential areas are worst. When it rains, we are always afraid of the conditions of the roads. Emmanuel Victor, a civil servant, who lives at Jikwoyi said, “We need Bala Mohammed to visit Jikwoyi. He should drive through Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and other parts of Jikwoyi and he would have seen that we have been abandoned here by his administration.” He said apart from the Nyanya-Karshi expressway that passed through Jikwoyi, which was the only good road, even though it had began to develop potholes, there was no other road to be called good road in Jikwoyi. Ngozi Chime, a civil servant that resides at Nyanya, also told Inside FCT that roads there were at sorry states. “They came here about two years ago that they wanted to rebuild the roads. They actually worked on some of the roads but as I speak with you now, those roads are back to square one. It was a total fraud. “When you drive from the flyover into Nyanya, you will think you have good roads, but at a very short distance you will begin to experience the poor state of the roads here. All the roads within the town, from Area A to Area F and beyond are terrible”, she said. Another resident, Kemi Adesina, a student who lives at Karu said many of the roads there were also in their worst states. “Here in Karu, most of the roads are getting bad and need urgent government attention. Look at the road from Karu village that passes through the front of Karu Police Division headquarters, that road is very bad. The FCT minister needs to awake to his duties and fix these roads, she said. For Timothy Haruna a civil servant who lives at Kubwa, most of the roads within the town also need attention. “Most of these roads have been defaced and need to be fixed to make life better for those of us staying at Kubwa”, he said. ‘Inside FCT’ learnt that most of these roads are actually the responsibilities of the Area Councils, but the Rea Councils have abandoned them because funds were allegedly not forthcoming from the FCTA. To facilitate development in the satellite towns, it was learnt that the administration established the Satellite Town Development Agency, but residents said they were not feeling the impact of this new agency.
We need Bala Mohammed to visit Jikwoyi. He should drive through Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and other parts of Jikwoyi; he would notice that we have been abandoned by his administration
Friday, June 6, 2014
Ayogu Eze’s perception of Nigerian soldiers
Employment letters for sale
ow did they say it? Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, right? Yes the mouth has spoken. And the mouth is not just ‘an ordinary mouth’ but a mouth that once spoke for the Nigerian Senate, which makes the words weightier. Well, it concerns, Senator Ayogu Eze and the way he sees the Nigerian military. While making an analogy on the floor of the Senate, Ayogu wanted to compare the patriotism and zeal usually exhibited by the American soldiers who must have followed President Barack Obama of the United States to Afghanistan the other day; he point-
f course, one of the greatest challenges confronting both the government at the centre and the ones in the states is the rising rate of youth unemployment in the country. While there is hardly any dependable statistics, what happens over the quest to secure jobs vividly paint a picture of how frustrating the situation is. More worrisome is the exploitation that goes on in the name of availing jobs to the desperate youths of the country especially by the more established institutions that should avail succour. From the military to the police and the para-military agencies in the country, the current practice is to advertise non-existent jobs camouflaged with the opportunity to sell employment forms at prices between N3000 to N10,000. At the Louis Edet House, headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, over N800m was once realised from the sale of employment forms, which inadvertently spawned the appetite amongst other security agencies in Nigeria. By the way state governments are not left behind in the practice. Up till today, some of the youths who paid N2000 for the jobs once advertised by the former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim are yet to get a letter of employment. And nobody has bothered to ask the ex-governor
Who will call these cops to order?
Police check point
t is no longer news that residents of Akute in Ogun State have been having it rough since the road construction initiated by Governor Ibikunle Amosun commenced. It has been one tale of woe after another until two weeks ago when the governor personally drove himself on the alternative Denro-Ishasi Road to feel the pulse of the people. MM gathered that the governor did feel it and has ordered that ad hoc measures towards fixing the road be commenced; that is ongoing now, though the rains are making the efforts sterile. But the road seems not the only problem people are worried about on this road. MM scooped that police men on duty at the Akute end of that road are also disturbing. Right now, it is hard to get a bike that will agree to get to Akute bus stop, and the reason is that for any one seen coming with a passenger, the cops ask for N100! Since the hunter (policemen) learnt to shoot without missing, the birds (okada operators) have also leant to fly without perching…and the common people are at the receiving end.
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edly told his colleagues that those worrying over why the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has not visited Chibok (the land that has grown popular due to abduction) should know that if our soldiers hear a gun shot in Chibok, they could abandon the President to his fate! Of course, his colleagues instantly attacked him, screaming that Ayogu should give the military some credit. He instantly withdrew his statement and attributed the error to his ‘emotional nature over the state of insecurity in the country’. But he has also spoken.
J Martins annoys Nigerian ladies
hose who often say that perfect love stories, begin and end in art works like books, movies and music must have had a close shave with certain situations to have such notions. One of Nigeria’s highest-selling musicians, J Martins, obviously showed how romantic he is, and ended up proving that some of the lines he sings in those hit songs are actually supposed to boost his bank balances alone. While singing one of his love songs on the stage of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, J Martins, had gone off stage to take Rita Dominic to the stage, meaning to serenade her with the lyrics. It lasted for a while and from all indications, Rita Dominic enjoyed herself, but when it was time for the stage performance to end (and J Martins taking her back to the seat where he brought her) the man vanished, ‘abandoning’ Rita on the stage. In fact, it took the help of one of the bouncers
to help Rita out of the stage with her ‘high stiletto shoes’. But that did not paint J Martins in good shades amongst
the women in the audience. A lot of them simply said the guy ‘lacks manners when it comes to women’.
ONE-SECOND Q & A
Ex-beauty queen, Nike Oshinowo has now become a mother through surrogacy, a practice that still seems alien to many Nigerian parents. She adds her voice to the issue:
Why did you opt for surrogacy?
I was out of my marriage and I was lying in bed, talking to my God.”Okay, so, here I am, is this what you want for me? Please tell me the next step. What am I supposed to do now? And I fell asleep. As I slept, I felt a tug on the bedding and I opened my eyes, there is nothing and so I looked at the bottom of my bed to see a little child tugging at the bottom of my duvet. It was a little girl so I carried her, put her on my bed and she played while I slept. She would always come in my sleep and play and then I would put her on my bed, we would play and then we would sleep. Then one day I thought ‘This little girl I keep seeing in my dreams, maybe I can have a child. Maybe it is God’s way of telling me it’s time. I took my iPad while lying in bed and I started surfing the net all the while thinking I have Endometriosis. I literally typed in Google search ‘what is the best way to have a child if you have extreme Endometriosis? I hit search and it came out!
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Friday, June 6, 2014 Sha’ban 8 1435 A.H.
Call to Worship On the authority of Anas bin Malik, the servant of the Messenger of All, the prophet said: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” RELATED BY BUKHARI AND MUSLIM
As Ramadan gets closer
IN HIS LIGHT
A. ZAFARAN e-mail: email@example.com
othing has changed in the plight of the children across the world. Not only that they die or are killed before they are born but are born into a society which does not care for them. Children as future hopes have become almost a shattered dream. They are born into the despondency of insensitive and ignorant parents. They are exposed to the toxicity of perilous modern technology. Their new home is the Television. Their siblings are computer games, music, films and fashions. They seek refuge on the Internet for warmth, love and parental care. They sleep in the same house with their parents but never enjoy or know what parenthood is. There is inexcusable negligence in our homes that has made the children tramps therein. How do we celebrate a child that is born outside wedlock? How do we celebrate a child that is out of school hawking in the streets? How do we celebrate a child that is made to watch destructive films on our television stations? Declaration of days or their celebrations will not improve the plight of the child unless we return to guidance of Allah (SWT) on marriage and child upbringing. Let us prevent sex outside legitimate marriage, let us stay more at home to train these children, let us make our environment
morally friendly to children. The unprecedented case of abducted girls is an eye opener of where children are placed and how they are valued! It happened yesterday that the Nigerian leaders celebrate their day, they named it democracy day. It is a day which is meaningless to a common man whose suffering has only increased from all angles – no food, no shelter, no security, no water, no road, no cloth, no education, etc. Yet the governments hypocritically claim that they are there for the people! Every government in power is imposed to be there for itself and the accomplice in the process. The current democracy lacks the spirit of God and credibility, it is inhuman to fellow men, it is a war against the society as the spate of insecurity and its consequences are incarcerating, the leaders are callous and are desperate to sustain their selfish hegemony by crook and hook. No peace at heart, no peace at home, no peace in the streets, and yet the leaders are killing and fighting to re-elect themselves. The people are helpless today but their prayers will reach the magnificent Lord Who shall deal with all that inflict pains on His people. The month of May, the month of Workers, children and democracy days have all come and gone. That of next year will also follow the trend but watch out what changes it has brought to humanity. Soon will the glorious month of fasting be with us. It is now a month away. It is a time to celebrate
Qur’an 2:256 Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. We can make our leaders work using UReport
‘Zakat payment will alleviate poverty’
the soul before the Lord. It is a period to salvage the souls from all corruptions. It is a period when mercy is practically manifested. The children and the workers are shown mercy. The leaders’ hearts are softened. They spare few times to attend the mosques. They spend some money to put smiles on the face of the hungry. But why can they continue with the spirit of Ramadan after Ramadan? Do they forget that every Ramadan is a reminder of serious account-
ability? Do they realize that this may be their last Ramadan? Then, what shall they tell Allah (SWT) when they meet Him? Enough of all these sinful acts, your days are numbered as we draw closer to Ramadan. Be conscious of Allah (SWT) in all that you do. Beware of the final end – the grave. You will travel alone and there shall be no escort. The reality will dawn on you but it will be too late to amend. Think now of how you want to meet your Lord!
ZAKAT IS 2.5% OF YOUR TOTAL WEALTH KNOWN AS NISAB AFTER HAVING FULFILLED ALL OBLIGATIONS, PAY YOUR ZAKAT
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Ramadan Special Reports! The Holy month of Ramadan is less than a month away and in our usual way of advocating Islamic tenets and providing a window for the advertisers, we wish to consolidate on our annual Special Ramadan Report. We implore our esteemed readers to let us know how we can add value to the publication through their ADVERT support. May we be rewarded here and Hereafter for our efforts. Aamin. For more information, contact us on: 0805 510 2994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ma asalam and Ramadan Kareem in advance!! 2015 Election: Don’t set Lagos ablaze because of religion –Akinola
Call to Worship
Sha’ban 8 1435 A.H. Friday, June 6, 2014
We can make our leaders work using U-Report
his is perhaps the only country where president, governors and local government chairmen roll out drums to “celebrate” road, hospital, school commissioning among others. Why on earth do we applaud them for performing their statutory duties? Anyway, with the advent of a new initiative by UNICEF called U-Report, am sure many Nigerians will have the opportunity of first-hand reporting of happenings in their vicinity and counter whatever lies government functionaries are telling regarding their activities. Is your community health facility functioning? With U-Report, every citizen of this nation can amplify community voices for accountability and
transparency using mobile technology. It is a form of community empowerment and a call for behavioural change. If properly utilized, it will serve as a watchdog for transparency and accountability for improved service delivery, information sharing and increased knowledge about day to day social welfare issues affecting the nation. We can now say that this is true democracy in action, a tool for actual community participation which also has data collection capability. There is a dire need for change and we cannot change the situation of things if we still keep quiet over issues happening around us. With U-Report, there is amplified voice of community concerns on
social issues to generate increased response from decision-makers and improved service delivery. Am sure many would be saying how easy is this or how do we go about it? Becoming a U-Reporter is as easy as ABC. All you need to do is to text JOIN to 24453, there will be an auto response; Name/Nickname, Age, Gender, State,
WITH U-REPORT, EVERY CITIZEN OF THIS NATION CAN AMPLIFY COMMUNITY VOICES FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
LGA, Ward, Settlement. More importantly, all U-report messages are FREE! Completing the registration questions allows the system to create user profiles. The more accurately you answer the questions, the more accurate the results of the poll questions become. However, the amount of information you decide to share is up to you. One is also allowed to use a nickname if you prefer. Ureport project staff will not be able to link you to the messages that you send. All users are “anonymized” automatically within the system to protect user privacy. The messages that you send will only be sent to the central U-report platform and not to other U-reporters. It will do us a lot of good if we regularly participate in weekly polls, mobilise others to register as U-reporters, collect and share
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THE PLATFORM with
Lawal E-mail: email@example.com important information received through the U-report polls with community members, participate in U-report events and media activities when possible. UReport is an sms-based platform, a user-centered social monitoring tool based on simple text messages designed to strengthen community-led development, citizen engagement and positive change. This is a great platform for all citizens to speakout on what is happening in their communities, provides a forum to amplify their voices through local and national media, sends alerts to key stakeholders about the issues their constituents are facing, and
feeds back useful information to the U-reporters, so they are empowered to work for positive change and improvements in their localities themselves. UNICEF is currently implementing this programme in several countries including Uganda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and South Sudan. To sign up for U-report, users SMS the word JOIN to 24453, all messages are free across all networks in Nigeria. One can also visit the Facebook page at U-report Nigeria and on Twitter follow @ureportnigeria. Watch the Ureport self-explanatory video at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=w4J-d391y0k .
Nis’fu Sha’ban and its importance
The board of Trustees Chairman Alhaji Abdul Mumeen Adegoke presenting an award to Ogbeni Aregbesola.
Quareeb organises prayer
l-faith-ul Quareeb Islamic Society of Nigeria organized a prayer session for the State of Osun and the nation in Osogbo over the weekend. In his welcome address, the president of the society, Alhaji Ayorinde Muhammed Ajibade told the audience that the prayer was organized in order to give thanks to Allah for giving Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the strength to pilot the state’s affairs beyond expectations and to pray to Allah to crown all efforts geared towards solving the Boko Haram insurgency with success. He used the occasion to let all those present know that Boko Haran is not an Islamic organization and that nothing short of total rescue and reunification of the Chibok school girls can restore con-
fidence in the present federal government. He urged governments at all levels to employ all possible means to put an end to this insurgency and hostage taking once and for all. The National Missioner of the society, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Sulaiman Adangba told the audience that the society has acquired 300 acres of land in Apomu-Osun for the establishment of University of Technology that will be for both Muslims and nonMuslims alike. He prayed for the re-election of Ogbeni Aregbesola as the Governor for second term because of the noticeable achievements recorded by him. Truly, four years are not enough to complete all the projects planned for the citizens, Adangba asserted. He also prayed for peaceful conduct of elections
in 2015 and pleaded with Almighty Allah to put a stop to the insurgency by the Boko Haram by exposing their sponsors. In his reaction, Ogbeni Aregbesola enjoined Muslims to seek total knowledge and understanding of the holy Qur’an. He stressed further that half knowledge is a disease and should be avoided and condemned the activities of Boko Haram which is said is alien to Islam because the religion is a peaceful one and that there is no compulsion in it. He concluded his speech by urging all and sundries to live peacefully with one another irrespective of religious differences, always do good as stated in the holy Qur’an and follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) as enshrined in the hadiths.
is’fu Sha’ban literarily means middle or fifteenth day of Sha’ban while Sha’ban is the Islamic eighth month. This is the night occurring between 14th and 15th day of Sha’ban. The night of mid-Sha’ban or 15th of Sha’ban has been recommended for special worshiping. This is based on the sayings of prophet Mohammed (SAW) that during the night of 15th of Shaban, Allah will say “is there any person repenting so that I forgive him, and any person seeking provision so that I provide for him, and any person with distress so that I relieve him, and so on until dawn.” Prophet Mohammed (SAW) says that no night is as important as this night after Laelatul-Qadr. Traditions of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) show that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended to by special divine mercy. On the night of 15th Sha’ban, after Maghrib or Isha prayer it is traditional practice to read Surah Yasin and make special supplications for good health, protection from calamities and increased faith. According to tradition,
this night has special blessings that are directed towards the faithful. Therefore, as much as possible, this night should be spent in worship and total submission to Allah Almighty. Also, fasting is recommended on the day immediately following this night, i.e. the 15th day of Shaban. Chapter 13, verse 39 of the glorious holy Qur’an buttressed the above. Muslims are hereby enjoined to spend the night of mid-Sha`ban in worshiping and its day in fasting because of its enormous blessings. It is on records that Allah moves closer to His servants during this night, beginning with sunset. It is a must for mankind to worship Allah at every moment and it is a worthy sunnah to hype the tempo of worship on
this night because of the inherent blessings. The sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (SAW) during the month of Sha’ban was to fast and he said concerning the virtue of Sha’ban, “…it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.” Also, it is reported that Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said: “On the 15th night of Sha’ban, Allah, the Exalted, looks upon His slaves with mercy and forgives everybody except the disbeliever and he, who holds malice for anybody.” In conclusion, this night should be spent in total submission to Allah Almighty, and one should refrain from all those activities which may displease Allah. This is not a replacement for five times daily prayers and Allah’s teachings as enshrined in the holy Qur’an and teachings of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) as stated in the hadiths. Sheikh Abdul Ganiyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jubulatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society of Nigeria (JUBFAT)
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SEKINAH L AWAL
uslims have been enjoined to take the issue of Zakat payment and distribution more seriously in order to reduce the level of poverty in our nation. Giving this advice at the joint Usrah of The Companion which took place recently at the Lagos State House of Assembly Mosque, AlausaLagos was Ustaz Ahmad Adebisi. Speaking on the topic; “Zakat: The MostEfficient Mechanism for Redistribution of Wealth, the guest lecturer, Ustaz Adebisi, a graduate of the Islamic University, Niger Republic and Mu’allim at Lekki Central Mosque urged Muslims to take Zakat as serious as other pillars of Islam. According
Call to Worship
Friday, June 6, 2014 Sha’ban 8 1435 A.H.
‘Zakat payment will alleviate poverty’ to him, the institution of Zakah is instrument instituted by Islam to combat poverty and enhance welfare in the society. “Zakah serves as a unique mechanism of compulsory transfers of income and wealth from the haves to the havenots in the community.” He stated that proper Zakat payment and distribution will reduce unequal distribution of wealth in society and also enhance the ability of the poor to be more productive and not just be dependent on rich people. “Qur’an indicated that Zakat is also for purification of the resources of the qualified zakat
payers. He urged Muslims to consider proper Zakat payment and distribution as an obligation and an integral and valuable part of their religion. The acting Amir of the Companion, Lagos District, Alhaji Nojeemdeen Jimoh urged members and Muslims generally to always remember the verse f the glorious Quran which says: “And let not those who are stingy with that which Allah has bestowed on them of His bounty think that it is good for them. Nay, it will be worse for them; the things that they were stingy with shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of
Resurrection. And Allah’s is the inheritance of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Well-Acquainted with all that you do.” “And collect (wealth) and hide it (from spending it in the cause of Allah.” On the raging insecurity in the country, he called on the Federal Government to do everything possible to ensure that the abducted girls are reunited with their families safely. On the issue of the BokoHaram Pastor in the State of Osun, he called on the police authority not to sweep the case under the carpet and allow justice to prevail.
2015 Election: Don’t set Lagos ablaze because of religion –Akinola AISHA TITILAYO
hief Imam of Lagos, Imam Garba Akinola has advised politicians not to set the state ablaze based on religious sentiments. He gave the advice in Lagos recently, during the swearing-in of the executives of the Muslim community in Ifako-Ijaye local government. He also enjoined the new excos to always explore Quran, hadith and their conscience before taking any decision that affects the overall interest of residents. He cautioned Lagosians not to be carried away by the ongoing rumour that only Christian aspirants must be tolerated to govern the state in 2015, noting that all are but from God, “Lagos is too beautiful to be disturbed, those clamoring for such are only poised to destroy Lagos; we must all
coexist in Nigeria.” The newly sworn-in president of the community, Alhaji Abd’Taleeb Oyedeji assured Christians in the area of improved coexistence. The new excos were sworn-in by Chief Imam Garba Akinola through the Chairman, State Muslim Pilgrimage Board, Alhaji Abdulateef Abdulhakeem at the Ishaga Central Mosque. Oyedeji urged the Federal Government to step up strategies towards erasing all acts of terrorism. “At the local level, we shall continue to foster good relationship with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).” He said the new exco will build a model Muslim community centre consisting of event centre, secretariat and Model College, among other facilities. “Health services, periodic seminars and public programmes shall also be embarked upon for the benefits of all.”
Nurturing Fitrah holds parenting forum
T L-R: Alhaji Sikirullahi Alimi; Ustaz Ahmad Adebisi; Alhaji Naheem Junaid-Eko and Alhaji AbdulMojeed Adedeji at the monthly joint Usrah of The Companion in Lagos recently.
Osun Boko Haram; IG must step in- MUSWEN
he Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria, MUSWEN, has called the attention of the Inspector-General of Police and other security agencies in the country to the surreptitious action of Osun State Police Command. In a release signed by Alhaji Femi Abass on behalf of MUSWEN, the body called on the IG to ensure that the outcome of the investigation in this case be made public and the culprits should be prosecuted. “If this evil action of Ikonifin Baptist Church Pastor and his fellow evil collaborators is swept under the carpet as now being attempted by Osun State Police Command, its entailed reac-
tions may be unpredictable. Justice must not only be done, it must also be seen to have been done.” Report has it that a Pastor (name withheld) of the First Baptist Church, Ikonifin, Olaoluwa Local Government of Osun State, feigned the presence of Boko Haram insurgents in the State. “If they had not been promptly apprehended and handed over to the Police, many Muslims in the town or even in the state would have been implicated, arrested and labeled as Boko Haram insurgents based on the mischievous action of Ikonifin First Baptist Church members. The motive of the devilish action was to blackmail the
Muslims by smearing the religion of Islam thereby creating hatred for it by labeling those Muslims as Boko Haram insurgents. Now without disclosing the outcome of its investigation and without any official record of the incident, the information reaching us is that the Osun State Police Command has released the ‘criminals’ unconditionally, an action that may further fuel religious crisis in the State.” According to the report, three members of the church were caught red-handed on Sunday May 18, 2014 in full Muslim attire with turbans on their heads while feigning the presence of Boko
Haram insurgents in the town. They were arrested by members of the public who handed them over to the Police in Bode Osi, the headquarters of the Local Government. They allegedly confessed that they were acting the Pastor’s script without knowing the implication. The State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, had approached the Police Station to seek their release. The Police then allegedly released them on the excuse that they had been warned not to repeat such devilish action. Upon petition and outcry, they were rearrested and taken to Osogbo Police Headquarters for questioning and investigation.
he Nurturing Fitrah recently held another parenting forum in Auchi, Edo State. The topic discussed was: “Parenting Challenges in the 21st Century: Islamic Perspective.” According to Hajia Amina Muhammed, it is part of the NGOs activities of advocating for moral/family values in the society which has taken the organisation round some states of the federation. Speakers at the event include Nurudden Asonogie and Imam Suleiman Akashat.
HRH, the Aidonogie of South Ibie, Alhaji Aliyu Danesi, hosted the event. In addition, another programme for the teenagers was held on the 1st of May, 2014 while the next programme is scheduled for Abuja, Saturday, 16th August 2014 at the Abuja National Mosque, focusing on the Islamic perspective of single parenting, its consequences, implications and challenges to the ummah. Nurturing Fitrah Foundation is an NGO that focus on Parenting and Teenagers Forum.
COHI stages capacity building course
ast June, Muslim students across higher institutions in Lagos, dreaming to be successful entrepreneurs gathered at the New Great Hall of the College of Medicine, LUTH, Idi-Araba for the Capacity Building Course, CBC, organised by the Edu Luqman Abiodun-led Council of Higher Institutions, COHI, an organ of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit. “Be the Next Campus Mogul”, the theme of that edition,
was succinctly delivered by Mr. Davies Abdullah. According to AbdulWaasi’ Muddaththir, the Public Relations Officer, COHI, the 2014 edition of the CBC which is in honour and under the distinguished chairmanship of Alhaji AbdulWaheed Shonibare, the Chief Executive Officer of Twice As Nice Clothing (Shirts & Accessories), will be considering the Diamond Jubilee of MSSN, the economic situation and high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
Call to Worship
Sha’ban 8 1435 A.H. Friday, June 6, 2014
Every Friday with
Justice is key to nation building
n public administration, all the key public functionaries ought to be people of high calibre, just and energetic and must possess qualities of head and heart. In the words of fourth rightly guided Caliph Hadrat Ali (RA) they should have the qualities of refinement, experience, alertness, power of comprehending problems, secrecy, freedom from greed and lust .A careful analysis of principles of administration and qualities of an administrator from Islamic point of view would show that man’s personal character is the key to good governance. When Omar (RA) would appoint a governor, he would invariably advise the incumbent “Not to make reception halls so that you are accessible to everyone. Not to eat refined flour as it is not available to all citizens of the community, not to wear thin cloth because this would make you easy going and not to ride a Turkish horse because this would make you haughty”. It is reported that Omar said: If Allah keep me alive, I would certainly leave the widows of the people of Iraq so (well provided for) that they shall not need the help of any one after me. Hadrat Ali (RA) gives concisely the qualities of an administrator as follow. The leader should be an ideal for his staff and fellow citizens and choose the most qualified yet pious, honest, truthful and God-fearing men for his administrative structure. He should be impartial and dispense justice with equity and should be very careful about the backbiters, sycophants, corrupt and scandalmongers. He should constantly remain in contact with his staff consult them and should not issue authoritative and arbitrary orders. He should strike against corruption, injustice and evil usages of authority against citizens and take responsibility for any defect in his subordinates and staff. He should not reserve for himself or his relatives any common property in which others have share and stake. There is no doubt that principles of administration in Islam are by far the most scientific and comprehensive set of
principles for effective and efficient administration. Instructions of Omar (RA) and Ali (RA) noted earlier provide a complete frame for Islamic administration. Islamic system of justice includes social justice, which means that the government must manage to meet and fulfill the needs and requirements of all citizens because they have rightful share in state resources and are bona fide citizens of the country. This includes provision of job, means of subsistence and economic justice. This further implies that it is the responsibility of the state to provide food, shelter and clothing to all the citizens of the state. Economic justice is aimed at equitable distribution of means of living and check concentration of wealth in a few hands. That is why Caliph Omar (RA) refused to allot lands to the Muslim soldiers and commanders in areas conquered by Muslims in Iran, Iraq and Syria. The most powerful instrument of nation building is to uphold the principle of simplicity and absolute justice. It is these two principles that can create discipline in life of the people. Also essential is administrative justice, which means that all State functionaries are also subject to accountability and do not consider and treat people as “slaves” or “personal servants”. They should not insult the people in any manner. They should be honest and efficiently administer public affairs. It should be ensured that the concentration of wealth in one class or in a few hands does not occur. A successful and viable administrative set up is that in which people’s participation is ensured. If the governed feel that they share the administrative process, the society would be stable. Thus, public participation is an essential part of Islamic model of administration. During the caliphate of first four, Caliphs and the rule of Umayyads and partly during Abbasid rule and under Fatimids in Egypt, public administration was a great success because of its efficiency and God-fearing administrators.
Hadith Narrated Abu Huraira (RA): Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) talked about Friday and said, “There is an hour on Friday and if a Muslim gets it while praying and asks something from Allah, then Allah will definitely meet his demand.” And he (the Prophet) pointed out the shortness of that time with his hands. Bukhari Vol. 2 : No. 57
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Mind the type of phone your child uses –MSSN AISHA TITILAYO
s part of her aims at bringing the word of Allah to the people as well as curbing all forms of immorality in the society, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, MSSN, has admonished Nigerian youths to shun every form of evil and tread the path of useful knowledge. The guest lecturer, Hajia Halimah Hamzah gave this admonition while addressing youths at the Annual Sisters’ Seminar, themed ‘The Cling Era’, which was part of the activities marking this year’s MSSN Week at Agege Local Government Secretariat. Hajia Hamzah noted that a large percentage
of Nigerian youths waste their time on social media because of nothing tangible. “You have to be conscious of the fact that you will be questioned on how you spent your time and your youthful age.” Speaking further, Mrs Hamzah stated that the youths no longer use the internet to benefit from its numerous advantages, rather they surf the net searching for things that are Haram. She added that most of these social media promote indecency, as such, Muslims must be mindful of what they engage themselves in and the kind of friends they keep on social media. She said, “Mind what you post or share online. You should bear in mind that as Muslims, you
should always uphold goodness and forbid evil.” Also speaking, the Amirah of the Agege Area Council, Hajia Aisha Salvador, explained that the theme was chosen because youths are now involved in all kinds of corruption, exam malpractice, illegal sexual intercourse, pornography. All these she said are triggered and made available to youths through social media which debars them from concentrating in class. She urged parents to always monitor their children right from home because home is the first place the children learn. “Parents should mind the type of phone they buy for their children as well as the type of friends they move with.” She advised.
L-R: Hajia Ganiyah Animashaun; Hajia Hussein Abdullah; Hajia Thabit Waliyah; Hajia Zainab Sulaiman and the guest lecturer, Hajia Halimah Hamzah during the MSSN Sisters’ Seminar held at Agege Local Government Secretariat, Lagos.
Sultan calls for more prayers
he Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, JNI, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar has again called on all Muslims to fervently continue praying for the restoration of peace and security in Nigeria bearing in mind that we are in the month of Sha’aban, approaching the sacred month of Ramadan. Similarly, all Imams are implored to continue with Qunut prayers in their respective
mosques, for Allah’s intervention and relief. In a release signed by Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Secretary-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, the body stated that it will not be deterred nor remain mute over the repeated ungodly acts of terror being unleashed on the Muslims folowing the gruesome murder of HRH, Alhaji Shehu Mustapha Idrissa Timta, the Emir of Gwoza in Borno
State by criminals. “We again expect the Federal Government of Nigeria through its relevant security agencies to wake up to their respective responsibilities of protecting lives and property of Nigerians, especially in the North East. Enough diatribes had been heard on the ugly situation. Therefore, purposeful and coordinated pro-active measures must be on ground to check the menace of the insurgency.”
FOMWAN pray for peace AISHA TITILAYO
s the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria, FOMWAN, celebrates her week with various activities like sanitation of mosques and markets, visitation to hospitals, prison yards and orphanages as well as special Jumu’ah service today at Ojota Central Mosque, Kosofe Local
Government, the Amirah of the organisation, Alhaja Sariyu Ashiru revealed that FOMWAN is not comfortable with the state of things in the country, particularly bombings here and there and recent abduction of innocent girls by Boko Haram sect. Alhaja Ashiru added that the Symposium, titled ‘Youth as instrument for National Development’ is to take place at FOMWAN secretariat tomor-
row. “There will be free eye screening and dental test too.” To round off the FOMWAN week is a special prayer which will take place at FOMWAN secretariat where the organisation will pray for the peace of the nation as well as the safe release of the abducted girls. She urged all Nigerians to continue to pray for the nation to enable her conquer her problems.
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People In The Mirror
Friday, June 6, 2014
L-R: Wife of Ondo State Governor and daughter of the deceased, Olukemi Mimiko (left), exchanging pleasantries with the National Chairman of Labour Party, Chief Dan Nwayanwu, and his wife, at the Funeral Service for the late mother of Ondo First Lady, Chief (Mrs) Modupe Adeniyi, at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Ondo, on Friday.
L-R: Chief of Staff to the President, Brigadier Arogbofa; Governors Jonah Jang of Plateau State, and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, at the burial ceremony of the mother to the First Lady of Ondo State, Mrs. Olukemi Mimiko in Akure over the weekend.
L-R: Senator Anthony Adefuye, Oba Adedeji Onagoruwa, Alaye of Odogbolu, his wife, Olori Mojisola Onagoruwa, wife of the celebrant, Otunba Josephine Diya, the celebrant, Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya (retd), his wife, Otunba Mrs. Folasade Diya and former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, at Diya’s 70th birthday celebrations in Odogbolu, Ogun State... recently.
Mrs. Risikat Sanni, CEO, Rainbow Cards Ltd, Dr. Anthony Bamidele Azeez and Chief Adeoye Hassan (all children of the deceased) at the funeral of their mother, Deaconess Beatrice Tanimose Azeez, at Enuwawa, Abigi Waterside, Ogun State, recently.
The officiating minister with the children of the deceased at the funeral service for the late Chief (Mrs) Modupe Adeniyi, at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Ondo.
L-R Shows the President, The Light Bearers Society, Wesley Cathedral Olowogbowo, Lagos, Bro. Aramide Tola Noibi; Knight of John Wesley Methodist Church Nigeria and the CEO, Unity Hospitals Group Dr. Charles Williams Class Leader. Sis. Mabel Ajala at the 23rd Anniversary Celebration of the Light Bearers in Lagos.
Friday, June 6, 2014
LTS brings The Engagement on stage Olayiwola Awakan
Comedy is defiance. It’s a snort of contempt in the face of fear and anxiety. And it is the laughter that allows hope to creep back on the inhale”. Those are the words of Will Durst, an American political satirist. Comedy genre of live theatre is what the country needs the more to keep the minds of people away from the present situation of the country. The functionality of drama is registered in this reflective measure. Live Theatre on Sunday crew is on the trail of putting laughter on the faces of people every last Sunday of the month, the May edition was not an exception. It was a great moment on Sunday May 25 as Live Theatre on Sunday (LTS) put together the performance of The Engagement by Femi Osofisan, directed by Adebola Ogunshina and produced by Shola Adenugba, at the Unity Centre, Isaac John, Ikeja Lagos. The play which remains evergreen considering the thematic relevance is often enjoyed when restaged by any theatre company because directorial approaches and character absorption differs. The Engagement is an adaptation of Anton Chekov’s short play, ‘The Marriage proposal’. The brilliant adaptation into the Yoruba cultural setting brings out an unusual humorous reflection of timidity and expression, which is seen in the character of Elemude and Ronke. The engagement is a farce which features a marriage proposal and an engagement between a shy and hypochondriac young farmer and the daughter of his neighbour. It plays on the intricacies of human relationship and humorously explores our conflicts surrounding the idea of ‘ownership’ and our tendency to compete against one another. Out of shyness, Elemude whose initial plan is to propose to Ronke; gets screwed into irrelevant controversies of land dispute and superiority between two dogs. The argument almost costs him his life. Ronke also escalates the argument unknown to her that Elemude was actually out to propose to her. Chief Madayekan, the father of Ronke having discovered that the argument was being intense eventually joins them to avoid further disagreement. Ability to be able to confront any situation with bold-
Private funeral for Angelou tomorrow
he family of Maya Angelou are to hold a private memorial service for the author, poet and activist tomorrow, Saturday in North Carolina. The service will be held at Wake Forest University’s chapel in Winston-Salem, where Angelou worked as a professor. Although it will be restricted to friends and family, the university said it would stream the service for live public viewing. Angelou’s family will later hold additional celebrations across the US. They have asked the public to make donations to the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity in lieu of bringing flowers to the campus. Media mogul, Oprah Winfrey was seen at the chapel on Monday, helping to plan the memorial. Last week, the star told ‘Entertainment Tonight’ she would pay tribute to her long-time friend at the service. Angelou died at her home in Winston-Salem, where she lived for three decades, last week Wednesday, aged 86. She wrote more than 30 books including her famous memoir, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’, which charted a childhood of oppression and abuse in the Deep South in the 1930s. She had served as the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest from 1982. According to the university, she had planned to teach a course titled ‘Race, Culture and Gender in the US South and Beyond’ later this year.
Drama at LTS
ness is among the major themes preached in the play. The actors represented their roles well. However, the character of the father derailed from being a bit elderly to exhibiting traits of youthful enthusiasm. The play was well interpreted by the director and the use of music, as peculiar to Osofisan’s style of writing added colour to the play. Live Theatre on Sunday (LTS) has been on the journey of entertaining Lagos Mainland audiences with standard live theatre performances for free every last Sunday of the month since 2012. It is a non-for-profit repertory theatre project.
Rosiji’s recipe for better governance
ormer President of Performing Musician Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Bolaji Rosiji, has submitted that today’s leaders can learn a great deal about governance from the teachings of Chanakya, one of the greatest statesmen and political commentators that lived in ancient India. An interaction with Rosiji exposes the deep need of social mysticism and conscious intellectualism in politics. The chat also probes into the works and notes of Chanakya and how the Indian’s expansive body of knowledge which highlights leading humanity with wisdom that comes from deep knowledge of philosophy is germane for contemporary society. Known also as Kautilya and Vishnugupta, Chanakya is believed to have lived in India in the period between 350-275 B.C. A Brahmin by caste, he is considered responsible for the overthrow of the last ruler of India’s Nanda dynasty and the enthronement of the Mauryan emperor Chandragupta, for whom he served as counselor, adviser and chief minister for all of his 24 years on the throne. Chanakya’s teachings and views have come in the form of three works: Arthasastra;Chanakasutras(his most famous treatise on the science of politics) and Chanakyanitidarpana. Throwing more light on the subject, Rosiji said
that from the writings of Chanakya, humanity is served timeless instructions on the art and science of politics, economics and sociology. He added that the ideal ruler, in Chanakya’s mould, is one who possesses absolute mastery over himself and can be “pre-eminent in virtue,” – similar to the ideal monarch in the notes of Aristotle who was a contemporary of Chanakya or ‘the philosopher-king’ idealised by Plato. For Rosiji, Chanakya embodies the attitude of the ideal leader who connects with his citizens. “In the happiness of the people lies the ruler’s happiness. Their welfare is his welfare. The ruler should not consider what pleases and benefits him personally, but what is pleasing and beneficial to the people,” he opines. “If rulers are righteous, people are righteous. If they are sinners, people are also sinners. Like ruler, like people. A ruler with character can render even ‘unendowed’ people happy. A characterless ruler destroys loyal and prosperous people. It is better not to have a philosopher ruler than a bad ruler. Where is happiness for a people ruled by a bad one? It is not enough for a leader to have merely good character. He must be learned and well versed in the science of statecraft. Such an enlightened leader must surround himself with qualified and capable counselors and ministers as Chanakya.”
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Friday, June 6, 2014
Lupita Nyong’o joins cast of Star Wars
enya-born Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave actress, Lupita Nyong’o has added another feather to her cap of victories. She has joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. The news was announced on the Star Wars website, although it did not say what roles the actress would play. ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ is due in cinemas on 18 December 2015. According to the site: “Lupita Nyong’o joins the recently announced cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.
This year, her breakthrough performance in 12 Years a Slave earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Gwendoline Christie, currently starring in the hit television series Game of Thrones as Brienne of Tarth, has also been cast in the production. She can next be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII,” says Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.” Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the Saga Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.” Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing and John Williams returns as the composer. Born March 1, 1983, Nyong’o is an actress of dual Kenyan and Mexican citizenship, and a film and music video director. After graduating from Hampshire College with a bachelor’s degree in film and theatre studies, Nyong’o worked as a production assistant on several Hollywood films. In 2008, she made her acting debut with the short film East River and subsequently starred in the Kenyan television series Shuga . Also in 2009, she wrote, produced and directed the documentary film In My Genes. Nyong’o later completed a master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama, followed by her first feature film role in Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years a Slave. Her role in the film was widely acclaimed, earning her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, among numerous other awards and nominations.
KSA, Henshaw, Arinze turn up for LASSRA registration
cores of musicians and actors in Lagos earlier in the week, turned up for the ongoing registration of residents in Lagos, carried out by the Lagos State Resident Registration Agency (LASRRA) at the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja. The artistes include King Sunny Ade, Joke Silver, Kate Henshaw, Prince Jide Kosoko, Saheed Balogun, Foluke Daramola, Adebayo Salami and Segun Arinze. Others are the two chairmen of the Lagos State chapter of Actors Guild, Messrs. Don Pedro Aganbi and Victor Osuagwu, Abubakar Yakubu, Toni Akposeri, Tunji Bamishigbin, Yemi Shodimu and Biodun Aremu among others. Speaking at the occasion, General Manager, LASRRA, Ms. Yinka Fashola said a total of 1.8 million residents of the state have so far been registered by the agency adding that the state embarked on the exercise
to enable government adequately plan for the people of Lagos by allocating resources to meet their needs. She said that musicians, actors, producers, editors and all those involved in any production play vital role in the development of the state. According to her: “Many studies show that economic prosperity and growth lies in the ability of a city to attract artistes to the urban core;” stressing that the presence of artists attracts workers in other discipline. She said as a hub of actors and musicians, the computer industry, social media, visual arts, fashion etc, have followed the flow and creativity of actors and musicians, adding that the development demands for facilities and resources that would enhance and improve the standard of living such as entertainment, cinemas, restaurants, night clubs and shopping mall. The general manager said cities that attracted large number of artistes experience economic growth since other industries have interest in their creative and innovative activities.
A new one from T.W.O
wo years after dropping their last single, musical giants Tunde and Wunmi Obe are back with two banging new singles set to storm the airwaves. The last 25 years of their highly successful career has seen them release five phenomenal albums and numerous chart topping singles including Fine Bara, Adupe, Mogbomoya, Zombie and many more. Written by T.W.O, Green White Green and Wedding Day were produced by Bayo Joseph; it also features 2Face Idibia. Green White
Green advocates for peace and unity in Nigeria, while Wedding Day featuring Teniim is a song of love and an advice on the institution of marriage. “With the state of the nation, we just decided that it’s time to lend our voices as the oldest existing group to the gospel of peace, safety and oneness,” said Tunde Obe. “We are glad to be back with these new singles and we know that with the collaborations associated with the singles, Nigerians will welcome the songs with open arms,” said Wunmi Obe.
Health convention for entertainment industry
he awareness and knowledge of health insurance among the practitioners of the Nigerian entertainment industry has become imperative. Due to the absence of it, the industry has lost several of its well loved musicians and actors to dreadful sicknesses like renal failure, fatal accidents and other ailments while trying to raise funds. This has however necessitated the need for a wellstructured health insurance policy and cover for the entertainment industry. The Nigerian Entertainment Industry Health Insurance Convention is designed as a customised learning and education platform for the practitioners of the entertainment industry and invariably members of the public at large to understand the importance of health insurance and at the same time embrace it. The convention seeks to create special insurance covers and policies for the practitioners of the entertainment industry. The convention delineates perspectives of stakeholders throughout the healthcare community in addressing broad issues and the type of health insurance to go for. Some of topics to be discussed at the convention are; ‘The Health Implications of Celebrity Life Styles’, ‘Benefits of Health Insurance Policies’, ‘Health Insurance Policy …at what cost?’, ‘The health insurance policy… how dependable?’ and ‘The Role of Government in Health Insurance Policies’ The convention is presented by Nigerian Entertainment Industry Lecture Series (NEILS) and is in partnership with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Lagos State Ministry of Health and Nigeria Medical Association. It is billed to hold on July 22nd, 2014 at the Grand Ball Room of Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. “It is absolutely very sad seeing our entertainers beg for money from fans and government alike when they are down with life threatening ailments. Other professionals suffer similar fates and sometimes they cannot afford treatment but they seldom embark on aggressive media campaigns of such magnitudes like their entertainment counterparts. This has however resulted in a big shame and public ridicule”, the statement adds.
Friday, June 6, 2014
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Mauritius: A blend of Africa and India
Dodo bird, Mauritius
Multi-ethnic and multi-cultural; most Mauritians are multilingual, speaking English, French, Creole and Asian languages, making it a good get-away spot.
Olawale Oluwadahunsi WITH AGENCY REPORTS
he Dutch settled on the island in 1638 and abandoned it in 1710. Five years later, the island became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France. The British took control of Mauritius in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. The country remained under British rule until it became an independent Commonwealth realm on 12 March 1968 and a republic within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1992. After a brief Dutch settlement, French immigrants who came in 1715 named the island Île de France and established the first road and harbor infrastructure, as well as the sugar industry, under the leadership of Gov. Mahe de Labourdonnais. Blacks from Africa and Madagascar came as slaves to work in the sugarcane fields. In 1810, the British captured the island and in 1814, by the Treaty of Paris, it was ceded to Great Britain along with its dependencies. Indian immigration, which followed the abolition of slavery in 1835, rapidly changed the fabric of Mauritian society, and the country flourished with the increased cultivation of sugarcane. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 heralded the decline of Mauritius as a port of call for ships rounding the southern tip of Africa, bound for South and East Asia. The economic instability of the price of sugar, the main crop, in the first half of the 20th century brought civil unrest, then economic, administrative, and political reforms. The total land area of the country is 2040 km2, which is the 180st largest nation in the world by size. The Republic of Mauritius also incorporates the island of Rodrigues, situated some 560 km to the east and is 104 km2 in area, the Agalega islands situated some 1,000 km to the north of Mauritius and Saint Brandon situated some 430 km to the north-east of Mauritius, both with total land area of 71.2 km2. Mauritius claim sovereignty over Tromelin islands, small islands that lie 430 km to the north-east of Mauritius. The nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) cover about 2.3 million km2 of the Indian Ocean, including approx. 400,000 km2 jointly managed with the Seychelles. The Island of Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago. Together with Saint Brandon, Réunion and Rodrigues, the island is part of the Mascarene Islands. These islands have emerged from the abysses as a result of gigantic underwater volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of kilometres to the east of the continental block made up by Africa and Madagascar. Mauritius is encircled by a broken ring of mountain ranges, varying in height from 300 m to 800 m above sea level. The land rises from coastal plains to a central plateau where it reaches a height of 670 m, the highest peak is in the southwest, Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 metres (2,717 ft). Streams and rivers speckle the island; a lot of them are formed in the
cracks created by lava flows. The environment in Mauritius is typically tropical in the coastal regions with forests in the mountainous areas. Seasonal cyclones are destructive to the flora and fauna, although they recover quickly. Situated near the tropic of Capricorn, Mauritius has a tropical climate. There are 2 seasons: a warm humid summer from November to April, with a mean temperature of 24.7° and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September with a mean temperature of 20.4°. The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4.3°. The warmest months are January and February with average day maximum temperature reaching 29.2° and the coolest months are July and August when average night minimum temperatures drops down to 16.4°. Annual rainfall ranges from 900 mm on the coast to 1,500 mm on the central plateau. Although there is no marked rainy season, most of the rainfall occurs in summer months The country is home to some of the world’s rarest plants and animals but human habitation and the introduction of non-native species have threatened its indig-
enous flora and fauna. Due to its volcanic origin, age, isolation and its unique terrain, Mauritius is home to a diversity of flora and fauna not usually found in such a small area. Before its discovery by the Portuguese in 1507, there were no terrestrial mammals on the island. This allowed the evolution of a number of flightless birds and large reptile species. The arrival of man saw the introduction of invasive alien species and the rapid destruction of habitat and the loss of much of the endemic flora and fauna. Less than 2% of the native forest that once stretched from the mountain tops of the central plateau to the shore now remains, concentrated in the Black River Gorges National Park in the south west, the Bamboo Mountain Range in the south east and the Moka-Port Louis Ranges in the northwest. There are also some isolated mountains which are Corps de Garde, Le Morne Brabant and several offshore islands with remnants of coastal and mainland diversity. Within 100 years of the arrival of humans on Mauritius, the once abundant dodo became a rare bird. The last one was killed in 1681. The dodo is prominently featured as a supporter of the national Coat of arms of Mauritius.
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Friday, June 6, 2014
Black river Gorges
Being both an English-speaking and Frenchspeaking nation, Mauritius is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and the Francophonie. The Mauritian constitution makes no mention of an official language. It is only in the Parliament that the official language is English; any member of the National Assembly can also address the chair in French. However, English is generally accepted as the official language of Mauritius and as the language of government administration, the courts and business. French is mostly used in the media and literature. Cuisine They have a blend of Creole, Chinese, European
and Indian influences in the history of Mauritius. Dishes from French cuisine are popular. Former slaves, Indian workers and Chinese migrant during the 19th century have also brought dishes and practices into the culinary traditions. Seafood is a staple of the island nation’s cuisine. Rum is popular. Music and folklore The most typical folkloric dance of Mauritius is the “Sega” of African origin. This dance is pulsated by the beat of the ravane, a circular drum, and other rhythmic instruments like the maravane and triangle. Danced and sung by the slaves, the Sega has been adopted by all Mauritians and is played on all occasions. More recently, a new sound, a mixture of the Sega and Reggae music, has found its way into their musical culture. This fusion music called the Seggae, is a melodious and entertaining new rhythm that reflects the mixed aspect of Mauritius, emerged in the 80’s. Originally the music of the Rastafaris and the poor suburbs of Port Louis, it has found its way to the nightclubs and the mainstream of Mauritian local music. Western music is also well represented in the Mauritian culture. This includes the mainstream music amid rap, hip-hop, rock, Jazz band and other more traditional music like the waltz as well as all types of ballroom dancing. There is also a strong following for the 60’s to 70’s oldies, with the likes of Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Englelberd Emperding being part of the national musical heritage. Tourist attractions Mauritius is a sparkling jewel set in the brilliant turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Sun-kissed beaches, stunning mountains, calm lagoons, bustling villages, patchwork sugar cane fields and swaying palm trees . Mauritius is a tropical island of colourful contrasts where the welcoming smiles of the people reveal the true magic of this enchanting land. Mauritius has a rich and varied past. Settled by the Dutch and colonised by both the French and the British over the centuries, the cosmopolitan population is now a fascinating mix of Indian, Chinese, African and European origin, creating a kaleidoscope of customs and religions. This marvellous blend of cultures is best reflected in the island’s cuisine - a delicious fusion of vibrant tastes and subtle aromas. Mauritius offers the classic tropical holiday pastimes - relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, sailing to beautiful deserted islands, exploring the wonders of the coral reefs. The island abounds with places of interest to amaze and entrance the visitors. Port Louis Port Louis, the island’s main city located at the north-
western end of the island, against a backdrop of mountains. With a population of just 138,211 inhabitants, Port Louis is a flourishing capital complete with an established infrastructure, markets selling fruit, vegetables and spices, and is the island’s only port. The commercial hub of the nation, Port Louis gives the visitor a scintillating introduction into this melting pot of cultures. The capital city brims with life, the bustling market, the museum displaying the famous Dodo, the Caudan and waterfronts bursting with restaurants and shops and the busy streets teeming with exotic foods and merchandise. Anchored at Le Caudan Waterfront, you will be able to see ships from all over the world. Not far away is La Bourdonnais Square. Here stands the statue of Mauritius’ most eminent French governor, Mahé de la Bourdonnais, amid tall palms. A little way up the tree-lined road is Parliament House, with a statue of Queen Victoria at the entrance. In summer, the distinguished lady is surrounded by scarlet flame trees. Life on an island Curepipe, the third largest urban area with 80,554 citizens, is renowned for its model ship builders, tea industry and the nearby dormant crater of Trou aux Cerfs, which offers breathtaking panoramas of the island’s landscape. Here, one can view a statue of the fictitious lovers, Paul and Virginie, from Bernadin de St Pierre’s 1788 novel of the same name. Also of interest are the local botanical gardens and the Tamarind Falls, which require transportation and hiking boots but are well worth the effort. Tamarind gets its name from the sour fruit that grows on large local trees called tamarinds. The bay is best known as an international surfing spot, especially in June and July, thanks to the gentle play of southeast trade winds on the water. The road from Curepipe leads to Mahébourg on the southeastern tip of Mauritius. Although it is closest to the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport, this small town with just 17 031 inhabitants does not see all that many tourists. Its biggest attractions are the silks, saris and other materials on sale. There are also lovely sea views of three small islands, one of which boasts an old disused lighthouse that stands guard over the seas. The island’s largest fishing fleet is based in Mahébourg, and it was in the mansion that now houses the Naval Museum that the French and British admirals, both injured in the Battle of Grand Port, were treated in the same room according to legend. Pirate stories abound, of course, and apparently, there are more ghosts in this town than in Port Louis! Perfect beaches In the north of Mauritius are the pristine white beaches that make the island famous. Surrounded by turquoise seas, a number of stunning resorts dot the coast. This area is also a water sports lover’s paradise. The first resort you will come across is the Maritim Hotel, which has 221 rooms, free water sports and the best sunsets. It’s also possible to see traditional Sega dancing, the national dance that originated in the days of slavery. Further north is Trou aux Biches, situated on the bus routes from Port Louis. Like the Maritim, Trou aux Biches Hotel offers a vast array of watersports, wholesome food, and sublime rum cocktails. The locals are usually amenable to visitors accompanying them on their fishing trips, but one will have to be on the beach very early. Usually there’s no charge, but it is advised that one checks before boarding their tiny boats. One of the best ways to explore this area and the nearby Grand Bay is on hired bicycles, which are readily available. Ile aux cerfs Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches shaded by casuarina and palm trees surround this tiny island which caters for those seeking peace and solitude or the thrills of para-sailing and other watersports. Pamplemousses gardens World-famous for a unique collection of indigenous and exotic plants, the gardens offer a peaceful haven in which to stroll and admire the giant lily pond, the beautiful Chateau Mon Plaisir, the lumbering giant tortoises and the replica of a 19th century sugar mill. Coloured earth These multi-coloured mounds of earth, ranging from ochre through to various shades of purple and red, are the extraordinary result of long-distant volcanic activity and provide a truly amazing spectacle.
Friday, June 6, 2014
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
•Compact Sedan gets improved spacious interior
any modern compact sedans now have the interior space and upscale, high-tech features, which make them saleable to auto enthusiasts around the world. The 2014 Nissan Sentra is a perfect example of this trend, as it offers an impressive amount of interior room and a nice array of features for pretty attractive pricing. Nissan fully redesigned the Sentra last year, making changes to the car's design, improving fuel economy and adding space and new fea-
tures to the current one. For 2014, Nissan has apparently taken note of the Sentra's weak areas, as the company has made hardware changes that it says reduce noise within the cabin and improve both ride comfort and handling. The 2014 model’s sharper handling made it more enjoyable to drive through turns. Smartphone app integration via the NissanConnect interface is new as well. Despite all the new additional features, the new Sentra is still five percent lighter than its predecessor, but slightly larger in overall dimensions with more interior room and
aerodynamic looks. looks “This model represents the most innovative, highest quality, highest value sedan lineup in Nissan history, and with the complete redesign, it is closer in look and feel to ‘D’ Segment vehicles than a typical compact sedan,” the Japanese automaker said. “If you think that 68km per gallon is unattainable figure then have a try in the new Sentra and you will discover how frugal the car is with fuel even when driven in normal fashion and the travel included a highway in the mountains and foothill roads, said Head, Sales and Marketing, Stallion NMN, Mr. Amit Sharma during the unveiling of the car in Lagos recently. Sharma said that the car is designed to order with approximately 15.2-foot-long, the Sentra now has amplerear-seatlegroom,measuring 37.4 inches, which is more than the
seat backlegroom of a typical compact car. Under the hood, the 2014 Sentra carries on with a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine good for 130 horsepower. It provides modest acceleration, but clearly the goal here is to compete with rivals that promise 40-mpg capability on the highway. Interestingly, the 2014 Nissan Sentra stakes a claim in a segment that is chock full of great choices and each with its own advantages, but Sentra is unique with fuel economy and a spacious interior.
Body styles The 2014 Nissan Sentra is a small, five-passenger sedan offered in S, SV, SR and SL main trim levels. There are also "FE+" versions of the S and SV that prioritise fuel economy. The base Sentra S comes with 16inch steel wheels, a remote keyless entry system with trunk release, a six-way manually adjustable driver
seat, a four-way manually adjustable passenger seat, airconditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, full power accessories and a four-speaker sound system with CD player and auxiliary audio jack.
Performance Every 2014 Nissan Sentra gets a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine rated at 130 hp and 128 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the base model, and a continuously variable transmission, CVT, is optional. All other Sentras have the CVT as standard. The EPA estimates the six-speed manual Sentra will achieve 30 mpg combined (27 mpg city/36 mpg highway). Opting for the CVT ups economy to 34 combined (30 city/39 highway). The FE+ model earns 1 more highway mpg, but the combined figure nets out the same at 34 mpg -- even so, it makes the
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, June 6, 2014
President Jonathan lauds first made in Nigeria vehicles
President Goodluck Jonathan receiving keys of the five made-in-Nigeria Nissan vehicles from the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga with Her Excellency, wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan (second right); His Excellency, Vice President Namadi Sambo (extreme right) and Sunil Vaswani, Chairman Stallion Group, owners of Stallion Nissan Motors plant at the official presentation ceremony of the vehicles at the Presidential villa Abuja recently.
resident GoodlucK Jonathan has applauded the Stallion Nissan Motors Nigeria for manufacturing the first ‘Made in Nigeria’ vehicles few months after the introduction of t h e au-
Sentra one of the most fuel-efficient cars in this class.
Safety The 2014 Nissan Sentra comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Most Sentra models come with rear drum brakes, although rear discs are an option, as is a rearview camera. In government crash tests, the Sentra earned an overall rating of four stars (out of a possible five), with four stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2014 Sentra its best rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal offset, side impact and roof strength crash tests. The Sentra's seat/head restraint design also earned a "Good" rating for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
tomobile policy by the Federal Government. President Jonathan said the first made in Nigeria vehicles are a demonstration of the proficiency of lo-
Taller drivers will welcome the Nissan Sentra's unexpectedly spacious front seats. Rearseat passengers are not left out, either. Indeed, the rear accommodations are so spacious that the Sentra practically feels like a midsize sedan from the backseat. One new addition this year is smartphone app integration (NissanConnect), which allows you to search the Internet via the car's 5.8inch touchscreen interface, stream Internet radio (Pandora or iHeartRadio) and monitor text messages and social media. Luggage capacity is generous for the class. At 15.1 cubic feet, the Sentra's trunk volume is comparable to that of many midsize sedans. The Sentra is sold and serviced in Nigeria by Stallion NMN, the official Nissan sales company with extensively retrained service technicians in multiple auto repair disciplines and versed experience in Nissan’s cutting edge and ever changing technology.
cal investors’ aptitude to the potency of a genuine policy to revamp the automotive industry and leverage the status of the economy while enhancing job creation. Jonathan stated this in Lagos when he took delivery of the first five made in Nigeria Nissan vehicles produced at the company’s plant. The vehicles are three Nissan Patrol SUVs, Nissan Almera (Sunny) saloon car and Nissan NP 300 pick-up. He urged private sector investors to produce more products so the Federal Government could begin to delineate certain percentage of goods that could be produced locally. He said, “I’m quite happy that Nissan has demonstrated the reality of exporting cars from Nigeria is possible, which suggest we can soon as a nation export vehicles to other parts of the world. “We thank Nissan for making the best of the new automotive policy
which is part of our agenda to strengthen the private sector and make it a hub for job creation. Government alone can’t create jobs.” Commenting on the manufacturing of the cars, Chairman Stallion Group, Mr. Sunil Vaswani, expressed appreciation to the President and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for appropriating the automotive policy.
He described the policy as a historic step towards industrial and economic rejuvenation. He said the current size of Nigeria population could convincingly support more than half a million vehicles annually, which was more than sufficient to sustain an emerging automotive industry, adding that the vehicles are designed to order with the highest global standards for product and technology.
MAINTENANCE M A I N T E N A N C E TIPS TIPS
How to replace the ignition coil pack in cars
he ignition system provides the voltage needed to start your car. Most vehicles use a distributor-less ignition system, sometimes called a direct ignition system. This system depends on an ignition coil pack that usually contains three ignition coils. contain To rreplace the ignition coil pack in n cars, the person carrying outt the replacement should understand basic safety first u procedures. procedu ures. Any time you work on your car, you u should set the emergency brake b and disconnect the negative, negativ ve or ground, ground cable from the battery . Some mechanics ba recommend you isolate the recom cable to prevent accidental contact, conta which could spark a connection. conn Also, release the spark Al plug wires from the car ca ignition coil pack. pac You may need to pinch or press a release to unlock
the wires. Then, use a socket set or a small wrench to unbolt the ignition coil connectors. You also need to undo the capacitor electrical connectors. As you work, make note of which connectors go where - this pays off you when you reassemble the parts. At this point, you are to locate the bracket that holds the ignition coil pack and the electrical capacitor in place and undo the fasteners that secure them. Separate the car ignition coil pack from the mounting system. Replace the old ignition coil pack with a new one. Verify the new ignition coil pack works with your engine, even if you use a universal ignition coil pack. Finally, reassemble the parts. If you have a Torque wrench, use it to tighten the ignition coil bolts with 7-inch pounds of torque.
which will be unveiled in production guise in summer 2014. Sales start in 2015. But it is earmarked for all future large Fords. So expect the new S-Max to feature the same rack, as well as future iterations of Mondeo. Auto stakeholders say that adaptive steering will be standard on large Fords, rather than an optional extra. An actuator placed i n -
side the steering wheel means that the tech can fit in any model, says Ford. This electric motor and gearing system is controlled by a black box, which increases or reduces a driver's steering inputs, depending on the vehicle's speed. Stakeholders hoped that another level of microchip interaction doesn't rob big Fords of their feel-some steering.
Adaptive steering for big Fords arrives on new Edge
ord Auto Company has announced all its future large cars will have adaptive steering as standard - letting reps flick their wrists on the way in to the Welcome Break on the M4, yet tip their fingers when changing lanes on the London orbital. It's a further sign that what was once the high-tech preserve of the German brands is now firmly in the mainstream. BMW was one of the brands, which pioneered variable-ratio power steering; in essence, it changes the ratio between the driver's inputs at the wheel and the rate at which turns are made at the rack. First up with the new steering tech in the Blue Oval's range is the new Edge crossover,
Friday, June 6, 2014
Plane turns around after woman allegedly threatened to kill white people
United Airlines flight from Nashville to Houston turned around Sunday after a passenger allegedly threatened a fellow traveller when she was asked to turn off her cellphone. LaShonda Williams, 43, allegedly told another passenger, “I kill white people like you.” The 50-year-old passenger had asked Williams to turn off her wireless device shortly after takeoff.
Williams then also told the passenger that she would follow her after arriving in Houston “and find out where she lived” causing the woman to fear for her safety, according to a court affidavit. A United flight attendant told police Williams’ remarks created “anxiety and fear throughout the cabin.” When the plane returned to Nashville, police arrested Williams and charged her with assault.
Woman calls emergency over ice cream without sprinkles
British woman who called the West Midlands Police about her ice cream’s lack of chocolate sprinkles did not get a warm response. The department posted her call on SoundCloud and then tweeted it out: Apparently, unnecessary 999 calls in the region happen quite often, and people have previously called about things like prostitutes not being attractive enough and forgotten Facebook passwords. “These calls are ridicu-
lous. Its astonishing listening to them but they hide a serious truth. Each call often takes minutes to deal with as our staff have to clarify the situation -- it might not sound like much but if someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life or death emergency, then a minute is a very long time to wait,” said West Midlands Chief Inspector Sally Holmes. People have also called 999 to ask for directions and complain about being denied access to a nightclub.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Bride wears the unthinkable to her wedding
Tennessee bride gave a whole new meaning to wearing something new, as she walked down the aisle with her onemonth-old daughter strapped to the train of her dress. The infant literally dragged as the now Shona CarterBrooks walked toward her groom. The couple is under public scrutiny for the controversial and potentially dangerous decision. Carter-Brooks defended her parenting abilities and said, “The answer is we do what we want when we want as long as Jesus on our side everything worked out fine and gone continues to be fine. Our 1 month old was awake and well secured on my train.” Her White by Vera Wing gown was altered and fitted for a gadget
that would keep the newborn attached to the dress, so clearly the decision was premeditated. One guest seemed to find no problem in the bride’s choice of accessory, as the bride’s friends took to Facebook to express
Bride straps baby to dress
how much she enjoyed the ceremony. Despite their support, the photograph clearly shows guests’ shock to see the baby trailing behind her mother. While it’s thoughtful to include children in
the union of their father and mother, dragging a baby across the floor is sure to raise some eyebrows, particularly that of the Child Protective Services, who are investigating the parenting issue.
Friday, June 6, 2014
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Role of integrated transport system in efficient mega seaport operations The Federal Government in conjunction with some private investors both local and foreign are currently develop three mega seaports in the country. But stakeholders are however worried that the government has not shown any serious interest towards developing an integrated transport system that will drive these projects when completed. FRANCIS EZEM reports.
Container rail haulage operation facilitated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation, which moves about 20 containers to the northern parts of the country per week, which stakeholders believe is grossly inadequate.
hen the Federal Government conceived the idea of building a seaport in Calabar, Cross River State, the projection was that in addition to relieving the pressure on the ports in Lagos, which are perennially congested, the port would service importers in the South –Eastern states such as Aba, Onitsha and Enugu. It was also projected that the port will serve as a shipping link between the South East, the Middle Belt and some Northern parts of the country. For instance, it was projected that consignments meant for the Northern markets imported through the Calabar Port will have to go through the Ikom Bride that links the Middle Belt and other Northern states. Regrettably, this has not worked because of the near absence of road infrastructure in the area. Same is the problem in linking the Calabar Port with some South Eastern States, as the Aba-Ikot Ekpene –Calabar Road, which belongs to the Federal Government has remained in a terrible state of disrepair for over 20 years now. As a result of this infrastructure failure, the Calabar Port has remained grossly underutilised. It was probably in view of this that stakeholders are curious over the development of some mega seaports in the country. Currently, Nigeria is developing no fewer than three modern mega deep seaports. Two of them are located in Lagos, Lekki and Badagry precisely while the other one is being developed in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State. These mega deep seaport projects in line
with Nigeria’s long term economic projection of becoming port of destination for the West and Central African sub-region. The Lekki Port is being developed in conjunction with some Singaporean investors, Federal Government and Lagos State Government, is expected to commence cargo operation in the next three years, precisely 2017. Originally slated for completion in 2012, the Lekki Port, which is located within the privately owned Lagos Free Trade Zone located in Lekki, approximately covers 60 kilometres east of the city of Lagos even as the first phase of the development of the site covers 218 hectares while the second phase is proposed to cover 1,275 hectares. The new port is designed to have a final draft of 16.5m and accordingly will be able to accommodate large container vessels with a capacity of about 8,500 Twenty Equivalent Units TEUs. Similarly, the port is expected to handle bulk and liquid commodities and tankers up to 160,000 DWT, as it is designed to be a deep water port so that larger vessels can berth safely and when fully operational, it will handle containers, general and bulk cargoes, and is therefore expected to will relieve congestion at the other ports in Lagos and enhance business opportunities for importers and exporters. The Ibaka Port owned by the Nigerian Ports Authority and Akwa Ibom State was used mainly for fishing activities and water transport for small crafts. The Ibaka port is a natural deep seaport of over 17 metres of
During the last 50 years, volume of cargo transported by rail has dropped from 88 percent
to nearly nothing.
This is an enormous opportunity, but significant investment must be made in advance draft without dredging. The port, which was initially expected to commence operations in 2015, has a quay area spanning over two miles in terms of length, which makes it a safe haven for mega vessels of over 10,000 TEUs on completion, thus making it the largest in the West and Central African sub- region. Similarly, AP Moller Apapa Terminals Limited, the concessionaire in charge of the former Container Terminal is also proposing a Greenfield mega seaport in Badagry, which it believes, would set a new standard in port operation and management in Africa. The new project being worked out with its consortium partners, would involve a
new Greenfield mega-deep port project and Free Trade Zone at Badagry, 55 kilomter west of Apapa. The new mega port is expected to be a full build-out deep-water, full-service port, which will be one of the largest in Africa with seven kilometer of quay and 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of dedicated yard, and will include the most modern facilities for container, bulk, liquid bulk, Roll-On-RollOff RORO, general cargo, oil and gas operations support and a barge terminal. Considering their sizes and high capacity, these mega projects would no doubt require a proportionate level of integrated transport system, a multi-modal transport network that combines road, rail and sea. Unfortunately, there is none for now. It is even more worrisome that there are no immediate plans to build any. It was probably worried by this that the chief executive officer, Africa-Middle East Region of APM Terminals, Mr. Peder Sondergaard, recently expressed fears that the inadequacies in Nigeria’s transport infrastructure might be a major challenge to these projects. “Competition is intensifying regionally and within Nigeria, hinterland connectivity faces certain infrastructure constraints. 30 years from now, Nigeria will have close to 250 million inhabitants putting even more pressure on the city centers, roads, and rail, Sondergaard said. He also said: ”During the last 50 years, volume of cargo transported by rail has dropped from 88 percent to nearly nothing. This is an enormous opportunity, but significant investment must be made in advance. A modernised rail network connecting Badagry to metro-Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and other city centres in the north and neighbouring countries is the way forward,” . Executive Director of Chartered Institute Logistics and Transport CILT, Nigeria, Mr. Francis Ehiguese, who spoke in an interview, noted that the inadequacies in the nation’s transport system, will continue to hinder economic growth. According to him, over 30 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product GDP, is lost to the inadequacies in the transport infrastructure. He warned that this trend might worsen if adequate measures were not urgently adopted to address the problem President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF, Dr. Eugene Nweke, who spoke in an interview noted that most of the problems faced at the seaports in Lagos are as a result o infrastructural failures, which previous governments in the country has paid lip service. “As long as the gridlocks on the port access roads in Apapa and environs persist, fast and efficient movement of cargo in and out of the seaports will continue to be a mirage and Nigeria’s projection of emerging a hub port in the sub-region will continue to be dream never come true”, he warned. But the recent development of a rail master plan brings a glimmer of hope. But this should not be allowed to go into the dustbins of history as was the case with past governments in the country.
Friday, June 6, 2014
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
New tyre policy’ll promote monopoly, group tells FG Stories: Francis Ezem
reight forwarders under the aegis of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents NCMDLCA have expressed fears that the Federal Government policy on the importation of new tyres would only end up creating a monoply of a few priviledged people. The federal government in its new automotive policy contained in the 2014 budget speech granted five per cent concessionary import duty rate to local tyre manufacturers and vehicle assembly plants on the importation of tyres while other categories of importers will pay 20 per cent import duty in addition to five per cent Value Added Tax VAT, bringing a total of 25 per cent charge. The new policy also hiked duty on imported used cars from 20 per cent to 35 per cent and from 10 per cent to 35 per cent and the impositions of another 35 per cent levy across board, a development importers and
agents have also protested. President of the council, Mr. Lucky Amiwero in a letter dated May 24 and addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan, insisted that rather than boost local production, the new policy will only end up creating a monopoly of a few people close to those at the corridors of power. According to him, most of the tryre manufacturing plants in the country have all shut down in the last 10 years due to the harsh
operating economic environment occasioned by poor public power supply and other ancillary high product cost, which made it impossible for them to breakeven. The letter reads in parts: “We applaud the Federal Government in its quest to revive the tyre industry in other to create employment, which will in turn impact positively in the economy. In the new tyre policy, we have observed areas that need serious government urgent attention on certain issues”. It was gathered that Michelin and Dunlop Plc, the two biggest tyre manufacturers in the coun-
NPA, Antwerp Port strengthen ties on manpower development
he Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, and the Port of Antwerp, Belgium are currently working on measures designed to strengthen the already existing collaboration between both ports, especially in the areas of manpower development and enhancement of the global transport chain, among others. Both ports have enjoyed agelong collaboration, which also led to Nigeria’s adoption of the Land Lord Port Model during her port reform programme, which was fashioned after the Port of Antwerp, Belgium. Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, who made the disclosure, said as part of measures to achieve this, he held a close-door meeting with the President of the Port of Antwerp Mr. Marc Van Peel, earlier in the week in Lagos, with a view to fashioning out ways of strengthening the existing cordial relationship between the two seaports. .The president of the Port of Antwerp led a 50-man port delegation to Nigeria on a trade mission organised by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Nigeria. According to the managing director, the Port of Antwerp played a crucial role at the early stage of the nation’s port concession programme, which also led to the adoption of the land lord port model, which is also being practiced by the Port of Antwerp.
He also disclosed that just like the port reform programme under which NPA benefited immencely, the authority is also expected to gain even more from current relationship between the two ports, a development that will further consolidate what has been gained in last nine years after the port reforms, which brought about private terminal operators, who have brought a measure of efficiency in ship turn around time of ships that call at the ports and cargo dwell time at the nation’s seaports. Being one of the biggest ports in the world, Malam Abdullahi revealed that NPA will explore its existing relationship with Port of Antwerp to its own advantage, especially in the areas of manpower training. The NPA-boss also disclosed that several officers of the authority have benefited from the rich training programmes organised by APEC, the training institute owned the Antwerp Port. The president of the Port, Mr. Peel had while speaking at the meeting, said he was was impressed by the level of development of the Lagos Port Complex LPC, Apapa, Nigeria’s premier port, especially after the completion of the concession programme. He expressed confidence that new collaboration between the two ports would be of immense mutual benefits to the two ports.
try, after struggling with the poor economic conditions in Nigeria had to relocate their factories to Ghana and South Africa respectively and only import into Nigeria, a practice other smaller manufacturing firms also adopted. “The concession rate of five per cent granted local manufacturers of tyre as against the 20 per cent duty payment and five per cent VAT have a disadvantage of 15 per cent import duty payment and five per cent VAT, which will eventually create extreme monopoly to the non existing local manufacturers at the expense of other stakeholders in the value chain”, the letter also said.. According to him, tyre manufacturers in Nigeria have all stopped in the past 10 years, as all of them are now involved in the importation and marketing business, insisting that there are no existing local tyre manufacturing plants operating in the country, as they have either closed down or moved out of the country. “The privileged status of importation at the rate of five per cent duty will only encourage massive importation by the privileged few that are close to government under the ploy that they operate tyre manufactur-
ing plants that do not exist. This policy will therefore enable this few privileged ones stock pile their warehouses to the detriment of other importers without any commitment to revive the tyre industry in Nigeria”, It also stated.. For the development and growth of the tyre industry in Nigeria he made a case for the setting up joint project committee made up of various stakeholders to supervise certain initiatives such as the creation of energy efficiency and modenisation of technology equipment. “There is the need to revisit the type of equipment and energy in the setting up or revitalising any of the existing plants, as tyre production requires considerable amount of electricity and heat. The implementation of energy -efficiency measures, will establish high-efficiency of equipment and optimisation of technological processes, which will reduce the electricity and heat consumption in tyre production”, the letter also said. The council also insisted that government’s developmental plans needed to address the waiver incentive for the components used in the production of tyres, which is based on global revival scheme that will encourage investment in industry.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, June 6, 2014
FAAN workers threaten to down tools OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, yesterday defied the early morning downpour to stage a protest at the Freedom Square of the agency, demanding for the implementation of various agreements between it and the management. The workers, who were joined by the leadership of the leading unions in the sector; the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, demanded full implementation of
the agreements and threatened to down tools if their requests were not met by June 30. Some of the demands of the workers are the immediate payment of pensions and gratuities to staff; payment of 27 per cent balance minimum wage; proper placement of all newly recruited staff in accordance with the civil service rules and scheme of service, 2013 and 2014 implementation of promotion of staff and renewed condition of service for workers. The spokesman for the agency, Mr. Yakubu Dati in an interview with our correspondent assured that most of the demands of the workers would be met
very soon. The General-Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Abdulkareem Motajo, told aviation journalists at the ground that the unions had overtime held a meeting with the management on the requests, but alleged that the management had been dilly-dallying on the implementation of the demands despite approval by it. He said the unions decided to call the congress in order to get approval from the workers, saying that several unprofessional conducts had happened in the sector in the past years, which required urgent change. But Dati in an interview with our correspondent immediately
after the congress assured the workers that their welfare would be given the required attention. He noted that the current Managing Director, FAAN, Mr. Dunoma Saleh, was part and parcel of the unions and would do everything humanly possible to ensure that their welfares are taken care of. He asasured that the management would in the next couple of days meet with the unions and device a mean of meeting some of their demands. He said, “We are partners in progress with the unions and the managing director of FAAN has been part and parcel of the unions in the past three decades.
He has been in the system for over 30 years and probably that was why immediately he resumed office, he held a meeting with the unions. So, he is aware of these requests and he is going to sit down with the other management team to look at the best way to resolve them. “Like I said, we are also part of the unions because the growth of the unions at the end of the day is what is bringing us together. The unions want the growth of the industry and we also want the same. The managing director I believe will look at those demands and we will sit with them and make our positions known’’.
Ashaka Cement: Production expansion to create more jobs DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
A L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources, Hon. Dakuku Peterside; Vice President, Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Issa Aremu and General Secretary, PENGASSAN, Comrade Bayo Olowoshile, during the One Day Interactive Enlightenment Workshop on Petroleum Industry Bill in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he President, International Road Federation, IRF, Patrick Sunkey, on Wednesday said the state of roads in the developing countries, stressing that three per cent of the GDP of African continent is lost to bad roads. According to the federation, the negative effect of bad roads in Africa takes serious toll on the economic developments in many countries on the continent. Sunkey spoke at the first IRF Africa Regional Congress, hosted by the Federal Ministry of Works in Abuja on Wednesday. He said, “Looking at our statistics, in Nigeria alone, more than 14 people die every day on the roads. And more than 60 per cent of global fatalities are occurring in Africa. “The good news however is that Africa does not have to go through the same learning curve that the other industrialised countries went through in the last 30 or 40 years.” The IRF boss however, noted that African countries could take the advantage of the latest technologies to invent solutions for their respective roads and road
African countries lose 3% GDP to bad roads, IRF chief networks. President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by his Vice, Mr. Nemadi Sambo, said the gains of improved road network was currently felt in Nigeria. He told the international gathering that his administration had embarked on an ambitious programme to restore and modernise road networks across Nigeria. According to him, the phenomenal success so far recorded in the nation’s road development sector is achieved through intense government investment as well as participation of the private sector and multilateral development institutions. “Our overall aim is to provide is to provide better and safer roads for Nigerians as well as enhance socioeconomic development,” the President noted Earlier, the Minister of Works. Mr. Mike Onolememen, said about 26 countries including the United States, Canada and Germany were represented by their respective delegates at the congress.
While urging the participants a happy deliberation, the minister urged them to come up with strategic solutions to the various challenges in the road sector. He said, ‘‘I avail myself of this opportunity to wish all of you very successful deliberations, with the great hope that the outcome of this congress would impact positively on the road sector in the region of Africa as well as the whole world.”
part from producing more cement for the increasing market, the Head of Finance of Ashaka Cement Plc, Mr. Bruno Bayet, has said that the expansion of the production capacity of the company would create more jobs for the people of Gombe state and the entire North-East sub-region. According to Bruno who spoke to newsmen in Gombe on Wednesday, expanding the production capacity from one 1million to 4 million tonnes per annum is a tremendous change and it is going to create more job opportunities for Gombe, the North East region and the country at large. He said for over three decades, Ashaka has been producing only one million tonnes of cement per annum hence the need for the expansion, which would enable the company compete with other larger producers of cement in the country. “We need to follow the trend, expand and meet the demand of people in the North East sub region and the country at large and Gombe state government will also generate more tax after the expan-
sion.” He explained further that Ashaka Cement Company has been engaged in training youth from the region in other to identify talents that will work for the company in the future. The expansion, he pointed out that the expansion plan is a three years project and is expected to be commission in December 2017 adding that “We are identifying young people that will work for the company, train them and make our dream a reality in the next three years. Managing Director of the company, Mr. Leonard Polka said in the nearest future, Ashaka will be the biggest cement company in the country because of the conducive working environment of Gombe State. “The host communities are cooperating with the company and without them our success wouldn’t have been possible.” He promised that the company will not relent in performing its social corporate responsibility to the communities because, “Every year we dedicate hundreds of millions to our host communities, we want them to feel our presence in the communities.’’
Building collapse: NIA urges innovation in construction industry ADEOLA TUKURU ABUJA
he Secretary-General of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, Mr. Ibrahim Sani, has called for the need to constantly embrace innovation in building procurement, fabrication, construction and delivery in the construction industry. He said ensuring contemporary responses and con-
sistency with international best practice will support greatly the drive to stem the surging trend of building failure and collapse amongst others. According to him, this establishes the backdrop against which the 25th edition of ArchiBuilt 2014, annual building materials exhibition, powered by the NIA, is billed to run. In an interview yesterday in Abuja, Sani, noted that the
event, slated to hold August 19th -23rd, will avail the public access to both local and international industry markets, manufacturers, systems, technologies, products, and services. “This event is aimed at bringing together architects, builders, and manufacturers amongst others, to exchange ideas and knowledge, whilst showcasing solutions for sustainable building in Nigeria, “ he said.
Friday, June 6, 2014
UNIDO to establish standards accreditation institute in Nigeria EMMANUEL OGBONNAYA
fforts to establish an institution that will accredit existing standards and quality agencies and organisations in the country by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisations has been escalated with a road map already drawn up for its realisation. This revelation was made yesterday by the UNIDO accreditation consultant, Stephen Cross, at a consultative forum with members of the organised private sector and government regulatory agencies officials hosted by the Bank of Industry BOI in Lagos. Cross’ responsibility in the UNIDO’s quality infrastructure development project for Nigeria is primarily to set up the accreditation body in Nigeria that will be known as the Nigerian national accreditation service which is just one component out the five milestones to be achieved through the quality infrastructure project. “I have been working this week
with SON and we’ve got an organisational structure and an advisory committee in mind and we have started writing job descriptions on how this organisation is going to be staffed and once that is conclude I will go back to UNIDO for approval and go back to the stakeholders in Nigeria,” he said. He explained that the initiators of the project want it to be transparent for everyone to see what they are doing and how they are doing and are ready to accept any good advice that may be offered by stakeholders. He disclosed that when the time comes to staff the new organisation only qualified people will be considered for the various positions. “We are still looking at the National institute of metrology to see that measurements are doing accordingly by the laboratories that would be established that is another aspect of the infrastructure project and we have also started looking at individuals who can head that,” he said. There was a consensus agree-
ment by the stakeholders present at the forum to promote the uniformity of standards within the West African sub-region to help reduce barriers of regional trade. There was also an agreement on the need to step-up sensitisation efforts among Small, and Medium Enterprises SMEs in the country especially those outside Lagos and Abuja. Emphasis was made on taking the sensitisation campaign to all the six geo-political zones according to the executive secretary of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises NASME, Eke Ubiji: ‘‘What all of us want is a vibrant economy for the betterment of Nigerians.” On his part the, the National President of the National Association of Small Scale Industries, Chuku Wachuku, noted that it was important for stakeholders to know the value of obtaining standards certification from Nigerian regulatory agencies in order to stem the practice of labelling actual made-in-Nigeria products as foreign made goods just to gain market share.
L-R: CEO, JSK Etiquette Consortium, Mrs. Janet Adetu; Managing Director, Chapel Hill Denham Management Ltd, Mrs. Ononuju Irukwu; Managing Director, Montgomery West Africa, Ms. Tori Abiola and Director Oddessum Guono Nigeria, Ms. Ejiro Onome Jakpa, at a press conference on the upcoming 2014 Women of West Africa Entrepreneurship Conference in Lagos on Wednesday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
NDIC pays failed MFB depositors UDO ONYEKA
he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, has commenced the verification and payment of insured deposits of 33 out of 83 microfinance banks, MFBs, whose licences were recently revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. According to a statement by the corporation and signed by Head, Communication & Public Affairs, H.S. Birchi the first phase of the deposit pay-out of the 33 closed MFBs would cover total deposit liabilities of N588, 685,792.25 and each depositor would receive a maximum of N200, 000. “As part of the verification and payment exercise being undertaken by staff of the Corporation, affected depositors are to report to the last known addresses of their closed MFBs with evidence of account ownership including passbooks, cheque books and personal
DBIR seals 10 companies in Warri over tax default THEOPHILUS ONOJEGHEN WARRI
he Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, DBIR, yesterday on Wednesday in Warri and its environs and sealed up ten companies operating in the state over failure to pay taxes to the state government. The affected companies and organisations include three schools, one oil services company, four hospitals and two manufacturing firms. They includes, SAMBAZ Oil Nigeria Limited, Warri, an oil servicing company, owing to the tune of N28.6million, Lord Orgmor International School, Warri, indebted to the tune of N2.6million and Holy Crest Schools, Warri, N655,000. Others were Namvel Delight Schools, Warri, yet to remit the sum of N2. 8million, Royal Hospitals, Ekpan, N3.3million, Queens Clinic,
AON faults FG’s directive on BASA fund OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he umbrella body of indigenous airlines in the country, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, has castigated the Federal Government for directing all foreign carriers flying into the country to stop the payment of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement, BASA, fund to the coffers of the country. AON insisted that the new directive to the foreign carriers is another step to further undermine the survival of the domestic carriers. The Chairman, AON,
Capt. Nogie Meggison, stated the position of the local airlines yesterday during an interview with aviation correspondents at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos. Information gathered by our correspondent indicated that the Federal Government has ordered the foreign carriers operating into the country to as from October 27, 2014 stop payment of royalties to the government. Meggison said the stoppage of royalties by the foreign carriers would make government lose significant revenue it needed to fix critical infrastructure in the
aviation sector. He recalled that utilisation of BASA funds and royalties have assisted in the past to fund major aviation projects in the past. The BASA money is the royalty foreign airlines pay to Nigeria as charges for the extra rights they requested for and got outside the original bilateral agreement between their countries and Nigeria. Presently, Nigeria has 78 BASAs worldwide, out of which about 30 are being utilised. Some of the funds were recently used for the remodelling exercise of most airports in the
identification documents such as national identity cards, drivers licences and voters cards. “Depositors without valid identification documents are to obtain introduction letters with their photographs and the letters duly signed by traditional rulers of their localities or local government chairmen. “The depositors are also requested to take along details of alternative bank accounts operated in any of the existing banks into which their insured claims could be paid while those without bank accounts have been asked to provide details of accounts of close relatives to which their payment could be made. NDIC said that it has commenced verification and payment of N125 million as first liquidation dividend of 50 kobo each to shareholders of the defunct Rims Merchant Bank at its Abuja and Lagos Offices and eight zonal offices nationwide.
country by the former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah while some have consistently been used for the training of professionals in the aviation agencies by their helmsmen. Meggison decried that industry experts were not carried along before government cancelled the agreement, for which the benefiting international carriers have been officially communicated to. He said government, through the ministry of aviation, only informed the umbrella body of domestic carriers after it has concluded the cancellation of the payment of royalties to Nigeria.
Ekpan, N3.3million, Urban Specialists Hospital, Refinery Road, Ekpan, Divine Grace Hospital also located along Refinery Road, Ekpan, UVWIE Local Government Area. Others are Winrock Engineering Services Limited indebted to the tune of N310, 184and Zukus Industries Limited, Enerhen, yet to remit N672, 000. Addressing newsmen at the end of the exercise, Legal Aide to the Executive Chairman of the Board, Mr. Clark Ekpebe, said shutting down companies indebted to government was an on-going exercise aimed at recovering every kobo belonging to the Delta State Government, adding that it will also serve as a wakeup call to other tax defaulting organizations that the board is coming after them. Ekpebe stressed that the affected companies were properly served court orders asking them to pay their tax or risked their premises being confiscated by the state government until they remit what they owned. “My message to the taxpaying public is that we are by this exercise telling the taxpaying public; don’t let it get to this ugly trend of the Board and Law enforcement agents moving into your premises to seal it up. There is always an office of DBIR nearest to your office and ensure that your liabilities are cleared before we clamp down on you with a court order”, he added. At the premises of Zuku Industries Limited situated at Edewor Industrial Estate, Enerhen, a top Management Staff, Mr. Bethel Nwafor, told newsmen: “There is a mix up somewhere’’.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, June 6, 2014
NAGAFF warns members against breaching importation rules FRANCIS EZEM
he National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF, has warned that it will not shield any member, who fails to comply with the Federal Government’s import regulations by conniving with importers to defraud the country of duty on imported goods. The Nigeria Customs Service had, especially after the takeover of the Destination Inspection scheme with the attendant introduction of the Nigerian Trade Hub, which also incorporates the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report PAAR been complaining over the high level of non compliance to import policies by some importers and agents. Founder of the association, Chief Boniface Aniebonam, who spoke at the official swearing in of newly elected chapter officials of NAGAFF and presentation of the
Maritime Football trophy won by the association, noted that it as become risky for anyone to engage in unwholesome practice in the process of clearing his consignment. According to him, section 43 of the Customs and Excise Management Act, 2004 provides that any one who engages in any act of concealment, over-invoicing, false declaration, wrong classification and under-invoicing would be liable to the forfeiture of the consignment in addition to five-year imprisonment without any option of fine. “The Federal Government is now worried more than ever before over the high level of noncompliance with import regulations. Compliance with trade regulations is the in thing all over the world now because that is the only way trade could be facilitated and clearing processes simplified”, Aniebonam said. He observed rather sadly that Nigeria has not been able to achieve 48-hour cargo clearance
at the airports and land borders due to the fact that some importers and their clearing agents are not honest in their declarations, warning that the association will not shield any non-compliant member. He said: “The National Assembly has the responsibility to make laws and such laws must be obeyed for them to be effective. 48-hour cargo clearance from the nation’s seaports is achievable but the nation’s trade laws must be obeyed and import regulations complied with for that to be possible”. He admonished the newly elected officials, which cover the Apapa Port, Tin Can Island Port, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal KLT, Port and Terminal Multi Services Limited PTML, Murtala Mohammed International Airport and Lilypond Container Depot to be good ambassadors of the association, warned that any one who fails to comply with the regulations of the government and its agencies will have himself to blame.
L-R: Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Saleh Danoma; Leader of Delegation, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nkiru Onyejeocha and Hon. Ricco Mohammed, during the committee’s inspection of facilities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
BPE urges Shanghai Electric to invest in transformer plant TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, has advised Shanghai Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Engineering Company Limited, SPTDE, to establish an electricity transformers’ manufacturing company in Nigeria in the absence of any so far in the country. Dikki gave the advice when he received a team from the company led by its Nigerian partner, Kenneth Awara of Beresford Electric Power Limited, in Abuja. A statement by the Head, Public Communications of the privatisation regulatory agency,
Mr Chigbo Anichebe, quoted the Director General as saying that the reforms in the power sector has opened up a vast market in the electricity sector and that the Bureau is willing to assist genuine investors to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the sector. The Bureau’s boss maintained that liberalization of the power sector and others had given confidence to investors in the Nigerian economy, adding that if Shanghai decides to establish an electricity transformers’ company in Nigeria, the Bureau will assist the company to link up with the relevant government institutions that will grant approvals and licences. On power generation, Dikki
said that the estimated power requirements was 40,000 megawatts while the nation had installed capacity of 11,000 megawatts, a development which indicated that investment opportunities still abound in the sector. Earlier, the Vice General Manager of the Shanghai Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Engineering Company Limited, Mr. Victor King noted that Nigeria had a huge market with its status as the first in Gross Domestic Product, GPD, in Africa. He said the company intended to take advantage of the huge market to establish its presence in the country and that currently it was in talks with the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, to establish areas of collaboration. SPTDE is a specialized professional engineering company in the Shanghai Engineering Company, SEC’s power transmission & distribution group.
Naira at one-month low after CBN flags lower interest rate
he naira eased to a onemonth low of N163.85 yesterday, shedding 0.69 percent against the dollar after new central bank governor Godwin Emefiele said he wanted to gradually lower interest rates. The unit closed at N162.72 to the dollar on Wednesday. The naira was last seen at this level on May 8, when it traded at N163.90 against the U.S. currency. Dollar demand was boosted by investors repatriating dividends abroad, while a lack of fresh supply of hard currency from oil firms coupled with the central bank’s new stance on interest rates weighed on the naira, dealers said. “If interest rates are going to fall ... that could lead to a panic sell-
off, with negative implications for the naira,” one currency dealer said. New governor Emefiele said on Thursday he would pursue a gradual reduction in interest rates, an apparent reversal of his predecessor’s policy which was credited with bringing inflation down to single digits. “There is no doubt that reducing interest rates and maintaining exchange rates are very daunting twin goals,” Emefiele said at his first news conference. “However the central bank will work assiduously to ... ensure that these goals are mutually achieved,” he added. His comments triggered a fall in bond yields and treasury bills as well as in the naira.
Overland Airways crashes fare to N15, 000 OLUSEGUN KOIKI
arely two weeks after a new entrant into the airline sub-sector, Azman Air crashed the Lagos-Abuja fare to N10, 900, another domestic airline has crashed its fare. One of the fast developing airlines in the sector, Overland Airways earlier in the week announced that its Lagos-Ilorin airfare has crashed to N15, 000 from over N20, 000 it previously charged. The airline said the new airfare has since commenced on Sunday June 1, 2014. Overland Airways fly into Ilorin twice a day from Lagos. An online statement by the airline said that the new fare was promotional, which would run throughout the week. The first flight departs Lagos at 07:15am (Mon-
days – Fridays) while the second flight departs at 3:00pm (Monday, Wednesday, & Friday). The first Ilorin-Lagos flight departs Ilorin 12:50pm (Mon, Wed, and Fri.) while the second departs at 5:30pm (Monday - Friday). Overland Airways’ Saturday flight to Ilorin departs Lagos at 08:00am and at 09:00am on Sundays while the return flight from Ilorin to Lagos is at 4:30pm (Saturday & Sunday). Commenting on the new fare, the Chief Operating Officer, Overland airways, Mrs. Aanu Benson, stated that the “promo fare on this route is one of Overland Airways’ own way of promoting air transportation in Nigeria and rewarding loyal customers for their patronage over the years”. Benson added that the airline was committed to delivering safe and effective flight services.
WOWe gathers women for entrepreneurship conference
fter a successful entrepreneurial conference last year, Women of West Africa, WOWe has said that the second edition of Nigeria’s leading entrepreneurial event ‘Women of West Africa entrepreneurship conference, WOWe 2014’ will take place on 26 - 27 June 2014 at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos. According to Tori Abiola, Managing Director, WOWe, the success of 2013 has been positive, fulfilling and encouraging, and the reach of the conference has made it clear that women entrepreneurs are still facing challenges that need to be addressed with the right information, proactive development and through networks of determined business leaders and mentors. She informed that Montgomery West Africa would sponsor
WOWe 2014 conference. “As women continue to play the most significant role in economic development they need their own economic independence and the skills to grow their businesses to be sustainable and result in growth opportunities”, Abiola, who is also Managing Director, Montgomery West Africa, said. “Chapel Hill Denham, through its Women’s Investment Fund, is proud to be a sponsor of and participant in the Women of West Africa Entrepreneurship Conference ,WOWe. We believe WoWe is a great platform for young women entrepreneurs to meet and share experiences while receiving first-hand knowledge from Nigeria’s most successful female entrepreneurs”, Director Investment Management Group, Mrs. Ononuju Irukwu said.
Friday, June 6, 2014
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nigerian smoked fish embraced at international markets …as farmers adopt new technologies Abolaji Adebayo
ost of branded smoked fish produced in Nigeria have been accepted for sale in international markets due to improvements in smoking processes. This is as a result of support of World Bank supported initiatives through the Commercial Agriculture Development Project, CADP, by which farmers were introduced to new smoking kiln technology that improved fish processing by reducing the smoke level to internationally acceptable standards. As a result of new techniques, a member of Post-Harvest Commercial Fish Processor Commodity Interest Group, CIG, Tunde Sanni, and owner of Tee Ess Farms in Lagos, was recently certified by the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDA, to produce smoked fish for the US market. He explained that with the old method of smoked fish processing, there were health implication which served as entry barrier to the Nigerian smoked fish at the international market. “Before the CADP intervention, processors were producing 150 kilogrammes of locally smoked fish per week, using excess charcoal with all its negative health implications and entry barrier to the international market,” Sanni said. “After the technology intervention and participation in capacitybuilding activities facilitated by CADP, our smoking methods just got better”, he added. With CADP and working with experts and consultants from the United States, processors have
created branded packaging for filleted and whole smoked fish. The packages have barcodes that enhance competitiveness and protection while establishing corporate identity in the market. “My farm also smokes fish for other farmers according to international standards and they package the fish with their label,” Sanni said. Presently, a pack of 500 grammes of smoked catfish bought from Nigeria at $12.50, sells for between $15 and $20 in international market, making it a potentially profitable business. According to Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, “We are pleased to see that with appropriate support and incentives, Nigerian farmers can break through sophisticated markets such as the US market. This is very encouraging and going forward, we would like to see many more examples that will help make the Nigerian Government’s vision of transforming agriculture from subsistence level to a business venture a reality.” The CADP programme which operates in five states, Cross River, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos, focuses on palm oil, cocoa, fruit trees, poultry, aquaculture, dairy and staples such as maize and rice. The smoking kiln technology has been adopted in Lagos State by 168 farmers - 71 males and 97 females - and more than 2,215 jobs were created as a result of the new technology. Aderemi Giwa, a member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, is excited about this development in agricul-
ture, and described the inroad into the international and US markets as a major accomplishment for Nigeria’s fish industry. “This new smoking technology, with the support of World Bank through the Commercial Agricultural Development Project, has really moved fish farming in Lagos State to a new and unparalleled dimension,” Giwa said. “Farmers can now export directly to the US market, thereby boosting our economy and at the same time increasing the standard of living of Nigerian fish farmers”, he noted. The project is supported by the International Development Association, IDA, and aims to upgrade subsistence agriculture to commercial ventures focusing on small and medium scale commercial farmers and agro-processors. Meanwhile, as agribusiness continues to flourish at international level, and the need to enhance productivity, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and marine Research, NIOMR, has introduced new fish smoke-drying equipment for the production of smoked fish that meet export standards. The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NIOMR, Dr. A. O. Ayinla, who spoke to National Mirror at the Agrikexpo West Africa Exhibition recently, noted that smoking is the old method of flouring and preserving fish and is of widespread application all over Nigeria. He added that the poor and inadequate traditional preservation techniques predispose the artisanal estimated at over 40 per cent of the total landed weight. He listed the disadvantage associated with traditional mud and
drum ovens to include unpleasantness, smoke in the eyes, rotation of trays (for even drying), constant attention to intensify of the flame, low batch capacity and long processing time. He said this has warranted the design and fabrication of new
smoke-drying equipment by the institute, which would address the shortcomings of the traditional ovens. “The new design removes most of the drudgery associated with the traditional ovens and produces high quality products,” he said.
Africa targets $1trn in agriculture’s growth by 2030 –Adesina Tola Akinmutimi ABUJA
he Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has projected that the size of the agriculture and agri-business sector in Africa would grow to $1trn by the year 2030. Adesina, who gave the projection at the International AgrikExpo in Lagos, said further in view of the remarkable transformation of the agricultural sector of most African countries now, the sector’s Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to the continent would increase from $10bn now to $45bnby the year 2020 Describing agriculture as the key to unlock Africa’s future socio-economic growth potentials and translate them to real growth in most economies, the minister advised Nigerians to first think of Nigeria’s agricultural potentials, saying with over 84 million hectares of land, abundant water and cheap labour, Nigeria is poised to become a major player in global food and agricultural markets. He also reminded Nigerians of government’s conscious decision to refocus the sector on the path of sustainable growth, adding that the results of the adopted policies have started yielding positive results through its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), using the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme. According to him, the reforms in the fertilizer sector and gas industrialization policy have combined to open up the sector to new investors even as he pointed out that policy on rice self-sufficiency was directed at saving Nigeria $2.5 billion annually. “Today, Nigeria is feeding itself, since a nation that cannot feed itself is simply at the mercy of others. Nigerian rice is now in the market and explained that very soon, Nigeria will be a net exporter of rice, while “Nigerian Rice” will become global exhibition” he assured.
Also, he spoke on plans to develop the export market for fresh produce value chain development programme already launched in partnership with the Ministry of Aviation, with a view to building cargo airports to enhance competitiveness in the export of fresh produce. The Minister explained that with the launch of the Youth Employment in Agriculture programme (YEAP) in 2013, to create a new generation of young commercial farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs, young graduates and bankers have started leaving the banks and heading for agriculture. On how the ATA reforms have attracted global investors’ interest, Adesina said in the past 24 months, the reforms had attracted $4 billion in executed private sector letters of commitment to invest in the agricultural sector, while the ministry hadalso received financial backing from the World Bank, African Development Bank and a host of other international financial institutions and foundations. The Minister said Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Finance ministry and the German Development Bank, have jointly established a $100 million equity and quasi-equity fund to drive and provide much needed equity financing for Small and Medium Scale agri-business in Nigeria. Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the International AgrikExpo, Mazi Sam Ohuanbunwa, commended the government on the ongoing agricultural revolution. He reminded the exhibitors that the expo was another platform for farmers, policy makers, researchers, exporters, importers and state governments to exhibit their products and research findings and advised the government to concentrate on policies and provision of the enabling environment for agribusiness to thrive.
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Lafarge Africa emerges post merger
afarge Group has combined its Nigeria’s and South Africa’s businesses to create a new name, Lafarge Africa Plc A statement from the company yesterday, said it had concluded plans to transfer all its shares in its businesses in Nigeria and South Africa to the new entity. When finalised, it said the new entity would be strongly positioned to benefit from the growth and development opportunities in Nigeria and Southern Africa. The Chairman, Lafarge WAPCO, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, said the new entity would have a nationwide coverage in both countries, with cement capacity of about 12 million tonnes. The strong operational track record and management skills within the combined businesses as well as JOHNSON OKANLAWON
averton Group has declared a profit after tax of N1.88bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2013, an increase of 37.9 per cent when compared to N1.36bn recorded in the same period of 2012. The group result also showed a turnover of N18.7bn in the review period, from N16.2bn recorded in the corressonding period of 2012. The group’s income tax expense increased to N3.16bn in 2013, from N2.16bn in 2012, while profit before income tax expense stood at N3.16bn, from N2.16bn in 2012. He explained that operating and administration costs
continued support and expertise from Lafarge Group, Osunkeye stressed, would position Lafarge Africa to offer a full range of value added solutions to meet the customers’ needs. Lafarge Africa, owned 73 per cent by Lafarge Group, will remain listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, according to the chairman. He said, “I am proud to be part of the creation of this leading African building materials platform. It will provide access to growth in two of the largest economies on the continent. It will mean that our shareholders are invested in a larger and more geographically diverse business; and it will contribute significantly to the economic growth of both our nations.” In a similar vein, Lafarge Group EVP Operations/ Country Chief Executive
Officer, Nigeria, Guillaume Roux, said, “Today’s announcement marks a milestone. It adds momentum to our push for differentiation in order to deliver innovation that increases and improves our product portfolio. Our objective is to bring more housing and ever better solutions to contribute to building better cities that are more beautiful, more compact, more connected and more durable.” Under the proposed terms, the firm said it would transfer its direct and indirect shareholdings in Lafarge South Africa Holdings (Pty) Limited (100 per cent – representing 72.4 per cent of underlying companies in South Africa), United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited (35 per cent), Ashakacem Plc (58.61per cent) and Atlas Cement Company Limited (100 per cent) to Lafarge WAPCO.
Caverton posts N1.88bn profit, declares N418 dividend
however increased by 25.8 per cent, from N13.4bn in 2012 to N16.9bn in 2013. Makanjuola said shareholders funds employed increased by 15.9 per cent in balance sheet size from N9.82bn in 2012 to N11.4bn in 2013. Speaking at the group’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos yesterday, the chairman of the company, Mr. Aderemi Makanjuola said year 2013 was characterized by mounting economic challenges in the oil and gas industry as well as political challenges on a national scale.
According to him, the performance of the oil sector remained in regression owing to the high incidence of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. “ Nigeria’s daily oil production fell dramatically from a high of 2.5million barrels per day to 1.9m for most of the year with consequent deficit financing obligations for the government,” he said. He attributed the recorded increase in both turnover and profit to the stability recorded and incremental business from both existing and new contracts signed in the financial year under re-
Index drops 0.1% on profit taking JOHNSON OKANLAWON
rofit taking by some investors dragged down the benchmark index of equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday. Though 31 companies added value to their stocks, losses recorded mostly on the energy sector pulled back the All Share Index to 0.14 per cent to close at 41,570.09 points, from 41,627.43 points recorded the preceding day. Market capitalisation shed N19bn to close at N13.726trn,
According to the statement, the transaction will be concluded through a cash consideration of $200m and the issuance of 1,402,575,984 Lafarge Africa shares to Lafarge Group. The company also said that the transaction was subject to Lafarge WAPCO shareholder approvals and obtaining required regulatory and other customary authorisations. The Group anticipates completion by the end of the second quarter of 2014; adding that the repositioning would lead to increased product range and services in order to answer the growing building materials demand in Sub Saharan Africa. Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria is a subsidiary of France-based Lafarge SA, With three plants in Ewekoro and Sagamu in Ogun State.
in contrast to the increase of N6bn recorded the preceding day to close at N13.745trn. The NSE 30-Index, the Banking Index lost 0.13 per cent and 0.16 per cent to close at 1,902.73 points and 438.77 points respectively. The Insurance Index dipped 0.13 per cent to close at 142.62 points, while the Consumer Goods Index depreciated 0.27 per cent to close at 1,047.91 points. The Oil and Gas Index recorded highest loss of 2.91 per cent to close at 419.71 points, but the Lotus Islamic Index
was up 0.27 per cent to close at 2,794.71 points. The Industrial Index rose 0.06 per cent to close at 2,709.17 points. The Alternative Securities Market closed flat at 950.94 points. Red Star Express Plc led the gainers’ table with 22 kobo or 4.99 per cent to close at N4.63 per share, followed by Conoil Plc with N2.41 or 4.98 per cent to close at N50.82 per share. Avon Crown Plc was up eight kobo or 4.97 per cent to close at N1.69 per share, while ABC Transport Plc added four kobo or 4.94 per cent to
view. He said, “Our commitment to stable dividend policy remains, as evidenced by the results for the year ended December 2013. The shareholders, however, approved a dividend of N418m, representing a 12.5 kobo for every 50 kobo ordinary share held. On the company’s outlook, he said that construction will commence in the second quarter of 2014 as part of the medium term strategy to diversify revenue stream and insulate Caverton from the vagaries of contract awards.
Market indicators All-Share Index 41,570.09 points Market capitalisation 14.03 trn
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
FGN Bonds Offer
Closing Market Prices of June 4, 2014
close at 85 kobo per share. Evans Medicals Plc gained 12 kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at N2.56 per share. On the flip side, Oando Plc lost N1.34 or 6.59 per cent to close at N19.00 per share, while Portland Paints Plc dropped 23 kobo or 4.84 per cent to close at N4.52 per share. Vono Products Plc dipped seven kobo or 4.43 per cent to close at N1.51 per share, while May and Baker Plc fell seven kobo or 3.95 per cent to close at N1.70 per share.
Treasury Bills Maturity Date
14.3127 The Fixings - NIBOR, NITTY and NIFEX of June 5, 2014
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at June 5, 2014 1st Tier Securities
1st Tier Securities Sector
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
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Community Mirror My administration’s strides in the health sector testify to our recognition of quality health care, as precondition for sustained human capital development. GOVERNOR OF KWARA STATE - ABDULFATAH AHMED
Lagos police to arrest illegal siren users DARE AKOGUN
he Lagos State Police Command has concluded plans to begin a full scale clampdown on illegal users of siren in the state. Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko disclosed this after the State weekly Security Council meeting in Lagos stating that the major culprits are police officers and
some individuals who try to beat traffic in the bustling city. Manko, who reiterated that it is against the laws of Lagos State to use siren indiscriminately, warned that henceforth any unauthorized person using siren in any part of the state would be arrested and prosecuted. “Council has resolved that people not entitled to use siren should not
use them because if they do, the law will be applied as it is. The use of siren by unauthorised people is against the traffic laws of Lagos State,” he said. The CP also warned against blocking of roads by protesters, saying although citizens have the right to carry out peaceful protests in the state, they do not have the right to block roads and make other
road users uncomfortable. Manko, affirmed that blocking of roads by protesters was viewed seriously at the Security Council meeting, saying that the Council found it obnoxious that people undertaking a protest march probably to agitate for their rights would block roads thereby denying others the right to use the roads. “The issue of blocking
Rivers police dispel rumour of human ritual over monarch’s burial DENNIS NAKU
he Police in Rivers State on Thursday dispel rumours making the rounds that human heads are needed for the burial of the late King of Evo Kingdom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State, Dr. Frank Adele Eke. King Eke, popularly known as Eze Gbakagbaka of Woji Town died over two months ago.
There have been widespread rumours in some parts of the state that seven human heads were needed for the interment of the late king, although this has not been substantiated. But, the police in a statement signed by the Assistant Police Public Relations Officer, ASP, Grace Iringe-Koko, said it has become necessary to respond to the rumour in view due to concerns that the burial which will take place on June 8, has
caused in the state, especially in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. The statement reads,” Unfortunately, this has erroneously caused apprehensions in the minds of people for fear of been murdered for the said burial. “In this regard, the Rivers State Police Command hereby refutes the rumour as a figment of the imagination of those who have concocted such rumour. “It is important to state
that such barbaric practice cannot be imagined in the present civilized dispensation of human advancement. “Consequently, the Rivers State Police Command encourages all law abiding citizens of Rivers State to go about their lawful businesses,” it said. The statement enjoined all resident of Obio/Akpor and other parts of the state to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement to the Police.
roads by protesters was considered very seriously at the Council meeting and we agreed that while people have the right to demonstrate, provided it is peaceful, they do not have the right to block roads and make other road users uncomfortable,” Manko said.
He also added that it was resolved at the meeting that while people are allowed to go on demonstration peacefully, “they should not block roads because that is not part of peaceful demonstration,” saying “that is not going to be tolerated by the security agencies.”
Christmas Day murder: Trial of security guard begins WALE IGBINTADE
he trial of a security guard, Emmanuel Adeoye, who allegedly shot a woman, Gloria Okiran to death on December 25, 2010 commenced wednesday before a Lagos High Court. At the trial which is before Justice Raliatu Adebiyi, the prosecution called a Community Development Association, CDA, chairman in Meiran area of the state, Mr. Rasheed Adebambo as a witness. In his testimony, Adebambo told the court that
he was woken up by the defendant at about 3 a.m. on the day of the incident, claiming that armed robbers had invaded the area. According to him, when he came out of his house, he saw the lifeless body of a woman on the ground. He alleged that when he interviewed the defendant’s colleague about what transpired, he was informed that it was the defendant who shot after an argument ensued. Besides, the witness told the court that policemen he invited from Meiran Police Station recovered a gun from the defendant.
he oldest Catholic priest, Monsignor (Col.) Pedro Ayodele Martins of the Archdiocese of Lagos, who passed on last month, will be buried on June 10, 2014 in Lagos. He was aged 103 years and had been a priest for 70 years. A statement by the Lagos Archdiocese of the Catho-
Monsignor Pedro Martins lic Church said the late Pedro’s interment would be preceded by a wake keep on Monday, June 9, 2014 at St. Gregory College, Obalende, Lagos at 6.00 pm. It said further that the funeral mass would hold on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at
he death has been announced of Chief Pius I. Itemuagbor, a community leader and the patriarch of the distinguished Itemuagbor family of Okpekpe-Auchi, Edo State. According to the burial arrangements released by the family, funeral rites for
Chief Itemuagbor begins today with a vigil mass at his residence at Okpekpe-Auchi, in Edo State at 6 pm. The following day, a requiem mass will be held for him at Mary Mother of God Catholic Church, OkpekpeAuchi, in Edo State at 10 am. The remains of the deceased will be interred at his
residence in Okpekpe-Auchi immediately after the mass, while reception of guests will hold at Otsele Primary
Holy Cross Cathedral, Catholic Mission Street, Lagos at 10.00 am prompt. The funeral mass is expected to be attended by no fewer than 100 priests and Bishops from Lagos Archdiocese, Ibadan , Abeokuta , IjebuOde and Oyo dioceses of School compound, OkpekpeAuchi, afterwards. Aged 94, Chief Itemuagbor left behind prosperous children and grand children who are Mike Itemuagbor, Chairman Pamodzi Sports Marketing Company, Mrs. Benedict Ikeneme, Mr. Francis Itemuagbor, Mr. Godwin Itemuagbor, Evangelist Mrs. Grace Ulo, Mr. Austin itemuagbor and Mr. Tony Itemuagbor of Globacom.
the church. Born in 1911, the young Martins was the second but first surviving child of Marcelino Domingo Martins and Regina Clarice Martins. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Patrick J Kelly SMA of Benin City in present day Edo State on August 8, 1943. After his Ordination, he then proceeded to the University College, Cork, Ireland. During his life-time, he filled many positions of responsibility and taught at St Gregory’s College in Lagos for several years. He also ministered in several par-
ishes throughout the Archdiocese. He also served as Vicar -General to the emeritus Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie. In 1970, he was made Monsignor. As a priest who was seconded to the military, he served with the Nigerian Armed Forces, rising to the position of Head Chaplain to the Armed Forces. He served in the Congo and with many Army formations in Nigeria. Till his death, he was the oldest alumni of the prestigious Kings College, Lagos and the last of his generation of former Kings College ex students.
Friday, June 6, 2014
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Boko Haram: Bishop berates human rights groups
MASSOB, OYC partner for Igbo 2015 agenda GEORGE OPARA UMUAHIA
nglican Bishop of Amichi Diocese, Anambra State, Rt. Rev. Ephraim Ikeakor, yesterday accused some of the human rights groups in the country of aiding the escalation of Boko Haram insurgency in the country. Ikeakor lamented that since 2009 when Boko Haram started its violent campaigns, the wish of the Federal Government to confront the insurgents frontally had been hampered by criticisms from rights groups, most of which he alleged began ‘shouting that the government was violating the human rights of the insurgents. Ikeakor deplored the number of lives that had been wasted “without human rights shouting again for the rights of those killed by Boko Haram.” The bishop spoke during a press briefing to mark the third session of the Second Synod of the diocese, holding at the Immanuel Anglican Church, Ekwulumili in Nnewi South local government area. Ikeakor was full of hope that Nigeria would remain a united country despite the threats of break-up, but appealed to Igbo businessmen all over the country to begin a gradual relocation of their businesses to safer places. This, according to him was to reduce the menace of “waking one morning and losing everything to heartless and hapless chaps, who do not know the efforts put in to save resources for such huge investments of the Ndigbo outside Igbo land.” Ikeakor warned religious bigots and extremists to realise that Nigeria belonged to all ethnic groups, “and not to one ethnic group, and therefore, should stop the senseless killing of people who did nothing to them.” He maintained that the bombings going on in the North had crippled the states, both business and tourism-wise. The bishop decried the situation where some states in the Niger Delta were lacking meaningful development, despite multi-million naira generated from oil in their domains.
Members of Biafra Zionist Movement led by Benjamin Igwe Onwuka (left) being paraded at the Enugu State Police Command Headquarters after a failed attempt to take over Enugu Broadcasting Service, EBS, yesterday.
Two dead as police, Biafra activists clash in Enugu DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
n attempt made, yesterday, by the Biafra Zionist Federation, BZF, to declare the inauguration of a new Biafra nation on a state radio in Enugu, resulted to the death of a police officer and a pro-Biafra activist. BZF’s leader, Ben Onwuka, and 12 others were subsequently arrested and paraded by the Enugu State Police Command. It marked the second time in recent times that the pro-Biafra group was daring the security forces and the government. In March, its members broke into the Enugu State Government House, to hoist the Biafra flag, but
the attempt was repelled by security agents. Eyewitness of yesterday’s episode narrated that the group overran the Enugu State Broadcasting Service, ESBS, by 5am, and its foot-soldiers forced their way into the studio, with a recorded audio of a declaration of ‘Sovereign State of Biafra’ that they wanted aired on the state radio. The Biafra activists reportedly tried to force the studio engineer on duty to air the recorded audio statement, but the engineer was said to have pretended that the machine was faulty. He allegedly fumbled around, and in the ensuing melee, police arrived at the scene.
The eyewitness said that the security man at the gate escaped to flag down a police patrol van that the security operatives came with, and confronted the Biafra activists. The activists reportedly overpowered one of the policemen, collected his rifle and shot him dead, while the other police officers also shot one of the activists and arrested the rest of insurgents, including their leader, Onwuka. Onwuka had previously been declared wanted by the police after the Enugu Government House attack. The Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Adamu Mohammed, while parading the suspects at Enugu State Police Command,
said the members of the group were arrested with arms, including guns, machetes, 25-litre jerry can of fuel, and 46 empty bottles of beer. He said the police also recovered a Compact Disk with a recorded message and sheet of paper containing the summary of the intended broadcast. Abubakar confirmed the death of two persons, adding that it was the same group that attacked Enugu Government House in March. “Today, at about 05:20 hours, the Ben Igwe Onwuka-led Biafran Zionist Federation invaded Enugu State Broadcasting Service with the intention of setting the place ablaze.
Ohanaeze youths: Use local engineers for 2nd Niger Bridge project CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he apex Igbo sociocultural youth organisation, Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, has demanded the use of young indigenous engineers of Igbo extraction in the on-going construction of the Second Niger Bridge project. Noting that the call was in line with the principle and policy of the Corpo-
rate Social Responsibilities, CSR, of companies, the socio-cultural organisation stated that part of the problems that caused human capital flight in Igboland was the absence of federal projects and companies in the South-East zone. In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Igboayaka Igboayaka, the council described such scenario as industrial discrimination
against the Igbo race. The council added that it had ‘unconsciously forced’ Igbo youths out of Igboland in search of greener pastures. OYC said it would be counter-productive to neglect the call for the employment of Igbo indigenes as required by Julius Berger Company’s policy in the on-going Second Niger Bridge project. It noted: “We are very much aware that we have
qualified persons to fill any position, ranging from administrative staff, skilled and unskilled workers.” The council, therefore, called on the consultancy firm, Digby Wells Environmental, to keep to its demands by communicating the ‘message’ to the management of Julius Berger and other agencies involved in the project to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during the construction.
he Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the leadership of Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, have said they have agreed to work together in 2015 to ensure that Ndigbo no longer have ‘selfish’ politicians. The agreement, according to sources, was reached when the leadership of OYC paid a visit to MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, at his Owerri home in Imo State. A statement by the President of OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said that the meeting agreed that the two bodies would work together to make sure that that ‘selfish’ Igbo politicians were flushed out of power. The OYC also identified with MASSOB on the commemoration of Biafra’s anniversary, which was held on May 30, and praised Uwazuruike for remaining consistent in its non-violent approach to actualising the Igbo struggle. He noted that many Igbo people are victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the North, and assured Uwazuruike of the cooperation of OYC in his struggle to ensure that Ndigbo have a sense of belonging in the country. Also, OYC Secretary General, Okwu Emmanuel, assured that the partnership with MASSOB would yield good results for Ndigbo. In his remarks, Anambra State President of OYC, Tony Uche, lauded Uwazuruike for stepping into the shoes of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, and urged him not to relent in his efforts to promote the cause of the Ndigbo in the country. The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Obinna Adibe, commended Uwazuruike for taking care of Biafran war veterans, saying that he had proved himself as a good leader. In his response, Uwazuruike congratulated the new leadership of OYC led by Isiguzoro, and thanked them for the visit. He warned that MASSOB would not identify with ‘mushroom’ Igbo organisations.
Friday, June 6, 2014
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Russia must engage with Ukraine, says G7 50
No matter how the situation develops in Syria, a political resolution is the only realistic way to solve the Syrian crisis. –Chinese Foreign Ministry, Spokesman, Hong Lei
Canadian police intensify manhunt after three officers shot dead PAUL ARHEWE
Police officers take cover behind their vehicles in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday.
very very dangerous situation as we speak ... We have not apprehended the individual,” said Roger Brown, commander of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in New Brunswick. “This is like working through your worst nightmare,” he told a televised news conference in Moncton. Police were alerted on Wednesday afternoon by a member of the public who spotted an armed man
walking down a residential street. When police arrived, the man moved into a nearby wooded area and opened fire. Three officers were killed and two more were taken to hospital, where they were undergoing surgery on Thursday. Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States, and the killings have spurred an outpouring of grief on social media.
The last mass killing of police took place in Mayerthorpe in the western province Of Alberta in 2005, when a gunman killed four officers before shooting himself. Those deaths were the most the RCMP had suffered in a single day in 100 years. Brown said the entire RCMP was in mourning after what he called a horrendous crime. Earlier in the day he visited some relatives of the dead and injured.
Niger destroys migrants’ safe houses, seeks int’l help
uthorities in Niger have destroyed safe houses owned by human trafficking networks for sheltering illegal migrants and forcibly turned back anyone without a valid identity document in towns near its northern border,
Iran giving false explanations to U.N. nuclear inquiry –Israel Israel has condemned as unacceptably slow Iran’s cooperation with a U.N. watchdog inquiry into suspected nuclear bomb research and accused Tehran of providing “false” explanations for its disputed activities. Iran, which says its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is Israel’s assumed atomic arsenal that threatens Middle East peace, insisted there had been “steady and constant progress” in its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The contrasting statements by the two arch-enemies were made during a board meeting this week of the U.N. agency, where IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said Iran had finally begun to engage with an investigation into allegations that it has worked on designing a nuclear warhead, but that more was needed.
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
anadian police mounted a massive hunt yesterday for a 24-year-old man armed with high-powered weapons who they suspect shot dead three police officers and wounded two more in the eastern city of Moncton. The incident was one of the worst of its kind in Canada, where fatal attacks on police are rare. Police cordoned off a large area in the city’s northwest and warned residents to stay inside their homes and lock their doors. A large armoured police truck entered the area early on Thursday morning and a helicopter hovered overhead. Schools and government offices were shut in the city of 70,000 in the East Coast province of New Brunswick. Police told residents not to tweet the locations of officers for fear they could be helping the suspect, who they named as Justin Bourque. He has no previous criminal record. Police said Bourque had been spotted three times in Moncton since the shootings, most recently just after dawn on Thursday, but was still at large. “This is a
a government minister said yesterday. The government has promised to crack down on smuggling gangs ferrying people across the desert after 92 migrants died trying to make the same trip north to Algeria last year, many of
Joint campaign by the Togolese and Ghanaian armed forces’ total eradication of malaria in West Africa, during an ECOWAS malaria advocacy campaign at Togo-Ghana border, Aflao, recently.
them headed for Europe. The start of the summer migration season has seen a dramatic rise in the number of illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Italy from the north coast of Africa. Many of these cross the Sahara desert via Niger to reach the Libyan coast, where they embark. Justice Minister Amadou Marou asked foreign governments and organizations to help the poor Western African nation stem the rising flow of illegal migrants. “As much as they are determined to leave, we are determined to stop them,” Marou told the representatives of organizations including the European Union, the International Organization for Migration and the UN
Population Fund. “We rely on your resources and expertise to help tackle this scourge,” Marou said, according to the ministry website. Many people emigrate to flee Niger which, despite being a uranium producer and one of Africa’s newest oil producers, is ranked by the United Nations as one of the world’s poorest countries and faces food shortages due to perennial drought. Marou’s made his appeal days after officials said they had prevented more than 500 would-be migrants from trying to cross the Sahara into neighbouring Algeria in the past four months. Thirty nine people, including 29 women, have been detained on charges of human trafficking in the northern town of Arlit.
DR Congo prisoners in mass jailbreak At least 250 prisoners in the Democratic Republic of Congo have escaped in a mass jailbreak in Bukavu, an official has told the BBC. Three people died, including a guard who was overpowered as the prisoners made their escape, the official in the South Kivu governor’s office said. Police are patrolling Bukavu, a city which is built on the shores of Lake Kivu in eastern DR Congo. A Bukavu resident told the BBC that people in the city are terrified. A police officer told a news agency that prison wardens had been overcome at dawn by the inmates who “took weapons and managed to open the prison door”.
‘Rwanda protecting M23 rebels’ The Democratic Republic of Congo has accused Rwanda of “protecting” M23 rebel leaders wanted for war crimes. A government official told the BBC that seven months after the end of the rebellion, Rwanda was also delaying attempts to interview about 500 ex-fighters currently in a camp in Rwanda. Some 800,000 people fled their homes in eastern DR Congo during the insurgency. Rwanda has long denied that it supported the rebels and says it is co-operating with DR Congo’s requests. The M23 took up arms in eastern DR Congo in April 2012, accusing the government of marginalising the ethnic Tutsi minority and failing to honour previous peace accords.
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Boko Haram: Families of slain policemen task FG on weaponry INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
amilies of the 16 policemen killed by Boko Haram in the Gamboru Ngala attacks have appealed to the Federal Government to adequately equip the police and other security agencies with sophisticated weapons, so that they will be able to confront the insurgency that is currently ravaging some parts of the country. The call was made by families of the slain po-
licemen during the presentation of N1 million each to the next-of-kin of the deceased by the Borno State Government. The donation, which was made through the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tanko Lawal, took place at the state command’s headquarters, Maiduguri. Speaking on behalf of the diseased families, Mr. Abdullahi Dogara, from Nassarawa, State and Mrs. Kuve Maxwell Vincent, now widowed, said the continuous usage
of inferior and outdated weapons and scrapped logistics and mobility were some of the factors affecting the effort of the police and security operatives in the on-going counter terrorism operations. They also appealed to the Police authorities to continue to pay the salaries of their fallen bread winners for sometime, to enable them cater for the immediate needs of their children. The families, however, thanked the Borno State Government for the ges-
ture, adding that the little appreciation and token given them, will go a long way in cushioning some of the economic hardships being experienced since they lost their husbands, fathers, and brothers in the crisis. Earlier, while addressing the families of the deceased, Tanko said, the token which amounted to N16.8 million donated by Governor Kashim Shettima will be shared among 16 families of the deceased, with each going home with N1 mil-
lion, while the remaining N800,000 will be shared to four policemen who were injured during the attack, with each getting N200,000 respectively. The CP added that the money is not a payment, as no amount of money can compensate for life, but serve as palliative measures aimed at cushioning the hardship being
Katsina spends N2.3bn on 3,000 boreholes JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
Family of one of the slain policeman receiving cash gift from Borno State Commissioner of Police, Tanko Lawan, at Police State Headquarters in Maiduguri, yesterday.
Insurgency: Corps members in Borno lauded for their courage INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
he National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, in Borno State, yesterday, commended corps members serving in the state for their zeal, courage and determination, despite security challenges. The state coordinator, Alhaji Suleiman Shittu, made the commendation at the passing out parade of 400 Batch B corps members, who completed their 12-month service in Maiduguri. He said despite the challenges, corps members were still able to strive to contribute towards the development of the state. The coordinator said that the ceremony was lowkey in view of the present situation in the state. Shittu urged the Corps
members to take full advantage of the skills acquired during their service and make a living for the time being. “The journey has not been easy in view of the challenges surrounding us in this part of the country. We are still strong,” he said. The coordinator also prayed for the safe release of the abducted Chibok Secondary School girls. Shittu advised the rest of the Corps members to take their Community Development Services seriously so as to leave their host communities better than they met it. The coordinator commended the Borno State Government for the continuous support it gave the scheme. He however, urged ministries, departments and agencies to always accept Corp members to assist
them in carrying out their duties. Also speaking, Hajiya Maryam Ibrahim, chairman of the state NYSC Governing Board, congratulated the Corp members for their successful completion of the service years.
Represented by Alhaji Idris Jalo, Secretary Administration, Governor’s Office, commended the NYSC for the zeal and commitment towards ensuring that the scheme run successfully despite challenges.
faced by the families. He promised that arrangement has almost been concluded for the immediate payment of death benefits and gratuity to the next-of-kin of the slain policemen, and advised them to judiciously utilise the money given them, particularly for children of the deceased and their wives.
ore than N2.3 billion has been spent by the Katsina State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, RUWASSA, in drilling over 3,000 boreholes across the state. Speaking yesterday at the commemoration of the 2014 World Environment Day, the Executive Director of RUWASSA, Abubakar Mamman, said government’s effort was aimed at enhancing rural water supply in the state. Mamman said the boreholes were drilled by the state government in collaboration with international agencies like Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, and UNICEF. He said benefiting communities were provided with repair tools to ensure proper utilisation of the boreholes, and that sanitation facilities were also provided to complement efforts to provide communities with potable water.
The executive director also said that about 500 schools have benefited from the ‘hand wash’ programme which was aimed at inculcating hygienic culture among school children. The Executive Director of the State Environmental Protection Agency, SEPA, Yunusa Charanchi in his remarks, urged members of the public to inculcate the habit of planting trees around their environment. Charanchi also urged people in the state to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in water ways as such was major factor that usually leads to flooding and outbreak of diseases. The Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Jamilu Danmusa commended the agency for its effort at protecting the environment. He urged people of the state to continue to participate in the monthly environmental sanitation and always try to keep their environment clean.
Plateau CP, Olakpe, retires from service JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
he Commissioner of Police, Plateau State, Chris Olakpe, yesterday pulled out of the police after serving the force for 34 years. The former commissioner of Police enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintended of Police, ASP, in 1980 and rose through the ranks to the position of commissioner
of Police before leaving the service. While in the force, he served in various capacities, including the Area Commander, Jalingo; Force Public Relations Officer, Abuja; Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State, and Deputy Commandant, Nigeria Police Academy, Kano, among others. His last posting was at the Force Headquarters in Abuja as commissioner Police in charge of
Information Technology, between August and December 2012, from where he was posted to Plateau State same year as Commissioner of Police. At a farewell parade organised in his honour in Jos, yesterday, Olakpe described the police force as one of the best organisations to work with. Olakpe, who was full of praises for security chiefs and other stakeholders both in the state and at the national level,
said he enjoyed their cooperation and tremendous support throughout his service years. His words: “I deeply enjoyed the synergy and cooperation extended to me by stakeholders towards the fight against crime and criminality in Plateau State. This has yielded a lot of results putting the state at the lowest ebb in the league table of crime and criminality in Nigeria,” he said.
Friday June 6, 2014
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I believe the coming season will be much better. But we will not change our philosophy
USA friendly: Erico demands Eagles starting XI 54
–Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wengerr
Echiejile undergoes scan …trains apart with Musa
Super Eagles players coming out for training in Florida, yesterday.
uper Eagles defender, Elderson Echiejile, underwent a scan on his thigh muscle yesterday in Jacksonville, Florida to know the extent of the injury he copped in Nigeria’s last friendly match with Greece. Media Officer of the Eagles, Ben Alaiya, informed National Mirror that Team Doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, said it was important to do the scan, but he does not foresee a serious injury. Result of the scan is expected today, but during the Super Eagles morning training yesterday, Echiejile who recently transferred his services from SC Braga of Portugal to AS Monaco in France, trained sepa-
rately. Also, Ahmed Musa, who is recovering from a knock trained alone. Eagles arrived in Jacksonville, Florida from Philadelphia on Wednesday evening as preparations continue for their next friendly game with the USA team tomorrow before they head to Brazil for the World Cup. The team had another training yesterday evening, but will train only once in the afternoon today at the Jacksonville United Stadium ground where the game against the United States will be played tomorrow evening. On the World Cup, captain Joseph Yobo said, “We have to give our all in the tourney because in future people will ask ‘when you were playing what did you achieve? We have won the Nations Cup, now is the time to aim for the big one.”
FIFA Ranking: Algeria leads Africa to Brazil
he latest FIFA Ranking released yesterday shows that Algeria displaced Cote d’Ivoire from the top of African leadership. The North Africans gained two places to earn 22nd position globally as against CIV 23rd slot. Of the other African countries heading to Brazil for the World Cup Ghana gained a slot to place 37th, Nigeria remained on the 44th, while Cameroun lost six place to place 56. Interestingly, in the Group F of the imminent World Cup, Argentina is leading, placing 5th after gaining
two places, Bosnia-Herzegovina is 21st, Iran 43rd while Nigeria comes last with its 44th position. In a statement yesterday, FIFA said, “The results of 112 “A” international matches have been taken into account for the current edition of the ranking, with 67 friendly matches plus continental qualifiers in CAF (26 matches), the AFC (16) and CONCACAF (3) being played up to 30 May.” The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on July 17 after the World Cup.
Friday June 6, 2014
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Minister tasks new NIS board JOEL AJAYI ABUJA
Women’s League teams up with NTA
he hurricane of collaboration blowing round Nigeria football gathered pace on Thursday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Nigeria Women Football League and the Nigeria Television Authority. During the brief ceremony at the NFF Secretariat, Abuja, Chairperson of the NWFL, Chief (Mrs) Dilichukwu Onyedinma said the collaboration had been in the pipeline for a long time, as the body sought to give more value to Nigeria women football. She harped on the quality of the NWFL brand and the pedigree of Nigeria football internationally, recalling that the Super Falcons are six –time champions of the continent,
Karate: Lagos set for Saleh Open
PAUL EREWUBA ormer Super Eagles assistant coach, Joe Erico, has charged Coach Stephen Keshi to field his main team to the World Cup in tomorrow’s friendly match with the United States of America in Jacksonville, Florida. “I would like to see the coach parade his first team, at least in the first half of the game,” Erico told National Mirror in Lagos yesterday. “The players might not bring out their best for fear of injury, but let us have them blend ahead of their first World Cup game against Iran,” he added. “We have no reason not to exploit the opportunity that we have now to show the world we can do it. “It is left to the Nigeria Football Federation to get it right because players and coaches have already shown their willingness and a huge capacity to do more.”
ports Minister, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, yesterday inaugurated the board of the National Institute for Sports (NIS) with a task on the members to ensure regular training of the country’s athletes and coaches. Col. Idu Enonche is the Chairman while Dr. Gloria Obajimi will serve as Secretary. Other members include Rivers PDP Chairman, Prince Amaechi Obuah, Alhaji Saliu Korau, Mr. B.C. Odum and Commodore A.A. Dacota, among others. Danagogo underscored the significance of NIS since its inception in 1974 preceding its operation from 1992 and charged the newly appointed governing council to carry out their duties with diligence. “The task you have is to train athletes and ensure the manpower development of our coaches and technical officials which will justify the confi- Danagogo
starting XI having also attended all FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in history, while the U-20 girls and U-17 girls have also been at every edition of their World Cup tournaments. “Nigeria women football is a great brand and the Nigeria Television Authority is also the largest television network in Africa. We are happy to collaborate with NTA.” Responding, NTA’s General Manager (Sports), Mr. Akinloye Oyebanji disclosed that the preparation of the MOU was the first official assignment performed by the new Director –General of NTA, Mr. Sola Omole. “We are very happy to finally seal this pact today, as this underscores NTA’s non-discrimination policy.
dence President Goodluck Jonathan has before he appointed you,” the minister said. He commended the Nigerian athletes who won 41 medals at the African Youth Games in Botswana, adding, “Nigeria is blessed with abundant raw talent who returned from AYG with much more medals than what the country got four years ago in Morocco.” The NIS Governing Council boss, Col. Enonche, assured of the board’s readiness to achieve the set objectives.
he maiden Zainab Saleh International Female Open Karate Championship will hold in Lagos tomorrow. The competition, scheduled for the Teslim Balogun Stadium and designed to improve the quality of female karatekas in Lagos State, will feature eleven events in kata and kumite. According to Vice Chairman Lagos State Karate Association (LSKA), Mr. Osas Osarenren, participants are expected from four neighbouring West African coun-
tries as well as 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja for the one-day competition. “The tournament is sponsored by a member of the board of Lagos State Karate Association, Hadjia Zainab Saleh, a 4th Dan Shotokan Karateka and Technical Director of the association,” Osarenren said. “It is the first of its kind for women karatekas and we hope our athletes will gain comparable technical abilities from their counterparts across the country,” the LSKA official said while commending the sponsor’s effort to help Lagos its lost glory in karate.
AYG athletes ready to sail where the headquarters of the Nigeria Rowing Canoeing and Yachting Federation is situated igerian canoeing ath- are also expected to attend the letes to the recent Af- tournament. rica Youth Games are Meanwhile, Chairman of billed to be among competitors the Planning Committee, Giwa in races to mark the official Daramola, says that the Comcommissioning of the Captain modore of the club, Babatunde P.P.O. Okpe Memorial Tavern Ajayi, and his executives have of the Navy Sailing Club to- ensured early completion of morrow. new tavern. The athletes will be expected “They have proved supportto exhibit the experience gar- ive,” Daramola said. nered at the Gaborone event. The new tavern is named afNavy officers and mem- ter the fifth Commodore of the bers of the Navy Sailing Club Navy Sailing Club
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Friday June 6, 2014
South Korea aims to repeat 2002 feat ANDREW EKEJIUBA
orea Republic (South Korea) is one of the most successful Asian teams and has participated in nine FIFA World Cup tournaments, the highest for any Asian team. Despite going through five World Cup without winning a match, it became the first and currently only Asian team to reach the semi-final stages when they cohosted the 2002 finals with Japan. In their first World Cup in 1954, The Reds or Taegeuk Warriors as the team is variously called, became the second Asian team to ever enter the World Cup after the Dutch East Indies. South Korea co-hosted the 2002 finals with Japan. As they had never won a game in the World Cup previously hopes were not very high. However led by Dutch coach, Guus Hiddink, the Koreans got their first ever victory in the World Cup with a 2–0 win over Poland. In their next game against the United States they earned a 1-1 draw, with striker Ahn Jung Hwan scoring a late equalizer. Their last match was against the favoured Portuguese side. Portugal earned two red cards in the match, reducing them to nine men and Park JiSung scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory, allowing the cohosts to qualify for the second round for the first time in their history. South Korea’s second round opponents were Italy, who they defeated 2-1. The Korean team was down for most of the match but Seol Ki-Hyeon scored an equalizer in the 88th minute, allowing the game to go into extra time. Ahn Jung-Hwan scored the winner with a headed golden goal that took them to the last eight, where they faced Spain. The game went to penalties after two valid disallowed Spanish goals and Korea Republic won the penalty shootout 5-3, becoming the first Asian team to reach the final four.
FACT-FILE Capital: Seoul Population: 50 million Association: Korea Football Association (KFA) Appearances: 9 (First in 1954) Best Outing: 4th Place in 2002 FIFA Ranking: 55th Nickname(s): Taegeuk Warriors, The Reds Most Capped Player: Hong Myung-Bo (136) Top scorer: Cha Bum-Kun (55) Captain: Lee Chung-Yong Coach: Hong Myung-Bo
Group Matches Tuesday, June 17 vs Russia (Cuiaba) Sunday, June 22 The Reds’ run was halted by a 1–0 loss to Germany in the semifinals. They also lost to Turkey 3–2 in the third-place match. Korea qualified for the 2006 World Cup after defeating Kuwait, finishing second in Group B after Saudi Arabia. They achieved their first World Cup victory outside Asia by beating Togo 2–1, with goals from Lee Chun-Soo and Ahn Jung-Hwan. Their next game was against France, who held the advantage for most of the game but a goal by Park Ji-Sung allowed the Koreans to draw with eventual finalists. This placed South Korea at the top of their group but they lost their last game 2–0 to Switzerland and exited the tournament. South Korea won the 2010 World Cup AFC qualification with 16 points as they were placed in Group B. They defeated Greece 2–0, with goals from Lee Jung-Soo and Park Ji-Sung, but suffered a huge 4–1 loss to Argentina, including an own goal by forward Park Chu-Young. They played a 2–2 draw in a hard fought match against Nigeria, allowing them to make it to the second round for the first time on foreign soil. In the knockout stage they met Uruguay, who de-
feated them 2–1. On the Road to Brazil 2014 they narrowly qualified by finishing second in their group via goal difference. Before finally securing their ticket, Korea Republic had twice seen their campaign in significant peril. With the squad changing constantly, an unprepared Taegeuk Warriors side were stunned 2-1 by Lebanon in the third round’s penultimate match, which left their hopes hanging by a thread. The defeat cost Coach Cho Kwangrae his job, but under new boss, Choi Kanghee, they dispatched
Kuwait 2-0 to progress. The nextt round continued nearly in the same vein, with Choi’s side floundering g with draws against Uzbekistan bekistan and Lebanon and a defeat to Iran. A 1-0 home win against Uzbekistan in the penultimate enultimate game saw their fortunes revived, ved, but after losing the closing game to o Iran by the same scoreline, coreline, they had to wait until Uzbekistan’s kistan’s
vs Algeria (Porto Alegre) Thursday, June 26 vs Belgium (Sao Paulo) 5-1 defeat of Qatar to confirm their direct qualification by edging the central Asians on goal difference. It is hoped that at Bra2014, zil the Kor e a n s should be able to surpass their 2002 fourth f urth place finfo ish.
is new captain
he Taegeuk Warriors have witnessed a lot of evolution especially during the FIFA World Cup qualifiers where the squad’s make-up kept changing, but under Coach Hong Myungbo, a new-look team has taken shape ahead of the Mundial beginning on June 12. However, a series of emerging stars, notably Germanbased Son Heungmin and Koo
Jacheol, have graduated into the team’s backbone force. Also, Bolton Wanderers’ anderers’ Lee Chung-Yong ng is the new man wearing ring the captain’s armband band and homebased Kim m Shinwook and Lee Keunho ho are proven goalscorers who ho are battle-ready to take on their eir opponents - Belgium, Algeria eria and Russia - in Group H.
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Chibok girls and North East leaders T he thought-provoking piece in the latest edition of ‘Nigeria Today’ (Vo. 3 No. 6, 2004, back page), titled ‘Chibok: Shettima has a case to answer’, authored by veteran journalist, Godwin Nzeaka, is a reminder of this writer’s contribution captioned ‘Puzzling politicians’ link with Boko Haram’, which was published by this newspaper on November 2, 2012. Nzeaka, in his insightful message, labored spiritedly to justify why Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State cannot sincerely distance himself from, or claim that his hands are clean in the circumstances that led to the abduction of over 234 girls from Government Girls Secondary School (CGSS), Chibok, in the state last April 14 by the violent Islamist sect, Boko Haram. It is obvious that one of the strategic reasons the sect has been on the rampage is to bring down the government of Pres-
ritish star, Andy Murray, say he is delighted to be in the semi finals of the French Open, even as he admits he has yet to reach his performance target. The Wimbledon champion will face Rafael
FRIDAY WITH Dozie Okebalama
firstname.lastname@example.org 08164966858 (SMS only) ident Goodluck Jonathan. For those not opportuned to read Nzeaka’s piece, however, a portion of his argument will suffice. He wrote as follows, for instance: “In the first place, he (Jonathan) did not know that WAEC was to conduct exams in Chibok, but Shettima knew. Jonathan did not order WAEC to go ahead promising to provide adequate security, but Shettima did. GEJ (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan) did not transfer the Christian Principal of the school (GGSS, Chibok) few weeks to the exams and replace her with a Muslim, but Shettima did. GEJ, the whipping boy of Nigerian politics, did not remove the Christian guards in that Christian-dominated school a few weeks to the exams and replace them with a single Muslim guard, who vanished into thin air on the fateful day, but Shettima did”. In other words, the just quoted portion of Nzeaka’s report, in that order, if truly confirmed, were the prelude to the eventual unchallenged abduction of the school girls from Chibok on April 14. Indeed, the aforementioned trend, perhaps conspiracy, needs to be refreshed once again – Firstly the governor knew WAEC was conducting exams in the illfated school and permitted WAEC to go ahead promising that adequate security would be provided for its candidates, including the abducted girls, despite
WITH ALL THESE TELLTALE STORIES, WHY HAS IT BEEN SO DIFFICULT FOR THE
FISH OUT THE REAL
the large scale Boko Haram-led insecurity in the state. Secondly, the school’s Christian Principal was replaced with a Muslim one few weeks to the exam. And to cap it all, Christian ‘guards’ manning the school were replaced with just ‘one’ Muslim guard a few weeks to the exams. Not quite long after, Boko Haram abductors struck. It may be said that all that is required to truly know who stage-managed, championed or cleared the way for the abduction will include the identification of the exact officer/s that redeployed the Christian Principal of GGSS, Chibok, few weeks to the exam and replaced her with Muslim Principal; as well as the authorities that replaced the ‘Christian guards’ with just one Muslim guard who ran away the day the abductors struck.
If the governor was not aware of the developments, who ordered them? Even if it is assumed he was not aware of the curious redeployments, what action did he take when it dawned on him that the abduction was most probably planned and executed by Borno State officials? Indeed, except convincing answers are provided to clear the fog, this writer agrees with Nzeaka that Shettima has a case to answer on the Chibok school girls abduction. The trend surrounding the abduction of the girls, as has been related and reiterated here, seems to support the public suspicion that the Boko Haram sect has been working hands in glove with some dubious North East politicians, especially, whether in power or out of power. Unfortunately, too, Jonathan is said to be so close to some of them that he has been wining and dining with the devil; and has been unable to muster the political will to either deal firmly with the strongly suspected accomplices or the monstrous insecurity and instability situations their perfidies have foisted on the nation. In my 2012 piece, ‘Puzzling politicians’ link with Boko Haram, one had wondered whether it was by mere coincidence that two serving senators from Borno State, Ali Ndume and Ahmed Khalifa Zanna, had brushes with the nation’s security agencies. A former governor of the state, Ali Modu Sheriff and Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Sao Tome and Principe, the late Saidu Pindar, were also implicated by a Boko Haram suspect. The said suspect claimed the late Pindar was the sect’s major pillar, and that he promised the group the sum of N10 million, out of which he was on his way to deliver N5 million when he had motor accident and died the previous year (2011). With all these tell-tale stories, why has it been so difficult for the Federal Government to fish out the real sponsors of Boko Haram?
Sport Extra on myself to French Open: Murray eyes trophy after semis berth pressure perfor m well at these Nadal today in a rematch of their 2011 semi-final, which the Spaniard won in three tight sets. Murray arrived in Paris with expectations dampened by patchy
form since his back surgery last September and his indifferent record on clay. “It’s definitely a big achievement, but that’s not what I came here to
do. My goals are different and my expectations are different to a lot of people,” Murray said yesterday. “I expect a lot of myself. I put a lot of
events, and thankfully I have done okay so far. “There’s still hopefully a long way to go in the tournament and hopefully that will land me the top prize.”
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