Issuu on Google+

Senate okays $78 oil benchmark

.

...donates N22.8m to flood victims Reps begin consideration of budget

GEORGE OJI, EMMANUEL ONANI AND TORDUE SALEM Mark

Vol. 2 N0. 471 TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

F

ormer Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abukakar’s company, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company Limited, yesterday won a sweeping stake in the privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN. The company emerged as core investor and highest bidder for Eko, Ikeja, Ibadan, and Yola distribuCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

T

he Senate yesterday approved a crude oil benchmark of $78 for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy

Paper, FSP, for the 2013 budget estimates. The lawmakers also approved a production benchmark of 2.53 barrels of oil CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Mimiko COUNTDOWN TO budgets N10bn to buy votes GUBER POLL –PDP October 20, 2012 Falae blasts Tinubu

ONDO 3

DAYS TO GO

P.14

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

N150

Abdulsalami’s firm wins bid for PHCN ...captures Eko, Ikeja, Ibadan, Yola distribution companies FG to rake in N197bn from sales FACTS ON INTEGRATED ENERGY      

     

     

  $" *))+&   $  !    &   " ! '     $% #   !  "     & ! !% &   % & !  !% & % &$!%  $!%  %!  !$&

   

UNIPORT 4:

Police participated in beating victims –Suspects We’ve arrested the masterminds, says IGP P.4

Flood: My house has been submerged –Jonathan P.5

President Goodluck Jonathan’s house at Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, yesterday.

One of the suspects.

Gowon, Clark, Fashola, Obi disagree over constitution review P.6

JTF kills 24 suspected terrorists in Maiduguri

P.12


2

News

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Senate okays $78 oil benchmark CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

per day for the 2013 budget estimates. They also okayed N160 exchange rate to one US dollar. The Senate’s decision followed the adoption of the report of its joint committees on finance, national planning, economic planning and poverty alleviation on the 2013-2015 MTEF and FSP. The crude oil benchmark, contained in the 2013 budget estimates presented to the National Assembly last week by President Goodluck Jonathan, was $75. The House of Representatives had approved $80 as the benchmark ceiling for the same purpose. The Senate will consti-

tute a conference committee to reconcile its differences with the House on the crude oil benchmark estimates. The lawmakers also fixed the percentage of corporate tax at 30 and retained the Value Added Tax, VAT, at five per cent. It also recommended the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme, CISS, should be transferred to the Nigerian Customs Service. The Senate also urged the Federal Government to strengthen and consolidate its fiscal strategy to narrow the gap between projected and actual revenue for the period of 2013– 2015 by curtailing crude oil theft and diversifying the economy to increase tax bases as increase tax revenue.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to exercise caution on the nation’s foreign borrowing. It rejected the structures being set up in states, senatorial zones and local governments in the Federal Government’s SURE-P intervention programmes. Also, the Senate will begin debate on the 2013 appropriation estimates presented to the National Assembly last week by President Jonathan. Senate President David Mark said this yesterday during a debate on the MTEF and FSP at the plenary. Mark urged senators to reserve their comments till today when the budget would be debated fully. Also yesterday, senators

resolved to contribute N22, 800,000 (N200,000 per senator and N300,000 for each of the principal officers) to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians affected by the recent flooding in various parts of the country. The decision to provide support for the victims was taken during the Senate’s closed-door meeting before the commencement of the plenary yesterday. Mark thanked the senators for their support and affection to the flood victims and urged members not to relent. This was as Gyang Pwajock was sworn in yesterday as a replacement for the late Senator Gyang Dantong, who died in June during the Plateau crisis. The swearing-in, which

Suspected killers of four students of the University of Port Harcourt being paraded by the Rivers State Police Command in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

was conducted by the Clerk of the Senate, was held before the commencement of the day’s plenary. At the gallery to witness the swearing-in ceremony were the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe; wife of the Plateau State Governor, Mrs. Esther Jang; some members of the House of Representatives from Plateau State; traditional rulers; family members and other prominent indigenes of the state. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday commenced debate on the general principle of the 2013 Appropriation Bill presented by President Jonathan last week with the promise that by tomorrow it would be passed into second reading. The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, after the introduction of the bill, sought for the opinion of his colleagues on how the debate would be conducted. He assured Nigerians that the debate would commence today after which it would be passed for second reading before going to the committees to allow ministries and agencies defend their proposals before the various committees of the House. While presenting the bill, the Leader of the House, Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande, appealed to members to

give the Appropriation Bill a speedy consideration and passage. While opening debate on the Bill, Mrs. Adeola-Akande explained that the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, is an appendix to the 2013 appropriation Bill. According to her: “It seeks the authorisation of the National Assembly for the Accountant-General of the Federation with the approval of the Ministry of Finance, to issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation the total sum of N273,522,000,00 for recurrent (nondebt) and the balance of N222,022,000,000 for contribution to the Development Fund for capital expenditure for the year ending, 2013”. He stated that, the fund when authorised, will be allocated as follow: Ministry of Niger Delta, N42bn, Ministry of Works, N93bn, Ministry of Transport N33bn, Social Safety Nets and other infrastructure projects, N58bn and that the details of specific allocations are also contained in the schedule of SURE-P Bill 2013. But the proposal by the Presidency has already started generating fireworks across tiers and arms of government, as the House has insisted on pegging the budget on $80 as against $75 proposed by the Presidency.

Abdulsalami wins bid for PHCN firms CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

tion companies. At the end of the opening of the companies/consortia commercial bids in which aggregate technical, commercial and collection loss reduction proposal was used as a basis for core investor selection, 10 bidders were pencilled down for final ratification of the National Council of Privatisation’s, NCP’s, approval. Although details of the owners of the consortia are yet to be made known publicly, Abubakar, may well be the big ‘masquerade’ behind the multi-billion dollar investment deal. National Mirror findings showed that the Directors of Integrated Energy are, Gen. A.A. Abubakar (rtd) Chairman; Peter Odili, Director; Dr. Haruna Usman Sanusi, Director; Dr. Abass

Mimiko, Director; Ibrahim B. Aliyu, Director; Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu, Director; Senator Usman Albishir, Director; Aminu Ibrahim, Director; and Dr. Olusola Ayandele, Project Director. The Federal Government is also expected to realise N197.25bn as total proceeds from the sale of 60 per cent of the 10 distribution companies (Disco) being offered for sale. A further analysis of the performance of the bidding consortia for the Discos are Aura Energy Ltd with 16.22 per cent for Jos Disco; Sahelian Power SPV Ltd with 21.21 percent for Kano Disco; 4Power Consortium with 19.55 per cent for Port Harcourt Disco; Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd with 18.58 per cent for Yola Disco; Interstate Electrics Ltd 21.62

per cent for Abuja Discos; and Vigeo Power Consortium with 21.78 per cent for Benin Disco. Others are Interstate Electrics that emerged the preferred bidder with 20.83 per cent for Enugu Disco; Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited preferred bidder with 17.46 per cent for Ibadan Disco; Integrated Energy and Marketing Limited with 21.43 per cent for Eko Disco and Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd with 22.51 per cent for Ikeja Disco. The bid for Kaduna Disco was not opened as none of the two bids received was technically qualified. The percentages are loss deduction estimates which are supposed to be passed back to the consumers so that the person offering the

highest percentage loss reduction will pass back the best package to consumers because he will automatically translate into the one that will pass the highest discount to consumers. Justifying the reason for using the ATC&C, method at the ceremony, the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatization, NCP, Atedo Peterside, disclosed that the Council decided to use the ATC&C method for the selection of core investors for distribution companies because ATC&C loss levels will provide Nigerian consumers and other stakeholders with specific parameters with which to measure the outcome of the power sector reform and privatisation. He said further that the

Technical Committee performed the follow-up process on the bids including, carrying out some tests for consistency and then the result will be announced very soon by the NCP to conclude the rigorous and technically tasking process. He explained: “Evaluation process will be carried out by relevant agencies and coordinated by BPE, the result of which will be submitted to NCP for appropriate decision making in accordance with the provisions of the RFP. They will be subjected to consistency tests and divided into two categories: bids in which ATC&C loss reduction proposal is less than 50 per cent and those where it is 50 per cent or more. “Bidders in the second category will be subjected to a further review, while

where there is only one bidder who has passed the Consistency Tests, the 50 per cent rule does not apply. All bidders will be ranked to aid NCP to decide according to the provisions of RFP,” Peterside said. However, despite what appears its superlative outcome of the exercise, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited which emerged top bidder for the four major Discos would have to opt out of two of them and the two preferred by them must not include both Ikeja and Eko Discos based on the guidelines of the exercise. This is so because Part C, Step 11 of the Ground Rules for the commercial bid states that a bidder is not allowed to win more than two Discos, and in addition, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

3

PAGE

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Midweek Interview ‘ACN governors are underperforming’ Alhaji Fatai Akinade Akinbade was the Secretary to the Osun State government (SSG) under the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. He was also a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as two- time commissioner in the state. In this interview with AYO ESAN, he speaks on issues as they affect Osun State and the country in general. Excerpts:

own candidate as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, it would not have been like that. Remember, there was a time we were number one and you know what goes with number one. If we are number five or six today, I don’t think it is something we should cry about. What is your reaction to the probe of the administration you served by Governor Rauf Aregbesola? We are waiting for the result of the probe. We are waiting because when you talk of governance, I have been in government and I know what it takes to succeed as a government. We know what transpired, and the way we handled the affairs of government then. And if you have handled the things the way we have handled it, let us wait and see what is going to come out. If you give a job to a contractor and the contractor fails to perform, is that the client’s problem? And since the contractor is not faceless, he is somebody you can address. Unfortunately, let me tell you one secret, Oyinlola has gone to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and reported about seven contractors, even before he left government. He reported the contractors to the EFCC even on his own. There is none of these contractors that has messed the state up that is not having one thing or the other doing with the EFCC. If he was not so sure of himself, would he have taken the case to the EFCC?

How far has the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gone in its reconciliation effort in Osun State in particular and the South-West in general? In the South-West, we have six states and honestly, I think I would be talking about my state alone, because I am not a member of the South-West executive committee of the party. As far as the Osun State PDP is concerned, I think we are 100 per cent reconciled. We don’t have any crisis and honestly, we are one. We don’t have any faction or group except a single PDP in Osun State. Few weeks ago, the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, said that the PDP will regain South-West states come 2015. How feasible is that? It is very very feasible, because governance is about performance and when you are looking at what we are having now in the South-West, honestly with the level of our people, you know people of the South-West are very sophisticated and even when they don’t talk, they know when a government is performing and when it is not. You know they are used to performance index of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The South-West people talk about the late Chief Bola Ige and others who have performed. And what is happening across the South-West now is that most of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governors are not performing. That is the fact and if anybody tells you that the PDP will take over the South-West, it is not because we have the government controlling the centre, but because of the fact that the incumbents now, the ACN dominated governments, are not performing to the expectation of the people of the South-West. When the PDP was in government, the ACN accused it of non-performance; now you are accusing the ACN of the same offence. What is actually wrong with governance in the South-West and even in the entire country? I want to challenge you journalists. You are supposed to be doing the assessment. The problem we are having with governments in this country is propaganda; when some people are not doing anything and you people are giving them the pass mark, without necessarily checking what they are doing. In Osun State now, you need to go into all the aspects of governance: be it education, health, and every other sector; you cannot say somebody is not performing without assessing what he has done and you can only compare when you have two things. In the SouthWest or precisely, in Osun State today, we have something to compare. We had a government in Oyo State in the last dispensation; we had a government in Osun State as well; compare what they had done with the period covered by these people that are there now and the period of the PDP government. We are not just saying somebody is not performing. For instance in Osun State, already we have two years, tell me one tangible thing that the government has done. When you say OYES, OREP and so on, go and examine what they are all about. You are talking of creating 20,000 jobs,

Akinbade

WHAT IS HAPPENING ACROSS

SOUTH-WEST NOW IS THAT MOST OF THE ACTION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA (ACN) GOVERNORS ARE NOT THE

PERFORMING of what benefits, to whom? What is the future of these beneficiaries of the jobs you are talking about? South-West leaders are accusing the Jonathan-led administration of marginalising the zone in terms of sharing of appointments at the federal level. What do you see to this and how do you think it can be rectified? Well, if anybody is complaining, it shouldn’t be the governments of the South-West. This is because the ACN is controlling the South-West and it was the same ACN that supported a Northerner to get the Speakership of the House of Representatives that was zoned to the South-West. The speakership was zoned to the SouthWest and the PDP presented a candidate, but the ACN didn’t want the PDP choice; they supported the other candidate from the North. And let me tell you, when you talk of democracy, though it is good that we have equal share, but at the same time, that does not stop us from being part of the country. And we cannot say because we are not number one to four that we have missed something that we may not even regain. So, I don’t see any problem in that, because some people have to be there and some people are there. It will come to our turn to dominate the whole thing. There is already a precedence now. So, when we talk of marginalisation, circumstances led to it. If all the South-West legislators voted for our

The ACN-led government in Osun is said to be planning to create local council development areas like that of Lagos. What is your reaction to this? If it is to bring development to the state and the people and it is allowed by law, why not? The only thing is that, I don’t want any government to embark on anything that is illegal. But if it is legal and backed up by whatever legislation and is going to bring development, I even need one in my village. There is nothing bad in it. I don’t criticise for just criticising. If you break the local governments into smaller pieces and honestly for somebody who want to govern well, it is good, because you need people and some officials in smaller units for you to get the best out of the people. So, it is another good way of governance and I don’t see anything wrong in it at all. You aspired to govern Osun in the run up to the 2011 election before the judgement that gave victory to Aregbesola. The 2014 election is around the corner, are you still interested in governing Osun State? When you talk of aspiration, you can’t on your own say you want to be this or that, unless your people want you to. If my people wants me, fine. If not, what am I looking for? I mean it is service and if I want to serve and my people or my party says no, why should I have to show interest? I will only show interest if my people want me, especially my party. I am comfortable, so it is not for money. It is not for the love of the glamour of office, because I know the services I have rendered. Cross-check my records, there is nowhere anybody will say ‘Akinbade has taken a bribe of one naira or has made a bargain with anybody’. I don’t bargain with anybody and I don’t take kick backs. The Senate said it has received 57 requests for new states. Do you think we still need more states for now? Why not if they are viable? You know people keep criticising without proper investigation. If you say something is not good, tell me why it is not good. Take Oyo State for instance, if you say new state is not ripe, are you saying Oyo State is not ripe to be divided into two? Even if it is only to make it an agricultural state and make the whole Oke Ogun an agrarian state. Is it not enough? But you see we are too lazy. We are lazy because we are not ready to investigate.


Photo News

4

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: National President, Nigeria Guild of Editors, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye; Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati; Country Director, United Nations Development Programme, Mrs. Ade Lekoetje and Special Assistant to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, Ms. Stella Aburime, during a media dialogue with editors on the constitution amendment process held in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris; his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba and Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, at a news conference on the launch of Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Programme in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Yomi Balarinwa; Director, Management Services, Mr. Patrick Areh and Acting Director, Engineering and Technical, Mr. Friday Ukwela, at the pre-event news conference for Africast 2012 in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi; President, Child and Future Foundation, Mrs. Bertie Treur and wife of Osun State Governor, Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola, during the celebration of International Adoption of Children with Special Needs Day in Barnveld, Netherlands, recently.

National News

UNIPORT 4: Police participated in beating victims –Suspects We’ve arrested the masterminds, says IGP

OBIORA IFOH, OMEIZA AJAYI AND CHINEDUM EMEANA

T

wo of the suspects arrested in connection with the killings of the four students of the University of Port Harcourt, Mr. David Chinasa Ugbaje (30) and Ikechukwu Louis Amadi (32) yesterday said that a policeman participated in beating the victims before they were eventually lynched by the mob. Ugbaje, who was paraded with 12 others by the Rivers State Police Command, said two policemen came to the scene of the incident. He said while one of the policemen pleaded with the mob to show mercy on the students, the other joined the crowd in beating them. Ugbaje said on the day of the incident, he was heading for work when he saw a crowd beating four boys. On enquiry, he was told they were robbers

and that they were taking them to 9, Coca Cola Street, Omuokiri, Aluu, where he resides. He said: “I said okay, it is my compound. I opened the gate and they entered. I could not control the crowd of people that followed them. They pointed at one of our co-tenants, the name of the person is Bright, Bright’s door was locked. So, they started beating the students. “Along the line, two policemen came around. One of the policemen was pleading with the crowd to stop beating the students, but the other one joined in beating them.” Ugbaje, who claimed that he was a cobbler, said he knew one of the students because he was his customer, adding that he was afraid that they would kill them in his compound, so he struggled to chase the crowd. He added: “I now said if they killed these people in my compound, occupants of the house would be in trouble.

“I took my belt and I started flogging people to leave the premises. “The crowd beat the students and hit them with hard objects.” Amadi, the second suspect, claimed that he was a printer in the University of Port Harcourt. He said he came out to board a motorcycle to work when he saw a crowd beating four boys who were already stripped naked. He said: “I moved closer to verify. They told me that the boys were robbers. I asked the crowd where they were taking the boys to. They said they were taking them to number 9, Coca Cola Street. “They mentioned one of our neighbours that they came to look for him. So, I followed the crowd. They came to see Bright, my neighbour, who is from Ogoni. But Bright’s door was locked. Some members of the crowd said they were going to break the door. At the end, they beat the

boys mercilessly. “As the crowd was beating the boys, the policemen came. The mob said they would not leave the four boys to the police. The mob threatened to burn the four boys in my premises. We did not allow them to do it. Ugbaje, my neighbour, took his belt and one short stick to drive out the crowd. “If you watch the video you will see it. We started chasing the people. We told them to take the boys out of our yard. We finally succeeded in pushing them out of our yard and we then locked the gate.” Mr. Lawal Segun, an indigene of Osun State, is a commercial motorist. He resides in Omuokiri and said he saw four policemen at the scene when the mob was beating the boys. He said: “I heard the crowd shouting thief ! thief ! thief ! I am a driver. I parked my car outside. I saw about four policemen. I followed them. I started raising my hands begging that the crowd should not kill the boys. “As soon as the police-

men left the scene, I also left. I went to GRA to see my customer who said I should take him to Obudu Cattle Ranch. When I came back on Saturday night, the police came to arrest me.” But the police shielded the traditional ruler of Omuokiri Aluu community, Alhaji Hassan Walewa, who was among the 13 paraded, from being interviewed by journalists. The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has said the alleged masterminds of the killings, Mr. Coxson Lebobiri Lucky, aka Bright, and one other person, who the police said also played a pivotal role in the incident, have been arrested. “Those who perpetrated that barbaric act have been caught. The two kingpins were caught on Monday and will be charged to court,” Abubakar said during his introductory remarks at a parley with officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Chief Executive Officers of banks and others yes-

terday in Abuja. Meanwhile, the Presidency has reinstated its determination to bring the masterminds of the killing to justice. The Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ali Gulak, said that President Goodluck Jonathan is “working round the clock to ensure that the insecurity confronting the nation is tackled.” He expressed sadness that most violence already recorded in the country were perpetrated by unemployed youths. Gulak said: “I will say right away that our problems are within us. Engaging in cultism is unacceptable. We must discourage that and I want to urge students that they shouldn’t allow themselves to be intimidated into joining cult groups. “Very soon, the arrested suspected killers of the students in Port Harcourt will be brought to book. Government will appreciate youths that really showcase their talent.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flood: My house has been T submerged –Jonathan

5

Navy withdraws admission of 55 trainees over certificate forgery

ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

P

resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that his personal house located in Otuoke area of Bayelsa State has been submerged in water up to its window level as a result of the flood that is currently ravaging the state. Jonathan, who just returned from an inspection tour of some states including Bayelsa, noted that the impact of the flood was so much in many of the states he visited and that government has assured

the people affected of all possible assistance. The President spoke at the launching of Saving One Million Lives Initiative at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. He said: “Nigeria is so devastated by the flood. Sometimes when you watch on television, you do not appreciate what we are going through. I travelled from North to South and on Sunday I was in my village after touring my state. I left my village on Sunday morning and as at that time water was about entering my compound. As at this morning, the

information is that my house up to the windows is under water.” Jonathan commended development partners and organisations that responded to the assistance of the flood victims, saying that such gesture would go a long way to bring succour to the people. While speaking on the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, Jonathan said his administration is committing $33.4m over the next four years to step up efforts at reducing maternal and child mortality rate in the country by 2015.

This is in addition to the $25m that the Norwegian Government announced yesterday to assist Nigeria in the initiative with the approval of its parliament. According to him, the Federal Government was doing everything possible to improve the health sector by improving access to medicines and interventions. According to him, the government was working towards kicking out polio by 2015, saying that there was no justification for the country to still have incidence of polio.

he Nigerian Navy Basic Training School, NNBTS, Onne, Port Harcourt, yesterday, withdrew the admission of 55 trainees, including four women, for alleged certificate forgery. The Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Naval Training Command, Apapa, Rear Admiral Azubuike Ajuonu, made the fact known to newsmen in Lagos. Azubuike said that the suspects had been handed over to the police in Port Harcourt for further investigation. He said that if found guilty, the trainees, who spent three months in the school, risked seven years imprisonment. The FOC said that the command had a process of weeding candidates with fake school certificates through verification from various examination bodies. “The verification is a continuous process; nobody will come to navy with false certificate and nobody will come to navy with a bother’s certificate.

“If you want to join the navy, come with your genuine certificate,” he said. The FOC said the alleged falsification of results was discovered during a verification carried out for more than 1,000 trainees. He said that some of the certificates could not be verified due to the lack of examination number. “Some grades were altered on certificates; some had invalid candidates’ number, some results not available for the candidates in specified year. “Grades and names on certificates different from the results online,’’ Azubuike said. The main objective of the School was to conduct basic training for officers and ratings. The FOC warned those who might want to indulge in falsification of results with the hope of getting admission to Navy school to desist. Azubuike promised that the Nigerian Navy would do everything possible to follow the case to a logical conclusion.

Polio: Presidency summons govs, LG bosses, traditional rulers

P Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina (left) and Director, Women Affairs, Mrs. Esther Adeyemi, during the Third Committee of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York on Monday. PHOTO: NAN

resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in Abuja summoned a meeting of governors, local government chairmen, traditional and religious leaders from states still frustrating the nation’s efforts at eradicating the polio virus. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the closed-door meeting

Abdulsalami wins bid for PHCN firms

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

no bidder is allowed to win both Eko and Ikeja Discos in accordance with the requests for proposals. While making clarification on this, Peterside said “the rules are very clear, here there is something called order of preference, if someone wins two things that he will not be allowed to pay for, he would be given the option of choosing the one that he would prefer.” He explained further that in the evaluation of the applications, 80 bidders were short listed and at the

deadline for the payment of data room access fees, 72 out of the 80 shortlisted bidders each paid the mandatory $20,000 fee to purchase the Request for Proposal, RFP, have access to the data room and proceeded to the next stage of the transaction and were subsequently referred to by the Bureau for Public Enterprise, BPE as pre-qualified bidders. “By the submission deadline of 5p.m. on July 31, 2012, the BPE received 54 proposals from pre-qualified bidders and out of the number, they evaluated

and 10 of the bids failed the first test of completeness and responsiveness. The remaining 44 bids were then subjected to full technical evaluation and 32 submitted by different bidders scored the minimum of 75 per cent that was required to progress to the next stage in the process “The bidders that scored 75 per cent and above and who were asked to submit the post-qualification bidders guarantee following the approval of the evaluation results by the NCP as the 20 that are bidding for the 10

Discos,” Peterside stated. Director-General of BPE, Bolanle Onagoruwa, said in designing the model for the selection of the preferred bidder, BPE considered the fact that the current ATC&T losses sustained by the various distribution companies are estimated at between 35 and 40 per cent of the power wheeled to them, pointing out that the level of loss is unsustainable, and if not halted it will continue to make the Nigerian Electricity Supply industry absolutely unviable for full

and un-subsidised private sector-led participation. She explained further that the privatisation strategy was anchored on the Multi Year Tariff Order, MYTO 2 which essentially sets out the commercial and economic indices that provide the financial model for the entire sector, adding that “MYTO 2 stipulates the annual investment requirement, allowable operational expenditure, approved rate of return on equity and other allowable expenses for each distribution companies.”

was attended by Governors Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) and representatives of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kano states. Others at the meeting were local government chairmen, traditional and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders in polio eradication from the northern part of the country. Minister of State for Health, Dr Mohammed Ali Pate, later told newsmen that President Jonathan vowed at the meeting, to eradicate polio in the country in no distant future. “President Jonathan has met with the governors and the local government chairmen that are the last frontiers in Nigeria’s efforts to eradicate polio. “There has been renewed commitment from all the governors that were at the meeting as well as the local government chairmen that responded. “His Excellency has maintained his commitment that Nigeria must eradicate polio.


6

News

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Govt approves N34bn for contributory pensions’ payment TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

T L-R: Former Minister of Information & National Orientation, Prof. Jerry Gana; Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha; Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; celebrant, Dr Alex Ekwueme and former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, at the colloquium marking Ekwueme’s 80th birthday in Abuja, yesterday.

At Ekwueme’s birthday, leaders disagree over constitution review OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

N

otable Nigerian leaders yesterday disagreed over the desirability of the proposed constitution amendment by the National Assembly. The disagreement, which came to the fore at the celebration of the 80th birthday of former VicePresident Alex Ekwueme in Abuja, ranged from the necessity for the amendment, content for amendment to the expansion of the amendment committee. At the International Colloquium on “Nigerian Federalism: Building on the Ekwueme Legacy,” put together in honour of the former vice-president by family members in conjunction with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), set the tune for the discussion with his disagreement that constitution amendment was sine qua non to development. Fashola emphasised that value change was more necessary for law and order, economic, political, social development than constitution amendment. He said: “The six geopolitical zones have no proper structures. This might take us to regional politics. Do we want constitution amendment or not? We want a better life and not a better document. We have everything in our constitution and a constitution is not more than an agreement. “It is really the people behind an agreement and not the agreement itself that matters. Nigeria’s problem

cannot be solved by change of the constitution but by change of attitude by Nigerians. Education, food, transport, etc are not bad because our constitution is bad; our problem lies in the diminishing value system.” His views were corroborated by President Goodluck Jonathan, when he said Nigerians should be more patriotic for Nigeria to work. According the President, it is not about the structure adopted that matters, but the people that operate the structure. But for the Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, there is need for the constitution to be amended to the

point of giving every Nigerian a status of a Nigerian everywhere in the country. He said: “We must change the constitution to have a Nigeria. There is no system that has a universal applicability. What works in Europe may not work for Africa. “We have state police indirectly in the South-East through what you will call vigilante. I want to say that the National Assembly should continue the constitution amendment.” But the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, disagreed with Obi on the role of the National Assembly in the constitution amend-

ment. Attah told the national legislature to hands off constitution amendment as that was not what they were voted to do. According to him, the amendment of the constitution is the responsibility of Nigerians and not that of the National Assembly. He had support from former Information Minister and the National Leader of the Ijaw people, Chief Edwin Clark. Clark said: “We need a national conference to discuss. Our constitution is a military instrument given to us by the military. I disagree with the Lagos State governor on the constitu-

tion amendment. We need a document that would make Nigerians equal. The six zones suggested by Alex Ekwueme should be the federating zones of this country. No region should hold another region down.” Speaking earlier, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, in his remarks as the chairman of the occasion, said the creation of states during his administration in 1967 was to “ensure that good governance was achieved at all levels, especially at the grassroots and that national and natural resources were evenly developed and equitably allocated country-wide.”

FG’ll spend $33.4m on maternal, child health initiative –Jonathan ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

P

resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said his administration would commit $33.4 million over the next four years to step up efforts at reducing maternal and child mortality rate in the country by 2015. This is in addition to the $25 million that the Norwegian Government announced yesterday to assist Nigeria in the initiative with the approval of its Parliament. Jonathan, who spoke at the launch of “Saving One Million Lives Initiative,” at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, noted that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to improve the health sector by improving cheap access

to medicines and interventions. He said the government was working towards kicking out polio by 2015, adding that there was no justification for the country to still have cases of polio. The President, who said attention must be given to mother and child health, recalled his own early life, saying that out of the nine children his parents had, only himself and his elder sister are alive because the other seven children died at infancy. He noted that it was the mercy and grace of God that kept him alive and brought him to his present position as President. Jonathan added that only healthy citizens could meaningfully contribute to the growth and development of the coun-

try. In his address at the event, the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, said his country was ready to help Nigeria realise the Save One Million Lives Initiative. Stoltenberg, who spoke through Bente Angell Hansen, noted that the Norwegian Government would assist the Federal Government with $25 million in the initiative, adding that this would increase access to lifesaving commodities for mother and child. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, explained that the government would spend about N15 billion between now and 2015 to address maternal and infant mortality

rate. She noted that the health of mother and child was paramount as proper care of the children to ensure that they become mature youths that would constitute the driving force of the economy. According to her, the youth and not oil would likely be the power to transform the country to ensure growth and development. The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammed Ali Pate, said the scheme was part of the United Nations Commission on Life Saving Commodities, which aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. He said it was important that the health, education, and reproductive health of women and children must be given necessary attention.

he Federal Government has approved an additional N34 billion for the payment of contributory pension, says the Director-General, National Pensions Commission, PENCOM, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad. Ahmad said this at the fourth Conference for Directors of Pension Operators organised by PENCOM with the theme: “Building a more efficient and sustainable pension industry in Nigeria.” “In respect of those under the contributory pension scheme, recently the Federal Government approved additional funding of over N34 billion for those who have not come forward initially to file their claims. “When they came forward, the Federal Government had to look for money and virtually all of them have being paid because funds have being transferred to respective Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs. “And those that have completed the necessary documentation are being paid and those that have not done that are in the process of doing that,” he said. Ahmad said though the contributory pension scheme was in its eighth year, the industry was still experiencing some challenges because a large number of small companies were yet to join the scheme. The DG said that to overcome these challenges, PENCOM had appointed about 170 consultants, largely lawyers and accountants, who had, in the last three months, been moving round different parts of the country to ensure compliance. He said: “We believe that before the end of the year, we may achieve substantial compliance given the fact that now we have seen an increased number of those who now join the scheme. “There are also challenges of the fallout from the recent public hearing on the administration of pension occasioned by the lack of understanding of the difference between the Define Benefit and Define Contributory, DC, schemes.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

7

Reps move to slash list of national awardees TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

A

bill seeking to curtail the number of national awardees yesterday scaled the second reading in the House of Representatives. Sponsor of the bill, Minority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said the idea for the legislation was encouraged by the lack of integrity and credibility in the present awards system. He regretted that the awards have become a medium for rewarding sycophancy and political friends and supporters. Speaking at plenary yesterday, Gbajabiamila, who moved the motion for the amendment of the Na-

tional Honours Act said the awards no longer have credibility, arguing that it has been abused by the Presidency. He said the standard of the honours’ awards should be raised to enjoy the respect of Nigerians. According to him, raising the standard was the only way of making it achieve the purpose for which it was established. Gbajabiamila proposed three ingredients that must be made to be part of the awards. One, according to him is giving the public opportunity to make input into the list of recipients. To do that, he recommended that the committee handling the awards must publish the names of proposed awardees in two national

newspapers two months to the giving of the honours to allow the public opportunity to comment on the list. Secondly, the lawmaker, who is from Lagos State said the honours must be given to people who have recorded extraordinary achievements in their fields. In addition to that, he recommended that the number of recipients should not be more than 100 individuals even as he said that public officials should be disqualified from receiving it. Supporting the amendment, Hon. Asita (PDP/ Rivers) said the quantum of public officials that received the honours every year has made the awards lose respect in the eyes of the public.

His words: “When somebody is given a National Award because he has won an election to the National Assembly or he has been appointed a minister is to say the least laughable. “National honours today have become an embarrassment and we have to halt it.” In his own contribution, Hon. Geoffrey Gaya, echoed the views of Gbajabiamila that the awards are now given for political expediency and for less noble reasons. Similarly, Hon Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, said the number of recipients should be limited to few individuals who have achieved recoganisable feats in their fields of en-

deavour. Hon. Chris Etta in his contribution stretched the argument further as he recommended that the amendment should bar a President from receiving the honours until he or she has recorded noticeable achievements. He frowned at a situation where public officers were given the awards on ground of their being elected or appointed into an exalted office. His words: “It is not everyone that is seen by Nigerians as deserving of the highest honours they were given. We have to stop this. We also have to stop giving national honours to governors unless where some of them have made a difference in their office.”

Virtually all the lawmakers endorsed the bill and when it was put into vote by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. It was referred to the committee on Governmental Affairs. The House also yesterday referred a bill seeking to restrict the movement of heavy-duty vehicles in the country to its Committee on Governmental Affairs for further legislative scrutiny. The bill, sponsored by Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP/Delta), is entitled: “A Bill for an Act to Prohibit the Movement of Certain Articulated Vehicles on Nigerian Roads, from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm and to provide for other related matters.”

Lagos to sack 200 LASTMA officials 12 officials killed in 10 months

MURITALA AYINLA

N

o fewer than 200 officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) have been recommended for outright dismissal for various unethical behaviours, National Mirror gathered. It was also reliably gathered that a total of 12 LASTMA officials have been killed by either a mob attack or by reckless drivers in the last 10 months. An impeccable source at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, who does not want his name mentioned, told National Mirror that the officers were recommended for dismissal based on complaints about their uncivilised behaviour, which according to the source is capable of denting the image of the organisation. The source further dis-

closed that the name of the erring officials had been forwarded to the civil service commission for approval, adding that none of the recommended officials have been dismissed. The source, however, said that dismissal of the officers is subject to the approval of the civil service commission. The state government had, in the last one month, embarked on training of its law enforcement officers on non-aggressive enforcement of the law and other ethical conducts. It also disbursed N2.5 million as insurance claims to 23 officials of LASTMA, who were injured in the course of carrying out their duties last week. Many of beneficiaries were victims of ‘hit and run’ drivers and those who sustained injuries following mob attack by social miscreants also known as ‘Area boys.’

L-R: Board Member, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ms. Chelsea Clinton; Executive Director, UNFPA, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin; representative of the Senate President, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa; rerepresentative of the Co-Chair of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, Ms. Angel Hansen; President Goodluck Jonathan; Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu; Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammad Ali-Pate, during a guided tour of exhibition stands at the launch of Nigeria’s Saving One Million Lives Programme in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

ICAN decries high cost of governance, tasks govt on MDAs’ merger TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

T

he Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has decried the high cost of governance and advocated urgent reversal of

134 million Nigerians lack proper identity –NIMC KUNLE A ZEEZ

T

he National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said that about 134 million Nigerians currently do not have any form of proper identification to carry out formal transactions both within and outside the country. This was disclosed by

the Head, Technical Department, NIMC, Mr. Aliyu Azeez, during a stakeholders’ forum organised by the commission in Lagos yesterday to discuss the direction of efforts towards establishing an effective Identity Management System is heading. According to Azeez, who pointed out the identity management sector was critical to Nigeria’s socio-

economic development; “Less than 20 per cent of Nigeria’s population has some form of identification.” With the current population figure recently estimated at 167 million by the National Population Commission (NPC), National Mirror learnt that the 20 per cent represents only 33.4 million Nigerians, leaving a huge 133.6 million without proper identity.

the trend as a strategic option of building stronger platforms for driving ongoing transformation agenda and sustainable growth of the economy in the years ahead. President of the Institute, Mr. Adedoyin Owolabi, made the appeal at the opening ceremony of the 42nd Annual Accountants Conference in Abuja. Owolabi said government needed to urgently revisit the cost of governance which has continued to take its toll on the public even as he canvassed, among other options, the merger of related public sector institutions as recently recommended by the Mr. Steve Oronsaye Presidential

Committee. This he said is to save costs associated with their personnel and overhead operations and plough such savings to capital projects that would impact positively on the efficiency and competitiveness of the nation’s economy. According to him, attaining the broad policy objectives of Vision 20:2020 Economic Blueprint may be difficult if the high cost of governance is not curtailed through painful but necessary decisions that will lead us to where we desire to be as a nation by the year 2020. As discerning professionals and players in the economy, the ICAN boss said the Institute believed

that the nation could achieve much more than it is currently doing, adding that Nigeria’s infrastructure capacity could be improved remarkably even with the current level of funding if projects are properly monitored and greater premium is placed on the value for money. “We must confront, with greater resolve, the enormous challenge of building strong and enduring institutions, a politically united nation, a well diversified and resilient economy, businessfriendly environment free of insecurity , legislative inhibitions, unethical and opaque business and political practices”, the ICAN President said.


8

South West

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Critics of state police insincere –Aregbesola WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

O

sun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday flayed critics of the establishment of state police, saying they were insincere. Aregbesola, who spoke in Osogbo while signing the state Security Trust Fund Law, said the argument that state police would lead to

•Signs Security Trust Fund Law

abuse of rights could not be sustained as the judiciary would handle any violation of rights. He said to properly police states in the country, creation of state police was necessary, adding that the present police command structure was so centralised that order could only come from the Inspector

General of Police. The governor said the appellation given to the governors as chief security officers of their various states was a mere expression as no commissioner of police would listen to the directive or instruction of any governor. He said: “Those who say Nigeria is not ripe for state

police are not sincere. I don’t know where they get their own reasoning from. Even school campuses have their own police to ensure that criminal activities are curbed in their institutions. If there is any violation of rights, the judiciary is there to handle it and so the argument that state police will lead to abuse of

rights cannot be sustained. “My administration, being a responsive and responsible one, is putting the issue of security of our dear state on the front burner; hence, we are developing a number of strategies to evolve an almost foolproof security for the State of Osun.” Noting that insecurity was no respecter of anybody, Aregbesola added that prevention of crimes should be a collective responsibility of all the citizens. The governor said to secure the state, intelligence and warning systems capable of detecting impending criminal activities before they manifested in attacks

must be put in place for prevention and protective actions to be taken. He said: “As a state, we must enhance the analytic capabilities of the police and other security agencies; build new capabilities and implement a state security advisory system. The Security Trust Fund Law newly enacted takes all these into consideration.” Aregbesola added that his administration was ready to work with the federal departments and agencies, neighbouring states, local governments and the private sector to implement a comprehensive plan to protect the state and her citizens.

2nd Anniversary: Fayemi hinges achievements on planning ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

G L-R: Chairman, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Lagos State chapter, Hon. Akinola Obadia; state Chairman, Congress for Progressive Change, Chief Ajibade Emiabata-Balogun; Chairperson, New Democrat, Chief Ruth Ajanaku and state Chairman, African Democratic Congress, Mr. Geoffrey Lemchi, at the CNPP press briefing on the new Lagos State Road Traffic Law in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

Oyo technical varsity begins soon –Govt KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

O

yo State Government has announced the take-off of its Technical University, with the seed grant of N250 million and the constitution of a management implementation committee for the institution. The Special Adviser to the governor on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said in a statement yesterday that the take-off of the institution was approved by the State Executive Council. The announcement came as some students of a private university, Lead City University, Ibadan, staged a violent protest yesterday over the non-payment of their monthly allowance by the Federal Government. The bill for the establishment of the Oyo State Technical University was passed into law by the state House of Assembly in June. Adedayo said the Forest Reserve along Apete Road in Ibadan, as well as the West-end of The Polytechnic, Ibadan had been chosen as the take-off sites of

•Lead City students stage violent protest the university, which would have satellite campuses in the remaining two senatorial districts in the state. He said the law establishing the institution would soon be gazetted, while the acting Pro-Chancellor of the university is former Head of Service, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, adding that members of the implementation committee would be appointed any moment from now, pending the con-

stitution of the Governing Council. Adedayo explained that the university would be a national and global institution that would not only be of sound academic standard but also fully grounded in entrepreneurial practice, based on fundamental theories and commitment to international best practices. Meanwhile, about 25 students of Lead City University from the Niger Delta

area armed with bottles, cudgels, iron rods and other dangerous weapons, threw decorum to the winds as they smashed the louvers of classrooms and drove their colleagues out of the study rooms. The protesters beat up other students who failed to comply with their instructions while they seized the blackberry phone of a female student for attempting to take their pictures.

overnor Kayode Fayemi yesterday took stock of his first two years in office and attributed the success recorded in various sectors of the Ekiti State economy within the period to careful planning, prudence and commitment to his administration’s eight-point agenda. Fayemi, who spoke yesterday at an event to round off his second anniversary in Ado-Ekiti, said: “Today, the state has successfully risen to address the critical questions of development and restoration of hope. “Even though we cannot claim to have reached the destination of our journey, we have nonetheless moved away from the spot of stagnation of our recent history. “The focus is clear, the direction is unambigu-

Ogun pays N3bn outstanding gratuities, salaries

O

gun State Government said it had paid N3,038,758,379 out of the debt owed civil servants and retired workers by the previous administration. The Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who disclosed this at an interactive session with journalists in Abeokuta, said the payments made in the last 15 months had reduced the N13 billion staff-related debt to just over N10 billion. She said the payments were deemed priority debts

by the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun due to the high level of personal suffering caused by delayed payments. The commissioner cited the example of civil servants who had retired as far back as 2006 and whose gratuities remained unpaid until when the current administration initiated the clearing of the backlog. She said: “When we talk about debts owed in Ogun State, we are always mindful that we are not just dealing with contractors

or banks. There are also human creditors and their plight is often very critical. Many had served diligently for 35 years and then left without being paid their entitlements for many years, causing untold hardship. Since May 2011, we have, in conjunction with the Bureau of State Pensions, implemented a plan to ensure that they are paid.” Adeosun explained that in addition to meeting current pension and gratuity obligations, the government had been releasing

funds to clear the backlog inherited. Noting that there was “still a long way to go,” the commissioner said the progress made to date was significant and had positively affected the lives of those concerned. The payments made, according to her, include N1,046,894,597 of unpaid gratuities, outstanding leave bonuses totalling N660,168,792.05, salary arrears of N250,000,001 and deductions of N1,081,694,988.74.

ous; it is movement with motion. Hence the theme of the celebration is Reclaiming the Trust of Our People, Delivering the Promise for Our People.” According to the governor, the people’s trust in the government’s genuine intention has equally created the urge to do more with every sense of responsibility so as not to disappoint the people. He said: “It has indeed compelled us to step up competence, openness, concern, and reliability in public conduct.” Fayemi said he had been able to give the people hope in the last two years, despite inheriting N40 billion debt and several abandoned projects from the ousted Segun Oni-led administration. The governor, who took pride in the achievements of his administration in the various sectors, said one of the effects of good governance and peaceful atmosphere was the fact that the state now ranked the least in terms of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria and the highest in terms of life expectancy.

Fayemi


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

9

Students protest death of colleagues in Osun WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

T

he sleepy town of Ila-Orangun in Osun State was yesterday thrown into pandemonium, as students of the stateowned College of Education protested against the sudden death of two of their colleagues in an auto crash. Authorities of the institution have closed down the college to prevent further breakdown of law and order, while a statement by the Registrar of the College, Alhaji G. O. Kolawole, directed all students to proceed on midsemester break and vacate the campus immediately in their own interest. Parts of the local government secretariat and the Palace of the Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Oyedotun, were torched by the irate students who also vandalised some public property, even as they made bonfires at strategic places in the town. The two students who were simply identified as Sodiq and Wale of the Departments of Accounting and Arts, died in an accident involving motorbikes conveying them to the campus for early morning lectures. National Mirror learnt that the protesting students blamed the tragedy on the heap of sand deposited by the road side allegedly by the construction firm rehabilitating the road. The Welfare Officer of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the College,

•Aregbesola, nine others get NEPAD award Mr. Tanimomo Opeyemi, said that “the two students were on the bike rushing to meet up with their lectures when the accident occurred.” Also the SUG President of the College, Mr. Akindele Rauf, condemned the incident but admonished his colleagues to maintain peace, adding that the leadership of the students’ union was making frantic efforts to restore peace in the town. Meanwhile, Governor Rauf Aregbesola and nine other governors will tomorrow be conferred with an award of Excellence and Good Governance. The award will be conferred on him by the NEPAD Business Group in Nigeria (NBGN) at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos in recognition of the laudable achievements recorded since he took over the mantle of leadership in the state. A statement issued by the governor’s Director of Communication and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, recalled that in the last one and half years, Governor Aregbesola has taken measures to rejuvenate the economy of the state through a six-point action plan. According to him, the action plan, which includes banishing poverty and hunger, banishing unemployment, restoring healthy living, functional education and communal peace and progress have contributed immensely to the

Alaafin to colleagues: Stop open confrontation KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

T

he Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, has warned royal fathers and chiefs in Yorubaland to desist from engaging in open physical confrontation, describing such as a disgrace to the institution of Obaship in the land. It will be recalled that two monarchs in Ogun State, the Olu of Itori, Oba Akorede Akamo and Baale Lapeleke, Chief Adisa Akinremi, recently engaged in such public confrontation as it was three years ago between Onigboho of Igboho, Oba John Oyetola Bolarinwa and his counterpart from Igbope, during the tradi-

tional meeting at Oorelope Local Government area in Igboho. The royal father, while speaking at the 2012 Igbope Day celebration and the N250 million development fund raising ceremony, described as taboo in Yorubaland for any traditional ruler to be involved in physical battle. His words: “It is a desecration of the Yoruba culture and tradition for Obas to engage in public brawl. “In 1909, the British government praised the ingenuity of the Yoruba and their rich culture and tradition as exemplified by the cabinet system of government which was in place then, why do we have to bastardise it now” he queried.

lifting of the state to an enviable economic status. Other awardees are Alhaji Sule Lamido, the Governor of Jigawa State and Mr. Peter

Obi, the Governor of Anambra State. Also to receive the award are; Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), the Governor of

Lagos State, Alhaji Rabiu Kwamkwaso, the Governor of Kano State, Comrade Adam Oshiomhole, the Governor of Edo State, Alhaji AbdulFatah Ahmed, the Governor of Kwara State,

Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the Governor of Imo State and Chief Godswill Akpabio, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

L-R: Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka; Governor Kayode Fayemi (middle), presenting a cheque to a visually-challenged beneficiary, Mr. Ezekiel Abosede, during the payment of the October stipends to elderly citizens as part of events commemorating the second anniversary of Fayemi’s administration and one year of the Social Security Scheme, in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.

Leadership tussle: Court berates K&S church leaders KAYODE KETEFE

A

Federal High Court judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, yesterday criticised leaders of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church over the leadership tussle rocking the church. The criticism came in a case instituted by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Pa Tunji Gomez, on behalf of Prince Adepoju Arogundade,

to challenge the claim of Mr. Adebola Adenuga, as the leader of the church in Nigeria. At the resumed hearing of the proceedings yesterday, Justice Okeke admonished the different factions, stressing that as spiritual leaders they should have found constructive ways of solving their differences before it became a major feud resulting in litigation. The judge remarked in a stern way; “I wonder what you people used to say any-

Lagos Traffic Law: CNPP commends Lagos govt OLUFEMI AJASA

T

wenty-five active political parties under the umbrella of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), yesterday commended the Lagos State government on the new Lagos Traffic Law, saying it will bring sanity to the state. Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the CNPP, Akinola Obadia, said “the laws may sound draconian, but we know that the application is for the general benefit and comfort of the citizenry.” Obadia, who commended the new traffic law, said that it is a generally acceptable fact that both pedestrians and commercial drivers are very careless on the roads in Nigeria, especially in Lagos

State. He said this can only be curbed by government coming out with laws that will take care of all the lapses on road usage in the society. The CNPP stated categorically that; “This new law, like the amended tax law, will bring sanity and orderliness into the society. As you can see, most states in the country are now emulating the Lagos State tax drive as well as improving on their transport system. “How on earth do we overlook Okada riders and commercial buses driving directly against the flow of traffic or jumping traffic lights? So, it is against the excesses on road usage that we believe the Lagos State government has answered an overdue need of the state,” he said.

time you mount the pulpit to preach to your members. “Anytime I think of cases like this, I’m always very sad because church leaders ordinarily and normally, should be the examples that all must follow. “When one is dead, people will say may his soul rest in perfect peace. But your soul cannot be at peace in death when you were not at peace when you were alive. “I think you people should seriously settle this matter

amicably.” After hearing the request of the lawyer of two of the defendants, Mr. Tunji Ayanlaja, that he wished to discontinue his representation for one of the defendants, Justice Okeke granted the request. Ayanlaja, who is also an Apostle in the church, had based his request on the grounds that he had just discovered that the two parties he had been representing since the inception of the case were different.

Alao-Akala deniessurprised dumping PDP that you are

KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

F

ormer governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo AlaoAkala, yesterday denied growing speculation in the state that he will soon dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under which platform he served as governor, for another political party. He made the clarifications while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, the state capital, saying that he is not interested in any party switch. He said the sponsors and peddlers of the rumour are political prostitutes who always flirt with political parties for pecuniary interests. His words: “I’m even

raising such issue with me when you all know that I am a sworn member of the PDP and nothing will depart from that.” The former governor queried the basis for his rumoured switch of parties, asking; “Why would I want to leave the PDP? There is no election at hand that I’m involved in directly or indirectly. Even at that I will never leave the PDP. “Those behind the rumour might have been afraid of me, fearing that my being in the same party with them could be a continued injury to their interests. I state unequivocally that the rumour is wicked and malicious and is being peddled by idle minds, “ Akala added.


10

South East

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flood: Soldiers save 1,000 residents from drowning NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

T

he timely intervention of soldiers attached to the Onitsha military cantonment in Anambra State at the weekend saved what could have led to a tragic end of about 1,000 residents following the flood that ravaged some parts of the state. The Army engineers mobilised boats and vehi-

cles from barracks to rescue the victims from the surging flood. Although neither the Commanding Officer of the 14 Field Engineering Regiment, Onitsha, Lt. Col. Adetoro; nor the Commander of 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, Col. Gagariga, could be reached for comment as at the time of going to press, victims confirmed that they were evacuated by

the soldiers. Most of the victims who spoke with National Mirror at their camps in Onitsha, Ihiala, Ogbaru expressed gratitude to the soldiers for responding to their distress calls. The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has, however, provided toilet facilities, electricity and water to the victims. As at the time National

Mirror visited Anam, the soldiers were seen pleading with a retired Army Colonel simply called Chief Okonkwo to relocate to one of the camps, but to no avail. Chief Okonwo, who was said to have participated in the peace-keeping mission in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia, is said to believe in the strength of the foundation of his house.

Wife of the Anambra State Governor, Mrs. Margaret Obi (left) during her visit to one of the camps where flood victims are being accomodated, recently.

Firm to establish $1.5bn coal power plant in Enugu DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

A

foreign business concern, Green Pheonic Energy International, has planned to establish a $1.5 billion Coal Power Plant in Enugu State. The company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Brain Ransom, stated this during his visit to the Acting Governor of

Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi. Ransom said that the proposed plant would generate about 200 mega watts of electricity. He added that the company would also be involved in water treatment and preservation of food crops. Ransom said before the company begins its operations, it would visit communities to identify their problems and areas of needs.

According to him, the company has visited Lagos State and other places in Nigeria before coming to Enugu. In his reaction, Acting Governor Sunday Onyebuchi said necessary facilities for investment had been provided by the state government to attract investors. Onyebuchi said that right from the time coal was discovered and Unit-

Why Nigeria is backward –Azikiwe NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

T

he Owelle of Onitsha, Chief Chukwuma Bamidele Azikiwe, has attributed Nigeria’s backwardness to what he described as poor management of resources by leaders. Speaking at the second edition of the Zik Annual Lecture Series organised by the Anam-

bra State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) as part of activities marking its 2012 Press Week, Azikiwe regretted that rather than instilling quality leadership and prudent management of natural resources, leaders chose to do the contrary. The first son of Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, noted that his father’s vision

was for leaders to provide quality leadership and allow it to trickle down to the masses, with meaningful impact, but unfortunately, the reverse is the case. He, therefore, commended NUJ for instituting Zik’s annual lecture series and urged the leaders to judiciously manage the nation’s resources. He also urged Nigeri-

ed African Company (UAC) established, Enugu had played a major role in the socio-economic development of the country as the capital of Eastern Region, East Central State and today capital of Enugu State. He urged the company to see Enugu as conducive state for investment, stressing that residents are hardworking and hospitable.

ans to obey the rule of law, shun criminal tendencies and violent actions. The chairman of the occasion, Senator Annie Okonkwo, who was represented by Dr. Christian Okeke, announced a donation of N500,000 to the NUJ, just as the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, delivered a lecture on Zik’s legacy, as the Guest Speaker.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Anambra to resettle, rehabilitate flood victims CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

F

lood victims in Anambra State have been assured of resettlement and rehabilitation soon. The state government said the rehabilitation would be handled by a special committee to be established soon. Announcing this development yesterday at the Government House in Awka, while receiving two truckloads of relief items donated by a philanthropist and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Foods, Chief Nnaeto Orazuluike, Governor Peter Obi said the committee would be inaugurated shortly after the flood recedes. The items donated by Chief Orazulike include bread, sausage rolls and other confectionaries manufactured by his company. Governor Obi said the rehabilitation and resettlement committee would help to raise the necessary funds to assist the victims to rebuild their homes and businesses. Obi reiterated his administration’s determination to reduce the burden of the victim and raise their morale, as well as help them to pick up their lives again.

Obi

He urged those planning to assist the flood victim with relief materials to go through the appropriate committee for proper documentation and transparency. He praised President Goodluck Jonathan for sympathising with the victims. A member of the state Flood Relief Coordinating Committee and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Prof. Chinyere Okunna, said that the increasing response of the people towards the plight of flood victims is a testimony that government is working hard to alleviate their suffering. In his speech, Chief Orazulike said he was encouraged to assist because of the bold and prompt steps taken by the governor in providing succor for the victims.

Abia Assembly concerned over poor IGR GEORGE OPARA ABIA

T

he Abia State House of Assembly said it is worried on the persistent dwindling of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The House Deputy Speaker, Hon. Alwell Okere, spoke yesterday during a monthly briefing with journalists in Umuahia, the state capital. Okere said that the Assembly had set up a committee to investigate the persistent decline in the IGR. He said: “The House recently summoned the Chairman of the state Board of Internal Revenue and his response to the lawmakers was not satisfactory. “We do not understand

the reason why Abia, with two commercial towns like Aba and Umuahia cannot generate N1 billion monthly, while other states not up to Abia status generate more than N1 billion.” Okere said the House was concerned that something must be done urgently to address the situation. The Deputy Speaker, who doubles as the Chairman of Committee on Information, said the Assembly passed three bills into laws, while seven motions were adopted in the last one month. According to him, the bills were: relocation of Abia State Government House, relocation of Umuahia Main Market to Ubani and the relocation of Umuahia Automobile and Allied Related Bill.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Abduction: Eghagha regains freedom, keeps mum H •We are sure of seized commissioner’s release –Rivers

11

A’Ibom warns school heads against extortion TONY ANICHEBE UYO

SOLA ADEBAYO AND CHINEDUM EMEANA

K

idnapped Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Hope Eghagha, on Monday night regained his freedom, after 15 days in captivity. It was learnt that he was dumped at Agbarho in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state at about 7pm. Sources told National Mirror that the state government paid unspecified ransom to the abductors to facilitate Eghagha’s release. The commissioner was abducted at Abavo on Effurun/Asaba Highway on September 30, 2012 by

some gunmen, who also killed his police orderly. The gunmen later demanded N100 million ransom as a condition to release him. But it was not clear at press time yesterday how much the government coughed out to secure Eghagha’s release Eghagha could not be reached to narrate his ordeal in captivity at the time of filling this report yesterday. Our correspondent, who visited his residence in Asaba, was told that the commissioner was resting. A couple of relations, friends and associates were sighted at the area waiting to see him. The Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Mr.

Charles Muka, confirmed Eghagha’s release. Muka said the commissioner was freed at about 7pm on Monday. Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government yesterday confirmed the kidnap of its Commissioner for Power, Mr. Augustine Wokocha. Wokocha was reported kidnapped by gunmen on October 13, 2012. The state Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, said yesterday that the information available at the time the incident occurred indicated that the commissioner was kidnapped on his way to assess some areas affected by flood. She said: “It is believed that he was on his way to monitor relief materials

and the situation in one of the camps where flood victims were accommodated before the incident happened. “Although details are sketchy, the government wishes to confirm that security agencies are on top of the situation and have the full cooperation of the government to ensure that the commissioner is rescued and the perpetrators brought to book.” Mrs. Semenitari said Governor Chibuike Amaechi had directed the security agencies to ensure Wokocha’s release without delay. The security agencies are working on a number of leads and a combined search mission is in full swing to unravel the untoward development. “It is pertinent to say that the state has enjoyed relative peace until now.

ead teachers extorting money from students and parents in the name of hand work and other charges in Akwa Ibom State have been warned to stop the habit. The state government warned that any head teacher caught extorting money from students would be sanctioned. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education Matters, Dr. Jerry J. Emah, gave the warning yesterday when he visited some schools in the state. Decrying the alleged extortion, corruption and indiscipline among some head teachers, Emah said the government had received reports in which some primary school heads demanded and collected money to allocate unscrupulous marks to their pupils in the last terminal examination. He frowned at the development and viewed it as a way of re-introducing fees in

schools. Threatening to fish out the offenders and discipline them accordingly, Emah said the government’s investment in the free and compulsory education would not be allowed to go down the drain because of a few criminallyminded teachers and head teachers who are bent on frustrating the policy. Emah, who is also the state branch chairman of the National Parent Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), directed all school heads to ensure that the pupils are taught practical handwork as was practiced in the past where children were allowed to produce crafts like broom, bamboo seats, baskets, adding such would encourage the pupils to develop their talents and skills. Responding, the Head Teacher of St. Georges RCM School, Aka Offot uyo, commended the governor’s aide in the area of school monitoring, curbing of loitering and truancy among pupils.

Ex-militants raise N53m for flood victims OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

F

Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (left) and Chairman of the state Sports Commission, Mr. Amaju Pinick, after he was sworn-In as the by the Governor in Asaba, on Monday.

Alleged cultism: Conduct Bureau arraigns LG boss EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

T

he Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) yesterday arraigned the Chairman of Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State, Mr. Emil Lemke Inyang, before a tribunal sitting in Abuja for alleged registration and enrolment into a secret society known as the National Association of Buccanneers. The offence, which the CCB said is “incompatible with the functions and dignity of public office,” is

contrary to Section 14 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act cap 15 LFN, 2004 and punishable under Section 23 of the same act. Inyang, who pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge, allegedly committed the offence on December 28, 2007. The one-count charge dated June 6, 2012 and marked CCT/ABJ/02/12 reads thus: “That you, Emil Lemke Inyang, “M’, on or about the 28th day of December, 2007 while being Council Chairman of Biase Local Government

of Cross River State, registered and enrolled into a society known as National Association of Buccanneers” which membership is incompatible with the functions and dignity of your office, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 14 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal act cap 15 LFN, 2004 and punishable under section 23 of the same act.” The arraignment of the council chairman followed the refusal of the tribunal to quash the charge against him.

ormer Niger Delta militants have donated the sum of N53 million to flood victims in the region. Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, said the 26,358 amnesty beneficiaries in Phases One and Two of the programme agreed to donate N2, 000 individually from their October allowances to alleviate the suffering of the victims in Bayelsa, Cross River, Del-

ta, Edo and Rivers states. A statement yesterday by the amnesty Head of Media and Communications, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, stated that the Presidential Amnesty Office workers also donated between 20 and 30 per cent of their October allowances to support the government’s effort on the flood situation. Already, Kuku has constituted an 18-member Flood Relief Committee comprising of key stakeholders in the amnesty programme and volunteers. The committee is headed by the Technical

Assistant on Re-integration, Mr. Larry Pepple. Kuku commended the amnesty beneficiaries for their selfless and humanitarian gesture. He said: “This is very commendable as it is a practical demonstration of the African spirit and tradition of being your brother’s keeper in times of distress.” Kuku added that the committee would procure the necessary relief materials and liaise with the various state governments in ensuring the distribution of the items.

Akpabio urges Africa to invest in ICT OLUSEGUN KOIKI

D

eveloping nations, especially African countries have been urged to invest in Information Communication Technology (ICT) to enhance their advancement. This was the view of Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akapabio in an interview with journalists at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, yesterday. Akpabio was on his way to Dubai to deliver a paper at the Nigerian Day of ITU

Telecom World 2012. Akpabio warned that if governments in the developing countries failed to embrace ICT, it would be impossible for them to meet up with the happenings in the globe, insisting that the importance of ICT in today’s world could not be overstressed. He said in order not to be caught napping, the Akwa Ibom State Government recently established an elibrary, the first of its kind in the West African sub-region, adding that the library covers an area of 31 square metres with a building foot-

print area of 4, 000 square metres. The governor said users would have access to over 60 million downloadable ebooks, e-journals, audio and video books and would be able to learn new languages in the language laboratory. “The library is fitted with anti-theft book security device,” Akpabio said. He, however, noted that Nigeria was not left out in the ICT revolution, which he beliefs had moved the country from 600, 000 telephone lines in 1999 to over 100,000,000 mobile functional lines this year.


12

North

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Kogi House of Assembly Speaker impeached ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

T

he Kogi State House of Assembly yesterday impeached its Speaker, Hon. Abdullahi Bello and other principal officers of the house. Seventeen of the 25 member House voted for the Speaker’s removal. The impeachment axe, which has been dangling on the Speaker’s head for about two months, finally fell on him yesterday. The 17 members were said to have signed the impeachment notice while 12 were on the floor of the house when the motion was moved. Moving the motion yesterday, a member representing Dekina/Biraidu Constituency, Hon. Gowon Haruna, who was seconded by another member from Igalamela/

Odolu Constituency, Hon. Friday Sani, said the House has lost total direction under the watch of the embattled principal officers. Haruna, who listed their offences to include refusal to reconvene the assembly when President Goodluck Jonathan visited the state recently to see the extent of the damage done by the flood disaster in the state. He equally alleged that the leadership of the House has refused to comment over the death of 27 Deeper Life worshippers. The lawmaker, who is also a pastor, said the two catastrophes which he claimed have affected the state greatly did not get the required attention from the House due to lack of coordination by the house leadership.

Under the new leadership, Hon. Jimoh Lawal from Okene 11 was elected as the new Speaker while the new Deputy Speaker is Hon. Atule Christopher Okoche, from Ibaji Constituency of the state. Other positions decided yesterday were the Majority Leader and Minority Leader, the Chief Whip, in which Hon. Salihu Akwu of Omala, Hon. Sunday Chigaba from Bassa and Suleman Babadoko of Lokoja 1 Constituency. The new leadership later paid a courtesy call

on the state governor, Captain Idris Wada, who later received the new officials and their delegation. He commended the maturity displayed by the members of the house during the transition. He said his administration will continue to be law abiding, stressing that he will never interfere with the internal affairs of the house. But in a swift reaction, 13 members of the house headed by Hon. Abdullahi Bello and other principal officers ousted yesterday

equally addressed a press conference at the former Speaker’s residence. Bello told journalists at the conference that the purported impeachment of the principal officers of the house was not in line with the laid down rules and regulations that guide the activities of the house. He alleged that the signatures of four members were forged by the other group making them to lay claim to 17 signatures. Bello said the action was therefore null and void as the members who purport-

edly signed for his removal and that of the other officers did not constitute the two-third majority required by the constitution. He alleged that powerful forces in the state have tried to induce members of the house to impeach him and after the attempt failed, they now resorted to forging signatures of members to achieve their desire. He said his principal officers will reconvene today to continue their normal proceeding, stressing that they will not go to court because it is needless to challenge illegality since in the real sense of it they have not been removed.

Police parade corps member, others for robbery WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

K

wara State Police Command yesterday paraded a youth corps member serving in the state and one other for alleged robbery. The names of the suspected robbers were given as Ajayi Joshua Oluwatosin and Taofeek Tobi Adesina. They were said to have armed themselves with guns, and invaded a phone shop located along Taiwo Road, a commercial centre in Ilorin, the state capital on October 1. Police said they allegedly carted away no fewer than 35 cell phones and other accessories valued at some huge amount of money. Command spokesperson, Fabode Olufemi, while addressing journalists at the command headquarters, put the value of the phone accessories at about N400, 000, adding that the suspects also allegedly dispossessed their victims during the operation of

JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

S

takeholders in Plateau State yesterday came up with a recipe for lasting peace in the state. They said for lasting peace to be achieved, residents must learn to forgive one another. They must also encourage one another to live

N8, 850. Olufemi said that; “The two suspects, who initially pretended as customers, later held the owner of the shop hostage at gun point. They tied the victim’s two hands and sealed her mouth with cello tape to prevent her from raising the alarm after which they ransacked the shop. “However, on receiving the information, police patrol team was immediately drafted to the scene and with the assistance of some passers-by, the youth corps member allegedly ran out of luck as he was pursued and eventually arrested. His mate, however, escaped with their loot, but after intensive manhunt, the fleeing suspect was later traced to a hideout at Laduba area where he was arrested with a locally made double barrel pistol and two live cartridges. “Also, when his residence at Niger Road was searched, one battle axe and a machete were recovered,” the police added.

L-R: Secretary to Borno State Government, Alhaji Baba Jidda; Governor Kashim Shettima and Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Ibrahim Bukar, during the inspection of facilities for mass production of interlock tiles in Maiduguri, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

JTF kills 24 suspected terrorists in Maiduguri INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

T

he Military Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday said it has killed 24 suspected terrorists after Monday’s multiple blasts in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. In a statement signed by JTF spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Sagir Musa and made available to journalists in Maiduguri, the JTF said the terrorists attacked JTF locations in Zannari Ward and Lagos

Street along Gwange general area on Monday night. The statement also said no JTF or civilian was killed during the encounter. According to him rocket propelled grenades and Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) were used by the insurgents in the attacks. “The terrorists used civilian residences, homes as launching areas for the attacks at different times of the night of Monday, October 15, 2012. All the attacks were repelled and 24

suspected terrorists were killed,” Lt-Col Musa said in the statement. The JTF spokesman also claimed that no civilian casualty was recorded but added that a soldier was wounded during the attack. According to him, one RPG purpose machine gun, seven AK 47 riffles, one FNC riffle, 24 assorted empty magazines, 950 assorted ammunition, two pistols, large quantity of assorted Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs)

Stakeholders seek lasting peace in Plateau in unity irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliations. These were some of the resolutions reached yesterday at a town hall meeting in Jos, the state capital. The meeting which was organised by Community Action for Popular Partici-

pation (CAPP), a non-governmental organization, which had in attendance religious leaders, youth leaders, community leaders, women groups, heads of security agencies, government officials and other stakeholders. CAPP’s Programme

Manager, Mr. Nelson Ananze, said the meeting was aimed at building a framework for lasting peace on the Plateau through a process which hitherto did not identify the communities as critical stakeholders in the conflict.” Participants, who

spoke during the meeting, took time to condemn the crisis in the state which has claimed many lives and polarised residents along ethnoreligious lines and emphasised the need for all hands to be on deck to return the state to the path

materials and several, bows, arrows and cutlasses were recovered from the attackers. “The atmosphere in Maiduguri has been normalised since the early hours of yesterday as people are going about their normal businesses,” he added. Musa warned residents to desist from allowing their homes to be used as launching pads for attacks on troops and civilians, saying such action would be dealt with appropriately.

of peace. Executive Director of Centre for Peace Advancement in Nigeria (CEPAN) Rev. Goru Samuel, read the stakeholders resolution thus: “We must encourage unity in diversity to move forward; its only the truth that can set the society free from the prolonged conflict.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mimiko has set aside N10bn to buy votes – PDP

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

Military helicopters patrol Ondo as CP warns trouble makers

15

14

Constitution amendment not for Jonathan’s re-election – Presidency FELIX NWANERI

I

nsinuations in some quarters that the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution is aimed at ensuring that President Goodluck Jonathan gets the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for the 2015 presidential elections has been dismissed by the Presidency. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, disclosed this yesterday in Lagos, while speaking at a Media Dialogue on the Constitution Amendment Process, organised by the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) Project in collaboration with his office.

Abati also disclosed that the constitution amendment exercise is not the president’s project, as the nation has been on the issue since 1999. He said: “It is disheartening to read some people argue that it is aimed at ensuring that President Jonathan gets the PDP ticket for a second term.” The presidential aide also faulted the arguments still trailing Jonathan’s proposal for a single tenure for the president and governors, saying it was just an idea that is subject to debate and not aimed at tenure elongation. Describing constitution amendment process as a dynamic one, he called on the Nigerian media to collaborate with Federal Gov-

ernment to make the current exercise a success. “It is important for journalists to refuse to be drawn to the emotional side of the arguments regarding the constitution amendment, but to set the agenda for the articulation of issues and not providing a platform for some people who want to foist their per-

sonal ambitions on the Nigerian people,” Abati said. Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), who also spoke at the event, said the dynamism of the democratic process necessitates frequent amendment of the constitution and therefore charged the media to reawaken active citizens’ participation in the process. National President of

the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, equally charged the media to guide discussion on the constitution amendment exercise. The Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mrs. Ade Letkoetje, in a welcome remark described the dialogue as timely and important, because durable democracies depend on re-

spect of constitutionalism, the rule of law, strong civil societies and a free press. Pledging the continued support of the UNDP in deepening democracy in Nigeria, she added that the DGD Project is exploring the possibility of supporting the establishment of a joint secretariat for both the Senate and House of Representatives towards the successful completion of the amendment process.

Ekwueme, most endowed Nigerian VP – Okonkwo OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

F

ormer Vice President in the Second Republic, Dr. Alex Ekwueme has been described as the most endowed vice president Nigeria has ever had in her chequered history. This was the verdict of the president of the pan-Igbo socio-political group, the Committee 21 (C21), Senator Annie Okonkwo, as he congratulates the former Vice President on his 80th birthday celebration. Okonkwo said: “This vintage political technocrat of Igbo extraction and lucid architect of Nigeria’s unity and stability through his six geo-political zones prescription, deserves that at the grand age of 80, his nuclear geo-political zone, the South East, be given an appreciative embrace of state parity with other zones, constitutionally without bickering.” Okonkwo argued that the Igbo through their great sons like Ekwueme have

sown enormous seeds of loyalty-in-service to their fatherland, and should earn the trust to Nigeria as president for once. He therefore urged all Igbo and indeed Nigerians to celebrate Ekwueme and pray for continued good health for the former vice president in the spirit of oneness and togetherness, reminding his kinsmen to be faithful and ready, because “this herculean journey will be tough, and many will be weary, compromised or misled.”

L-R: The Group Chairman of the newly inaugurated Agricultural Development Board, Air Vice-Marshall Larry Koinya (rtd.) being congratulated by the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, at the Government House in Yenagoa

Kidnapping: Osun govt dismisses PDP’s claim FELIX NWANERI

T

he Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described as irresponsible, the statement credited to the Peoples

Democratic Party (PDP) in the state over the abduction of the wife of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Muibat Salaam, last week. The state Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi,

in a statement made available to National Mirror, said the impression created by the PDP that security in the state began to deteriorate when the ACN took over power, is pure mischief. His words: “Today, Nige-

Ekiti 2014: Fayemi gets nod for second term

L

ess than two years to the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State, some interest groups in the state yesterday pledged to back Governor Kayode Fayemi for a second term in office. The interest groups include Okada Riders Association, Market Women Association, Senior Citizens benefiting from Fayemi’s Social Security Scheme for

the aged and the physicallychallenged. Declaring the support at an event to mark the governor’s second year in office, the groups noted that Fayemi has worked hard enough by executing laudable projects in all parts of the state to merit another four years in power. The okada riders, numbering over 2,000, praised Fayemi for distributing tri-

cycles to replace their motorcycles, noting that the gesture will widen their income base and protect their passengers. They also commended the governor for constructing “good and solid roads” in Ado-Ekiti and other parts of the state to enhance their business and make transportation easier in the state. They warned opposition

parties in the state to wait for their time and allow Fayemi continue the good work he is doing in all sectors in the state, which they described as “unprecedented in the history of Ekiti.” An executive committee member of the Ekiti Okada Riders Association, Ojo Bankole, who spoke on behalf of the group, said Fayemi has made history within two years in office.

ria is not secured and the situation is so parlous that at no time in the history of Nigeria has law and order broken down so terribly under the PDP that has been in control of Federal Government in the last 14 years. “The PDP should be held totally responsible and accountable for ineffective security throughout the country. Its leader, the president, monopolises all intelligent and security agencies across the country. “For the PDP in the South-West, especially in Osun State to now have the effrontery to point accusing finger at Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the kidnapping of the Speaker’s wife is the evidence of PDP mischief gone berserk.”


Politics

14

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mimiko has set aside ONDO N10bn to buy votes – PDP COUNTDOWN TO

GUBER POLL October 20, 2012

3

DAYS TO GO

Cleric calls for violence-free poll HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE.

T

he Chapel of Annunciation of the Archbishop Vining College of Theology in Akure, Ondo State has appealed to stakeholders in the state to strictly abide to the rule of the game and avoid violence to ensure a smooth, free and fair election on saturday. This was contained in a release made available to journalists in Akure yesterday and signed by Venerable Ayodeji Fagbemi, the Dean and Vicar of the church, who appealed to the Federal Government to ensure adequate security coverage of the exercise. Fagbemi said: “As a Christian body, we view it as a responsibility to speak to the society in relation to the forthcoming exercise. “Not only because we are part of the society but also because our society belongs to God. We also believe it is the church’s duty to speak out at times like these.” Urging the people of the state to embrace peace and shun violence during and after the election, he said: “Life is too sacred to be toyed with or wasted for any reason, not even for a gubernatorial election.”

he Director-General of Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation (OOCO), Dr. Dare Bada yesterday accused Governor Olusegun Mimiko of setting aside N10 billion for vote trading during the election. His words: “We know Mimiko is buying voters’ cards; we know he is distributing rice to induce voters and we are aware he has squandered the money of the state on propaganda, purchase of voters’ cards and ballot papers. “INEC guideline is clear on the amount a party can spend in an election. It is clear that it is only the incumbent who could

have largesse to throw around.” He said in an attempt to sell its bad candidate, the Labour Party has decided to deploy emergency tactics all in attempt to steal votes. “We call on INEC to immediately arrest the members of the Mimiko Campaign Organisation through which the governor has been spending the stolen resources of the state,” he said. He said Mimiko has repeatedly boasted that he is ready to buy votes, knowing full well that he will lose the next election. Bada said the PDP will continue to play by the rules and not engage in the emergency tactics of the LP in an attempt to rig the October 20 election.

Also, he assured that the PDP candidate, Olusola Oke, will defeat Governor Mimiko in October 20 election, because Mimiko has failed to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the state. Bada said the party’s strength lies in the people of the state who have been expressing willingness to chase out the present administration and vote for PDP in the Saturday’s election. Contrary to the story making the rounds that the PDP has earmarked money for the election, Bada said the rich grassroots support, goodwill, past achievements of the party and poor performance of Mimiko and the Labour Party will earn it victory.

Mimiko

Tinubu

Falae

HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

T

Falae blasts Tinubu HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

F

ormer Finance Minister and one of the leaders of the Afenifere, Chief Olu Falae, has called on the people of the South-West not to list the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) among the progressives in the country. Specifically, Falae said the national leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has never displayed any trait of a progressive or leader. Falae stated this in Akure, the Ondo State capital during the Labour Party (LP) rally for the October 20 governorship election in the state. He said: “Tinubu has always been working against the interest of the Yoruba race by conspiring with leaders from other regions to marginalise the South-West at the federal level; all he does is to protect his selfish and personal interest.” He accused Tinubu of destabilising Afenifere and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) before teaming up with some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to form the ACN. Falae said the people of the state should not allow a foreign god in the state, saying they are only interested in milking the resources of the state and not about serving the people to bring dividends of democracy to their doorsteps and called on the people to vote for Olusegun Mimiko in Saturday’s election in order to continue with the good work he has started and also to enable the governor to complete all the projects initiated by his administration.

ACN, Women Arise trade tackles over accreditation OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU AND MURTALA AYINLA

T

he last is yet to be heard over the tango between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Women Arise over the accreditation of observers for Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State. The ACN, through its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, had on Monday raised alarm over the accreditation and de-accreditation of some observers for the election, accusing the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC) of bias. Mohammed had berated INEC for accrediting Women Arise, headed by Joe Okei-Odumakin and Rights Monitoring Group (RMG) headed by Akin Aduwo because of what he called their

alleged affinity with Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party, while at the same time de-accrediting the Coalition of Democrats for Election Reforms (CODER) over alleged petition from the LP. He said Okei-Odumakin’s partisanship was glaring due to her husband, Yinka Odumakin’s endorsement of Mimiko for second term as well as his affinity with Pastor Tunde Bakare who has also endorsed the governor for a second term and alleged that Aduwo was also partisan in his endorsement and support for Mimiko. In a swift reaction, Okei-Odumakin denied the allegation levied against her by Mohammed, saying that her relationship with her husband has no bearing on the Women Arise, which she led.

But yesterday, the ACN insisted on its call for the de-accreditation of Women Arise and RMG as well as the accreditation of CODER. Mohammed said: “The vehemence with which Dr. Okei-Odumakin defended her group, even resorting to the use of uncouth language, shows that the ACN hit the bull’s eye with its earlier statement. “We are therefore renewing our call on INEC to immediately withdraw the accreditation of Women Arise and RMG, if the electoral body is serious about its stated intention to ensure that the Ondo State governorship poll is not only free, fair and credible, but seen to be so,” he said. While conceding the right of Odumakin, Aduwo and Bakare to support any candidate of their

choice, Mohammed said that nobody needs any sixth sense to know that such a person or his spouse cannot be appointed as an election observer, adding that it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt the partisanship of Women Arise and RMG. “Dr. Okei-Odumakin also asked whether ACN was not aware of her marital links when the party enlisted the support of her group to protest against the injustice meted out to Justice Ayo Salami. The question to ask is: Was her NGO hired for the protest and how much was she paid for it?” ACN queried. Almost immediately, OkeiOdumakin responded to Mohammed yesterday saying that the Women Arise cannot but respond to the “campaign of calumny” orchestrated against it by the ACN and Mohammed,

whom she called “megaphone of lies”. Okei-Odumakin said it is ironical that Mohammed wants CODER, known to have been founded and funded by the ACN leader, re-accredited while calling for the de-accreditation of Women Arise, not known to have any affiliation with any political party. Responding to Mohammed’s question whether her organisation was hired to participate in pro-Ayo Salami protests, OkeiOdumakin said: “Our response is that we cannot be bought with all the illicit funds his group is using to destroy all institutions. The group participated freely in the first protest on Salami when it thought that it was an altruistic cause but declined in a second protest having gotten the full facts of the unholy alliance.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

15

Military helicopters patrol Ondo as ONDO CP warns trouble makers COUNTDOWN TO

GUBER POLL October 20, 2012

3

DAYS TO GO

BIYI ADEGOROYE AKURE

S

ecurity has been beefed up ahead of Saturday governorship election in Ondo State with at least three military and a police helicopters on aerial surveillance complementing thousands of combined teams of security men from all the agencies working concertedly to ensure peaceful election. The arrangements came on the heels of the assurance by President Gookdluck Jonathan that security agencies must ensure maximum security to forestall brigandage and thuggery in the election.

About 8,500 policemen in more than 70 Hilux vehicles are already on ground for security operation during the elections. Last Saturday, Jonathan had warned that: “If you know you are a thug or your child is going to be used as a thug, please take them away from the state because the Federal Government will not tolerate any rubbish. We want a free and fair election. Nobody will truncate the commitment of the Federal Government to project Nigeria’s name.” After series of meeting by security chiefs in the state capital, Akure, scores of security operatives from the army, police, the State Security Services (SSS), and Civil Defence have taken strategic positions in all parts of the state, with some of them carrying out regular patrols, code-named “Show of Strength.” Speaking with National Mirror on security arrangement for the

election, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Danladi Msellbawala said preparation “is in full force,” advising every eligible voter to operate according to the rules of the game. “Law-abiding people have nothing to fear. But anyone who foments trouble either in the form of thuggery or ballot box snatching should be ready to bear the consequences. We have made a number of arrests in recent times, and we will continue,” he said. Mshelbwala said there were adequate and effective security men on ground. The commissioner said the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had been working hard to ensure the success of the exercise. According to the commissioner, other paramilitary agencies such as the SSS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service, Ni-

gerian Prisons and the Nigerian Customs Service will participate. He said the police and INEC held many stakeholders’ meetings to facilitate an enabling environment for the election. The police boss also said the British Council organised a stakeholders’ meeting on the election to ensure a hitch-free exercise. “The police will not allow any politician or a political party to cause disturbance of any kind during the election; so anyone who plans to cause crisis should think twice because we are ready for them,” Mshelbwala said. The State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr. Issa Shuaib, said the command would deploy more than 3,000 officers ahead of the poll. “The command’s armed squad has been and will continue to be on 24 hours daily patrol to maintain peace and order, therefore people should be free to come out

and exercise their voting right,” he said. Traditional rulers and community leaders in the state have joined the fray in sensitising the electorate on the need for peaceful elections. The Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida called on the people of Akureland to abstain from any unholy act that can jeopardise the success of the election, and called for a better understanding among all the political parties. The Alayede of Ogbese, Prof. Peter Ise-Oluwa, held a town hall meeting with leaders of political parties, police and the SSS on Wednesday, stating that the situation where guns were freely used in the 2007 election in the community should not repeat itself. The leaders of the three prominent parties in the community, the Labour Party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however, failed to sign a peace accord prepared by the traditional ruler in conjunction with the SSS and the police.

Akeredolu promises LG’s autonomy

A

Supporters of the Action Congress of Nigeria, during Akeredolu’s gubernatorial rally in Akure, Ondo State on Monday.

ction Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has promised to give full autonomy to the 18 local government councils in the state if elected as governor. Akeredolu said this in a letter to the people of the state ahead of the election. “The autonomy of the local councils as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution shall be preserved,” Akeredolu assured. The ACN flag bearer in the letter also promised to hold the local government elections within six months of his government. “When I am elected the governor, I will rescue the local governments in the state and make them regain their pride as the third

Lagos PDP blasts Fashola over funding of Akeredolu OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

T

he Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed concern over the reckless and prodigal governance of the Babatunde Fashola administration, as occasioned by the decision of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Fashola’s commitment of the state resources to prosecuting the governorship election in Ondo State. The PDP specifically castigated the governor for abandoning his duty post and committing not only Lagos State resources, but the paraphernalia of office into supporting the ACN governor-

ship candidate in the October 20 poll, Rotimi Akeredolu. The party, speaking through its Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, in a press statement made available to National Mirror, said that more worrisome was the directive to the 57 local government and local development area (LCDAs) chairmen to contribute N25 million to the Ondo poll project, as well as mobilising their staff to Ondo State to support Akeredolu. The PDP said that it gathered from reliable source from within the ACN campaign camp in Ondo that council and LCDAs chairmen, commissioners, special advisers and even the governor had abandoned their duty posts and

relocated to Ondo, at the risk of grounding government activities in the Centre of Excellence. It said: “We are aware that Governor Fashola is funding his friend’s governorship campaign in Ondo State. He is also aiding and abetting the council chairmen to misappropriate their council funds by contributing N25 million each into the campaign fund of Akeredolu. Ekiti and Ondo indigenes in the state and local government employees have also been mobilised to storm Ondo State on election day to canvass votes for the ACN candidate. “All these are to satisfy the inordinate ambition of the ACN national leader, Bola Tinubu, to takeover Ondo State. We warn

that we shall do all we can to protect and recover any Lagos fund spent on the Ondo election.” Adding that Fashola’s attitude of robbing Peter to pay Paul is now exposed, PDP said that it is just a matter of time before the governor is put on record as the most profligate governor ever in Lagos. It advised Fashola to resist all pressure from the ACN to spend Lagos State hard-earned fund to prosecute the Ondo election to avoid going down in history as the most prodigal governor to ever come out of Lagos State, adding that he should rather take a cue from the Presidency which has refused to sponsor any candidate with state funds.

tier of government,” Akeredolu added. According to him, his government would make conditions favourable for council chairmen to embark on massive development of the rural areas. He also promised to channel other programmes to the councils to further improve the quality of life of the rural dwellers in the state. “My good people of Ondo State, our greatest developmental challenge in Ondo State remain Accelerated Rural Development,” Akeredolu noted. He, however, lamented that in spite of the fact that the present government has supposedly spent billions of naira on rural roads, they are still in extremely deplorable condition. “In the last three years, no meaningful programme has been put in place for comprehensive rural development in the state. “We intend to embark on massive construction of rural roads with a bid to opening up rural communities for accelerated development. Such rural roads will ease the process of marketing agricultural products by local farmers,” Akeredolu added. Akeredolu assured the people of the state that if elected, his government would provide electricity and pipe borne water to checkmate cases of waterborne diseases in these communities. “It will as well create an enabling environment for establishment of small-scale businesses in rural areas to boost individual economy and that of the state,” he said.


Editorial

16

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

STEVE AYORINDE

„

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

„

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

„

DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

„

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

„

SATURDAY EDITOR

LANRE OYETADE

„

GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

„

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

„

CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

„

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

„

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

„

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

FG’s 101 foreign scholarships for outstanding graduates

T

he Federal Government recently announced the award of overseas scholarships to 101 fresh graduates that emerged with First Class Honours degrees to study up to the doctorate degree level in twenty-five different universities abroad. The facility covers tuition, accommodation and feeding, transportation, routine living and local travels expenses. The scholarship awards, said to be based on the outstanding performances of the beneficiaries in their first degree courses, according to the Education Minister, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufai, marked a milestone in the development of the education sector. The minister said the FG was confident that the initiative was a worthwhile seed that would bear tremendous benefits to the country by raising professionals who would serve as catalysts of change, agents of scientific and technological advancement, as well as sustainable development. A product of the Presidential Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development (PSSID), Rufai said the scheme was instituted by the FG in pursuit of the goals of Vision 20: 2020 and the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan government. There were indications that most of the successful candidates for the scholarship project excelled in such disciplines as the sciences - basic medical sciences, special aspects of biology, economics, engineering and medicine, etc. The education minister had disclosed that 1,300 candidates sent in applications for the scholar-

THE FG CAN STILL INSTILL CREDIBILITY IN THE PSSID SCHEME

BY ENSURING THAT THE SELECTION PROCESS IS

STRICTLY BASED ON MERIT, INSTEAD OF RELAPSING TO POLITICAL BALANCING OPTIONS THAT EXTOL MEDIOCRITY ship, while the lucky 101 selected were among the 449 shortlisted and invited for computer- literacy-based tests. The relatively unimpressive number of candidates chosen (101) was said to be based on the limited spaces available. Without doubt, the journey of a thousand miles starts with only one forward step. To that extent, the scholarship the FG awarded to the 101 graduates seems a step in the right direction. However, considering Jonathan’s recent observation that about 40 percent of Nigerian lecturers did not possess doctorate degree certificates; and that the development constituted a major setback to teaching and research, we think the number (101 candidates) that clinched the award out of the 1,300 that applied does not demonstrate enough commitment to nurturing the experts that will drive the nation’s sustainable scientific and technological advancement in the foreseeable future. This is particularly in recognition of the

number of tertiary institutions in the country and the ratio and spread of well-qualified teachers to the student population. Indeed, the 101 candidates seem a reflection of the FG’s feeble commitment to radically improving the quality and dept of teaching and learning in a country that has been unable to meet the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) recommendation that 26 percent of annual budgets be spent on education. At a time, the FG had identified three first generation universities to teach 60 percent post graduate courses and 40 per cent undergraduate courses. The plan was to deepen the quality of human resources at the university level by turning out more Ph. D holders for Nigerian universities. Regrettably, however, the policy was not prosecuted to a logical end. Again, the PSSID seems a new initiative outside of the conventional FG scholarship board, an indication that the PSSID could be a parallel bureaucracy borne out of political exigency. It could also mean that the FG no longer recognizes the scholarship board as relevant. Incidentally, the government, early in the year, commissioned the Steve Oronsaye panel that recommended the pruning of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), especially those performing identical duties. The government White Paper on the Oronsaye panel report is still being awaited. It may be warned, therefore, that the FG may be unable to sustain the PSSID scheme if it is politically motivated. At best, it might end up

as another dubious establishment; a window for political patronage and addressing the educational deficiencies of scarcely qualified children and wards of party loyalists and cronies. Stretched further, the scholarships to be consummated in twentyfive different universities across the globe seem a no-subtle indictment on the quality of education in Nigeria. Only the FG knows for how long it would condone poor and shallow educational facilities and standards at home in preference for chasing after same abroad. Even if there was an absolute need for the foreign exposure of the scholarship beneficiaries, the mere fact that no Nigerian university was deemed fit enough to train any of the beneficiaries poses enough food-forthought for the FG and the managers of the nation’s public and private universities. But having boxed itself to the corner it now is, the FG can still instill credibility in the PSSID scheme by ensuring that the selection process is strictly based on merit, instead of relapsing to political balancing options that extol mediocrity and incompetence. Care must also be taken to ensure that beneficiaries do not abscond, in view of the harsh economic realities at home, after being nurtured at public expense. Ultimately, however, the Nigerian education sector is in critical need of massive redemption in terms of infrastructure, up-to-date learning materials and environment, competent teaching staff and all encouragements required for quality teaching and learning; as well as discipline.

ON THIS DAY October 17, 2003 The pinnacle fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, made it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by 56 metres (184 ft) and thus became the World’s tallest highrise. Taipei 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in the Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building ranked officially as the world’s tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010.

October 17, 1998

October 17, 1994

On October 18, 1998, a pipeline fire occurred in the community of Jesse, near Sapele in Delta State, Nigeria, killing about 1,200 villagers, some of whom were scavenging gasoline The cause of the fire has been debated. The Nigerian government stated the incident happened place after scavengers intentionally ruptured the pipeline with their tools. Other reports said the pipeline ruptured due to the lack of maintenance.

Russian journalist, Dmitry Kholodov, was assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces. In October 1993, Kholodov interviewed the Russian Defence Minister Pavel Grachev. For the next twelve months, on the basis of leaks from army and Ministry of Defence sources, he wrote and published numerous articles about high-level corruption in the military. Kholodov died from an explosion on October 17, 1994, when he opened a booby-trapped briefcase in his newspaper’s office.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Views

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

17

Are vendetta seekers at work in NCC? ISRAEL EGEJURU

U

p to the time of penning this article, one was still battling with the uncanny feeling that some evil force was at work trying to pull the hand of the clock back in the nation’s telecom industry 11 years after a historic revolution. The feeling was based on an unsavoury and disconcerting news story in Leadership of October 4, 2012 edition, which had forced the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to issue a press statement signed by the head of its Media and Public Relations Department, Mr. Reuben Muoka to debunk the insinuations in the story under reference. Even without the Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Eugene Ikemefuna Juwah’s additional, honest and reinforcing information as amply reflected in the October 7, 2012 edition of The Guardian on Sunday, it was clear even to anyone that those behind the troubles of the NCC are unnecessarily up to vendetta. The crux of the allegation of impropriety or contempt of due process being peddled by his assailants is that Dr. Juwah, as the current EVC of NCC, had sold a radio frequency band belonging to the Nigeria Police Force to a private investor. But judging from evidence that has emerged on the heels of the allegation, Dr. Juwah was appointed Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC only in October, 2010 whereas the relocation of the Ni-

gerian Police from 450 MHz radio wave band to the adjacent spectrum of 469.375 – 469.975MHz / 459.375 – 459.975MHz was initiated and approved in 2009, partly being subject of NCC’s board discussions during its 62nd, 63rd and 64th sessions and some subsequent meetings, which Dr. Juwah was never part of. So the question is why is Dr. Juwah being dragged in? One thing is certain, Nigerians are not prepared to toy with the unprecedented achievements recorded in the telecom industry in the last 11 years. It would not only be foolhardy, but also dangerous to do so, considering the enormous foreign investments in the industry and infinite job opportunities that came with it. From all indications, the direct target of the spurious allegation at the NCC appears to be Dr. Juwal; but in doing this there is no way the immediate past board would be spared. This curious and unfortunate development is the ripple effects it might have on the industry that has become a reference point in management to other Nigerian institutions. Therefore, this is one allegation the Federal Government should not sweep under the rug, if only to bring peace and sanity back to an agency that has not only helped the present democratic dispensation to deliver some dividends of democracy, but also enabled our rather comatose economy to tread the path of possible recovery for the first time in many decades. Before the reconstitution of the cur-

OVERNIGHT, THE NCC HAS BECOME AFRICA’S FOREMOST TELECOM REGULATORY AGENCY AND ONE OF

NIGERIA’S

MOST PROFITABLE AGENCIES rent board, the value of foreign direct investment in the sector was $50 million, but this has dramatically risen to about $18 billion as at 2011. If in recent time Nigerians could thump their chests and say they are proud, the credit goes more to the NCC and its revamped orbit – the telecom industry. Is it in terms of job creation, revenue generation or national image building? Only last week it was reported that the country’s phone subscriber base had reached the 105 million ceiling predicted for December, 2012. Simultaneously rising with the active subscriber base is teledensity, which by last August had reached 73.88 percent. What’s more, Nigerian human resource teams have suddenly become the toast of the telecom world, giving lectures in far-flunged cities around the globe, and attracting commendations all the time.

A former minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, was once quoted as saying: “I often use the revolution in the telecom industry in Nigeria to highlight the possibility of change in the country. In another 10 years, those who are writing off Nigeria today will swallow their words”. One cannot agree more. Overnight, the NCC has become Africa’s foremost telecom regulatory agency and one of Nigeria’s most profitable agencies. From the GSM auction of 2001 alone one recalls vividly that NCC’s contribution to the Federation Account was $855 million, while the second national operator contributed $200 million, Etisalat, which entered the market as late as 2008, enthusiastically paid $400 million. Other revenue inflow into the Federation Account include import duties on the ever-increasing volumes of ICT imports, taxes, licence fees, spectrum charges, stamp duties, levies etc. As at 2010, incomes from these sundry sources were estimated at about N1 trillion. It is instructive to note that the foundations on which the current chairman of NCC Engr. Peter Egbe Igoh, and Dr. Juwah et al are building were laid by the immediate past board ably chaired by Alhaji Ahmed Joda with which Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, as Executive Vice Chairman, propelled the nation’s telecom sector as the fastest growing in the world. Egejuru wrote from Lagos

The Kwankwasos and the onshore–offshore dichotomy UMORU UMORU

F

or months now, some prominent northerners have been calling for the repeal of onshore-offshore dichotomy law so that revenues from oil wells located 200 nautical miles beyond the nation’s continental shelf would be shared equally amongst all the federating units. According to them, such oil wells do not belong to littoral oil producing states, but the entire country. Based on this, they reasoned, the littoral oil producing states are not entitled to 13 percent derivation on revenues from such oil wells. Expanding their advocacy further, these people attributed the prevalence of poverty, disease and violence in the North to the unjust and inequitable revenue sharing formula skewed in favour of oil producing states. The Central Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, picking the refrain, went even further to claim that the prevailing revenue sharing formula was the major cause of the violent campaigns of Boko Haram in the North! It is indeed not surprising to note that the arrow heads of this agitation are Hausa/Fulani people, prominent amongst whom are Governors Babangida Aliyu and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Niger and Kano states respectively; Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim; Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Mohammed Madibbo and Adamu Adamu.

IT IS CLEAR THAT THIS AGITATION IS NOTHING BUT A PRODUCT OF GREED AND ARROGANCE In a multiethnic country like ours with about 160 million people, only members of the Hausa/Fulani ethnic group are calling for the abrogation of the onshore-offshore dichotomy law. To informed observers of their antecedent, the reasons for this are very obvious. Having been in control of the levers of power for much of independent Nigeria and using such absolute control of power to expropriate revenues from oil and gas to the region for years, they find it extremely difficult to adjust to prevailing economic and political realities. Additionally, emboldened by their so called preponderance of number in the two houses of the National Assembly, they feel they could make and unmake any law without the support of legislators from other ethnic nationalities. From the foregoing, it is clear that this agitation is nothing but a product of greed and arrogance, whose intoxicating effect can make even the well educated pretend to be confused. With the exception of 2003-2007, the North, ably represented by Hausa/

Fulani people, had been in power either directly or indirectly prior to commencement of payment of 13 percent derivation to littoral oil producing states. During these years, they exercised absolute control over the resources of this nation through questionable acquisition of Marginal Oil Fields [MOFs], Oil Prospecting Licenses [OPLs] and Oil Mining Licenses [OMLs]. They collectively controlled over 70 percent of the ownership of oil and gas reserves in Niger Delta. Juicy oil reserves were donated to northerners on the platter of gold, during the reign of Generals Babangida, Abacha, Abubarkar and the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. Cavendish Petroleum owned by late Alhaji Mai Deribe from Bornu State has oil reserves in excess of 500 million barrels of crude oil. These are more than the entire 300 million barrels of crude oil in the Sudan. The oil company produces about 120,000 barrels of crude oil daily. Seplat/Platform Petroleum owned by Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero from Kano State is the owner of Asuokpu/Umutu MOF with a capacity to produce 300,000 barrels of crude oil monthly. South Atlantic Petroleum Limited [SAPETRO] owned by General TY Danjuma [rtd] from Takum in Taraba State operates OPL 246, which exports over 230,000 barrels of condensate and 75,000 barrels of crude oil daily. This is three times more than what Ghana currently exports. If converted to cash, what General

Danjuma rtd makes monthly from these is ten times more than what the entire nine oil producing states collect monthly, including 13 percent derivation revenue. This OPL 246 was donated to him by Late General Sani Abacha in February 1998. In June 2006, Danjuma’s SAPETRO sold part of the oil reserves to China National Offshore Oil Corporation for about $1billion. AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company owned by Colonel Sani Bello [rtd] from Kontagora in Niger State operates OML 112 and 117. It produces over 240,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The OML 112 and 117 were donated to the retired Colonel by General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd), whose eldest daughter is married to Abu, Bello’s son. The retired Colonel’s is one of the promoters of some of the bidding consortiums contesting for the 18 companies unbundled from the PHCN. His company, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, has passed the technical evaluation for Kainji Power Station and is set to take part in the financial bid. To be continued Umoru wrote from Abuja

Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


18

Mail Mirror

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Aluu 4: Fish out the real culprit

T Museum for Fela

F

ifteen years after, a befitting museum opens for Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. I give kudos again to the Lagos State Government for honouring our legends and preserving their legacies. To all Felabration festivaliers - E kaabo!

Tunde Kelani frame), Lagos

his is an account of what really led to the killing of four UNIPORT students by a vigilance group in Aluu, the host community of the university: “The Inspector General of Police revealed that rather than being robbers, the boys

(Aluu 4) were set up by another student who owed them money and did not want to pay up and, as such, raised the alarm, calling them thieves that set up the chain reaction leading to their murder by the community vigilante. The debtor was aware that the community had been

baying for the blood of robbers, having suffered a spate of armed robbery in recent times and so he capitalised on that to do away with his debtors. “The name of the debtor was given in the statement as Coxson Lelebori Lucky, also known ‘Bright’ who is now at

MTN, wake up!

O

ne of Nigeria’s mobile networks, MTN, is driving me crazy. We have a contract: That I’m using their network; will recharge to make calls and do every other thing possible through a mobile telephone. I have been meeting my own side of this contract, but MTN has refused to honour their part of the contract since three weeks now. I may consider not just dumping the contract, but possibly get a lawyer to defend my rights. I may even ask for compensation. But, for now, what I can easily do, without much cost, is to stop using the MTN line. Denja Yaqub, Lagos

(Main-

Today, Scotland, tomorrow Bakassi?

Y

esterday, an agreement was signed that a referendum for independence for Scotland from the UK will be conducted in two years’ time. This is historic. I am very happy for the Scots who, for the first time in their history, will have the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to stay in the United Kingdom. I pray that one day the ethnic nationalities of Nigeria will also be granted the right to make that choice.

Leaders need criticism

W

e the leaders are in need of the wisdom of the masses. Even though most of us (leaders) lose focus, we need the people we serve to remind us why we are in office. I, personally, am forever grateful to the indigenes of Ekiti and the people of Nigeria as a whole, especially for the criticism and the harsh words. They tend to teach me and make me see the views of the public, of which I am one. God bless you all. God bless Ekiti, God bless Nigeria.

Femi, Fani-Kayode

The efficacy of Moringa

I

found Moringa plant on the Internet when I was searching for the works of bitter cola; I read it and did not know where to get it until I got to my sister’s house at Babcock University. My nephew mentioned it, boy, I did not allow him to finish, and I asked him if I could see it. He brought the seeds and powder, immediately, I started taking them with my immediate senior brother and I noticed some changes in me. I gave the powder to my wife and within some minutes, she fell asleep. I added warm water to the one she left and drank it. I also enjoyed my sleep. It is good. Hope Ghana

Ugoh,

Ninquah,

I learnt of the efficacy of Moringa for the cure of ulcer, improvement of sight and in fact, many more ways that it boosts one’s immunity. I have used it severally and still using and selling it. I found it irresistible. Omotunde Alawode, Okerube, Lagos State

large.” This debtor must be found and charged with murder and the families of these young men must be compensated by the Aluu Community as well as the Federal Government for the innocent bloodshed! Pat Utomi, Lagos

Hon. Opeyemi Abuja, FCT The modern day palm wine tapper.

PHOTO:

...They should not die in vain I f Nigerians ever thought that the Boko Haram menace was the worst horror that greeted 2012, then the recent killing of four undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt sure holds a disappointment for them. I have never seen anything like this before; it is just an act of pure wickedness. How could people with a conscience, in their right senses and with their eyes wide open commit such a despicable act? Even the Boko Haram sect condemned the act as barbaric. These were students with

Letters to the Editor

bright future and were probably the only son or child of their parents, what will the parents of these boys do? How will they continue to live a normal life with the terrible departure of their children? We may never know the truth of what really led to the killings of the four students at Aluu community, the truth died with the four of them. All we can ask for is justice. That is the only way the tears of the parents of these young lives may be wiped off. It is the only way we can all feel safe because no matter the situation, lives should not be

snatched so brutally. This is a society with laws. As we seek for what is right, let death not procure more deaths. Students do not need to burn down Aluu community. I appeal to my fellow students not to shed more blood. Not every child, mother and father in the community supported the killing of these young men. Life is a beautiful thing; do not steal another’s opportunity to experience it. May their deaths not be in vain. Caroline Chukwuka UNN, Nsukka, Enugu State.

Bamidele,

Sanusi, act your talk!

I

read the CBN governor’s acknowledgement that the dollar has become Nigeria’s second national currency, despite all his so called monetary and other policies. But I am so disappointed that he said the apex bank and the Presidency are worried about the development. Is it not the same dollar they are using as a basis in making financial related projections and decisions, including how much Nigerians should pay for a litre of petrol (PMS)? Not until our so called leaders are ready to do what they say, a better and greater Nigeria will be a mirage. Paul Lagos.

Agbolado,

Ajah,

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


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Health & Wellbeing Flood: FMC Makurdi, Benue government partner on victims’ health

Depression: A global crisis

20

22

Why Nigeria records high blindness cases

As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the World Sight Day last week, Dr Dr. Oluwafunmike Ani, a Lagos-based Ophthalmologist, reviews the causes of blindness in Nigeria and concludes that 80-90% of visual impairement in the country is either avoidable or at least amenable to control

A

ccording to the published reports of the recently conducted first National Survey on Blindness in Nigeria (between 2005-2007), at least 4 Nigerians out of a hundred (4.2%) are blind, and even after issuing spectacles for best correction, the rate still remains as high as not less than 3 of 100! The survey also revealed that in every 100 blind Nigerians, catarract was accountable for 43 of them, while glaucoma accounted for another 17, corneal scars due to the triad of vitamin A deficiency+measles+use of traditional eyemedicines accounted for another 8, while the remaining 32 would be due to uncorrected refractive error, aphakia, trachoma, and several noncommunicable disoders. Furthermore, the study implied that at least 1 million Nigerians are blind, and another 3 million are visually impaired! What a daunting figure at a time when the nation is at a crossroads over many issues!, but let me quickly state that any country as populous as ours and besieged by several seemingly insurmountable challenges should actually not be surprised by such findings, as similar findings were true of such surveys by India (2005), and Pakistan (2003). In fact, the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) embarked on the activities of VISION2020: THE RIGHT TO SIGHT in view such data. And till date, 90% of all visually impaired worldwide live in developing countries, 65% of are aged above 50yrs, 19 million children are visually impaired, but the earth-shaking reality is this:

80-90% of visual impairement is avoidable or ammenable to control! Why such a burden? The three Cardinal resources in any system are MANPOWER, MATERIAL and MONEY, and a proper application of all these has always held the promise of achieving whatever goals set by such a system. A look at our total Health Care Sector, within which the eye care system can be found, has a lot to say about such a burden as ours. •Manpower The survey revealed a human resource for eye health that is inadequate, ineffective and mal-distributed. Not less than 80% of the total population of ophthalmologists are based in the urban areas, while 70% Nigerians live in rural areas! There is a further geopolitically inequitable distribution of manpower as there could be up to 4 times the number of health workers in one zone as compared to another! There is also manpower underutilization leading to low productivity of ophthalmologist, and other eyecare team members. Ignorance of available services, fear due to poor information on eye health issues, and poverty which is responsible for inability to make out-of-pocket payments for care services, as well as a misplaced value system continues to enhance the gloomy statistics above •Material Resources There is a minimum level of infrastructure needed to achieve the onerous task of VISION2020: THE RIGHT TO SIGHT by any national government and what we have on ground suffers from quality as well as quantity. Eye care is one field that is highly depen-

•Ophthalmologist Oluwafunke Ani writes for National Mirror •Says all stakeholders must act fast to prevent avoidable blindness

Ninety percent of all visually impaired worldwide live in developing countries

FURTHERMORE, THE STUDY IMPLIED THAT AT LEAST

1 MILLION

NIGERIANS ARE BLIND,

AND ANOTHER

3 MILLION

ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED!

Dr. Ani

dent on technology, with the rate of equipment engineering and procedural innovations on the international scene so rapid that even the average ophthalmologist is kept on his/her toes just to keep abreast of the changes. The lack of optimal enabling environment for this is a major cause of low productivity. The services available at our centres may not be acceptable to the people due to socio-cultural issues, and it may be the reason that the survey detected that only about 47 out of 100 eyes treated for straight forward cataract had formal cataract surgery, while another 43 eyes had the traditional cataract surgery (couching!) which is usually of

poor outcome, and the rest 10 eyes had complicated cataracts necessitating the choice for formal care often times. We have outdated equipments sitting down in many of our secondary and tertiary centres, thus making training of eye care HR an arduous task for the trainers; retention strategies are poorly elucidated, giving room for continuous brain drain, and unending attrition, hence the rich venture often into HEALTH TOURISM SCHEMES in foreign lands, to sort out their needs, while the 80% continue to languish in darknessand ‘pain’ •Funding This brings us quickly to the issue of Health Financing. At the national

level the estimated per capita expenditure on health is $131 which fall very much short of the global average of $863. At the state level, where most secondary and primary care is provided, the health per capita spending is hardly up to $4. In 2010, federal budget allocation to health was 3.4%, and eyecare received less than 0.005% of that.The results of such underfunding can only be a weak health caresystem, run by poorly motivated HR, helplessly watching the worsening trend in blindness. Developmental economists have shown that the global cost of visual impairment is up to $3 trillion, and the 6th largest cause of DALY loss is attributable to avoidable blindness. The implication is that by investing more in eye care, governments get returns by reducing the economic burden of blindness on all concerned, and get to make savings as the rate of past economic losses reduce. In a family, where one member who often would be a bread winner suffers from blindness, the whole family gets drawn into poverty, a child would have to drop from school to serve

as a guide and provide personal support to that family member, others may also have to become emergency employees so as to earn funds to cater for such a family. As cataract is the commonest cause of such situation, treatment leads to eventual restoration to economic activities and the freeing of other family members to pursue their goals. This is why IAPB keeps saying that cataract surgery is one of the most effective health care interventions known. Considering the MDG goals, the achievement of health thematic aspects will be accelerated if only eye health could become of utmost importance at state and local government levels of healthcare, and primary health would then have “eyes that see” and propel the vision of a globe free of all inequalities, marginalisation, non-equitable distribution of resources, etc, etc! Yes We Can! In view of all we have been sharing, and despite the challenging realities, we strongly believe that “WE CAN” change the current trends and restore the dignity of humanity, by supporting the basic right of all to sight. All stakeholders have to come together, the Federal Government through the auspices of the currently repackaged NATIONAL EYE HEALTH PROGRAMME serving as an active clearing house for the activities of all organizations in a public-private mix; elucidation of action plans and programmes that address longterm needs, close working with the terms, goals, and strategies of VISION2020: THE RIGHT TO SIGHT INITIATIVE, and strengthening the health information systems to accommodate eye care data management, robust monitoring and evaluation of programmes and encouragement of research activities to ensure sustainability of such programmes through re-programming as the case may be.


20

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Depression: A global crisis •Over 10m Nigerians affected

SAM EFERARO

F

ive years after James bagged a master’s degree in Economics, he’s yet to find a suitable job. He has since given up and will not bother to apply for any job again even if assured of a place. Every day, he sits in his room staring listlessly into space with a cigarette dangling in his lips. Full of self pity and in his own world, he believes he will never get a job no matter how hard he tries. “There’s no way anyone can make it in this country, especially if you don’t have a godfather,” he would tell anyone who cares to listen to what relatives now describe as his peculiar tales of woe. “One look at me and employers conclude I’m not even suitable for a clerical job,” he would say. The will to apply for and secure a job is not all he has lost. He does not derive any pleasure in living either. Sometimes he would get so depressed that he would cry out openly that he wished he was never born. Now James is fast losing weight and is forever complaining of different types of ailments. After treating him for malaria fever and typhoid over and over again, one of the doctors called him and simply told him to get a hold of himself as series of tests have not revealed anything wrong with his health. The doctor told him the problem seems to be in his imagination. For James’ relatives, they believe James is just lazy. Let him get a job and he will become normal again, he’s often told. But unknown to everyone, including the doctor, James is manifesting serious symp-

IF YOU ARE THE SORT OF PERSON THAT DOESN’T FIND IT EASY TO TALK TO ANYONE... EVENTS LIKE THESE (COULD) INCREASE THE RISK OF YOUR GETTING DEPRESSIVE ILLNESS. THE MORE STRESSFUL THEY ARE, THE MORE LIKELY THEY ARE TO DEPRESS YOU ttoms off a very common but b t often ft poorly l didi agnosed illness – depression. Depression took the centre stage last week as the world marked the 2012 World Mental Day. With the theme “Depression: A Global Crisis” the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities worldwide and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. It is estimated that over ten million Nigerians could be suffering from depressive illness. Yet, over three quarters of those affected will go unreported and without treatment. The few cases that will get to the hospital on the other hand will not get the right treatment as only the symptoms they are manifesting such as sleeplessness or physical pain will be treated. Although there are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries, according to WHO, fewer than 10% of those who need it receive such treatment. But depressing illness defined as an illness in which the person’s mood goes wild making him feel very low in spirit continu-

ously for a long time is indeed a medical problem that could be treated. Unfortunately, it is not a condition that could be detected through laboratory tests, x-ray, scan or other such diagnostic methods. The doctor can only diagnose it mainly through what a patient describes. Sadly too, it is not a condition well recognized as a medical problem in our society. Not even our medical doctors are adequately trained to recognize the symptoms of depression and offer relevant treatment. A video produced by “ The Video for patients” series through a grant by Pfizer international describes the symptoms of depression as: • Depressed mood • Loss of interest or pleasure in all activities including job, family life, hobbies or sex. • Weight loss or gain • Sleep disturbance • Feeling agitated or slow down • Lack of energy • Feeling worthless • Loss of concentration • Thoughts of death or suicide. According to the video, anyone who experiences at least five of the above symptoms (these should include the first two) consistently for two weeks or more is definitely suf-

fering from depression, especially if there is no visible illness of the brain or psychiatric illness. However, experts say there is just a thin line between an everyday depressive mood suffered by everyone, especially in a crisis ridden society like ours and the serious depressive illness which could lead to a serious break down of health. According to the video, the symptoms listed above must have occurred continuously for two weeks or more to warrant treatment. Thus am individual suffering from depression will be feeling sad, moody and very low in spirit not just for a brief moment but all day and everyday for at least two weeks and more. During this period he will just not be interested in anything around him. He’s either losing weight because he no longer possesses the will or energy to eat or he’s gaining weight fast because he has taken solace in food. The individual may also find it difficult to sleep so he wakes up around 3 am and finds it difficult to go back to sleep. A depressed individual, according to experts also feels agitated easily. He is constantly tensed up “as if waiting for something bad to happen.” In some cases, the individual feels worthless and sees no worthwhile reason to go on living. “You don’t feel anything you do is any good and (you feel) it is because you are not good. You think even if people tell you (that ) you are doing fine that does not mean anything – in fact you feel that you fooled them somehow because you know you are not really worth anything,” says the video on how worthless some individual depressive patient can feel Scientists are yet to unravel the cause of depression. The closest explanation by experts on why people get depressed has been through researches which show that the condition could be as a result of the imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain membranes. What is certain however is the fact that there are some conditions which can trigger off depression in some individuals. It is also known that depression can be hereditary. Studies of twins, for instance, have shown that even when they were brought up separately in quite different families and environments, the tendency to get depressed is very similar. Also, experts say there are certain social factors which may affect the tendency of an individual to develop depression. Says the video: “If you are the sort of person that doesn’t find it easy to talk to anyone about what really troubles you, if you’ve got three or more children at home and if you lost your parents while you were young… events like these (could) increase the risk of your getting depressive illness. The more stressful they are, the more likely they are to depress you.’ Indeed, certain inevitable events in life have been found to be serious causes of depression. Top on the list are: Bereavement, divorce, personal illness or injury, retirement, pregnancy or even festivals such as Christmas or Ed-El -Kabir. Experts say anyone can sufferer depressive illness but the good news is that it’s a condition that can be treated and should therefore not constitute a danger to health. NEXTWEEK: DEPRESSION

HOW

COPE

WITH


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1. Every child should have the opportunity to grow up in a family. If a family is unable to care for the child, steps should be taken by the authorities to address the reasons and make every effort to keep the family together Children grow best in a loving family environment in which their best interests are always taken into account. If a child is living without a parent or other caregiver, the authorities should take immediate action to reunite the child with her or his own family or extended family. But if it is determined that reunification is not the best option for the child, another permanent family situation should be sought. Every effort should be made to keep siblings together. Governments, with the support of civil society, have a responsibility to provide appropriate and well-monitored alternative care for children without families. Options include placement with: • extended family • a pre-screened foster family • a residential facility that is integrated within the community, providing family-like care and supporting regular contact between the child and her or his family with the aim of reunification, if it is in the best interest of the child. Children should be involved in decisions on their placement in alternative living situations. Very often children placed in institu-

SCIENCE

certificate at birth or during a health-care visit. Registration sometimes takes place in early childhood education programmes.

3. Girls and boys must be protected from all forms of violence and abuse. This includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and harmful practices such as child marriage and genital mutilation/cutting of girls. Families, communities and authorities are responsible for ensuring this protection. Girls and boys can encounter different forms of violence, abuse and/or harmful practices in many settings: In the family and home: • physical violence • psychological violence • sexual violence and abuse • corporal (physical) punishment • neglect and abandonment • child marriage 2. Every child has a right to a name and nationality. Registering a child’s birth helps to • harmful traditional practices, such as feensure a child’s right to education, health care male genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). tions could be raised in a family with the proper social support. While some orphanages are well managed, institutional life can be detrimental to children’s development. It typically separates them from family and community life and offers less protection from abuse and exploitation. Any form of institutional care should be considered a last resort and a temporary solution.

Mother’s kiss’ safe and effective for removing foreign objects from children’s noses

A

technique called the “mother’s kiss” for removing foreign objects from the nasal passages of young children appears to be a safe and effective approach, The mother’s kiss appears to be a safe and effective technique for first-line treatment in the removal of a foreign body from the nasal cavity,” writes Dr. Stephanie Cook, Buxted Medical Centre, Buxted, United Kingdom, with coauthors. “In addition, it may prevent the need for general anesthesia in some cases.” The technique, known since the 1960s but not widely used, can help prevent the need for more invasive measures such as hook or forceps, and suction to remove objects. In

the mother’s kiss, a child’s mother or trusted relative covers the child’s mouth with her mouth to form a seal, blocks the clear nostril with her finger then blows into the mouth. The pressure from the breath may then expel the object. The parent explains the technique to the child so that he or she is not frightened, and the technique can be done with instruction by a health care professional. It can be repeated several times. Researchers from the United Kingdom and Australia included 8 case studies in a systematic review to determine whether the technique was effective in children aged 1 to 8 years.

Sitting for protracted periods increases risk of diabetes, heart disease and death

S

cienceDaily (Oct. 14, 2012) — A new study led by the University of Leicester, in association with colleagues at Loughborough University, has discovered that sitting for long periods increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death. The study, which combined the results of 18 studies and included a total of 794,577 participants, was led by Dr. Emma Wilmot, a research fellow in the Diabetes Research Group at the University of Leicester. The research was in collaboration with colleagues from the newly established National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) LeicesterLoughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit and was published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes. The research showed that those who

21

sat for long periods of time have a higher chance in their risk of diabetes, heartdisease and death. Interestingly, the results were independent of any individual physical exercise undertaken, suggesting that even if an individual meets the physical activity guidelines, their health may still be at risk if they sit for long periods of time during the day. Dr Wilmot, a Clinical Research Fellow in Diabetes and Endocrinology based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital said that on average an adult spends 50-70% of their time sitting down, by limiting the time spent sitting, the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death can be reduced. It is important to take breaks from long periods of sitting down, such as taking a walk during your lunch break and taking a break from work at the computer by placing your laptop on a filing cabinet.

and legal and social services. Birth registration is a vital step towards protection from abuse and exploitation. Birth registration provides an official record of a child’s existence and nationality. It is considered a fundamental human right. A child without a birth certificate can be denied health care, legal services, access to school and the right to vote upon reaching adulthood. Registering a child’s birth is a vital step towards her or his protection. Children under age 5 with a birth certificate are more likely to be immunized and receive health care for childhood illnesses, assuring them a healthy start in life. Any enforcement of minimum-age legislation depends upon an official record of a child’s age. For example, a birth certificate can be used to protect a child from illegal recruitment by armed forces or armed groups, from child marriage or from hazardous forms of work. Birth registration should be free and accessible for every child. Where it is not, civil society organizations can sometimes assist families in registering their children. The birth registration process may be supported by social services, such as health care and education. Health centres and hospitals sometimes have civil registrars on site that can provide a child’s birth

Protein could be key for drugs that promote bone growth

S

cienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2012) — Georgia Health Sciences University researchers have developed a mouse that errs on the side of making bone rather than fat, which could eventually lead to better drugs to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Drugs commonly used to treat those types of conditions -- called glucocorticoids -- work by turning down the body’s anti-inflammatory response, but simultaneously turn on other pathways that lead to bone loss. The result can lead to osteoporosis and an accumulation of marrow fat, says Dr. Xingming Shi, bone biologist at the GHSU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics. The key to the body developing bone instead of fat, a small protein called GILZ, was shown in cell cultures in 2008. Now, with work by GHSU Graduate Student Guodong Pan, the work has been replicated in an animal model. Pan received the

In schools and other educational activities: • corporal punishment • psychological punishment • sexual and gender-based violence • verbal and physical bullying • fighting.

In care and justice institutions (e.g., orphanages, children’s homes and detention facilities): • physical and psychological violence under the guise of discipline • neglect • child-on-child violence • sexual abuse and violence.

In workplaces: • physical and psychological punishment • humiliation • sexual harassment and abuse.

In the community (among peers, between gangs, by the police and by traffickers): • physical violence • armed violence • sexual violence. Children who experience or witness violence often remain silent out of fear, shame or stigma. Some accept it as part of life. While some violence is perpetrated by strangers, most is carried out by people children know and should be able to trust and look to for protection. American Society for Bone and Mineral Research’s Young Investigator Award for his work at the society’s annual meeting Oct. 12-15 in Minneapolis. Bone and marrow fat come from the same biological precursor -- mesynchymal stem cells. “The pathways for bone and fat have a reciprocal relationship, so we needed to find the key that disrupts the fat production pathway, which would then instead encourage bone growth,” Shi says. GILZ, Shi and Pan say, was already a known mediator of the anti-inflammatory response of glucocorticoids, and the protein also mediates bone production. Shi’s early research had shown that glucocorticoids enhance bone formation in the lab because of a short “burst” of GILZ. The protein works by inhibiting the way cells regulate fat production and turn on fat-producing genes, Shi says. “When you permanently express GILZ, the fat pathway is suppressed, so the body chooses to produce bone instead.”


22

Health & Wellbeing

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Flood: FMC Makurdi, Benue government partner on victims’ health HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

T

he Federal Medical Center, Makurdi and the Benue State Government are partnering on the health needs of displaced victims of the flood currently ravaging Makurdi, the state capital and some communities in the state. Dr Korna Joseph, of the Community Medicine

Department of the center who disclosed this to journalists at an interactive session in Makurdi said on the prompting of the state government, the FMC has deployed not less than four medical doctors to the camps housing the flood victims. According to Dr Joseph, in addition to the doctors, the center also donated a number of nurses, midwives and community

health officers, adding that the FMC medical team is to collaborate with the state epidemiological unit and the Federal Government health team to help check the spread and control of diseases in the camps where displaced victims of the flood are being kept. He said the measure became necessary following the reported outbreak of few cases of malaria, diarrhea and other health is-

sues affecting various families in the camps. ‘’Right from the onset, the state government got in touch with us. Our Head of Department, Dr Shaahu asked us in the department to be fully involved and our doctors and medical team have since been integrated with the state epidemiological unit and the federal Government team that is already on ground’’, Dr Joseph said.

Explaining further, Dr Joseph said ‘’A lot of health issues are coming up to affect many families. If you go through the camps where those who have been displaced are now staying, you see cases of diarrhea and malaria becoming common’’. Commending the state government for making elaborate arrangements to alleviate the plight of the displaced victims, Dr Joseph said government’s efforts are more than adequate to take care of the health needs of victims.

‘’The state government made elaborate arrangements for the displaced families by providing for their beddings complete with mosquito nets to prevent malaria attack. It also provided standard clinics complete with relevant drugs. Health officers are on ground round the clock to take care of them. Besides, the water is good, the latrines are well kept and the complement of health workers that are there will take care of any eventualities that may arise’’, he said.

Safeguard launches ‘Doctors on Wheels’ Programme .... partners Society for Family Health

A

L-R: Mrs. Chidinma Erue-Ifeanyi, Safeguard, BOIM, Dr. Yinka Goodman, Territorial Manager Society for Family Health, Lagos and Mrs. Mokutima Ajileye, Brand Operations Integration Manager at the Global Hand Washing Day and the Launch of ‘Doctors on Wheels’ Programme in Lagos.

Lagos residents to benefit from Eko Club International’s free health mission MURITALA AYINLA

N

o fewer than ten thousand residents in Lagos State will benefit from the free medical health mission organised by the Eko Club International this week. They are expected to be treated on different ailments ranging from high blood pressure, diabetes, typhoid fever among others. Speaking while flagging off the health mission in Lagos Island, President of the Club, Alhaji Zairindeen Popoola told journalists

yesterday that the initiative was inspired by Lagosians in Diaspora who come together under the platform of the club to provide medical needs of the people. Popoola who described initiate as their own way of contributing towards the state’s development, said that a total of 1,700 patience out of the 2,000 targeted for the day had been attended to. He said: “This is our fourth mission in the state and this year exercise that kicked off today has been a very successful one. We started the process about

nine months ago and because of the background work done every individual that visited here were taking care of by a team of professionals that came from across different countries”. Popoola added the team members are concerned Nigerians in Diaspora who left their families abroad to come to the country and contribute to the development of Nigeria through provision of health care for the people who lack the less privileged who lack the wherewithal to access quality health care. He added that mission is

carried out on biannual in collaboration with the State government on number different ailments. Also speaking, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, who represented the State Government, said the free mission will hold in five different areas including the Isolo, Ketu Ejirin, Ikorodu Agbowa amongst others. Dr Dolapo lauded the club for their support to the state health care delivery, while urging residents to make adequate use of the opportunity as drugs and eye glasses will be distributed freely for residents.

Reps’ Health Committee calls for completion of projects SEKINAH L AWAL

T

he House of Representatives Committee on Health has called on all federal health institutions to ensure follow due process in the execution of their projects by ensuring completion of all their ongoing projects before embarking on new ones.

This advice came recently during the tour of all federal health facilities in Lagos as part of their oversight function. Speaking to journalists, Hon. Nicholas Ossai Nicholas declared that the present leadership of the House of Representative is determined to stamp out corruption and end era of abandoned projects throughout the country in

order for Nigerians to enjoy dividends of democracy. “The House leadership is committed to ensuring that whatever money allocated to a particular project is judiciously utilised. The institutions have submitted their budget proposals and we are out to ensure that every project is done as planned.” Institutions visited in-

clude National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, (FNPH) Yaba, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi (NOHI), National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute-Meta.

s part of activities to commemorate the 2012 Global Hand Washing Day (GHWD), Procter and Gamble, makers of Safeguard anti-bacterial soap has launched the Safeguard ‘Doctor on Wheel’s’ program with plans to hold a series of handwashing enlightenment campaigns across Nigeria in collaboration with the Society for Family Health (SFH) Nigeria Speaking at the Launch of the ‘Doctors on Wheels’ program in Ikotun market, Dr. Yinka Goodman, Territorial Manager for Society for Family Health (SFH), Lagos; addressed the gathering at the Safeguard ‘Doctor on wheels’ program launch on the importance of hand washing. The medical doctor stressed the importance

of hand washing noting that hand washing has become the singular most important preventive measure in the control of infection transmitted through the feaco-oral and via droplets. She said SHF was collaborating with Procter and Gamble because they know that the battle against control of diarrheal diseases cannot be won alone, remarking that hand washing remains key as treated water and well cooked meals can be contaminated by contaminated hands. She said countless numbers of childhood death and illness could have been prevented, remarking that diarrheal and respiratory illnesses are responsible for high number of hospital visits amongst children.

FG may tax airlines, phone users for HIV/AIDS funding MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

T

he Federal Government may soon consider taxing air passengers and phone users including companies operating within the country as one of the ways to funding HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. This is subject to approval of the proposal currently before President Goodluck Jonathan. Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof. John Idoko, made this known to National Mirror, yesterday, at a meeting with stakeholders on Resource Mobilization

Mapping and Strategy in Abuja. Participants at the meeting, which had in attendance all heads of States Action Committee on AIDs (SACA) deliberated on alternative and home-sourced financing for the disease. One of the Consultants who helped NACA on the planned policy, Tomas Lievens, advised that Nigeria needed to move away from financing paradigm which made it depend on foreign donors. He said the country should look inward as, according to him, many of the nations who assist the country “are undergoing some economic crises.”


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

23

Arts Lounge

Making Nollywood work by ‘Simple Ideas…Great movies’

October lights up for Fela

25

24

How dearth of new faces strangles Nollywood UGBOMAH TOOK

TERH AGBEDEH

CREDIT FOR BRINGING

F

ilmmaker, Emma Ogugua, had said in a conversation with Arts Lounge recently that his colleagues prefer to use ready-made movie stars in productions because “it is expensive to groom a new star”. He had explained that it goes further than just using a new face in a film; the filmmaker has to make both a moral and financial effort to see to it that such upcoming artiste stays above board. Perhaps, one contemporary filmmaker who continues in that age-old film tradition of introducing a new face with each movie is Tunde Kelani, like he did in Arugba in 2010 by introducing Bukola Awoyemi and in his recent effort, Maami, introduced Ayomide Abatti. But before Kelani, filmmakers like Eddie Ugbomah, promoted the tradition of using raw and untested talent in their productions. Speaking to Arts Lounge recently, too, the award-winning and young filmmaker, Mak Kusare had boasted that talent abounds in the country. A known fact which the graduate of the National Film Institute, Jos, Plateau State, buttressed by saying that many of his classmates will eventually lead the industry, not just for their talent, but also for the skills they have acquired. Ugbomah must have known this very fact of the abundance of talent when, from the 1960s to the last movie that he shot in 2008; he consistently relied on that talent. “I’m the only filmmaker that uses everybody; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, and in fact, I’ve made many of them”, he told our correspondent in a telephone interview. He went further to explain that he gave Liz Benson, who was a very popular Nollywood actress in the 1990s, her break. The veteran filmmaker also took credit for bringing Mercy Johnson into the industry, as well as the popular comedian, Mr. Ibu, among many others “because I have always believed in using new people”. Ugbomah explained that the job of a producer and director is to create new stars anytime they are working on a new production. “So, I don’t depend on ready-made artistes”, he said. He said ready-made artistes and the movie marketers are responsible for the ‘death’ of the movie industry in Nigeria. “The people are lazy and they don’t want to make new artistes. People go

MERCY JOHNSON

INTO THE INDUSTRY, AS WELL AS THE

POPULAR COMEDIAN,

MR. IBU

Johnson

Kelani

Ogugua

Kusare

to the university to read Theatre Arts and come out, but two to three years after they can’t get a job because the lazy marketer has got ready-made artistes they have already overexposed. Nigerian journalists don’t protest, but the viewers don’t buy the films anymore,” he said. Told that most of the filmmakers are particularly worried about new actresses who let their ‘fame’ get to their heads, Ugbomah said even the readymade artistes are unprofessional. “Some of them even accept three scripts at the same time. (One of them) did it recently, she was on the set of a film and while they were shooting, she said she was going to Lekki to pick something, only to end up on another set. From there, she went straight to another location in Enugu”, he said.

Ugbomah agrees it a paradox since a filmmaker who depends on new faces could have his production ruined. “It’s a two-edged sword, you can bring in new people and run into trouble because they are not in the system and it costs you more money and time to finish your film,” he said. He goes further to blame the marketers “because they are in it for the money and do not care about aesthetics. The lack of strong guilds is also an issue, which allows everyone to do what they like in the industry”. Ugbomah concluded by saying that is why Nollywood is broke and not many filmmakers are making films the way it used to be. Filmmaker, Joe Dudun, CEO of House of Ideas Limited, who spoke with Arts Lounge on telephone, is wor-

ried about the trend because “filmmaking is about creating new faces and adding value”. He introduced another dimension to the issue when he said that management of talent is one serious trouble prevalent in Nollywood. “In terms of stars, we have not evolved a system where people are properly managed. It’s about managing talent. Everywhere in the world, when a new person does a film very well, everyone would like to use that person. Good filmmakers will also go ahead and discover new talent,” he said. Dudun explained that it was the case with Steven Spielberg when he wanted to shoot Amistad, released in 1997, “he came to Africa to look for Djimon Hounsou”. Reminded that only a few Nigerian filmmakers could be said to be doing that, his response was that he has introduced several new talent in his own productions whether on film or television. “What I do for myself as a moviemaker is to, at any given time, look at adding value to the business. The filmmakers who want to go back and recycle old faces must have their reasons. Sometimes, financial considerations come to play, but ideally, I believe that we must all tell our stories in a unique way,” he said. He agreed with Ugbomah that poor professional attitude on the part of practitioners, which, he said, is across the board, is another problem in Nollywood. “It’s not just actors and it starts from scriptwriters. How many writers are professionally oriented? How many producers and directors have professional orientation? They come to the industry because the think there is money in it,” he said. But like Kusare, Dudun sees a bright future for the industry “because there are people who have a passion for what they have decided to do. There are also those who are being trained by some of us who have a passion for the industry. There is a future”. And only the future will tell.


24

Arts Lounge

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

VOICES

Making Nollywood work by ‘Simple Ideas…Great movies’ SHAIBU HUSSEINI

Nomination and winners BEST SCREEN PLAY

Akpen Barnabas (Patriot)

Big Daddy

Dada Adesegun Victor (Hector)

National Cake

Whoba Oga (Silver Lining)

Silver lining

Winner: Akintayo Akin Lewis (National Cake)

Till Death Do Us Part

T

he assessment of the crop of films that were entered for this year’s edition of the IN-SHORT International Film Festival followed a rigorous process in order to reach a consensus and in order to identify the most outstanding films, actors and technicians nominated in the various categories of the festival. For the jury, it has been an illuminating experience viewing the stunning range of films that were handed over by pre-selectors from the loads of films that were received at the festival secretariat. The pre-selectors, for their thoroughness, made our task of rewarding and encouraging professionalism and identifying unique and distinctive filmmaking talents, easy. To arrive at the decisions, we looked through over 40 entries comprising short films, short documentaries and a couple of infomercials that aptly captured the theme of this year’s festival, which is ‘Simple Ideas…Great movies’. The unprecedented number of entries, in all categories and from different countries of the world, can lead only to this conclusion: that the IN-SHORT film festival has, indeed, become a truly international event. Comparative to the 2011 edition, this year witnessed a remarkable increase in the quality of the films submitted. From their technical qualities to the acting and directing, the 2012 film slate is most impressive. We saw films that were well shot and whose stories were dramatically imaginative with diverse thematic concerns and narrative techniques. The competition in most categories was very strong and our decisions reflect much thought and debate. In all, the Jury is impressed by the quality and diversity of the storylines of the films presented. We saw films that told real and uplifting stories: films that were compelling, films that were visually stylish, films that took full advantage of the power of the lens to explore the world, and films that signalled the emergence of a whole crop of young and ambitious filmmakers who are determined to keep cinema alive and well. In fact it took us longer time to agree on the eventual winner in the different categories because of the unarguably high standard and convincing styles clearly evident in the nominated films. But we saw films that left us with sour tastes as though we tasted burnt bread. Not only were their stories implausible, it was spurious and their scripts did not match their visual sophistication. The Jury also wishes to highlight that the documentaries entered this year were of very low quality compared to the maiden edition. Indeed the Jury did not find their examination of the relationship between subject and the filmmaker, fascinating. Therefore we found that improvement was needed in the documentary film category. The Jury therefore had to take the painful decision not to give an award in that category because of shortcomings, especially the perceivable low artistic level. So there will be no award for the documentary category this time around. But we have included two categories this year and that is the music and special effect category. We observed efforts by some filmmakers to make these elements count in their films.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

To Live Again

BEST ACTRESS

Winner: National Cake

Amaka Anoiji

BEST SOUND

(Till Death Do Us Part)

Mind Trip

Zara Abimbola Udofia

Big Daddy

(Big Daddy)

To Live Again

Bola Edwards (Loop)

Till Death Do Us Part

Obonganwan Bennet James (To Live Again)

Loop Husseini

60 PERCENT OF THE STRONGEST FILMS OF THE FESTIVALS WERE EITHER CONCEIVED OR DIRECTED BY WOMEN Also and more gratifying too, we observed a remarkably strong presence of women in front of and behind the camera. In fact, 60 percent of the strongest films of the festivals were either conceived or directed by women. This is encouraging because the film industry tends to be very male dominated. Therefore the surefooted emergence of women filmmakers is very promising and encouraging. We are also encouraged by the emergence of new talents who are making bold cinematic statement. We are particularly gratified by entries such as The Birth and National Cake that addressed the most serious social and political issues, with visual wit and a compressed sense of dramatic form. We commend the advances being made by these directors and producers and specifically single out these short movies- Loop, Silver Lining, The Birth and To Live Again for honourable mention. We applaud Loop for its bold innovation; Silver Lining for offering a refreshing insight into autism, a condition of which parents and the general public need to be aware of; The Birth for its treatment of the Jos crisis and To Live Again for offering a non-stereotypical insight into the issue of HIV/AIDS. We are, therefore, unanimous in our decision to honour these four films with a Honourable Mention from the Jury. Significantly, in addition to the publicised competitive categories, the Jury unanimously decided this year to give a “Jury Award” to a film, which in our view deserves a special acknowledgement for its impact and achievements above and beyond the individual technical categories. The most important thing in a Festival is the selection and eventual nomination. We know how difficult it is to make a film, let alone a good one that will be selected and nominated. Therefore, we salute all the filmmakers whose films have found their way to IN-SHORT 2012. We congratulate you all and wish you all better filmmaking days ahead. Statement by Mr. Husseini, chairman of the jury for In-Short Film Festival 2012.

Winner: Loop

Monalisa Chinda

BEST EDIT

(Silver Lining)

Big Daddy

Winner: Amaka Anoiji

Loop

(Till Death Do Us Part)

National Cake

BEST DIRECTOR

To Live Again

Tope Oshin-Ogun

Till Death Do Us Part

(Till Death Do Us Part)

Winner: Big Daddy

Chris Ihidero (Big Daddy)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Tom Robson (Silver Lining)

To Live Again

Uduak Isong Oguamanam (To Live Again)

Till Death Do Us Part Big Daddy

Kemi Adesoye (National Cake)

National Cake

Stanlee Ohikhuare (Loop)

Reunion

Winner: Tope Oshin-Ogun

Mind Trip

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT

The Birth

Reunion

Winner: To Live Again

Underground

BEST USE OF MUSIC

Ghost 101

To Live Again

Take Me To The Ball

Reunion

English Breakfast

The Birth

Second Wind

Patriot

Winner: Underground

Winner: To Live Again

BEST SHORT FILM IN-SHORT

BEST USE OF SPECIAL

2012

EFFECT

Till Death Do Us Part

Hector

Big Daddy

Mind Trip

To Live Again

National Cake

National Cake

The Birth

Silver Lining

Winner: Mind Trip

Loop

BEST ACTOR

Winner: Till Death Do Us Part

Akintayo Akin Lewis

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE

(National Cake)

Big Daddy

O.C. Ukeje

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD

(Till Death Do Us Part)

The Birth


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FELABRATION 2012

Arts Lounge

25

ARTISTE UNCENSORED

October lights up for Fela ADENRELE NIYI

T

he 2012 Felabration which opened in Lagos, Abuja and other cities around the world on Monday, October 15 is steeped in rousing series of musical performances, artistic showings and literary activities in honour of Fela Anikulapo Kuti (15 October 1938 to 2 August 1997). The week-long Felabration running till Sunday, October 21, is an international showpiece which celebrates Fela, the legendary Afrobeat multi-instrumentalist and composer credited with birthing an ingenious music genre. The Monday event started with yesterday with The Fela Debates titled “Corruption and Generation Next”, followed by soft opening of Kalakuta Republic Museum; which was formerly Fela’s enclave/home on Gbemisola Street, Ikeja, Lagos. Alongside preserved emblems of Fela’s life and artistry on display, there were exhibitions of works and photographs by Joe Amenechi, Funso Ogundipe, Onyeoma Mbanefo and Ghariokwu Lemi. Fela Tribute and Fela Music will also hold all week at 72, Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse, Abuja. Keeping up with the feverish Felabration pace, the weekly Industry Night event will today hold performances at the Oriental Hotel Lekki, Lagos, Afrobeat/Jazz band Ayetoro will be in performance as well as Afro Dancehall artiste, General Pype. Today also contemporary African artistes such as Bez, Ara, LKT, Mtrill, Waconzi, Flowsick, Oritshefemi, Obesere and King Mensah (from Togo) are billed to perform at the New Afrika Shrine, Agindingbi, Lagos. Tomorrow, October 18, the line-up of performers for the same venue include stars like Asa, Wande Coal, Omawumi, Jimmy Jatt, Chidinma, Illbliss, Da Suspect, Samklef, Reminince, Dr. Frabz, Durella and Faze Fela Film Festival, organised by Life House (Ugoma Adegoke), comes up today and tomorrow at Freedom Park and The White Space, South West, Ikoyi-Lagos. Showing are: Fela: Music is the Weapon, Fela Live at Glastonbury, Ginger Baker in Africa, Fela: Niyi Babade’s Interview, Documentary on Egypt 80, Stadium Hotel (2012), etc On Friday, a Fela Book Festival will be hosted at Jazzhole, 168 Awolowo Road, S.W Ikoyi. Expected to speak at the gathering is Dr. Sola Olorunyomi, a well-known Fela scholar and enthusiast.

Fela

Emlex

I see my music dominating the world –Emlex Omonle Emmanuel Osagie, otherwise known as Emlex, was born and brought up in Ojo area of Lagos State where he is a student of music at the Lagos State University (LASU). The upcoming hip-hop artiste was inspired by members of the Kegites Club who used to meet near his house, back in the days. TERH AGBEDEH

E

mlex started music when he was only 13. Now ready with a single titled: ‘Tonight’, he recollected the beginning of his journey into music. According to his account, the Kegites club may have inspired him to do music, but Emlex said he has never been a member of the Palm wine Drinkards club “I stay opposite the Lagos State University (LASU) and there was a Kegite group near my house playing the drums, conga, gong and other instruments. So, whenever they played, I was forced to get close to them. After listening to them, I’d mimic them. Gradually, I became used to hip-hop and started doing rap. Some years after, I composed my first song titled ‘Baby Girl’. The song was not recorded and after that, I composed many songs. While at the Community Secondary School, Ojo, Lagos, I did a song tilted: ‘Tonight’ and it was recorded”, he said. That song is the single that he has put out for music lovers to get a feel of his music with the hope that he would get the interest of a music label and marketers as well. Emlex, who paid a visit to the Mirror House on Broad Street, said he had tried to push and promote his single, but it has not been an easy task. “I met with different kinds of people, including marketers with the promo copy of my song, but it was not possible”, he said. All along, the plan for him has been to do a full album of 10 songs which, he said, he had already written. “I was planning an album, but I was not financially strong. I took what? to Star FM and Top Radio where it was played. But I have performed at many shows, including Most Beautiful Girl in LASU”, he explained. Emlex, who has performed at most of the shows in Ojo, has also been at a couple of events outside the area including Street Jamz in Ikeja area of Lagos. The single he is promoting is a dance track of the

I PARTICULARLY WRITE LOVE SONGS BECAUSE I APPRECIATE GOOD THINGS AND THE GIFT OF LIFE hip-hop genre and what he hopes to do with this song is to “show Nigerians what I can do and I’m also seeking for a record label and promoter”. That is why he has taken the song to Coded Tunes where he got a good review except, he said, the label presently has all the artistes that it wants. Emlex’ next move is to release his album, which comprises of the 10 songs he composed, although they are not all recorded. “I particularly write love songs because I appreciate good things and the gift of life. I’m an R’n’B singer, but I also rap a little, that is Afro Hip-Hop”, said Emlex, who also said he has no girlfriend at the moment and is not searching. The artiste who compared his voice texture to that of ex-Plantashun Boys star, Faze, explained that his role models are 2face Idibia, Faze, Lamar and R. Kelly. So, does he play any music instruments? “I play the guitar and a little bit of the piano as well. I learnt how to play in school where I study Music. I wanted to study Mass Communication at LASU, but I got music instead. When I finish school, I’m going into music full time,” he said. Emlex may not have a band at the moment, but he plays with the accompaniment of live instruments “when they are available”. Where does the artiste, who said people can download his songs online, see his music going between now and the next five years? “I see my music dominating not only Nigeria, but all over the world. That is my target”, he said. Because the whole idea is to show himself to the world, the upcoming musician is ready to leave his Ojo enclave to anywhere the opportunity takes him because, “the talent is not meant for me alone, but for everybody”.


26

Arts Lounge

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Adesanya chronicles film industry

FAR AND NEAR

NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

M

anaging Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation, NFC, Afolabi Adesanya is set with two books, Reel Views and Behind the Scene which will be presented to the public on October 23 at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja. The new titles (published by the NFC) are a collection of reviews, selected speeches and papers on the Nigerian and African Film industry. According to NFC’s Head of Public Affairs, Brian Etuk, the significance of the two books lies not only in the depth of information provided on the Nigerian and African Film industries, but also furnishes a critical analysis, providing suggestions, germane to the sustainable development of the motion picture industry beyond Nigeria’s and Africa’s borders. Reel Views is a critical collection of the writings by Adesanya, which covers over two decades of his professional life and provides refreshing perspectives to film making as an independent filmmaker, photojournalist, writer and film scholar, while Behind the Scenes, takes a delve into the almost eight years of Adesanya’s admin-

Toyin Alade’s Freedom Park (Oil on convass)

istration of Nigeria’s apex film agency, the Nigeria Film Corporation, as its Chief Executive. According to Prof. Femi Shaka, students and stakeholders in the film business would, particularly, find the books useful. “The work chronicles the history of the Nigerian cinema, prior to the advent of the video film era. It advances reasons why Nigerian cinema got very little international attention in comparative terms to what has happened since the commercial break through of the video film era. This work will fill a huge gap in existing accounts of the history of the film industry in Nigeria.” Frank Nweke (Jnr), former Minister of Information and Communication and presently the Director-General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), will be the Chairman of the occasion, which will be attended by former Ministers and Ministers of State, Information and Communication within the past eight years. Information Minister, Labaran Maku will be the chief host at the ceremony that would be witnessed by top government functionaries, members of the National Assembly, State Assembly members, and members of the diplomatic corps, filmmakers, journalists and friends of the author.

Lagos Photo fest kicks off …runs till November 11. OYINKAN SOMORIN

T Bar Beach by Femi Adedeji, (Oil on canvas)

Artists unleash in open spaces DEJO A KANDE

O

n Friday, September 23, the grounds of Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos played host to a nascent visual artists group called Plein Air Society of Nigeria, setting the whole place aglow with strokes upon strokes of wonderful colours, ranging from the very expressionistic to impressionistic modes. The Park’s name bespeaks artistic and socio-cultural activities that go on every now and then in the former prison created by the colonial administration before the Nigerian Independence. The new setting lets visitors loose in an atmosphere of liberty, freedom of expression and articulation. ‘September Hues”, as the Friday event was rightly tagged, was a big break from the rigid shackles of studio practices. As if in collaboration with the third series of this event, nature made a bright and sunny appear-

ance –radically devoid of the Lagos downpours. The artists, namely: Nojeem Muse, Oladejo Akande, Olawale Barber, Pelu Awofeso, Victor Kalu, Olatunde Barber,Tito A, Temi Tunde, Akinwolere Muyiwa and the convener, Femi Adedeji, came out with their easels and paintbrushes, creating onthe-spot works of visual beauty and imagery. These groups of young Nigerian artists have taken it upon themselves to spearhead the drive in, to the open air (outdoor) paintings. In other climes, Plein Air (which is a French expression for open air) practices is more profound and established and has formed an important aspect of standard art practices, especially in the United States and Great Britain. Nigeria, with her vast and abundant colourful scapes, cannot afford to be left out in the comity of ‘plein air’ nations of the world. The creative exercise was witnessed by personalities such as Architect Theo Lawson, Ms. Iyabo Aboaba and a host of other art enthusiasts.

he third edition of the Lagos Photo Festival, which has been an annual staple since 2010, had its grand opening ceremony on Saturday, October 13 at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The fest, which is sponsored by the African Artist Foundation (AAF), will run from October 13 to November 11 and it will feature works of both local and international photographers. According to director, Azu Nwagbogu, the initiative is aimed at establishing a community for contemporary photography, providing a platform for the development of photographic talent through mentoring, workshops and seminars. “It also seeks to unite local and international artists through images that summarise individual experience, identities and beliefs

from across the world”. The festival, which boasts of respectable photographers from all over the world is being held under the theme “Seven Days in the Life of Lagos” and features 29 local and international photographers alongside the festival’s directors; Caline Chagoury and Stanley Greene. On display are works of artists such as Peter Dicampo, Hans Wilschut, Kadir Van Lohuizen, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Madina Dugger, Judith Quax, Chantal Heijnen, Nana Kofi Acquah, Alafuro Sikoki and Alfredo D’Amato. There are going to be nine simultaneous satellite exhibitions spaces throughout the city of Lagos. Exhibition venues include the African Artist Foundation, Nimbus Gallery, A White Space, Omenka Gallery, The Federal Printing Press, The Kalakuta Museum, Muri Okunola Park, The University of Lagos and the Falomo Roundabout.

L-R: Chairman of the event, Mr. Chuddy Oduenyi; MD/CEO of Novelpotta Y&R, Dr. Celey Okogun; President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, Mrs. Bunmi Oke; the author, Mr. Azuka Onwuka; and his wife, Nnenna during the public presentation of Wings of the Night, a novel by Onwuka on Wednesday, October 10 in Lagos.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why I signed for Zenit –Hulk 29

27

Sport

Very few players can do what Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is doing at the moment in a young age of 21 years –France legend, Zinedine Zidane

Rufai out of coma, survives stress

IKENWA NNABUOGOR

F

ormer Super Eagles’ goalkeeper and captain’ Peter Rufai, was yesterday diagnosed of stress at the Toki Hospital, Surelere, Lagos, where he was rushed to Monday night when he slumped. National Mirror correspondent visited the hospital yesterday and was informed that the former Deportivo La Coruna goalkeeper was responding well to treatment, was out of coma and would be discharged soon. Rufai alias Dodo Mayana, slumped in his office at Ayinde Giwa Street, off Bode Thomas Street, Surulere on Monday in the presence of his Spainbased younger brother, Bruce, who screamed for help, prompting his being rushed to the hospital. Bruce told National Mirror at the hospital that the doctors diagnosed stress and fatigue after running blood, heart and chest tests on the former Belgium-based keeper. “He was placed under close observation by the team of doctors at the hospital after tests were carried out on him and he was found to be under stress,” Bruce said. “The doctors said there was no cause for alarm as my brother has continued to make speedy recovery.” National Mirror could not reach the doctors at the time of the visit and at the time of filing in this report, but Bruce assured that his brother would be discharged soon. “The doctors will be here for another observation in the next two hours but I’m optimistic he would be discharged today (Tuesday) or tomorrow. “He has had a good result from the tests that were carried and his heart, chest and blood are in good condition. “He’s already talking and I have spoken to him twice so far today (Tuesday). His present condition could be linked to the shocking news he received about the news of our mother. “Apart from the death of our mother the pressure from the Milo Clinic for Talent Hunt for kids could also be part of the cause of his condition. “We had been in Calabar and Owerri for the past two weeks for the Milo Clinic and only arrived in Lagos on Sunday. “We were billed to travel to Ibadan this week before this incident oc-

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SA 2013: NFF considers Zimbabwe EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

S

uper Eagles are likely to camp in Zimbabwe for final preparations towards the 29th Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to hold in South Africa early next year. Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee, Mr. Chris Green, gave a hint to this effect in an interview with supersport.com, saying the camp may open on December 7. “We have qualified, so we only have to continue with our programme by preparing for the finals in time. The team would open a camp in Zimbabwe from December 7 and would fly straight to South Africa from there,” Green disclosed. Spokesman of the NFF, Ademola Olajire, also confirmed that Coach Stephen Keshi had submitted a proposal for the team to fine-tune their strategies in the southern African country. “There’s a proposal from the team officials

for such a camping arrangement in Zimbabwe. The team would like to camp in a country that shares the same weather conditions with South Africa before the Nations Cup,” Olajire told MTNFootball.com. He added, “It is a proposal and if approved it would be from the first week of January, probably January 4, but the technical committee has the final say on the team’s camping arrangement.” It is believed that Zimbabwe, which is on a high altitude like South Africa, is being chosen ahead of Faro, in Portugal, where a contract covers the country’s various national teams’ long-term preparations. National Mirror learnt yesterday that as part of their build-up for the AFCON, Super Eagles are expected to take on Venezuela in a friendly game in Miami, Florida, USA, on November 14, while the Mambas of Mozambique are also in line for another game before the Nations Cup kicks off on January 19 in Johannesburg.

Maigari sets up Ibiam Cup MOC

P

Peter Rufai, alias Dodo Mayana (l) contesting the ball with Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayor, during the Nwankwo Kanu Testimonial Match played on June 13, 2011 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

curred. So, all these things contributed to his breakdown.” Bruce disclosed that it was like a joke when the former Eagles’ keeper first showed signs of fatigue late Monday night and was offered a glass of water which he drank and appeared calmed down. ‘Dodo Mayana’ he said, thereafter stood up and walked outside

but could not bear it any longer when he slumped and was rushed to the hospital. The 49-year-old Peter Rufai, who was born on August 24, 1963, has 65 international caps to his credit including two appearances at the World Cup (USA 94 and France 1998). His mother, Christiana, died last week at the age of 78.

resident of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, yesterday inaugurated the Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the Dr. Akanu Ibiam Memorial Super Cup competition. The competition, which is being proposed by Fairplay Sports Agency, managed by Rudder Sports Management, will involve teams in the south eastern part of the country and is expected to be launched in the second week of December 2012. Speaking at the inauguration, Maigari said

the NFF would always support all programmes and projects targeted at positive development of Nigerian football. He charged the MOC, which is headed by the 1st Vice President of NFF, Chief Mike Umeh and includes Commissioners for Sports of Anambra, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers States, to go into overdrive to secure sponsors and ensure credible organisation of the competition, to the glory of the good name of the late Dr. Akanu Ibiam, a one-time Governor of the old Eastern Region.


28

Sport

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Iniesta dreams Barca stay

B

arcelona star midfielder, Andres Iniesta, has admitted that he would like to play out his career with the multiple honour-winning club. The 28-year-old has also confessed not sure sure if he would reach the same heights with another team.

“I do not know if I would evolve in another team,” Iniesta said yesterday. “I would like to end my career with the Catalans, although that would depend on my performance on the field. But if it keeps being good, I will be at Barca for a long time.”

Blues sustain Higuain bid

C

helsea is prepared to restart the chase for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain in January. The Blues had attempted to prise Higuain away from La Liga champion over the summer, but received little encouragement from coach Jose Mourinho. But reports yesterday suggested that Chelsea

was yet to erase the Argentina international from its shopping list as an alternative to top winter market target Radamel Falcao of Atletico Madrid. In the event of Chelsea failing to reach agreement over the Colombian, the Champions League champion will make a fresh attempt to sign Higuain to play alongside Fernando Torres.

City stalls on Toure’s future M

extension amid rumours that the reigning African Player of the Year could leave the Etihad Stadium in the summer, even as reports suggested that City is not ready to open negotiations until next summer. The midfielder is one of City’s highest earners-receiving a basic £150,000-a-week rising to £220,000-a-week including bonuses.

Cold weather, language barrier and cultural differences have proved obstacles to Givanildo Vieira de Souza, better known as Hulk, as he settled into life at Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg, which he joined in early September. The Brazil international spoke to FIFA.com on his life and career What was it like moving to Japan at such an early age? Once I arrived, everything there was totally different to how I’d imagined it. I was only 18 so I’d thought it would be difficult to adapt, but it turned out to be very easy. I found myself in a country that had everything, a great infrastructure. At all the clubs I played for, there were always other Brazilians to help me out. Even before that, when you were still a youth player, you spent a period in Portugal didn’t you? I went to Portugal when I was 15 years old. At the time I was on trial at Corinthians, in Sao Paulo, and my representative called me to say ‘We’re going to Portugal’. So I packed my bags and off I went. I spent a year over there and learned a lot, as I was living and training with professional players.

How many minutes as a pro? That’s right, only 70-odd minutes. My debut was against Fluminense, in the Barradao stadium, when I came on as a second-half substitute, while my other appearance was against Internacional, in the Beira-Rio. We lost 2-1 but I did pretty well. Back then, tactically speaking, did you play more or less the way you do now? That’s changed a little because of the way Brazilian teams usually line up. They tend to use 4-4-2 more often than not, while in Europe, generally speaking, 4-3-3 is more common. For that reason, over here I’ve ended up playing a wider role.

Gonzalo Higuain

Madrid best for Bale –Suker

F Gareth Bale

Why I signed for Ze

Does the fact you’ve barely played professionally in Brazil make it harder to win over followers of A Selecao? It makes it a little more difficult. Even now, after a lot of games for A Selecao, there are still question marks, aren’t there? Not everyone knows who I am, or how I play. I left Brazil at a really early age–I only played 70 minutes or so as a pro over there–so it’s normal there is still some uncertainty when people talk about me.

Yaya Toure

anchester City is in no rush to open new contract talks with Ivorien international Yaya Toure. Reports said yesterday that the dynamic midfielder’s present £200,000-per-week deal doesn’t expire until 2015 when he will be 32-years-old. Toure’s representatives have been chasing an improved contract

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ormer Arsenal and Real Madrid striker, Davor Suker, has urged Tottenham Hotspurs winger Gareth Bale to make the move to Madrid, saying it will be unwise for the Wales international not to move to the Bernabeu.

“If Gareth has the possibility to go to Madrid it would be his best move of his career,” Suker said yesterday. “So many clubs in the world have huge histories and, for me, Real Madrid is one of the best clubs in the world,” the Croatia great said.

Even back in Brazil, though, you weren’t an out-an-out centre-forward were you? No, I was never an out-and-out forward. I was always more of a second striker, who’d drift out to the flanks, would move around and go looking for the ball. But once in Europe I started playing in a wider role, though I’ve also now played a lot of games as a central striker–through the middle. You’ve always favoured the right flank, even though you’re left-footed… It just came naturally. I always liked to play on that side of the pitch and, fortunately, the coaches I’ve had have always supported me.

Hulk

Former FC Porto coach Jesuald for example, was one of those w me so much when I arrived in Eu always take the time to talk to me me feel really at home, both on a pitch.

What was it that struck you most left Asia to play in Europe? What I found in Europe is ther respect for tactical formations. field, the players stick more clos allocated positions. So, when I fi I struggled a bit, because I was coming back to defend so much. that comes more easily to me.

Your physique gives you away al power and strength, rather than h ing your speed and skill... It’s true. If they don’t know sometimes they see my physiq the wrong idea, thinking I must and-thunder kind of player. But est I’ve never really been like th of those players who likes to get and take people on. I’ve always h shot, though, ever since I was litt

How did your superhero nicknam about? I’ve had it since I was a kid three, because I used to really


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

enit –Hulk

29

Tit Bits

Lampard

West Ham United legend, Sir Geoff Hurst, doesn’t believe Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will make the 2014 World Cup. “Frank has been a fantastic player for England over many years but now in his mid-30s he could be too old in two years,” Hurst said yesterday. “He is still an outstanding player but two years is a long time in football and he could play in the qualifiers but doesn’t quite make it to Brazil.”

Cole

Chelsea defender, Ashley Cole, is ready to walk out on the club for nothing. Reports said Cole is adamant he will not sign the one-year extension on offer and is preparing to speak with foreign clubs, including Real Madrid and PSG in January. If Cole quits Stamford Bridge, it will be confirmation that the club is breaking up its Champions League-winning team.

Balotelli

Manchester City striker, Mario Balotelli, is demanding cuts from sports manufacturing company Umbro after his management team started selling his famous “Why Always Me” T-shirt. The Manchester City star wore it under his strip after fireworks went off in the bathroom of his house the night before his team played archrivals Man United. “Mario asked me to call them about commission but they said nobody owns words,” agent Les Chapman said yesterday.

do Ferreira, who helped urope. He’d e and made and off the

when you

re’s a lot of Out on the sely to their irst arrived sn’t used to Nowadays,

l about highlight-

my game, ue and get be a bloodt to be honhat: I’m one on the ball had a hard tle.

me come

of around y like that

character, The Hulk, and I used to tell my dad how strong I was, how much strength I had. So my dad said to me, ‘Ok then, you’re The Hulk’, and they still call me that now. Helpfully for me, I grew into a strong lad, so it fitted well. Which facets of that project really caught your eye when you signed for Zenit? During the whole transfer window there were a lot of rumours about me interesting a number of big clubs, but neither Porto nor I were keen on the offers that came in. And, before I signed for Zenit, I’d spoken to coach Luciano Spalletti. He sold the club to me very well, telling me about the great structure that was in place and their project of building a great side. And that’s just what I found when I came here: a great structure and an ambitious project. I’m certain that, in the future, Zenit will be one of the biggest teams in Europe. Have you had any trouble adapting to life in Russia? To be honest, none at all: this city is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I’ve not had chance to get to know everything yet but, even just going on the little I’ve seen on my way to our training complex, it looks incredible. And the club’s got a very good set-up. So, truthfully, I’m not having any problems.

Casillas

Real Madrid goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, yesterday insisted that he is no locker room mole. There have been suggestions in the Spanish media that Casillas, who is also team captain, had divulged team secrets because he was involved in a power struggle with Mourinho. “Over the past few months, without wanting it, I’ve been linked to a number of affairs,” Casillas said, adding, “After 13 years spent in the club, it’s simply unwarranted.”

Allegri AC Milan coach, Massimiliano Allegri, has two games to save his job. Reports yesterday said Allegri cannot afford to slip up against Lazio this weekend, or in the Champions League with Malaga. Defeat in either game could spell the end for Allegri, with assistant Massimo Tassotti likely to step in as caretaker, even as the image of former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola looms at the club.

More friendly matches will help Elderson Echiejile to blossom in Super Eagles’ defence

NFF plans friendlies for Eagles AFOLABI GAMBARI

A

s the countdown begins to the Afcon 2013 draws scheduled for Durban, South Africa on October 24, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has unfolded plan to engage the Super Eagles in top quality friendly games with a view to shaping the team ahead of the competition. A six-point communique released at the end of the federation’s emergency meeting of the executive on Sunday in Calabar, stated that the Eagles required more blending that would enable Nigeria to compete favourably with the best nations at the bi-annual competition which recently switched from even to odd year after the last finals in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea early this year. The communique, which commended President Goodluck Jonathan, Cross River State Governor Senator Liye Imoke and all

Nigerians for the Eagles’ feat at qualifying for South Africa 2013, added that all the national teams preparing for major tournaments would enjoy maximum support of the NFF while commending the pace of work at the NFF Headquarters situated at the Abuja National Stadium Complex ahead of the project’s commissioning next year. Meanwhile, the communique said members of the executive committee had resolved to hold the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the NFF in Port Harcourt while commending River State Governor, Chief Chibuike Amaechi, for accepting to host the event. According to the communique, the Organizings Committee for the meeting will be headed by NFF’s 2nd Vice President, Chief Rumson Baribote, with Chief Effiong Johnson, Dr. Shehu Adamu and Chief (Mrs) Dilichukwu Onyedinma as members.

Dubai invitational: Beach Eagles train in Badagry IKENWA NNABUOGOR

T

he Badagry Beach camp of the Beach Eagles has come alive as 18 invited players continue preparation ahead of the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, scheduled to kick off in Dubai from October 30. Captain Isiaka Olawale leads 17 other players with defender Ogbonna Okemiri and striker Musa Najare as the major absentees. National Mirror learnt yesterday that the national team would train for two weeks before the contingent departs for Dubai to compete in the eight-team tournament. Nigeria is drawn with Brazil, recently crowned Euro Beach Soccer League Championship Switzerland and current Asian title holder Japan in a group tagged “Group of Death”. But Olawale said the team spirit was high, stressing that the players looked forward to the Dubai event. The Dolphins of Port Harcourt mid-

fielder, who has starred in the Beach Eagles team since inception in 2006, said it will be business as usual. “Brazil are our biggest rivals, having met them more than twice in the past,” he said. “We’re not scared of them, but we respect them and we are prepared for them. We’re not also underrating Switzerland, who are the European champions. Same goes for Japan who would be tough. But let’s see how it goes.”

Captain Isiaka Olawale during a past competition


30

Sport

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Handball: HFN tasks Kwara government

T

he Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) has appealed to the Kwara State Government to renovate the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara Sports Stadium to attract more national and international championships. President of the federation, Alhaji Dauda Yusuf, who made the appeal in Ilorin during an interview with journalists, said the handball body would ensure the city hosted credible competitions in the presence of adequate facility. “We know that Kwara was associated with handball in the past, but just as it happened at the federation level, the enthusiasm died down. We are ready now to resuscitate the game and

CAF seals Senegal’s AFCON ouster

Perpetua Nkwocha (3rd left) will spearhead the Super Falcons’ attack in Equatorial Guinea

AWC 2012: Falcons’ camp bubbles in Abuja AFOLABI GAMBARI

M

ore players have joined the Super Falcons’ camp as preparations for the tournament intensifies ahead of the 8th African Women’s Championship (AWC) holding in Equatorial Guinea this month. According to spokesperson for the Falcons, Chisom Mbonu, top among the arrivals is midfielder Rita Chikwelu who plays for Umea IK in the Swedish premier division. The midfielder, who expressed delight at joining up with her mates, said she was ready to help Nigeria to excel in

the tiny West African nation. “I have to work hard to make the team and I am very excited about this prospect,” Chikwelu said yesterday. Sunnana SK midfielder, Helen Ukaonu, who was part of Ikhana’s team during the qualifiers, is also in camp, as well as Umea IK midfielder, Ogonna Chwkwudi, who also arrived on Monday to bring the total number of foreign-based players in camp to six. The Falcons will kick-off their title defence of the AWC title on October 29 2012 against the Indomitable Lionesses, in Bata. Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football

Federation (NFF) has confirmed Ghana as pre-AWC camp for the Super Falcons. Director of Competition, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said the team would depart Abuja on Thursday for the West African country where it would camp for one week and engage in some friendly games with local clubs prior to departing for Equatorial Guinea venue of the championship. “The Falcons are very important to Nigerians and the NFF, and we are working very hard to ensure that they retain the AWC title,” Sanusi said.

Eko 2012: Age rule knocks out Ojo YEMI OLUS

W

inner of the Men’s Singles in the table tennis event at the last National Sports Festival, Onaolapo Ojo, will not defend his title when the 18th edition begins in Lagos on November 27, sequel to being restricted by the eligibility rules governing the competition. According to the statutes, “any athlete that has participated in two international competitions , namely Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, All Africa Games, World Championships, Africa Championships, World and Continental Club Championships, World University Games, is ineligible to participate

in the National Sports Festival.” “This rule does not apply to athletes who have participated in junior and intermediate competitions at regional and continental levels, and other competitions that are developmental in nature,” the statutes also stated. Ojo, who is a former national junior champion, has featured in a number of international competitions this year, including the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Euro-Africa Circuit where he was Nigeria’s sole flag bearer. He also debuted at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Germany as the country’s youngest player in the team. He placed second behind Seun Ajetunmobi at the 4th RON Table

also ready to help the state to develop handball at the grassroots,” Yusuf said. The HFN president, however, commended sponsor of the 3rd Omoluabi Kwara U-15 Handball Championship and Sports Minister, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, for his gesture. “I am not surprised with the effort of Abdullahi as this is the same way he performed as the as the Kwara State Commissioner for Education,” Yusuf added. The HFN boss said champions of the under-15 tournament would be honoured by the federation with a ticket to represent Nigeria at the Patile Tournament in Sweden next year.

Tennis Championship held recently in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. But he told National Mirror yesterday that he would do his best to motivate other players from Ondo State during the Eko 2012 festival, even as a non-participant. “Rules are rules so I do not have a say in the matter,” Ojo said. “I have resolved to travel with my state’s team to Lagos and encourage the players to excel,” he added. Ojo first participated in the festival at the 2009 edition held in Kaduna where he won silver in the men’s singles before winning gold and bronze in the men’s singles and mixed doubles respectively in at the 17th national sports festival in Port Harcourt last year.

C

onfederation of African Football (CAF) yesterday announced the disqualification of Senegal from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. It said, “The CAF Disciplinary Committee met in Cairo, on October 2012 to look into the incidents that led to the abandonment of match No 56, Senegal vs Cote d’Ivoire, during the final qualifier for the 29th edition of the 2013 CAF AFCON in Dakar. “Missiles, stones, bottles and firecrackers were thrown onto the pitch and tear gas was used, prompting the referee to stop the match after 74 minutes of play.

“As a result, CAF decided to officially confirm the result of the match as 2–0, in favour of Cote d’Ivoire, in accordance with the provisions of Article 16 paragraph 20 of the regulations of the competition.”

CAF boss, Hayatou

Charity tie inspires Djokovic

S

erbian tennis star and world number two, Novak Djokovic, has admitted being motivated by a $10m charity match with a Japanese clothing firm as he aims to end the year as number one. Cheap-chic giant Uniqlo has put up the money for the fund, which is being fronted by Djokovic,

Djokovic

who isfresh from his backto-back wins at the China Open and the Shanghai Masters in the past two weeks. “This kind of humanitarian work always helps me play positive,” the 25-year-old, who began a sponsorship deal with the firm in May 2011, said yesterday. “Not so many companies around the world have such vision and idea and that’s why I have embraced it wholeheartedly,” Djokovic added. According to a Uniqlo statement, the fund will be split in two $5m, with one being spent on ideas solicited online from around the world on the theme of giving “children a better tomorrow”.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

31

Business & Finance MAN, others involved in advert vetting APCON Registrar, Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi

“The Federal Government of Nigeria has continuously placed the safety and security of the maritime domain in the front burner. In this respect, concerted efforts have been made to ensure adequate safety and security mechanisms in Nigeria’s maritime domain”. MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, IDRIS UMAR

42-43

NIPOST grabs 49% of ICT Ministry’s N14.3bn budget KUNLE A ZEEZ

T

he Nigerian Postal Service will get N6.9bn representing about 49 per cent of the Ministry of Communication Technology’s N14.4billion proposed spending in the 2013 Federal Budget. The postal agency’s lion’s share in the ministry’s budgetary allocation represents 49 per cent of the total budget proposed for the billion ministry in 2013. The newly-created ministry, which came live in 2011, is expected to split its N14.4bn proposed spending among five agencies under its statutory supervision. They include the National Information Technology Development Agency, the country’s Information Technology policy implementing agency; NIPOST, the nation’s postal services agency cum operator, the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, the nation’s satellite services provider; the National Frequency Management Council, saddled with the responsibility

for management of frequency spectrum; and Galaxy Backbone Limited, the government technology services provider. However, only three of the agencies were made budgetary provision for in the National Budget Office data on the proposed 2013 budget, obtained by National Mirror including the NIPOST. According to the data, while NIPOST gets the highest share of the budget, the ministry itself came second with N3.6billion while NIGCOMSAT came third and NITDA fourth with a total of N3.4billion and N344.5million respectively.

On the other hand, while the overall capital expenditure for the ministry stands at paltry N3.9billion; a whopping N10.4billion will go for recurrent expenditure. According to the budget, NIGCOMSAT will spend overt N2billion on recurrent expenditure and N1.3bn on capital expenditure. For NITDA, the 344.5million is going to be spent as recurrent expenditure. Budgetary allocation for the NFMC and Galaxy Backbone did not reflect in the proposed budget. Meanwhile, of a total N4.89trillion government budget for the year, the Ministry of Communication Tech-

nology hopes to spend N14.4billion to drive further frontier to drive ICT deployment in all phases of the economy as an enabler of economic development and to drive ITCT contribution to the national Gross Domestic product. However, the 2013 budget for the ministry recorded a sharp reduction of N3.6billion than what the ministry was allocated in 2012 budget. It was noted that ministry’s budget is the lowest compared to allocation to other key ministries. For the 2012, Ministry of Communication Technology was allocated N18bn in the 2012 budget.

M

ore than one week after the presentation of the 2013 budget proposal, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has said it re-

ADVERT HOTLINES: For advert bookings and information, please contact the following:

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

Air Nigeria International (Lagos - London) Los- LGW (VK293): Tue, Thurs, Fri & Sat 11.55pm LGW-Los (VK292): Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 10.50am

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: Chairman of the occasion, Sen. Felix Bajomo; President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Otunba Adedoyin Owolabi and Guest Speaker, Prof. Pat Utomi, during the 42nd annual accountants conference of ICAN in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

NIMASA explains poor implementation of N43bn 2012 budget FRANCIS EZEM

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

ceived its 2012 budget allocation about six months ago, which accounts for the poor implementation of the budget. President Goodluck Jonathan had Wednesday last week presented a N4.92trillon budget proposal with the theme: fiscal consolidation with inclusive growth to the two arms of the National Assembly based on a benchmark oil price of

$75 per barrel, which had since become a subject of controversy as the House of Representatives has insisted on a $80 per barrel benchmark. The lower legislative chamber had earlier threatened to impeach the president over alleged poor implementation of the 2012, an allegation the Minister of Finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi

Food supply: Akinjide wants agro-based industries in FCT

32

Okonjo –Iweala promptly denied, insisting that budgetary allocations were released as at when due. Director General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who addressed members of Senate committee on marine transport, who visited the agency as part of their oversight functions, disclosed that the agency received its 2012 budget

with projected revenue of N42.9bn only April this year. According to him, apart from late receipt of the approved budget, all the capital projects tied to the budget are new and consequently undergo lengthy due process requirements such as advert placements, bidding process as well as issuance of no objection certificate.

Finance ministry defends N43m budget for cleaning, fumigation

34

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

Stakeholders make case for increase investment, oil exploration in 2013

35


32

Business Finance

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Food supply: Akinjide wants agro-based industries in FCT

…as 38,000 farmers get 3,279 metric tonnes of fertilisers

Agenda (ATA) of the present Administration, and is at the forefront. Under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES), FCT has surveyed and captured over 50,000 farmers in its Data Bank. Of this number, a total of over 38,000 farmers have benefited from 3,279 metric tonnes of assorted fertilizers and improved seeds,” Akinjide revealed. “The FCT Agriculture

OMEIZA AJAYI

M

inister of State in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide, has urged the private sector to establish agro-based industries in the territory as part of efforts to increase food production. The minister, who made the call at the 2012 World Food day organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja yesterday, advised that food production should not be the sole responsibility of the government. She noted that the new policy thrust of government was to empower the farmer groups and the private sector to drive the agricultural transformation process. “The challenge before us is to produce food for the teaming population in this country. This cannot be seen as the responsi-

and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) under the Farmers Technology Empowerment Programme and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement has procured 80 tractors, with complete set of implements which have been distributed to FCT large scale farmers and farmers’ cooperative groups through the Area Councils for the farming season,” she added.

Oteh, others urge Nigerians to explore personal finance option L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment, Sen Dahiru Kuta; Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Engr. Emeka Ezeh and Lead Procurement, Expert World Bank, Chief Bayo Awosemusi, during the conversion Training for Procurement Officers of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

bility of the government alone. The private sector should take up the challenge of establishing agrobased industries in FCT in particular, since there are tremendous potentials and elaborate marketing outlets for these products,” said Akinjide, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Area Councils, Mr.

Peter Fwa. She assured that the FCT Administration was ready to collaborate with any viable group to promote agriculture in the nation’s capital, particularly in the areas of improved farm inputs distribution, tractor hiring services, produce marketing and other value chain processes.

“We have registered in the FCT, 8000 cooperative societies of different economic backgrounds. These include primary, secondary and Apex cooperative organisation with total membership of about 1.2 million. “The FCT has already keyed into the Agricultural Transformation

TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

T

he Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission[SEC], Ms Arunma Oteh has identified personal finance as one of the investment options for wealth creation for Nigerians and a strong investment platform for the country’s drive towards economic transformation. Making the observa-

tion during the opening session of the 2nd Lecture of the ‘Learning Series organised by the Commission this year, the SEC boss said Nigeria is on the threshold of the process of transforming the economy and by extension the nation and everything must be done to ensure that citizens imbibe the culture and knowledge of personal finance to leverage the performance of their businesses.

‘Auditors, regulators responsible for financial institutions’ failures’ UDO ONYEKA

T

he Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and Alliance of African Institute of Bankers (AAIOB) have said that auditors and regulatory authorities should join banks in taking blames whenever there was failure of any financial institution. The two bankers institute made this known through a communiqué issued at the end of 6th annual Banking and Finance conference jointly organized by CIBN and AAIOB in Abuja recently.

The conference noted that the African economy continued to face challenges on several fronts, including: a general state of insecurity and its detrimental effects on investment, trade, and commercial activities, inadequate infrastructure to support sustainable industrial, social, and economic growth and development, inconsistencies in and reversals of government policies and inadequate legal framework to support subsisting and emerging policies among others. The communiqué said “hold, not only Managers of banks and other finan-

cial institutions but also auditors and regulatory authorities, responsible and accountable for the failure of financial institutions. There is the need to take cognizance of the fact that banks thrive on public confidence and therefore, government interventions in banks should be carried out with utmost care, adding that there is also the need to initiate appropriate policies for capacity building of real sector operators and bank staff aimed at increasing access to bank funding and understanding of unique real sector financing needs, respectively”

SON to get 40% of FMTI’s N16.21bn budget STANLEY IHEDIGBO

T

he Standard Organization Nigerian (SON) will get N2.4bn representing about 40 per cent of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMTI)’s N16.2bn of the proposed 2013 Federal Budget. It means SON is grabbing highest among the agencies in the ministry’s budgetary allocation taking up to 40 per cent of the total budget proposed for

2013. The ministry with 18 agencies under its statutory supervision is expected to divide its N16.2bn proposed spending among them. Some of the ministry’s agencies include SON, Centre for Automotive Design and Development, National Automotive Council, Abuja, Industrial Training Fund, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Export Processing

Zones Authority, Consumer Protection Council, Trade Fair Complex, Lagos. Also , Federal Produce Inspection, Onne Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, Tafawe Balewa Square Management Board , Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange , Small and Medium Development Enterprise Agency of Nigeria , three External Trade Sector, in Geneva, Shangahi and Taiwan and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission .


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

33


34

Business Finance

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finance Ministry defends N43m budget for cleaning, fumigation DAYO AYEYEMI

F

ollowing public criticisms on the proposed budget for the ministry in 2013 as regards huge allocations to personnel, overheads, cleaning and fumigation, travels and training, the Federal Ministry of Finance has come out to defend the provisions, saying they are modest and justifiable. Reacting to public comments on the proposed budget yesterday, Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, said the proposed N43,381,673 million annual budget for cleaning and fumigating the premises of the ministry was certainly within the parameters of industry standards.

He explained that the ministry is facing serious structural and environment challenges which have made the services very necessary. Responding to public comments on the allocation to the ministry, Nwabuikwu pointed out that total budget proposal for the Federal Ministry of Finance is N5,599,576,180, which represents 0.11 per cent of the entire budget estimates. According to him, budget for the ministry together with its agencies is N14,759,952,111, which comes to 0.30 per cent of the total provision. He said, “The provisions made for personnel, overheads, cleaning and fumigation, sitting allowances and travels, training and so on are modest and justifiable.” Justifying these, Nwabuikwu

maintained that the ministry also pays for a lot of studies and investigations done for other parts of government in various areas of economic reform, including pensions, public service reforms, housing and mortgage among others. According to him, the ministry also hosts experts from within and outside the country in technical sessions and meetings in line with its mandate. He mentioned agencies being managed by the ministry to include Debt Management Office, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Investment and Securities Tribunal and the National Insurance Commission.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG approves N34 bn for payment of contributory pensions -PENCOM

T

he Federal Government has approved an additional N34 billion for the payment of contributory pension, says Mr Muhammad Ahmad, Director General, National Pensions Commission (PENCOM). Ahmad said this at the 4th Conference for Directors of Pension Operators organised by PENCOM with the theme “Building a more Efficient and Sustainable Pension Industry in Nigeria.’’ “in respect of those under the contributory pension scheme, recently the Federal Government approved additional funding of over N34 billion for those who have not come forward initially to file their claims. “When they came forward, FG had to look for money and virtually all of them have be-

Aviation director-generals to discuss airline financing in Abuja OLUSEGUN KOIKI

E

L-R: Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, Mr. Joe Hudson; President, Management Staff Association (MSA), Engineer Olufemi Kupolati and Head, Human Resource Management, Mr. Timi Tope Ologunoye, during the Company’s 2012 Managers’ Day Seminar in Lagos, yesterday.

Institute seeks capital market funding to boost agric sector UDO ONYEKA WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he immediate past President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr Mike Itegboje on Tuesday, advocated for capital market funding to grow the agricultural sector. Itegboje told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that that the sector would only experience significant growth through capital market funding. He called on the agricultural banks to source for long-term funds from the capital market instead of depending on funds from the Federal Government. “The agric bank must not depend on government for funding, agric bank must raise long-term funds from the capital market and that is the way

to go. And that way we can help development. “Government has given them some take off funds that will only last a short while and once that money finishes until government brings again, whereas with this funding they can set up a structure that help them to access the market on an annual basis, capital market. “They can raise N200, N300 billion or N100 billion as the case may be annually, so they have sustainable funding. “Farmers and all those interested in agric business can access such fund and because it is long-term in nature and interests are lower the farmers can pay lower interest instead of paying commercial rates.’’ Itegboje, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of The King’s Ltd, a stock broking firm, noted that the capital market was available for bor-

rowers of such funds to exit from. “Nigeria needs agro-based industries that will save the country from spoilage as a result of over surplus and lack of storage facilities. ‘’Companies should be encouraged to go into storage and processing and it is only if they have access to long term funds that they can do that. Because they know they are going to invest on to long-term and the funding will require long period for them to recoup their investment. “Therefore, if you have that access it becomes easier and the capital market is available for borrowers of such funds to exit from.’’ Itegboje said that farming had to be large scale for it to be meaningful and for it to be developmental and impact on the population.

ing paid because funds have being transferred to respective Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs). “And those that have completed the necessary documentation are being paid and those that have not done that are in the process of doing that,‘’ he said. He said though the contributory pension scheme was in its eighth year, the industry was still experiencing some challenges because a large number of small companies had yet to join the scheme. The D-G said that in order to overcome these challenges, PENCOM had appointed some 170 consultants, largely lawyers and accountants, who have, in the last three months, been moving round different parts of the country to ensure compliance.

ight director-generals in the civil aviation sector are set to meet in Abuja on Thursday and Friday this week to discuss challenges facing the sector in the globe. The group popularly known as D-8 consists of Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey. The group, in one of its recent meetings in Jarkarta, Indonesia in 2011,had identified airline financing and operations as one of the major challenges facing the aviation sector in the globe and said it is ready to tackle the issue headlong. Among other issues expected to be discussed at the two-day

gathering are the latest developments and trends in the areas of safety, security, air transportation and training. Others are aircraft maintenance, airport infrastructure and investments. The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, in a statement made available to journalists stated that the meeting is also expected to identify potentials, opportunities, challenges and threats of D-8 in civil aviation cooperation and collaboration, adding that it would as well facilitate interactions and networking among civil aviation stakeholders including government/ regulators, service providers, investors and financial institutions like banks and others.

Agricultural cooperatives critical to fight hunger -FAO STANLEY IHEDIGBO

F

ood Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reiterated its support to agricultural cooperatives, as it is already enriching millions of small-scale farmers and making greater contribution against poverty. According to a statement made available to National Mirror Director-General of FAO, Dr. José Graziano da Silva said that the need to work for the total eradication of hunger through the agricultural cooperatives cannot be over emphasized. He enjoined governments, civil society and academia to give their support to the development of the scheme as it plays a major role to fight against poverty in many countries, in South America, Africa and Asia. Speaking yesterday at the World Food Day with theme

“Agricultural cooperatives - key to feeding the world” which coincided with the International Year of Cooperatives Graziano da Silva said the fight against hunger was given new impetus last week with the release of figures showing that, despite there are 132 million fewer hungry people in the world compared to 20 years ago; there are still nearly 870 million people who go without enough food every day. Graziano da Silva noted that cooperatives have remained a major way to lift small-scale farmers out of poverty and hunger. “Agricultural cooperatives can help smallholders overcome these constraints, and it plays a crucial role in generating employment, reducing poverty, and improving food security, also contributing to the gross domestic product in many countries,” he stated.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

35

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Energy Week

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

Oil platform

Stakeholders make case for increase investment, oil exploration in 2013 I

t was Golda Meir, a former elected Prime Minister of Israel who many people often described as the “Iron Lady” of Israeli politics who once mooted: “Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!” In other words, Meir who was also referred to as “the best man in the government”; could have preferred Moses to lead the people to a nation with commercial reserves of oil, particularly because of the importance of the product to the economy. Oil is a global commodity that attracts significant foreign exchange for execution of projects and programmes. It establishes the required platform for the development of modern technologies. Oil, otherwise known as black gold creates employment opportunities, leading to wealth creation and capacity building. Moreover, it also confers status, making even very tiny countries to become relevant and influential in global politics and diplomacy. Consequently, those who do not have oil wish they have it. But some of those who have it, including Nigeria do not

As the Federal Government unfolds details of its 2013 budget, stakeholders in the petroleum industry who decried the nation’s declining oil and gas reserves, have called for increased investment. In this report, UDEME AKPAN points at the areas that need urgent attention and implications on the economy.

fully appreciate what they have. This is illustrated in many ways. For instance, they have not been any significant investment in the petroleum industry for over the past seven years. This low investment is fuelled by many factors, especially lack of appropriate legislation which breeds uncertainty in the minds of local and foreign investors. Despite the lull, the President Goodluck Jonathan administration that has budgeted to spend N60.8 billion in the industry next year seemed determined to make positive impact. The breakdown showed that while the ministry would spend N4.6 billion, Petroleum Training Institute, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Petroleum Equalisation Fund, Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency would spend N10.3

THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE OIL WISH THEY HAVE IT.

BUT SOME OF THOSE WHO HAVE IT, INCLUDING NIGERIA DO NOT FULLY APPRECIATE WHAT THEY HAVE billion, N1.3 billion, N195 million, N34.7 billion, N3.1 billion and N6.2 billion respectively. A breakdown showed that part of the sums are to be committed into recurrent expenditures such as local and foreign training, telephone charges, sewerage

charges, stationery and computer consumables, books, newspapers, magazines and periodicals, printing of non security documents, clothing, vehicles, maintenance, cleaning and fumigation, consulting, legal services, engineering and bank charges. The sums are also to be invested in capital projects such as construction of infrastructure, Owerri – Umuaha gas pipeline, Utorogu Ugheli Delta Gas pipeline, implementation of gas master plans, water prevention and control, assessment and documentation of oil spill sites in the Niger Delta, actualizing and implementing e-government for processes and procedures in the petroleum industry and e-design using on real time pipeline system auditing. However, stakeholders who reviewed CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


36

Energy Week

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stakeholders make strong case for investment, increase oil reserves

Jonathan

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 issues listed in the proposed budget have made strong case for the execution of many capital projects and programmes, capable of adding significant value to operators, nation and international community. For instance, the National President of the Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria (OGSPAN), Mr. Colman Obasi observed that: “We in OGSPAN will like to witness significant investment in the areas of oil exploration and production in the country. This has not been the case for a very long time.” Obasi remarked that: “Serious commitment to oil exploration is required to increase our declining reserves. It will be difficult to meet the 40 billion barrels target by 2020 without much investment. We should not also ignore the gas sector. We need to do even more in the area of gas because we have more gas than oil.” He stated that increased exploration and production of gas would enable the nation to harness the product, a greater part of which is still being flared in many parts of the Niger Delta for positive applications. Obasi remarked that: “The nation stands to generate additional foreign exchange from the export of gas to other nations. Commercial gas exploration and export would also enable us to conserve other conventional energy resources, especially oil for future use.” The Chairman of International Energy Services Limited, Dr. Diran Fawibe stated that the government and other stakeholders should invest massively in developing adequate infrastructure for the nation. He said: “Global investment thrives on adequate infrastructure. It is therefore necessary that the government and others should invest in infrastructure that can attract private investors to boost investment in the industry.” Fawibe noted that most of the infrastructure, including pipelines that were

Olorunshola

Yakubu

SERIOUS COMMITMENT TO OIL EXPLORATION IS

REQUIRED TO INCREASE OUR DECLINING RESERVES.

IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO MEET THE 40 BILLION BARRELS TARGET BY 2020 WITHOUT MUCH INVESTMENT. WE SHOULD NOT ALSO IGNORE THE GAS SECTOR. WE NEED TO DO EVEN MORE IN THE AREA OF GAS BECAUSE WE HAVE MORE GAS THAN OIL

established in the early years of the industry may also need to be replaced. Their replacement is essential to guarantee sound and safe operations that can bring about sustainable operations now and in the future. From all indications, it makes sense to plan on the ways and means of boosting investment from next year at least for a reason. The nation’s PIB may be passed into law in 2013, thus creating the right atmosphere for investment. Meanwhile, the nation’s PIB will soon undergo second reading at the National Assembly following the interest of lawmakers to expedite work on the Executive Bill which aims at restructuring the oil and gas industry for improved operations. The Bill has already passed through first reading at the Assembly. The first reading was undertaken immediately the legislators resumed from their vacations last month. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum, Senator Magnus Abe who confirmed the development in a telephone interview said: “The BIP has just passed through first reading at the National Assembly. The second reading will soon start because we are all committed to expediting work on it.” He said: “We cannot say exactly when that will begin. It will depend on when it

is scheduled to take place. But the general public should be assured that members of the National Assembly are concerned and will act in the best interest of the nation and other stakeholders.” According to existing rule, the Bill will undergo other processes, including third reading, public hearing and Committee sessions with stakeholders making various inputs, before it is passed into law. Meanwhile, some stakeholders, especially the multinationals are said to be putting pressure on the law makers to either add or remove some clauses from the Bill which is the first comprehensive effort ever made to overhaul operations in the industry. Meanwhile, some stakeholders have indicated to boost investment in the industry. For instance, The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has reiterated its determination to growing the nations proven crude oil reserve from its current level of 37 billion barrels to 40 billion barrels by the year 2020. Speaking in Kaduna at a reception organised by the state government in honour of some illustrious sons and daughter of Kaduna State, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu also one of the celebrants, stated that apart from ensuring an increase in the

PHRC will not blink for 20 years, says Genesis Electricity boss CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

T

he Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Electricity Limited, Mr. Akinwole Omoboriowo, has reiterated that the Genesis Electricity has the technology to provide uninterrupted light in the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited. The Genesis boss said the PHRC facility would be powered by three standby gas turbine engines meant to supply uninterrupted power for 20 years without seizing.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Genesis Electricity Ltd recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to bolster power supply to the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC, and strengthen its production capacity. Omoboriowo, assured the management of the NNPC of its preparedness to deploy the best power technology in the world to PHRC and provide qualitative electric power supply to the plant. The Regional Sales Director, Middle East

Africa, Cees-Jean de Maaker of General Electric (GE) affirmed the readiness of the partnership to provide reliable and qualitative electric power supply to the refinery facility. De Maaker noted that partnership between GE and a professional and competent local company such as Genesis Electricity Ltd would be rewarding for the project, adding that GE is committed to ensuring full technical support across the spectrum of Power Plant installation, commissioning and subsequent long term

level of proven reserves, the Corporation is working assiduously towards increasing production from the current figure of 2.4 million barrels per day to a record 4 million bpd by 2020. Yakubu said: “As we endeavour to achieve effective transformation of the oil and gas industry in line with the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President our target is to ensure that we grow our proven crude reserves to 40 billion by 2020 and also increase our production to 4 million barrels per day by 2020.” The GMD also assured that the Corporation, alongside its JV partners, is strategically focused on power generation via effective alignment with the power supply aspiration of the Federal Government. He stated that the NNPC is also working on strategic upgrade of gas infrastructure in Kaduna and other Northern States to help resuscitate the ailing textile industry in that part of the country. Yakubu also reassured residents of Kaduna and adjoining states of adequate supply of petroleum products, noting that Kaduna Refinery is currently producing about 4 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) per day. The GMD said: “The Kaduna Refinery is one of the best run in the country today. It currently produces 4million litres of PMS every couple of days and this has helped us to stabilise supply in Kaduna and its environs especially at this trying period.” He pledged that the plan to ensure complete turn around and rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries is still intact as the lead equipment for the TAM of Port Harcourt Refinery has since arrived. Yakubu said: “Once we are done with Port Harcourt Refinery Kaduna is next in line and from there we move to Warri Refinery.” However, the NNPC cannot do it alone. There is a great need for other operators, including the multinationals to commit themselves to investing in the industry so as to move the nation’s economy to greater heights. management of the operations of the Genesis Electricity’s captive power plant investment. “We are very delighted to have Genesis as partner; GE and GEL have worked very constructively in the last couple of months to come into an agreement which suit will ensure the delivery of three gas turbines this year” PHRC has the mandate to provide efficient petroleum refining services primarily to the nation, at a minimum cost and the international market at competitive prices, while spearheading the development and production of specialized petroleum products.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

37

OPEC daily basket price stands at $111.35 a barrel UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he price of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of 12 crudes at $111.35 per barrel over the weekend, compared with $110.94 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). This means that many nations, including Nigeria would be able to generate sufficient foreign exchange for the execution of their budgets. However, oil prices recorded a slight in some markets around the world. For instance, in New York, commodities plunged on concern that the global economy is weakening, reducing demand for raw materials. Futures tumbled as much as 1.9 percent and gold dropped to a twoweek low after manufacturing in the New York region contracted for a third

Alison-Madueke

straight month in October. The European Union tightened sanctions on Iran in a bid to persuade Tehran to permit more international scrutiny of its nuclear program and avert a possible military conflict. Chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, Bill O’Grady is said to have remarked that: “The commodities are getting whacked.” He said: “It looks like its investor fatigue more than anything else. The drop in oil will be limited because of geopolitical concerns.”

Crude oil for November delivery fell $1.56, or 1.7 percent, to $90.30 a barrel at 10:04 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 8.6 percent this year. Specifically, Brent oil for November settlement slipped 39 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $114.23 a barrel on the Londonbased ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract expires tomorrow. The more actively traded December future was down 54 cents at $113.07. The European benchmark was at a $23.93 premium to New York- traded West Texas Intermediate grade, up from $22.76 at the close of trading on Oct. 12. The spread between the grades may narrow as U.S. Gulf Coast refiners resume operations after maintenance and as North Sea production climbs with the end of work on oil fields, Hussein Allidina, the head of commodities research at Morgan Stanley, said in a report dated today. Bloomberg stated that: “EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg were expected to approve extra curbs on trade with Iran and on its finance, energy and transport industries following an oil embargo and central-bank asset freeze earlier this year. The ministers were also set to add Iranian organizations to the sanctions list. Some details of today’s decision will be released.”

Low demand affects oil loading UDEME AKPAN

W

est African crude oil differentials were assessed slightly lower over the weekend as traders reported slow sales for the remaining November cargoes due partly to Chinese refinery outages. Sinopec Group has resold around 4-5 million barrels of West African crude oil because of unexpected shutdowns at two refineries in South China, trade sources said on Friday. These closures will cut the amount of crude Sinopec processes by around 8.6 million barrels for the rest of the

Source: Oilprice.com

Oil vessel

year. “It’s slowed down quite a bit. I still have over 20 cargoes remaining,” said a West African oil trader, referring to all grades.

Traders said that weak demand from the United States had also slowed sales for November just days ahead of the expected release of the December loading programmes. Source: Bloomberg

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

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

91.93 115.51 92.21

0.08 -0.29 0.36

0.09% -0.25% 0.39%

10:04 10:13 09:10

OIL (¢/gal)

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

320.59 285.30

-0.32 0.27

-0.10% 0.09%

10:05 10:05

New York City Gate Spot

PRICE* 3.45 3.33 3.48

CHANGE -0.04 -0.05 0.03

% CHANGE -1.00% -1.48% 0.87%

11:19 10:04 10/15 10/15

ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour)

PRICE*

CHANGE

% CHANGE

TIME

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

PRICE* 31.69 38.35

CHANGE -2.90 3.18

% CHANGE -8.38% 9.04%

09/24 10/15 10/15

32.13

-1.62

-4.80%

10/15

Nymex Heating Oil Future Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future

NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu) Nymex Henry Hub Future Henry Hub Spot

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

U.S. imports of light, sweet crude oil - mostly West African - will fall to virtually zero by 2014 as rising domestic shale oil production and refinery closures sap demand, an executive of Total’s trading arm said this week. Qua Iboe oil grade was assessed at around dated Brent plus $2.00-$2.20 a barrel which was around 20 cents below levels earlier in the week. Traders said that only Girassol and Pazflor cargoes remained from the November programmes. India’s Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd made its first purchase of Equatorial Guinea’s Zafiro in a one million barrel parcel from trader Trafigura via tender for December loading, a trade source said on Friday. The cargo was heard to have sold at a premium of $2.70 to dated Brent on a delivered basis. One trader is said to have remarked that this showed the grade was valued at around flat to dated Brent. Indonesia’s Petral, the marketing arm of state oil company Pertamina, has issued a tender for the third time seeking sweet crude for December delivery. The tender closed on Wednesday with offers valid until a day later.


38

Energy Week

EITI conference 2013 in Sydney

The EITI, the global standard for transparency of revenues from natural resources, will hold its 2013 Global Conference on 23-24 May 2013 in Sydney, Australia. This was announced today by the EITI Chair, Clare Short. Ms Short welcomed Australia’s invitation to host the biennial EITI Global Conference: “The EITI Global Conference in Sydney in May 2013 will be another milestone in the evolution of the EITI. With 36 countries now implementing the EITI, and the United States and several others preparing to do so, we are making strides in establishing the EITI as a global standard. Together we are taking steps towards ensuring that natural resource wealth leads to development. “After two years of extensive consultations, the conference will see the launch of a significantly revised EITI standard, which will strengthen EITI reporting, and help to ensure that the EITI process becomes a national platform for improved natural resource governance. “We are grateful for the support and leadership that the Australian government is providing,” Ms Short said. Conference participants will discuss how the EITI is leading to more transparency in their countries and agree how the standard should be further strengthened. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr commented on the EITI conference being hosted in Sydney at Africa Down Under. “Of the 36 countries that are working with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, 21 are in Africa. Australia started a domestic pilot last year, and we are keen to encourage more countries to adopt the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. “Today I am also pleased to announce that Australia will host the next global conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Sydney in May 2013.This will be an opportunity for us all to help improve the transparency of company payments and government revenues in this sector,” Mr Carr added. In addition to Australia undertaking an EITI pilot, the country has also launched a mining for development initiative, providing technical assistance to help people overcome poverty by supporting developing countries to translate their resource endowment into significant and sustainable development.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PHCN launches energy saving bulbs UDEME AKPAN

I

n its concerted effort to complement the Federal Government campaign on Energy Conservation/ Efficiency across the country, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, EKO Distribution Company has launched Energy Saving Bulbs also known as LED, meaning light emitting diodes. The aim of launching the bulbs, according to the Chief Executive Officer of Eko DISCO, Engr. Oladele Amoda is to create awareness to electricity consumers within the company’s zone on the advantage of using emerging bulbs, which is to reduce the cost of energy consumption in the country. Speaking to newsmen at the company’s Head office in Marina, Lagos during the launching of the bulbs, Engr.Amoda said efficient energy usage is the effort put in place to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. “Energy saving bulbs has been around for a couple of years. But they only got popular in 2007 after the Austrian government decided to ban standard bulbs and replace them with energy saving bulbs. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions, which is environmentally friendly. “Energy saving bulbs are said to be five times more efficient than standard bulbs.” Commenting on the lifespan and energy consumption of the newly launched energy saving bulbs, the Eko Boss explained that LED lighting lasts upward of 60,000 hours before needing replacement. “LED light bulbs use about half the wattage of

Industry can take $400 bn energy spending –Shell

Mutiu Sunmonu

UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he nation has the scope for at least $400 billion of spending in the oil, gas and power industries provided the environment for investment improves. The Vice President of Royal Dutch Shell Plc in charge of finance and strategy, Bernard Bos, who made the remarks, said attractive investment terms were needed to attract local and foreign investment. He noted that the lack of attractive terms for investment means money that should have come to Nigeria is going to other African countries and Australia, Bos said at an investment conference today in Lagos, the commercial capital. Bos said: ““Many in the industry are worried about what the petroleum industry bill will do,” he said, referring to legislation to reform the regulation and funding of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. “We need to try and unleash that investment.” Bloomberg that captured the story stated that: “Nigeria is

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Africa’s top oil producer and has the world’s seventh-largest natural gas-reserves of more than 184 trillion cubic feet.” Shell is the biggest oil and gas operator in Nigeria, providing 40 percent of gas used by power stations and generating 20 percent of the country’s electricity, according to Bos. Stakeholders said the investment would need adequate legislation to flourish. Meanwhile, new criticisms continue to trail the nation’s Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). For instance, the Country Chair and Managing director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu noted that the tax provisions in the PIB is ‘uncompetitive’, stressing that they are capable of stifling investment and making offshore oil and gas projects unviable. Sunmonu who believed that a good Bill should “take local business challenges into consideration as well as the impact on existing investments, remarked that: “What we have seen of the draft PIB to date does not indicate a bill that fits these criteria. And this is the opinion not only of the major players in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, but, as I mentioned earlier, industry analysts as well. What we have seen and what we know of the current draft PIB requires significant improvement to secure Nigeria’s competitiveness, and attract the required level of investment to enable exploration to increase Nigeria’s reserves and then foster development of the projects to monetise them.” Sunmonu argued that an unbalanced Bill of that nature could hinder investment in the industry. As he puts it: “The PIB will likely render all deepwater projects and all dry gas projects – whether for domestic or export markets – non-viable, added that many opportunities will be lost. The Country Chair who noted that the opportunity to monetise some of the world’s best gas reserves will be lost also stated that the opportunity to kick start the power sector – the key to economic growth – using easily accessible gas will also be lost.” The Shell’s boss remarked that the PIB needs to address long term industry issues, including joint venture funding, particularly as funding requirements have constrained production growth in the industry. Sunmonu stressed that the nation needs a strong national oil company, capable of partnering with others to enhance its competitiveness. He remarked that: “While the economy in general is on the path of diversification it should not be denied that the oil and gas sector remains the driver of this process providing not only the funds to enable the diversification but also the gas that could and should be used to regenerate the power sector to provide reliable electricity which is the backbone of industrial growth.”

fluorescent lighting, about 6 watts of power versus 14 watts of power for a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) light bulb. “For a LED bulb’s lifespan, about 340 kilowatt hours of electricity is used. CFL bulbs used over 60,000 hours (6 bulbs) will use around 840 kilowatt hours of electricity. As far as energy efficiency goes, LED light bulbs are about 5 times more efficient than fluorescent lighting.” Further explaining the important for electricity consumers within Eko DISCO to embrace the use of energy saving bulbs, Engr. Amoda said “The residential customers constitute a significant percentage of our customer’s population. “Embracing energy efficiency and conservation can therefor make significant impact on system stability and reliability. Energy saving derived from efficient usage and conservation can be diverted to commercial and industrial usage. “The rising cost of fuel and electricity makes the need to conserve energy every more evident and the growing need to adopt environmental friendly technology and renewable energy.” Projects earmarked for completion by December 2012 by the zone according to Engr. Amoda include the reinforcement of critical 33KV, 11KV feeders and rehabilitation of distribution substations for effective evacuation and distribution of Power into all customers of Eko DISCO and the replacement of obsolete 33KV and 11KV Switchgear in various locations among others. It would be recalled that President Jonathan had in May 2012 launched energy saving bulbs in Abuja with a view to encourage Nigerians to buy the bulbs in or-

Fuel shortage worsens

F

uel scarcity continues unabated in Lagos and its environs despite efforts made by authorities in the past few days. A survey showed that many filling stations did not have the product to sell to motorists and other buyers. There were long queues at the outlets with limited stocks of the product. A reliable source that preferred not to be named said loading at the jetties was slow. Recently, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has deployed over 920 tankers for distribution of petrol and other petroleum products in the country. The deployment of the tankers became imperative following vandals attack on System B 2 pipeline at Arepo in Ogun State and frustration of efforts aimed at maintenance of the facility. The pipeline is said to be strategic, especially it has the capacity to carry between nine and eleven liters of petrol daily. The Corporation said the attack of the pipeline was a major setback, considering its role in the distribution of fuel in Lagos and its environs. It stated that the Corporation has done a lot to increase the number of tankers involved in fuel distribution in order to ensure that commercial quantity of products are made available to marketers and by extension motorists and other consumers. The Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Mr. Fidel Pepple said the fuel shortage is due to the shutdown of system 2b, a major pipeline that evacuates between nine to eleven million litres of fuel from lagos to Ibadan, Ilorin and the north due to serious vandalism by oil thieves a couple of weeks ago. Pepple said that to alleviate the problems resulting from the shutdown of the pipeline, the NNPC has stepped up distribution through tankers. “I want to assure Nigerians that NNPC has stepped up fuel supply to marketers and distributors for effective and efficient supply of fuel to Nigerians. As I speak, we have raised the daily supply of fuel from Folawiyo tank farm from 150 tankers to 250 tankers, MRS from 100 to 200 tankers, Capital Oil to 300 tankers, NIPCO to 70 tankers and AITEO to 100 tankers,” Mr. Pepple disclosed. He further revealed that fuel delivery and supply to Port Harcourt, Aba and Calabar has also been augmented saying that bridging to the North has equally enjoyed robust supply. Pepple added that as at Thursday last week,


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

39

NERC targets best regulatory framework UDEME AKPAN

T

Bulb

der to reduce the cost of energy consumption in the country. The former launching of the bulbs was a fiest step in government’s commitment to ensure that reputable companies are persuaded to come to Nigeria to begin local production of the bulbs as well as encourage local manufacturers of electricity bulbs to change to energy saving bulbs.

in Lagos, environs the NNPC had 32 days sufficiency of petroleum products. On the Arepo pipeline seriously damaged by oil thieves a couple of weeks ago where three NNPC staffers were killed, Pepple stated that the NNPC was collaborating with the security agencies to fix the pipeline in order to restore normal fuel supply to the affected areas. He reiterated the Corporation’s position that the safety and security of oil pipelines are the collective responsibility of each and every citizen and appealed to all a sundry to be vigilant and contribute to making oil installations safe and secure. Pepple called on motorists and other buyers to stop panic buying as there was commercial quantity of petrol and other products to meet demand. Farouk said: “There is no point for consumers to panic. We have sufficient stocks that can last for several days.” Already, 12 vessels are said to be discharging imported fuel in the Lagos area. The current Nigerian Ports Authority “Shipping Position,” indicated that 12 ships were waiting to discharge petrol at various oil terminals within the Lagos ports. The document reported that 75 ships carrying different cargoes would sail into the ports between Sept. 17 and Oct. 4. It also stated that nine of the expected ships would arrive with petroleum products. Operators said the impact of the imports would likely be felt within a few days. The Second National Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Mike Osatuyi who condemned attack on NNPC pipelines and killing of its personnel said the scarcity occurred because of the disruption of the facility and inability of marketers to import from the international market. He commended the Corporation for efforts made to stabilize supplies and promised to cooperate with relevant authorities to ensure smooth implementation of new measures adopted by the Corporation. Osatuyi said: “We had a meeting with NNPC yesterday to address the shortage. Everyone agrees that the Corporation needs all the sacrifice we can make to tackle the scarcity. In fairness to the Corporation, it has tried in different positive ways to sustain supplies to filling stations.”

he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (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 privatizing the power sector. The Commission’s Chairman, Dr. Sam 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. Amadi said to 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) 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. In the meantime, the next power consumer forum is slated for the October 18, 2012, in Uyo the Akwa Ibom state capital. The Commission said the forum is key as consumers are king.

It maintained that electricity consumers are important stakeholders in the scheme of things who deserve to be protected from over ambitious service providers. This was the message the NERC to electricity consumers at the recently held Power Consumer Assembly in Umuahia, the Aba state capital on 16TH August, 2012 and in Keffi, Nasarawa state, on 23rd August, 2012 respectively. Power Consumer Assemblies are avenues the Commission uses to meet and interact with consumers across the country including the staff of electricity utility companies, the civil society among others. In his remark at the two events, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi assured that NERC was determined to achieve adequate, reliable, safe and affordable electricity in line with international best practice in electricity service delivery. Amadi was emphatic when he stated that the forum remains an avenue for the Commission to inform, enlighten, but more importantly to listen to consumers for the purpose of policy formulation.

Sam Amadi

Electricity generation hits 4, 500 megawatts

UDEME AKPAN

E

lectricity generation in the nation has risen from 4,300 to 4,500 capacity of 4,500 megawatts (mw), the highest in nation’s history. The feat recorded yesterday showed an increase of 200 mw against an average of 4, 300 mw recorded in recent times. The supply, excluding spinning reserves has culminated in improved supply to consumers nationwide. Authoritative data of the Ministry of Power showed that 4,550 mw are dedicated to transmission while 250 mw constituted the nation’s reserves which are not always for transmission and distribution. A breakdown showed that while the older stations of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), including Egbin, apparently the biggest in the nation accounted for over 3,000 mw, the newly constructed plants under the Integrated Power Scheme accounted for 1,000 mw. The Head of Press in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Greyne Anosike who confirmed the development said the feat was achieved as a result increased investment in generating plants and other infrastructure, located in different parts of the nation. He said the improvement was not accidental as the gov-

ernment has in the past few years made enormous investments in the sector. These, he said have gone a long way to building the nation’s capacity to generate substantial mw of electricity. Anosike said there has also been improvement in transmission and distribution facilities nationwide. These are targeted at ensuring that electricity gets to every part of the nation, including the rural areas. He said’ “The former Minister of Power of power, Prof. Bart Nnaji and others assisted in many ways to put in place the right structures. Consequently, power supply will continue to improve not withstanding who occupies one office or another.” Spokesman of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr. Yakubu Lawal who confirmed such increased investments in the sector said the firm has commissioned 11 power injector sub-stations in Lagos alone. He said each of the 11 sub-station is 1x15 MVA with the capacity of generating power for about 10,000 residents in Agbowa-Ikosi, Ipakodo, Ijede, Agbara, Ajangbadi, OrileCoker, Fowler, Alagbon, Bekley, Apapa Raod and Tincan. Lawal said the firm also commissioned 500 transformers of 50KVA each to boost power supply. Lawal assured Lagosians and residents in other parts of the nation that the projects would boost the electricity supply, promising that supply would continue to improve as new plants and facilities come on stream. Incidentally, many consumers have started feeling the impact of improved supply. For instance, the spokesman of Union Bank, Mr. Francis Barde said in a telephone interview that: “We can confirm that there has been an improvement in power supply in recent times. In the past we used to have about two hours of public power supply which compelled us to over- depend on our plants, located in every branch to run our operations. But in the past few weeks, we hae about 10 hours of public power supply” He said: “This improvement has enabled us to depend more on PHCN for supply. We only switch over to our plants whenever PHCN fails to deliver. This has enabled us to reduce high cost of operations.”


40

Energy Week

Global oil refining, trade to be redrawn over next 5 years, IEA

Profound shifts in the regional distribution of oil demand and supply growth will redefine the refining industry and transform global oil trade over the next five years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in its annual Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR) released. The IEA expects the global oil market to become somewhat less tight over the medium term than it has been through most of the last decade, as a combination of demand and supply factors will cause OPEC spare capacity to return to more comfortable levels. But it also highlights elevated supply and demand risks. The MTOMR is the last in a series of medium-term forecasts that the IEA devotes to each of the four main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal and renewable energy. A companion to the IEA’s authoritative monthly Oil Market Report, the MTOMR offers a bridge between that monthly snapshot of market conditions and the oil section of the annual World Energy Outlook, which has a longer-term focus. “The oil market is at a crossroads,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “On each and every front – technology, geopolitics, and the economy – potentially game-changing developments are taking place. This report is an attempt to bring it all together and sketch out what it might all mean for the next five years. It is thought-provoking and while it cannot possibly anticipate everything the next five years have in store, we hope it will help the reader think through the issues and gain a more refined understanding of the broader context in which tomorrow’s surprises will play out.” The report’s projection of a return to higher OPEC spare production capacity will be welcome news amid rising supply and demand risks, she added. Today’s weak economic environment has reduced expectations of oil demand growth for the medium term, yet the reallocation of demand by region and key product, which has been underway for the last 15 to 20 years, is expected to continue. Demand from non-OECD economies is forecast to overtake that in the OECD as early as 2014. The “East of Suez” region will account for most of the growth, led by Asia, the Former Soviet Union and the Middle East. Distillate demand is also expected to growth much faster than that for other products, so that gasoil and diesel by the end of the forecast period will account for the largest share by far of the demand barrel – a challenge for refiners and end-users alike. On the supply side, most of the growth will come from the Americas, buoyed by the transformative power of advanced extractive technologies applied to light, tight oil deposits in the US and the Canadian oil sands that has exceeded earlier expectations. Among OPEC producers, Iraq stands out as its production capacity is expected to enter a new growth phase, which may continue even beyond the forecast period. These new supply sources are expected to more than offset decline rates and outages elsewhere as well as the continued impact of international sanctions of Iran. The report also notes a continued rebalancing of refining capacity, with expansions in Asia and the Middle East more than offsetting continued attrition in the OECD. Internationally traded crude volumes are expected to decline sharply, as rising domestic production reduces North America’s import needs and more Middle East oil is kept at home to satisfy growing regional demand rather than exported. Product trade may grow in both volume and scope, however. The report also reviews regulatory changes that will come into play in financial oil markets and surveys the most recent academic literature on oil price formation, including the relationship between oil prices and interest rates, other commodity markets and macroeconomic measures such as quantitative easing. The Medium Term Oil Market Report is for sale at the IEA bookshop. Accredited journalists who would like more information or who wish to receive a complimentary copy should contact ieapressoffice@iea.org.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

West Africa Gas Pipeline to restart operations in December UDEME AKPAN

T

he West African Gas Pipeline which delivers Nigeria’s gas to Republic of Benin, Ghana and Togo for power generation is set to restart operations in December this year. The pipeline that was damaged by a vessel is presently undergoing maintenance. The Managing Director of West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), Mr. Charles Adeniji who confirmed the development in Lagos over the weekend said: “The WAGP was broken into 2 parts on 28 August 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 28 September 2012, 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 pigMain line/ Laterals. As the pig travels, water in line will be pushed out, while

Wagp

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 op-

erations before December 25, 2012. Shareholders have been very responsive and supporting.” The company boss explained that current works on the pipeline was about 10 per cent completed and that by December it would be over 90 per cent complete after which the pipes would be dried through the removal of water and debris in the lines. The stoppage of gas deliveries to power stations has adversely affected service delivery at the generation, supply and distribution units of electricity services in Ghana leading to the current load shedding exercise in some parts of the country.

Institute to resolve National Solid Waste Management dispute UDEME AKPAN

T

he International Institute for Humanitarian and Environmental Law (ISHERL) has intervened to assist in resolving misunderstanding targeted at completion of the nation’s National Solid Waste Management Programme. The programme was initiated by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in response to numerous calls for improved solid waste management in the nation. The project which the Ministry of Environment awarded to Geoenvironmental Design and Research Ltd (GDR), a United States-based company as a lead contractor has not been completed, mainly as a result of non release of funds. Determined to assist in resolving the misunderstanding, ISHERL has waded into the matter. Specifically, ISHERL, through its Directorate of Strategic Research, Investigations and Publicity, invited the Minister, Mrs. Hadiza Mailaifia, other stakeholders, the key personnel of the principal consulting firm, Geo-environmental Design and Research Ltd and all contractors in the project to a forum aimed at resolving any dispute. The forum, it was learnt was attended by many interest groups, including some volunteering residents of the cities captured in the project where the wastes facilities were sited, some contractors and representatives of the principal consultant.

Minister of the Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Mailafia

Despite the seriousness of the issues, the Ministry of Environment, it was learnt did not attend nor did it sent a documented submission. GDR and other contractors who attended the occasion testified on several issues, including works so far executed and pains suffered as a result of nonpayment. GDR is said to have indicated interest in the project about five years ago following the request of the Federal Government of Nigeria for foreign firms led by Diaspora Nigerians, to invest in Nigeria. It was learnt that the award of the contract went through the Due Process Office and received approval through No: 2519/S.9/VOL.V/07/301; received presiden-

tial approval and Letter of Award. Per the terms of the contract, GDR executed 75per cent of the tasks with privately sourced funds without even receiving a prior, contractually-agreed 15per cent. Investigations showed that an Interim Payment Certificate was issued to GDR by the Federal Ministry of Environment, confirming the level of work done and the payment amount due to the firm. The amount specified was however not paid. This, it was learnt compelled GDR to seek alternative ways and means of seeking justice in Nigeria and overseas. Responding, the Ministerial settlement Committee promised to pay the company’s claims by August 2nd, 2012. National Mirror learnt that the inability of the ministry to keep its promise has constrained the contractor from going into stage two of the work which will expose embezzlement of funds released on the waste facilities of the seven captured cities in the project. The institute vows that having verified that the problem of waste-related environmental health is encouraged by such subterfuge and government sabotage, it will bring the culprits into public knowledge and ensures that they are given a place through criminal justice trappings. However, the Assistant Director (Press) in the ministry, Mr. Lawrence Ajabo did not comment on the various issues despite several calls and emails.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

41


42

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

MAN, others involved in As Nigeria’s advertising industry witnesses a challenging period with both big and small agencies surging the turf of tough business environment, the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi, in this interview with ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI, explains that APCON is doing all it could to encourage agencies. APCON jjustt rose ffrom a conference f on M Managementt off the Potential Impact of Alcoholic Beverage Marketing and Marketing Communications on the society. What do you intend to achieve with this stakeholders’ gathering? APCON as a regulatory body encourages business decisions that protect especially the consumer, the marketer, the advertiser, the manufacturer and everyone involved. How do we do this? It is our aim to strengthen the bond between agencies, sectoral groups, consumers and other institutions by constantly organising these fora that create an atmosphere where stakeholders and interest groups can listen to and understand the perspectives of others within their industry and outside of it, in order to make business decisions which positively impact the society but does not cause an unnecessary chink in profit margins. After these discussions, a communiqué is developed and agreed upon, which highlights key issues raised and recommendations or solutions decided-upon by the stakeholders representing various interest groups. Organising such for a is one of our key responsibilities as a regulatory body to ensure there is synergy which allows us operate as one, mindful of our actions and impact on society. This synergy helps develop our economy, instills a sense of social responsibility and respect for our culture and economy and ultimately boosts our international credibility. This is what we strive to achieve through the organising of these various fora. What informed the choice of bringing World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) as key speakers at the conference? The new school of thought embraces the world as moving towards global best practices as opposed to just being individually minded. Our actions have a positive or negative impact not only on our society but are also available for the world to see or copy as the case may be. WFA which stands for the World Federation of Advertisers helps its members to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their marketing communications by creating avenues and policies that encourage the sharing of knowledge and experience. WFA is a global leader and their network is global networks of marketers who help each other navigate the fast-changing marketing landscape by discussing key marketing issues which affect its members. The just concluded summit on Alcohol Marketing and Marketing Communications is indeed a global concern and we welcome a global perspective on the topic. Who better to enlighten us than the Mr Stephan Loerke, Managing Director of WFA who has drawn from a whirlpool of information and resources shared by members all over the globe. It was Mr. Loerke’s very first visit to Nigeria and we were indeed excited to be hosting him and introducing him to our regulatory structure and culture. In the last decade, APCON has made efforts to save businesses of agencies by calling stakeholders forum, the recent being attempt to save billboard advertising agencies, has the situation changed? The theme of the forum was “Outdoor Advertising Regulation and Control in Nigeria”. Participants at the forum were stakeholders from the various segments of the Advertising industry, officials of various local and state governments in Nigeria, members of the National Assembly and other members of the public attended. The forum reviewed the state of outdoor advertising practice

Kankarofi

AS UNFORTUNATE AS IT IS, APCON HAS NO IMPACT ON THE BUSINESS OPERATIONS OF CORPORATIONS OR AGENCIES, BUT DOES THE LITTLE IT CAN TO ENCOURAGE AGENCIES, ADVERTISERS, ETC and regulation in Nigeria, identified and analysed areas of conflict and proposed some measures that need to be taken to achieve a better, thriving and mutually rewarding outdoor Advertising industry in Nigeria. The exercise is still an on-going process of which the major part was taken care of through discussions and resolutions reached at the end of the forum. I am sure when the changes begin to take effect, you will be adequately informed. But generally, the industry, is faced with reality of global economic crunch, with some agencies, closing shops, how worried is APCON as a regulatory authority? As unfortunate as it is, APCON has no impact on the business operations of corporations or agencies but does the little it can to encourage agencies, advertisers, etc. It is indeed a tough economic and

global climate and that is why we encourage attendance of both our for a and training programs as we invite key speakers and resource persons to discuss, educate and enlighten individuals on shifts in business practices. By organizing such forums and trainings we hope to encourage or do our little bit of value added services to the community that show we understand it is tough out there but one way to roll with the tide is to expect it and be prepared for it when it happens. Our training programs accomplish this. Coincidentally, the fora we had was on Outdoor Advertising Regulation and Control in Nigeria which covers the regulatory issues but the training programmes we are holding would have some of the most creative minds teaching us about creative ways to develop more out-of-the box thinking to bring us closer to our global counterparts.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

advertisement vetting Nigerians are exposed to so many advertising messages, how much had APCON done to vet these communications to protect the public from deceitful advertisement? We have a monitoring unit that daily monitors which advertisement has been vetted or not vetted. Every week a team of APCON monitoring officers also goes out to monitor the out-of-home media. They also listen to radio stations and watch the TV to know which advertisement has been vetted or not. APCON also engages the services of media monitoring agencies who report illegal advertising to the Advertising Standards Panel, ASP. We have professional Diploma programmes that provide opportunity for those who have interest in advertising to come and acquire the required knowledge and skills that empower them to practice. Our seminars/workshops and other continuous training programmes provide platform for practitioners to update their knowledge. I believe with all these, APCON is playing its role effectively.

How many per cent of ad materials has APCON vetted so far? I think I would rephrase your question so it covers a broader scope. The real question should not be how many but how compliant have individuals, corporations, media houses or agencies been in regards to vetting of advertisements. The answer to this question would demonstrate the level of understanding that these individuals/corporations/agencies have of the reason for APCON’s existence as a regulatory body and its duty to the society and consumers. By insisting on pre-exposure clearance of all advertisements, APCON strives to check all forms of abuses such as misleading statements, spurious testimonials, visual and verbal exaggerations, misleading offers, suggestion or pictures offensive to public decency, etc. The level of ethical compliance by advertising practitioners is very high at 80 per cent and we believe we will exceed this soon as APCON is working assiduously to compel practitioners to comply with the Code of Advertising Practice and many are really complying. How much as APCON achieved in terms of compliance with vetting rules especially as regards political advertising? Those that are charged before APIP are certified practitioners who breach the oath of practice. If you do anything contrary to what you swore to then you go before Advertising Practitioners Investigating Panel, APIP. For instance, if you expose an advertisement without approval, ASP will take you to APIP. After conducting its investigations, the complaint is passed on to Advertising Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, APDC. APDC is the body established by law to decide cases. It is like a High Court and any person who is aggrieved about any decision given by APDC can only appeal to the Court of Appeal. Since your appointment, how much has APCON achieved in terms of registration of practitioners as a prerequisite for practice? We are compiling the list of practitioners at the moment. In the book, we have about 4,600 practitioners and those that are actively practicing are not up to 1,500. I am sending letters to every registered practitioner in our system to inform them that we are producing the Register of advertising practitioners’ in October 2012. If your name does not appear in the register, that means you have left the profession. We have been campaigning both in the print and electronic media to inform persons who are not up to date in payment of practice fee to do the needful or risk being delisted.

43

THE LEVEL OF ETHICAL COMPLIANCE BY ADVERTISING PRACTITIONERS IS

VERY HIGH AT 80% AND WE BELIEVE WE WILL EXCEED THIS SOON AS

APCON IS WORKING ASSIDUOUSLY TO COMPEL PRACTITIONERS TO COMPLY WITH THE CODE OF

ADVERTISING PRACTICE

What is the compliance among foreigners practicing in Nigeria? Under the new licensing regime, you can choose to operate under AAAN or not; under OAAN or not and so on. The new code stipulates that if you register through AAAN, for instance, it will be a little easier for you. The process seeks to ensure that you are legitimate, that you have the right documents, the right passport, the right visa and working permit. We don’t expect foreigners to come and displace better qualified Nigerians. No responsible government will allow this. Anybody coming must be better qualified than Nigerians because it will be sad to allow Non-Nigerians fill job positions which Nigerians could perform. Brazil did it and today Brazil is a world power in terms of advertising and probably one of the most vibrant economies among the third world countries. Some people will feel hurt probably at the moment but it is for the future. You set up an executive business diploma for experience practitioners. What inform that idea? Our professional diploma programs are aimed at strengthening the caliber and value of our advertising representatives. Think of it like planting a seed, watering it and watching it grow. Our executive training program is like a bridge exam for people whose current job positions put them in a position to handle marketing and advertising related functions or monitoring their progress whereas our professional diploma programs train and instill the core disciplines of advertising which are vital in shaping the industry representatives of tomorrow. This is one of our duties to society as an institution. How does APCON monitor compliance in other states? Every part of Nigeria is under APCON jurisdiction and we have zonal offices in major states which also service surrounding areas. These offices are: Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Oyo, Kwara, Rivers, Kaduna, Imo and Enugu. Additional offices in Sokoto, Maidugri, Bauchi, Benin and Uyo will

be operational before the end of December 2012. There are questions over vetting and approval of some adverts that are deceptive. How objective is APCON when vetting? The ASP which has the mandate that requires practitioners to submit their advertisements for approval and obtain certificate of clearance before exposing such advertisements to the public has membership from various interest groups including Nigeria Communication Company (NCC), Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN). We also have Council for Women Society, Radio and TV stations, newspaper houses, all have represented in the 21-member committee. During the approval process, CPC members in ASP will vet what you say and they must substantiate it. We have our own checks and balances and we do not clear any advert that does not meet this requirement. On the issue of registration, under the new licensing regime, you can choose to operate under Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) or not; under OAAN or not and so on. APCON is set re-register advertising agencies in Nigeria by January, what informed that decision and how do you intend to go about it and what is the relationship between APCON and these sectoral groups? The APCON Committee on Advertising Practice Reform (ACAPR), is on course. The committee was established about two years ago to look at advertising reforms and they have completed their job. They have submitted their report to Council and the Council has deliberated on their report and formulated a new code of advertising practice and sales promotion which will become operational January 1, 2013. What is happening in the interim is the sensitization being taken to the doorstep of sectoral groups. I have written to all the sectoral groups within Council to sensitize them. We have been to AAAN already. They had their AGM in Ibadan and we were there to brief them. Don’t forget that AAAN are major stakeholders. We are going to meet BON in September at their general assembly. We are also going to other sectoral groups including voice-over artistes, model managers who can now register with APCON under the new code. When the new code is published and gazette, I can then speak freely on the content.


44

Global Business

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ex-Goldman mortgage trader said to post 30% fund gain

T

ilden Park Capital Management LP, based in New York with $1.1bn in assets, rose six per cent in September, amid winning wagers on securities backed by the loans to borrowers with poor credit, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the fund is private. Steve Bruce, a spokesman for Tilden Park, declined to comment on the returns. Brevan Howard Management, D.E. Shaw & Company and Angelo Gordon & Company are among a growing number of funds that have started pools of capital this year to invest in mortgage securities that lack US government backing. They have been lured to the almost $1trillion non-agency mortgage bond market in part by property prices that are stabilizing after the biggest real estate crash since the 1930s. The entrants have only marginally diminished the number of opportunities, Birnbaum, 40, said in a telephone in-

Ex-Goldman Mortgage Trader Said to Post 30% Fund Gain

terview last week. “There’s billions of dollars of bonds trading a week and they are hotly debated by people who trade them,” said Birnbaum, who declined to comment

Citigroup Board said to oust Vikram Pandit over poor execution

Chief Executive officer of Citigroup Incorporation, Vikram Pandit,

C

itigroup Incorporation directors ousted Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit after concluding that he had mismanaged operations, leading to setbacks with regulators and a loss of credibility with investors, a person with knowledge of the discussions said. Episodes that led the board to replace Pandit with Michael Corbat included the March rejection by regulators of a plan to boost shareholder payouts, said the person, who requested anonymity because board deliberations are private. Citigroup’s $2.9bn write-down on the

Smith Barney brokerage unit and a twolevel cut of its credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service contributed to the decision, the person said. Directors have discussed whether to replace Pandit for months, even before the April departure of former Chairman Richard Parsons, the person said. Corbat enjoys a better relationship with Citigroup’s regulators than Pandit as a result of his experience as head of Citi Holdings, the division that contains the lender’s unwanted assets, the person said. Corbat, 52, “is a proven, hands-on leader who is known for his focus on enhancing productivity, holding people accountable and practicing sound riskmanagement,” Chairman Michael E. O’Neill said. “He has consistently delivered impressive bottom-line results at many of our major global business units.” The ousting of Pandit, 55, and Chief Operating Officer John P. Havens, 56, came six months after O’Neill, 65, replaced Parsons as chairman of the bank, the third-biggest in the US by assets. Shannon Bell, a spokeswoman for New York-based Citigroup, declined to comment on the change and O’Neill didn’t respond to e-mailed inquiries.

South Africa’s $40bn water gap threatens economy

C

oncrete patches on the canals snaking through Nico Greeff ’s vineyards betray constant repairs to an outmoded irrigation system that’s the lifeblood of farming in South Africa’s arid west. “The water infrastructure is about 60 years old and the lifespan of a surfaced canal is about 40 years,” Greeff, 55, said on his farm near Vredendal, north of Cape Town. “Sometimes there are breakages on the canal system, which interrupts supplies. We can have a lot of damage to our crops.” Crumbling canals, dams and pipelines and a lack of funds to expand, replace and maintain them threatens to stymie

economic growth and efforts to tackle a 25 per cent unemployment rate in Africa’s biggest economy. Water infrastructure requires investment of 670 billion rand ($76 bn) over the next decade, the Department of Water Affairs said in an August 17 study. That’s almost double the available funding, leaving a gap of 338 billion rand. The report says businesses need to anticipate supply disruptions, higher bills and more regulation in a country that gets less rain than neighbours Namibia and Botswana, famed for their deserts. South Africa’s platinum and coal industries, two of the country’s top four exporters, are already struggling to secure water supplies for new projects.

on his fund’s returns. “That produces an opportunity to make money in this space because valuation opinions are vastly different.” Residential mortgage securities that lack US government backing comprise the largest portion of Tilden Park’s portfolio, Birnbaum said. In addition, the fund trades mortgage debt supported by the government, commercial mortgage bonds and asset-backed securities. The fund also invests in equities, corporate credit, currencies, interest rates and volatility, which are primarily used for offsetting trades, or hedges. Apart from a recovery in the real estate market, hedge funds have sought opportunities in mortgage bonds as projected yields exceed those for corporate debt even with record defaults priced in, and amid expectations that Europe’s banks will sell assets cheaply to bolster capital. Housing is recovering as the Fed-

eral Reserve’s buying of governmentbacked mortgage securities and Europe’s debt crisis depress bond yields, driving US home-loan rates to record lows. The market is also being bolstered by funds scooping up foreclosed properties to rent out. US home prices rose 1.2 per cent in July from a year earlier, the biggest 12-month jump since August 2010, according to an S&P/Case-Shiller index that gauges property values in 20 metropolitan areas. The measure fell 35 per cent from the peak in July 2006 to February 2012. “Some of these recovery plays are compelling,” Birnbaum said. “When I think about the opportunity set in this market yesterday, versus at the beginning of the year, I think it’s overly simplistic just to look at the rally in prices; you’ve got to look at marked improvements in the property markets and borrower behavior that account for much of the price gains.”

Microsoft prices surface starting at $499 to rival iPad

M

icrosoft Corporation will sell its first computer, a device called Surface RT, for as little as $499 as the software maker pushes into the tablet market dominated by Apple Incorporation’s iPad. The first iteration of the device, powered by a chip with technology from ARM Holdings Plc, will be available as a 32- gigabyte model for $499, the company said in a statement. With a black cover, it will cost $599, and a 64-gigabyte version will be $699. The machine goes on sale October 26, and Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft will take a limited number of early online orders starting at 12 p.m. New York yesterday. The world’s largest software maker needed a device priced under $500 to lure customers away from the iPad and to compete with Amazon.com Incorporation and Google Incorporation, which are pushing prices lower in the tablet category, said Bob O’Donnell, an analyst at market-research firm IDC. The latest version of the iPad starts at $499 for a 16-gigabyte device that, like the Surface, uses a Wi-Fi short range wireless connection. “Everything is pulling tablet prices down to below $500, so anything over $500, that is a tablet that is going to look expensive,” he said. The snap-on cover, which includes a full keyboard, is one of the key features that make the Surface different from other tablets. Customers can buy the cover for $119.99 in black, white, magenta, cyan and red, according to the statement. Surface will be sold in Microsoft’s retail stores, including 34 temporary locations set up for the holidays. They’re also available online in the US, UK, China, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Australia and Canada. The tablet has a 10.6-inch display and will run the new version of Microsoft’s operating system, which also goes on sale October 26.

The software maker is stepping up its assault on the tablet market as consumers choose the devices over laptops, weakening personal-computer sales and curbing Windows revenue. In the third quarter, total global PC shipments fell 8.3 per cent from a year earlier to 87.5 million, market-research firm Gartner Incorporation said last week. Since the iPad went on sale in April 2010, Apple has led the tablet market, which is predicted by DisplaySearch to reach $63.2bn this year. Apple has 61 percent of the market, according to Gartner. Apple may introduce a smaller, less expensive version of the iPad at an event on Oct. 23, a person familiar with the matter said last week. Apple will probably price the iPad mini at $299 or $349, said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. An older version of the iPad sells for $399 in the US, according to the company’s website. Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and some versions of Amazon’s Kindle Fire with 7-inch screens cost $199. Amazon also sells a Fire with an 8.9-inch screen for $299.

Microsoft Corporation’s Surface tablet computers in Los Angeles.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Global Business

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

T

he comments by Michael Meister, a deputy caucus leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc, and Norbert Barthle, her party’s budget spokesman, indicate a rolling back of German resistance to a full sovereign bailout for Spain. Schaeuble cautioned Spain against seeking aid on top of its bank bailout as recently as last month. For Spain, where Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government has said it won’t request aid until the terms are clearer, a precautionary credit line “would be a possible move,” Barthle said in a text message. The 500 billion-euro ($650 bn) permanent rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, which came into force on October 8, “envisages help for sectors in the economy with limited conditionality.” The views of German lawmakers are critical because they would have to ratify any aid request under parliamentary rules. Spain has cited concern of German rejection for its reluctance so far to seek bailout funds, a condition for trig-

Germany open to Spanish precautionary credit, lawmakers say

Germany Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble

gering European Central Bank help to lower borrowing costs. Barthle’s comment is “important in-

US industrial production rises in stabilization sign

I

ndustrial production in the US rose more than forecast in September, partially reversing the prior month’s slump, indicating manufacturers are regaining their footing. Output at factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4 percent after a 1.4 percent decline in August that was the biggest since March 2009, the Federal Reserve reported today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 85 economists called for production to rise 0.2 percent. Manufacturing, which makes up 75 percent of the total, climbed 0.2 percent. The biggest two-month gain in retail sales in almost two years may mean demand from American consumers is making up for slowing sales overseas and declining business investment as the so-called fiscal cliff approaches. A pickup in manufacturing would help give the world’s largest economy a lift. “Manufacturing is expanding, just at a slower pace,” said Gus Faucher, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh who accurately predicted the production figure. “Where it was leading the recovery, now it’s increasing at about the same rate as the overall economy.” Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from a drop of 1 percent to an increase of 0.7 percent. The prior month was previously reported as a decline of 1.2 percent. Manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of the economy. Capacity utilization, which measures the extent to which plants are achieving their full potential output, rose to 78.3 percent from 78 percent. The cost of living in the US rose in September for a second month, reflecting a jump in energy expenses that failed to trickle through to other goods and services, a report today from the Labour Department also showed. The consumer-price index increased

45

US output factory

0.6 percent for a second month. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a 0.5 percent advance. The so-called core measure, which excludes more volatile food and energy costs, climbed 0.1 percent, less than projected. Stocks rose as companies from Johnson & Johnson to UnitedHealth Group Incorporation raised their 2012 profit forecasts. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.4 percent to 1,446.23 at 9:35 a.m. in New York

sofar as it removes a tail risk that the entire process would be subject to delay or ongoing bickering,” Michael Michaelides, an analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London, said in a client note. German bunds declined and Spanish bonds rebounded from morning losses after the comments. The yield on Spanish 10-year bonds fell 12 basis points to 5.72 per cent at 4:33 p.m. in Berlin. The euro rose as much as 0.9 per cent from Monday’s close to $1.3061, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 1.1 percent. Germany is signaling more willingness to cooperate with its European Union partners on measures to staunch the debt crisis before EU leaders meet in Brussels on October 18-19. Merkel stepped up her praise of Greek reform efforts today after Schaeuble re-

affirmed a commitment to a so-called banking union and one of his deputies said Germany would consider EU proposals to strengthen the monetary union. “We’d have to look at any application that Spain made, whether for a precautionary credit or a full program,” Meister said by phone. “The applicant will have to decide.” The terms attached would vary based on the nature of the request, he said. “But one thing is clear: Whatever is requested, it won’t be without conditions.” The prospect of Spain requesting a sovereign bailout had receded this month as Rajoy was deterred by a perceived German reluctance to endorse any request. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said October 11 the Spanish government had to be sure aid would “materialize” before asking for it and that it would be backed by all European countries.

International demand for US assets rises on Europe

I

nternational purchases of US financial assets rose in August as investors sought shelter from the debt crisis in Europe, boosted by purchases from France, the UK and China. Net buying of long-term equities, notes and bonds totaled $90bn during the month, up from net purchases of $67.2bn in July, the Treasury Department said today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected net buying of $48bn of longterm assets, according to the median estimate. “This report underscores the healthy demand for US Treasury assets globally as the European uncertainty continues to weigh on investors’ sentiment,” Millan Mulraine, senior US strategist for TD Securities in New York, said after the report was released. US assets have maintained their attraction as European leaders struggle to resolve differences on renewed aid for Greece and as Spain holds out on tapping a bailout. The International Monetary Fund’s decision this month to cut its forecast for world economic

growth to 3.3 percent this year and 3.6 percent for 2013 may further increase the lure of US assets as a safe-haven investment. Including short-term securities such as stock swaps, foreigners bought a net $91.4bn in August, compared with net purchases of $74bn the previous month. Estimates of foreign purchases of long-term U.S. assets in August ranged from net buying of $40bn to $75bn, according to five economists surveyed by Bloomberg before the report. China remained the biggest foreign owner of US Treasuries in August after its holdings rose $4.3 billion to $1.15 trillion, according to the Treasury. Hong Kong, counted separately from China, raised its holdings of Treasuries by $2.9 billion to $139.6 billion. France increased its holdings of Treasuries by 6.4 percent to $68.1 billion, and the U.K. raised its holdings by 9.4 percent to $153.6. Switzerland’s holdings of Treasuries rose to $202.2 billion from $190.1 billion, while Ireland rose 4.5 percent to $92.2 billion.

China credit card Romney assails gives way to Japan

C

hina is poised to lose its place as the US’s biggest creditor for the first time since the height of the financial crisis, blunting one of Mitt Romney’s favoured attacks in the presidential campaign. Chinese holdings of Treasuries rose 0.1 percent this year through August to $1.15trn, Treasury Department data on international capital flows released today show. Japan, a stronger ally of the US, raised its stake by 6 percent to $1.12 trillion, on pace to top the list of foreign creditors by January. While Romney promises to label China a currency manipulator if he wins the election and says President Barack

A man walks past a sign featuring US dollars in central Beijing

Obama has been too lenient in trade disputes, foreign demand is a reason Treasury yields remain close to record lows, reducing the cost of credit for the gov-

ernment, companies and individuals. Whoever wins November 6 will depend on both nations to finance a budget deficit that surpassed $1 trillion for a fourth year in fiscal 2012. The candidates hold their second debate today. “We would still have a great need for overseas money,” Dominic Konstam, head of interest-rate strategy in New York at Deutsche Bank AG, one of the 21 primary dealers that trade with the Federal Reserve, said in an October 11 telephone interview. “Whatever deficit we’re running, we’re going to supply a lot of Treasuries and someone’s going to buy them, and if it’s not China it will be someone else.”


46

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Diamond Bank seeks to buy niche European bank

•To raise $500m for lending JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Alex Otti, has said that the bank is in talks to buy a niche European bank to tap into direct investment and trade flows from Europe into the country. Speaking at an investor conference call in Lagos, he said that the bank expects to make an 18 per cent return on equity in 2012 and a pretax profit of up to N30bn, compared with a loss of N16.3bn in the same period of 2011. He said Diamond had received an approval in

principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria for the acquisition and that it would not need to raise additional capital to complete the deal. Otti who did not disclose the name of the bank said, “We are not looking at buying a high street bank. It’s going to be a specialized bank that will complement our services. “We have a lot of business flows in that direction (Europe) and we use third parties to do those ... we strongly believe that if we are successful it will add value to the bank.” He said that the bank had raised $170m in debt this year, and was on track

to boosting its total debt issued in 2012 to $500m, including issuing a planned debut Eurobond at the end of the year, to boost capital adequacy to 17 per cent. Around $70m of the capital already raised had come from the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, he said. The bank declared N18.2bn profit for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012, an increase by 397 per cent when compared to a negative N6.10bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s interest and similar income rose by 47.6 per cent, from N59.8bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2011 to

N88.3bn in 2012. According to the result, taxation stood at N5.05bn in the review period, from N823.2m recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s investment in securities dropped from N1159.5bn in the third quarter of 2011 to N139.5bn in 2012, while deposit from customers increased to N776.8bn in 2012, from N603.02bn in 2011. Further analysis showed a net asset of N106.7bn in 2012, from N85.9bn in 2011 third quarter, while total assets stood at N1.03trn in the review period, from N796.3bn in 2011. Its share price has gained 125 percent so far this year.

Nigerian Eurobonds gain for third day on growth

N

igeria’s $500m of Eurobonds rose for a third day, sending yields to a record low as the outlook for economic growth boosts demand for the nation’s debt. Borrowing costs on dollar debt due 2021 declined seven basis points to 4.68 per cent at in London yesterday, the lowest since their issue in January 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Yields on the international bonds of Africa’s biggest oil producer have declined 147 basis points, or 1.47 percentage points, this year.

The country’s economy is set to expand 6.5 percent in 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan said October 10. That compares with growth of 2.1 per cent for the United States and 0.9 per cent for Germany where yields on 10-year bonds are less than two per cent, according to International Monetary Fund forecast and data compiled by Bloomberg. “The likelihood of a prolonged period of weakness in the developed world will continue to push large amounts of capital to the emerging world - including sub-Saharan Africa -

where growth is expected to hold up relatively well,” Shilan Shah and Neil Shearing, Londonbased economists at Capital Economics Limited said. “As African economies continue to develop, their appeal to bond investors will only grow.” Nigeria plans to sell $1bn of international bonds next year to fund gas pipelines and other infrastructure, Jonathan said earlier this week. The naira fell 0.2 per cent to N157.38 a dollar yesterday. The currency has gained 3.1 per cent this year, the second-

I

nvestors’ appetite on stocks halted three days bearish trend in equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as they took advantage of the relatively low prices of stocks. Specifically, the AllShare Index gained 0.12 per cent to close at 27,109.62 points, as against the decline of 0.77 per cent recorded the preceding day

to close at 27,077.66 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N10.2bn to close at N8.63trn, in contrast to the drop of N66.9bn recorded the preceding day to close at N8.62trn. DN Meyer Plc led the gainers’ table with 22 kobo or 9.95 per cent to close at N2.43 per share, followed with 7UP Plc with N1.95 or five per cent to close at N40.95 per share. Portland Paints Plc gained 16 kobo or 4.86 per cent to close at N3.45 per

share, while Cutix Plc increased by six kobo or 4.84 per cent to close N1.30 per share. AG Leventis Plc added seven kobo or 4.67 per cent to close at N1.57 per share. On the flip side, Sterling Bank Plc lost 22 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N1.98 per share, while First City Monument Bank Plc fell 36 kobo or 9.94 per share. AIICO Plc declined by seven kobo or 9.72 per cent to close at 65 kobo per share, while Dangote

Source: FMDA

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 GAINERS

best performer in Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Yields on the nation’s 16.39 per cent bonds due 2022 fell eight basis points to 13.67 per cent, according to yesterday’s prices on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Local currency bond purchases appear to include new entrants to the market who have been alerted to Nigeria on their radar screen following its inclusion in the JPMorgan government bond index,” Gregory Kronsten, Head of Economic Research at FBN Capital Limited said.

Index rises 0.12% in bullish trading JOHNSON OKANLAWON

Source: FMDA

Sugar Plc depreciated by 50 kobo or 8.93 per cent to close at N5.10 per share. Custodian Insurance Plc dipped by 10 kobo or 6.67 per cent to close at N1.40 per share. Transaction volume in equities rose by 27.7 per cent, as a total of 444.91 million shares valued at N3.75bn were exchanged in 6,617 deals, compared to 348.30 million shares worth N2.21bn traded in 6,136 deals the preceding day.

COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

DNMEYER

2.21

2.43

0.22

9.95

7UP

39.00

40.95

1.95

5.00

PORTPAINT

3.29

3.45

0.16

4.86

CUTIX

1.24

1.30

0.06

4.84

AGLEVENT

1.50

1.57

0.07

4.67

PZ

25.02

25.95

0.93

3.72

WEMABANK

0.54

0.56

0.02

3.70

UNITYBNK

0.56

0.58

0.02

3.57

CONTINSURE

0.91

0.94

0.03

3.30

UPL

4.30

4.40

0.10

2.33

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

STERLNBANK

2.20

1.98

0.22

-10.00

FCMB

3.62

3.26

0.36

-9.94

AIICO

0.72

0.65

0.07

-9.72

DANGSUGAR

5.60

5.10

0.50

-8.93

CUSTODYINS

1.50

1.40

0.10

-6.67

DIAMONDBNK

4.32

4.05

0.27

-6.25

FIDELITYBK

2.32

2.19

0.13

-5.60

ASHAKACEM

19.00

18.05

0.95

-5.00

HONYFLOUR

2.60

2.47

0.13

-5.00

UBA

5.65

5.37

0.28

-4.96

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

34,888.90

13.95

25-Oct-12

182-Day

45,000.00

14.50

25-Oct-12

364 -Day

31,385.90

16.49

25-Oct-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

356-Days

193,954.35

16.20

4-Oct-12

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$180m

N/A

$162m

15-Oct-12

$120m

N/A

$120m

10-Oct-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

47

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at October 16, 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)

;""$ %!"%

"    ( 1 

 &  

*   

 +  /0 1++/+)   +

& , &

,   

/'

)( () &),-

,' &'(( '-- -+.(+/*

$0   12    

+12  * +)



)

'((('(&

,   

/-

-(***(*)4

'.-'(&) 3+('-.(+++

  

'/

'(3-4(**.

35(+)/(-+56'/

)(. () ()& )( &)

,' '&(& ,( '.'& '(&,',,

,   

)33

))(+.+('4.

'((() .'&..)& &'-,)( '-.-'()(. '',(), 5-(/.-(+++

  

)33

))(+.+('4.

5-(/.-(33/6)+

,   

  

,   

)

,   

  

  +) 01 1 15+11+ 21

(' (' 53(+++

  

)( ) )((

'() -') 43(+++

&'... ' '

4

)/4('''

.'--)( &'&) ') 3*5(+++

4(+5-

/**(*.+(*'-

)(*5*('.+(4/+64*

 &'

&) ') 33/(+++

 

()( )(

4

,   

))4(3/+

&    

 

) ).

3/

('&( '(- -+(+/5

'..'-)-- &'-) 3('*)(+++

-

),

35

-',(. 35/(.*'

2 /1++) *1 ++ +  /1+1  0/1)+ /4511+) 1/11 +/01

/3

)4/(..*

'-'&-,), )(+/5(+++ /('.+(3/-63.

,   

  

(

,   

*

)(

(&' *4-(+++

),, -) &) )( -)

/**

(' .&.'( .'&., '( '-'&(& )(4'-(3--

,(' .'., '. '((' ('

5)

)(**5(//3

('.) .,-'&)& -'(.-',) ',-')& &,'() 3)(+)3(+++

5-

)('5)(4-3

3)(3//(*)56+4

,('

,.'() .5(+++



)(

3

3.*(+++

" 0 

.') )'/(+++

 0 8 99 : 2  

    (

) )( ,) ). )

    

,   

450+

   &

"

 021++0 1

 +01  +

 , 2 & 

,   

)( )(

7    & 0 

 #%! 

/1 6)+) 01

1+ 11 +61 +) 3 1)61 +) 116)+)

4)(5-5()+/

'-',,-) .('() -&',-)& ') ('() '-()( ',-,) ,.'() '() )-(*5.(+++

7%$7!%

! %   0  

0 42+ / )+1/

  21 +  +   21 5+  +

 

0 #1%+) 1+//50 +  4++)

"    27 0  

,   

('..'(' ((-' ' '( &'(. ',.,(' (&'&

  ; "   

 !#"2!%$% 

30+10 1)+)   1+)

)'-

,   

0  "  

.   ( (

)( )( )( )( )( )( )( )( )(.

 88   ( 1 

 $%!%

))+21 11+) 3  ++)

 1)+)  1 +  1  *1 0+)

&(  .     , (

))/1 0 #1%+) 11 0 )+)  1

0 )+)

210 1 0+

 1 0+

++11 0+) 011 0+) 012 +1 0 /4+ 611 0+

&'() ('-'&)., '&'&()- '()**(+++

') -'-('.). -'.-'-), ',) &'.('&.)( /*5(''/(+++

 0 8 999 



#11%+)

)..

/

,   

'& -(4++

,'&-) .)(+++

&  8  

 

/ + 7811 ++

)( )-&

)

,   

(' ( *+(*/-

(') ',()& )'(+++

     0 



1 +

,   

  

)(

(

'.() 3(+++

3

*++

'

)*)(4/-

)35(+3364+

&'' -'&(. ('( '(,' &-(' &' ('( (' .,('.( ' ('

.,'-'). .',)( '&&'.,)( '.-',()( (.'-,-'(&) &'). '.() &('(.) &(''&()( -') -'-) 3.-(-'4(+++

"# !"$ 

8 

.70 +1 /)+)

&,

,   

4.

 *+ 0/1++ +   0*14+ *+ 0/1++ 1)+)

. ( .

-  . .

&),(

&&,'& 44.(-4/

-',')., 35(3.+(+++

-) () )

'&('& '-,'---&'.

'&',)- '-'-()&. ('(('-)

)&. )& (),( ).

('&&',,  '. ''

'-('-)( '() '&'()- .-'.,) -5(-/3(+++

 /+ 1 + + / ) * )1)+  /+ /4+) *1 +0/110/11+ 16+ +*6 +) 1  1 /0*0   +1 5 0 11

;&  

 #%! 

;&  

 46++*+ 0/1+++ 1)*+ 0/1++ +) 1 + + )1)+ 01)+)

,   

4)3

33(*/4(/.)

,   

 .

) ()

)3'

&',&' '.*(+4+()5.

&.'.'-) .'(.'(,), ))+(5'.(+++

7  , 

-)( -) .) )& ) )& )( ). ()),)&(

/+)

,   

5(/'-(./-

%  %  &  

(

01+)

)

*

,   

-'& 3)5(+4/

'&((), 3--(+++

& 1882  

2  6 5 1

+

 +) 11 /0*01 /

;&  990  

0411+)  +11+)

        (.  

,   

  

  

),, ,)( )-

 &. ',-',-,

-*

)(.5)(-/-

(.) '&)- ('.&'-) *(+'5(+++

/')

33(45'(-3*

)+3(.3'(.*-64.

&

&)-- +

#!$!% #!%

  

21* /1+)

,   



)&

//

' ---(-3)

'-&'-)& )()54(+++

(),( &)(

'-' -'.,-

,   

35+

)(543(43.

('('()-& '-') 54(.'4(+++

  

3()-+

)/(**4(*)3

'*4(++4(34+6'-

-4

9   8



/0+12 +

 (.

(),

3

,   

& 27 &  

80

 11+) 01+211+)



) ))  +)

,   

  

)(

&'.

)

3)4('++

'() -)(+++

/

3)4('-4

-)(-.-655

,'.-'&,&

('.,'(),& *('.3(+++

"$ 

% 8%<   0 

-(

30+ 1+5/11/ 21 +

)(-

5*

,   

.('-5(4.4

" 8    0 

;""$ %!"%

.

 +

18



+) 1/ +   1 +1   *1+14+ *1  *1)+ *1 14/ 0/+) 040 +)

4+

11+

+1+) 0+ 01 1)+) 014+ 6/+) 81+

,   

(   , .-  -   &, ( (.  (

,) &)( )&, ), .) ) ) &) .), ),(). .), )()( -)

/(5+4

,'(,&', -'(('& .'&& &'.'-('.-'. '.'( '(,'. ('' &' -'-(.'.,( ,'.('&- '',- ('(&'& ,'-- .'-'(( /3)(4+-(*.-

-','.). -','(&-) -'.',,-). -,'&-'(,). '').& ,',('&)(- &.&',,',) &'-&'&--)(( '-,'-,)- .'..'-) &,-''&.)-( '('.), ','&(,).- .'() &,'-'&,)(, )(**.(++/(+++

"    ( 1 

11 1 0+)  1+1 0+    1 0 /4 0  1++11 0+ 9014

0+)  ++11 0+ 111 0+ 011 0+) +1

0+ / 1 0+ /00+*1 

0+)

(   & (     

)( ),& )( )& )( )( )( )( )( )-( )(

'-'(, ('(-' -', '' -'( -' -' ' '' &'. '

&'(('.)& &','().( ,',-) ',&') &'() &'() &(') -') '') ,('-&) (')

)

3'/

,   

'&-', )(-45(/-.

'(.',,()( /)(*)5(+++

&  &  &  

   (

  1++ +) *  1++) / 1+ 1+1+) /  1+11+)  +11+)

,   

  

 





)., ) ) () ))

&'(.& ((.'(, (,', ', -- '&&-

5-

'.)(**)

/44

3/()+.(43*

-',.) ''(.(). (',-)(- '-.-'-&). ('() (''&() 3.(-5+(+++ *'(...(3*36+/

 

  

    

   



)(

'

() 3(+++

%!"%

0 8

* /1+

,   

3

3(+++

 , 2 & !  

1  +)

,   

&

)-(

34

'. 3/3()/'

&'(,()- )4'(+++

  2; 8 2 0 

 

+



,   

))

)

'.'. 3('33(3/'

('('&). *()+*(+++

%    

51+ 1+)

,   

(

)(

*

' )-+(/++

'() 3/+(+++

7 2$88

13 ++  01  /4 *11+)

,   

 

)& &)(

3'

(-'- ( /*.(/++

,-'&.&) ') 4+3(+++

 2%  

 //011  +

&

,   

4

/4

+) +*1+ 012 14

+)

 & 

,   

)'

)(

'&/)(4+5

'&) 3-(+++

&  82&,8

)& ) &)&

' '&. &''-,, 4(4-+(+4-

-'&) (-'&,) ,'-'.), 3.(5)*(+++

  9!   0 

1+1 21 + 1 1 + 11211 +1 /4

,   

 ( *4

)&)

,('. '', 3(4-3(5..

',)- -'('(&) 5(4/-(+++

  

344

5(43'(/)'

/4()-+(3*+64*

  

-(-3'

444(.35(435

/('*4(*.*(.)/6-)

 

-(-3'

444(.35(435

/('*4(*.*(.)/6-)


Cocktail

48

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (24) Studies have shown that scientists and engineers who talk most with their peers hold more patents, publish more papers, and produce more innovative work than their more aloof colleagues. –Daniel Burrus *** Be A River! Lake stinks because it does not flow. Revelation is never focused on a single mind. There is so much that we can gain from each other when we constantly seek to interact with people. This year alone I publicly stood side by side with more than 1000 individuals to take pictures and interact one on one. The experience is powerful to my soul. And I used to be a recluse! I am targeting 5000 in 2012. No matter where you are today, there are people you can interact with that will expand your life a thousand fold. Let’s interact. Let’s flow like a river! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

World’s most expensive cocktail for $8,824

S

alvatore Calabrese creates the world’s most expensive cocktail. (YouTube) Famed cocktail bartender Salvatore Calabrese has broken the Guinness World Records mark for creating the most expensive cocktail in history. “I’m not only going to make the most expensive cocktail in the world but surely the world’s oldest cocktail,”

Calabrese says in a video documenting the eponymous “Salvatore’s Legacy” at the Playboy Club London. He notes that the ingredients used have a combined age of more than 700 years: “730 years of history,” he says. “Truly a liquid history in a glass.”

For the rest of us, sipping the concoction will cost a hefty $8,824. ShortList Magazine explains that the four ingredients used to make the cocktail are hundreds of years old: a 1778 Clos de Griffier vieux cognac, a 1770 Kummel liqueur, a circa

1860 Dubb orange Curacao and two dashes of Angostura bitters dating from around 1900. Calabrese surpassed the previous record holder, a high-end Old Fashioned made by the Skyview Bar in Dubai and worth a reported $6,054.30.

Club sacks same coach for third tim time this season

B

ulgarian club Etar Veliko Tarnovo sacked coach Tsanko Tsvetanov for the third time since the start of the season on Monday. Tsvetanov had been fired after Etar’s 1-0 loss at Beroe Stara Zagora in August and then after the 1-0 home defeat by newcomers Pirin Gotse Delchev in September only to be reinstated in both cases due to protest from fans.

The 42-year-old crowd favourite, capped 40 times and part of the Bulgaria team that finished fourth in the 1994 World Cup finals, was first appointed Etar coach in January and guided them to the top flight after 14 years in the lower divisions. A club statement said Tsvetanov was fired due to a “series of statements against Turkish owner Feyzi Ilhanli and actions that undermine the prestige of the club”.

Last month, Ilhanli accused Tsvetanov of being involved in matchfixing while Bulgaria’s prosecutor has opened an investigation into suspicious games. Tsvetanov has denied any wrongdoing. In happier times, Etar were 1991 Bulgarian champions and provided five players for the famous 1994 squad but are now second from bottom in a league characterised by bizarre stories.

Salvatore Calabrese creates the world’s most expensive cocktail.

PHOTO: YOUTUBE


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

Community Mirror Senator to partner communities on development

“Nigeria needs leadership at all levels and sectors that is patriotic, knowledgeable, selfless and incorruptible with a strength of character, value and moral.”

50

DEPUTY SENATE PRESIDENT, IKE EKWEREMADU

IGP promises transformation of police AZA MSUE KADUNA

T

he Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, has reiterated his commitment to carry out a transformation of the police force to enhance service delivery to the people. Abubakar stated this while commissioning a four classroom block renovated by the First Bank of Nigeria PLC, at the Police College, Kaduna. He said, “to go about this, is to begin with the transformation of the colleges. If you train officers in a conducive environment, they will be well cultured, nurtured, trained and come out as refined police officers. And of course Nigerians would be at the receiving end by getting better services”.

Abubakar, who was represented by the DIG Training, Marvel Akpoyibo, described the effort as community policing and interservice collaboration, as he commended the bank for the gesture which he described as a welcome development in the face of commitment to transform the training colleges to modern institutions. He called on corporate organizations and well-meaning Nigeri-

ans to emulate the gesture, saying the Federal Government cannot do it all as security is everybody’s business. “So corporate organizations should come to the aid of the Federal Government, because if the police is well run, it will positively affect security in the country”. Earlier, the Executive Vice President, Public Sector, North, First Bank Nigeria PLC, Dauda Lawal, said it became imperative as a cor-

porate organisation to identify with the police force, as Nigeria today is faced with security challenges. “Without presence of the police, the banks will not function. And therefore, we have an obligation to look out for what we can do for the police in Nigeria”, he said. Meanwhile, Commandant, Police College, Kaduna, CP Sanusi A. Rufai, expressed gratitude with the IGP for selecting the college for the renovation work, while commend-

ing the bank management for its selfless service to the nation, particularly the police. Rufai, however, appealed to the IGP not to relent in his effort to reposition the police. “I solicit the IGP to consider improving capacity of the college by carrying out more renovation work on existing infrastructure, with a view to solving problems facing the premier institution and restoring its lost glory,” he added.

Agbara tasks Amosun on road rehabilitation FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

A

s Ogun State Government expressed readiness to rehabilitate roads in the three Senatorial Districts of the state, the people of Agbara in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government, have implored the government not to abandon the bad roads in the area. Speaking, a community leader in Agbara, Emmanuel Abioje, charged Governor Ibikunle Amosun to ensure the area benefits from the new road rehabilitation project. Abioje, who commended Amosun for efforts at transforming the state, said the road rehabilitation would further consolidate his grassroots infrastructural developments. With particular reference to Atan-Agbara; Lusada- Igbesa roads that urgently need repairs, the deputy Vice Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, stressed that the roads would transform the economic fortunes of the area when rehabilitated. Abioje said the roads are essential since Agbara industrial area has generated income in no small measure to coffers of the state.

POLLUTION: A LAGBUS spewing toxic carbon monoxide at Oshodi, Lagos.

PHOTO: TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

Firm demands debts payment WALE IGBINTADE

N

IC Securities and Trust Limited has vowed to enforce the judgement of a Lagos High Court which ordered a popular football Administrator, Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe to pay N16.1 million debt. The firm noted that three years after a court order, the defendant {Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara} has refused to pay the judgment debt. The firm, through its lawyer, Abu Steve stated that Justice J O Pedro (Mrs.) of the Lagos High Court had, in her ruling on September 25, 2009, ordered the defendant to pay N16, 013,260.85 being outstanding loan and interest obtained from the claimant (NIC Securities) on November 18, 2003.

Justice Pedro, also ordered the defendant to pay 21 percent interest on the judgment sum and additional six percent until final liquidation of the debt. The claimant had in suit NoLD/1849/2006 filed by its lawyer, Abu Steve against the defendant urged the court to compel the defendant to pay back the loan granted to him. On its statement of claim, NIC Securities and Trust Ltd, named one Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe, who was said to be trading under the name and style of Gombe Telecoms as at time he approached the former for a loan facility. The claimant stated that on September 4, 2003, the defendant approached it for a loan of N2, 835,500 (Two Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty-five Thousand and Five Hundred Naira).

The claimant, said it granted the defendant the loan, with some understanding which was reduced into writing signed by both parties. The claimant averred that on November 18, 2003, the defendant applied for an additional N1, 000,000 (One Million Naira), in addition to the earlier granted loan of N2, 835,500 (Two Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty-five Thousand, Five Hundred Naira). By the claimant’s letter to the defendant of November 19, 2003, the defendant was granted an additional N1, 000,000 (One Million Naira) by the claimant on same terms and conditions as the earlier loan. The additional facility was backed by a letter of approval dated November 19, 2003. Further claims as stated by the claimant are: “That the loan and

the interest thereon as at October 31, 2006 stand at N16,013,260,85 (Sixteen Million, Thirteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty Naira, Eighty-five kobo).” NIC also claimed that, despite numerous demands to the defendant through its solicitor for repayment of the said loan and interest, the defendant persistently refused/neglected to pay back the said loan and the interest. NIC Securities had written various letters to the defendant including that of March 19, 2006 and 22nd August, 2006, without any responsive efforts from the defendant to liquidate the loan. Besides, the claimant alleged that the act of the defendant was fraudulent by using an enterprise to enter into loan transaction and stating same to be an incorporated company.


50

Community Mirror

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Senator to partner communities on development JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

A

member representing Plateau South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Victor Lar, has promised to bring development to his constituency through project execution. The Senator, who disclosed this at a meeting with people in Shendam Local Government Area, said he will organise a conference of all Community Development Associations, CDA, in the zone where they will identify priority projects for their areas. Senator Lar, said he will pay the mandatory 10 percent cost of each project while the Community Development Agency will pay 90 percent, adding that communities will identify projects that are on their priority lists. Lar, who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Narcotics and Financial Crimes, pointed out that like money laundering, he wants to initiate a bill that would give independence to the Financial Intelligence Unit and Nigerian Investment Promotion Council. He stressed that there are a number of investment laws he intends to look into and propose a bill to actualise the Institute of Social Worker of Nigeria, ISWN, as precondition to making it the recognized body for

care of the aged and elderly people in Nigeria. Senator Lar, further disclosed that he will award scholarships to students, especially those undertaking studies in Medicine, Law, Engineering, Pharmacy, Accountancy and Architecture, adding that the scheme is targeted at intelligent and gifted indigent students with no one to financially support them. He further added that sections 69 and 110 of the Constitution provides for constituents to assess the performance of their elected representatives and empowers them to recall if they are found to be wanting. According to him, that enforces the duty of accountability on elected representatives, saying the essence of the meeting is for him to brief them on what he is doing, the legislative activities of the National Assembly and to be able to get feedback from the people. His words, “You heard suggestions from the people; like the revenue allocation formula, creation of ministry of religious affairs, removal of immunity clause, autonomy for local governments and financial autonomy to state Houses of Assembly. These were suggestions coming from the interactive session.” He added that, it is for

Market leader lauds governor for halting demolition NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

T

he leader of the Bridge-head market traders, Sir Peter Okala, has commended Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, for prompt response to cries of the traders which helped avert breach of peace to lives and property. In a statement issued in Onitsha, Okala noted that it is heartwarming to see the governor responding to the yearnings of the traders that he personally allocated 30 metres from the dual carriageway as demarcation limit to any demolition exercise. According to him, “Once again, I commend the governor for attending to the

people’s problem and being available to personally assess situations on ground”. He contended that this singular act is the opposite of situations where church leaders and traditional rulers go out of their way to give recognition to corrupt people, reward them and their family members with titles which are unacceptable in a decent society. As I watched the Governor personally supervising the demolition of a choice house of kidnap king pin recently, it gladdened our heart that the future of our children is secured. “Today, at Bridge-head Market, there is the sigh of relief even between the traders and the Moslem community, as a result of the pragmatism of the administration,” he disclosed.

him to get that in order to guide him in his legislative functions and to also share

his vision and experience with the people. Lar noted that he is sat-

isfied and overwhelmed at the turn out and also patience and level of under-

standing and commitment the people displayed at the parley.

On going rehabilitation work on Calabar-Itu Highway.

Imo donates relief materials to flood victims CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

T

he victims of flood in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State have at last received relief materials more than two weeks after being sacked from their homes by the ravaging Blue Lake that overflowed its banks. Speaking at ceremony at Oguta Town hall, Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha,

represented by Secretary to the Government, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, said that he was deeply moved by the condition of the flood victims while inspecting the affected areas, describing the experience as painful and should not be politicized. He said it was for love he has for Imo people and Oguta in particular that informed his earlier response to the situation and donation of relief materials

through Imo State Oil Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), adding that he has appealed to the Federal Government, NDDC, Shell, AGIP, Chevron and all relevant agencies to come to aid of the people. He said the relief material by ISOPADEC was to inaugurate the process and urged the people to remain calm as donations from these other bodies including the Federal

Government, would soon arrive. Items donated include bags of rice, mattresses and mosquito treated nets. The governor further said that the government had already set up a flood disaster relief committee, to ensure even and effective distribution of relief materials to the victims and to collaborate with other agencies for effective disaster management.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Arrest perpetrators of Kaduna killings, JNI asks govt AZA MSUE KADUNA

A

Muslim organisation, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, yesterday asked the Kaduna State Government to fish out perpetrators of the attack in Dogon Dawa, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area in which more than 20 worshippers were killed. Condoling with the vic-

Bauchi Assembly’s decision on LG polls unacceptable –CDC

North

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

tims, the JNI described the attack as senseless. The JNI Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said in an online statement that the Federal Government must take urgent and effective steps to address the security situation in the country. He said: “Once again, we are in shock and deep mourning after receiving the devastating news of

another orchestrated and senseless attack on Muslims observing their early morning prayers in a mosque in Dogon Dawa, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Sunday October 14, 2012. The attack claimed the lives of over 20 worshipers, including a community leader. This is utterly condemnable and reprehensible.” Aliyu noted that the at-

tack occurred a few weeks after the country witnessed the killing of innocent students in Mubi in Adamawa State, Maiduguri in Borno State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State. “The JNI uses this medium to express its strong condemnation of such devilish Dogon Dawa attack and urges the Kaduna State Government not to leave any stone unturned in fishing out the perpetrators of this heinous crime. And they must be punished according to their crime,” he added.

Explore mineral resources to develop Katsina, Assembly tells govt JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

K

atsina State Government has been advised to expedite action in exploring available mineral resources to generate employment and boost the economy of the state. The state House of Assembly gave the advice yesterday when its Committee on Special Duties visited the Commissioner

EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

T

he Congress for Democratic Change, CDC, has condemned the decision of the Bauchi State House of Assembly to approve two separate laws barring the state government from conducting local government elections in the 20 councils of the state. The state Chairman of CDC, Musa Mato, said in a statement that the first law gave too much room for the government to keep aside the issue of the council polls for fear of possible breach of peace in the state. He added that the second law ordered the government to abandon the polls and use all funds meant for the elections to carry out important projects across the state. Mato therefore wondered who would cause unrest in the state to prevent the conduct of the local government polls. He added that the forum was worried about the decision of the Assembly, which he described as a ploy to deny the electorate access to dividends of democracy. Mato called on the lawmakers to allow the people to choose their leaders in line with democratic values. He also urged the CDC supporters to remain calm and shun violence, saying the party was doing everything possible to challenge the decision in court. However, the CDC chairman commended the appointment of Abdulmumini Muhammaad Kundak as the chairman of Bauchi State Independent Electoral Commission, BASIEC.

51

A cross-section of governors and deputy governors of eight polio endemic states at a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

for Solid Minerals and Resource Development, Mr. Musa Nashuni. The lawmakers called on the government to “put necessary machinery in motion to harness available mineral deposit in the state.” The Committee Chairman, Hon. Sale Magaji (PDP, Sandamu), said the call became necessary in view of the “pressing need to boost the state’s economy and provide employment opportunity for the teeming youths.” Magaji said the visit was also to validate claims of the existence of crude oil at Bamle village in Mashi Local Government. He said the committee, in collaboration with the state Ministry of Resource Development, would conduct an on-the-spot assessment of the area to ascertain the existence of oil. In his response, Nashuni said the government had signed an agreement with an Austrian firm to conduct survey of solid minerals in the state. He said efforts were being put in place to ensure that available mineral resources were harnessed for improved revenue and employment generation for the youth.

Aliyu’s govt embarking on anti-people policies –Opposition PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

T

he Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, have accused the Niger State Government of embarking on an elitist rather than pro-masses policy thrust. The parties also called on the government to furnish the people with account of the N5 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it entered with the

SNECOU Group of Companies to execute rural electrification, health services and water projects, across the state. The state Chairman of CPC, Mallam Umar Shuiabu, flanked by his counterparts in the ANPP, Hajiya Jummai Mohammed and ACN, Mr. Isah Mokwa, at a joint press briefing in Minna at the NUJ Press Centre, said the anti-people policies had brought about unprecedented economic dislocations, especially with the wanton demolition of

houses, shops, and markets between 2008 and 2010. Shuiabu also said that the MoU with SNECOU, like other projects, was not only designed to fail, but sign-posted by extreme failure, adding that there was no evidence of the endorsement of the appropriate approving authority prior to implementation. He said: “The MoU offered the PPP partner a ‘blank cheque’ in the sense that it provides for ascertaining the final costs at the end of each project, thereby

committing the state to pay any amount presented to it thereafter.” Aside that, the CPC chairman raised questions on other projects executed in the state such as the Niger-American Medical City, the Millennium Shopping Plaza, the Minna Five Star Hotel, the Ward Development Projects and demanded explanations on all the monies spent on them. Shuiabu noted that with the exception of the Ward Development Projects, the others were conceived un-

der PPP concept with faulty conception, breach of due process/diligence, unsatisfactory performance and serial failures characterising them. The CPC chairman also called on the state House of Assembly to disabuse the minds of people on the insinuation that they were always at the beck and call of Governor Babangida Aliyu. He said: “This allegation has trailed the recent legislative action of dismissing a petition calling for the impeachment of the governor.

Calls for Sambo’s resignation unwarranted, says group A ZA MSUE KADUNA

T

he Coalition of Northern Professionals, CNP, yesterday flayed calls for the resignation of VicePresident Namadi Sambo over the insurgency in the North. The group said those behind the call should

rather commend the vicepresident for working tirelessly with President Goodluck Jonathan to transform the country. The CNP Chairman, Mr. Ahmed Mohammed, said in an e-mail statement that the attack on Sambo by a group, Democracy Dividends Development Initiatives, DDDI,

was unwarranted. Mohammed explained that the vice-president had been in the forefront of efforts to unite the North, adding that the apex northern group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, had on different occasions commended Sambo for the implementation of peace, unity and

development roadmap of the region. He said: “The Coalition of Northern Professionals, a Non-Governmental Organisation, non-profit making body, views the recent attack on the person of the Vice-President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, by the group, Democracy Dividends Development

Initiatives, as unwarranted and uncalled for. “However, for the avoidance of doubt, CNP wishes to state categorically that for those that did not know Suleiman Ahmed Akasawua or his antecedents, he was an ally of the vice-president when he was governor of Kaduna State.


52

News

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Dogon Dawa police post shut down before attack –Commissioner A ZA MSUE KADUNA

T

he Kaduna State Police Command yesterday said its only police post in Dogo Dawa Birnin Gwari was shut down before Sunday’s attacks which killed 27 persons as a result of the ac-

tivities of the Boko Haram sect. The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Olufemi Adenaike stated this at a press conference in Kaduna. According to him, all police posts that cannot be adequately manned by the force have been closed and merged with other police

stations close to them to strengthen them. He said: “It was because of that, that the Dogon Dawa Police Post was merged with Damari Police station, so that it would not be overrun by the Boko Haram sect and can withstand any attack. That is what happened in Dogon

Dawa.” The command also denied that one of its men, Musa Shero, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, who is in charge of Kuyello police post, led the attack on the people. Musa, who personally narrated his side of the story to newsmen, noted

that he was in his house on the day of the attack, when he got a call that Dogon Dawa was under attack. “When I got a call, I contacted the Mobile Force stationed around the area to move in, but they had no fuel. I had to personally give them money to buy fuel,” he said. The Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Birnin Gwari, Abubakar Abubirchi, who corroborated the report, also revealed

that he was the first officer to reach the place after the attack, adding that the attackers had gone by that time. Meanwhile, a former governorship aspirant in the state, who is also a resident of the area, Alhaji Shuaibu Mikati has raised the alarm that about 1,000 armed bandits are residing along the Kaduna, Zamfara border, warning that they could unleash terror on residents again if not dislodged.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

53

World News

Obama, Romney face-off in second debate

54

PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

P

resident Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is “out of danger” and will remain at the helm of Mauritania while he recovers in France after being shot at a soldiers’ checkpoint in what he said was an accident, the Information Minister said yesterday. The government initially said he had been only “lightly wounded”, although sources have said he was shot in the back during the incident, details of which remain sketchy, Reuters has reported. The shooting late on Saturday set the coup-prone northwest African country on edge and the president appealed to Mauritanians to keep calm in a televised message from his hospital bed before he was flown out for further treatment. “We are not at all concerned about the situation. The president is out of danger and he is being looked after in a specialised hospital and we hope he will soon return,” Information Minister Hamdi Ould Mahjoub told Reuters by phone. “The government under the authority of the prime minister continues to work normally, as when the president is travelling abroad. There is no power vacuum and the prime minister is coordinating with him,” Mahjoub said. Mauritanian state news agency AMI described his condition as “improving” and said he did not need further surgery. He un-

“Our children get used to tobacco smoke when they’re still babies and have their first cigarette in middle school, that’s why we cannot talk about smoking as a free choice of an adult” – Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev

‘Mauritania president out of danger, still in charge’ derwent surgery in Nouakchott before being flown to France. Abdel Aziz was elected in 2009 after seizing power a year earlier in a coup that cut short the rule of Mauritania’s first democratically elected president. While the country, an ally to the West against al Qaeda, has been stable politically since Abdel Aziz seized power, it lies on the fringes of the Sahara Desert where Islamist gunmen hold in-

creasing sway. Several sources, including from the country’s security services and the president’s office, have told Reuters that Abdel Aziz was driving towards the nation’s capital with a family member when the shooting occurred on Saturday evening. Like most of the country’s elite, Abdel Aziz spent the weekend out of the capital, at his residence in the Inchiri region, about

150 km northeast of Nouakchott. Sources said the president, who often prefers to use limited or no escorts during such trips, was at the wheel of a powerful four-wheel drive vehicle speeding towards the capital. “As nightfall was approaching, the president failed to slow down at a checkpoint. An officer at the checkpoint chased after the vehicle,” one of the sources said, declining to be named.

O

Maarohanye

A teenage girl received 60 lashes in Timbuktu after Islamist extremists convicted her of speaking to men on the street. The girl, about 15 years old, was allegedly caught standing alongside men by the Islamists of Ansar Dine who now run Timbuktu. “The Islamists charged that the girl was warned five times by Islamist police but she continued to speak to men in the street. After the hearing, the Islamists gave 60 lashes to the girl. The population did not turn out in large numbers to attend this flogging,” said Ousmane Maiga, a Timbuktu resident contacted by phone from Bamako. The public whipping took place at around 11 a.m. local time in front of the new headquarters of the Islamic police in downtown Timbuktu, next to Independence Square.

Zimbabwe journalists’ group demands Malema’s apology

President Abdel Aziz recovering at the Ksar Military Hospital in Noukchott on Sunday.

PHOTO: AP

S’African music star convicted for killing four children

ne of South Africa’s foremost hip-hop musicians was convicted yesterday of murdering four school children while street racing, drunk and on drugs, through Soweto, bringing an end to a trial that has gripped the country for

WORLD BULLETIN Girl whipped for speaking to men in Mali

more than two years. The court found Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and his friend, Themba Tshabalala, guilty on four counts of murder and two of attempted murder after their speeding Mini Coopers ploughed into the children as they walked back from school in the sprawling Johannesburg township in March 2010. “The death of the deceased was caused by the accused’s reckless driving at high speeds while under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” judge Brian Nemavhidi said. The pair have not yet been sentenced, but could face life in prison. A TV personality and music star, Maarohanye appeared emotionless as he heard the verdict, which was broadcast live on

television. The mother of one of the victims passed out during the proceedings and had to be carried from the court. Road accidents kill nearly 40

people every day in South Africa, with unreliable vehicles and poor driving - including excessive speeding and drunkenness - mostly to blame.

Guinea expels 26 suspected rebels from Mali

A

military official says that 26 Malian nationals who are suspected rebels are being expelled from the country. They are being driven to the town of Kouremalen, located at the Guinea-Mali border where they will be handed over to Malian authorities. Cmdr. Alpha Barry, spokesman for the Guinea’s paramiltary police, said on Tuesday those being expelled are from Gao in northern Mali and they

arrived around a month ago and set up boutiques in the Matoto neighbourhood of the Guinean capital. Barry said, “They were holding meetings every week, which was suspicious. So we took them in for questioning.” Hamidou Tely, a Malian living in Conakry who knows those being expelled, said they are not rebels, just refugees who had come from Mali’s troubled north to earn a living.

The main Zimbabwean journalists’ group says it is protesting to South Africa and the continentwide African Union over harassment of local reporters by aides of firebrand South African youth leader Julius Malema. The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists said Tuesday it is demanding an “unconditional apology” from Malema for the violence of his bodyguards toward a newspaper reporter and photographer trying to meet him during a private weekend visit to Zimbabwe. Malema’s aides and “violent mobs” surrounding him jostled journalists and seized a camera memory card that stored photos, the journalists’ union said in a statement. The rabble-rousing politician, expelled from South Africa’s governing African National Congress for opposing senior party leaders, had attended a wedding in Harare of militants in President Robert Mugabe’s party youth wing on Saturday.

Malema


54

World News

WORLD BULLETIN Taliban justifies attack on Pakistani schoolgirl Taliban insurgents said yesterday that the Pakistani schoolgirl its gunmen shot in the head deserved to die because she had spoken out against the group and praised U.S. President Barack Obama. Malala Yousufzai, 14, was flown to Britain on Monday, where doctors said she has every chance of making a “good recovery”. The attack on Yousufzai, who had been advocating education for girls, drew widespread condemnation. Pakistani surgeons removed a bullet from near her spinal cord during a three-hour operation the day after the attack last week, but she now needs intensive specialist follow-up care. Authorities have said they have made several arrests in connection with the case but have given no details.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Obama, Romney face-off in second debate

U

S President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney face off in their second highstakes debate early morning on Wednesday at a crucial juncture in the presidential campaign. The debate, which began 2 a.m. Nigerian time at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, offered both candidates their best chance for a breakout moment with time running out

in what promises to be one of the closest presidential contests in recent US history. The pressure was on Obama who has vowed to put up more of a fight in an effort to overcome his lacklustre, momentum-stalling performance in the candidates’ first debate on October 3. Romney, likewise, needed to turn in a repeat of his strong showing in the initial face-to-

face-confrontation, a performance which propelled him into a virtual tie in nationwide polling. Obama still hangs on to small leads in many of the nine key swing states that are likely to determine which man occupies the White House on Inauguration Day on January 20. The so-called battleground states - those that do not reliably vote either Republican or Demo-

Iraq begins central bank corruption probe Anti-corruption investigators have opened an inquiry into Iraq’s central bank tied to alleged manipulation of the local currency’s value against the US dollar, officials said yesterday. While the head of the parliamentary anti-corruption committee and the government anti-graft watchdog both said no charges had been brought, the former said 30 arrest warrants had been issued, including for the Central Bank of Iraq’s (CBI) governor and his deputy. Neither government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh nor judicial spokesman Abdelsattar Bayraqdar responded to multiple calls by AFP requesting confirmation, however. “I can confirm that we received the Central Bank dossier from the integrity committee in parliament,” said Hassan Aati, spokesman for the Integrity Commission, Iraq’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Karadzic denies role in Bosnia killings Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic cast himself as a “mild man, a tolerant man” as he opened his defence yesterday in his long-running genocide trial, claiming he tried to prevent fighting and then worked to reduce casualties in the bloody 1992-95 Bosnian war. His claims brought snorts of derision and cries of “He’s lying! He’s lying!” from some Muslim survivors of the war who were watching the trial from the public gallery at the U.N. tribunal. Karadzic, who faces charges including genocide and crimes against humanity, was given 90 minutes to make a statement on his role in the war that left an estimated 100,000 dead. The statement was not made under oath, meaning Karadzic could not be cross-examined by prosecutors. In another of the tribunal’s courtrooms, Goran Hadzic, a former leader of rebel Serbs in Croatia, became the last of the tribunal’s 161 indicted suspects to face justice as his trial got under way.

President Obama and Republican Romney sparred aggressively in their first campaign debate

PHOTO: AP

cratic - take on outsized importance in the US system where the president is chosen not by the nationwide popular vote, but in state-by-state contests. The candidates took questions on domestic and foreign policy from an audience of about 80 of the coveted uncommitted voters whom both campaigns are so furiously courting. The town hall-style format makes it especially tricky for Obama to strike the right balance in coming on strong against Romney without turning off the audience - and tens of millions of television viewers - by going too negative. With early voting already under way in dozens of states, including such battlegrounds as Ohio and Iowa, the candidates will have little time to recover from any missteps in the debate. Through Monday, either absentee or in-person early voting had begun in 43 of the 50 states. In the first debate, Obama seemed caught unawares and unprepared to respond to Romney’s sudden shift to more moderate positions from the hardline policies he had advocated during the fight for the Republican nomination.

Britain blocks hacker’s extradition to US

A

British computer hacker accused by the United States of causing more than $700,000 damage to U.S. military systems will not be extradited because of the high risk he could kill himself, Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May said yesterday. Gary McKinnon, who has been fighting extradition for seven years, faced up to 60 years in a U.S. jail if found guilty of what one U.S. prosecutor called the “biggest military computer hack of all time”. McKinnon, 46, admits hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers under the pseudonym

“Solo” but said he was looking for evidence of UFOs. The former computer systems administrator has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and is suffering from depressive illness. He has been fighting extradition since British police arrested him in 2005. “I have concluded that Mr. McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr. McKinnon’s human rights,” May told parliament. “I have therefore withdrawn the extradition order against Mr.

McKinnon.” His case was one of the most high-profile extradition decisions ever faced by the British government. Campaigners had said it highlighted the unbalanced nature of Britain’s extradition treaty with the United States, arguing it was easier to send a British suspect to the United States than the other way round. Prime Minister David Cameron expressed sympathy for McKinnon before coming to power in 2011 and raised concerns over the extradition agreement with U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this year.

I take responsibility for Libya attack – Clinton

U

.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assumed responsibility yesterday for last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which has become an issue in the hardfought U.S. presidential campaign. “I take responsibility” for what happened on September 11, Clinton said in an interview with CNN during a visit to Peru, adding that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden would not be responsible for specific security instructions for U.S. diplomatic facilities. “I’m in charge of the State De-

partment’s 60,000-plus people all over the world,” Clinton said. “The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.” Clinton’s comments followed stepped-up criticism of the Obama administration over the Benghazi attack, which Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney has sought to use to dent Obama’s foreign policy credibility before the November 6 election.

Republicans in particular have focused on the Obama administration’s shifting explanations for the attack, which Clinton said in two separate television interviews on Monday were the result of “the fog of war.” “Remember, this was an attack that went on for hours,” Clinton told Fox News. “There had to be a lot of sorting out. ... Everyone said, here’s what we know, subject to change.” The administration initially attributed the violence to protests over an anti-Islam film and said it was not premeditated. Obama and other officials have since said the incident was a terrorist attack.

McKinnon

British legislators had demanded an overhaul of the treaty, signed in 2003 to speed up transfer of suspects between the two allies, saying it was biased in favour of the United States and failed to protect the rights of British citizens. May said she would introduce legislation to allow British judges to block the transfer of suspects to a foreign court in extradition cases. “I have decided to introduce a forum bar. This will mean that where prosecution is possible in both the UK and in another state, the British courts will be able to bar prosecution overseas, if they believe it is in the interests of justice to do so,” May said. U.S. officials say McKinnon accessed 97 military and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002, disabling naval systems and causing more than $700,000 of damage.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

World News

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

55

World’s oldest dad does it again at 96 • His first son was born two years ago in India

A

n Indian man has become the world’s oldest father for the second time at the age of 96. Ramjit Raghav was awarded the title two years ago when he had his first born son Karamjit aged 94. Although he swore one was enough, the pensioner and his wife Shakuntala, 54, welcomed another son Ranjit, last month. Speaking at his home in the state of Haryana, 31 miles from Delhi, Ramjit said: “What can I do? This is all God’s wish. He wanted me to have another son.” When Shakuntala gave birth to the healthy boy earlier this month at the Government hospital in Haryana, the doctors laughed when Ramjit said he was the father. He said: ‘They just laughed but they were very surprised.’ Ramjit, who lives with his family in a studio apartment, has high hopes for his sons. He said: ‘I have been a farmer all my life. But I want them to become high ranking government workers. ‘It’s good that I have another son now. Even if one of them dies, God forbid, I will have someone to carry on my family name.” Ramjit admits that as proud as he is of having two healthy sons at his age, his neighbours are more jealous of his sex drive. Ramjit admits that as proud as he is of having two healthy sons at his age, his neighbours are more jealous of his sex drive He said: ‘I do it three or four times a night. My neighbours are jealous and they keep ask-

ing me for my secret but all I tell them is that it is God’s will. ‘I’m healthy and I enjoy sex with my wife. I think it’s very important for a husband and wife to have sex regularly and when she asks I will go on all night but for the sake of my child I’ve put our needs aside for now.’ Father-of-two Ramjit claims that a daily diet of almonds, butter and milk kept him sexually active. He said: ‘I care for my wife and I give her everything she needs. She is a very happy woman.’ When Ramjit met second wife Shakuntala, he had been a widower for 25 years. The pair met 22 years ago on a rainy morning at a Muslim shrine, Ramjit asked her to come home with him and she has never left. ‘She didn’t have any family or friends around, and I wanted to help her,’ he explains. ‘I took her under my wing and taught her some yoga and we fell in love. Many of my past girlfriends had died so I had never married and then I asked Shakuntala to be my wife.’ Shakuntala believes she would have been dead by now if it was not for Ramjit’s caring ways. She said: ‘It doesn’t matter how old he is, I love him and I care for him dearly even, though he shouts at me sometimes. ‘He doesn’t seem old to me, he can make love like any 25-yearold man, even better because he can go on all night, and he makes a wonderful father.’ Culled from Daily Mail

Ramjit Raghav holding his second baby, Ranjit at the ripe old age of 96

Ramjit Raghav, 96, with his wife, Shankuntala, 54, and sons Karamjit, 2, and newborn Ranjit, is excited to become a father again

Ramjit and Shankuntala, pictured with their oldest son Karamjit in 2010 when Ramjit was named the world’s oldest father the first time. PHOTOS: BARCROFT INDIA

18 face jail as UK police break sham wedding ring

A

well-organised sham marriage gang staged fake weddings with eastern European brides so Pakistani men could illegally enter the UK, a court heard. Czech and Slovak women living in the UK were paid by Rotherham-based Asian organisers to fly out to Pakistan where ‘marriages’ were arranged with Pakistani nationals. Supported by false documents, applications for settlement and family permit visas were submitted to the British High Commis-

sion in Islamabad by Pakistanis seeking leave to join their ‘wives’ in the UK, Sheffield Crown Court was told. As overseas nationals they would have been allowed to stay in the UK as ‘husbands’ of their spouses who were legitimately resident here as EU citizens. But suspicions over the growing number of applications in Islamabad led to the ring being smashed and none of the 62 fraudulent visa applications were ever granted. Prosecutor Sarah Wright said:

‘It was a well-run, professional and indeed commercial operation. It was a massive operation over a considerable period of time.’ The phoney weddings included brides posing for photographs with their ‘grooms’ and pretending they were getting married. The photos were then submitted in support of visa applications along with false documents claiming the women could support their ‘husbands’ in the UK. One 25-year-old Czech woman

claimed to have been married three times in the space of four months and another ‘bride’ was found with £1,000 in her handbag when she returned to the UK. Eighteen defendants are now facing jail when they are sentenced at a later date. In a series of three trials at Sheffield Crown Court which can only now be reported after restrictions were lifted, seven defendants were found guilty after trials of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration to the UK between January 1, 2009 and De-

cember 31, 2011. ‘It was a well-run, professional and indeed commercial operation. It was a massive operation over a considerable period of time.’ Two of the alleged main organisers are on the run. Ms Wright told the court: ‘The aim of the conspiracy was to try and enable the applicants to enter the UK unlawfully. ‘Some of those involved were sponsors of the false applications ie the alleged spouse or fiancee of the applicant.


WORLD RECORD

First domestication of dogs Vol. 02 No. 471

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I

Can Nigeria handle emergencies?

magine a worst case scenario of a tsunami or a magnitude 9.2 earthquake, successively hitting several towns and cities in Nigeria within one minute? How do you see the authorities reacting? As is usual with the palpable inefficiency of the Nigerian state, hundreds of thousands would have been buried under rubbles and falling debris or even swept away by ferocious sea waves before anyone realized what has happened. Curious enough, and given a warped sense of logic and ethereal notion of the divine, most Nigerians think such natural catastrophes would never happen here. Such delusional reasoning is informed by the fact that since they believe Nigeria does not lie along the earth’s geological fault lines as the Asia Pacific region, it is immune from any shift in its tectonic plates. A second fallacy has everything to do with a misplaced belief that as an effu-

M

obolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park in Yaba, the venue that will host some events at the 18th National Sports Festival has been renovated ahead of the competition scheduled to begin on November 27.

N150

The earliest domestication dogs (Canis familiaris) is thought to have been done by Palaeolithic humans in east Asia, approximately 15,000 years ago, as they successfully bred aggression out of wolves (Canis lupus).

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

sively prayerful people, God will never allow such large scale destructions to visit the people. Of course, no country, even those around the so- called ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’ prays for natural disasters, but they are bound to happen any time and place of its choosing. And because of this reality, every country worth its salt is always in readiness to mitigate fallouts from these forces of nature whenever they come calling. It is known that governments, especially in democracies, have risen and fallen based on how they handled the vagaries of nature. In 2005, many cities in southern United States, especially New Orleans and Louisiana, were hard hit by Hurricane Katrina, which till this day remains the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic hurricanes in the history of the country. No less than 1,800 people died from the floods that swamped more than half the state of Louisiana and sent thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as refugees to further afield as places as Houston and Texas, where many still remain in temporary shelters. The former President George Bush (Jnr), was constantly put in the dock all through his administration, for what many Americans saw as bungling and inept handling of that human tragedy. Even with her proverbial technology wizardry, America found the task of dealing with the hurricane’s aftermath very daunting and enervating. Japan is another example of a country that has relentlessly been at the receiving end of both human and natural disasters.

FROM ANAMBRA TO BENUE AND FROM KOGI TO BAYELSA, THE STORY OF BUMBLING INEPTITUDE HAS BEEN THE SAME Yet, it has not only triumphed but seems to have mastered every creative ways of handling them with stoic calmness. The latest Fukushima nuclear disaster is a case in point. To the awe and admiration of the world, the early and efficient emergency response helped to save the country from what would have been the world’s worst nuclear disaster since two of its cities were incinerated by atomic bombs in World War 11. This brings to fore, the Nigerian scenario and present bumbling of rescue and evacuation of flood victims. For the past one month, stories of thousands of people, who have been sacked by menacing floods resulting from heavy and relentless rainfalls, have become a staple of prime time news. The recent flooding was due to increase in water levels of both rivers Niger and Benue, which inundated towns, villages and farmlands and with many victims stranded and nowhere to go or lay their heads. The consequence is the brutal uprooting of entire communities from ancestral homes, while families have

been forcefully separated from their loved ones. Following this, the media is awash with pathetic human tragedies of hunger, starvation, rapes, missing children, kidnappings and even deaths at these concentration camps, called refugee centres. In the face of the ongoing confusion, the authorities seem to be scrambling for clues on how to mitigate this dire situation, but to no effect. From Anambra to Benue and from Kogi to Bayelsa, the story of bumbling ineptitude has been the same. While this stark situation persists, the refugees are left to their fate, as every politician sees this as an opportunity to be caught on camera shedding crocodile tears at the camps. What we hear daily is that the various governments have allocated sufficient funds to cushion the immediate pains of these refugees to buy time to initiate long term solutions to problem of flooding in Nigeria. But such afterthoughts are not only laughable but should be dismissed with wave of the hand. Before now, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had warned of the impending disaster, which it said was due to adverse weather change resulting from severe ‘Green House’ effect. It had implored the federal and state governments to brace up for the fallout from these intense rainfalls, even in those zones that were synonymous with severe droughts. As usual, the advice was ignored and even when all evidences portended a “Noah Ark Syndrome,” everyone laughed it off. Is it any wonder that such leadership style makes it impossible for any Nigerian leader to win the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Good Governance? In no distant time, the plights of these unfortunate citizens will be forgotten, while other Nigerians, in their mortal struggle for survival, will move on without demanding accountability from their rulers, but only to wait for another disaster to realise that they live in a country where they are merely seen as statistics.

Sport Extra

Eko 2012: Rowe Park ready for competition

The medical centre is almost complete while halls that will host events like wrestling and judo including the new toilet facility are ready. Project Manager, Architect Kumbi Ayinla, how-

ever said all the facilities would be ready in the next few days. “We did promise the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Youth, Sports and Social Development that we would

deliver and we have done just that,” Ayinla said yesterday. Meanwhile, the Local Organising Committee for the festival has since secured accommodation at the University of Lagos for

the contingents expected from 36 states and Abuja. Secretary General of the LOC, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, said renovation had been carried out to suit the organisers’ specification for the competitors.

Wahid

Printed and Published by Global Media Mirror Ltd: Head Office: Mirror House, 155/161 Broad Street, Lagos Tel: 07027107407, Abuja Office: NICON Insurance House, Second Floor, Central Business District Area, Abuja Tel: 08070428249, Advert hotline: 01-8446073, Email: mail@nationalmirroronline.net. Editor: SEYI FASUGBA. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos. Printed simultaneously in Lagos, Abuja and Ondo State. ISSN 0794-232X.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012