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Budget 2013: Reps kick out Oteh’s delegation

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Accuse NPA of squandering N160bn

TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

Vol. 2 N0. 506

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delegation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, was yesterday

ordered out of the National Assembly by the House of Representatives’ ComCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Banks reject lower foreign currency denominations …as traders, others protest P.4

Sanusi

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

AYODELE OJO

DEPUTY EDITOR, POLITICS

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igeria’s opposition parties yesterday stoutly kicked against the powers being sought by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to disqualify candidates from the 2015 general elections. The Action Congress CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

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2015: Parties tackle INEC over candidates FG, oil firms differ on PIB incentives

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FCT Minister insists on demolition of 31 estates We’ll end Nigeria’s security challenges –CDS P.6,7 .

Why I didn’t reinstate Salami –Jonathan P.6

Precious Okoronkwo of Lagos State during the women’s long jump at the 18th National Sports Festival, Eko 2012, in Lagos yesterday.

PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

JNI, CAN clash on removal of Army commandants Five killed as JTF, terrorists battle in Maiduguri P.2

Gunmen kidnap Ogun lawmaker’s wife

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News

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

JNI, CAN clash on removal of Army commandants A ZA MSUE AND OMEIZA AJAYI

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n Islamic organisation, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, yesterday rejected the removal of Commandants of Armed Forces and Staff College, Air Vice-Marshal Adullahi Kure, and the Corps of Infantry, Maj.Gen. Muhammad Isa. The group said that their replacement by nonMuslims as heads of the military formations was suspicious.

But the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in 19 northern states and Abuja yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the military authorities to disregard JNI stand on the removal of ex-Jaji military commandants over the blasts that killed 15 Christian worshippers. In a statement entitled, “The removal of the two Jaji officers” by JNI Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, and made available to our correspondent yesterday, the organisation said the re-

moval of the two officers were “rushed against the nature of military known to be careful in handling sensitive issues of national interest.” The former commandants were removed by the Defence Headquarters following the recent Sunday’s twin-car bomb attacks at St. Andrew’s Military Protestant Church in the military base, killing at least 15 worshippers with scored of injured victims. The Defence Headquarters had in a statement on Saturday named Maj.-

Gen. K.C. Osuji as the new Commandant of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps and Air Vice-Marshal E.E. Osim as the new Commandant of the Command and Staff College. But JNI said the attempt to politicise the security breach along religious and ethnic divides would cripple not only the military but the nation’s security system. The JNI statement reads: “The fact that the two officers who were swiftly removed were Muslims, and were replaced by two officers who

L-R: Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Dr. Mansur Ahmed; Chairman, Chief Ernest Shonekan; President Goodluck Jonathan; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, at the presentation of their 2011 report to the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

are non-Muslims makes any discerning observer to be suspicious of the motives behind the whole exercise. “It is our sincere concern to which we make bold to state that any attempt at politicising the issue of security in Nigeria will not only worsen our security situation but will also continue to polarise the military family and the entire security system along religious and ethnic divides, something that would not augur well for the future of our dear nation. “While reiterating our condemnation of the blasts and emphasising the need for the immediate thorough investigations into the matter, we want to state that the immediate removal of the two officers does not speak well of the military who are hitherto known to be careful and objective in dealing with sensitive issues of national interest. “We cannot comprehend why the use of two different approaches to addressing the same issue. Nigerians may not understand why the two Jaji officers be removed in connection to the blasts even before any proper in-

vestigation, while no immediate posting out could follow the bombings at the 1 Mechanised Division and the Police Headquarters which preceded it. But the Northern CAN’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sunday Oibe, blamed JNI for dragging religion into the ongoing war against terrorism. CAN said: “If truly the respected Muslim organisation, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, said the removal of Jaji military commandants has religious motive is unfortunate because we should not drag religion into the security situation in this country. “When former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Charles Soludo, tenure ended who is in charge now, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi? Who is the Inspector-General of Police now? Is it not Mohammed Abubakar?” CAN added that the JNI statement on the removal of Jaji commandants was divisionary because the same group said that Boko Haram was not a religious group. CAN, however, called on security agencies to monitor religious leaders closely. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

2015: Parties tackle INEC over candidates CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

of Nigeria, ACN; the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP; the Labour Party, LP; and the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, in separate reactions with National Mirror said granting such powers to INEC would endangers the nation’s democratic growth. To the opposition parties, with such powers INEC would become a dictator and a willing tool in the hand of the President who appoints the leadership of the electoral body. But the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said it would not comment on the proposal on the disqualification of candidates for the elections. “We can’t comment on it. INEC is a referee and we are a team on the field.

It is the National Assembly that has the powers to do effect changes in the constitution. “We have implicit confidence in the knowledge and ability of the PDP members in the National Assembly to handle the matter effectively,” Chief Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of the party told National Mirror last night. The PDP, however, stated that it supported stiffer punishment for electoral offenders. “On stiffer punishment for electoral offenders, PDP is for it. This will enable us to sanitise our electoral system because the process will enthrone free and fair elections which is one of the cardinal programmes of the PDP,” Metuh said. The commission, in a document submitted to

the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who is the Chairman of the National Assembly’s Constitutional Review Committee, recommended 19 proposals. The commission, among the proposals, seek the power to disqualify candidates as from the 2015 general elections; a 10-year ban for those found guilty of electoral offences; full autonomy and voting by Nigerians in Diaspora, among others. In the letter, INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega said the proposed amendments are designed to strengthen the independence of the commission. The National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told National Mirror that INEC should saddle itself with the responsibility

of providing an enabling environment for free and fair elections not turning itself into a dictator. ACN said: “It would be too dangerous to give INEC such power to disqualify candidates. INEC is very partisan because of its present composition. We have the INEC today whose appointees are all appointees of the president. And you want to give such powers to such body. It would be too dangerous. “Where is it ever done in the world that INEC has the powers to disqualify candidates for election? Where are the safety nets for politicians when an appointee of a president has the power to disqualify candidates? Can INEC say it is because of lack of such power they are unable to perform their functions?

“We all know what happened in 2007 when a sitting president wanted to use the Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC, and other security agencies to prevent an incumbent vice president from running for an office until the Supreme Court intervened. “Look, has INEC been able to do what they are supposed to do like timely delivery of election materials, training of staff and being an impartial electoral umpire.” The ACN said the eligibily of candidates for election should be left to the constitution and other relevant laws. “The issue of who is eligible is a matter of the constitution and other relevant laws. So, that responsibility of who is fit for an election should not be for INEC to decide. It is

a constitutional matter,” Mohammed said. The umbrella body of all Nigerian registered political parties, CNPP, through its national publicity secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, stated that the INEC chairman’s request only betrayed his obsessed for power. “Prof. Attahiru Jega has shown his dictatorship fangs by seeking the power to disqualify candidates; rather than working towards conducting free, fair and transparent election. “We are yet to forget how the Professor in conclusion with PDP cancelled the National Assembly election in April 2011, an election the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost in many constituencies on the flimsy that result sheets were CONTINUED ON PAGE 54>>


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Midweek Interview Kassim Afegbua is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The spokesman of former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, speaks to SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN on his second coming to Oshiomhole’s government and other issues. Excerpts: You worked briefly for Governor Adams Oshiomhole before as Chief Press Secretary but later resigned. Why did you accept to work for him now as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity? I accepted for many factors. It is true that I worked for him before as Chief Press Secretary. I stayed barely for five months. When I resigned, I gave my reason as having to pursue other greener pastures because I knew then that my boss, General Babangida was going to run for election. So, we needed to start fine tuning the processes. So, I had to leave on a very peaceful note. I had my challenges in the system then because the Comrade Governor was just getting into office and was so much in a hurry to do so many things at the same time for the state. But my main motivation in coming back now is the fact that from day one, I have always been on the same page with him in terms of his love for the state, his vision and his mission in governance. I have seen a very peculiar characteristic on the side of the governor in terms of his aggressiveness towards developing the state. Even when I had cause to disagree with him on the pages of newspapers, particularly, on his stand on the subsidy removal, when I did express my reservations on his position, we still made up. He is my elder brother. He is somebody who likes you when you are able to tell him things and not patronise him in a manner that makes him feel that he is right all the time. He doesn’t like that. I have come to realise that he wants people who can challenge him based on superior arguments, so that he can use that to correct himself and move on. That is the hallmark of very good leadership. I find that as very unique. A lot of people would have been surprised that with all the trouble, Afegbua was still back as the Director of Publicity of his campaign. They were even raking up my articles in my column in the Vanguard. But I said no. In terms of his support for subsidy, I disagreed with that. But in terms of his performance, I agree with him. It is not the appearance of the man or his dress that matters to me. It is about what the man is doing. On the basis of that, I decided to be part and parcel of the people that made sure he got re-elected. His re-election was a resounding one. He scored more than 25 per cent votes in all the 18 local governments, which they called 18/18. So, to a very large extent, I came here to serve my people and be part of the processes of those who want to move Edo State to the next level. I have a belief in the Comrade Governor when he did promise that he was going to leverage on the economic infrastructure to create 13, 000 jobs at the present time. That is a huge one. So, it will be a thing of joy to be part of that process. How would you be advising Oshiomhole effectively? Let me start from the humility point of view. The Comrade Governor is a very humble person. Don’t mind his often boisterous and protesting attitude. He has a background in labour. So, you must give it to him. He is known to protest; to agitate and press for demands. His intervention in the Nigerian labour movement has also helped to create an unequal awareness in the minds of civil servants in pressing home their demands. That also enabled him to warm his heart into the minds of Edo electorate from the first term. To that extent, he listens to arguments. He listens to counter-arguments. I would not want to tell you one or two advices I have given him before in the heat of an argument. He conceded even when I wasn’t even a member of his cabinet. While we were doing campaigns, there were

Oshiomhole understands the language of governance – Afegbua There is no politicking. Having risen to the position of Acting National Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP), do not forget that the NDP was stronger than the ACN at one time, there is virtually no political element in the ACN that I do not know, that I do not relate with, that I do not interact with. I do not have to belong to your political party for me to buy into your ideology. People make a mistake. You see, I am a stakeholder in Edo State. No matter how you view it, I am a stakeholder. I have vested interest in the unity and development of Edo State. To that extent, it is a thing of pride to me that a governor of an ACN party is extending his hand of fellowship to me in another party based on what he has seen to be incentive or quality that I can add to his own governance process to make things better for the people. I participated in the campaign. The campaign was an ACN campaign and I was the Director of Media and Publicity. The same question was posed to me then: ‘you are not an ACN member; how would you do it?’ I have been doing some consultancy work for a lot of people in the PDP, ACN and what have you for some time now. People do not even know that I am a member of the NDP. They now think I am a member of the PDP just because I speak for IBB, who is a PDP member and leader. I think it is about the resource that I have: as a media practitioner.

Afegbua

quite a number of things we advised him on and he complied. He is a listening governor. People may have different ways of psycho-analysing an individual. But to me, I am not the type that keeps quite when I see things go wrong. I am not the type that would not give you my advice from my own point of view, if I feel it will be useful and meaningful to the entire discuss. I don’t genuflect. I am not one of those who will be blabbing when they are supposed to speak out. I am not one of those who would be a coward. In whatever scenario I find myself. I will speak my mind. I could be very blunt in some instances. I am not a typical politician or media practitioner that will want to bend issues. The challenge is higher now with 18 local governments out of 18 endorsing him as their elected governor. So, he has to meet up to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state across the 18 local governments of the state. How do you hope to cope with the pressure, politics and intrigues of your office, especially as you are not a card-carrying member of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria?

THIS COUNTRY NEEDS A

COURAGEOUS AND STRONGWILLED LEADER WHO CAN TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORN AND EXPLOIT ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES IN THIS COUNTRY TO MAKE

NIGEIRA A

GREATER COUNTRY THAN WHAT IT IS TODAY

What can you tell us about Oshiomhole’s personality? You cannot summarise the person of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole in an interview. I have a very critical mind. I look at people based on what they can offer in terms of their credibility; integrity and ability to cope with all manner of persons. The governor comes across to me as a man who epitomises the modern day leadership; the transformative leadership; the leadership that tolerates opposition view points; and the leadership that tolerates even the critical minds. Oshiomhole is in a hurry to develop Edo State. He has not gotten it right completely because the resources that accrue to the state is not enough to meet up with all the promises and all the agenda he has put forward. Essentially, people are wondering where he is getting money to develop the infrastructure he has been able to put in place. Comparatively speaking, the man has done marvellously well compared to other governments before him. The man is also very brilliant. Having been a labour agitator; having been a protester out there; having taken governments, both state and federal to task on the issue of improved welfare, now that he is a governor he understands the language of governance, he understands the language of welfares and he understands what it is to make life better for the people and he is doing it accordingly. People tend to take these things for granted at times but of course, it is normal of human beings to ask for more. But essentially, he has been able to represent a leader that is ready to deliver on his promises. If you know what he anchored his second term campaign on, he said he has got a scorecard to show. He showed it to Edo people and they said yes, we know your scorecard. Now, we are giving you a second mandate so that you can build on the infrastructure you have built in the first term to take Edo State to the next level. So, Oshiomhole is a personality that Nigeria should celebrate; that Nigeria should watch out for; he is a kind of person that I would want to see as President of this country; I am not saying this on the basis of sentiment; and I am not saying this on the basis that he is now my boss; I am saying this on the basis of the fact that this country needs a courageous and strong-willed leader who can take the bull by the horn and exploit all the opportunities in this country to make Nigeira a greater country than what it is today.


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News

Wednesday December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (left) presenting an Award for Gallantry and Excellence Service to Inspector Ugbo Lucky, during the 6th Annual Town Hall Meeting on Security with the theme: “Growing our Investment in Security,” in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Product Manager, UBA-MoneyGram Services, UBA Plc, Mrs. Stella Okojie; Group Treasurer, UBA Plc, Mr. Emmanuel Onokpasa; a customer, Mr. Festus Udunukan and Business Development Manager, Anglophone West Africa, MoneyGram International, Mrs. Oluwakemi Okusanya, at the15th Anniversary of UBA-MoneyGram promo draw in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Directors, MTNF, Mrs. Aishatu Sadauki; Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Okoro and Chairman, MUSON Board of Trustees, Bashorun J. K. Randle, at the MUSON Christmas Concert put together by the MUSON scholars in appreciation of MTNF donations, at Onikan, Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Bankole Ogunkoya; Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Prof. Victor Taiwo; representative of the ViceChancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka and representative of the Minister of Health, Prof. Tope Alonge, at the 1st International Conference on Rabies in West Africa, in Ibadan, yesterday.

National News

Banks reject lower foreign currencies as traders, others kick TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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anks are rejecting lower denominated foreign currencies from customers though there is no policy or guidelines supporting the practice which many traders claim is destroying their export and import businesses. Investigations by National Mirror showed that banks’ reluctance to receive lower denominated foreign currencies from customers has been silently going on for several months but none of the banks has owned up or confirmed the development even when some customers have openly protested their plight in banking halls and threatened to take up the matter with the regulatory authorities. The usual high volume of export-import trade in the last few months of the year, particularly in the pre-Yuletide season when most traders travel to import huge volumes of consumer goods, has accentuated the plight of the customers who have been unable to pay in low value foreign currencies in anticipation of pooling them for

foreign trade facilitation. An Abuja-based importer of children’s wears, who simply identified herself as Sister Jumy, recounted her horrible experience in one of the banks recently when she tried without success to pay in some lower denominated dollars into her account as the officials told her the bills were not acceptable for transactions. Although she is not the only one facing this challenge, her case became pathetic because, according to her, “the officials were not courteous in their approach as they just declared to me that madam we don’t accept it, you may have to go elsewhere to see if you will be lucky”. Jumy claimed that efforts to meet with the branch manager of the bank were frustrated as she was told after waiting for over an hour that the manager, who was initially said to be having a meeting with some customers, had travelled to Lagos for official an assignment. She said: “I don’t think this is a good development in our banking industry when the monetary authorities are doing everything to promote financial

inclusion. They need to encourage traders; after all, these bills are legal tender. Where do they think we will take them to in order to keep our businesses going? “They must change this attitude if jobs are to be created in the economy. Most of us decided to go into business after our university education because we couldn’t get jobs anywhere and what we are doing now is creating jobs and adding value to the economy. The banks should not force us out of business.” Another bank customer in Lagos recounted her ordeal as she couldn’t lodge in some bills into her account. According to her, the bank officers claimed they “had order from the management not to accept any denomination below the $50 bill”. Investigation showed that most of the banks engage in this shady practice ostensibly to optimise their operational costs and returns on foreign exchange transactions. However, a Bureau De Change operator on Sheraton Hotel Road, who gave his name as Adamu, said he was ready to accept the

bills from customers if they were willing to sell. He said: “Many of the traders don’t like to come here because they feel we will buy them at lower exchange rate than the banks. If they are ready to sell, we will buy and we won’t have problems paying them into the banks at all.” A top official in one of the banks, who does not want his name in print, explained that most of the banks were not enthusiastic in accepting the lower denominated foreign currencies because of the cost-benefit analysis, adding that accepting large quantum of the bills might be counter-productive and undermine their service delivery and profitability drives. He said: “It is true that many banks do not like to accept the small bills. It is a business strategy that may not necessarily be right but has the potential of reducing the cost of currency management for the banks. Just as you know that the cost of managing cash has been one of the challenges many banks contended with in the past and became a burden as it increased the operational costs, so is the

problem of having these lower denominated currencies in our vaults. “It is costly to keep accepting them as demand is almost nil for most of them. Even the traders who complain that banks don’t accept the currencies from them also complain if the banks want to pay them in these bills. “So, it is an industry problem but I think it is not big enough to create any crisis. What the banks are doing is to avoid some operational costs that are not adding value in real terms and managing these small bills, particularly when they come in large quantity, it could become a burden for the banks too.” The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has, however, claimed ignorance of the development even as it added that there was no guideline supporting such practice by the banks. The CBN Director of Banking Supervision, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, had while reacting to media enquiries, a few days ago, stated that as far as the bank was concerned, no policy or guideline to the effect was given by the monetary authorities. Speaking on the im-

plications of the banks’ refusal to accept lower denominated currencies from legal and economic perspectives, a legal practitioner, Elder Albert Uko, pointed out that both in legal and economic analysis, the banks’ propensity to turn back customers who tried to lodge such currencies into their accounts was illegal and injurious to the overall economic development of the country. Uko, who is also the National Legal Adviser/ Director of Public Affairs of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, said such attitude to monetary and economic matters by the banks was another side of the Nigerian character, adding that in other climes such illegal actions would attract appropriate sanctions. He said: “Like you rightly asked, any currency that is issued by a country as a legal tender remains a legal tender as the name implies. One dollar note, five dollar note, they are all legal tender. If you leave Nigeria to the United States and other countries, those currencies are accepted willingly without any complaints.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Budget 2013: Reps kick out Oteh’s delegation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

mittee on Finance. Chairman of the committee, Hon. Abdulmumin Jubril (PDP-Kano), said that the committee ordered the delegation out of the Hearing Room 028 (House Wing) in line with an earlier resolution by the lower House to cut ties with the commission until the Director-General, Ms. Arunma Oteh, was sacked for “gross incompetence” corruption and flouting of the SEC law. “As you well know, the House of Representatives passed a resolution that we were not having anything to do with you (SEC) until our resolution on the commission is respected. So, you can please leave us now,” Jubril said. The leader of the SEC delegation, Mr. Abatcha Bulama, was ordered out of the hall by Hon. Jubril as he introduced himself and his team. The committee also threatened to arrest the Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Mr. Habib Abdulahi, if he failed to appear before the committee today. The chairman had earlier alleged that the NPA squandered N160bn this year, being the revenue it was supposed to remit to the Federation Account in line with Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution. The committee also threatened to issue a bench warrant against the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Mr.

Mohammed Dikko, just as it proposed to amend laws setting up over 60 agencies to place them firmly in line with Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution. Earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was represented at the session by his Deputy, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, regretted the leakages in revenue from the agencies. He said: “The menace of revenue leakages has dominated the finances of our country to the detriment of our economy and well-being of the people of Nigeria. “The constitution and our laws on revenue generation and expenditure have been observed more in the breach. For the avoidance of doubt, the constitution has provided elaborate methods of revenue collection. “Section 162 of the constitution is very clear on this. “Revenue has been so defined to include any income or return accruing to or derived by the government of the federation from any source and includes: Any receipt, however described, arising from the operation of any law; any return, however described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the Government of the Federation. Any return by way of interest on loans and dividends in respect of shares or interest held by the Government of the Federation in

any company or statutory body. “From this constitutional provision, the inescapable truth is that there is no government agency or company or statutory corporation that earns any revenue that is not expected to be remitted back to government. “The method of remitting the revenue and the government account or fund where it may be remitted may be different but there is no room whatsoever for discretionary approach to revenue and remittances. “All revenue must be paid into any of these funds set up by the constitution. If by an Act of the National Assembly, an agency is set

up for a specific purpose, adding that Section 80(1), states that: “revenues from such agency is not for the discretionary use of the agency. Such revenues are public funds not private funds. “This brings us to the most important aspect of our public finance operation which is the question of expenditure. It is the wisdom of our Constitution that irrespective of how revenue or other monies are raised or received, there can be no expenditure of such moneys or revenue without appropriation. This is the inescapable conclusion of the provisions of Section 80(3) and 80(4) of the Constitu-

tion, which we all swore to promote, protect and defend. Let me repeat, that, there can be no expenditure without appropriation by the National Assembly.” According to the Deputy Speaker, “There is huge concern about federal revenue leakages, with reports of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of government failing to adequately account for revenues received on behalf of the country in their areas of activity. “The House will work to plug leakages of federally collectible revenue and full and transparent disclosure of all revenues and receipts by corporations and agencies on behalf of govern-

ment, in accordance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act.” He stated that MDAs will be made to account for and remit to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation incomes received on behalf of the Federal Government “The practice whereby corporations and agencies remit revenues into the Consolidated Revenue Fund and other public funds of the federation as they deem fit will be discouraged and relevant laws amended,” he said, adding that new legislation may be considered to ensure compliance so that the nation would earn what is due to it from the revenue earning departments and agencies of government.

L-R: Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit, Profs. Ayo Banjo and Ayo Bamgbose; Secretary, Nigerian National Merit Award, Mr. Adamu Muazu and Prof. Umaru Shehu, at a meeting of the laureates in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

JNI, CAN clash on removal of Army commandants CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

“Those military officers posted to Jaji are they not qualified? President Goodluck Jonathan, the military should not be distracted in their efforts to end Boko Haram. “Christians are being killed on daily basis that does not disturb JNI. JNI should tell Nigerians if they are behind Jaji military church blast if not they should focus on their religious activities for the good of humanity rather than telling military what to do,” CAN stated. Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has

vowed to deal with the officers and men found culpable in the November 26 gun attack on the Abuja headquarters of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS. He specifically stated that officers found culpable in the attack would be fired. Abubakar, who spoke when he visited the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Command, of the Police yesterday however explained that such action would be taken at the end of on-going investigations into the attack. A group of gunmen had invaded the SARS fa-

cility on the said day, setting free some suspects, but the police said it had rearrested 25 out of the 30 suspects that escaped from the cell. During the incident, one Mobile police officer and a police Inspector identified as Fakat Zaremi were killed in a gunfight even as one of the gunmen reportedly fell to police bullets. Abubakar told journalists yesterday that once investigations into the incident are concluded, the next line of action will be determined and no one culpable will be spared. He said despite the

present security challenges, the force remain committed to ensuring the safety of lives and property of Nigerians, urging them continue to be patient. In another development, at least four persons suspected to be terrorists and a security agent attached to the Joint Task Force, JTF, were yesterday killed on Baga road in the Maiduguri metropolis in a clash. Our correspondent gathered that the four suspected terrorists in a Keke NAPEP tricycle laid ambush to one of the JTF

military posts in the area which led to a deadly gun duel about 7:30a.m. The terrorists, it was gathered, went violent in the past four days after one of their Commanders, Ibrahim Abdulkareem, who was placed on the bounty list of N10m by the JTF was killed along Damboa-Biu road with three of his lieutenants. This is coming barely 24 hours after some suspected terrorists exploded some failed improvised explosive devices, IEDs, targeting at a patrol vehicle of the task force in Gwange ward of the me-

tropolis. JTF spokesman, Lt.Col. Sagir Musa, told our correspondent that he just came back to Maiduguri yesterday and that the information available to him was that some suspected Boko Haram members who were recently declared wanted with offer of bounties were trailed by men of the JTF and that the operation was still ongoing as at the time of filing in this report. Sagir added that as soon as the operation was over, he would issue a press statement on the development.


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National News

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FCT Minister insists on demolition of 31 housing estates GEORGE ORJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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inister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, yesterday insisted that there was no going back by the Development Control Department of the Administration to demolish the 31 housing estates that were constructed in defiance of the city’s master plan. Speaking against the background of the recent public outcry against the proposed demolition, the minister said the exercise

is geared towards restoring the Abuja Masterplan. Mohammed made the disclosure when he appeared before the Senate Committee on FCT to defend the 2013 budget appropriation of the city at the National Assembly. He told the lawmakers that the FCT Administration was empowered by law to carry out demolition of illegal structures, as is the case with the 31 estates. “We will go ahead to demolish the 31 estates because we have the law on demolition and I cannot interfere with the development control, because they

are backed by the Land Use Act. “There is a lot of impunity in Abuja and we have evidence where we tell developers not to go on with their construction without the masterplan, but they will not heed,” Mohammed said. Responding to issues raised by the senators concerning some the demolition of completed estates, conversion of Green Areas into residential quarters, Mohammed said the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), had at various times, warned developers building on illegal and

unauthorised plots of land, to stop work, but regretted that such orders were at all material times flaunted, thereby leaving the administration with no other option but demolition. Asked by Chairman of the Committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, what the fate of the residents of the 31 estates would be if the FCT goes ahead to carry out the proposed demolition, the minister said; “the poor people are gullible” and that accounted for the prevailing inconveniences. The minister however, promised to “develop social

and affordable houses” for displaced people. According to him; “For Nigerians that are trying to get affordable houses, we are coming with estates as an American investor has come and even our own Abuja Properties Limited is going to build about 100 hectares so that we would bring houses to the threshold of affordability by Nigerians who may not afford these high brow areas. “Even in Mpape, where we are demolishing, we want to build social and affordable houses especially for residents of Mpape.”

Shonekan tasks govt on infrastructure deficit ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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ormer Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, yesterday said that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit would continue to persistent unless government tackles the challenges facing infrastructure development in the country. Speaking yesterday when he led the Governing Board of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to present the 2011 annual report and audited financial statement of the commission to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, He said infrastructural development in the country is hampered by many challenges, including the inability to mobilise long term funding for project development. Shonekan, who is the Chairman of the Board of ICRC also noted that the inability to commit Ministries, Departments and Parastatals (MDAs) to a stable and coherent pipeline of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and poor project preparation by MDAs also contribute to the infrastructure deficit. Other challenges identified by Shonekan are inability to enforce vital aspects of the ICRC Act in its current form, absence of coherent infrastructure investment programme, nonintegration of PPP projects into the national planning framework and paucity of funds for the commission’s operations.

L-R: Chairman, Jedo Investment Company Ltd; Alhaji Aliyu Wamako; Chairman, Bwari Area Council, Mr. Peter Ushafa; Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide and Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank, Mr. Gimba Ya’ukumo, at the foundation laying of their staff housing scheme at Ushafa, Bwari Area Council in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Why I didn’t reinstate Salami –President ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday stoutly defended his recent decision refusing the request by the National Judicial Council (NJC) to reinstate suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami into office. Jonathan, who was represented in court yesterday, asked the trial high court judge, Justice Adamu Bello, to dismiss the action brought by 11 human rights activists challenging his decision to withhold his assent on the recommendation of NJC. The President, in a motion filed in court, argued that the activists had no locus standi to bring the suit and that their claims are indeterminable, not justiceable and sheer academic exercise. It will be recalled that upon the recommendation

of the NJC, Justice Salami was suspended for insubordination by President Jonathan. The NJC’s decision itself followed the recommendation of its committee which investigated sundry allegations against him and the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Katsina Alu. But following protests, another committee headed by the incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mariam Muhktar, reviewed Salami’s case and recommended his recall. Instead of NJC reinstating Justice Salami without going through President Goodluck, the immediate past CJN and then Chairman of NJC, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, wrote a letter to the President seeking his approval to recall Salami. Jonathan not only refused the request by NJC, he also made an issue out

of the matter to the effect that there were a number of actions in court and that okaying Salami’s recall would be prejudicial. Although, NJC and Jonathan suspended Justice Salami at a time a case was in court seeking to stop his removal or suspension from office, the President said the rule of law must henceforth be followed in the matter.

The decision by Jonathan to put a stumbling block on the bid to recall Justice Salami made the 11 rights activists to go to court for a declaration that he has no powers under the law to play any role in Justice Salami’s recall or and to re-appoint the then acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu after the expiration of his three months tenure with-

Kayode Eso for burial Dec 21 K AYODE KETEFE

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he family of the late eminent jurist and former Supreme Court Justice, Obakayode Eso, who died on November 16 in Hammersmith Hospital, London, has announced a one-week burial programme. The late jurist will be buried on Friday, December 21 in Ilesa, Osun State, after a funeral service at

the Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity, Omofe, Ilesa, while the Outing Service holds on December 23. This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs. Funmilayo Eso Williams on behalf of the family. According to the programme, the Service of Songs will be held at the late Eso’s residence Greenacres, Agodi, Ikolaba, Ibadan on Monday, December 17 at 5.00pm. On December 18, there

Jonathan’s brother for burial Dec 8 ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he younger brother of President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Meni Innocent Jonathan, who died at the National Hospital on November 20, would be buried on Saturday, December 8, at his hometown in Otuoke, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. A statement issued yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the President would leave Abuja tomorrow to participate in the burial ceremonies. According to the statement, the remains of Meni would be conveyed from Abuja to Otuoke on Friday and would be received by the Otuoke Council of Chiefs at the Otuoke Community Hall at 2.30pm on the same day. There would also be a Service of Songs for him at the Dame Patience Jonathan Square, Otuoke at 6.00pm that evening while a commendation service would be held at the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Otuoke at 10am on Saturday.He would be interred after the commendation service.

out NJC’s recommendation. Although, Jonathan is kicking against the competence of the suit, NJC had filed a motion to queue behind the activists that Jonathan has no constitutional role to play in the recall of Justice Salami and that it has no powers to re-appoint the acting President of the Court without its recommendation.

will be another Service of Songs at the same place by 5.00pm while another Service of Songs will hold at Bodija International School, 1-5 Tunde Lakanmi, off Osuntokun Avenue, Bodija, Ibadan, on December 19. Christian Wake Keep will hold at the Anglican Church of the Risen Christ and at the late Eso’s residence, Oke Omi Iru, Osogbo Road, Ilesa on December 20.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

National News

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bomb scare at Abuja highbrow estate OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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ension has risen among residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) following reports of an explosion at a mall in the highbrow estate, EFAB, located in the Lokogoma area of the city. The explosion, which reportedly occurred at about 2am yesterday, was said to have been caused by an electrical fault. Confirming the incident, Deputy Director, Public Relations of the

•Incident not true –SSS

Department of State Service, Marilyn Ogar, said the explosion took place at a laundry shop as a result of the failure of the operators to switch off their appliances after the close of business on Monday. “Operators of a drycleaning service left their machine on overnight. The water dried up through the night and because of the heat, the machine exploded. There was no casualty.

It was not a bomb explosion,” she said Also in a text message sent to journalists in Abuja, Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, dismissed the alleged bomb blast, explaining that it was a “minor fire incident”. “No explosion in FCT please. Only a minor fire incident at a laundry shop at Efab Shopping Mall, Lokogoma area of FCT. Incident occurred at about 2am today. Fire

was put out by the timely intervention of police, fire fighters and other public -spirited Nigerians. No life lost. Only minimal damage to property,” he said. Mba said the police suspected that the fire may have been due to an electrical fault, which consequently affected appliances, including an air conditioner. He said what happened was a “pseudo bang” and not an explosion in the real sense of the word.

L-R: Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako; Chairman, Forte Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola; Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, at a meeting of the Economic Management Team held in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

We’re determined to end Nigeria’s security challenges –CDS DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Ibrahim, has reaffirmed the commitment of the military and relevant agencies to tackling the security challenges confronting the nation. He expressed hoped that before long, crimes would be reduced to the barest minimum across the six geo-political zones in the country. This is even as Admiral Ibrahim disclosed that about 16,000 spouses and dependents of military personnel had benefited from the Defence Headquarters

kill acquisition programme. The essence of the programme, he said, was to equip the beneficiaries with a view to empowering them. Speaking while flagging off the two- week programme at the 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Enugu, he said that it was in tandem with the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the area of economic empowerment aimed at eradicating poverty from the Nigerian military and by extension the society. The programme is being organised in collaboration with Brandedge

consulting firm. The CDS, who was represented by Col. Valentine Osuji from the Defence Headquarters, said that the empowerment of every segment of society would raise more commitment to cause of nationhood, reduce crimes and ensure meaningful engagement in productive ventures. “The patriotic zeal among the citizenry would be further kindled and the rich potential of our great country would be adequately channelled to make her the true giant of Africa and a leading light in global affairs,” he said. According to him, the empowerment was delib-

erately aimed at eliminating distractions and promotes greater efficiency and professionalism among the personnel. He said the scheme, which began in 2008, would make beneficiaries self-employed and job creators. Ibrahim said the feed backs recorded in the past years made it imperative to continue with the programme. He, therefore, advised the participants to be focused and employ knowledge acquired from the scheme to generate income and create other productive ventures for themselves and the society.

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FG flags-off construction of 4,000 housing units in FCT OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday flagged off the construction of 4,000 housing units at Ushafa in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The 4,000 housing units are to provide accommodation for Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) workers under National Housing Fund Scheme. Minister of State for FCT, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, said that the effort was part of the government’s commitment to provide affordable accommodation for the people. She said: “The present administration is resolutely committed to the provision of housing to its citizenry. The importance of shelter to human development cannot be overemphasized. In the hierarchy of needs, shelter is next to food. Government is committed to bridge the housing deficit gap in the country and this effort is part of the whole package of government in the housing delivery sector.” In his own speech, the Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Gimba Ya’ U Kumo, explained the huge housing deficit in Nigeria and FCT in particular.

He said: “Given the huge housing deficit currently existing in the country and the fact that the FCT and its environs are facing enormous pressure due to high demands for affordable housing, it is apparent that institutions such as FMBN are heavily relied upon to provide the levels of financing required to meet these housing demands.” As part of the moves to fulfill its mandate in the housing delivery sector, Kumo noted that within this year alone, the bank launched two new products with a view to expand and improve its services through the National Housing Fund Scheme. The two products, according to him, are FMBN Informal Sector Cooperative Loan Scheme and NHF e-Collection Platform. Elucidating more on these two products, he said: “In the last 12 months, FMBN has launched two new products geared at expanding and improving its services through the National Housing Fund Scheme. The first product is the FMBN Informal Sector Cooperative Society Loan Scheme aimed at expanding mortgage loans to the informal sector such as farmers, traders, fishermen, artisans and so on using housing cooperatives as a mechanism for mobilisation and integration”.

Lack of fund frustrates tourism master plan –Minister GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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inister of Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, has identified lack of fund as a major factor stalling the execution of the nation’s Tourism Master Plan. The master plan was put together in 2006. Duke, who appeared yesterday before the Senate Committee on Tourism to defend his ministry’s 2013 budget, decried allocating the paltry N146 million for the tourism master plan. Instead, he proposed that N5 billion be allocated for the master plan. Duke said: “We need special funding to propagate the tourism master plan.

“Tourism is able to gulvanise other sectors to grow. Since its inauguration in 2006, not one chapter of the master plan has been achieved.” Defending the ministry’s 2013 budget, Duke said that the 2012 Abuja Carnival was used to pay the debts owed by the ministry in 2011. On the carnival, the minister said: “This year, we got N50 million and N42 million was released to us. Even though I know my colleagues won’t want me to say this, part of the money went to settling bills for 2011. “By the time we got to 2012, we had to go to the Presidency to seek support. Some money has been approved, but we have not assessed it yet.”


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South West

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG underfunding police -Fashola

AFDB launches $63m initiative to lift Africans out of poverty

MURITALA AYINLA

KEMI OLAITAN

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overnor Babatunde Fashola yesterday flayed the Federal Government for underfunding the police, even as he revealed that the Lagos State Government, through its Security Trust Fund, spent N8.7 billion on the provision of logistics and equipment for security agencies in the last five years. Fashola said the state and local governments had provided over 85 per cent of equipment for security

agencies in Lagos, while the Federal Government did not consider it necessary to equip the Force in line with the growing sophisticated nature of the crime across the country. Speaking at a town hall meeting on security organised by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), the governor said by virtue of the Lagos huge expenditure on the police and the other security agencies, the state is already running state police since the Federal Government had literarily abandoned the Force.

He also presented post humous awards to policemen killed by armed robbers during a day light robbery in the state recently. Fashola said: “It might interest you to learn that from the inception till date, the Federal Government has only provided 30 patrol vehicles for the police in Lagos State. While it is fair to acknowledge the receipt of 11 patrol boat, it is worth stating that the Federal Government does not seem to think that the police need other equipment such as sufficient number of Amour Personnel Carri-

ers, walkie-talkie , communication masts, repeater station and motor bikes, even though security is constitutionally its exclusive preserve.” Meanwhile, yesterday was a memorable day for Inspector Jamiu Adekoya, a policeman shot by a gang of robbers that unleashed terror on Lagos metropolis on September 9 and killed several people, as well as carted huge amount of money. Adekoya was rewarded by Governor Fashola for his gallantry to confront the armed robbers.

IBADAN

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he African Development Bank (AfDB) yesterday in Ibadan launched the US$63.24 million AfDB-funded initiative to raise agricultural productivity and also lift millions of Africans out of poverty. The five-year multiCGIAR center initiative known as “Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC)” is a research, science and technology development initiative aimed at enhancing the productivity and income derived from cassava, maize, rice and wheat, four of the six commodities that African Heads of State, through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme, have defined as strategic crops for Africa. The Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga, speaking at the launching, called on researchers to deliver “quick impact” to

justify the investments in research. He said: “We should begin to demonstrate impact in the next two years using available technologies already developed. Everything in SARD-SC is about impact and not only writing scientific papers”. According to him, the SARD-SC Project comes at an opportune time when food security and nutrition are high on the national agenda of the AfDB Regional Member Countries (RMCs), as rising food prices push millions of people into extreme hunger and poverty, stating that it allows for the first time ever in a single project, a continental coverage of the food security challenges in Africa. “What we intend to achieve goes beyond food security. We are looking at boosting incomes and reducing poverty in Africa,“ said Mr Ousmane Dore, Resident Representative, Nigeria Field Office of the AfDB, who launched the event on behalf of AfDB’s President, Dr Donald Kaberuka”.

Atuche: Court reserves ruling on request to recall witnesses Members of Zonta International Club of Ibadan protesting discrimination against women and child labour in Ibadan, yesterday.

Lagos governor inhuman, says PDP KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he South-West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the planned displacement of over 50,000 traders at the popular Katangowa Market in Lagos State without provision of an alternative place for them as wicked and inhuman, saying: “The Governor Babatunde Fashola-led Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government has shown

clear enough that it hates the masses.” In a statement issued yesterday by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon Kayode Babade, PDP said even if the traders were occupying government land as claimed by Fashola, they still deserved to be protected. The PDP said only a devilish government would attempt to render over 50,000 traders jobless less than two months after it sent over 50,000 commercial motorcyclists out of business.

It will be recalled that Governor Fashola recently visited the Katangowa Market and told the traders that they were not the rightful owners of the land. He said the 17 hectares of land being occupied by the traders belonged to the state government and the government was not ready to pay compensation to illegal occupants on its land. The PDP said: “It is now glaring that Fashola and his party, ACN, hate the masses with passion.

PHOTO: NAN

If not, how on earth can a governor open his mouth to address Katangowa traders, who have been trading in the area for about 30 years that they occupied the place illegally? “Is Fashola and his ACN now the government? Are the people of Lagos State no longer the government? If the land is owned by the government, is it not owned in trust for the people and isn’t the government put in place to serve the interests of the people?

Murder: Defence witness’ absence stalls Arowolo’s trial KENNY ODUNUKAN

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he absence of a defence witness yesterday stalled the trial of Akolade Arowolo, allegedly involved in killing his banker-wife, Titilayo Omozoje, sometime in June 2011.

At the resumed hearing of the case at an Ikeja High Court, Arowolo’s counsel, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, told the court that the witness he sought to bring was suffering from malaria fever and could not attend the court. Ajanaku said: “My lord, I will humbly request for

an adjournment based on sudden illness of the witness.” But the presiding judge, Justice Lateefat Okunnu, scolded the defence, saying that such excuse should not be the perquisite for unnecessarily delaying the trial Ajanaku subsequently apologised and promised

to bring all the defence witnesses in the next adjourned date. The case was, however adjourned till January 22, 2013. Arowolo was charged with stabbing his wife to death on June 24, 2011 at their residence at Isolo, Lagos.

KENNY ODUNUKAN

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ustice Lateefaat Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, yesterday reserved ruling on the application by the defence team to recall two prosecuting witnesses, Mr Diamond Uju and Elizabeth Ebi, for further cross examination on the ongoing trial of former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth, and one Ugo Anyanwu. They are facing trial for alleged stealing and misappropriation of fund. At the court yesterday, lawyer to the Atuches, Tony Idigbe (SAN), filed an application urging the court to consider recalling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Uju and Ebi for further cross examination It will be recalled that the witnesses had given their testimonies on the alleged crime earlier in the course of the trial. They had, in their earlier testimonies, denied requesting loans from the

bank, adding that they never had any relationship with the bank, prior to the advancement of loans to their companies. However, Atuche claimed that the witnesses had a relationship with the bank before the loans were advanced to them through their companies. According to Atuche, there was a resolution of the bank which showed that the companies did not only have a relationship with the bank, but asked for loans which were granted. Atuche’s counsel, Idigbe, urged the court to recall the witnesses for further cross examination, adding that recalling them would aid the defence to create doubts in the case of the prosecution because the witnesses told the court half truths. Idigbe cited Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 197 of the Lagos State Criminals Law, saying that both laws allowed the court to use its discretion to call any witness. He added that his motion was basically in the interest of justice.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Wednesday December 5, 2012

Gunmen kidnap Ogun lawmaker’s wife FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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our gunmen yesterday kidnapped Mrs. Folashade Onademuren, the wife of an Ogun State lawmaker representing Ijebu North-East state constituency at the House of Assembly, Hon. Samson Onademuren. Mrs. Onademuren, whose husband was among the majority of the 18 lawmakers from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that belonged to the Osoba camp in the state was said to have been kidnapped at Ijebu-Ode between the hours of 12.00 and 12.30 pm yesterday. National Mirror gathered that Mrs. Onademuren was abducted by the four armed men who spotted her while she was inspecting her husband’s on-going building project at Ijebu-Ode in company of one of her close female friends, whose name was yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report. Close family sources of the lawmaker also confided in National Mirror that the

kidnappers had passed the site before they noticed the two women at the site. They were said to have reversed their car, entered the compound and ordered all occupants to lie on the floor before they eventually whisked away the two women in their white Opel car, which registration number plate had been removed. National Mirror further gathered that when the news of her abduction filtered into Ipari-Oke, the

country home of the lawmaker in Ijebu North-East Local Government Area of the state, elders in the town had commenced spiritual consultation with the deity of the town to facilitate the release of the wife of the lawmaker unharmed. Also, family members in Lagos and Ibadan were also said to have met and engaged the services of spiritualists while officials of the state vigilante service have been put on a 24-hour

surveillance to facilitate the quick release of Mrs. Onademuren from her captors’ den. Why the rationale behind the kidnap as well as the ransom was yet to be established, all efforts by National Mirror to speak with the husband, who is also a lawyer failed as calls to all his lines were switched off. Also, text messages sent to his cell phones to ascertain the state of affairs of his wife and whether he has

established contact with the abductors, were not acknowledged. But, a press release by the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the kidnap at Lewu Street, Obalende area of Ijebu Ode yesterday. He said the commissioner of police has made an on-the-spot assessment of the scene of the abduction even as investigation on the matter is on-going.

L-R: Treasurer, Women Arise, Mr. Peter Bach; Nollywood star, Mr. Babatunde Tokunbo (aka Dejo Tufulu); President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and Coordinator, Research and Programmes, Mr. Gbenga Ganzallo, during the civic education on improving legislature-constituency relations, organised by Women Arise in Lagos, yesterday.

Lagos records 123 armed robbery cases –CP

70-year-old woman’s murder: Court denies suspects bail

MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, yesterday said that no fewer than 123 armed robbery cases were recorded in the state from November 2011 to October this year. Manko, who made the disclosure at the sixth Annual Town Hall Meeting on Security organised by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund at the Civic Centre Lagos, said several armed robbery syndicates were smashed in the last one year. According to the commissioner, a total of 32 police officers were killed in encounters with robbers while 270 murder cases were also recorded in the state within the period. The commissioner also disclosed that 418 robbery incidents were foiled while 26, 058 ammunition were recovered from the robbers. He said 569 robbers were arrested by the police while 140 robbers were killed during gun battles with the police, according to him.

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

n Ado Ekiti High Court yesterday ordered back to prison custody the three accused persons in the murder of a 70-year-old woman, Mrs. Rebecca Adewumi, for allegedly possessing witchcraft power. The woman was allegedly killed on May 11, in Omuo Ekiti by some members of the community over accusations that she bewitched her step-son, who has since died, with a strange illness. When the matter came up yesterday at the court,

Justice Oluwatoyin Bodunde, rebuffed the plea of the counsel to the defendants, Oladele Adedeji, that the pending bail application be heard. The judge ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody pending when the bail application would be disposed off. He adjourned the matter till January 17, 2013 for ruling on the bail application. The accused persons, the Olisa of Omuo Ekiti, Chief Dayo Olatunbosun Orojo (1st defendant); Mrs. Adesola Adeyemo (2nd defendant) and Abey Feranmi (3rd

defendant), were accused of conspiring with some youths, who are at large, to torture the woman to death. They were arraigned on a six-count charge of felony, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful accusation of witchcraft, unlawful participation at a trial by ordeal, unlawful deprivation of liberty and murder, which contravened various sections of the Ekiti State Criminal Codes. They were arrested and detained on September 4, 2012. According to their counsel, who said “the 1st defendant is hypertensive and

has been placed on medication by his physician,” the continued incarceration of Chief Orojo in particular, had further worsened his health situation. He said the second defendant and mother of the late boy alleged to have been inflicted with terminal illness by the late woman, was bereaved and ought to be mourning the death of her son. However, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Femi Onipede, said the state government had filed an objection to the bail application by the counsel to the defendants.

Tax deduction: LUTH doctors begin threeday warning strike

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octors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, yesterday began a three-day warning strike over alleged abnormal tax deductions from their salaries. The doctors, under the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors, claimed that LUTH management had been deducting huge amount from their monthly salaries as tax. An executive of the association, who pleaded anonymity, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said that the executives had held meetings with the management demanding an explanation and the need to stop the deductions, but had yielded no result. He said: “There was a new tax regime in which over 20 per cent was being deducted monthly from our salaries as tax, which is quite a lot of money. “We have met with the management severally but they told us it was not a LUTH management decision and that it was a Federal Government Tax Law. “We decided to channel our demands through the strike just to send a message to the management that we are not comfortable with the abnormal tax deduction.’’ He added that the warning strike would be suspended tomorrow, after which the situation would be reviewed.

Chukwu

NCC sues MCSN, seven employees for copyright infringement K AYODE KETEFE

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he Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) yesterday charged the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) and seven members of its staff before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, for alleged offence of unlawfully granting musical licence to agents without its permission.

Apart from the NCC, the seven members of its staff charged are Mayowa Ayilaran (F); Louis Udoh (M); Halim Mohammed (M); Banjo Omolara (F); Yusuf Benson (M); Olakayode Ajayi (M) and Njoku Gladys (F). The alleged offences against the accused persons contravened section 39 (4), (5) and (6) of the Nigeria Copy Right Act, Cap C 26 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

All the seven accused persons were arraigned in three separate charges comprising one-count each and all of them pleaded “not guilty” to the charge. According to the prosecution, represented by Mr. Obi Ezeilo, the accused had, between April 2010 and 2012, illegally engaged in the business of soliciting and granting licences to its clients without lawful approval from the NCC on behalf of copyright owners.

The prosecution also alleged that the accused had demanded royalties in contravention of Copyright Act from their clients which included Scarlet Lodge located at 79, Younis Bashorun St., Victoria Island, Southern Sun located at 47, Alfred Rewane Road, Ikoyi and Blow Fish located at 17, Ojun Olobun St. Victoria Island. Ezeilo further added that many letters of invitation had been sent to

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the accused persons to appear at the police station in answer to the complaints against them, but they had not only refused to honour the invitation but also recklessly continued with their illegal activities. In his argument on the bail application, counsel for the accused, Mr. Wale Adesokan, prayed the court to grant bail to his clients on liberal terms as the alleged offences were bailable.


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South East

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Report on Ohakim’s administration ready in 14 days –Okorocha CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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mo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has bowed to calls seeking the probe of the administration of his predecessor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim. Okorocha said yesterday during the presentation of the 2013 Budget before the state House of Assembly that the calls mostly by commercial tricycle operators, mechanics, transporters and other artisans for the probe

of Ohakim’s administration made it necessary for him to seek the permission of the House to probe the former governor. He said the government had decided to make public the activities of the former governor within 14 days. Okorocha said: “Let me inform you the decision

of the current administration to bring justice to bear, following your protest over the activities of the past administration. “Nobody has negotiated to cover the activities of former Governor Ohakim within the four years he governed the state, rather it may interest you to know that the panel set up

to look into the activities of the former governor has just presented its report. “Within the remaining 14 days of your ultimatum, we shall make Ohakim’s activities at the Government House known to the public”. Stressing that the public funds allegedly stolen

by Ohakim were recovered, the governor added: “I want to thank you for your patience so far. Honestly, I agree with you that it is worrisome that Ohakim did only three uncompleted projects in four years and 87 kilometer of uncompleted road project. So, the money must be somewhere and

if that money is recovered, it will help to make healthcare services free in addition to free education programme.”

Flood: School seeks help over N1.6m lab equipment loss

Okorocha

NWABUEZE OKONKWO

DENNIS AGBO

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Why insecurity in Nigeria soars –Ag Enugu Governor ENUGU

ONITSHA

he management of St. Raphael De Archangel Catholic Parish Secondary School at Anumudu-Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State is seeking the assistance of the government for the replacement of N1.6 million laboratory equipment damaged by flood. One of the school’s officials, Rev. Fr. John Ezeoruonye, sought the government’s assistance yesterday during the 10th anniversary of his priesthood. He said that of the N3.5 million damages recorded within the school premises, laboratory equipment alone cost about N1.6 million. Rev. Ezeoruonye, therefore, urged the state government to refurbish the lab equipment damaged by the flood, saying: “We need urgent help from the government as we lost all laboratory equipment to flood.” The cleric recalled that prior to the flood that covered the ground floor of the three storey building, which housed the laboratory; the school had remained and designated a special science practical centre for students in Ogbaru Local Government Area. On his journey so far in the 10 years of Priesthood, Revd Ezeoruonye said it had been challenging, but kept his pact with God as he remained faithful.

L-R: Member, House of Representatives Committee on Interior, Hon Chinenye Ike; Deputy Director, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Abdul-Hamid Umar; Director-General, Mr. Chris Onyemenam and representative of Enugu State Government, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke at the NIMC Stakeholders’ Forum in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Four injured as youths clash in Onitsha NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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o fewer than four persons were injured yesterday as some youths invaded motor parks in Onitsha to avenge an alleged attack on the Chairman of Onitsha North Local Government Area, Idu Okosi. Sources said the incident, which occurred at Menace and Oguta roads in Onitsha, began when the local government chairman, Okosi, allegedly led a group of boys armed with weapons to attack some revenue collectors in the motor parks. The youth leader in the area, Mr. Chukwujekwu Okoye, told journalists that the chairman stormed the area in the early hours of yesterday and demanded to be in charge of revenue from the parks, but the youth resisted it. He said: “The cause of the crisis was when the chairman came here in the morning and insisted that each vehicle that offloads goods must pay him N2,000, which we resisted because we are accredited agents of the state government work-

ing with the Commissioner for Transport. “So, when he found out that my boys were not ready to yield to his intimidation, he left and told me that he would come back. Before we knew what was happening, he came back with over 200 hoodlums, armed with dangerous weapons, including pump action riffles, axes, cutlasses and so on and started beating anybody they met in the park. They unfortunately brutalized some innocent passengers seen in the park”. Okoye said among the injured passengers was Chukwunonso Nwabuisi, who was traveling to Gboko in Benue State. “The hoodlums injured him with axes and cutlasses,” he said. But Okosi denied the allegations, describing it as a ploy by the leader of the revenue collectors to frame him up and cover his evil acts. He said he was at Awka Road in Onitsha, supervising a project when he received a distress call that a group of boys were trying to obstruct the project’s execution.

Okosi said: “I was at the Awka Road supervising road decongestion when I received a distress call from my decongestion unit that a group of boys were obstructing their activities, I urged them to remain calm till I come, but when I got there, I discovered that vehicles were parked at both sides of the road. “I spoke to the drivers and they started remov-

ing their vehicles. I then returned to my official car, fastened my seat belt and was ready to move when one of the boys ran to my car, opened it and slapped me three times”. The council boss added that it was when youths of the community got information that some group of boys slapped him that they mobilized to the park to see who had the audacity to

‘Poor funding hampers nation’s tertiary institutions’ CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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ice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka, yesterday identified poor funding as a major challenge hampering the effectiveness of tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Prof. Asiabaka spoke at a press briefing held at the university’s Senate to mark the 25th convocation ceremony of the school. He said most tertiary institutions in Nigeria could hardly get enough resources to meet their challenges. The VC, however, iden-

tified the challenges confronting FOTU as limited funding, inadequate infrastructure, staff constraints and accommodation. Asiabaka said the challenges notwithstanding, the university established some purpose-oriented institutes and academic centres such as Centre for Women, Gender and Development Studies (CWG&DS), Centre for Nuclear Energy Studies and Training (CNEST), Centre for Public Procurement and Research (CPPR), Centre for Research and International Development (CRID) and Institute of Environmental Health Technology (IEHT).

he Acting Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, has attributed the security challenges confronting the country to poor, inaccurate and unreliable database of her citizens. Speaking when the Director General and Management Staff of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) visited him at the Government House in Enugu, Onyebuchi said poor national identity database encouraged unpatriotic Nigerians to engage in fraudulent acts, such as falsification of documents and other criminal activities. He, therefore, described the establishment and functions of the commission as welcome development since it would help the nation in her socio-economic planning and development, check fraud and falsification of documents. Onyebuchi noted with dismay that previous efforts made in the country to produce a reliable and accurate national identity database failed, urging the commission to guard against factors that frustrated the exercise in the past. The Acting Governor was of the opinion that with the current nationwide enlightenment campaign on the need and importance of the National Integrated Identity System, a reliable and accurate database that would meet the expectations of Nigerians and international standard would be produced.


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EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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rotests by hundreds of women, youths and community leaders in at least 21 communities and settlements in Nembe, Bayelsa State, yesterday paralysed the operations of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in the area over alleged neglect by the oil firm. The peaceful protest by the people in the premises of the Anglo-Dutch oil firm resulted in the disruption of its operations.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Fresh protests paralyse Shell’s operations This came barely 24 hours after aggrieved Okpoama youths in Brass Local Government Area of the state protested against the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) over the non-implementation of a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) signed with the firm. It was gathered that the Nembe protest erupted owing to a breakdown of a meeting between SPDC management and the com-

munities on their demands. A reliable source in Nembe told National Mirror that the Chairman of Oil and Gas Committee of Nembe Council of Chiefs, Nengi James and the President of Nembe Youths Association, Jonathan Omongor, led the protest that caused a stir in the company’s premises. Confirming the incident, James alleged that the management of SPDC had failed to show remorse over the demands of the commu-

nity. “The exploration activities of SPDC will remain shut until our demands are met,” James insisted. James said a letter which listed demands of the communities had been sent to SPDC management in the presence of military security personnel. Contacted, spokesman of the SPDC in Port Harcourt, Precious Okolobo, said it was the company’s policy to resolve grievances

through dialogue. His words: “SPDC has enjoyed longstanding cordial relationship with communities in Nembe area and jointly we have implemented projects that have helped to improve lives and develop infrastructure.” In another development, the state House of Assembly yesterday summoned the state Commissioner of Energy, Francis Ikio and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Oil and Gas Matters,

Ndutimi Komonibo, over their alleged link in a fresh crisis brewing in Obunagha in Yenagoa Local Government of the state. The summon, which came after a motion moved by a member of the House, Ebilade Femokowei, under issue of urgent public importance, accused the governor’s aides of presenting a report on the disputed rights of some members of the community on the operations of oil firms operating in the area.

Delta to work with FG to revamp education –Uduaghan

Oshiomhole begins defence of re-election, certificates

IJEOMA EZEIKE

SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

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ABUJA

elta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday said that his administration would collaborate with the Federal Government to check the challenges hindering the growth of basic education in the country. The governor, who spoke in Asaba during the commissioning of Uzoigwe Primary School built through the matching grant of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), noted that he has been monitoring the minister’s contributions meant to revive the quality of basic education available to the Nigerian children. Governor Uduaghan lauded the minister’s agreement with his suggestion that states should be given a free hand towards the implementation of basic education projects in different states. He said the totally rehabilitated Uzoigwe Primary School in the heart of Asaba, is a fruit of the new relationship between states and the Federal Government. In his address, Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, said the Federal Government remains committed to the transformation of the basic education sector. He said the Jonathan administration appreciates the support of state governments towards developing quality infrastructure and properly training teachers for the empowerment of the Nigerian children. Wike expressed happiness that almost all states of the federation have accessed their matching grants for basic education up to 2011.

BENIN

Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan and Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Dr. Sarah Jubril, during a courtesy visit to Government House, Asaba, yesterday.

N65m largesse: Opposition parties want gov’s aide probed AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA

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ssociation of Registered Political Parties in Delta State (ARPP) have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other security agencies in the state to investigate the Special Adviser to the Governor

on Inter-Party Relations, Mr. Taju Isichei, over an alleged N65million grant released to parties in the state. It will be recalled the governor’s largesse to the parties had generated controversy and bad blood among members of the various parties following what they described as the fraudulent manner the special adviser disbursed the funds, where 20 per cent were said to have been deducted from the

amount due to each of the parties. Arising from an enlarged meeting yesterday in Asaba, the association said several petitions have been written to relevant authorities including the EFCC, ICPC and others against what they termed the‘new face of corruption’ as introduced by the governor’s aide. The association vowed to use its last drop of blood in pursuing their petitions and

to make sure that the governor’s aide is brought to book. Addressing a press conference shortly after the meeting, association Chairman, Engr. Johnson Ajeboghuku and its Secretary, Mr. Ovie Kanabar, flanked by other party chairmen said; “The handling of the disbursement of the 2011 grant to political parties by Isichei is the worst in the history of inter-party relations in Delta State.”

Adenuga boosts Bayelsa’s relief fund with N500m

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ounder and Chairman of Globacom, one of Nigeria’s leading telecommunications companies, Dr. Mike Adenuga (Jnr.), has donated a whopping N500 million to the Bayelsa State government to support the flood relief efforts of the state. Presenting a draft cheque to the state governor, Seriake Dickson, in Abuja yesterday, the business mogul said he was moved to make the

donation because he felt touched by the plight of the flood victims, considering the magnitude of the flood and its devastating effect on the people and the state. He also commended the various steps taken by government at the state and federal levels in cushioning the effects, both during and after the floods, adding that his contribution is intended to provide additional succour to the people of

the state. Receiving the cheque on behalf of the state, Governor Dickson, who led a high-powered delegation of the state to the residence of the business mogul, was full of praises and appreciation for the Globacom boss. The governor commended him for expressing such deep concern and love for the people of the state, assuring him that the money will be judiciously used

along with other donations received from public-spirited individuals, corporate bodies, donor agencies both locally and internationally. The governor further disclosed that he has just set up a high-powered committee on post-flood management headed by the former. National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi, along with other credible people serving as members of the committee.

do State Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole will today mount the witness box to defend his re-election victory in the state governorship election held on July 14. The testimony of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, governor would be taken only after his witnesses, whose names have been carefully prepared and listed by his team of defence, have all concluded their own testimonies. The petitioner, MajorGeneral Charles Airhiavbere (retired) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, closed his case last week. Although he had also gone to the appellate court, seeking to have more witnesses filed in the case, the judgement on his request is yet to be delivered, just as the higher court has reserved its judgement. at Airhiavbere is challenging Oshiomhole’s victory on two grounds: alleged electoral malpractices and academic qualification. He closed his case after giving his own testimony during when a newspaper report and the Federal Government Gazette of 1965 were admitted as evidence. Before then, however, he had also called about 31 witnesses who gave different accounts of claims of how they observed and participated in the election. It is also expected that security agents and medical officers would be around the court premises for a quick response to any problem that the anticipated huge crowd may generate especially after a man, who claimed to be suffering from epilepsy, had collapsed in the court premises penultimate week.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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How Suleja INEC office was bombed –Victims ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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wo survivors of the bomb blast that led to the death of 16 persons at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Suleja, Niger State on April 8, 2011, yesterday testified before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on how the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) left them with indelible bodily harm. The two victims, Kayode Olatunji and Musa Audu, narrated their ordeals as evidence in the trial of six suspects alleged to have masterminded the bombing of INEC office Suleja

continued. The accused persons, who are standing trial on a five-count charge bordering on sundry acts of terrorism, are Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana Umar, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adam and Umar Ibrahim. The Boko Haram suspects are standing trial for allegedly conspiring among themselves and others now at large to prepare, plant and detonate Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at various public places which led to the deaths of 16 persons at the INEC office in Suleja on April 8, 2011. Other offences alleged to have been committed include the death of three

Jega

persons at a political rally in Suleja on March 3, 2011; deaths of three Peace Officers on May 23, 2011 at Dakwa Village in Bwari Area Council of the FCT and the deaths of three persons at the All Christian Fellowship Church, Suleja on July 10, 2011.

The suspects were also alleged to have been trained in weapons handling by one Ibrahim Bashir Madalla, who is still at large. Olatunji, a 300-Level student of the University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, while testifying said he had gone to check his name on INEC ad-hoc staff list, when the explosion went off. He said the impact of the blast left him with multiple fracture, nose, ear and serious eye injury, adding that bone and flesh grafting was done on his legs to correct the anomaly. Olatunji said the blast, which went off at about 5.00pm on April 8, 2011, caused enormous destruc-

tion to life of innocent people, adding that; “I was stocked in the midst of dead bodies. “When I recovered minutes after the explosion, I saw myself enmeshed in the blood of a woman blown open by the blast. “We were taken to the General Hospital Suleja and left there without treatment for hours before we were later evacuated to the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital. “Five specialists attended to me within the 10 months of my stay in the hospital but my situation has not fully being addressed. “I can neither see very well nor hear very well, just

as I cannot walk without the support of my crutches; I have been limited seriously,” he said. In his evidence, Audu, a teacher with Girls Secondary School, Suleja said that he had gone to check the INEC ad-hoc staff shortlist when he heard a ‘big bang.’ Audu said he became unconscious as the result of the explosion, adding that “I discovered that the flesh on my legs was deeply open. “I was lying with dead bodies, some of the bodies were dismembered and I began to cry for help. When help came, I used my bottoms with support from my hands to move away from the lifeless bodies.”

Suswam inaugurates Benue varsity Governing Council HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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enue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has charged the newly inaugurated members of the governing council of the Benue State University (BSU) to ensure that the institution attained a world class status in no distant future. The governor gave the charge yesterday at the Government House, Makurdi, while inaugurating a 12-member committee of the council of the institution in the state. He was represented by the Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani, who said “the government had enjoyed the prudence and the exemplary leadership of the members of the council and that above all, it becomes obvious that after their initial four years we have no alternative than to reappoint them to consolidate the good work they had started.” The governor noted that the men and women chosen for the job are of proven integrity that had distinguished themselves in their various fields of human endeavour and commended their foresight in nurturing

stability and development in the university. Lawani further acknowledged with enthusiasm the final approval of an award of the MBBS degree in Medicine by medical students, stressing that very soon the institution would graduate medical doctors to man various hospitals in the state, a feat he also attributed to the tireless efforts of the governing council. “I want to reiterate that the only striving industry in Benue is education and the Benue State University is one among the few state universities that has made its mark. “Therefore, I urge you to do everything humanly possible to ensure that the standard is sustained and also to ensure that the university becomes a world class institution so as to compete favourably with any other institution in the world.” Earlier, the Pro-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ode Ojewu, on behalf of other members, expressed gratitude to the state government for finding them worthy of re-appointment and stressed that they would do more to justify the confidence reposed in them.

L-R: Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda; Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Alhaji Yahya Miya, with a victim of gunshots in Azare, during the governor’s visit to the Federal Medical Centre at Azare in Bauchi State, recently.

Group proffers solution to Fulani-Tiv crisis HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he Benue State Secretary of the Miyette Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen, Mallam Garlus Gololo, has observed that the only panacea to the unending Fulani-Tiv skirmishes which had lingered for several years, is to appoint a Fulani to man the portfolio of a liaison officer on Fulani affairs. Gololo while expressing the view yesterday in Makurdi said the Tiv and

the Fulani had lived harmoniously together in the past and even intermarry, noting that there is no basis for any internal squabbles between the two ethnic groups. He urged the state government to also appoint a Fulani son into government so that their matters could also be heard. He revealed that the Tiv and Fulani’s had co-existed from time immemorial and that there was no way anyone could stop them from co-existing, suggesting that the Benue State government should as matter of urgency create a portfo-

lio where the Fulani race could be integrated in the scheme of things with a view to defuse tension and reduce the crises. The secretary lamented that a meeting had earlier been held at the instance of the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’id Abubakar and the Tor Tiv as well as Governor Gabriel Suswam, where among others; far reaching decisions were taken at the reconciliatory forum including the appointment of a Fulani to oversee the activities of herdsmen in the state. Gololo blamed the government for its inability to

Aliyu denies collecting N13bn dams’ rent, presents N83bn budget PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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iger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday dispelled claims that his administration has collected ground rent to the tune of N13 billion for the three hydro electric dams sited in

the state. He also presented a budget of N83 billion for the 2013 fiscal year as against the N95 billion for 2012, which is 9.27 percent lower. Aliyu, who stated this on the floor of the state House of assembly during the presentation of the 2013 budget in Minna, said the state has

not collected anything as accumulated ground rent for the dams located in the state. “We are expecting an accumulated ground rent of N13 billion from the three dams; the Shiroro, Kainji and Jebba dams. And nobody has collected any money as ground rent on

them. I am emphasizing this because I have never collected anything on the dams.” Presenting the budget, which was targeted at the ‘Completion and Preservation of Peace and Unity’ in the state, the governor said recurrent expenditure will gulped N71 billion, while

capital expenditure will get N12 billion, respectively. Further breakdown of the budget into sections, shows that N53 billion would accrue to the state from the Federation Account; Value Added Tax (VAT), N8.6 billion; SURE-P, 2.8 billion. Other sources are the

implement the resolution after several months thereby leading to stagnation and strained relationship between the two groups. He further emphasised that the Federal Government should as matter of necessity create a reserved grazing area where Fulani herdsmen could have access on their land to be rearing their cows so as to minimise constant cases of disputes emanating from cows encroaching on farmlands that often results to violence and bloody skirmishes with a view to live in peace with themselves.

Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), 6.6 billion, Over Head, 15 million, while N25 billion would be generated from Personnel cost. Reacting to the budget proposal, the Speaker of the House of Assembly Alhaji Adamu Usman assured the governor of a speedy passage of the bill.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ekiti: Fayemi, Oni’s unending battle

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AYODELE OJO

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday received knocks from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) over his administration’s approval for a new N2.2 billion Banquet Hall in the Presidential Villa. The party said that the “reckless extravagance of the Jonathan administration could plunge the country into bankruptcy if left unchecked.” The ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement made available to National Mirror, described as

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Politics

Salvaging the local govt system

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Jonathan’s profligacy’ll plunge Nigeria into bankruptcy – ACN “totally unacceptable and utterly shameful that a government that has not made a positive impact on Nigerians will engage in such wastage.” Mohammed said: ‘’One would have expected that a government headed by a man who himself has publicly acknowledged his humble beginnings will be less profligate and more inclined to allocate funds to developmental projects that will uplift the

standard of living of his compatriots, including ensuring better security for them. Sadly, what we are witnessing under the discombobulated Jonathan administration is the exact opposite.” The party also decried the justification of the project, saying the government has now beaten its own record for profligacy by its decision to build a N2.2 billion Banquet Hall. The party also lam-

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basted the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, for saying ‘’other smaller countries have better Banquet Halls near their Presidential residences,” while announcing the approval of the project after the Federal Executive Council meeting last week. ‘’It is interesting that a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is comparing the country with

‘smaller countries’ when it comes to justifying a project that will only benefit a few elite. Does the minister know that the citizens of the so-called smaller countries enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply? Does he know that the citizens of those countries don’t have to queue up endlessly for petrol and kerosene; that they don’t have to depend on Okada for transportation; and that they have no road as terrible as LagosIbadan expressway? ‘’In any case, nothing can justify the decision to spend such a huge amount of money on a Banquet Hall in a country where many go to bed hungry most nights, where youth unemployment is at a high 46.5 per cent and where projects that could make Nigeria achieve the MDGs, less than three years to the target date, are almost nonexistent,’’ the ACN said.

Also, the frequent foreign trips of President Jonathan also came under attack. “The President’s propensity to travel to international meetings with a bloated entourage and the continuous allocation of huge funds to purchase aircraft for the presidential fleet, all fit into the mindless profligacy of the Jonathan administration,” the party stated. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was not also spared. The leading opposition party decried the decision of the Petroleum Minister to spend N6.5 billion for ‘’sensitisation’’ on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The party enjoined the Jonathan administration to retrace it steps by spending the nation’s scarce resources only on projects that can benefit the masses, rather than a few elite. It also urged all Nigerians to join in calling the government to order before it runs the country aground.

30,000 children a year: ‘Mimiko’s administration lacks focus’ OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU Niger State governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu presenting the 2013 budget proposal to the state House of Assembly, at the Usman Alhassan Jikantoro Complex.

Kogi: Fresh legal battle to unseat Wada begins ISE-OLUWA IGE

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fresh legal battle on the nomination and declaration of Captain Idris Wada as the governor of Kogi State yesterday commenced before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. But the governor, also yesterday approached the court with a prayer to dismiss the suit for being an abuse of court process. He also argued that the plaintiff lacked locus to institute such suit. A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Yunusa Omagada, had through

his counsel, Bola Aidi, dragged the governor, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court seeking the nullification of the election that brought in Wada as the governor of the state. In a writ of summon filed by the plaintiff, he is praying the court for a declaration that Wada is not a fit and proper person to be nominated by the PDP to the INEC as its standard bearer for the December 3, 2011 governorship election in Kogi State. He also wants a declaration that the nomination of Wada as the governorship candidate of the PDP to

the INEC is mala fide, null, void and of no consequence whatsoever and also a declaration that some information contained in INEC form as deposed to by the 1st defendant is false. The plaintiff also wants a declaration that the nomination and consequent purported election of Wada as governor of Kogi is in breach of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Omagada therefore prayed the court for an order declaring the candidature of Wada null and void ab nitio as being in breach of the provisions of Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He also prayed the court to allow the application. In his preliminary objection to the suit, Wada through his counsel, Chris Uche, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit, submitting that plaintiff did not have any locus standi to institute such suit because he never participated in the election and that he had failed to show how the emergence of Wada as the governor affected him. He added that the fresh case was a gross abuse of court process, adding that the suit was the same as the one filed by one Abalaka which the court had earlier dismissed.

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he Ondo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the Olusegun Mimiko-led administration as one lacking in focus with lopsided policies that have no bearing on the lives of the people of the state. The ACN was reacting to the call by Mimiko, while commissioning the Mother and Child Hospital in Ondo, on the people of the state to produce 30,000 children annually, saying that the call was not only misleading and myopic, but also “an aversion to sustainable development in the face of gross youth unemployment and decayed infrastructure.” Speaking through its Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy, Idowu

Ajanaku, the ACN said Mimiko’s call could be likened to that of a man who has lost touch with reality. Ajanaku said: “Why is Mimiko not thinking of how to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth of the state? He is not talking of the millions of jobless graduates who are still being catered for by tired parents who are peasant farmers/traders or civil servants, neither is he looking at the infrastructural decay in the state, but he is quick to beat his chest that he is providing free maternity services to women so that they can deliver his targeted 30,000 children every year! What does it hold for the people, if not the multiplication of poverty or is he saying that his government would also take over the responsibilities of caring for these children from cradle to adulthood?”


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Politics

Just as the local government administration is under attack, the chairmen of the 774 councils held a four-day extra ordinary assembly recently in Enugu, where issues affecting the third tier of government came under scrutiny, writes DENNIS AGBO.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Salvaging the local govt system

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he general meeting of all the 774 local government council chairmen in Nigeria under the aegis of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), held in Enugu, last week, was at the nick of time as the local government system was under attack by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Sanusi had last Tuesday called for the scrapping of the local government administration, citing inefficiency and impending economic turbulence for Nigeria. But just as Sanusi made the call, most of the council chairmen in attendance at the event took a swipe at the CBN governor and even suggested his removal. Several speakers spoke quite favourably about the indispensability of the local government system in Nigeria, asking that greater autonomy for the councils should be enshrined in the ongoing constitution amendment by the National Assembly and suggested ways of making the councils more efficient to serve the people at the grassroots. The objectives of the conference was essentially to provide an organised and focused platform for the local government operators, stakeholders and opinion leaders to interface and critically examine the system in order to generate constructive input into the constitutional amendment process. The forum was also convened to clinically look at ways of rediscovering Nigeria’s local government system in the emerging constitution; to further deepen ALGON’s synergy with various opinion leaders, institutions and also to synthesise public opinion in a manner that would capture the attention of the policy and law making institutions. At the opening ceremony, chaired by Senator Ken Nnamani, the former Senate President noted that the constitution recognises the local government system with clearly defined roles that if properly managed and administered, would bring glory to the states and the governors. He said that the system is meant to be a partnership and not competition because it is the taproot of the democratic process. He, however, lamented that the local government system has become an anomaly, as there has not been elections into most councils since 1999, adding that most governors have taken advantage of the joint local government-state account to render the system ineffective. The ALGON President, Mr. Nwabueze Okafor, said that Enugu State appears to be a model of local government administration in Nigeria’s current dispensation as the system has been given free hands by the state government to function as prescribed by the constitution with regular elections. He observed that the local government is a tier that has direct access to the people where participatory democracy takes place, advocating that the system be

Participants at the 2012 ALGON General Meeting in Enugu last week cutting ALGON’s 13th anniverssary cake

IF WE AMEND OUR CONSTITUTION TO HAVE A GENUINE FEDERAL SYSTEM RATHER THAN THE NEAR UNITARY SYSTEM THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE, THEN

THERE WILL BE NO NEED TO ENSHRINE THE NUMBER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN THE CONSTITUTION strengthened for developmental purposes especially when it is realised that most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are in the purview of the grassroots. He urged state governments to hold regular elections to give the people opportunity to determine who leads them, so that they can hold such leaders accountable and posited that the local governments should be strengthened financially to carry out their statutory responsibilities to the people. The chief host and acting governor of Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi, in his contribution noted that the ALGON conference was important as it provided a platform for stakeholders to re-examine areas of concern for inclusion in the constitution review so as to strengthen intergovernmental relations in Nigeria. He emphasised that the local government system is a vital tool in the operation of federal system, urging for sustained and determined efforts to develop and strengthen the system. Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, carpeted Sanusi over his proposal for the scraping of the local government councils. Atiku rather made case for complete autonomy for the third tier system of government and criticised those calling for its scrapping. He also canvassed for devolution of powers to the local governments to enable them function effectively, noting that the system had not worked following the overbearing influence of the federal and state governments in their relationships with local administrations. Atiku said that local governments still lack reasonable autonomy to provide services and implement developmental projects for the local population in an efficient and timely manner. He stated that taking a

cue from the overbearing federal and state governments’ attitude in their relationships with local governments, many have been abusing the joint state-local government accounts by tampering with local government funds as reports and petitions made clear. He said: “The Federal Government is simply too distant to monitor what happens at that local level… The point is that even if the local government funds come directly from the Federal Government and without the mediation of the joint state-local government account, the dominant role of governors rather than party members in selecting candidates for local electoral offices will still not ensure autonomous, effective and responsive local government administration. “If we amend our constitution to have a genuine federal system rather than the near unitary system that we currently have, then there will be no need to enshrine the number of local governments in the constitution.” He also suggested self sufficiency in revenue generation of the council areas, maintaining that if proper taxes were generated from the sundry activities of the council administrations, it would go a long way in boosting the autonomy of the council areas. The governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, called for increased allocation to the councils, stressing that the current revenue allocation structure which has placed the councils at 20.60 per cent is grossly inadequate for them to execute meaningful development projects. He also advocated for a balance between autonomy and what is today presently obtained, saying that if financial autonomy is granted to the local governments, at least

eight out of 25 local government councils in his state for instance will not survive and that the joint account helps to subsidise poorer councils. He stated that the local governments are training grounds for leadership and therefore charged Nigerians not to play politics with it. Aliyu challenged local government chairmen to take states to court just like the states have taken the Federal Government to court on issues of inappropriate revenue allocation and deductions. The conference noted some constraints to the smooth running of local government administration in Nigeria to include: interference from state governors; lack of regular elections into local government councils; misuse of the joint state/local government account; controversial constitutional provisions and disrespect for rules and regulations and the constitution. The participants noted that there is a clear desire for fiscal autonomy for the local government system as part of the anticipated constitutional review. They also observed that paucity of funds and delay in releases are responsible for poor service delivery at the local governments, and noted that local governments have the capacity to manage their funds and run their affairs without interference but rather appropriate and proper oversight. In a communiqué issued at the end of the four-day event, the assembly resolved to use all legitimate means to ensure that Imo state government obey the court judgment; the constitution of ALGON was amended to accommodate the rotation of the office of National President between North and South; the tenure of the national president shall be a single term of three years; the BOT chairman shall not come from the same zone as the national president and shall serve a single term of three years; the BOT membership is increased to two representatives from each of the six geopolitical zones; other BOT members shall enjoy a tenure of three years, renewable for only one term; each local government shall pay a monthly subscription of N50, 000 and deductible at source from the federation account.


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Politics

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

W

hat many expected to be the climax of an epic battle between a former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni and his successor and incumbent governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi last week turned out to be an anti-climax, as the Supreme Court adjourned hearing in the appeal filed before it by Oni in his bid to upturn the Election Petition Appeal Tribunal which sacked him from office and declared Fayemi the governor on October 15, 2010. The apex court declined to hear the case and adjourned hearing to January 8, 2013, because it could not form the required quorum for sitting. The court argued that since the case was a constitutional one, it would be foolhardy for it to sit since only five justices were on ground instead of the mandatory seven. But the adjournment did not come until after two of the respondents, Fayemi and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), through their counsel, John Bayeshea, Femi Falana and Dayo Akinlaja, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) had told the apex court that Oni’s fate had been sealed by the Court of Appeal and therefore cannot reopen the case for his return to office. The trio described Oni’s application as a “subterfuge for appeal against the judgement of the Court of Appeal, adding: “It is humbly submitted that the appellants’ matter was not even presented under any enabling law. It did not also fall within the ambit of Order 19 Rule 4 of the Court of Appeal Rules. “We, therefore, humbly submit that the application of the appellants was farreaching and designed to ‘steal’ a show where it had woefully failed. The appellants have merely embarked on an effort to whip up sentiment to clothe their case with fundamental human rights issues, since they have nothing useful in law to use to convince your lordships. We humbly urge your lordships to answer our lone issue in the affirmative and to dismiss this appeal.” But Oni would hear nothing of such. Speaking through his counsel, Prof. Ben Nwabueze and Ladi Rotimi Williams (SANs), he insisted that he was a victim of bias in the whole process leading to his ouster. He said: “This appeal seeks to establish that where an issue of bias or likelihood of bias is raised, it bothers on the appellant’s right to fair hearing, which if found to have been denied, renders the proceeding and the judgement based thereon a nullity no matter how well conducted or written.” Other respondents were: the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); the Resident Electoral Officer, Ido Osi Local Government; the Returning Officer, Ijero Osi Local Government, the Inspector-General of Police and the police. The Appeal Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, presided over by the suspended President of the Appeal Court (PCA), Justice Ayo Salami, had removed Oni from office on October 15, 2010 and declared the candidate of the ACN and the incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi as the winner of the April 2007 governorship election and the re-run election of 2009. Oni had last year approached the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ado Ekiti for a review of the judgement that ousted him from office, following alleged closeness between Salami and the national leader of the

Fayemi

Oni

Ekiti: Fayemi, Oni’s unending battle OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU writes on the unending legal and verbal fireworks that have continued to characterise the Ekiti State governorship seat as the Supreme Court adjourned till January 8, 2013, hearing of the case instituted by former Governor Segun Oni for a review of the Court of Appeal judgement that ousted him in 2010.

THE SUPREME COURT ADJOURNMENT HAS SHIFTED FORWARD THE LEGAL FIREWORKS AND VERBAL ATTACKS EXPECTED TO EMANATE FROM THIS EPIC TUSSLE ACN, Bola Tinubu and the alleged conversation said to have transpired between the duo before and during the trial of the ACN petition to unseat former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola. The move had led to verbal vituperations from both sides of the divide, which had been the case since the rancorous and controversial April 2007 elections in the state, leading to series of legal tussles. They went through the election petition tribunal twice; Oni, who was declared winner of the 2007 election by the INEC, in the bid to cling to power and Fayemi, in the bid to reclaim what he called his stolen mandate – first after April 2007 and after the rerun election ordered by the Appeal Tribunal in 2009. They both also went through the Court of Appeal processes twice, before the appellate court finally put an end to the litigations by declaring Fayemi the validly elected governor in the election and the governorship rerun election in the state.

It was the expectation of all stakeholders in Ekiti that the verdict of the Appeal Tribunal would bring to an end the series of legal tussles over the coveted governorship seat which began in 2007, especially as the Appeal Court was the court of final jurisdiction in governorship election matters, before Section 246 (6) of the 1999 Constitution was amended, however, this was not to be, as Oni chose to break new grounds in the judicial history of the country. He headed back to the Appeal Court seeking a review of the court verdict that removed him from office. Oni’s grouse was the alleged cordiality between the suspended PCA, who presided over the panel that unseated him, and ACN chieftains. Despite his optimism, many political watchers did not see the possibility of such a review coming to the limelight, especially against the backdrop of the Appeal Court not reversing itself and many had tagged the former governor a bad loser, who was bent on shadow chasing. A panel of justices, led by Justices Tijani Abdullahi, and including M. O. Kekere-Ekun, Ismaya Mohammed and R.C. Agbo, heard the case and ruled against the former governor, saying that the case lacked merit. In the ruling, the justices said: “If there is any case of bias, Oni and the PDP ought to have raised objection against it before the Appeal Court in Ilorin.” They argued that the only issue for determination was whether the court could set aside the judgement and order fresh trial or whether it had jurisdiction to entertain the case. Citing instances where

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the court could reverse itself, the justices listed them specifically as if it had been “misled to deliver a ruling, if a judgement is given in the absence of jurisdiction, if the case is a nullity or obnoxious, or if the court is misled to accept certain facts or evidences.” Oni and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through Nwabueze (SAN) had on March 14, 2011, filed the application seeking among other reliefs, “an order to set aside the judgement of the Justice Salamiled Election Appeal Tribunal, and a retrial of the case; “An order setting aside the October 15, 2010 judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal in Ilorin, Kwara State; “An order compelling the President of the Court of Appeal to set up a new Appeal Court Panel to start the case de novo; among others. Hailing the ruling of the Appeal Court, Fayemi said that it was high time the judiciary put in place a mechanism that “will prevent the likes of jobless busy-bodies like Oni and his cohorts in the PDP from dragging the judiciary in the mud with frivolous petitions”. Fayemi added: “We welcome the decision of the justices of the Appeal Court. It is victory for commonsense and the rule of law. But that case ought not to have come before the Lord Justices in the first place, but we thank the justices for not allowing the judiciary to be dragged in the mud.” Oni, immediately proceeded to the Supreme Court, saying that the Appeal Court was wrong to have dismissed his case. In his appeal, Oni had raised five grounds why he was challenging the ruling of the Appeal Court, including: that the appellate court erred in law when it held that the allegation of bias or likelihood of bias ought to be raised in the course of the proceeding before judgement and not after; that the learned justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they refused to assume jurisdiction to grant the applicant’s motion on the basis that the Court of Appeal had determined the matter to finality in the following terms “in cases of established bias, this court has consistently refused to review its earlier judgement.” He therefore sought an order of the Supreme Court, setting aside the February 27, 2012 judgement, and the judgement of the Court of Appeal in Ilorin delivered on October 15, 2010, nullifying his election as the governor of Ekiti State. Immediately after Oni filed his appeal at the apex court, the ACN, speaking through its Director of Media and Publicity Chief Tai Oguntayo, said that Oni’s recourse to the Supreme Court was an exercise in futility since the Court of Appeal was the final bus stop in the governorship election petitions as at October 15, 2010 when the matter was decided in favour of Fayemi. The party added that Oni’s suit at the apex court was a revelation of his “pernicious intent to railroad the Nigerian judiciary into a perilous voyage of self-destruct driven to its ludicrous apogee,” adding that hearing Oni’s case would amount to extending the circus show which he started at the Court of Appeal to the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court adjournment has shifted forward the legal fireworks and verbal attacks expected to emanate from this epic tussle. In the next one month, the apex court will ultimately put a final seal to the suit.


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Editorial

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

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STEVE AYORINDE

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MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

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ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

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SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

„

SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

„

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

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CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

„

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

„

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

FG–SMEs partnership on job creation

igeria is currently under the throes of youths’ joblessness. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2011 report, over 67 million youths are unemployed. When the figure is added to the number of people reeling under chronic underemployment, and the pervasive insecurity nationwide, the near apocalyptic situation in the country will, perhaps, be better appreciated. Given the palpable time bomb on the nation’s hands, any measure packaged by the Federal Government to arrest unemployment draws special public attention, like the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga’s recent remark in Lagos that the FG is partnering with the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to boost wealth and job creation in the country, has done. According to Aganga, SMEs are the best vehicles for inclusive growth in any nation’s economy. “If Nigeria is to achieve a 10 percent growth rate in the next decade, it needs strong micro, small and medium enterprises”, he said, claiming, in additionw that the FG had formulated the right policies for the sector to achieve sustainable growth. We must point out, however,

FG HAS MORE THAN ENOUGH GOOD POLICIES AT ITS DISPOSAL.

NIGERIANS WANT RESULTS that nothing seems ingenious and exciting in Aganga’s statements. The beneficial interventionist roles of SMEs in the country’s quest for sustainable economic development were identified over 30 years ago; and this partly informed the establishment of the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) in 1989. The Fund was set up essentially to provide the needed medium to long term financing for viable small and medium scale enterprises to enable them bring about a quantum leap in the production of goods and services. Indeed, the projection had been that by expanding the production base of SMEs, the nation would not only have enough home-made products for local consumption, but extra for export. Inherent in the bargain was the creation of more job opportunities and related multiplier effects. The Olusegun Obasanjo civilian

administration also floated the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in 2003 as its own contribution to the FG’s effort to revive the sector. That a seriously depressed economy like Nigeria’s urgently requires a vibrant SMEs sector to assist in arresting growing despondency and restiveness through massive job creation is merely stating the obvious. Reports show that SMEs represent over 99 percent of private sector companies in most countries and employ over 50 per cent of all private sector workers. This will help explain their broad recognition as engines of job creation, economic growth and innovation. Agreed, the present administration is strategically in order in its initiative to use SMEs as the lynchpin of its blue print to regenerate the economy and create jobs. President Goodluck Jonathan had expressed what appeared a serious concern over the unemployment situation in the country. His administration had also rolled out policies purportedly meant to ameliorate the situation, like YouWin (Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria), a very ambitious project aimed at creating

between 80,000 and 110,000 quality jobs over the next four years, YouWin, if well funded and executed as promised, might just be what Nigeria needed to get out of the grinding unemployment trap. Also on ground is the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), another interventionist measure whose impact has been felt more on the pages of newspapers, radio and television. Despite all FG’s glittering measures in this direction are the problems of poor, misdirected, and most times, corrupt policy implementation. The National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), now dogged by allegations of corruption, frauds, trade-offs and sundry sharp practices, is a good example. Other similar ones include plots to diminish the importance of the Manitoba power contract; and the government’s abracadabra policies on petroleum products’ pricing. Indeed, how can SMEs thrive with epileptic, very costly electricity supply and price of fuel on the roof-top? Our point is that the FG has more than enough good policies at its disposal. Nigerians want results. They have been patiently waiting!

ON THIS DAY December 5, 2007 Westroads Mall massacre: A gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at an Omaha, Nebraska, United States mall, killing eight people before taking his own life. Nineteen-year-old Robert A. Hawkins killed nine people (including himself) and wounded four, two of them critically. It was the deadliest shooting spree in Nebraska since the rampage of Charles Starkweather in 1958. The Westroads Mall, the scene of the shooting, housed the Von Maur department store in Omaha.

December 5, 1977 Egypt broke diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and South Yemen. The move was in retaliation for the Declaration of Tripoli against Egypt, an official pledge to “freeze” relations with the Egyptian Government. President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt had broken all relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria and South Yemen. He also ordered their diplomats to leave Egypt within 24 hours and recalled his envoys from the countries.

December 5, 1945 Flight 19 was lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Flight 19 was the designation of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared on December 5, 1945 during a United States Navy overwater navigation training flight from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All 14 airmen on the flight were lost, as were all 13 crew members of a PBM Mariner flying boat assumed by professional investigators to have exploded in mid-air while searching for the flight.


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Views

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

17

Jonathan, Sanusi and prevailing national realities PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

P

resident Goodluck Jonathan has always insisted that the country is safe in spite of the security challenges confronting his government. The President’s comment has drawn outrage and it is being viewed as unresponsive to the current realities in Nigeria. Why would the President consider the country safe amidst the recurring attacks by gunmen, especially in the northern part of the country? Last week, the complex of the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force, Abuja was attacked by gunmen; two police officers were killed and suspected robbers and other criminals released from its detention centre. Similarly, there was attack by gunmen on a protestant church at the Jaji military cantonment. This attack has led to the transfer of the Commandant of the Command and Staff College, Jaji. Boko Haram was reported in the media this week to have killed 10 people in Bornu State. The Joint Task Force (JTF), has though reportedly be seizing arms and ammunition of the militant Islamic sect, its daring attacks across the North have

remained unabated. The President could not possibly be right that the country is safe with increasing armed robbery cases in the South West, kidnapping in the South East and terror in the North. It is regrettable that the President is under estimating the degree of security deficit in the country. The former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, was recently reported to have said that Boko Haram is ahead of the security forces intelligent wise and even more sophisticated in deployment of logistics. The Boko Haram phenomenon has become intricate and will require more creative thinking to deal with. The Presidency has disclosed that a new Banquet Hall is required at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. If the existing Banquet Hall was built in 2003, it is amazing that the Presidency is contemplating a new one for N 2.2 billion. How would the Presidency defend this proposed spending amidst massive poverty, unemployment, social infrastructure collapse, housing deficit, security deficit, massive political corruption and sense of hopelessness of the populace? The leadership betrays arrogance, frivolous spending and insensitive to the material conditions of Nigerian peasants, urban poor, workers, students and artisans. The Presidency is placing our nascent democracy at risk through its incompetence, prevarication on dealing with corruption, mal governance and poor vision of what to do with political power.

THE PRESIDENCY IS PLACING OUR NASCENT DEMOCRACY AT RISK THROUGH

ITS INCOMPETENCE, PREVARICATION ON DEALING WITH

CORRUPTION, MAL GOVERNANCE AND POOR VISION The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, recently at a retreat on capital market held in Warri, Delta State asked the government to reduce the size of the bureaucracy by half. He had been critical of the high cost component of recurrent expenditure as against capital expenditure. He insisted that the personnel cost of the National Assembly members, the executive and the civil service was a major leakage on the country’s resources, which denies the country of critical capital investments. The cost of government has been a major issue in public discourse and still relevant. The cost of government is extremely high and counterproductive. The suggestion for a single chamber parliament was raised against this backdrop. Similarly, there had been unofficial probes of the Presidency and

its huge cost. The CBN Governor’s suggestion, however, on 50 percent reduction of the work force did not consider the social fall-out of massive retrenchment. How would a government that fails to create job, retrench a huge percentage of the work force? The CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, did not bear in mind the overhead cost component of recurrent expenditure and its vulnerability to corruption. The Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, in a telephone interview on the Ultimate Morning Show on Ray Power FM this week, described the 2013 overhead cost components of certain federal ministries to include huge allocations to local and foreign travels, sitting allowance, honoraria, car maintenance, etc. These components are often exaggerated for personal gains and often exceeding personnel cost. The Nigerian crises have assumed different dimensions, but still unresolved. It is imperative to discuss these crises and negotiate the terms of a new political architecture. The foregoing analyses suggest that the current political superstructure is dysfunctional and the country needs new perspectives on how to address the several crises of the polity. How long would the governing elite in Nigeria deny the realities and concede to urgent imperatives to majorly restructure the country’s political economy?

The Faira story HANNATU MUSAWA

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y name is Faira and I’m a 23-year-old mother of three beautiful children living with AIDS! It was difficult to hear myself say these words. Even when I saw the evidence on my skin and felt it in my body, the thought that I was the latest casualty claimed by this monstrous disease was hard to comprehend. I have had AIDS for eight years. At least, that’s what I think, but I have only known about it for two years. At the time I found out I had AIDS, I knew little about it. I did, however, know that it carried with it a taboo like no other. Whenever we hear about a young woman with AIDS, the first thought is that she must be indecent, but it’s not true. I have always been a decent and obedient child and I have never done anything that would bring embarrassment to my family; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I grew up in a relatively poor family and was the only girl out of eight children. I never had a chance to go to school. My father and mother produced seven boys with me emerging as the last-born. My father was a cook and my mother a housewife. We couldn’t afford basic things; even feeding the fam-

THE VERY MINUTE HE LOCKED HIS EYES ON

ME, HE SEEMED TO BE IN SOME SORT OF A

TRANCE.

HE STARED AT ME AND WHEN I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE, I DECIDED TO BOLT, BRAVE THE RAIN AND RAN HOME ily was difficult for my father. He often had to bring home leftover food from his workplace for us to be able to eat. My mother used to say that what she lacked in material-possession God gave her in beauty-possession. Yes, Beauty-possession – that’s what she called me. Apparently, I was beautiful. My mother used to say so, my brothers were irritated by it, my neighbors reveled on it, and practically everyone I met celebrated it. Whenever I went to the market, people would stare at me or tell me how beautiful they thought I was. It was never something that ap-

pealed to me. I never saw it as an asset that was to better my life in any way. As a matter of fact, I always had a feeling in my gut that what people perceived as my beauty attracted more trouble than it was worth. At no other point in my life was I more correct about that than when my future husband first laid eyes on me! I remember that day quite clearly because it was a dreary day complete with rain, thunder and lightning. On my way back home from an errand for my mother, I ran into a suya hut to escape the rain and it was there I saw him or, rather, he saw me. The very minute he locked his eyes on me, he seemed to be in some sort of a trance. He stared at me and when I couldn’t take it anymore, I decided to bolt, brave the rain and ran home. As I was running, I could hear the ignition of a car start. Not wanting to confirm that I was the reason the car was starting or whether it was following me, I sprinted home as fast as I could and hid behind a bunch of boxes till I heard nothing. It must have been about two days after that incident that my parents called me. And as I walked in, lo and behold, there he was - the same man that had stared at me in the suya hut. “Congratulations,” my father said, “you are to be

married to Mr. Raj next week Friday”. “What,” I thought, “Mr Raj? I don’t even know him, I don’t want to get married now.” But I knew better than to voice out my feelings. My thoughts and my desires had no place in the decisions that my father makes for me. I quickly retreated to our second bedroom and proceeded to bawl my eyes out. After some time, my mother came into the room to console me: “Please don’t cry”, she pleaded. “He’s very, very rich, he’s a businessman and will help all of us. You will be important, maybe even be a first lady one day… You just have to make this sacrifice for all of us.” Through bloodshot eyes I looked at my mother and nodded. I knew when I was defeated. To be continued Musawa, a lawyer, lecturer, columnist and human and women’s rights activist, lives in London Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Mail Mirror

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

How not to review a nation’s constitution

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Bombing of banks in Edo State

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re the police winning the war against high profile crimes in the country? The Auchi incident in which three banks were bombed and their ATM machines ransacked and other similar incidents in Sagamu, Ogun State and elsewhere are a pointer to the sophistication of the weapons at the disposal of these evil men in the society. The Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar is trying, he should try more. First, he has to clean the police’s Aegean stable. There could be people out there ready to tarnish his image, he must move against them. In states where we have high incidents of bank robberies and other deadly criminalities, the commissioners of police, the area commanders and DPOs should come under close scrutiny. Once in this country, one George Iyamu, in police uniform, helped to build the invincibility round Anini through logistic support until the myth was imploded by Parry Osayande, now chairman of the Police Service Commission. There are still many moles in the police force. They aid and abet the robbers. Johnbull Agbontaen, Benin City, Edo State

Endless INEC’s voter’s card ‘reform’

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rofessor Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), must walk the talk this time around on the issue of ‘permanent voter’s card’. He had just last Wednesday hinted of the readiness of the Commission to issue new electronic voter’s card with a life span of 10 years. As noble as this novelty appears, there are hindrances that needed to be taken care of. For example, will the new voter’s card accommodate likely relocation from one part of the country to another before the 10 year span lapses? I think this innovation would reduce waste in the management of electoral issues in this country. I advise that the template be perfected before we take the plunge. Godwin Ishiwu, Anambra State

Onitsha,

Water is life. Just as the source of life is water, Children of flood victims fetching water at Adankolo Camp Lokoja, in Kogi State. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO

Leave Sanusi alone

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igerians love darkness, which is why they have remained silent over the inefficiency of PHCN to make electricity available round the clock. Since darkness is synonymous with evil, this culture of silence in the face of oppression and privations has taken firm root in the nation’s life. However, there are still few bold Nigerians who would make their position on issues known. Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is one of the few bold Nigerians

still around. He takes positions on issues the way he sees them. He was one of the few Nigerians who drew a positive correlation between poverty in the North and insecurity. He was almost crucified by those who think that only they know the causes of the ills of the country. Before then, he stunned the nation when he ordered the release of N100 million to Kano State government to assist it rehabilitate social infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram. Many Nigerians cried blue murder for his audacity. Remember he also

exposed the National Assembly, which he accused of spending 25 percent of the annual federal budget to service itself. The federal lawmakers ranted and covertly moved against him and attempted to whittle down the power of the CBN governor. The latest is his position on the over bloated national bureaucracy. The CBN governor has recommended a pruning down process that would see many civil servants out of job, but before he had settled down after the statement, the labour dogs

started baying and after his hides. All the labour big wigs have railed him to no end and his sack was recommended. Have we forgotten that there is freedom of expression in this country and that the CBN governor has the inalienable right to take a position on national issues? The reaction of labour leaders to his statement is also an exercise of that right. It is intolerance that drives a man to want to crucify another man for speaking out his mind. We should leave Sanusi alone. Andrew Abuja

Agboka,

New Presidential Banquet Hall is not a priority

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read with dismay a news item in page two of yesterday’s edition of National Mirror under the headline: FEC approves N2.2bn for new Presidential Banquet Hall. The reason given for this, quoting the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Muhammad, is that “We notice that it is not convenient, it is not in tandem with what is outside the country. Smaller countries have better Banquet Halls near the Presidential residence”. If our leaders feel comfortable to look up

Letters to the Editor

to the best in other clime and replicate them here in Nigeria, let us go the whole hog. The first place to start is the quality of governance. That Nigeria is what she is today, the poorest of the poor countries of the world where corruption is a pop culture and governors, ministers, lawmakers and local government council chairmen rape the nation blue is because the right policies and programmes are not implemented. This is a fall out of the fact that the right people are never elected into offices. Nigerians love good

governance, how will they get it? I do not know how a Banquet Hall could be a priority in a country that is going through excruciating economic paralysis and where okada has become the most popular means of transportation and where the majority of the youth are unemployed or under employed. Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (Sure-P) is underfunded; N2.2 billion spent on a cottage industry would have multiplier effects and thus boost the economy.

President Goodluck Jonathan must demonstrate the empathy with poor Nigerians, he should be seen to be making sacrifices, and one way to show this is to manage with what is already in existence. No president before him complained of the Banquet Hall inadequacy. When the objective material positions of Nigerians improve, may be a new Presidential Banquet Hall could come up for consideration. For now let us KIV it. James Agu, Jos, Plateau State

he new pet project of the National Assembly is the review of the 1999 Constitution. A piece meal amendment of the nation’s grundnorm is the preference of both the Presidency and the National Assembly, while the popular option among Nigerians is the convocation of a sovereign national conference. Methodology of review apart, the most disturbing aspect of the entire exercise is the extreme polarity in the positions of the North and South on fundamental items that would make the difference in the governance of the country. The two geopolitical blocs are not agreed on state police, revenue allocation, tenure of the president etc. A serious political engineering process would have provided allowances for exhaustive debate of the core issues that are at the heart of the national question. Herein lies the superiority of SNC over the ad hoc committee of the NASS that is currently handling the exercise. An SNC would have allowed a robust debate, disagreements and negotiation. Yes, it is true we have always had rancorous constitutional conferences in the past where political jingoism ran freely, demagoguery was seen as statesmanship and a little bit of muscle flexing applied to bend others, Nigeria has been better for it. The current exercise is too one sided and elitist. It is not too difficult to predict its outcome: farcical patching job that will soon go unstuck. Comrade Igbuan Ayo, Owo, Ondo State

President Jonathan

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


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Health & Wellbeing Nigeria’s Amazigo wins prestigious Prince Mahidol Award

UCH celebrates Tony Anenih

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HIV/AIDS: Not so good news from Nigeria

Nigerian celebrities join HIV/AIDS campaign on World AIDS Day

SAM EFERARO

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t a time the world is celebrating the continuous decline of HIV/ AIDS pandemic in many countries, Nigeria has been rated among countries with no significant reduction in the number of people dying from AIDS related causes. As the 2012 World AIDS Day was marked globally weekend, statistics from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, (UNAIDS) , National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) show that while incidence rate of HIV infection among adults 15–49 years old, remained ‘stable’ with a prevalence rate of 4.1% down from the 4.6% prevalence in 2008, Nigeria has the second highest number of people living with HIV/

AIDS – 3,459,363 in the world. It has also been reported that no fewer than 217,148 AIDS-related deaths are recorded annually in the country while an estimated 1000 new HIV infections occur daily. New HIV cases recorded in 2012 has been estimated at 388,864. Prevention of Mother to child transmission (PMTCT) coverage still remains low with only 1,120,178 (16.9%) pregnant women counselled and tested for HIV and receiving their results in 2011. Also According to Dr. Oliver C. Ezechi of NIMR Clinical Sciences Division, only 17.6% of the HIV-infected pregnant women received antiretroviral in 2011. The government however believes the nation has made some progress in its HIV/AIDS programme since the scourge was first discovered in the country by the NIMR in 1986.

AIDS orphan on the march in Yola, Adamawa State on World AIDS Day

For instance, Dr. Ezechi disclosed in his presentation at the NIMR World AIDS Day symposium that no fewer than 2,056,578. sexually active adults accessed HIV counselling and testing between Jan - December 2011. The number of HIV counselling and testing sites had also increased by 21.6% from 1046 sites in 2010 to 1357 in 2011. Although Prevention of Mother to child transmission still remains very low, he disclosed that more pregnant women, now have access to the PMTCT programme. NACA Director General Professor John Idoko, at a pre-World AIDS Day conference organized by the agency Abuja, however admitted the huge gaps in the

MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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NACA DG, Prof John Idoko

nation’s response to HIV control. It is estimated that only about 500,000 people with HIV/AIDS are currently on antiretroviral and the nation still needs to provide for about 1.5 million others. Funding has also remained a major problem. Currently, a large proportion of the supplies for HIV care including ARVs and laboratory supplies are provided by donors. Indeed, the United States President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) alone provides for the treatment of a total 489,538 people living with AIDS and the agency plans to commence a gradual withdrawal of funds from 2015. But the HIV/AIDS picture is brighter CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

... Jonathan promises better commitment ABUJA

UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe

Photo: NAN

resident Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to increase government’s contribution to an estimated 700 billion required to fund the National Strategic Plan (2010 - 2015), which will move the nation closer to achieving Universal Access to HIV services. Admitting that the government currently provides only 25 per cent of total fund expended on the disease in the country the president promised there would be an increase to 50 per cent by 2015 while 80 per cent of all people living with the disease in the country would

have access to lifesaving treatment. Jonathan, who was represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, said there were huge gaps in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV testing, of which Nigeria has highest global burden of 30 per cent with about 70,000 children born yearly in Nigeria with the disease. According to him, “Over a million people living, many of who do not know their status for fear of being stigmatized, require treatment. Most of those currently on treatment are being supported by doCONTINUED ON PAGE 20


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

... Jonathan promises better commitment CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 nor funds. In the light of evidence that treatment does not only save lives but also a potent weapon for prevention, it is

President Jonathan

imperative that more investment is made on HIV treatment… “Government recognizes that HIV is a significant threat to sustainable development and a huge amount of resources would be required to effectively combat the epidemic. He therefore called on the private sector in the country to partner the government in making funds available for combating the disease. In his remark, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof John Idoko noted that “government funding of the HIV response had increased over time from 4.7 per cent of the total expenditure in 2007 to 25.2 per cent in 2010. However, the government expenditure on treatment dropped to 20.1 per cent in 2010 compared to the 74.1 per cent spent on treatment by the government in 2007. Approximately, 215,000 died from HIV/ AIDS in 2010,” Idoko said. He called on the Federal Government to increase annual budget for health to 15 per cent of the total annual budget as

HIV/AIDS: Not so good news from Nigeria CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 to mark the World AIDS Day listed some African countries globally. In the Sub-Saharan that recorded significant reducAfrica region, for instance, UN- tion in the rate of new HIV inAIDS reported a decline in new fection. HIV infections and AIDS-relat“In some of the countries ed deaths. In 2011, there were an which have the highest HIV estimated 1.8 million new HIV prevalence in the world, rates infections in the region, com- of new HIV infections have pared to 2.4 million new infec- been cut dramatically since tions in 2001— a 25% decline. 2001; by 73% in Malawi, 71% Also, between 2005 and 2011, in Botswana, 68% in Namibia, the number of people dying 58% in Zambia, 50% in Zimbafrom AIDS-related causes in bwe and 41% in South Africa in the region declined by 32%, and Swaziland.” from an estimated 1.8 million The UNAIDS report also reto 1.2. vealed that countries are inThe number of tuberculo- creasing investments in the sis (TB)-related deaths among AIDS response despite a diffipeople living with HIV in the cult economic climate. Hopefulregion has also fallen by 28% ly Nigeria will be sited as one of UNAIDS Executive Director, such countries when the world Michel Sidibé, in a press release marks the 2013 World AIDS Day..

a panacea to ills besetting the sector. Idoko specifically urged the government to deduct one per cent of MDA budgets at source to special public sector HIV/AIDS account; establish National HIV/AIDS Fund (NAHAF) to be managed by the private sector as an exit strategy for reducing donor funds. In an address, National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/ AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), Mr Edward Ogenyi decried stigmatization and discrimination against persons living with the disease in Nigeria. Ogenyi, who was represented by his Deputy, Isah Danssallah called for quick passage of the Anti-Stigma Bill currently at the National Assembly. He frowned at inadequate funding of HIV and lack of care for people living with the disease in the country. Chairman, House Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (ATM), Dr Haruna Kigbu promised the Anti-Stigma Bill which has passed through First Reading at the House of Representatives would be committed to the Committee by the middle of this month. He called for private sector’s partnership in funding the fight against the disease. Between 2011 and 2015, global focus

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Prof. Chukwu, Health Minister

is on zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths, while the theme for this year’s celebration is “Resourcing the National Response Towards… Getting to ZeroAIDS Related Deaths.

HIV/AIDS at a glance

Nigeria: • HIV Prevalence Rate (%): 4.1% • Population living with HIV/AIDS: 310,322 • Adult > 15 years: 243,430

• Children < 15 years: 67,190 • No. of people in need of ARV: 1.5 million • Number currently On ARV : 359,181 • Nigeria contributes 32% to the world gap in achieving a global target of eradicating MTCT. • Most sexual encounters and most HIV transmissions are between cohabiting partners • 62% of men and 80% of women are in a sexual union • Nigeria is one of the 22 countries with the highest burden of disease from TB, where >85% of the global TB burdens are found, since the 1990s Global Overview • The rate of new HIV infections has been reduced by more than 50% among adults (15-49 years) in 25 countries between 2001 and 2011

• New HIV infections: 2.5 million • Current prevalence rate: 34 million • In 2011, 1.7 million people worldwide died from AIDSrelated causes, down 24% from the peak in 2005 • Number of people acquiring HIV infection in 2011 was 20% lower than in 2001. • In the three years 2009 to 2011, there was a 24% drop (409 000) in the no of children acquiring HIV infection in lowand middle-income countries. • HIV treatment coverage for children globally continue to remain low at 28% compared to 68% for women and 47% for men in low-and middle-income countries. • No of people on antiretroviral drugs: 8 million • No of People eligible for HIV treatment: 14.8 million.

Osotimehin calls for more attention to mother and child health

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igerian –born Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) described as a tireless advocate of female rights at the weekly half-hour magazine programme on CNN International “African Voices”, has called for more attention to mother and child healthcare while sharing his experience with the CNN’s correspondent, Aisha Sesay on his work at the United Nation Agency that promotes health and equal opportunity for women and children around the world. Osotimehin said during the interview that his passion is to make every woman essence count in the world focusing on women and children’s health in developing

countries. “These women are most vulnerable in their exposure to dangerous diseases and all manners of poverty-related situations. This propelled me to venture into this journey of gender equality and reducing poverty; helping hundreds of millions in developing countries”, he added. Osotimehin who started his career as a doctor in Ogun State and later as Nigeria’s Minister of Health emphasized that ““We need to ensure that young people of both genders have equal participation, not only in reproductive rights and health but also within society and in the economy. Nearly 58 percent of Nigerians with HIV are female. Many girls in Nigeria are married off before

they are physically or psychologically ready, when they are as young as 13 or 14. It is not acceptable for them to ask their partners to use a condom or to refrain from sex, hence the need for this gender to be saved from this predicament”. He expressed his belief on how to relate with women from different part of the world “I believe humility is the key to engaging people and facilitating change, humility to engage with the other person of the other community in such a way that they know that you respect them. Cultural sensitivity and understanding are also vital in making sure that your efforts are appreciated and most especially accepted by the people we target”.


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Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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UCH celebrates Tony Anenih Names geriatric centre after him KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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or the old and young ones within Ibadan, the Oyo State capital and outside the state, penultimate Saturday will be a day that will not be forgotten for a long time to come as they converged at the University College Hospital (UCH) for the official commissioning of Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre. Indeed it was a parade of who is who that came to felicitate with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and former Minister of Works that the centre was named after. The list of dignitaries include wife of the former Oyo State governor, Chief (Mrs.) Oluwakemi Alao-Akala; royal entourage from Edo State; Brig-General Raji Rasaki; Dr. Saka Balogun and Oyo PDP Chairman, Hon. Yinka Taiwo. With the lawn court of the centre adorned with beautiful canopies for the dignitaries, the scorching sun could not deter the array of dignitaries to be part of the epoch-making ceremony with the visitors to the tertiary hospital awed by the various magnificent cars by the dignitaries. The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Temitope Alonge, a renowned medical practitioner while taking the guests through the nitty-gritty of medical profession, said geriatric as a sub-specialty of internal medicine deal

with taking care of the elderly people. According to him, with their training, geriatricians are able to distinguish between diseases in reality and the effects of normal aging in the elderly, maintaining that they are there to assist with the unwanted effects of aging on the body. Prof. Alonge who explained that aging is a process that comes with a decrease in the physiological reserves in all the organs of the body and bringing health challenges that include dehydration, insisted that the key concerns of the geriatrician regarding his patients are functional ability, independence and the quality of life. He said, “ He (geriatrician ) will have to come to terms with the so-called geriatric giants which are the major categories of impairment that appear in elderly people, especially as they become frail and begin to fail. These giants include immobility, instability, and impaired intellect or memory. “ Other common problems that impact the life of the elderly include visual impairment and hearing loss which can lead to social isolation, depression and dependence on other people to talk to other people or receive information over the telephone. In addition, visual impairment along with one of the giants (instability) increase the incidence of falls in the elderly with the attendant consequences – head injury, fractures and sometimes death. One other factor that merits mention is the large number of co-morbidities that trail the

Chief (Mrs) Alao-Akala, Prof. Chukwu, Chief Anenih, Professor (Mrs) Dora Akunyili and Prof. Alonge unveiling the plaque at the commissioning of Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre, UCH, Ibadan at the weekend.

elderly such that they are on medications for various ailments. Polypharmacy has become an emerging challenge as drugdrug interactions are rife with the use of multiple drugs for multiple ailments that are common place in the elderly. “ The CMD while noting that health care has become expensive in the world, stated that the resolve of the management of the hospital to be part of the global practice led to the submission of a proposal to the Federal Government in the 2011 capital subvention for the construction of a geriatric centre in the first teaching hospital in the country. His words, “ In line with the Federal Government policy of partnership with corporate bodies and individuals to as-

sist the government in providing affordable health for her citizenry, I sought permission from and obtained same from the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to engage individuals and corporate bodies to endow some of the buildings with the sole aim of making these sites functional as the endowment will include furnishing, equipping and rehabilitation in some instances. “ Today, the first purpose-built geriatric center in a tertiary health institution in Nigeria, is the first to be endowed and the endower, Chief Tony Anenih, has provided fund that has been deployed to providing the needed medical equipment, furniture and medical consumables for the center.

Nigeria’s Amazigo wins prestigious Prince Mahidol Award PAUL EJIME

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he popular saying that Goldfish has no hiding place aptly summaries the story of Dr. Uche Amazigo, Nigeria’s renowned scientist, former senior lecturer and public health specialist who has continued to win laurels for her outstanding contribution to solutions on global public health problems. The latest feather to Dr. Amazigo’s rich hat is the prestigious Prince Mahidol Award 2012, for playing a crucial role behind the successful Community-Directed Treatment with Ivermectin (CDTI) strategy used by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the control of Onchocerciasis. Onchocerciasis or River blindness is a major cause of blindness and skin disease with unrelenting itching, in many African countries. The success of the CDTI approach, results from linking research and management strategies and empowering communities to fully participate and assume ownership of their health care delivery system. As a leading figure in the introduction and application of CDTI, which is also known as the CommunityDirected Intervention (CDI) Strategy in the treatment and control of diseases, Dr. Amazigo’s research in 1990 provided the scientific basis for the establishment of the WHO’s African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (WHO/APOC), with headquarters in Burkina Faso. This unique programme has always been run by Africans for Africans, the disease having plagued the continent for centuries. Dr. Amazigo, described as a scientist with a large heart for the poor, is instrumental to the success of the control of the disease and in strengthening community health system in140,000 communities in 16 of the 19 countries covered by WHO/APOC

Dr. Amazigo

Although community-directed treatment was introduced as a strategy to increase coverage and access to a drug for river blindness control, the strategy has had tremendous impacts on the control of other diseases and essential healthcare services in Africa. It is estimated that this strategy she defended and devoted almost two decades working with the rural poor to scale up, has also benefited over 11 million people in Africa in malaria control and another 37 million people from other types of diseases. Having worked within WHO/APOC management since inception in 1996, Dr. Amazigo became the programme’s first female director in 2005 and steered it successfully for almost six years. She retired in April 2011, capping a long and distinguished career of service to poor hardto-reach African communities. During her leadership, the successes of APOC’s operations saw the focus on the fight against Onchocerciasis move from control to ac-

tual elimination of the disease with the Onchocerciasis control programme widely recognized as being the most successful and innovative public health campaign in the world. A total of 75 medical personnel and scientists from 34 countries across the world, were nominated this year for the Prince Mahidol Awards. Dr. Amazigo, a recipient of the distinguished Medal of “Knight of the National Order of Burkina Faso” in 2011, clinched the coveted prize in the public health category, while Britain’s Sir Michael David Rawlins, chairman of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), is winner in the field of medicine. The Awards are given by the Thai Royal Family annually for outstanding achievements in medicine and public health worldwide and each awardee, receives a US$100,000 cash prize. Typical of her modesty and unassuming character, Dr. Amazigo, says she is humbled by the Award, which she is receiving on behalf of African communities, Merck & Co. Inc., for donating Ivermectin for the treatment of River Blindness control for as long as needed, Governments, APOC Management, WHO, World Bank, APOC donors, NGDOs, Research Institutions, and her family. “The money from the Award will be used to expand the philosophy of CDI - community-directed school health and feeding programme in resource poor settings in Nigeria,” she affirmed. Dr. Amazigo and Sir Michael will receive their awards at a ceremony in Thailand in January 2013. Meanwhile, accolades have been pouring in congratulating and celebrating Dr. Amazigo for her latest laurel, including from Nigeria’s Health Minister, Prof. C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu. Ejime wrote from Abuja


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FG urged to do more for LUTH STORIES BY L ATEEFAH IBRAHIM-ANIMASHAUN

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he Federal Government has been urged to intensify its effort in supporting the Lagos University Teaching Hospital to achieve complex, specialized care and leadership in providing good health care service delivery to Nigerians. With more supports from the government as the main financier of the hospital, it has been said that the hospital will be able to produce more Medical practitioners in addition to the 4, 624 medical doctors and 702 dental surgeons it has produced in the past in collaboration with the College of Medicine University of Lagos.

This was disclosed by the Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof Akin Osibogun while speaking at the 50th anniversary lecture of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital recently. He said the hospital runs other health manpower development programmes and its training programmes which have graduated to date 3, 819 qualified nurses, 1,373 Medical laboratory scientists, 1,679 Midwives, 108 Medical Social Workers, 2, 607 Post Basic Nurses, 1,021 Health Information Officers and 12 Basic Dental Nurses. Meanwhile the Governor of Lagos state, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola stated that there is problem of

population in Lagos as to health care delivery in the state as he expressed that the state cannot discriminate in the provision of health services. “The health challenges of a megacity in Lagos are related to water and power supply, environmental sanitation, violence and injury, disasters which are risk factors for disease outbreaks and communicable diseases (NCDs), harmful use of alcohol, tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity”. He mentioned the associated risk factors of megacity to include industrialization, time pressures, availability of technology for passive recreation, the “fast foods” phenomenon and relative-

ly sedentary “white collar jobs”. He lamented that the allocation of resources has been disproportionately titled in favour of the federal government at the expense of the state and the local governments which bear the greater health needs of the citizenry. He said the Lagos state government has instituted some bodies like Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation A g e n c y ( H E FA M A A ) , blood transfusion committee, Task Force on counterfeit , fake Drugs and Unwholesome processed foods and Quality Control laboratory to ensure quality assurance and quality improvement measures on the health sector in the state.

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Nutricima hosts Lagosians to free music, health checks

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he home science estate, Alakuko in Alagbado area of Lagos was agog last weekend as Nutricima Limited thrilled its residents with a combination of music, dance and free medical check-up. The programme was part of the Yo! Community Health Check which has been circulating several different communities in Lagos. Residents of the estate turned out en-mass for the free health check, which was preceded by entertainment provided by a dancetroupe that went round the estate to reinforce announcements to arouse residents to come for free health checks. At a point, residents joined them and took advantage of the dancing exercise to queue for the Yo! free Community Health Check. Assistant Brand Manager, Yo! Yoghurt, Ayowande

Smith expressed joy at being able to touch the lives of people positively as he joined in the cordiality provided by the occasion. He noted that “residents have commended Nutricima Limited on the initiative of bringing to the them the platform where they could engage in healthy exercises as well as receiving free health services and consultations.” According to a teacher, Adekunle Oluwatosin who turned out to outwit others on the dancing floor said the programme is also a golden opportunity to have a free health check accompanied by a free Yo! Yoghurt drinks. “ I got the information through an announcement in the church so I had to take the opportunity that has presented itself since it has been long that I went for health checks. Big thanks to Nutricima for this wonderful initiative!”

Know your HIV status now, council chairman urges residents MURITALA AYINLA

T L-R: Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Barr. Yusuph Olaniyonu washing their hands during a-Day Community diagoue on essentials of hand washing practice at Odeda L.G Area of Ogun State.

Government should provide more drugs for HIV/AIDS

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s the world celebrates the world AIDS day, Nigeria government has been called upon to be pro active and assume full responsibility in providing drugs, laboratory materials, and training of staff to reduce the cost burden on the patient. A Scientist from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Prince Chika Asuoha said this while speaking on the Causes and Managements of HIV/AIDS at the Worlds AIDS day organised by the Sky Flyers schools recent-

ly as he stressed that more funds be made available to the creating more awareness. He said the prevalent situation where Anti Retroviral Therapy drugs are out of stock, laboratory reagents and materials not available, cost folders increased and staff not being in tune with current trend should be stopped. He urged people to be proactive and look into Emergency HIV pills called Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) which is capable of stopping the infection if the treatment

is administered within 72 hours after contact with the virus. He said after a positive HIV diagnosis, regular blood tests are necessary to monitors the progress of the virus before starting treatment. The therapy is designed to reduce the level of HIV in the blood. Asuoha urged young ones to take abstinence as the best option to prevent the spread of the infection through sex as he said there is no vaccine that has been satisfied to prevent it as all these vaccines are still on trial

stage. Meanwhile, a Director of Broad land hospital, Dr Aewunmi Adewusi advised that HIV patients should endeavour to maintain a healthy lifestyle by having enough sleep, exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, limiting the intake of alcohol, avoid smoking and maintaining basic hygienic principles. For people with living with HIV/AIDS, maintain good health by complying with your drugs and using them religiously and complying with clinic appointments.

he Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Mr Kevin’s Bamigbetan has urged residents of the council, particularly mothers and pregnant women to know their HIV status to safeguard their lives and that of their children. Speaking while flagging off the second phase of this year maternal and child health week at Jakande Estate market, Bamigbetan urged residents to embrace the opportunity of the newly equipped medical centres in the council by visiting any of the centres closer to them to know their HIV status. The council boss used the occasion to educate mothers and pregnant women who attended the programme on the significance of knowing their HIV status,reminding them that genuine cure has not been found for the scourge. Urging them not to take their health with levity, he added that the

lack of cure for HIV makes it important for all adult Nigerians to go for periodical test to know their status, saying doing so will enable them take necessary caution and avoid the spread of the disease. The council chief commended the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola in Lagos State for introducing the maternal and child health week campaign programme for Lagosians,stating that the exercise has enabled nursing mothers,their children and pregnant women the opportunity to enjoy free and qualitative primary health care services in the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas . He said: On our part, we have equipped the six primary health centres in the council area with necessary facilities to carry out free HIV test for residents,and urged people in Ejigbo to embrace the opportunity by visiting any of the health centres closer to them to know their HIV status.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Arts Lounge

I’m going to miss being the MTV girl –Cynthia

Artistic beauty in monstrosities

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Thespians meet at Rock City to shape the arts JERRY ADESEWO

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etween Thursday, November 15 and Sunday November 18, the rocky city of Abeokuta played host to Nigerian theatre practitioners, under auspices of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (NANTAP). It was the 14th National Delegates’ Convention of NANTAP, the 23-year-old association formed in Bauchi in 1989 with the cardinal aim and objective of making theatre in Nigeria a viable profession. The four-day convention had as theme: “Tapping into the Arts, Culture and Tourism Potentials in Nigeria” and the keynote address was delivered by professional theatre veteran, Professor Bode Sowande of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria. Delegates turned up from Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Delta, Abuja, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Ondo, Jigawa, Katsina, Anambra, Taraba and Abia, including those from the host state, Ogun. The invasion of the home state of some of Nigeria’s most celebrated personalities such as the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, M.K.O; Nobel laureate and activist, Professor Wole Soyinka; former head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; Afrobeat maestro, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti and former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, among numerous others, was no doubt a memorable one for the delegates and Ogun state. The opening ceremony of the convention was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Theatre, chaired by the Olowu of Owu, Oba (Dr.) Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu (CON), who, while declaring open the congress, promised that the magnificent OOPL Theatre will become a pacesetter in Nigeria and beyond.

Re-inventing theatre curriculum Prof. Sowande’s presentation on “Tapping into the Arts, Culture and Tourism Potentials in Nigeria” took a cursory look into the continuous decline in cultural activities, as he stated that the decline “is as a result of decline in the standard of education, especially the gradual extinction of boarding houses”. The professor, a second generation playwright known for the aesthetic of his plays about humanism and social change, further posited that “for theatre and theatre practitioners to continue to exist and be relevant, theatre curriculum needs to be drastically re-invented to ensure that graduates of theatre are in tune with current development in the theatre world”. The guest speaker, however, com-

Delegates on the summit of Olumo Rock

DECLINE IN CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IS AS A RESULT OF DECLINE IN THE STANDARD OF EDUCATION

Prof. Sowande delivering the keynote address

mended the contributions of religious organisations towards the sustenance of theatre in the country. “While cultural activities continue to decline, drama ministries sprang up in our churches, mosques and other religious organisations, giving some ray of hope that theatre can still be relevant as an effective means of communication and they must be commended for this”. He concluded that arts and culture, especially theatre, hold a lot of potentials for Nigeria’s tourism, but challenged the government to create an enabling environment necessary for theatre to thrive in Nigeria.

A spark in the pack If Prof. Sowande’s speech was illuminating; Spark, the dance drama to wrap up the opening ceremony presented by Unique Fingers Production, an Abeokuta based dance outfit, was electrifying. Spark is a total theatre package offered in dances, drama and music. It tells the story of perverse society we find ourselves where the craze for wealth, superiority, arrogance of power and corruption seek to tear apart the fabrics of our society. The dance-drama opened with an ‘agent of destruction’ who held aloft a mighty hammer ready to smash into pieces, the

globe and destroy the people therein. Then with music from different cultures, rigorous drumming and a well-choreographed dance sequences, the troupe took viewers through the creation of the world, the fall of man and banishment from the Garden of Eden; and using the institution of marriage, the theatre presentation sued for peaceful co-existence.

Far reaching decisions The most important agenda of the 14th National delegates’ congress – the constitution review – took place on Saturday. The NANTAP constitution was first signed into law in 1989 and has been reviewed once before, in 1991. The proceeding was piloted by Prof. Charles Nwadigwe of the Department of Theatre Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. At the end of that process, the necessary changes have been made to the constitution, especially in the definition of objectives of the association, membership and offices, among other things. As provided for in the constitution of the association, a three-man electoral panel comprising of Mrs. Oluchi Igile (Ondo), Sunday Umana (Akwa Ibom) and Pa Olapade Babatunde (Osun) was appointed to oversee the election of a new set of executives for the association, as the two-term tenure of Greg Odutayo and his team enters its final phase.

Body of fellows Following a tradition set in 2010 with

the conferment of Fellows of Theatre Arts (fta) on the trio of Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, Mr. Dejumo Lewis and Alhaji Sadiq Abubakar Mohammed, a handful of veteran practitioners, among them, past presidents of the association, also joined that prestigious league of fellows of theatre arts. Three former Presidents of the association, Mr. Tade Adekunle, Richard Mofe Damijo, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun, the founding President, Mr. Abiodun Abe, NANTAP President (2004-2007); were among eight others conferred with the Fellows of Theatre Arts (fta). Others were Mr. Teju Kareem, a technical theatre expert and businessman; Mr. Ben Tomoloju (Ben T), a distinguished playwright and theatre director; Honourable Peter Asupa Forteta, a politician, community leader and art philantrophist and Oba (Dr.) Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu (CON), the Olowu of Owu Kingdom. There were other categories of awards doled out to 16 practitioners and promoters of theatre, among whom are Mr. Afis Oyetoro, Mr. Adeniji Akanni, Mr. Wole Oguntokun, and Dayo Liadi received NANTAP Artistic Excellence Award while Mr. Tajudeen Adepetu, Chief Wale Adenuga, Mrs. Sola Momoh, Mrs. Tosin Dokpesi and Engr. Mutiu Adebowale and six others received NANTAP’s Recognition Award. Included in the itinerary of activities was sightseeing, tours and cultural entertainment, the first of which occurred on opening day after the ceremony and plenary session. Delegates proceeded on a mountain climbing expedition to no other place, but that ancient shelter and fortress of the Egba people –Olumo Rock. The rock, from which the city derives its name – Abeokuta (the town beneath the rock), stands about 137 metres above sea level and was discovered by a great hunter known as Adagba. The rock is still revered among the Egbas and regarded as a symbol of unity and protection to every native of Abeokuta; Olumo has never recorded any accident or casualty since it was discovered. More than 50 excited delegates, most of whom were first time tourists, navigated a path to the summit of the Olumo Rock where photographs were taken against the backdrop of the breathtaking view of the town. Returning to the June 12 Cultural Centre, the Acting Director of the centre took delegates on a tour of the Hall of Fame and some other facilities. NANTAP delegates observed and applauded the cultural revolution in Ogun State and recommended same to other states across the country; particularly the provision of necessary infrastructures to enhance cultural activities.


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VOICES

Nigerian creative economy: History and current trends YAHAYA MAIKORI

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or the purpose of this regional meeting of European Union National Institutes of Culture Cluster (EUNIC), I will be adopting the formal classification of the Creative Industries as developed by The United Nations Development Program (UNDP). According to this classification, the Creative Industries comprise four key segments as follows: First is Heritage: which include traditional cultural expressions, arts and crafts festivals and celebrations. Heritage also includes cultural sites, museums, libraries and exhibitions. Next the Arts: these include visual arts, paintings, sculpture, photography and antiques as well as performing arts i.e. live music, theatre, dance, opera and circus. Thirdly, we have functional creations: including, interior, fashion and graphic design, among others. It also includes new media such as video games; software, e-books and other digitalised creative content. Fourth is Media: this covers publishing and print media, books, press and other publications, films, television, radio and other broadcasting media. In the past decade, the creative industries have moved further towards the centre stage in terms of its recognition as a major driver of socio-economic and cultural development of nations and as well it should be, as creativity can also be defined as the process by which ideas are generated, connected and transformed into things that are valued. The major drivers responsible for the extraordinary growth in the creative industries worldwide can be found in both technology and economics. The technological transformations in communications brought about by the digital revolution and the economic environment within which this revolution has taken place have combined to create the conditions for this growth. The convergence of multimedia and mobile telecommunication technologies has led to an integration of the means by which creative content is produced, distributed and consumed and has in turn fostered new forms of artistic and creative expression. Over the period 2000 to 2005, international trade in creative goods and services experienced an unprecedented average annual growth rate of 8.7 per cent.

THE CURRENT CREATIVE RENAISSANCE WAS IGNITED BY UNEMPLOYMENT However, African countries account for only 1% of this global export. The Nigerian Creative Economy can be traced back to the time Maikori before the advent of colonialism, before the very constitution of on them to make them more marNigeria as it is currently con- ketable. The huge unexpected figured. Nok, Terracotta which success of this film set the scene thrived between 500BC to 200AD for others to produce similar and Benin carvings proved to be films or home videos both culturally and commercialBefore these, we had repuly viable both within and outside table film makers in the likes of the shores of Nigeria. This, how- Herbert Ogunde and Eddie Ugever, evolved in silos of creativity, bomah, to name a few. which, in themselves, were highTypically, a Nollywood film is ly fragmented and have largely shot within 15 to 20 days, shot on remained so. location, with an average budget The first time there was an or- of $30,000. It is released straight ganised gathering with a focus on to DVD with a shelf life of three the creative industries in Nigeria weeks; sales average about 30,000 was in 1977 during the Festival of copies, while blockbusters could Arts & Culture or FESTAC cel- sell up to 500,000 copies. While ebration. Ever since, the indus- MNET (a South African Cable try has, more or less, evolved in a Network) shows mostly Nollargely unstructured manner. lywood films to its subscribers The current renaissance was across Africa and Europe, it is ignited by unemployment, fu- wildly reported that these films elled by the quest for cultural are shown across Africa by other identity, driven by a youthful networks without any kind of population who are creatively recourse to the owners of these inquisitive and sustained by the works. digital technology and telecoms The film industry, which has revolution. the most potential in terms of financial benefits, has unfortunately had the least returns; Film The Nigerian film industry, it is, however, pleasing to see which is known as “Nollywood”, a gradual shift in Nollywood’s is known to be the most prolific value chain. Instead of a straight film industry in the world. In to DVD release, a new crop of 2005, World Bank figures state movie directors have started tarthat it officially overtook both geting cinema releases both as Hollywood and Bollywood to be- an anti piracy measure and as a come the largest film industry means of trapping new revenue in terms of the number of films streams. Ije is a case in point, shot with a produced on a yearly basis and the third in financial value. Fol- budget of $1,500,000; it premiered lowing closely to Nollywood is in Europe, USA and made about another emerging and relatively $200,000 in box office receipts unknown film industry called alone. The movie, shot on 35mm, “Kannywood” coming from the has already made headway, winNorthern part of the country ning several awards, which in– this industry seems poised to clude Excellence in Filmmaking (Canada International Film Fessurpass Nollywood. Nollywood is reputed to have tival and Hawaii International started totally by accident with Film Festival) etc. Since this film, a host of other a film called Living in Bondage in 1992 by NEK Video Links films have taken this new route. Keynote address by Yahaya owned by Kenneth Nnebue in the eastern city of Onitsha. Nnebue Maikori, Founder, Chocolate had imported a large number City Group, at the EUNIC Reof blank video cassettes that he gional Meeting could not sell and came up with CONTINUED NEXT WEEK the idea of recording something

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LET’S

T AL K FAD with

Fidelis Duker

fidelisduker@yahoo.com

Celebrating Nollywood @ 20

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n a couple of months, Nollywood will be celebrating 20 years of this phenomenon that has taken the world by storm and it is interestingly one of the best cultural exports from Nigeria. This is an industry that has given employment to several youths who, hitherto, would have gone into several negative social vices. But interestingly, the industry called Nollywood has created a veritable platform for solace, relaxation, employment, entertainment and revenue earner for Nigeria. It is important to define the term Nollywood, which is the name attributed to Nigeria’s movie industry. My simple definition is that it is the Nigeria’s movie industry by Nigerian producers for the Nigerian people. Nollywood has, over the years, become a world phenomenon as its movies are seen and sold in Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Africa, as well as Jamaica and the Caribbeans, USA, UK and even the Middle East, to name a few. The industry has, therefore, become a global phenomenon. I must say the name itself has caused a bit of a protest in the earlier days, as several Nigerians felt the name was not original –imported and derived from Hollywood and Bollywood. To some of us, what is in a name? Besides, the name was given to the industry by a reporter of the Washington Post newspaper in 1999 who did a feature story on the blooming Nollywood movie industry which was quantified in his article as an industry of quantity, rather than quality. There was also that little issue of the name being coined by a foreigner, some didn’t like it, but the good thing is that Nollywood, as a name, has moved far beyond these earlier hiccups; no-one actually thinks twice about the origin of the name today. Today, Nollywood ranks as the second largest movie industry after Bollywood (India) with Hollywood (USA) following closely behind in quantity and not quanlity. It has been able to hold its own

NOLLYWOOD HAS MOVED FAR BEYOND THESE EARLIER HICCUPS; NO-

ONE ACTUALLY THINKS TWICE ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME despite so many deterrents, which to name a few, include expensive technical tools of the trade, inconsistent supply of electricity (which is taken for granted in almost every other country in the world), the horrible traffic-jam conditions which can lead to extreme lateness in production times (but the “show must go on!”), lack of training, funding challenges, poor distribution and marketing platforms, amongst several other issues, that has plagued the industry in 20 years. At the beginning, Nollywood movies were made on shoestring budgets ranging from N1m to N3m apiece, spanning seven to 10 days. This is an incredibly short, jam-packed production time by all standards, but most of us were able to make our films in this short a time, coupled with the several challenges. But the budget has since improved over the years to as much as N30million per movie. What makes the industry so unique is that it is a videodriven industry; the movies in the early days were produced and put straight on VHS cassettes and then released/ distributed for sale to the public. Now, with the new technological advancement in place, they are usually on VCD’s, Nigerians refer to the movies as “home video”. Next week, I will celebrate some of the phenomenal talents, movies, journalists and sectors that have made Nollywood tick in 20 years. This article will be in three parts and I promise it will be a collector’s item.


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Arts Lounge

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

25

ARTISTE UNCENSORED

I’m going to miss being the MTV girl –Cynthia For a little over four years, C-Von was the face of MTV Base bringing the verve, aplomb and resourcefulness of young Nigerians to bear on her work as Video Jockey for the contemporary music and lifestyle channel. While MTV prepares to unveil a new VJ, C-Von whose real names are Cynthia Ozoemena (nee Okpala) relives the high point of her job.

I ALWAYS TELL PEOPLE THAT MY FOUNDATION IN DEEPER LIFE HAS HELPED SHAPE MY

ADEBIMPE OLATUJA

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n 2007, starry-eyed Cynthia Okpala-Ozoemena arrived in Lagos to participate in the first ever MTV VJ Search Nigeria with big dreams in her heart. Although at the time, ‘22-year-old Cynthia was a fresh graduate of Computer Science from the Ebonyi State University, nursing a passion for the klieg-lights. Inspite of competition from thousands of adequately gifted other youths, the multi-talented lady was resolute about a career in the creative enterprise sector and brought her reverberating energy to bear, convincing judges she deserved to be the first ever home-grown Nigerian to present and anchor programmes on MTV Base. On the job, Cynthia hosted a number of MTV Base programmes and showbiz events and also got a shot at acting when she acted as ‘Ify’ on MNet TV series,Tinsel. “If you must be a VJ, you must be a VJ for MTV because it can’t get better than that. It was a full package, the travels, the fun, the job, MTV. Every bit of it was excellent, mind blowing and being called The MTV Girl, oh I’m really going to miss that”, she enthuses. She humourously recalls the beginning; “I can’t particularly say this was the reason why I was picked but I remember at that time I was singing, rapping and dancing. That kind of helped me and it put me in the spotlight. I was going for the kill, which I did. I was like pick me or die!” Yet, prior to the dollar-paying MTV Base job, Cynthia contested in Amstel Malta Box Office 2 (AMBO) which was eventually won by OC Ukeje. “I made it through the auditions and I also made it through the house”. Perhaps her string of success can be attributed to

LIFE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY raw talent, but Cynthia is quick to point out that her family background played a tremendous role in shaping her to be disciplined and focused. “I grew up in a strict home; we were members of Deeper Life Church and so you can imagine where I am coming from. I always tell people that my foundation in Deeper Life has helped shape my life in the entertainment industry”. She also pays glowing credits to her mother who supported and catered for the children when their father was unavoidably absent. “My mum practically raised us and she taught me to be independent. My dad travelled to the U.S., had issues with his papers and tried to makes ends meet. It was our mum we went to for school fees, for the rent and so on. My mum is a very strong woman, relentless and selfless. She raised five of us. I just can’t imagine what would have happened if she had crossed her legs and waited for the man to provide”. Presently, Cynthia is a wife of two and a half years and mother of one who is enjoying the blessings of a supportive husband and a cherished nine-month-old son. “My husband is the most supportive of my career, he helps shape me. He understands his place as my coach and leader. I wouldn’t have been married to any man because he understands me more. The motherhood part is a lot of sacrifice and a lot of work for the

MTV VJ Cynthia Okpara on the podium at the MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain

first two or three months. Nobody tells you how hard it is. Now, I have settled into motherhood and I love it”, she says. Being a bright lady, the fast-talking Cynthia sees none of her experiences as a challenge but rather they make her a better person. She also admires the resilience of a young Nigerians, “There is a playing ground for everyone. As they say, the sky is big enough for every star to shine. So whatever you are doing, Nigeria is ripe enough for you to excel in any artistic field you discover your gift in, be it singing, dancing, painting etc.” Looking into the future, the ex-MTV VJ confirms that she would still be seen in front of the camera and behind it on personal projects, while also open to work with MTV in the future.

MIDWEEK JUMP ‘Lagos Live’ fest begins tomorrow

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he Lagos Live Art Festival presents four days of live art, theatre, dance, video art, installations, talks and concerts at Freedom Park in the heart of Lagos Island, to crown the 2012 celebrations of 50 years of Goethe-Institut Nigeria. Beginning with a parade from City Hall to Freedom Park, the festival brings together more than 30 artists from Germany, Nigeria and other African countries. In residencies, workshops and conjoint researches these artists developed a wide range of productions, from theatre pieces to video art, from photography to dance performances. This survey

of international contemporary art practices in the heart of Africa will be on display. Curated by Martin Baasch and Oyinda Fakeye, the productions are by: Segun Adefila & Crown Troupe of Africa, Monster Truck, Mudi Yahaya, Flinn Theatre, Natalie Mba Bikoro, Richard Siegal/CoPirates, Dennis Feser & Karin Then, Jelili Atiku, Theatre im Bahnhof Graz, Emeka Udemba, Edson Chagas, Squad 1 Productions, Em’kal Eyongakpa and VAN Lagos, among others. Also on the bill are Keziah Jones and Native, who take the stage tomorrow,

NFC, Czech Republic host film festival

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os, Plateau State comes alive today and tomorrow as the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), National Film Institute (NFI) and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Nigeria host a Film Week, with the theme - Czech New Wave. The film festival is

Keziah Jones

Kuku on Friday, while Ade Bantu will be having a musical ‘Conversation with the Elders’ like: Fatai Rolling Dollar, Orlando Julius, Paulson Kalu, Aduke and Siji on Saturday. Ntone Edjabe will close the festival on Sunday.

the first between the NFC, the NFI and the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Some of the best films of Czech cinematography from a 1960’s film movement called the “Czech New Wave” will be screened during the festival, which includes, The Fireman’s

Ball, The Cremator, The Witches Hammer and Closely Watched Trains. Venue for the festival is the NFI office in Jos. The festival is open to film students, enthusiasts and members of the general public who must be 18 years and above. Film Screenings begins at 2.15 p.m. daily.

Movie Quest 2 opens online application

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he second edition of Movie Quest organised by Don Nkems Productions will kick off tomorrow with online application which will run until the end of De-

cember, preparatory to camping of successful contestants slated for second week of January 2013. Movie Quest was designed to help talented movie actors realise their dreams

of being part of the movie industry. A reality TV show is expected to emerge from the encounters of the successful housemates, who will also win other prizes.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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FAR AND NEAR

ANA battles Abuja land scavengers IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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Ekasa: Myth and Realities.

Artistic beauty in monstrosities ADENRELE NIYI

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n Sunday, December 2, the exhibition titled “Ambassadors’ Nite 2: Rare and Large”, a grandiose showcase of towering and exclusive works of art opened at the National Museum, Onikan-Lagos to a suitably appreciative audience. The pieces on display, so aptly named ‘Rare and Large’ for the imposing characteristics of each, comes from the private art collection of renowned business magnate and art patron, Chief John S. Edokpolo. This exhibition, curated by Araism painting proponent, Mufu Onifade, is a sequel to the maiden edition of the series ‘Ambassadors’ Nite’ held in 2009. However, the uniqueness of the second edition is in the aweinspiring pieces, most of which

were commissioned by the owner. Addressing the gathering at the opening, Chief Edokpolo stated that ‘Ambassadors’ Nite’ was inspired by his encounter with the diplomatic The week-long ‘Rare and Large’ exhibition is majorly dominated by contemporary art pieces ranging from sculptures, paintings, drawings and an etching. There are 58 works in the exhibition with an eclectic blend from master artists to established craftsmen to emergent forces in neoNigeria arts. Exhibiting artists include Bruce Onobrakpeya (4), Abayomi Barber (1), Amos O. Odion (23), Kolade Oshinowo (1), Erhabor Emokpae (2), Bisi Fakeye (2), Amonday Akhidue (3), Reuben Ugbine (3), Kofi Asemnyinah (2) and Obi Ekwenchi (1). Others are Bunmi Babatunde (1), Sam Ajobiewe, Ojo (1), Toyin

Alade (1), Mufu Onifade (1), Mukaila Ayoade (), Ogaga Tuodeinye (1), Chika Idu (1), Chidi Kwubiri (1), Smart O. Owie (5) and Bimbo Adenugba (2). One of Adenugba’s two works featured in the exhibition is the breathtaking 547cm x 183cm “Ekasa: Myth and Realities”, a chronological summary of the ascendancy of the Edokpolo lineage to a place of fame and fortune. ‘Ekasa’ (oil on canvass), commissioned in 2012, is the star painting of the exhibition created in hues of midnight blue, coral red, rich bronze and dust brown. It tells an intricate African story of success in very succinct brush strokes. The well-attended opening, organised by Eko Modupe, was supported by First Bank (Private Banking), Rolls Royce and members of the Metropolitan Club, Lagos.

he Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) is locked in a battle with land trespassers who the writers’ association allege have encroached on its undeveloped 36.2 hectares land located in Abuja. According to Mr. Izuchukwu Okeke, Public Relations Officer, ANA Abuja Branch, the association discovered that trespassers had been carrying on development work on the land without proof of sale or transfer of ownership by ANA –owners of the land. “Between 2008 and now, four levels of trading have involved the land. A firm, Miyosam Ltd. claims it bought the land from Home Security Ltd. Another firm Gandu Properties bought the land over from Miyosam and Gandu in turn resold the land to Saraha Homes, Cachez Properties and others”, Okeke said. Moreover, during a press briefing in Abuja last Thursday, culminating in a visit with reporters to the property located off highbrow Maitama district at Mpape, ANA Vice President, Mr. Denja Abdullahi, explained that the trespassers had been employing different tactics on ANA’s leadership in a bid to subvert the association taking possession of the land. “They went to Ibadan to see the National President and offered him a bribe of N60m and a jeep, but the president told them he has no deal with them. He has no right to trade a property belonging to an association, which was allocated to ANA by late writer and FCT Minister, Mamman Vatsa. “To show you how desperate they are, the ownership signposts warning trespassers to stay away from this land which we erected on Wednesday was removed by unknown persons less than an hour after we left”, Mr. Abdullahi told reporters. The land has been subject of controversy since November 2001, after the then ANA executive entered into a concessionary agreement with Home Security Ltd., a property development firm, to develop the said property. Okeke said the firm failed on terms of the agreement leading to the association’s executive revoking the said agreement in October 2008; while the dispute resulting from this decision went to court for four years. A ruling by Hon Justice Aladetoyinbo of FCT High Court on February 1, 2012, affirmed ANA’s ownership of the property but asked the association to pay Home Security N10m damages which Okeke said ANA has complied with ‘since November 1’. Further investigations at Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) indicate that the land legally belongs to ANA –a document was provided at AGIS showing that Gandu Properties paid over N11m to AGIS to obtain the Certificate of Ownership (C of O) for the land, which it failed to do. The leadership of ANA has written the EFCC and FCT Commissioner of Police who have swung into action, sending their men to secure the said property; ANA is presently working out a partnership with KMVL Properties to develop the land.

New film to retell Niger-Delta struggle TERH AGBEDEH

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n the first quarter of next year Tarila Thompson’s film Up Creek without a Paddle will premiere in cinemas around the world. Currently undergoing post production process in South Africa, England and Bulgaria, the filmmaker told Arts Lounge that the film “tells the story of the Niger-Delta militants’ struggle in raw details as witnessed by inhabitants of the communities”. Shot for over a six-month period at several locations in the jungles and creeks of Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers and Lagos states, as well as Berlin in Germany, it features Omotola Jolade-Ekehinde, Van Vicker, Patience Ozokwor, Ernest Asuzu and Eddie Ugbomah, among many other Nollywood greats. The film directed by Thompson, who also plays

the role of Diongoli, features over 1,000 indigenes of the Niger-Delta including ex-militants. Describing Up Creek without a Paddle as “the next big film out of Africa”, Thompson also revealed it parades a long list of foreign actors and crew among them; Germany’s Jean Denis Roman, South Africa’s Andrew McKenzie and Bulgaria’s Miloskeiv Metodi. An expose on the ills and politics of the multinationals against the inhabitants in the NigerDelta region of Nigeria, the film tells the story of Diongoli who like other grassroots young men acquires the fundamental educational qualification but is denied employment by the oil firms. He finds to his chagrin that he is not alone as the whole community suffers in one way or the other under the weight of the activities of the multinationals. He starts a militant group to agitate for development of the region.

A scene from the film


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

UCL: Messi favours Celtic triumph

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27

Sport

Out of the limelight, I am enjoying my life. I also want my adversaries to let me be and I let them –Disgraced cycling star, Lance Armstrong

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Senegal accepts CAF ban

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enegal’s football federation yesterday said it will not appeal a oneyear ban from international games in Dakar following serious crowd trouble that forced a recent match against Cote d’Ivoire to be abandoned. The FSF said in a statement it “acknowledged” the sanction imposed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and after consultation with its lawyer “had decided not to launch an appeal”. Senegal was also fined $100 000, half of it suspended, following the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game on October 13, which was called off in the 74th minute with the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire leading the Teranga Lions 2-0. The match was initially suspended for about 40 minutes as stones, bottles and chairs rained down on Ivorian players and fans at the Stade Leopold Sedar and police using tear gas tried to restore order. Fires were also set in the stands and the visiting team was forced to take refuge in the centre circle. Senegal lost the first leg of the tie 4-2 in Abidjan, while Cote d’Ivoire went through to the finals of the competition, which will be held in South Africa in January and February next year.

Team Borno aims to surpass Abuja outing

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ecretary of the Borno State Sports Council, Mallam Zubairu Umar, says the state contingent defied security challenges to be at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos. Umar told NAN yesterday that Governor Kashim Shettima was determined to ensure that the state participated fully in the festival. According to the secretary, the governor has done a lot to motivate the athletes and officials to participate in the festival, adding that because of the security challenges in the state, the athletes had to be camped in Bauchi, Lagos and Kaduna preparatory to the games. He said that Team Borno was determined to improve its position on the medals table over its previous outing. Borno had finished 28th position at the 17th edition of the festival held in Port Harcourt in 2011 with one gold, three silver and eight bronze medals. ``We have 219 athletes and about 40 officials, with about 16 state delegates. Always, my goal has been to improve on our Abuja outing. That was the best ever for Borno, in 2004. “We won about eight gold, nine silver and 12 bronze medals. Our position was 16th. So, we want to improve on that outing,” he said.

Junior Teranga Lions of Senegal (here) and their senior colleagues are banned from playing in Dakar by CAF.

Eaglets arrive, hit Uyo for Akpabio AFOLABI GAMBARI

… NFF clears NPL Congress

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proval to hold its 7th Congress which has already been scheduled for Kano, Kano State tomorrow. Sequel to a letter from the NPL dated December 3 requesting the green light, the NFF responded in the affirmative yesterday. “You may recall that this same issue was tabled before the Executive Committee of the NFF at its Emergency Board Meeting of

he all-conquering Golden Eaglets arrived in Lagos last night after defeating their Malian counterparts on Sunday to book their qualification for the Africa U-17 Championship in Morocco next year. The team immediately boarded a flight to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State where they are scheduled to play a match to commemorate the 50th birthday of Governor Godswill Akpabio on Sunday. Spokesman for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire, told National Mirror that the Eaglets had been slated for the match before their departure to Mali last week. “It’s only befitting to honour the invitation, especially coming after the Eaglets’ feat in Mali,” Olajire said. Meanwhile, the NFF has pledged support for the Eaglets ahead of the 2013 AYC in Morocco. Nigeria had missed out of two previous editions after the cadet team failed to win tickets. “The players and officials will get adequate preparation that will enable team to conquer Africa come next year,” Maigari assured. Observers have variously described the current Eaglets as the best that Nigeria has assembled in recent years. In a related development, the NFF has given the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) ap-

November 28, 2012 wherein a decision was taken to grant the NPL approval to go ahead and conduct the Congress,” NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu wrote. “Consequently, therefore, I am directed to write to the NPL and give express approval for the holding of the 2012 NPL Congress in line with your statutes and to forward to the NFF the outcome thereon,” he added.

Eko 2012: Again, free for all at YABATECH

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or the second time on the football pitch of the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), it was free for all yesterday after Team Osun held their Enugu State counterparts to a 1-1 draw in the football event of the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival. Trouble started when at the end of the preliminary game, an Enugu player went to register his displeasure about the officiating to the referee. The Enugu players had claimed that they were intimidated by the match officials. However, security men at the venue prevented the player and his colleagues from having access to the referee. NAN reports that passion was inflamed when the coach, players and fans of Team Enugu allegedly beat up an unidentified lady who was among the people jeering at them. The development led others to retaliate before the situation was brought under con-

trol after the Osun team and match officials were led away to safety by policemen. YABATECH had recorded similar troubles in the match between Gombe and Kwara and physically challenged athletes almost marred the game between Gombe and Osun football teams. Meanwhile, about five players and the coach of the Enugu team, Benedict Ugwu, were taken to the Sabo Police Station, Yaba, for allegedly beating up the lady. Coach Ugwu told newsmen that a situation in which players and their officials were not satisfied with the outcome of matches was not the best for the festival. He called for more objective assessment of matches by officials to engender credibility and growth of the round leather game. ``We suspected the antics of the referee from the beginning of the game. We earned a free kick that was not awarded and he went ahead to award a penalty to Osun which was uncalled for,” he said.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Messi favours Celtic triumph B arcelona forward, Lionel Messi, believes Celtic’s fans deserve to go further in the UEFA Champions League after admitting he has never such seen support. Celtic goes into its final group game against Spartak Moscow today level on points with Benfica in the battle for second place while Benfica makes the daunting trip to Barcelona, who has already sealed its progress to the knock-out stage. But Messi hopes to help out Celtic after being impressed by their fans. “The Celtic fans deserve to be in Europe,” Messi said yesterday.

Tit bits...

Beckham

Departing LA Galaxy star, David Beckham, feels he can play into his 40s. Beckham, who h had d a glittering li i career with Manchester United and Real Madrid, insists that buying his own MLS franchise will not stop him playing on as long as possible. “I believe that I can play beyond the age of 40. I think sports science, as well as the way I have always looked after myself, gives me the chance to do that,” he said yesterday.

“They have been amazing in both games we have played against them recently. We knew what they were going to be like in Glasgow, but the way they were in Barcelona after they had just lost in the way they did was amazing and I have never seen anything like that before. “We have not always been supportive of the way that Celtic try and play football. However, their fans deserve the knockout stages of the Champions League as I think the competition would be a quieter place without them.” Messi was, however, short of conceding victory to the visitors in the Camp Nou battle today.

Kaka

Today’s fixtures

Fernando Torres

Shakhtar

v

Juventus

Chelsea

v

Nordsjaelland

Lille

v

Valencia

Bayern

v

BATE

Barcelona v

Benfica

Celtic

v

Spartak

Man Utd

v

Cluj

Braga

v

Galatasaray

Blues bank on ‘mother luck’

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season after spirit and good fortune swept Chelsea to an unlikely Champions League title, the defending champion will be relying on those same qualities to avoid an unprecedented elimination today. Chelsea must win at home against FC Nordsjaelland and hope Juventus loses at already-qualified Shakhtar Donetsk if the English team is to avoid becoming the first reigning champion to exit at the group stage. The odds are stacked against Chelsea, especially considering its woeful form under Rafa Benitez since he came in as interim manager to replace the hugely popular Roberto Di Matteo last month. Chelsea is without a victory in Benitez’s three matches and the Spaniard’s pragmatic, defensive style of play hasn’t endeared him to the Chelsea fans who are unhappy with the manner and abruptness of Di Matteo’s dismissal. ‘’These are players that have won the Champions League and have won a lot of trophies so they have to show this character, but they need

Lionel Messi

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

a little more confidence,’’ Benitez said yesterday as the team wound off preparation. ‘’Some players can show character but if you have one or two and they are not playing at the level then the team as a team is suffering,” he added. The problem for Benitez is that some of the key players behind Chelsea’s title-winning campaign last season haven’t been available to him. Didier Drogba-the match-winner against Bayern Munich in the final-is no longer with the club while stalwarts John Terry and Frank Lampard are out injured and will be missing on today, too. But Benitez can rely on the fact that he won the competition with Liverpool in 2005 and reached the final in 2007, with his former team knocking Chelsea out at the semifinal stage in both years. Undoubtedly, though, Chelsea’s destiny is out of his hands at the moment. Nordsjaelland has only one point from five games and cannot even qualify for the Europa League as a third-place finisher.

Brazilian legend, Rivelino, feels Kaka needs to leave Real Madrid, saying he is saddened to see the player struggling in the Spanish side. “Kaka wants to play, but he is having problems getting Mourinho to use him. He could go to a smaller team where he could play more games,” Rivelino said yesterday. “We might have to accept that it’s time he quit Madrid,” the legend added.

Mourinho

Manchester United Manager, U Sir S Alex Ferguson, says Jose s Mourinho is M capable of replacing him in the c Old O Trafford hot seat. Ferguson stopped short of saying Mourinho should replace s him h when he finally retires, but he believes the Portuguese has the b qualities that would be needed to q take over the reign. t Mourinho had little success as a player but as a coach he has already won 21 trophies from 10 a years in the dugout. y

B Benitez

Chelsea Manager, Rafa Benitez, a admits that he is a already looking a at the return of a captain John Terry and Frank Lamc pard, saying side lacks character. p The European champion faces Danish minnows FC Nordsjaelland D iin a crucial Champions League qualifier tomorrow before playing q Sunderland in the Premier League S on Saturday. o “John and Frank will train with tthe team ahead of the weekend game,” the beleaguered Benitez g ssaid.

Glo Golf: Mark

S

enate President, David Mark the list of West African golfe to grace the final of the Glo West Africa 2012 holding from to Sunday at the Oturkpo Golf an Club, Benue State. Mark, who will tee-off the four will join high profile players in tional amateur game on Saturday will also serve as chief host as he Oturkpo. Meanwhile, the Senate Pres tasked both pros and amateur strive to improve their scores, s should also exploit this tournam prove their ranking in West Afr the international circuit. The final will witness gala n leading entertainers Lagbaja, Ba and Akpororo would thrill play and spectators. Sole sponsors of the tour, Glob set a new standard for the game in ca after raising the prize bar for th creating multiple opportunities fo one amateurs and other amateurs Aside the N62.5m Pro-Am purs est in Africa, the sponsor also off ota Corolla prize for the hole-in-o other N1m gift for a lucky veteran

Golf: Dolphin s AFOLABI GAMBARI

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he Dolphin Golf Club is organising a two-day competition to be open to all amateur golfers in Nigeria on December 8 and 9 at the club’s course in Navy Town, Agboju Lagos. Chairman of the organising committee, Mr. Yusuf Mohammed, said yesterday that the tournament is being staged to honour the club’s late captain, Hans Palleit, and would be made an annual

in w sp w fe N

th n ge w of

Coal City road ra DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he National Sports C (NSC), South East Zone 1, E it has concluded arrangem 2nd Coal City Kids Road Race b cember 16.

F Friedel Blackburn Rovers are set to R ssign Tottenham Hotspur goalkeepH er Brad Friedel e next month, with reports claiming n that Rovers would tie up a £500,000 th deal for the former USA international. d Friedel will get a coaching role at the club in addition to regular a fifirst-team football until the club’s England Under-20 international Jake E Kean is ready to take the step up. K Spurs knocked back a request from Blackburn to sign Friedel fr on loan last week but the veteran o American is likely to push for a move A nonetheless. n

ev co m li

Governor Chime


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

hosts players in Oturkpo

k, is top on ers expected o Golf Tour omorrow to nd Country

r-day event, the invitay, even as he e hails from

raffle draw. The Oturkpo final will climax four weeks of activity that saw top golfers that include Ghana’s number one, Emos Korblah ; Cameroun’s number one, Ebela Desire; as well as Nigeria’s Andrew Oche Odoh, Martin Odoh, Edet Umoh, Gbenga Oyebanji, Gift Willie and Ayuba Musa, among others.

sident has golfers to saying they ment to imrica and on

ight where asketmouth yers, guests

bacom, has n West Afrihe pros and or category s. se, the highfered a Toyone and ann through a

Sport

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Eko 2012: Yunusa walks Rivers to gold IKENWA NNABUOGOR

T

eam Rivers’ Hussain Yunusa walked his way to gold medal in the 20km Walk event for men decided yesterday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Yunusa breasted the tape in 1 hour, 53 minutes, 38 seconds to win the coveted prize after beating Gbenga Amos and Ibrahim Joseph of Ogun and Rivers States respectively to silver and bronze medals finish respectively. The Rivers representative had shown promise in the preliminary round and it was not surprising he clinched the gold medal in the final which was hotly contested. He, however, beat his closest contestant by a fraction of four sec-

onds. Interestingly, Team Rivers later made a clean sweep of the gold medals in the 20km walk event, when it claimed the gold medal in the female category also yesterday. Joy Daniels clinched the gold medal when he returned a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes, 39.96 seconds to beat Bolanle Kazeem and Ugochi Obi of Delta and Imo states respectively. Kazeem breasted the tape after 2 hours, 8 minutes, 04.40 seconds to win the silver medal while Obi won the bronze medal with a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 43.16 seconds. “It wasn’t an easy race for me but all the same, it was dream come true,” Daniels told National Mirror after her feat.

David Mark

set to honour captain

vent in recognition of his ontribution to the development of the club during his ife time. Underwater Engineerng Limited, where Pallet was Executive Director, is ponsoring the competition which will feature male and emale golfers from all over Nigeria. National Mirror learnt that here will also be prizes for nearest to the PIN and the lonest drive for both men and women, even as a select group f Special Professional Golf-

ers have been invited to thrill the spectators and golfers expected to throng the venue. Caddy play-off and cocktail party for all golfers and guests will precede the tee-off on Saturday while a closing ceremony has been scheduled for Sunday. Meanwhile, Captain of the club, Commodore Sag Abbah, has commended the sponsor for its effort at lifting Dolphin Club to national prominence. “It is complimentary of our efforts at giving the club a befitting status,” Abbah said.

Commission Enugu, says ment for the illed for De-

Ineligibility: Delta, Kano get N.1m fines

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he Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF) yesterday fined Delta and Kano states N50,000 each for using ineligible weightlifters at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos. NWF Secretary, Uche Onwumeh, said that a female weightlifter, Bilikis Otunla (69kg) was caught representing Delta after attending two international competitions. Onwumeh said she was identified by some officials and reported to the judges, leading to her suspension from the festival by the NWF adjudicators. “An investigation was carried out and evidences confirmed that Otunla was faulty and Delta was therefore told to pay a fine of N50, 000 before the end of the competition,” Onwumeh said. According to Onwumeh, the Delta State Weightlifting Association coach is also warned to desist from acts capable of violating the rules governing the Games from achieving its aims. Also, a male weightlifter, Aminu Aliyu (77kg), from Kano was also discovered to have been using three different names to participate at the last three sports festivals after a petition by Delta. Onwumeh said Aliyu participated in the Gateway Games in 2006 in Abeokuta, KADA Games in 2010 in Kaduna and Garden City Games in 2011 in Port Harcourt. He was said to have used Aminu Aliyu, Aliyu Suleiman and Aminu Sale for the Games respectively.

…Ondo queries hockey team

ace gets date According to Coordinator in charge of the zone, Mr. Stanley Okebugwu, the race specifically designed for children between 9 and15 years, will be conducted in line with International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) and Association of International Marathon and Distance Races (AIMS) guidelines. “The exercise is organised by the commission in conjunction with G.T. Ventures based in Enugu,” he said. The maiden edition held in December 2011 attracted well over 1,000 kids and Okebugwu expressed optimism that this year’s edition would attract more participants, considering the awareness being created by the commission. “We want to build friendship and integration among the children, develop spirit of discipline and skills associated with road races, to encourage all- round fitness of the growing child to discover talents,” he said, adding that the looming race would take place at the Michael Okpara Square Enugu, meandering through Presidential Road and terminating at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu with kids from Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states participating.

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T Opukin Agala (in blue) of Bayelsa and Idris Samaria of Lagos during their traditional wrestling bout. PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Olowora wins 5000m for Lagos IKENWA NNABUOGOR

T

eam Lagos won the women’s 5000 metres gold yesterday as Aminat Olowora returned with a time of 18 minutes, 47.89 seconds to make hay. Olowora beat off stiff challenges from Team Delta’s Deborah Pam and Iwanger Akaha of Benue to silver and bronze medal finish respectively. Delta State’s Pam returned a time of 18 minutes, 58.96 seconds to beat the third placed

Akaha, who managed a time of 19 minutes, 07.96 seconds. Elated Olowora told National Mirror she was fulfilled to claim the ultimate prize and thanked Team Lagos for making it possible for her to make the state proud. “I’m so happy today and this moment will remain fresh in my memory for many years to come,” She said. “I look forward to winning more laurels in future. I thank everyone who made it possible for me to achieve this feat.”

he Ondo State Sports Council (OSSC) has queried the coach of its female hockey team and the secretary of the state’s Hockey Association over the team’s disqualification at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Lagos. Chairman of the OSSC, Bamido Omogbehin, disclosed this yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He said the council was waiting for explanations from the coach and the secretary on why the team earned the disqualification from the competition. “When we were giving awards to athletes, I stressed on their being good ambassadors of the state. It is not compulsory that we win in all events; anybody that cheats acts on his own, not on behalf of the council. “Queries have been handed down to the coach and the secretary of the association, and they have been asked to reply quickly,” he said. Two Ondo hockey players, Bamitale Bamidele and Linda Nwafor, presented fake identification cards during their group game against Team Lagos, leading to their withdrawal and disqualification of their team. General Manager of the OSSC, Idowu Akinbulumo, however, advised coaches to avoid any acts that could tarnish the state’s image.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance NEITI will continue to fight against illegal bunkering, oil theft Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives, Zainab Ahmad

We need to look at tarriffs that will make competition in ICT industry fair

MINISTER OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, OMOBOLA JOHNSON

42-43

Forbearance package to increase liquidity in stock market - Brokers JOHNSON OKANLAWON

S

tockbrokers have said that the forebearance to stock market operators will increase liquidity and deepen activities in the Nigerian capital market, as the inactive brokers will return to operations. The Federal Government had on Monday announced the bail out of 84 stockbroking firms with N22.6bn in a bid to restore confidence in the stock market. National Mirror learnt that many broking firms have been suspended from trading on their shares, due to their inability to meet the minimum capital base and their indebtedness to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria. The Managing Director of Lambert Securities Limited, Mr. David Adonri, said that many of the brokers who have been inactive will adjust their balance sheet to meet the required capital base of N70m (Broker

dealer), N10m (Dealer) and N30m (Broker). On the waive of 0.075 per cent stamp duties payable on the Exchange transaction fees and exempt from VAT, commission earned on traded value of shares payable to the regulators, he said that the waive will make the Exchange compete globally.

He pointed out that the reduction of tax and other charges in the Exchange has bee a bane in the growth of the market, saying that tax is usually imposed on consumption, not on transaction. The Managing Director of APT Securities and Investment Limited, Alhaji Garba Kurfi, said

that it’s a relieve for most of the inactive stockbroking firms to return to the market. He said, “We initiated the concept of AMCON and the forebearance is a relieve to our members because some of us have paid our margin loans.” The Managing Director of Compass Securities Limited, Mr. Emeka

F

ormer Managing Director of Shelter Afrique, Mr. Samuel Fortune-Ebie, has tasked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on in-

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

Aero Contractors

L-R: Head, Personal and Business Banking Distribution, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr. Ayoola Adio; Branch Manager, NAHCo Complex, Ikeja Branch, Mrs. Elizabeth Ademosu; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Mr. Kayode Ojo and Zonal Head, South-West Zone, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ms. Bunmi Dapo-Sokan, during the commissioning of the Bank’s new branch at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, in Lagos, yesterday.

Expert tasks CBN on mortgage, housing sector DAYO AYEYEMI

Madubuike, said that the forebearance is a welcome development and the brokers are happy with it. The measures, according to the government, re-emphasised its renewed commitment to making Nigeria’s capital market one of the most vibrant markets in the world.

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

tervention funds for the mortgage and housing sector. Speaking during the conference on the new national policy organised by the Faculty of Housing of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Ebie, said if the CBN could give other sectors such as aviation and distressed banks intervention funds, there

was nothing wrong if it extended the gesture to the mortgage and housing sectors. He said, “Why has CBN found it difficult to give housing sector intervention funds just as it has done in other sectors. “In 2011, CBN gave N620 billion loan to distressed banks. Other sectors have received intervention fund from CBN.

Nigeria targets $1.8trn global BPO revenue

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What has CBN done for the mortgage banks? How much has CBN pumped into the housing sector?” Ebie fondly called “Mr Housing” also called for adequate funding by both public and private for the sector, adding that intergovernmental cooperation and partnerships are also required for successful implementation of

the new policy. He added that there was need for the enhancement and amendment of relevant legislation, including the Land Use Act to boost housing provision. He also decried low contribution of mortgage sector to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP), saying the present contribution of mortgage finance to GDP at 0.76 per cent is not impressive.

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

EXCHANGE RATES WAUA

234.6271

USD

155.84

CHF

159.2642

SDR

235.0535

CFA

0.2924

GBP

244.1701

EURO

191.3715

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$123.39

-0.78

NYMEX

$108.45

-0.11

OPEC BASKET

$122.86

+1.16

NATURAL GAS

$2.83

-0.03

FAAN lauds World Bank over N587m perimeter project

Fuel shortage: Stakeholders call for rehabilitation of Arepo pipeline

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Business Finance

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria targets $1.8trn global BPO revenue KUNLE A ZEEZ

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igeria is currently putting various initiatives in place to tap into the huge revenue in the global Business Process Outsourcing estimated to hit $1.8trn worldwide by 2020. This auspicious move was announced by the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye at the opening of the Test of English for International Communications Centre, in Lagos yesterday. Established by Data Sciences Nigeria Limited in partnership with DRS Data Services Limited of the United Kingdom and ETS Global BV, the TOEIC is a world-class test centre for English Language proficiency for professionals in various fields. Angaye, who explained that outsourcing currently plays strategic roles globally espe-

L-R: Head, Marketing Dulfil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Manpreet Singh; Public Relations Manager, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju; one of the benificiaries of Indomie Nutrition Scholarship, Miss. Olaitan Olubukola and Prof. Tunde Oguntona of the, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, during the presentation of cheques in Lagos, yesterday.

cially with the quest to reduce cost and streamline services, said BPO services are made possible with the dynamic

advancement in Information Technology and digitalisation of the global economy. According to him, the global

attention that outsourcing industry is gaining necessitated the development of outsourcing policy by the Federal Gov-

ernment through NITDA with the objective of making Nigeria the outsourcing hub of West African sub region. He said in realisation of this, the agency on July 31, 2012 facilitated the birth of the Nigeria Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies, (NAITEOC), an initiative to implemented National Outsourcing Initiative and the need to build a strong collaborative effort between the government and industry players in the private sector. “The stage is now set to properly position Nigeria to take full advantage of our abundant human resources, our lingua franca- English, which is the dominant language in the global economy as these will enhance our full participation in the global outsourcing market. Government has therefore created the necessary enabling environment with the policy that is already in place,” he said.

AfDB, researchers launch $63m Oil workers’ strike looms at Free Trade Zone initiative to tackle poverty in Africa M I ESHACK DEHEN

UDO ONYEKA

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he African Development Bank (AfDB) and researchers have launched the $63.24 million AfDB-funded initiative that aims to raise agricultural productivity and also create jobs for millions of Africans. The 5-year, multi-CGIAR center initiative known as “Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa” (SARD-SC) is a research, science, and technology development initiative aimed at enhancing the productivity and income derived from cassava, maize, rice, and wheat – four of the six commodities that African Heads of States, through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program, have defined as strategic crops for Africa. During the launch of the initiative in Ibadan, Nigeria, the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga called on researchers to deliver ‘quick impact’ to justify the investments in research. “We should begin to demonstrate impact in the next two years using available technologies already developed. Everything in SARD-SC is about impact and not only writing scientific papers,” Sanginga said.

The SARD-SC Project comes at an opportune time when food security and nutrition are high on the national agenda of the AfDB Regional Member Countries (RMCs), as rising food prices push millions of people into extreme hunger and poverty. The SARD-SC allows – for the first time ever in a single project – a continental coverage of the food security challenges in Africa. “What we intend to achieve goes beyond food security. We are looking at boosting incomes and reducing poverty in Africa,” said Mr. Ousmane Dore, Resident Representative, Nigeria Field Office of the AfDB, who launched the event on behalf of AfDB’s President, Dr Donald Kaberuka. “Apart from supporting research with broad sectoral and/ or economic-wide objectives, the social impact of this intervention is significant. This is underscored by the all-inclusive nature of the project beneficiaries: farmers’ groups, youth, private sector, policy makers, rural entrepreneurs, national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), community based organizations, and nongovernmental organizations,” he explained. The project, which will run until 2016, will be co-implemented by three Africa-based CGIAR centers: IITA, Africa Rice Center, and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas.

O

il workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), have said they will shut down oil and gas operations in Bayelsa, AkwaIbom, Cross River, Imo, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra and Benue States if anti-labour practices in Onne Free Trade Zone do not stop within three weeks. The workers gave the ultimatum in a communiqué issued at the end of a joint NUPENG and PENGASSAN (NUPENGAS-

SAN) National Executive Council, saying also that the unions is expressing deep worries about the continuing anti-labour posture of companies operating in the free trade zone. Accusing the authorities of the zone and companies operating there of refusing to heed the advice of the labour minister to respect the constitutional rights of workers to join trade unions and bargain collectively, the oil workers said the companies in connivance with the authority of the Zone have continued to deny Nigerian workers inalienable constitutional rights. “We observe that managements of the various companies in the Free Trade Zone continue

to harass, intimidate and victimise workers. Consequently, NEC-in-Session hereby directs the Port-Harcourt Zone of NUPENG and PENGASSAN to shut down all oil and gas operations in Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra and Benue States if these matters are not resolved within three weeks.” The oil workers also said in the communiqué that they are reminding the Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, of the agreement reached at the joint meeting of NUPENGASSAN, which include a review of the levy for those that earn below N100, 000.00.

FG establishes 80 units of one stop shop for agric input MASHACK IDEHEN

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s part of the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) programme, the Federal Government said it has commence moves to establish a network of One-Stop-Shop agro-input centres in order to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of agricultural inputs, as well as serve as singular access point for inputs and market for small scale farmers. The One Stop Shop Agro Input Centers, according to the government, are meant

to ensure access to agricultural inputs such as fertiliser, agro-chemical, quality seeds, and livestock feed, veterinary drugs, tractor hire and extension services. Special Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, told National Mirror on Tuesday that the AgroProcessing and Marketing Department of the Ministry will commission one of the onestop-shop agro-inputs centres this week. Oyeleye quoted the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina as saying that the move is

in fulfilment of the recommendation of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), that at least five of such agro-inputs centres be constructed in each state to facilitate adequate food production and food security by the year 2012. He said that the National Council on Agriculture (NCA), during its last meeting, considered and approved the construction of one agro-inputs centre in each local government area of the federation, adding that the centres are a medium-scale value chain infrastructure designed and constructed to provide adequate access to affordable agricultural inputs.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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FAAN lauds World Bank over N587m airport fence project TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria has commended World Bank for partnering Nigerian government in its efforts to ensure that adequate security is assured for passengers and assets of the nation’s aviation sector. Giving the commendation at the weekend when the World Bank’s multi-million inner perimeter fence of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja was handed over to the FAAN, the Regional Manager, Engineer Chris Bature, said the completion of the project was a major mileage in the Ministry of Aviation’s new Roadmap for the development of the aviation industry. He said that the inner perimeter fence will now serve as a security buffer against all unauthorised human, vehicular

and other unwarranted animals that hitherto had made the airport less-secured in terms of assets and passengers’ security as desired by the government. Bature explained: “Today, we just had the handing over ceremony of the completion of the inner perimeter fence which is a project sponsored by the World Bank. It is a World Bank-assisted project through the Ministry of Aviation. The project is meant to add the value of safety and security to the airport. “The inner perimeter fence houses the airport runway, the approach lights or air field lighting system. It also houses the meteorological farm where we get our weather reports, houses the taxi ways, the aprons and also part of the residential. “So the inner perimeter fence project is actually a strategic fence to give a buffer for security and safety for the operational area. For instance, this fence

will keep off animals, will keep off human beings and will keep off unauthorised vehicular movements on the inner operational area”, Bature assured. He also lauded the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, for driving the aviation sector transformation agenda, particularly in ensuring the completion of the inner fence, adding that by the time the ongoing outer perimeter project is completed, the airport would have been completely transformed for improved passengers’ and national benefits. “It is with great joy that we celebrate the completion of this particularly project because for some time the airport has porous perimeter fence. Now, with the completion of this project, that problem has been virtually solved.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG inaugurates Technology and Innovation Support Centre OLUFEMI ADEOSUN

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he Federal Government’s Industrial Revolution Plan yesterday got on track with the inauguration of Nigeria’s first Technology and Innovation Support Centre at the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Abuja. The Centre, which is the product of a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Trade and Investment and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, is billed to provide Research and Development institutions, Small and Medium Enterprises, students and industries, among others, access to valuable technology information.It is the sixth TISC in subSaharan Africa.

Speaking during the inauguration of TISC in Abuja, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, explained that the Centre would provide the basis for building the important and growth-enabling culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among students; enable SMEs to create strategic partnerships; serve as catalysts in clustering small businesses and attracting foreign partners and investors. He said, “Our Industrial Revolution Plan is based on linking industrials skills development and innovation to the areas where we have competitive and comparative advantage. When we do this effectively, we will become one of the best developed economies in the world in no time.

UT Financial Services supports SMEs in Nigeria

U

T financial Services, one of Ghana’s most successful non-bank financial companies is celebrating over 3 years of being in Nigeria supporting Small to medium scale enterprises and individuals. The non-bank financial services which its CEO, Prince Kofi Amonbeng has twice being awarded most respected CEO in Ghana began business in Nigeria in April 2009; since then, they have provided financing for many SMEs and individuals in various sectors through funding of local purchase orders and provision of a wide range of financial services. “Small and medium businesses are powerful drivers of growth in African economies, but they often face challenges

in getting appropriate financing”. ‘‘This was a need we identified in the Nigerian market in 2009, which facilitated our coming into the Nigerian market Prince Amaobeng said’’ UT Financial services offer a wide range of non financial services such as personal, social, auto and equipment loan financing. UT financial services is a part of UT holdings which comprises a bank, property, and logistics company, After growing and expanding since its inception in 1997 UT financial services, covers almost all of southern, middle and northern parts of Ghana, UT financial services has also expanded to Germany where it operates in the non financial sector, serving loans to Ghanaians resident in Germany.

NAMA to decongest radio frequency in Lagos L-R: Managing Director, Warm Spring Waters Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Folake Oshinyemi, one of the beneficiaries of WSWNL scholarship award, Mr. Dada Joseph and Human Resource Managert, Mr. Chukwudi Emeruem, during the presentation of scholarship to students in Ikogosi, Ekiti State, at the weekend.

AON tackles Senate committee over NCAA, Dana Air OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he umbrella body of indigenous airlines in Nigeria, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) yesterday castigated the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma over his utterances on happenings in the sector in recent time. AON said that his utterances most especially on the regulatory agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA) could paint the country in bad light before international community. The body, led by it Chairman, Dr. Steve Mahonwu insisted that Uzodinma had been feeding the public with distortion on NCAA

oversight functions, stressing that the agency had been carrying out its function without bias over the years. Mahonwu specifically said that the Dana Air plane, which crashed at the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos with 153 souls on board, was airworthy as at the time it crashed. This is however contrary to the submission of Uzodinma led committee, which reported that the aircraft was not airworthy as at the time it crashed. He said, “He accused the authority of being weak in regulatory related matters. The recent International Civil Aviation Organisation Audit scored NCAA as one of the best in regulation, in fact Nigeria

scored higher than the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. “The average marks scored for the 192 ICAO member state was 60 percent. Democratic Republic of Congo scored 1.0% while Nigeria scored over 80%. This added more impetus to the strength of Nigeria Regulatory Authority oversight functions, subsequently convinced the USA, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to grant Nigeria category one status. “Nigeria is among the only five African Countries from the 64 African countries to pass category 1. Mexico was category II while India is sitting on a last warning to loose its category I.”

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

I

n a bid to further improve air traffic services within the nation’s airspace and decongest the existing radio frequency most especially at Lagos, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is set to sectorise its Lagos Area Control Centre. The management stated yesterday that the current radio frequency -127.3 MHz for the Lagos Area Control Centre is now congested following heavy traffic within the Southern airspace. The decongestion of the radio frequency is expected to commence by Monday 17, December,2012 when the integrity of the system is ascertained. The management said that the best solution is to create additional frequency to allow for effective radio communication

between pilots and air traffic on controllers. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, NAMA, Mr. Supo Atobatele stated that in order to improve the traffic services for pilots, the management has raised another frequency on 120.9MHz. This, Atobatele emphasised would help to decongest the current one, adding that this was part of the Operational Readiness Review (ORR), which includes new procedures being drawn, gap analysis and safety audit while the engineers and air traffic controllers are presently testing the new frequency. The statement reads in part, “Globally, from time to time air traffic system management could be redefined to accommodate new additional equipment and that is what the agency has been doing of recent to allow for service delivery.


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35

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Energy Week Fuel shortage: Stakeholders call for rehabilitation of Arepo pipeline udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has claimed that there is sufficient quantity of fuel to meet demand. But stakeholders still feel that the shortage experienced in different parts of the nation may continue till next year as some fundamental challenges remain unsolved. UDEME AKPAN reports.

Long queues at a filling station.

I

t was the former minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Chu Okongwu who once remarked that: “An average Nigerian does not care about many things in the oil and gas industry. All he or she wants is availability of petroleum products at reasonable prices.” This is true. In most cases, the single index also constitutes the basis for judging the government in power. For instance, the worst government that is able to sustain constant fuel supply nationwide would likely be judged to be the best. At the same time, a good administration that lacks the capacity to meet fuel needs of the people at reasonable prices may not likely make positive impact, no matter how well it may do in other areas. Like in other nations, the provision of fuel and other products is not the direct duty of everybody. It is the duty of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which operates the nation’s refineries, manages the

THE PIPELINE, WHICH HAS SINCE BEEN SHUT, PLAY IMPORTANT ROLE AS IT FACILITATES

THE DISTRIBUTION OF FUEL TO SOME DEPOTS, INCLUDING

MOSIMI AND IBADAN WHERE

MARKETERS USUALLY GO TO LIFT THE PRODUCT TO THEIR RETAIL OUTLETS pipelines and depots through its subsidiaries such as the Kaduna Refinery and petrochemicals Company, Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, Port Harcourt Refinery and Petrochemical Company and the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company, (PPMC). The major marketers, including Total Nigeria Plc, Forte Oil, MRS have different roles to play. These include importation, distribution and marketing of products such as petrol, diesel and cooking gas among others in the nation.

The independent marketers are also involved in the importation, distribution and marketing of products. However, everything seems to have worked well until the vandalism of Arepo pipeline on August 30, this year. The pipeline which has since been shut play important role as it facilitates the distribution of fuel to some depots, including Mosimi and Ibadan where marketers usually go to lift the product to their retail outlets. The attempt of NNPC engineers to rehabilitate it was frustrated by vandals who also snuffed life out

of three engineers who undertook the great mission. Contrary to public expectations, the pipeline has remained shut for over the past three months. In fact, there are strong indications that it may not be rehabilitated this year, apparently because of security reasons. The Managing Director, National Engineering and Technical Company, Mr. Isiaku Abdulahi explained at the just concluded conference of the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), that the security situation has not improved. Abdulahi remarked that would take a while before it would be repaired. As he puts it: “We are working to see that the pipeline is repaired. We have to ensure that we do not jeopardise the lives of our staff again.” The spokesman of the corporation, Mr. Fidel Pepple, who called for public understanding and cooperation also stated that the corporation would move CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


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Energy Week

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Fuel shortage: Stakeholders call for rehabilitation of Arepo pipeline

Yakubu

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 into Arepo once security agencies provide the clearance and backup for such rehabilitation. Pepple who disclosed that these have not yet been done added that the corporation was awaiting the clearance of security agencies before deploying its resources, including personnel to the area. At present, the questions many people are asking are: How has the Arepo pipeline affected the nation? What can be done to ameliorate the present situation? Indeed, the nonfunctioning of the pipeline has affected the nation in many negative ways. For instance, it has stalled the movement of fuel from Atlas Cove to depots in the South West, and by extension other parts of the nation. Second, it has culminated in a situation where tanker drivers come from all parts of the nation to Apapa, Lagos to lift fuel. It should be noted that the development has also caused congestion in the area because of limited facilities at the premises of private jetties. In fact, tanker drivers have to queue for some weeks before they can load the product, thus, affecting replenishing of depleted stocks at their filling stations. These have attracted the comments of some stakeholders. For instance, the National President of the Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria (OGSPAN), Mr. Colman Obasi said: “We in OGSPAN do not understand why it should take too long a time to rehabilitate a pipeline as important as Arepo. There is a ret need for authorities to give priority to this facility because of its importance to the industry ad economy of the nation.” He said the nation’s fuel situation may worsen in the coming weeks as a result of Christmas and New Year celebrations usually characterized by increased utilization of petrol and other petroleum products if drastic measures were not taken to prevent it. Already, the President of Lagos Chapter of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr. Bose Adelaja Korodu said that the closure of Capital Oil and Gas has im-

Olorunshola

Esele

TANKER DRIVERS HAVE TO QUEUE FOR SOME WEEKS BEFORE THEY CAN LOAD THE PRODUCT, THUS, AFFECTING REPLENISHING OF DEPLETED STOCKS AT THEIR FILLING STATIONS pacted very negatively on fuel supply as the company has the installed capacity to store and dispense 35 per cent of the nation’s demand. He said: “Unlike other jetties with small capacities, Capital Oil has the capacity to stock commercial quantity of petroleum products, including petrol and dispense using several points day and night.” Korodu said the closure of the jetty and stations has greatly affected fuel efficient distribution. In fact, it explains why many tankers now have to queue for many weeks before they can load fuel to their outlets. He said the trouble started after the vandalism and shutdown of Arepo pipeline. Consequently, he said marketers now have to come from different locations to lift fuel in Lagos, thus, fuelling congestion at the jetties of a few private jetties dedicated to loading imported fuel in Lagos. Korodu who made a strong case for the rehabilitation of the pipeline remarked that irregular payment of subsidy to major and independent marketers have

Oil vessel

affected their financial capacity to import fuel for local consumption. He said: “This coupled with the indictment of marketers have eroded the confidence of banks whose officials were previously committed to granting them loans. This explains why the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC remains the sole importer of fuel in the country.” The National Secretary of Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN), Mr. Mike Oduniyi who accused depot owners of imposing additional charge on marketers as another reason why it is impossible for them to sale the product at the official price of N97 per liter. He said: “it should be noted that members of Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners of Nigeria, JEPTFON impose additional charge on our members whenever we go to lift fuel, thus making it impossible for us to dispense the product at the approved price of N97 per liter.” Oduniyi who justified the relatively higher prices independent marketers charged also pointed to the poor state of

some local refineries that he said operated at low capacities. He called on improved maintenance targeted at boosting refining and availability of fuel in the nation. The President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr. Peter Esele who stressed the importance of fuel, particularly during the coming Christmas and New Year celebrations tasked the Federal Government to wage a relentless war against pipeline vandalism in different parts of the nation. Esele also called for increased investment into the sector so as to increase the capacity of the nation to meet its domestic fuel needs, rather than over depend on imported product at the detriment of the scarce foreign exchange. These and other views should not be dismissed with the wave of the hand as they deserve serious consideration. Here is a great need for the nation to invest massively in infrastructure, especially refineries, jetties and depots. These should be targeted at enabling the nation to maximize the benefits of petroleum to its citizens and cut unnecessary costs associated with importation and distribution of petroleum products in the country. These would also assist to create many multiplier effects, particularly employment, local content, capacity building and spread of relevant technologies in the nation.


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Energy Week

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

37

Budget execution appears certain as OPEC price stands at $108.59 per barrel mentation of the 2012 Budget. Thus far, about 48.1percent, of the capital budget released, had been utilised as at 30th September 2012.” He said he has taken a personal interest in the budget implementation since May by chairing weekly sessions with Ministers and Heads of parastatals on their progress in this regard. The President stated that: “We are determined to use the instrument of the budget to improve the welfare of Nigerians. You would recall my assurance to Nigerians that subsequent budgets will be presented earlier to the National Assembly. It is in this spirit that I lay this proposal before this Assembly today, to give sufficient time for deliberation onthe Proposal and approval of the budget, and to enable us commence implementation from January 1st 2013.” He said the government has signed Performance; Agreement Contracts with Ministers which is meant to bring about delivery of projects and programmes in their respective budgets. Jonathan said: “The Ministers in turn, are signing similar agreements with their Permanent Secretaries, Head$; of parastatals and Directors: to cascade down the need for respectability, and accountability. Key government officials with responsibility, for implementing different aspects of the budget will be appraised based on these performance agreements. My goal is to ensure optimal implementation of our annual budgets.” He said the government is also determined to reduce the cost of governance mainly through the review of recommendations aimed at rationalizing Agencies of the Federal Government with overlapping functions. Jonathan stated that: “This has been taken into account in the preparation of the 2013 Budget, and we expect some very modest cost savings from this exercise in the course of the 2013 fiscal year.”

UDEME AKPAN

T

he implementation of the nation’s 2012 budget will end on a strong note as crude oil prices continue to rise at the international market. The budget was based on $72 per barrel. But oil prices have consistently been in excess of the budget reference price despite occasional instability at the market. For instance, on Monday, this week, the price of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 12 crudes hits $108.59 per barrel at the world market. The cartel that confirmed the development stated that: “The price of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC basket of 12 crudes stood at $108. 59 per barrel over the weekend, compared with $107.46 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.” The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). Besides OPEC, the prices of other crude oil grades also rose significantly at the volatile market, especially as a result of the positive economic data from the world’s biggest energy consumer China and against a background of tensions across the oil-rich Middle East. Despite steady inflow of funds, there is speculation that the implementation of the budget has not progressed according to projection. For instance, the Chairman of House Committee on Power, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale scored the government low on execution of projects in the power sector.

Alison-Madueke

Others, including labour have also scored the government low on the execution of projects in the petroleum industry. However, President Goodluck Jonathan stated in his 2013 Budget address that: “The 2012 Budget was focused on achieving Fiscal Consolidation with Inclusive Growth using the budget balance as a fiscal anchor. In that respect, while investing in key priorities, the budget also ensured that the deficit followed a downward trend over the medium term. This is being done through a more aggressive revenue collection drive and prudent management of available resources.” He said on the expenditure side, the implementation of the 2012 Budget is on track, having commenced effectively in April when it became law. Jonathan stated that: “We have so far released N711.6 billion to MDAs for the implementation of their capital budgets while further releases are to follow shortly for the fourth quarter. The continued implementation of the 2011 capital budget in the first quarter of 2012, clearly affected the imple-

Finance Minister seeks to reduce oil dominance to 60%

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he Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has made a strong case for the reduction of the contribution of oil revenue to 60 per cent in the medium term. Oil currently accounts for 70 percent of government revenue in the West African nation, down from 80 percent in recent years, Okonjo-Iweala said today at a conference in Abuja, the capital.

Taxes and non-oil exports provide 30 percent, according to the minister. She said: “We’ll continue to drive that down to 60-40 percent over the medium term.” Africa’s most populous country of more than 160 million people is seeking to reduce oil dependence and its vulnerability to oil-price shocks by diversifying its revenue sources.

The country’s excess crude account, which holds the difference between the oil price used for the budget and higher prices realized from the market, has risen to about $9 billion, according to OkonjoIweala. The Minister stated that the government expects to reduce recurrent spending in 2013 to 68.8 percent from 77 percent in 2010.

Energy & Oil Prices

Source: Bloomberg

OIL ($/bbl) Nymex Crude Future Dated Brent Spot WTI Cushing Spot

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

85.95 111.01 85.54

0.41 0.90 -0.74

0.48% 0.82% -0.86%

07:42 07:52 10/29

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

310.55 275.30

-0.97 -0.38

-0.31% -0.14%

07:37 07:41

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

NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu)

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

11:19

New York City Gate Spot

3.77 3.43 3.57

-0.03 0.09 0.11

-0.84% 2.69% 3.18%

07:43 10/29 10/29

ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour)

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

% CHANGE

09/24

Nymex Henry Hub Future Henry Hub Spot

Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot

32.95 35.23

-0.40 -0.76

-1.20% -2.11%

10/26 10/29

BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON

30.25

2.04

7.23%

10/26

Source: Oilprice.com

Meanwhile, the nation continues to commercial quantity of its crude oil grades to the international market. For instance, plans have been concluded plans to ship four 950,000 barrel cargoes of Usan crude exports for January, next year. The USAN Crude was formally introduced to the market in February 22, 2012. The setting was the fantastic ambience of a first class hotel in central London, the presence of a high-powered delegation from Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, representatives from the Group, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as partners of the USAN Project, oil traders and refiners and top quality presentations. This was how the USAN Crude got the welcome nod in the international oil market. With that event, the 10-year dream of the USAN Project became a reality. The introduction of the crude to the market, the subsequent coming on stream of the field and big interest of refiners across the world are a testimony to the concrete partnership between Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria and the Nigerian nation.


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Energy Week

PIB: Minister urges oil majors to accept higher tax

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he Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has urged International Oil Companies, in the country to accept higher government revenues from crude production outlined in a draft oil bill being debated in parliament. Speaking at an economic summit in Abuja, Alison-Madueke said fiscal reforms in the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), if passed, would be the most comprehensive in four decades. She described the increased government take from oil revenues in the PIB as small and said they were fair, given sustained higher oil prices. “Nigeria is not alone in the tightening of fiscal terms,” she said. “The goal has always been to find a fair balance between the government and the contractors’ shares.” President Goodluck Jonathan presented the bill to parliament in August and it is still being discussed. Oil majors have cried out about proposed tax terms in the bill, with Shell and ExxonMobil saying they would make exploration deep offshore, which is the key to growing Nigeria’s reserves, non-viable. Nigeria’s tax and royalties regimes are complex and often highly secretive. Little is known about existing terms on offshore contracts, but oil majors say the PIB has worse terms than existing ones. “The government is not in the business of oil and gas to make a loss for the country. At the same time, the intent is to remain competitive to attract investment,” Alison-Madueke told delegates at the conference. She has said after the changes were made in the PIB, Nigeria’s “government take” on offshore projects would be around 73 percent, lower than in rival producers Angola, Norway and Indonesia. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer, exporting around 2 million barrels per day (bpd) and it also holds the world’s ninth largest gas reserves, but years of uncertainty over the fiscal terms of the PIB has discouraged investment. “The PIB has been 12 years in the making. If it was such an easy bill, it would have been hashed out a long time ago,” Alison-Madueke said. “I don’t think any position you take on a bill such as this could be perfect ... but I think we did a fairly equitable job.” The PIB’s comprehensive nature -- comprising everything including fiscal terms, reform of the state oil company, penalties for environmental infractions and funds for communities living on oil fields -- is partly why it has been so hard to agree on.

OPEC oil quotas may remain unchanged

M

ost OPEC ministers and officials say the oil market is balanced, signaling little desire to alter output targets when they meet next month in Vienna. Bloomberg’s compilation has it that member states may not ask for change at the cartel this month. It stated that OPEC has pumped above that target all year, with total crude output falling to 30.95 million barrels a day in October, according to a Nov. 9 report by its secretariat that cited secondary sources for the data. That’s still 1.25 million a day more than the average amount that OPEC estimates is required of it in 2013. The agency stated that Algeria is unlikely to ask for a cut in OPEC oil output limits, Ali Hached, adviser to the energy and mines minister, said Oct. 23. Angola stated that the market is adequately supplied. Ecuador doesn’t see any need to change current output levels at the Vienna meeting, Non-Renewable Natural Resources Minister Wilson Pastor told reporters Nov. 28 in Quito. The country is OPEC’s smallest producer. Iran hopes the average price of OPEC crudes will increase “in next days,” Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told the state-run Fars news agency Nov. 19. He said global demand will increase as winter approaches in the northern hemisphere. Iraq stated that OPEC doesn’t need to discuss its output quota now, but will possibly need to in coming years. The country’s production rose to 3.35 million barrels a day in September, from 2.73 million one year earlier, and maintained the same rate last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NERC issues deadline for states to conclude electricity assets valuation STORIES: UDEME AKPAN

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he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has given state governments up to December 31, 2012 to submit a detailed valuation of their investments in electricity distribution assets. Speaking a meeting in Lagos with representatives of Eko Electricity Distribution Company and officials of the Lagos State government, Dr. Sam Amadi - Chairman/CEO NERC, said that a framework for the valuation had already been adopted by parties involved. He said: “In December, a universal valuation was done, we need to know what asset belongs to who”. The National Economic Council had earlier directed NERC to undertake an inventory of all electricity distribution assets associated with local distribution networks. The study was concluded in December, 2012. This was done to ascertain the post privatisation structure of the PHNC successor companies. It may be recalled that the Federal Government had allocated 40percent of the shares of these legacy companies to States within the distribution zones and workers of the companies. These shares will be based on the value of the assets as determined by NERC.

Concerns about assets acquired post 2010 were raised. Amadi explained that there will be a framework for investors to pay for these subsequent assets. He added that he fully appreciated that the process was a painstaking one, and that if areas of dispute were thrown up, a tripartite meeting with NERC will be convened to resolve the issues. Also, NERC has assured stakeholders in the electricity industry that it is aiming at providing the best regulatory framework in cognizance with the transitory efforts at privatising the power sector. Amadi made the remark at a consultation/workshop on the bulk procurement framework for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). The meeting took place on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012. Speaking on the ongoing privatization of the power industry, he noted that it was being successfully carried out. Amadi said “this is the time that we are successfully transiting at privatizing the power sector”. According to him, the development makes it far more imperative for the Commission in conjunction with stakeholders in the industry to work out competitive pricing. He told the gathering, “one of the things to be done is for us to come up with a competitive pricing format”. The procurement framework has as its key objective; the consideration of issues relating to uncoordinated actions in the Nigerian Electric Supply Industry (NESI)

NDDC begins vaccination against flood related diseases

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he Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has flagged off the distribution of typhoid vaccine, anti-malaria drugs and other medical consumables worth millions of naira to flood victims in the nine states of the region. Performing the ceremony in Port Harcourt, NDDC Governing Board Chairman, Dr. Tarilah Tebepah disclosed that the move was to ward off the outbreak of diseases in the flood ravaged communities of the Niger Delta region. “The flood took everyone unawares like most natural disasters, but we can now anticipate what follows when the water recedes; that is why we have decided to intervene to save our people from preventable diseases,” he explained. On his part, the Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh said the Commission had earlier distributed relief materials across the region for the victims adding that NDDC was mindful of post flood realities which include health hazard of different dimensions. He admitted that some lessons have been learnt from the recent flood saying, “we now know that we should be better prepared next time. For now, we will do our best to help alleviate the suffering of the people”. Representative of the North Central on the Board, Senator Tunde Ogbeha described the gesture as timely and assured that the commission will remain focused in providing succor to the people and meeting its developmental obligations. Director, Education, Health and Social Services

in the commission, Dr. Christiana Atako said the drug distribution started with Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo and Rivers states, while the other affected states of the region will be covered in the second phase of distribution.

Oboh

Low demand chases Nigeria, other

O

il export from Nigeria and other West African nations has been threatened by relatively low demand. Consequently, crude oil stayed relatively depressed early this week, with lacklustre demand from China and India and unsold cargoes weighing on differentials. Reuters confirmed the development when it stated that: “Around eight cargoes remained unsold from the Nigerian programme for November just days ahead of the expected release of December shipping lists.” It stated that China’s Sinopec Corporated has re-

started a 104,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) crude processing unit at its subsidiary refinery in Guangzhou after a shutdown of around 20 days, an industry official said. The agency stated that the closure of the refinery had helped pressure differentials as they used West African crude imports, but there was little conviction that demand was set to pick up. A trader said that while activity in October was relatively strong, it was weaker so far in November and December. “The Chinese are not being nearly as aggressive as they were last year,” a trader said.


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Energy Week

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

39

WAGP completes pipeline maintenance soon UDEME AKPAN

T

Amadi

can be resolved so that market rules as stipulated in the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Acts 2005, can be adhered to strictly. The one day event ended with a decision by the Commission to allow for written comments that would pave the way towards an acceptable procurement framework.

Total makes new oil find

T

otal announces that its affiliate, Total E&P Norge has made an oil discovery in the Garantiana prospect located on Production License 554 (PL554) in the Norwegian North Sea, 185 kilometers northwest of Bergen and 30 kilometers northeast of the Visund Field, at water depths of 384 meters. Total E&P Norge is operator of the license with a 40percent interest, other partners are Det norske oljeselskap ASA 20percent, Bridge Energy Norge AS 20percent and Svenska Petroleum Exploration 20percent. Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 25 and 75 million barrels of recoverable oil. The wildcat well 34/6-2 S encountered oil in the Lower Jurassic Cook Formation with good reservoir quality. A successful production test was carried out on the well, with a flow rate of 4,300 barrels of oil per day through a 28/64” choke. A sidetrack was then drilled to appraise the discovery and allowed to identify an oil-water contact in the formation. The well on the Garantiana prospect is the first exploration well in License 554. Other prospects are located in the immediate vicinity of the discovery and are under evaluation. A second exploration well is planned to be drilled in the area. Total has increased its exploration activity in Norway in recent years, drilling more wells on existing acreage, actively participating in exploration rounds, and, in the case of PL554, farming in as operator. Commenting on the discovery, Patrice de Viviès, Total’s Senior Vice President Exploration & Production for Northern Europe said: “This oil discovery opens new perspectives in the area.

West Africa Crude

It remarked that Qua Iboe was assessed at around dated Brent plus $2 a barrel, slighlty lower than seen on Friday. Nigeria set its official selling price (OSP) for Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crude oil grades in November at dated Brent plus $1.80 a barrel, the state oil firm said on Thursday. The agency stated that Bonny Light was assessed around Qua Iboe minus 40-50 cents due to unreliable loading dates that mean it is unlikely to be offered into Indian buying tenders, a main source of demand.

he West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), has started intensifying efforts to ensure the rehabilitation of its pipeline is completed in the coming weeks. An authoritative source in the company said this is aimed at ensuring that the maintenance is completed for delivery of gas to Republic of Benin, Ghana and Togo. The product is important to the nations, whose stakeholders utilised it for electricity generation before it was damaged by a vessel a few months ago. The Managing Director of WAPCo, Mr. Charles Adeniji stated in Lagos that: “The WAGP was broken into 2 parts on August 28, 2012 when a vessel dragged anchor over the pipeline at the Lome T- junction. WAPCo has identified the location and the magnitude of the damage. Damaged pipe joints have been removed and are in the process of replacing them.” He said divers have removed the damaged pipe joints for disposal while the remaining pipe ends have been aligned back to their original positions.

Adeniji said construction barge was hired on September 24, 2012 while a team was mobilised on September 28, equipped with crane, welders, pipe and machines. 6 Pipe joints loaded on the barge. On completion, he said: “Line scraper, called “pigs” will be inserted into and launched at one end of the line to remove water which will be received at the other end. Adeniji said: “Compressed gas or Nitrogen will be used to push the pig- Main line/ Laterals. As the pig travels, water in line will be pushed out, while the compressed gas or Nitrogen will dry the internal surface of the line.” The managing director said: “The amount of moisture in the gas/ nitrogen will indicate when the line is dried and when pigging can stop. After drying / inerting, the operating valves will be opened to flow, and gas will be introduced into the line and will commence gas transportation operations.” Already, a construction barge has been hired to fabricate the replacement 6-pipe joint spools. Adeniji said: “Concurrently, action plans are being developed for removing water and drying the main and the lateral lines after which gas will be introduced. We expect to commence operations before December 25, 2012. Shareholders have been responsive and supporting.”

FG to commission more NIPP projects in Lagos, environs UDEME A KPAN

P

lans are underway by the Federal Government to commission more National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), in Lagos. A source close to the firm who confirmed the plan said; “There are plans to commission new projects in Lagos and its environs because of their importance.” He said the projects would be commissioned as soon as they are completed so as to enable the government achieved its desired objectives in the power sector. A few days ago, some projects were commissioned through the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, NDPHC include 15 MVA power transformer at NITEL injection substation, 60 MVA transformer, Mushin and 132/33 KVA at Ojo injection substation in the outskirts of Lagos. Commissioning the projects, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. James Olotu said the development was based on government determination to make electricity supply available to more consumers in the lagos are in particular and the nation in general. Olotu said the Federal Government was committed to ensuring that electricity gets to every part of the nation. He called on consumers to assist in protecting the projects against vandals that may seek to vandalise them. The managing director said more projects would be commissioned as they are completed in future in Lagos and other parts of the nation. It would be recalled that in May, this year the NDPHC commissioned 11 power injector sub-stations in Lagos metropolis to boost electricity supply, with Olotu assuring Lagosians that the projects would boost electricity supply in most communities under the network. Olotu said that when all the projects are completed, they would have the capacity to inject additional minimum of 1,000 megawatts by December to the national grid. The 11 substations commissioned included Agbowa-Ikosi, Ipakodo, Ijede, Agbara, Ajangbadi, OrileCoker, Fowler, Alagbon, Beckley, Apapa Raod and Tincan. These substations were handed over to management of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company and Eko Electricity Distribution Company to boost the quality of power supply to the areas. He said that the new 60 MVA transformers commissioned across the metropolis were capable of boosting power supply to the community to bring about more stability in the power supply. Olotu said: “This is our year of harvest on all NIPP

projects in the country which we have been working towards. One of the substations can serve about 10,000 residents of the communities which is part of the present administration under Goodluck Jonathan to ensure effective power distributions to Nigerians.”

PTDF gets new Executive Secretary CHIDI UGWU, ABUJA

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new acting Executive Secretary has taken over the Management of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), as tenure of incumbent Engr. Muttaqha Rabe Darma Expires. In a statement, the Head Press and External Relations (PTDF) Mr. Kalu Otisi said the erstwhile Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Engr. (Dr.) Muttaqha Rabe Darma formally handed over the management of the Fund on Monday to Mr. Jolomi Arenyeka, General Manager, Projects and Technical Services Division of the Fund. This followed the expiration of the four year tenure of Engr. Muttaqha Rabe Darma as Chief Executive of the Fund having been appointed Executive Secretary on the 17th of November, 2008. In a brief handover ceremony, on Thursday November 29, 2012 Darma thanked the Management and Staff of the Fund for their co-operation in making his tenure a success. According to him, “we achieved a lot working together as a team. We tried to do a lot of things that I felt were right. In the process, some may have felt slighted. To these people, I ask for your forgiveness’’. Darma who is attributed to have introduced and sustained the implementation of far reaching and innovative capacity building programmes and projects during his tenure said the experience he gained serving as Executive Secretary PTDF will last him a lifetime. He urged his successor, though on acting capacity, to sustain the tempo through team work. In his response, Arenyeka thanked Darma for his contributions to the realisation of the mandate of the Fund. He promised to do his best to keep the flag flying for the period he will serve in the capacity. According to him ‘’ I have learnt from my deep faith in God that most things happen not because we will it, but because it is the will of God.’’ He therefore assured the management and staff of the fund that for the period he will serve as caretaker of the fund, he will with the right focus, temperament and patience create a harmonious working relationship within the Fund. Arenyeka who hails from Delta State is a 1982 Accounting Graduate and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria having trained with KPMG Audit. Arenyeka joined PTDF as a pioneer staff in 2001 and since then served in various positions including Manager Accounts, Audit, Assistant General Manager, Finance and Administration and General Manager Projects and Technical Services. Before joining PTDF, Arenyeka held Managerial and Chief Executive positions in the banking industry as well as in manufacturing/service industry.


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Energy Week

BP explains suspension

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he British Petroleum which is presently having issues with the United States government has explained that the suspension imposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, relates to only its future contracts. The firm stated in a release that: “The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding BP’s temporary suspension relates only to future potential contracts with the US government. The temporary suspension does not affect any existing contracts the company has with the US government, including those relating to current and ongoing drilling and production operations in the Gulf of Mexico.” It stated that the EPA’s action is pursuant to administrative procedures providing for discretionary suspension until a company can demonstrate “present responsibility” to conduct business with the US government. The firm stated that: “BP has been in regular dialogue with the EPA and has already provided both a present responsibility statement of more than 100 pages and supplemental answers to the EPA’s questions based on that submission.” It remarked that in support of BP’s efforts to establish present responsibility, the US Department of Justice agreed, in the plea agreement, that it will advise any appropriate suspension or debarment authority that in the department’s view, BP has accepted criminal responsibility for its conduct relating to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill and response. The firm stated that EPA has informed BP that it is preparing a proposed administrative agreement that, if agreed upon, would effectively resolve and lift this temporary suspension. The EPA notified BP that such a draft agreement would be available soon. It remarked that: “As BP’s submissions to the EPA have made clear, the company has made significant enhancements since the accident. The company launched an internal investigation immediately after the accident, publicly released the results, and has been implementing all 26 of the investigation’s recommendations.”

Firm provides facility to UNIPORT

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he University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has become the latest beneficiary of Total’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives with the commissioning and handover of emergency room equipment. The state of the art equipment donated are: 2 Defibrillators, 1 Ultrasound Scanner, 1 Mobile X-ray machine, 5 Ventilators, 1 EGC machine, 10 Electronics Vital Sign monitors, 5 Laryugo Scopes,24 Ambu bags, 10 Electronic thermometers,10 Oxygen Cylinders, 10 Sphygmometers,5 Suction machines and 1 Perkins 100KVA Generator. They were received on behalf of the institution by the Chief Medical Director, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Professor Aaron Ojule, who commended Total and its partners for the laudable gesture. He said: “This is something that speaks eloquently for your company. Our hospital is in the heart of the Niger Delta; in the hub of oil companies operating in the region. We are open to everybody, and everybody is our client. That gives us a lot of challenge trying to meet up the needs of everybody. The equipment you have donated gladdens our heart, because these are the equipment a modern emergency department should have. It is true we have some equipment, but a big hospital like ours cannot be said to have too many equipment.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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NIPCO invests N17bn in CNG schemes UDEME AKPAN

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ipco Plc, an integrated indigenous downstream operator has injected well over N17billion in the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) infrastructure in a joint venture scheme with Nigeria Gas Company, NGC a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The JV scheme which resulted in the setting up Green Gas Ltd had already inaugurated eight CNG stations and conversion workshops in the city of Benin while more outlets are currently under construction in other parts of the country. The Managing Director of Nipco, Mr. Venkataraman Venkatapathy who made the disclosure while speaking on the sidelines at the Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) 8th international Conference and Exhibition said over 1,500 vehicles had been configured to use CNG as vehicular fuel which are capable of saving the nation huge sums of money that could have been expended on fuel subsidy He explained that the GGL initiative which is the first of its kind in West Africa is ushering-in a new era of vehicles running on CNG in Nigeria with its attendant benefits. Venkatapathy listed other infrastructure provided by the JV company to include the laying of over 50 km still pipelines for gas distribution to the inaugurated CNG stations across the city of Benin in a conscious bid to guarantee access to gas to the outlets According to him, the conversion process which takes approximately 5 hours has been smooth since 2009 when the company inaugurated its first set of stations. Venkatapathy explained that after conversion the vehicle can run both on Petrol and natural gas thus giving the motorist a tab switch between using CNG and Petrol at will. The NIPCO boss said in order to create more awareness on the benefits of powering vehicles with gas over petrol, GGL has continuously showed cased CNG vehicle in scores of exhibitions including

the just concluded NGA event to enable the public see and experience vehicle that runs on petrol and CNG. He said the latest addition in the CNG revolution being undertaken by GGL is the conversion of Tricycles popularly referred to as Keke Napep and Mass Transit buses in the fleet of Edo state government transport fleet popularly known as “Comrade Bus”. According to him, Edo State mass transport buses are running successfully on CNG for the last Six months while 25 more are in the process of being converted as a further boost to natural gas usage in the state and beyond. He noted that: “The CNG initiative which is the first of its kind in West Africa is receiving a lot of support from both the Federal and Edo state government, a feat that is serving as good catalyst for GGL to pursue the dream with vigour and deep sense of responsibility.” He reiterated that pioneering a project of this nature is a big challenge but the unwavering commitment of the Federal Government through the relevant agencies NGC - our JV partner, DPR etc have spurred us to redouble our efforts to enable the citizenry en-

joy the benefits of this environment friendly fuel . The Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, NNPC, Dr David Ige said the GGL initiative is commendable and in line with the transformation policy of President Jonathan which harps on the exploration of the abundant natural gas reserves for the benefit of the people. “The initiative between NIPCO and Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), was to leverage Natural Gas in vehicular use as it is significantly cheap, environment friendly, safe and efficient in comparison to white products especially in a deregulated fuel market” he submitted. Ige maintained that over time, the 50 per cent savings being enjoyed by taxi drivers whose cars run on CNG would be passed to passengers thus, making an average passenger in Nigeria move around at a relatively cheaper rate than they could with petrol. The NNPC GED assured that government will continue to support initiatives of this nature adding that of the three companies given the license to pioneer CNG revolution in 2007 only NIPCO showed enough commitment which are further exemplified in the zeal at which the projects are being executed.

NIPCO’s CNG station

Ghana’s solar energy plant to be Africa’s largest

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United Kingdom firm has announced plans to build what it claims are the biggest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Africa. The Nzema project, based in Ghana, will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes. Construction work on the $400m (£248m) plant is due to start within 12 months. The developers say that they are optimistic that finance for the project will be confirmed within six months. The initiative is being developed by Blue Energy, a UK-based renewable energy investment company. Dozens of solar projects have been announced across Africa in recent years but few have been on this ambitious scale says industry analyst Ash Sharma at IMS Research. He said the 155 megawatt plant will increase Ghana’s generating capacity by 6per cent “It is the biggest single project that’s going ahead at the moment,” he told BBC News. “It is not the biggest in the world, but if it goes ahead it will be the biggest in Africa.” He says that a key element in helping the project go ahead has been Ghana’s renewable energy law under which the plant has

been awarded a feed-in tariff for 20 years. These are premium prices, guaranteed for the working life of the site. Project Director Douglas Coleman, from Mere Power Nzema Ltd. who will build the plant, told BBC News that it was “fully cooked” in planning terms. This map shows the amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching the ground “The project has land, it has planning consent, it has a generating licence, and it has received a feed-in tariff,” he said, “it is the right plant in the right place at the right time.” He was confident that the finance needed to build the plant could be raised in the next six months. The company behind the scheme is majority owned and funded by members of the Stadium Group, a large European private asset and development company with £2.5bn under management. Ash Sharma believes that the backing of this firm plus the feed-in tariff makes the idea viable. “One of the biggest stumbling blocks has been overcome and the financing looks like it could be in a good position to succeed I would say.” Unlike many other solar projects in Af-

rica that use concentrated solar power, the Nzema plant will use photovoltaic (PV) technology to convert sunlight directly into electricity. Douglas Coleman says the characteristics of the Sun in Ghana favour PV. “We can predict with great certainty on an annual basis, the output from the plant. That predictability means we can harmonise with the needs of the transmission network, to balance load with generation.” While concerns have been raised in recent weeks about the future of North Africa’s Desertec project that aims to export solar power to Europe, researchers are far more hopeful about the prospects for local African markets. Demand for renewable energy has been held back in emerging economies like Ghana by high costs, but a recent glut of solar panels on world markets has seen prices tumble - much to the advantage of African countries. “The reason the technology hasn’t taken off so far is that it has been too expensive,” said Ash Sharma, “but the costs of solar have decreased dramatically in the last two years, they’ve fallen by 40percent plus, and this has enabled it to be used in emerging regions in Africa and Asia.”


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Executive Discourse

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NEITI will continue to fight against In the past few months, there has been increasing threats to the operations in the petroleum industry, and by extension economy of the nation. In this interview with UDEME AKPAN, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed speaks on a wide range of issues, particularly the commitment of government to tackling oil theft. Why was NEITI established? The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), was established by legislation to promote transparency and accountability in the management of Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining revenues. It is the national version of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global movement aimed at ensuring that extractive resources aid sustainable development. The Initiative was inaugurated in February 2004 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he established the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), under the leadership of Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili. The NSWG that oversees the activities of NEITI is made up representatives of government, extractive companies and civil society. Soon after its inauguration, NEITI commissioned the first comprehensive audit of Nigeria’s petroleum industry for the period 1999 to 2004 and is working with various stakeholders to build national consensus on the need for extractive revenue transparency in Nigeria. A bill was introduced to the National Assembly in December 2004 to give legal backing to the operations of NEITI. The Bill was harmonised by the two chambers of the National Assembly and subsequently signed into law by former President Obasanjo on May 28, 2007, thus enabling the nation to become the first EITI-implementing country with a statutory backing. What were the specific mandates of NEITI? Since 2004, NEITI has engaged in various activities in pursuit of its mandate. These include the commissioning of the Financial, Physical and Process Audits of Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry for the period 1999 to 2004, communicating the findings of the audit in a comprehensive manner to various stakeholders; working with government agencies and other stakeholders to remedy the lapses identified by the audit; building the capacity of civil society organizations, government officials, parliamentarians and the media to understand and monitor extractive revenue transparency in Nigeria. They also include forging a national consensus for extractive revenue transparency in Nigeria through outreach and advocacy activities such as road-shows, consultative forums and town-hall meetings. Why and how is NEITI structured to carry out its functions? NEITI has a structure that is targeted at enabling it to accomplish its set objectives. For instance, there is the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) is the governing body of NEITI which is responsible for the formulation of policies, programmes and strategies for effective implementation of NEITI’s mandate. The NSWG is made up representatives of extractive industry companies, civil society, labour unions and the geo-political zones and experts in the extractive industries. The Executive Secretary, who also serves as the secretary of NSWG, is responsible for the day-to-day administration of NEITI. Like I said earlier, the aim of NEITI is to promote transparency and engender due process in the Nigerian Extractive Industries. For effective implementation of its mandate, NEITI will conduct comprehensive audits of the extractive sector, build capacities of regulatory agencies and the civil society, and mobilize Nigerians in support of extractive revenue transparency. What specific methods do you use?

Ahmed

THE 2007 ACT MANDATES NEITI TO PROMOTE DUE PROCESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN EXTRACTIVE REVENUES PAID TO AND RECEIVED BY GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS ENSURE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE APPLICATION OF EXTRACTIVE REVENUES We use many methods. For instance, we do regular publication of all material oil, gas and mining payments by companies to governments and all material revenues received by governments from oil, gas and mining companies to a wide audience in a publicly accessible, comprehensive and comprehensible manner. Where such audits do not already exist, payments and revenues are the subject of a credible, independent audit, applying international auditing standards. Payments and revenues are reconciled by a credible, independent administrator, applying international auditing standards and with publication of the administrator’s opinion regarding that reconciliation including discrepancies, should any be identified. What is the composition of the present NEITI Board? The NEITI has one of the well-composed boards in the country, especially because of the qualification and experience of members in critical areas. The painstaking decision by Government to ensure that members of the new NEITI Board were chosen

from the extractive industry, civil society, industryrelated labour unions, government and representatives of the six geopolitical zones is to us in NEITI a demonstration of the Federal government’s commitment to respecting the independence of NEITI as well as its principles and objectives. Specifically, The composition of the new NSWG include, Mr. Ledum Mitee-Chairman, Hajia Mariam Ladi Ibrahim -Member, Dr. Kate Okparaeke -Member, Mr. Isaac Boyi - Member, Barr. Patrick Udonfang - Member, Mrs. Abiola Enitan Edenaike - Member, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmud, SAN - Member and Engr. Musa Nashumi - Member. Others are Chairman, OPTS, (Rep. of Extractive Industry Companies) - Member, National Coordinator, Publish What You Pay, in Nigeria (Rep. of Civil Society) - Member, and President of PENGASSAN (Rep. of Labour Union)-member. Also on the Board is Mr. Dominic Nwachukwu, MD, Ground Water Resources Ltd. (Expert in the Extractive Industry)-Member, Mr. Bassey Ekefene - Member, Group Managing Director (NNPC) - Member, and the Executive Secretary of NEITI Mrs Zainab Ahmed - member and Secretary to the Board. NEITI is also satisfied that the composition complies with the provisions of NEITI Act 2007 and the expectations of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative operating in over 45 countries for which Nigeria voluntarily signed up to as a founding member since 2003. Following the increasing public demand for transparency and accountability in the Nigeria extractive sector, especially the oil and gas industry, growing citizens agitation for reforms through the Petroleum Industry Bill, legislative probes, media and civil society advocacy over extractive revenue transparency issues, increasing citizens pressure for implementation of NEITI principles, methods and processes in Nigeria’s extractive industry, the composition of a formidable NEITI Board to give policy direction to the agency is a courageous and timely decision.


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Executive Discourse

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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illegal bunkering, oil theft –Ahmed How is NEITI committed to tackling illegal oil bunkering, oil theft and related crimes? The Initiative is generally against activities that tend to threaten the generation and application to impact positively on the people. This partly explained why we called for a specific law with stringent sanctions and penalties against illegal oil bunkering, oil thefts, illegal refineries and pipeline vandalization. This battle should not be left for NEITI and a few government agencies to fight. It should concern everyone. The activities of oil thieves, proliferation of illegal refineries, pipe line vandalisation, and environmental pollution in the Niger Delta have risen to alarming proportions and become a major threat to the economy of the nation. For instance, the nation’s economy has lost about $4.3billion to oil thefts in the last two years at an average rate of $2.3million annually. From all indications, a specific law is required to deal with this act of economic sabotage. There is a need for the National Assembly to pass a stringent law with clearly defined sanctions and penalties to curb this dangerous economic crime. How are you involved in the subsidy probe targeted at recovering funds for the government? This is another major issue that bother us. Already, we have followed with keen interest the ongoing probe of the management of oil subsidy revenues by the House of Representatives since the committee was set up on the January 8, 2012. As an agency set up to, among other things, develop a framework for transparency and accountability in the management of revenues from Nigerian extractive industries especially oil and gas, NEITI has every stake and legitimate interest in the process and outcome of the exercise. As one of the first out of over 40 resource-rich countries implementing the initiative around the world to support the policy with legislation with the NEITI Act of 2007, the growing interest of the National Assembly on how revenues from Nigeria’s extractive revenues are managed is encouraging to NEITI. These are positive and fundamental steps towards deepening the EITI culture in our country. What are you doing in the area of oil and gas audit? The contracts for the audit of the Solid Minerals and Oil and Gas sector were on Thursday, 1st March, 2012 signed in Abuja. The signing ceremony took place at the NEITI Secretariat and was witnessed by a cross section of the media and civil society. The signing of these contracts signals the commencement of the much awaited audits and brings to four the number of audits by NEITI. The first two audits (1999-2004 & 2005) have been in the Oil and Gas sector alone. The Oil & Gas audit to be conducted by the firm of Sada Idris & Co. is to covered the period 2009-2011. The second Audit, the first of its kind to be conducted by NEITI in the Solid minerals sector, will be undertaken by Haruna Yahaya & Co. and covered the period 2007-2010. The Oil and Gas Audit project is expected to deliver the financial flows, establish cash calls, government crude liftings and petroleum profit tax validations among other assignments while the Solid Minerals Audit aims at establishing the tonnage and mined quarried minerals by major players as well as activities of entities in the manufacturing and construction sectors that derive their raw materials from mining and quarrying activities. The benefits of these audits to national development are overwhelming; these include promoting a culture of reporting and disclosure of payments and receipts in the extractive industry sector, generating accurate data and credible information on revenue flows, physical volumes of production of crude oil, exposing governance and management process lapses as well as making recommendations on how the

THE INITIATIVE IS GENERALLY AGAINST ACTIVITIES THAT TEND TO THREATEN THE GENERATION AND APPLICATION TO IMPACT POSITIVELY ON THE PEOPLE resources can be prudently managed and deployed to aid sustainable development. What about the Petroleum Industry Bill? The attention of NEITI has been drawn to the on-going deliberations on the PIB now before the NASS. NEITI has a stake and a legitimate interest in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). NEITI therefore wishes to use this opportunity to strongly advise the NASS to ensure that, in its consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill, nothing but Nigeria’s overriding national interest (optimization of revenue flows to Nigeria, protection of the operational environment, transparency, accountability and inter-generational equity) is held supreme. NEITI has reason to believe that some of these values are in danger of being sacrificed. NEITI is making this urgent call for protection and defense of the national interest in - the on- going deliberations on the PIB by the NASS because it appears that some crucial facts and data were either not made

available to members of the NASS or if made available, were not thoroughly understood and their import adequately appreciated by them to enable them make informed decisions on the PIB. This is especially so in respect of the impact and implications of the fiscal regime embedded in the document currently before the NASS, on revenue flows to the Federation Account as well as the criticality of a specific reference to the NEITI Act 2007 in section 5 of the PIB. For instance, NEITI does not see the rationale for passing a Bill that is designed to reduce government revenue from petroleum operations by a minimum of $3bn annually through inappropriate and unfavourable adjustments to the fiscal provisions. Sadly, the House of Representatives Report establishes fiscal terms with a government share of oil revenues below internationally competitive levels and with a structure that will result in a rapid erosion of government petroleum revenues during the next five years. Are you collaborating with some institutions? Yes, we do. For instance, we work closely with some related organisations, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on enforcement of the provisions of the NEITI Act 2007. If the covered entities think NEITI does not have enough teeth to bite, we have now come to borrow more teeth from EFCC to strengthen our capacity to bite. Already, a committee of the two agencies has been established to work out modalities for the Memorandum of Understanding which shall cover investigation of complaints arising from NEITI Audit Reports, prompt prosecution of offenders, information sharing, and stronger partnership in the fight against corruption in the extractive sector, capacity building and institutional support in the EFCC-NEITI operations Does NEITI have the support of some stakeholders, especially legislators? All the key committees in the House of Representatives with oversight functions in the Extractive Sector have resolved to provide every legislative support to NEITI to confront the complex corrupt practices in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in particular and extractive industries in general. The chairmen and members of Petroleum Downstream, Upstream and Gas Resources and Solid minerals committees collectively endorsed what they described as NEITI’s uncompromising anti-corruption programs in the sector in Calabar at a retreat for the legislators on NEITI objectives and EITI Implementation in Nigeria.

Ahmed

Do you receive commendation for taking these bold steps? Yes. Several individuals in Nigeria and overseas have commended NEITI for the various accomplishments. For instance, EITI has written to formally congratulate the Federal Government over her designation as ‘EITI Compliant’ by the global body. In a letter to President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the Chair of EITI, Ms Clare Short, commended the government of Nigeria for its commitment to the EITI process through the support for NEITI and decision to embrace transparency in the management of revenues from the extractive sector. The Board also commended NSWG and the Secretariat of NEITI for its strong collaboration and effective oversight of EITI implementation, especially in the past few months which led to its attainment of Compliant Status in the global EITI.


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Global Business

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Spanish recession deepens as austerity damps outlook

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

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

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

IMF officially endorses capital controls in reversal

Lagarde

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he International Monetary Fund endorsed nations’ use of capital controls in certain circumstances, making official a shift, which has been in the works for three years, that will guide the fund’s advice. In a reversal of its historic support for unrestricted flows of money across borders, the Washington-based IMF said controls can be useful when countries

have little room for economic policies such as lowering interest rates or when surging capital inflows threaten financial stability. Still, it said the measures should be targeted, temporary and not discriminate between residents and nonresidents. “Capital flows can have important benefits for individual countries across the fund membership and the global economy,” IMF staff wrote in a report discussed by the board on Nov. 16 and published today. They “also carry risks, however, as they can be volatile and large relative to the size of domestic markets.” Countries from Brazil to the Philippines have sought in recent years to manage inflows of capital that put upward pressure on their currencies and threatened to create asset bubbles. The new guidelines will enable the fund to provide consistent advice, though rules prevent it from imposing views about managing capital flows on its 188 member nations. IMF Managing Director’ Christine Lagarde has cited the shift on capital controls as an illustration of the fund’s attempts to modernize.

South African GDP growth quickens as mining rebounds

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

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

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

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

Hungary to avoid rate cut on inflation, bailout concern

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

Hungarian President, Pal Schmitt

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


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Global Business

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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uropean finance ministers voiced confidence that Greece will pull off a successful bond buyback, the key element in a revamped effort to stem the debt crisis in the country where it started. Greece began the 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) repurchase of bonds maturing from 2023 to 2042 on Monday, offering a higher-than-planned price in order to increase demand for the debt-reduction measure. “I’m confident it will go well,” French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told reporters after euro-area finance chiefs met in Brussels. “It seems to be happening under satisfactory conditions.” European governments are counting on the buyback as a market-based way of cutting Greece’s debt, paving the way for continued aid payouts. Finance ministers set a December 13 meeting to release the next 34.4 billion euros for Greece and possibly wrap up bailout talks with Cyprus, which would become the fifth country to tap international aid since the crisis erupted in late 2009.

Euro finance chiefs confident of Greek buyback success

Moscovici

Once dismissed by European officials as a high-risk, low- reward method of debt reduction, the buyback became part of the Greek package after Germa-

Hollande loses bond market as growth stalls

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

45

ny rejected the writeoff of official loans as a way of easing the country’s financial plight. The euro fetched $1.3070 as of 7:47 a.m. in London from $1.3054 yes-

Connecticut homes biggest losers as Wall Street cuts jobs

C

Hollande

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

terday, when it touched $1.3076, the most since October. 23. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has since indicated, in a Dec. 2 Bild newspaper interview, that official debt relief might be in the offing, as long as Greece starts posting operating budget surpluses in 2014 or 2015. That timeline would put off a decision to lump German taxpayers with losses on loans to Greece -- something Merkel promised would never happen -- until after a German election in late 2013. To persuade the International Monetary Fund to continue chipping in a third of the Greek loans, the euro ministers last week announced debt-reduction steps including lower bailout loan rates and a recycling of the European Central Bank’s profits on Greek bonds back to the Athens treasury.

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

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

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy

Brezhnev bonds haunt Putin as investors hunt $785 billion

T

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

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

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


46

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NSE reiterates zero tolerance for breach of listing rules JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he Nigerian Stock Exchange has said that it will penalise companies that give inadequate information to the capital market stakeholders. Speaking at the XCompliance and Brokers Track Training for Capital Market Correspondents in Lagos yesterday, the Head, Legal and Regulation Division of the Exchange, Ms Tinu Awe, said quoted companies should disclose their corporate actions and their financials to the Exchange same time. She pointed out that some companies are fond of releasing their corporate actions before they present their

accounts to the public, saying that the era of disclosing half information is over. Awe said that the Exchange is planning to submit its annual report in the first quarter of 2013 so as to have moral ground to punish companies that violates post listing rules and regulations. The NSE Head, Broker Dealer Regulation, Mr. Olufemi Sobanjo, debunked insinuation in some quarters that the current minimum capital base for a broker dealer N1bn. According to him, the minimum capital base for a broker dealer is N70million, a dealer is N10m and a broker is 30million. He added that the

market maker in equities have capital base of N500million, while the market maker in bonds have net liquid asset of N50m with N70m basic capital base. Sobanjo explained that in line with the transparency initiative of the Exchange, status of dealing members is important to discourage unauthorised sales of investor’s shares. He stressed that the status will provide investors with adequate data to make informed decision of firms they may choose to do business with. “The tone for zero tolerance on compliance has been set. So far, the Exchange has seen an increase from an initial 65 per cent compliance rate to the rules and regulations governing dealing

Index drops 0.01 % in bullish trading

T

rading in equities continued on bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors sold their holdings. The All-Share Index dipped by 0.01 per cent to close at 26,382.54 points, compared to the decline of 0.43 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 26,380.68 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N595.4m to close at N8.42trn, lower than the decrease of N36.4bn recorded the preceding day to close at N8.42trn.

Three sectoral indices closed negative, as the NSE 30-Index shed 0.02 per cent to close at 1,249.72 points, while the Oil and Gas Index lost 0.17 per cent to close at 153.57 points. The Consumer Goods Index declined by 0.30 per cent to close at 794.61 points, while the Insurance Index gained 0.39 per cent to 114.70 points. The Banking Index rose by 0.60 per cent to close at 302.52 points, while the Lotus Islamic Index appreciated by 0.32 per cent to close at 1,699.29 points. NCR Plc led the gainers’

table with 72 kobo or five per cent to close at N15.12 per share, while Sterling Bank Plc gained seven kobo or 4.76 per cent to close at N1.54 per share. United Bank for Africa Plc rose by 18 kobo or 4.18 per cent to close at N4.49 per share, while WAPIC Insurance Plc appreciated by two kobo or 3.70 per cent to close at 56 kobo per share. Livestock Plc increased byfive kobo or 3.57 per cent to close at N1.45 per share. On the flip side, Red Star Express Plc dropped 21 kobo or 6.93 per cent to close at N2.82 per share,

members to 93 per cent compliance. This set the standard which dealing members have to maintain,” he said. The NSE Head, Surveillance, Mr. Abimbola Babalola, said that the department was established to protect investors from market manipulation and assist the Exchange to achieve the objective of efficient, fairness and gathering of market intelligence. To protect the integrity of the capital market, he said there are on-line and off-line surveillance, rumour verifications and insider trading. He said, “On daily basis, we check the volume of trades of each company to ensure that their disclosure is properly monitored.”

W

idening the scope of its capital market development mandate, the Securities and Exchange Commission has extended its public enlightenment programme to members of the National Youth Service Corps. The exercise which is taking the commission to the NYSC Orientation camps in 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja is first of its kind and aimed among others, at acquitting the corps members with various opportunities in the Capital market.

A statement from the commission yesterday said the Director-General of NYSC in a letter to the Director-General of the commission declared that approval has been given to SEC to deliver lectures to corps members on “Awareness creation on opportunities in the capital market.” According to the statement, the commission will enlighten corps members on the structure of the Nigerian financial system, evolution of the Nigerian capital market, instruments in the capital market, how the capital market works, segments of the market and how to buy and

sell shares as well as how to utilise the Collective Investment Schemes to invest in the market. “In addition, the Commission will seize the opportunity to enlighten the corps members on how to protect themselves in the market, especially against Ponzi schemes and wonder banks. Benefits in the stock market and career development in the market are also part of what the Commission will expose the corps members to. “Also included in the topics to be treated at the orientation camps is, risks in the stock market, issues of concern in the Nigerian capital market, role

NIBOR QUOTES 3 DECEMBER & 4 DECEMBER 2012 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00

03-Dec-12

04-Dec-12

Market indicators Market indicators

All-Share Index 7,342,308 points All-Share Index 22,191.14 points Market capitalisation 23,066.74 trillion Market capitalisation 7,084 trillion

Stock Updates while FCMB Plc shed 17 kobo or 5.04 per cent to close at N3.20 per share. Stanbic IBTC Plc declined by 55 kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at N10.64 per share, while Evans Medical Plc depreciated by five kobo or 4.39 per cent to close at N1.09 per share. RT Briscoe Plc lost six kobo or 4.26 per cent to close at N1.35 per share. Transaction volume in equities fell by 5.2 per cent, as a total of 239.43 million shares valued at N1.88bn were exchanged in 4,004 deals, compared to 252.58 million shares worth N2.01bn traded in 3,500 deals the preceding day.

SEC takes enlightenment campaign to NYSC orientation camps JOHNSON OKANLAWON

Source: FMDA

of SEC in the Nigerian capital market as well as complaints management in the market,” the statement said. It explained that apart from being part of its market development strategies of the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, the enlightenment of corps members in the is part of the SEC’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. The statement added that the commission’s enabling law, the Investments and Securities Act no. 45 of 2007 empowers it to perform the dual role of market regulation and development.

GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

AGLEVENT

1.20

1.26

0.06

5.00

INTBREW

6.61

6.94

0.33

4.99

CAP

24.12

25.32

1.20

4.98

REDSTAREX

2.62

2.75

0.13

4.96

BERGER

6.93

7.27

0.34

4.91

ETERNA

2.35

2.46

0.11

4.68

CADBURY

15.25

15.95

0.70

4.59

BAGCO

1.56

1.63

0.07

4.49

IKEJAHOTEL

1.12

1.17

0.05

4.46

AIRSERVICE

1.57

1.64

0.07

4.46

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CONTINSURE

0.63

0.60

0.03

-4.76

GTASSURE

1.75

1.67

0.08

-4.57

UTC

0.92

0.88

0.04

-4.35

STERLNBANK

1.07

1.03

0.04

-3.74

ROYALEX

0.55

0.53

0.02

-3.64

OANDO

13.99

13.61

0.38

-2.72

DANGFLOUR

6.30

6.13

0.17

-2.70

DANGCEM

112.40

110.00

2.40

-2.14

UNILEVER

35.50

35.00

0.50

-1.41

DANGSUGAR

4.55

4.50

0.05

-1.10

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

30,647.81

13.50

04-Dec-12

182-Day

20,000

15.50

04-Dec-12

364 -Day

-

-

-

Open Market Operations

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$200m

N/A

$126m

03-Dec-12

$180m

N/A

$147m

04-Dec-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

47

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at December 4, 2012 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


Cocktail

48

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (56) Most people live in a very restricted circle of their potential being. We all have reservoirs of energy and genius to draw upon of which we do not dream. –William James. *** Go For It! There is so much we can be that we are not even attempting! So much can come out of us that we are yet to see. Each of us has that yearning within us calling us to noble acts. It is time to go for it! It is time to explore our potentials to the limit. FIRE YOUR EXCUSES! (FYE). Studies indicate that we use not one-tenth but one tenthousandth of our capabilities! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Iran unveils unusually coloured blue submarine

I

t looks like the Iranian Navy really wanted people to see its new submarine. In a live broadcast on state TV on Wednesday, the Islamic Republic showed off a new Sina 7 submarine that is painted in an unusually bright turquoise blue hue. So, why exactly would any military want to design its ship in a colour that can be easily spotted ? The Daily Mail speculates that the

ship’s designers mistakenly chose the colour, believing it would help the craft blend in with the ocean’s waters. Launched from Bandar Abbas, near the Strait of Hormuz, the Sina 7 and two Ghadir-class submarines represent the first wave of the country’s “indigenously built” warships, Iran said. “Since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution, we

have learned not to ask for help from other countries and stand on our own feet in meeting our demands,” Iranian Navy commander Habibollah Sayyari said during the broadcast. “Thanks to the Islamic Revolution, Iran has acquired the know-how to build submarines. No one believed that we would reach a point where we would build destroyers capable of carrying heli-

copters and missiles in the Sea of Oman and oceans … because it’s a very difficult task to build destroyers and submarines.” The Sina 7 is reportedly capable of firing anti-ship missiles, which the Iranian government says is a centrepiece of its new defence strategy. Two repaired hovercraft vehicles were also showcased during the broadcast.

Man twice tries to break into judge’s office

A

uthorities in north-eastern Pennsylvania are looking for a man caught twice on surveillance video trying to break into a judge’s office. State Superior Court Judge Correale Stevens jokes that he can’t understand why someone would want to break into his office, unless he wants to know how long he’s going to be in jail. WNEP-TV reports that

during the man’s second attempt to force open the door, he was carrying a television stolen from a business office downstairs. A woman can be seen in the background. The judge says there is a doctor’s office in the building and theorizes the burglar might have been looking for drugs. Stevens is showing the video to magistrate judges to see if they recognize the man.

The Iranian Navy’s unusually colourful new Sina 7 submarine.

PHOTO: AP


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

Community Mirror Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo honours Agbaso in Lagos

50

“In my opinion, those who invest in education are the best because of the connection between education and progressive living.” KANO STATE GOVERNOR; RABI’U MUSA KWANKWASO

Workers paraded for planning to kidnap, kill MD STORIES: FRANCIS SUBERU

T

he Lagos Police Command has paraded nine suspects for planning to kidnap and kill a Lebanese businessman (name withheld). The suspects, some of who were exworkers of JY Construction of Nigeria Limited, owned by the Lebanese, had planned to kidnap and kill the Managing Director, MD, on November 30, 2012 and also steal N5 million meant to be lodged in the bank. The nine suspects are: Patrick Omosafe, Mohammed Isah, Monday Echoda, Oshussien Abel, Musa Salifu, Godwin Onoja, Wisdom Awanrin, Emmanuel Nathan and Emmanuel Fuere Osunde. Community Mirror gathered the plot against the MD started some months ago, when one of the suspects, then a driver in the company, revealed that he was planning to kidnap, rob and possibly kill the businessman, for paying them meager wages. In November, Patrick and Mohammed, who were ex-drivers in the company, contacted some other conspirators within and outside the establishment to assist in carrying out their nefarious acts. According to police sources, the duo also contracted one Monday, from Edo State to coordinate other suspects for the operation. A deal was eventually struck in a hotel at Ikoyi Area, where on November 26, four Abuja-based robbery suspects, were contracted by the ex-drivers and on arriving Lagos, lodged in a hotel at Festac Town.

Robbery suspects being paraded at the police command, Ikeja, Lagos.

The Abuja-based suspects include Oshussien , 27, Musa, 28, Godwin 26, and Wisdom 30. Their mission was to kidnap and kill the Lebanese on November 30, 2012. They equally planned to intercept a bullion van conveying N5 million from the company to a bank. However, the plan leaked to the police as they were arrested before they could execute the plan. According to the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide; when the four suspects arrived in La-

gos from Abuja, they were said to have fortified themselves with some fetish concoctions in white handkerchiefs and also planned to dress in suits, to give the impressions they were SSS operatives. However, some of the suspects who spoke with Community Mirror gave different accounts of their involvement in the kidnap and robbery saga. One of the suspects, Emmanuel Nathan 29, an indigene of Akwa Ibom State and driver to the MD, denied involvemen, while another suspect, Os-

PHOTO: FRANCIS SUBERU

unde, who was the Assistant Human Resource Manager, regretted not reporting Nathan of planning to kidnap and rob the Lebanese. Osunde said: I did not want to report Nathan because it is common for company staff to complain of poor wages, even as I did not want the MD’s driver to see me as a spoiler. But, Ngozi Braide said that all nine suspects have confessed in writing to their involvement in the alleged attempt to kidnap, rob and kill the Lebanese businessman.

Police arrest robbery suspects, recover arms, laptops P olice in Lagos have arrested five persons suspected to have participated in recent armed robbery attack on the home of Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Information and Strategy, Alhaji Lateef Raji. The suspects, Momoh Jimoh, Sheidu Musari, Sadiq Dauda, Ahmed Abdulkareem and Moruf Babarunde, were arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, following intelligence report. A locally-made gun, three cartridges and two laptop computers were recovered from them. It would be recalled that they had allegedly attacked the Special Adviser in his Shomolu residence on November 13, 2012, where they dispossessed him of cash, phones, laptops and other valuables. Sources at SARS who craved ano-

nymity, said the operatives arrested the suspects after exhaustive follow up on them through phone tracking method and other investigative tactics. “Our efforts paid off and the three suspected robbers Momoh Jimoh a.ka. Jamiu, Sheidu Musari and Sadiq Dauda all of Igbira tribe, where arrested with a locally made gun with five cartridges. Their confession led to the arrest of one Ahmed Abdulkareem 32,, a tailor who owns a shop near the SA’s house. “He confessed to have given information to the robbers and was given N10, 000 after the robbery. The last of the suspects was arrested at Computer Village with two laptops. He would be charged for receiving stolen items.” Confirming the reports, spokesperson of Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, said the suspects will be

charged to court on completion of investigations. In a related development, two men; Akeem Oladapo and Sunday Akinmolayan, who allegedly impersonated army personnel and assaulted a policewoman, have been charged before an Ojokoro Magistrate’s Court in Lagos. Oladapo and Akinmolayan, both commercial bus drivers, are facing a three-count charge of dangerous driving, impersonation and assault on a police officer. The prosecutor, Inspector Lugard Ahonle, told the court that the accused committed the offences on November 24, 2012 at No11, Taiwo St., Kollington Bus Stop, Alagbado-Lagos. According to Lugard; “The two accused were in a Volkswagen bus with registration number XQ 149 KSL,

which was being driven in a dangerous manner when a police woman, Cpl. Gift Francis, ordered them to stop. The duo then alighted to assault the police officer and asked if she could not identify they were army officers.” The prosecutor said one of the accused was putting on a camouflage cap; saying it took the intervention of two other policemen to stop the assault and get the alleged impostors arrested. She said the offences contravened Section 27 of the Road Traffic Laws and Sections 78 and 166 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2011. The duo, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them and the Magistrate, Mr K.O. Ogundare granted them bail in the sum of N80,000, with one surety each in like sum and adjourned the case to January 11, 2013 for mention.


50

Community Mirror

Thursday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo honours Agbaso in Lagos NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

F

or Igbo in Lagos, November 24, 2012 marked a special day, as they marked the Igbo Day at the National Stadium, Surulere. Although the Lagos chapter of the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, the apex socio-cultural group, decided to shift this year’s event from the ‘traditional’ September 29 to November 24, the event lived up to its billing, as many no-

table Igbo sons and daughters (as well as their friends) availed the opportunity to discuss their unity. This year’s event came with the theme: Anyi Nwe Nmeri, (Think Victory) also offered the platform to honour, Chief Martin Agbaso as

the ‘Agadaga Gburugburu’ of Igbo land. This was in recognition of his contributions to the Igbo cause in Nigeria. In his reply, Agbaso, said the gesture would spur him for more contributions to Igbo unity. In his address, President

of Ohanaeze, Lagos State Chapter, Oliver Akubueze, called on Ndi Igbo to unite to form a formidable force in order to get over their present challenges. “Without looking back, we need to tackle this myopia to enable us look ahead

towards achieving our longer term objectives. Provided we can do more, the future of Ndigbo in Lagos and everywhere is bright.” Some of the dignitaries at the ceremony were: Pascal Dozie, chairman of the occasion, Dr Joseph Ikem

Odumodu, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu(rtd),Prof Anya O Anya ,Chief Ebele Ubani, Eze Kalu Kalu, Ogba of Abiriba ,who was the royal father of the day, Emeka Ike, Nollywood actor and Eze Hyacinth Ohazuluike amongst others.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Plateau LGs scramble for N500m flood fund JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

A

bout eight local government areas are jostling to access the flood intervention fund allocated to Plateau State by the Federal Government, National Mirror has learnt. The Federal Government in October disbursed the sum of N17.6 billion to states affected by the flood that swept across many parts of the country recently out of which Plateau got N500 million. Plateau State was also allocated 1,500 metric tonnes of food items including maize, garri and sorghum of the 40,000 metric tonnes released by the Federal Government. The intervention by the Federal Government is expected to help in addressing the immediate challenges of the flood

North

Wednesday December 5, 2012

victims, as well as rehabilitate public infrastructure destroyed by the flood. In Plateau, the affected local government areas are Langtang North, Shendam, Langtang South, Kanke, Kanam, Wase, Quán pan and Jos North. Sources told National Mirror yesterday that the scramble for the intervention fund came after Governor Jonah Jang inaugurated the Governing Council of the state Emergency Management Agency under the chairmanship of the Deputy Governor, Ignatius Longjan. A senior Kanke Local Government Area official, who did not want his name mentioned, decried the delay in the distribution of the fund. He said: Here in Kanke, at least we are expecting nothing less than N100m because of the enormous damage caused by the flood.”

51

Bombing: Borno residents shun meningitis vaccination INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

M

ajority of the people targeted for the ongoing vaccination against Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) in Borno State may not have access to the facility. Investigation revealed that majority of Borno residents have shunned the vaccination because of the series of bombing and shooting that have ravaged the state. Vaccinators and other health officials also shunned the exercise to avoid being killed by members of the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect. It will be recalled that the Boko Haram sect had

carried out series of attacks on hundreds of people and public institutions in some parts of the North in recent time. The Borno State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Salma Anas Kolo, said in a press briefing last week in preparation for the kick off of the vaccination, that the government targeted about 3.5 million people to be vaccinated from December 1 to 10 across the 27 local government areas of the state. But our correspondent, who monitored the exercise in Maiduguri Metropolis and Jere Local Government Area, reported that the exercise did not only started on December 3, but witnessed a low turnout of

people following the twin bomb blasts that occurred in the early hours of the day and the sporadic shootings by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect and men of the Joint Task Force (JTF). Governor Kashim Shettima, amid tight security, launched the programme at the Ramat Polytechnic premises with a call on the people of the state to present themselves for vaccination. But most of the designated vaccination centres visited in Gomari Airport, Bulumkutu, Gwange, Shehuri North and South, GRA, Tashan Bama and Baga Road among others were deserted by the residents and the vaccinators. One of the vaccina-

tors, who did not want his name in print, described the development as sad. He said: “It is unfortunate that I was posted to one of the bases of Boko Haram. As I am talking to you now, I have not reported to the centre and I will find time to just fill the forms given to me and submit them with fake names. “The exercise is just wastage of government resources as far as Borno State situation is concern, I had prepared to go to the centre yesterday, but due to the twin explosions and the shootings that took place in Maiduguri, my family advised me not to embark on the exercise so that my wife will not become a widow.”

State begins water expansion project JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

P

lans to begin water expansion project in Plateau State was concluded yesterday, just as Governor Jonah Jang warned the contractors handling the project against poor execution. The contract to expand the water pipeline covering Jos North and Jos South local government areas was awarded to CGC Nigeria Limited and Bodawet Nigeria Limited by the state government at the cost of N8 billion. Speaking while handing over the contract sites to the companies yesterday, Jang said government attaches great importance to the project. Jang, who spoke through

the state Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Mallam Idi Waziri, said the water scheme was replete with old pipelines dating back to 1935, hence the need to replace them for efficient service. He urged the companies not to compromise standard as government would not accept poor execution of the project. The companies have 24 months to complete the project.

L-R: Representative of Osun State Governor, Hon. Najeem Salami; Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed; Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen; President, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr. Mustafa Shehu and Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwabo during the 12th Annual General Meeting of NSE in IIorin, yesterday.

Hydro power plant project excites Adamawa residents

R Jang

esidents of Adamawa State yesterday expressed joy over the state government’s effort to ensure steady supply of electricity. The residents, including

Al-Makura inaugurates task force on flood IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

G

overnor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State yesterday inaugurated a 15-man task force on the mitigation of the impact of flood disaster in the state. The task force, which has six months to submit its report, is headed by Dr. Mustaphar Bello. During the 2012 rainy season, many communities across the state were

devastated by flood which brought losses in human lives and property, as well as the displacement of hundreds of people from their age-long places of abode. Inaugurating the task force in Lafia, the state capital, Governor AlMakura called on members to act fairly and ensure prudence and accountability in the management and application of the resources to be provided for the execution of their assignments.

He said: “On our part, government will monitor the activities of the task force towards the realisation of the aims of setting it up.” Al-Makura, however, noted the enormous and daunting challenge before the task force and consequently urged relevant ministries, departments, agencies, as well as stakeholders to avail the task force with the needed support to accomplish its assignment.

stakeholders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the issue, said that their joy was based on last week’s signing of the agreement to boost the power supply between the state government and the United States-base company. NAN reports that the agreement planned to convert Kiri Irrigation Dam to hydro power plant to supply the state with 35 megawatts of electricity. Malam Ibrahim Ishaq, a welder and Miss Agnes Adamu, a hairdresser, described the development as a piece of good news, adding that it would impact positively on their businesses. Mr James Ishaku of Kiri village, where the dam is located, said the planned

transformation of the dam to hydro power would further boost social and economic activities in the town. According to him, it will also create employment opportunities for the people, especially those of the host community. “We are 100 per cent happy and in support of this initiative by the state government which is a source of joy to us,’’ Ishaku said. The state Commissioner for Rural Infrastructure and Community Development, Alhaji Aminu Iyawa, said that the measure would go a long to move the state towards industrialisation. He said that the project would encourage the emergence of small scales industries. “This will definitely fast

track the transformation of our urban and rural areas as well as help to empower our people,’’ Iyawa said. The Secretary to Adamawa State Government, Mr Kobis Thimnu, urged the people to cooperate with the government in its effort to transform the state. He said that the government took the step to enable it take full advantage of the Federal Government policy as enshrined in the Electric Power Reform Act of 2005 to improve electricity supply. NAN recalls that Governor Murtala Nyako had, at the signing of the agreement, said the company handling the project, Messrs Galileo, would execute the job on Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.


52

For The Record

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

The challenge of change: State governance, democratisation and development in Nigeria Being the text of an address delivered by the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at the Chatham House, London, United Kingdom on November 27, 2012 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

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hat then is the ethos of governance in contemporary Africa? As I argued in a recent address at an event organised by the grant-making Open Society Africa Foundations of the Soros Network in Accra, Ghana, the dialectics of reform in Africa has demonstrated in the last two decades that rarely does transformation come from a single, big shift, but rather as a cascading outcome of cumulative shifts. Yet, democracy watchers and development experts insist on seeing the glass of good governance as consistently half-empty or half-filled, the truth is that significant variations exist in between these broad generalizations when we move away from outcomes and focus on the dynamics, quality, texture and content of democratic and governance reform on the African continent. While it’s clearly, overall, a Gramscian case of the new being born with the old not yet dead, this conflict of exaggerated expectations and unmitigated disappointments are perhaps not surprising in Africa’s half a century of multiple transitions. What has become clear to more discerning watchers of political reform in Africa in the last decade – particularly those interested in better governance is the fact that success is not at all dependent on how technically sound such reform initiatives are, but on the extent of its political and programmatic fit. In other words, we must move away from overtly technocratic and a-political conceptions of reforms and embrace reforms that are both ‘technically appropriate’ and ‘politically grounded’. In many ways therefore, as a process of decision-making and the means or methods by which decisions are implemented, governance is about change and it must be sensitive to the process, not just intended products. What the concept and practices of governance have alerted us to, in very complex ways in contemporary Africa, are the fundamental ways in which government is only one of the actors, even if the most critical actor, in governance. As a concept and vehicle of change, governance involves many actors acting in consonance to ensure social transformation. Therefore, good governance is participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and ensures the rule of law. However, the paradigm that produced the exclusive focus on country level analyses, which led to disillusionment in the 1980s Africa, also produced a total shift to civil society in the post 1980s-era. The first failed to realise the complexities of the different social formations that compose the state and the inter-relationship among the different levels of state organisation that make up the state in Africa, particularly in a federal state. The other failed to realise that, in the end, civil society, even where

Fayemi

THE FIRST CHALLENGE OF CHANGE THAT WE FACED IN OFFICE THEREFORE WAS HOW TO RESTORE AND REBUILD PUBLIC TRUST IN GOVERNANCE it produces reform, cannot sustain positive change without the mobilisation and control of state power. Gladly, many in the international community, including international development agencies, have come to realise the complexities and the shifting context of politics that must be appreciated in engineering change on the continent. To be concrete, international development agencies and donors, such as UNDP, UKAiD, European Union and the World Bank, are now aware (even if they sometimes chose to ignore this) that ensuring and embracing micro-level transitions at sub-national levels in a country like Nigeria is important for promoting good governance. Whereas many still focus exclusively on the development index and democratic and governance index at national levels, some of these organisations can bear testimony to the participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive governance matched by adherence to the rule of law at the sub-national level in Nigeria. Take for instance a few health indicators in the human development index that illustrate my point: the average life expectancy in Nigeria

is 47 years, but Ekiti with the highest life expectancy in Nigeria is 55 years. Equally, the HiV infection rate in Nigeria is 4.1% but in Ekiti, it is 1.1%, again the lowest in the country and under-5 mortality in Nigeria is 157 in 100,000 but in Ekiti, it is 110 in 100,000 births which is still too high in my view. In Nigeria, sub-national states like Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Gombe, Jigawa, Rivers states and my own state of Ekiti, are constantly demonstrating the possibilities of change and good governance under popularly elected governments. I am particularly proud to use Ekiti State as an example. Despite all the negatives that we inherited, which included the violation of the people’s sovereign right to decide the leadership through democratic means, when my administration came to office, we launched a well-articulated 8-point Agenda of making poverty history in our State. We have pursued this agenda vigorously with a dedicated team of professionals with outstanding track records in various spheres of human endeavour, and a high degree of personal integrity. Having being a core activist in both local and international civil society and having now being in partisan politics for eight years and in government for two years, I have been able to mobilise the energies in the three spheres – civil society, political society, and the state - to ensure best practices and good governance and support from development partners. This is done with a strong belief in the need to build coalitions for change beyond the three orbits, which I believe, should not constitute a basis for separation and fragmentation, but rather a basis for building community and cohesion. Against this backdrop, in Ekiti State,

within two years, we have restored the core Ekiti values of passion, courage, integrity, meritocracy and honour; we have restored confidence in Ekiti State among local and international development partners and investors with our people-oriented policy thrust in all the units of governance. Our 8-point agenda include Participatory Governance; Infrastructural Development; Modernising Agriculture; Education and Human Capital Development; Healthcare Services; Industrial Development; Tourism; and Gender Equality and Empowerment. Planning, prudence and a hundred percent commitment to the agenda we have set to achieve, that is putting the people first, have produced a change that was unimaginable only a few years ago. To cast our mind back to when our administration came on board an took on the reins of public office in October 2010, after a protracted judicial struggle against electoral heist and brigandage, we met a state that evinced several indices attesting to a paucity or decline of leadership and apposite planning – there were the deficits of vision, holistic strategy and service delivery, which were accentuated by administrative neglect and poor infrastructure. Corruption was rife within the system and the unstable political culture that had been operative was one that depended on and was sustained by patronage and rent-seeking. Ekiti State was beholden to a debt peonage in excess of N42 billion, while several infrastructural projects had stalled or were already sliding into a terminal condition, with the federally granted revenue allocations to the State being burdened by a recurrent expenditure overhang, making it virtually impossible to execute capital projects. More so, the State was hemorrhaging greatly through leakages in the revenue and tax collection system. The failure of previous political actors in the State to carry-out the responsibilities attached to public office, whilst drawing on its privileges, etc all resulted in a state of “arrested development” that deepened the cynicism through which the people related to government and its functionaries. That was the ‘tabula rasa’ upon which we had to inscribe a new narrative. The first challenge of change that we faced in office therefore was how to restore and rebuild public trust in governance; how to re-create the necessary institutional architecture required to deliver change; how to implement policies that would combat poverty, inequality, unemployment, the diversification of the economy and industrialisation; how to promote democratic governance; and how to provide social security. Our essential purpose in government – on the basis of which we sought and campaigned for public office – was the necessity of making poverty, alongside its attendant manifestations, history in Ekiti State. To that end, the change that impelled our efforts was driven by the desire to put our people at the centre of development, to promote freedoms and human rights, and to combat the systems and structures that impoverish our people and engender oppression. Importantly, our mission was to activate the institutions that would help to attain the goals of development. TO BE CONTINUED


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

53

World News

“We have already sent our own clear private message to the Syrian regime - directly to them about the serious consequences from the use of such (chemical) weapons.” – British Foreign Secretary, William Hague

ECOWAS Mission optimistic Egyptians’ angst over of successful Ghana polls Morsi’s power grab INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARY

PAUL ARHEWE

PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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he head of ECOWAS’ 250-member Observation Mission for Ghana’s general elections slated for Friday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed optimism at the success of the polls based on satisfactory preparations and the country’s proven tradition and reputation in democratic governance. “We are here as witnesses to what promises to be peaceful, transparent, credible, free and fair elections,” Obasanjo said on arrival in Accra on Monday, adding that given Ghana’s reputable history, the 7th December presidential and legislative polls would not be an exception. He commended Ghanaians in general and all the stakeholders, including the national electoral commission, and especially the political parties and their leaders for signing up to a peaceful and violence-free electoral process, towards strengthening and deepening the democratic culture in the country and the region. The ECOWAS Observation team, led by Obasanjo and comprising representatives of various segments of the West African society, is in Ghana within the context of the region’s instrument for provision of support to Member States holding elections. The President of the ECOW-

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Obasanjo

AS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, will also be in the country to provide additional support to the Mission and to express ECOWAS’ solidarity with the Government and people of Ghana during the elections. The ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs, Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah, who was part of the team that received Obasanjo, explained that Accra would serve as the headquarters and Situation Room for the ECOWAS Mission, with three sub- stations in Kumasi, Tamale and Bolgatanga, from where the regional observers will be deployed to all the 10 administrative regions of Ghana to monitor the conduct of the polls.

Prior to their deployment, the ECOWAS observers will meet with political party leaders and other stakeholders in the country, with a view to ensuring a peaceful environment for the conduct of the polls. An ECOWAS assessment mission was in Ghana last October to review preparations for the elections during which the mission interacted with various stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, security agencies, civil society organizations, the national electoral commission, and other stakeholders to discuss their perspectives on the preparations for the elections.

Egyptian protest turns violent outside palace

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olice have fired tear gas to stop protesters from approaching the presidential palace in Cairo as tens of thousands take to the streets to demonstrate against the assumption of nearly absolute powers by the nation’s Islamist leader.

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The violence erupted when protesters pushed aside a barricade topped with barbed wire several hundred yards from the palace walls. Police fired tear gas, and then retreated. There were no immediate reports on casualties.

Yesterday’s march comes amid rising anger over a hurriedly adopted draft constitution by President Mohammed Morsi’s allies and decrees giving him sweeping powers. Morsi called for a referendum on the draft constitution on Dec. 15.

Namibia president picks new prime minister

amibia’s president has said that Hage Geingob will return to serve as the nation’s prime minister as part of a major cabinet reshuffle in the southern Africa nation. The Namibian Press Agency said President Hifikepunye Pohamba made the announcement

yesterday during a hastily called news conference in the capital Windhoek. Geingob is part of the ruling party South West African People’s Organization, a former guerrilla movement known as SWAPO. Geingob’s elevation comes after he was confirmed Sunday as SWAPO’s vice presi-

dent. That puts him in a strong position to become SWAPO’s presidential candidate in the nation’s coming 2014 election. Geingob previously served as Namibia’s first prime minister from 1990 to 2002. Namibia gained its independence and a majorityrule government in 1990.

ix month after his election, Egypt’s democratic leader, President Mohammed Morsi has attracted the denouncement of his people, with the sudden attempt to conduct a referendum on the country’s constitution; in his latest moves to grab more power and clip the wings of the opposition. If Morsi succeed in this manoeuvring, he may be on the path to acquiring more power and consolidating on his Islamist party’s dominance in Egypt. This is likely to split opposition and make them weak. The autocratic regime of Hosni Mubarak, spanning three decades, was brought to an abrupt end in 11 February 2011, with the vigorous and unrelenting protests of millions of people in Tahrir Square in Cairo, and across other major Egyptian cities. The emergency law operated by Mubarak’s administration where a supposedly heir successor was groomed, no doubt is one epoch the Egyptians would never want to replay. The victorious feat spurred by the revolution, making Egypt the second country after Tunisia to have a change of government, fallout from the Arab Spring, provided room for a democratic process which brought Morsi to power. Again, anti-Morsi protesters in their thousands have gathered in Tahrir Square, opposing his power grabbing moves. In addition, Judges have embarked on industrial action to protest his dictatorial intentions. The Constituent Assembly, dominated by Morsi’s Islamists is drafting the new constitution, and attempt by the Egypt’s High Constitutional Court on Sunday to issue a ruling to disband the assembly was obstructed by progovernment protesters, who had taken their protest outside the court. Before now, out of the 100 original members of the Constituent Assembly, 22 of them have resigned and seven reserved members have quitted- most

of them are leftists and Coptic Christians. Their resignation is based on the accusation that the process was rigged to give the Muslim Brotherhood the dominant role in writing a new constitution for the country. The intended referendum vote on the draft constitution slated for December 15 would not only enshrine Islamist Sharia Law, if the plebiscite is affirmative, but would guarantee the country’s military the essential power it enjoyed during the Mubarak’s rule. Morsi accrued to himself centralised power through the November 22 decree. In this power grab scheme the Egyptian leader gave himself sole legislative authority and barred judges from ruling against or striking down any of his laws or actions embarked by the Constituent Assembly. This sudden aggressive move has rattled many in the President’s inner circle. Implications from this move have already aroused negative acrimonies among top officials of the Brotherhood and its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which mobilized and backed the recent insurrection in Tahrir Square. Egypt’s top judicial body on Monday said it will oversee the conduct of the referendum. However, another body of judges, the Judges Club, has urged its members to boycott the December 15 vote. The Judges Club represents a powerful but an unofficial body of judges across the country. Its proposed boycott on the referendum is to undermine the plebiscite’s credibility.

Morsi


54

News

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG, oil firms differ on PIB incentives TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND CHIDI UGWU

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he Federal Government and multinational oil companies in Nigeria yesterday disagreed over some of the fiscal provisions contained in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, now before the National Assembly. Both sides expressed divergent views at the ongoing 18th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja over the adequacy or otherwise of the fiscal incentives in the draft bill. Government says that the bill is designed to ensure sustainable development of the hydrocarbon resources industry if they eventually become adopted as law. In the discussion session on the PIB, the Federal Government, represented by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, and the Executive Director, Exploration and Production, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Abiye Membere, maintained that the fiscal regimes were fair and would help fast track the ongoing reforms in the petroleum industry but the representatives of the multinational companies disagreed. Alison-Madueke, who spoke on “PIB and the future of Nigeria’s oil industry” said, however, that the bill was still open for discussion. He added that if enacted into law, it would encourage host communities to protect oil and gas infrastructure in their area. She said: “We have created a mechanism to formally recognise host communities as important

stakeholders by assigning oil and gas infrastructure security to the communities. “As a freedom to operate tool, it incorporates penalties to host communities in the event of vandalism in their localities. “The legislation also includes modalities for using regulation to increase the flexibility in the management of host communities issues.” Alison-Maduekwe added that the PIB when passed into law would encourage more investors to participate in oil and gas industry through the proposed new acreage management system which, she said, “involves the release of acreage that have been held without activity due to one constraints or another.” While debunking what she termed the erroneous impression of some stakeholders that

the country’s fiscal regime was responsible for the low exploration activities in the petroleum industry, the minister noted that government believed that the development “is more due to the lack of open acreage and limited funding in the joint ventures that has actually limited new exploration activities.” The representatives of the oil companies namely, the Managing Director, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Mr. Austin Avuru; the Managing Director/ Chief Executive, Dubri Oil, Mr. Imo Itsueli; the Managing Director, Shell Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu and the Managing Director, Exxon Mobil, Mr. Mark Ward, however disagreed with the government and faulted some of the provisions of the bill. They argued that it might not help in achieving the desired ob-

An explosion at EFAB Plaza Estate in Abuja, yesterday.

jectives of the proposed law in the long run unless the grey areas were addressed. Avuru, who spoke elaborately on what appeared to be the stance of his counterparts, said the fiscal incentives in the bill were not good enough to deliver the results needed especially in the gas sector. According to him, in the proposed PIB, the Petroleum Sharing Contract, royalties and incentives terms are not competitive, adding that the “JV oil terms are already the highest in the world with additional risks such as bunkering and security issues.” Based on the comparison of global deep water regimes, he said, “the proposed PIB PSC terms are not competitive and Nigeria post PIB will not be a globally attractive fiscal regime as it will make many projects non vi-

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

able.” Avuru noted that while the oil firms claimed they were being short-changed in areas such as limited access to assets, harsh gas fiscal terms (doubling of gas taxes), harsh tax and royalty rates for small fields (doubling of current rates), the government is insisting it is time to claw back and increase take. For instance, the industry expert pointed out in the bill, PSC would be increased from 30 per cent to 77 per cent just as there would be a slight increase in JV from 86 per cent to 91 per cent as well as an increase in gas tariff from negative to 60 per cent. Avuru also lamented that the bill had not addressed the main issues of concern between industry and government such as the cost of doing business, the hostile environment and the low company internal rate of return. In his remarks at the session, the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Currency, Mr. Jones Onyeyeri, who represented the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, advised the parties to come up with convincing arguments on the grey areas on the Bill during the planned public hearing on it in order to enhance the contents of the law when eventually passed. The NESG Summit, which was declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan and has the theme “Deregulation, cost of governance and Nigeria’s economic prospects” is believed to be one of the most credible platforms for public and private dialogue on economic issues in Nigeria.

Funeral rites for National Mirror staff begins today

2015: Parties tackle INEC over candidates

he family of the late Gospel Onya, who until his death recently was Assistant Manager in charge of sales and distribution of National Mirror, has announced the funeral programmes for the deceased The Christian wake-keep for the late staff holds today at his residence, 16, Bolade Oladipupo Aliyah Junction, Igando Bus Stop, Igando, Lagos. His burial will take place at his Ogume home town in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State on Friday, December 7, 2012. Onya died recently after a brief illness. He was survived by his wife and children.

not available in some polling units. Then we asked why didn’t Prof. Jega postpone the election when by Thursday the result sheets were not in his custody? “Prof. Jega by the day vindicates the Uwais Elections Reform Committee Report which recommended that the appointment of Electoral Commissioners should be open and not by Mr. President. “The truth about elections in all liberal democracy is that if the elections are free, fair and transparent, the electorate make the choice by rejecting characters which they abhor. By this dictum, the parties are forced to embark on in-house audit, censorship and all manner of purity in the presentation of candidates. The CPC spokesman, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, said granting Jega the power to disqualify candidates for election has given the president, who appoints him,

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

the leeway to determine the fate of those who will challenge him at election, and possibly use the power to his advantage. According to the CPC: “The maturity of a political system determines the sophistry of its laws. These, of course, must be situated within the socio-economic environment of the clime. So, warts and all, Prof. Jega believes more powers (even to disqualify candidates) is the immediate need for him to function as an electoral umpire? “It is utterly not correct! Without mincing words, with the current arrangement, Prof. Jega shall only transform into the clobber man for the President, being the appointive authority. What is still maintaining some modicum of sanity in our electoral system is that the power to disqualify candidates is vested in the courts.” The CPC stated that with the existing powers granted to the INEC chairman, the electoral

body has not been able to instil sanity in the electoral system. “If the truth must be said, Prof. Jega has not used his position well as an unbiased umpire. For instance, how many times did the courts overturn the candidates that Jega’s INEC imposed on CPC? Succinctly put, this proposal by Jega’s INEC should be jettisoned unreservedly,” he said. Also, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, LP, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, said granting such power to INEC is unhealthy for the nation’s fledgling democracy. “Such power, which may be abused by INEC, is unhealthy for democracy. Jega may not abuse such power, his successors may do that. In fact, there must be guidelines, rules on what may lead to the disqualification of candidates,” the LP national chairman told National Mirror. The National Secretary of the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP,

Alhaji Tijjani Tumsah, also said such power would pollute the polity. “That kind of power the INEC chairman is asking cannot be granted to any independent institution because by so doing it will result in the pollution of the polity in totality,” Tumsah said.’ He, however, called for greater autonomy to be granted INEC in the constitution now under review to enable it function effectively. Tumsah told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja that INEC should remain an independent body that could not be controlled by anybody, including the executive arm of government. He also stressed the need for INEC to focus in undertaking its responsibility in a way that could not be interfered with by government. He said that INEC should not allow any political party member to participate in the electioneering process as that could obstruct the entire process.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

55

Athletics: Brume wins long jump gold YEMI OLUS

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eam Delta’s Ese Brume was the unlikely heroine on Day 1 of the athletics event yesterday as a single jump of 6.18m got her the gold medal in the long jump event, beating favourite, Abiye Uyoyo, of Team Lagos to silver. The 16-year-old, who is a 200 level Microbiology undergraduate of the University of Benin, was ecstatic over her win and almost burst into tears at being declared winner. “I am very happy to have won gold even though I was very confident from the very beginning. This gold medal has made my day and I want to ap-

preciate my coaches and all those that supported me,” she told National Mirror. Meanwhile the women’s 100m final will be decided today and Peace Uko of Team Ondo will be the woman to watch after running 11.2 seconds as the fastest time in the event. Uko is followed closely by Goodness Thomas of Goodness of Rivers State (11.4), Margaret Benson of Delta (11.5), Deborah Oduyemi from Bayelsa (11.5), Miriam Edet Bassey (11.6) and Nkem Ezeala (11.6) of Team Lagos. The women’s 5,000m was won by Aminat Olowora of Lagos State in 18:47;89 secs. Deborah Pam of Delta came second (18:58;96) while Iwamger Akaha of Benue placed third (19:07;51).

Prescilla Zever of Benue State won silver medals in women’s javelin with a throw of 39.63m

Edo handball team exits IFEANYI EDUZOR

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do State’s hope of defending the female handball gold it won at the 17th National Sports Festival was cut short yesterday by Lagos State which recorded a slim 20-19 points win against the defending champion in a tense quarter- final match decided at the University Of Lagos Sports Complex. The encounter saw both teams playing with caution throughout but the determination of the Lagos team saw the side scoring a last minute goal to ensure advancing to the next stage of

the competition. In the other quarter-final match, Plateau State moved to the semi-final of the event with an impressive 19-16 points against State. In the male category, Ondo defeated Kano by 25-21 just as Rivers beat Sokoto 35-27. Sokoto, however, filed a protest letter against Rivers whom it accused of fielding ineligible players. Meanwhile, the coach of Edo state team, Evelyn Isede, has attributed their loss to hard luck. “We were simply unlucky,” she lamented.

Women leaving the blocks in the 100m heat one race at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, yesterday.

Weightlifting: Imo wins gold, silver IFEANYI EDUZOR

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mo state weightlifter, Solomon Onyemaobi, has won two gold medals and silver in the 105kg body weight event at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos. Onyemaobi lifted 145kg in the snatch event for the gold but settled for the second position in the clean & jerk with a lift of 166kg for a total lift of 311kg. Delta’s Tobechukwu Ejimonu emerged the winner of the contest with a gold and silver medal which he achieved with a golden lift in the clean & jerk of 167kg after disappointing his fans with a paltry 120kg in the snatch event for a total lift of 287kg. Elsewhere, Team Enugu continued its medals haul with a silver medal won by Ogbonna Nwodo who lifted 122kg in the snatch event but could not replicate his performance in the clean & jerk where he lifted 152kg to earn a total lift of 274kg which was not enough to pick a medal in the total lift category. In the special sports category, Team Enugu’s Goodness Chukwu threw a

distance of 20.56m to pick the bronze medal in the Javelin event with Team Anambra picking the silver while team Delta won the gold.

Wrestlers excite Igali SAYO OGUNDEJI

Joy Davies of Rivers won women’s 20kms walk.

Hussein Yussuf of Rivers after winning the men’s 20kms walk.

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mpressed by the performance of the wrestlers at the ongoing Eko 2012, Olympic gold medallist, Daniel Igali, says the competition has produced athletes with potential to rule the world in the near future. Igali made this disclosure when he paid the participating athletes a visit at the competition venue yesterday. “I think some of the wrestlers are old but the younger ones would be given proper monitoring in order not to lose focus,” Igali said. “This competition has lived up to my expectation in terms of the young and talented wrestlers I have seen here and it shows that Nigeria has a bright future in the sport.” Igali also joined the call to open the festival to freight athletes, arguing that the country would be better for it.

Special sports athletes taking off in the 100m heat race.

PHOTOS: ADEMOLA AKINLABI


WORLD RECORD

Largest stealth ship Vol. 02 No. 506

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Sanusi and the mob

here is something incredulous about mobs. They are known to have a herd mentality, whereby participants impulsively engage in acts that are detrimental to their personal and group interests, without questioning or even understanding the rationale for their actions. Unsurprisingly, mobs can be fickle and malleable. All through history, they have been led like lambs to slaughter by politicians and strongmen, who manipulate them through rhetoric and populism. In the ancient world, and especially Rome, mobs were a feature of political activism. Today, this mentality is fast becoming a Nigerian characteristic. Like the Roman mob, politicians of all hue, including those who think they have more at stake than the rest of us in the fortunes of Nigeria, have been queuing to take pot shots at the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for recommending the reduction in number of civil servants in the ever ex-

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he international career of Ricky Ponting ended on a disappointing note as he was dismissed for just eight in Australia’s 309-run defeat to South Africa yesterday. Ponting, who managed four in the first innings, couldn’t save the day in

N150

The largest ship incorporating stealth technology is the Swedish Visbyclass corvette, which is approximately 72 m (236 ft) long and has a displacement of 600 tonnes (1.32 million lb).

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

panding government bureaucracy. Last week, he had noted that the size of the present workforce is unsustainable and that if allowed to stay, the government would be hard pressed to continue payment of their salaries and emoluments. Hear him: “At the moment 70 percent of Federal Government revenue goes for payment of salaries and entitlements of civil servants, leaving only 30 percent for development of 167 million Nigerians. That means that for every naira earned, 70 kobo is consumed by civil servants.” According to estimates, the Federal Government workforce is in excess of one million, excluding thousands of ghost workers, whose salaries are usually paid into phantom accounts. Just recently, thousands of ghost workers were discovered in the payroll of many states in the country. For example, 7,000 ghost workers were discovered in Oyo State, 10,000 in Kebbi, 9,000 in Kaduna and 8,000 in Kano, among others. The present civil service structure encourages nepotism and other sharp practices that allow for monumental corruption to flourish unchecked. What Sanusi is advocating is that a drastic reduction of this workforce would free enormous resources, which could be ploughed into building crucial infrastructure and facilities that will help energize private enterprises and thereby make for a more sustainable economic development in the long run. Going by this observation, it is pertinent for those criticizing the CBN governor to let us know what useful purpose the present 747 local government serve. Any cur-

NIGERIA IS NOT A COMMUNIST COUNTRY WHERE CIVIL AND PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS SERVE AS SAFETY NETS FOR EVERY PROLETARIAT sory observer would readily admit that they have become conduits for siphoning funds from the Federation Account by respective state governors, who readily influence the election and appointment of the chairmen. For now, what the entire local government councils do is to fitfully pay salaries, while the bulk of their monies is diverted to political party causes and/or into private pockets. Sadly, the rural areas they are meant to serve have continued to wallow in untold miseries and poverty. The scrapping of this curious contraption would definitely free enough fund to fix the rot in these moribund communities. Again, Sanusi has questioned the wisdom in maintaining the present byzantine political machinery that employs thousands of lawmakers and their aides, including personal assistants, advisers and hangers-on, who are paid for executive idleness. Even when he is being attacked for his brash and aggressive manner, no one can fail to acknowledge the incontrovert-

ible truth in all he said. Tell me, what do Nigerian civil servants do? The civil service has become a nesting ground for rent seeking, where the workers create mini empires and strongholds for perpetuation of graft and other financial indiscretions. Incidentally, as the bureaucracy expands amorphously, so is the declining quality of advice to the government and quantity of service to the citizens. The situation in the local government councils is even more scandalous by any standards. Walk into any of the so called LG secretariats on a working day, and you find the place deserted, as the workers make fetish of staying away from their duty posts. Those seen around are either busy gossiping or fast asleep behind their desks, while the top officials have elevated truancy to an art form. When you take into consideration that this attitude is replicated in all the local government councils, we then begin to appreciate the enormous waste of public funds that could have been used for more efficient and productive ventures. The truth is that the nation’s civil service and public institutions are not working, and this is making the march to progress even more tortuous. They are not only top heavy, but scandalously overmanned. Rather than being places for the best and brightest, they have become dumping grounds for all manner of persons, who are employed based on intimate connections and ethnic considerations. Nigeria is not a communist country where civil and public institutions serve as safety nets for every proletariat. The business of government is to make for an enabling environment for efficiency and increased economic productivity, rather than acting as welfare organization for purpose of doling hand out. What Sanusi is calling for is the shrinking of the state to allow for scarce resources to be efficiently allocated to areas that are in desperate need of them. The present situation whereby government continues to fritter away precious finite resources for non-productive ventures, will only keep the country perpetually underdeveloped. The earlier government weans itself of a nanny culture, the better for the country. That is Sanusi’s message.

Sport Extra

Cricket: South Africa ruins Ponting’s Day his last hurrah, with the former skipper bowing out in down-cast fashion. Ponting thick-edged Robin Peterson to slip three balls before the lunch break as Australia

crumbled, with only a last-wicket flourish lessening the margin of defeat. Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc put on 87 to frustrate the tourists, but

their resistance couldn’t deny South Africa a 1-0 series win after they set Australia a 632 for victory in Perth. Australia had started on 40-0, however it was

all downhill for them as David Warner (29) nicked Vernon Philander to Graeme Smith at slip from the second ball of the day, bringing Ponting to the crease, with the opposition lining up to form a guard of honour to the wicket-keeper.

Ricky Ponting

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012  

All the facts, all the sides

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