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Nothing to show for Nigeria’s oil wealth –Niger governor

Kidnappers of Lagos LG boss demand N158m ransom

Nigeria records N285bn drop in year-on-year revenue P.31 OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

Aliyu

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iger State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, NGF, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, yes-

Vol. 3 N0. 601

terday accused the Federal Government of lacking in transparency in the handling of crude oil CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

2015:

N150

Knocks for Jonathan over 32 states target WE WANT TO TELL THE PDP THAT ITS TIME IS UP AND NOTHING, NOT EVEN THE APPLICATION OF WEARY RIGGING

PDP FROM THE OF NIGERIANS IN 2015

TACTICS WILL SAVE THE WRATH

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Bamigbetan

WHERE WILL THEY GET THE 32 STATES? THE CONDITION ON GROUND DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE STATEMENT. THE PRESIDENT COULDN’T HAVE GIVEN SUCH HERCULEAN TASK TO TUKUR THAT HIS POSITION IS BEING CONTENDED

–ACN

–CNPP

TERROR ATTACK: WE’LL BRING PERPETRATORS TO JUSTICE –OBAMA

OUR CORRESPONDENTS

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pposition political parties yesterday turned the heat on President Goodluck Jonathan over his directive to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to widen the party’s grip on power by winning 32 states in the 2015 elections. The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, described the order as an invitation to anarchy while the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, described Tukur’s utterance as self-consolation. Former governor of the defunct Kaduna State and National Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

FG plans life jail for Leadership reporters ...slams 10-count charge P.8

Abubakar

NUC LISTS ILLEGAL UNIVERSITIES Some victims of the Boston Marathon blast. Inset: Eight-year-old Martin Richard from Dorchester, Massachusetts, who was among the three people killed. More photos and story on page 3.

CAN carpets JNI over Boko Haram comments

Presidency, service chiefs meet over amnesty committee report

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Treat stolen oil as blood diamonds, says Okonjo-Iweala

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1) University of Accountancy and Management Studies 2) Christians of Charity American University of Science & Technology, Nkpor, Anambra State 3) University of Industry, Yaba, Lagos 4) University of Applied Sciences & Management, Port Novo, Republic of Benin. 5) Blacksmith University, Awka. 6) Volta University College, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana. 7) Royal University Izhia, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. 8) Cool Atlanta University, Anyigba, Kogi State 9) Sunday Adokpela University, Otada Adoka, Otukpo, Benue State 10) United Christian University, Macotis Campus, Imo State 11) United Nigeria University College, Okija, Anambra State 12) Samuel Ahmadu University, Makurdi, Benue State 13) UNESCO University, Ndoni, Rivers State 14) Saint Augustine’s University of Technology, Jos, Plateau State 15) The International University, Missouri, USA, Kano and Lagos CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>


News

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

CAN carpets JNI over Boko Haram comments MARCUS FATUNMOLE AND JOEL AJAYI

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he Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday frowned at the utterances of the Ja’amatu Nasril Islam, JNI, which portrayed its President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, and his executives as enemies of Nigeria over their stand on amnesty for the Boko Haram sect. This is even as the Christian body said that Catholic Cardinal, John Onaiyekan and Bishop Mathew Kukah could not speak for it, stressing that their opinions did not reflect the plight of the brutalised victims of the Islamic insurgency in the North. It will be recalled that the Islamic body had at a recent press conference in Kaduna wondered if CAN was appointed special adviser to the President on the perpetration of insecurity for its opposition of amnesty despite swelling opinions in its favour. Speaking with journalists in Abuja, General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa

Asake, said that JNI account on the proportion of Christians to Muslims victims of the dreaded Islamic sect was fraught with inaccuracies. He said: “For the JNI to twist ongoing history so early that it is the major victim of Boko Haram, is to incur a huge debt on its integrity and credibility as concerns its present crop of leaders. “There is no doubt that some moderate Muslims who oppose the violent doctrines of Boko Haram, have fallen under its swords. And some Emirs, who have had the courage to speak against the evil of Boko Haram, have also been attacked. “But CAN cannot recall if the numbers are more than what the JNI has named above. “Also, ordinary law abiding Muslims have been killed as part of collateral damage from the carnage of Boko Haram against Christians. CAN sympathises with them and calls for the repose of their souls. CAN also sees them as equal fatality of Boko Haram as Christian victims,

and should form part of future reparation as envisaged by CAN before any mention of amnesty. “But the truth remains that Christians are the major and main, if not sole targets. Indeed, statistics released by international agencies shows that more Christians were killed in Nigeria in 2012 alone, for their faith than the rest of the world combined.” On Onaiyekan and Kukah’s comments on am-

nesty, CAN said: “The two men do not have any moral or institutional authority to speak for Nigerian Christians. “Their position remains very unpopular among the persecuted church in the North. Only CAN is vested with such powers, notwithstanding the constitutional rights of the two men to air their opinions on national issues. “Therefore, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Bishop

Mathew Kukah do not speak for Nigerian Christians, not even for CAN in any of the 19 northern states. “What they are saying is their personal opinion that does not take into consideration the plight of the victims.” CAN also expressed surprise that JNI ascribed the title of ‘Pastor’ to Mr. Paul Unongo, a well known leader of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, in Nigeria, insist-

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performance for the past 12 years. “Nigerians are not fools who can be deceived by mere boasts by a party that had plunged the country into terrible darkness. The day of reckoning is approaching,” Eneukwu said. The Labour Party, LP, said it was not bothered by the President’s directive. Its National Chairman, Dan Nwuanyawu, waxed philosophical: “Any party can claim anything but as we approach 2015 it would be clearer to Nigerians who will get what. So long as it is one man one vote, the true picture of who gets what will clearly show. “So, we are not bothered at all. Nigerians will decide. There is an adage that what a farmer sees on his way to the farm is not always what he sees on his way back. It is not what you hear from the politicians that is very important but what those in street says.” The ACN called on the PDP to stop its empty boast, describing the directive as a mere day dreaming.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa (right) addressing State House correspondents after his meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

Knocks for Jonathan over 32 states target Political Parties, CNPP, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said President Jonathan’s marching order to PDP would spark off revolution nationwide. The Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, said the PDP would rather lose 32 states in 2015 than adding to its present 23 states. PDP National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, on Monday declared that President Jonathan had mandated the party to win 32 states. “We need to work hard now because we have a presidential mandate to move beyond 23 states in our control and win at least 32,” Tukur had said. Speaking with National Mirror, ANPP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu, said PDP was only consoling itself ahead of the imminent defeat. “He is only trying to console himself by talking big. The elections will be done by Nigerians who will rate them according to their

ing that “Unongo does not represent any segment of Christianity, because he is not one, agreed he is a well known son of the Middle Belt.” It maintained that Boko Haram insurgency was a creation of the northern leaders and JNI is believed to have strong link with the sect, stressing that the Islamic group must find its own way of curbing the menace.

The Lagos and Ekiti states chapters of the party stated that Nigerians were ready to do away with “the unproductive party after 14 awful years of callous destruction.” Lagos State Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, in a statement made available to National Mirror stated that the PDP had lost irredeemably in the maze it created through corrupt governance, incompetence and maladministration that it could not even fathom its chances after wrecking Nigeria for 14 years. “We counsel the PDP to pack its excess bag and baggage in readiness for a rustication in 2015. We wonder what chances exist for a party whose main mission is looting the commonwealth and leaving Nigerians pauperised, insecure, miserly and dejected. “We want to tell the PDP that its time is up and nothing, not even the application of weary rigging tactics will save the PDP from the wrath of Nigerians in 2015,” Igbokwe said.

ACN added: “Nigerians who presently endure the torture of PDP misrule understand the lousy boast of the PDP to ‘capture’ more states with its woeful performance as a declaration of intent to continue stealing the mandates of Nigerians as they have excelled in doing since 1999. The PDP and its riggers should get ready to face the full wrath of Nigerians in 2015 if they believe we have a borderless capacity to tolerate their noxious values. “We urge PDP members to think twice before investing on such promise from a man that could barely do what he knows best to do even in his electoral ward during the Edo governorship election in 2012. “We want to assure them that if they are bent on capturing states in 2015 with their wrecking of a well-endowed country in 14 years of awful leadership, they will have the determined will of Nigerians to contend with.” Ekiti State ACN Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, said

the President’s statement was an invitation to anarchy. He lamented that the words “capture” and “war” which recurred in Jonathan and Tukur’s statements should be a cause of concern to Nigerians. Awe told journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday that ACN in the state was worried especially as Ekiti would be the first state where governorship election would hold any moment from now. He alleged that the state might be used to test-run the PDP rigging plans. Awe said: “ACN demands serious explanation from the president referring to the whole nation as a captured nation. I believe he is not inviting the military to take over the governance of this state because all the words the President used are military’s. “You don’t capture with votes but with arms and ammunition; this has been orchestrated within the PDP fold since its inception in this country. My fear is

for 2014 election in Ekiti and we don’t want Ekiti to be thrown into crisis because before you will need to test the ammunition you acquired somewhere.” While expressing fear that the President’s statement implied that the forthcoming elections might not be free as expected, the ACN chief wondered why the language of the PDP chieftains had always been that of war. Awe said: “That the president is preparing to capture 32 out of the 36 states in the country is an indication that he (president) does not love all the states 100 per cent. “And I am sure those states he does not love include Borno, Plateau and other states where there have been killings and maiming of innocent souls.” Speaking in an interview with National Mirror from his farm near Zaria, Musa dismissed the President’s directive, saying PDP had embarked on failed strategies that would take CONTINUED ON PAGE 9>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Police bomb squad Sgt. Darryl Judge checks a large briefcase in Richland, Wash. The suspicious briefcase contained a collection of tools. Police decided to use the bomb squad following two explosions at the Boston Marathon

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Exact Moment: People reacting as the second explosion goes off near the Boston Marathon finish line. Photo: AP

BOSTON BOMBING:

We’ll bring perpetrators to justice –Obama PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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S President Barack Obama yesterday condemned the bombings at the Boston marathon, calling it a “terrorist act”. He said the attack had been “heinous” and “cowardly, but cautioned that it was not yet known who carried out the attack and why. The FBI has said there are “no known additional threats” beyond the two bombs which went off. Three people were killed, including an eight-year-old boy, and more than 150 injured by the bombs. Doctors treating the wounded have said a number of people have had pellets and “nail-like” fragments removed. No-one has been arrested over the attack. “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terrorism”, said Obama, who in his first briefing on Monday had refrained from referring to terror attacks. He stressed that it was not yet known whether an organisation - either domestic or foreign - or a “malevolent individual” was responsible, nor what the motive may have been. “Everything else at this point is speculation,” he said. “It will take time... but we will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice,” he said. The president praised

IT WILL TAKE TIME... BUT WE WILL FIND WHOEVER HARMED OUR CITIZENS AND WE WILL BRING THEM TO JUSTICE the emergency services and members of the public who responded to the blasts, and said: “The American people refuse to be terrorised.” The first of the explosions went off close to the finishing line at about at 14:50 local time (18:50 GMT) on Monday. Then seconds later, as rescuers were rushing to help the injured, another explosion went off nearby. There had been reports that other suspected devices were found in the area, but speaking in Boston yesterday, the governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, said it was “important

to clarify that two, and only two, explosive devices were found yesterday”. Patrick said all other suspect parcels had been examined and found not to be bombs. Richard DesLauriers, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation, told reporters there was no longer any “known imminent physical threat” in the city. He said the FBI was “not aware of any threat information prior to the marathon”. Police had received “voluminous tips” from the public, he said, urging people to co-operate with investigators. “We will go to the ends

of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice,” he said. Timothy Alban of the Massachusetts State Police appealed to members of the public to send in any footage they had from the day. “There have to be hundreds if not thousands of photographs or videos or observations that were made down at that finish line yesterday. And they’re sitting out there amongst everyone that’s watching this event this morning,” he said. “You might not think it’s significant but it might have some value to this investigation.” Bomb victim Martin Richard Eight-year-old Martin Richard was one of the three people killed by the bombs.

...No other devices found

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ispelling earlier reports of as many as seven devices being found around Boston, Gene Marquez, assistant special agent in charge for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said authorities had determined that the only bombs deployed in the attack were the two that detonated shortly before 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Monday. Any unexploded device might have provided a clearer picture of what materials were used and how the bomb was assembled,

furnishing leads in the case. Meanwhile, a stretch of Boylston Street near the race’s finish line, where the blasts occurred, and the blocks around it were closed to traffic as police searched for evidence. A banner that had marked the finish line still hung over the deserted street. Responding to the worst attack on U.S. soil since security was tightened after the September 11, 2001 hijacked plane strikes, Obama urged Americans to be vigilant.

The United States was clearly on heightened alert yesterday. At Boston Logan International Airport, two passengers and their bags were removed from a United Airlines flight before departure on Tuesday morning, a source with direct knowledge of the action said. Meanwhile, a US Airways plane arriving at Logan from Philadelphia was parked in a corner of the airport while a suspicious bag was inspected, airport officials said. The bag was later found to be harmless.

Sorting through: Bags of people’s belongings are sorted near Marathon finish line yesterday as investigations continue into the bombings

Device: This image shows a pressure cooker bomb, similar to those that were used in the Boston Marathon attacks

Hospital lowers numbers of injured victims

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rauma surgeons at several Boston hospitals said at press briefings the majority of victims suffered lower-body injuries, and several had a range of metallic shrapnel material removed during surgery, including pellets and what appeared to be carpenter nails. “The vast majority of the injuries were to lower extremities, including some victims who had parts of their legs blown off,” said Dr. Tracey Dechert, a trauma surgeon at Boston Medical Center, which treated 23

people and performed amputations on five of them. The inclusion of material such as nails in the device would be reminiscent of the 1996 bombing at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, which killed two people and injured about 150 others. Antiabortion activist Eric Rudolph, who eluded capture for years, pleaded guilty to the attack and is currently serving consecutive life sentences. An 8-year-old boy was among the dead. He was identified as Martin Richard in a statement issued by his father, Bill Richard.


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Photo News

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Ruben Abati (left), receiving on behalf of the President, compact discs with a detailed brief on Ebony Life TV Programming from the Executive Chairperson, Ms. Mo Abudu, during her visit in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga (left) and Minister of Foreign Trade, France, Mrs. Nicole Bricq, during a meeting between them in Paris, yesterday.

Guest Speaker/Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu (left) and Chairman, Leadership Group, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, at the 2013 Leadership Conference & Awards in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Head of Department, Audit, National Mirror, Mr. Ademola Ishola; Education/Health Editor, Mr. Sam Eferaro; Mr. Akinwunmi Owoyemi of the Department of Glass and Ceramics, Federal Polytechnic, AdoEkiti; Head, Human Resources/Administration, Mrs. Biodun Adewunmi and Senior Manager, Business Development, National Mirror, Alhaji Kayode Balogun, during Owoyemi’s visit to National Mirror’s Head PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA Office in Lagos, yesterday.

National News

Minister promises end to rot in power sector

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inister of Power Prof. Chinedu Nebo yesterday read the riot act for dubious people in the nation’s power sector, warning them that the era of fraud in any form was over. Speaking on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme: “Platform,” the minister said that corrupt practices would not have a place in the sector during his tenure. The minister said a monitoring device was being put in place to plug all loopholes in the system to ensure that money spent was accounted for. His words: “We are setting up a very robust monitoring device. One thing I can assure you is that all leakages will be plugged. It is not going to be business as usual. The legacy that we have now will not tolerate the so-called Nigerian factor and leakages. “It is time for everybody to know that it is no longer business as usual. If anyone wants to

continue in the old games, then we will hold them accountable. I can assure you that we have put in place a solid mechanism to ensure that when government puts in funds somewhere, government gets a concomitant, good, quality work that it has paid for. Nebo also said that the government would soon establish a National Council on Power to enable all stakeholders, including the 36 states key into the Federal Government’s programmes on power. The minister said: “Very soon, we will inaugurate the National Council on Power, which we have in education and other areas. That will be inaugurated very soon to make sure that the Federal Government, states and local governments all buy into the entire power sector reform.” Stressing the importance of gas supply to the generating companies, Nebo said that the Federal Government was making sure that it gets enough to

power their operations. He added that though the gas companies would be allowed to adjust their tariffs so that they could remain profitable, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) would ensure that such ad-

justment would not be too high as to make the cost of electricity too high for consumers. The minister, who stated that another 4,000 megawatts would be added to the national grid in the next one year, painted a picture

of a quantum leap in enhancing economic activities in the country. Nebo added that the exponential effect would be sustained over the years till the expected target of 40,000 megawatts are met in the year 2020.

Explaining the recent drop of electricity experienced in the country, the minister attributed it to the shutdown of one of the gas companies for maintenance, which led to some of the generation companies being denied gas.

Report rates Nigeria’s policing standard low OMEIZA AJAYI

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n international report released yesterday in Abuja has revealed that the standard of policing the country declined between 2011 and 2012. The report was the outcome of the 2012 Police Station Visitors Week (PSVW) put together by the Altus Global Alliance in collaboration with the Justice for All programme of the Department For International Development (DFID), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, National Human Rights Commission and the CLEEN

Foundation. A summary of the report obtained by National Mirror yesterday in Abuja showed that the overall national average standard for police stations in 2012 was 52.07 per cent against 52.25 per cent in 2011. Some of the indicator areas used for the assessment include community orientation, physical condition of police stations, equal treatment of the public, transparency and accountability and detention conditions. The report said while standards declined in community orientation, transparency and accountability and detention conditions,

improvement was, however, recorded in the area of physical condition and equal treatment of the members of the public. Regional representative of Altus Global Alliance, Mrs Blessing Abiri, told journalists that the decline was very negligible. Executive Director of the CLEEN Foundation, Kemi Okenyodo, however, decried how some state Commissioners of Police and Divisional Police Officers (DPO) denied them access to some police stations. This, she said, was in spite of a directive by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed

Abubakar, to the police commissioners and the DPOs to allow the visitors access to all police stations in the country. The refusal to grant access to the team may have impeded the findings of the report as some members of the committee who collated the report said the result would have shown a bigger decline in the overall standards, if the visitors had been given access to the stations. Six African countries, including Benin Republic, Cameroon, Ghana Kenya, Liberia and Nigeria participated in the 2012 Police Stations Visitors Week.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Nothing to show for Nigeria’s oil wealth –Niger gov CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

earnings. He also faulted the government for the absence of accurate data on the daily production of crude oil in the country. In a lead presentation at the Leadership newspapers’ Annual Lecture and Awards ceremony in Abuja, Aliyu said that despite the enormous resources generated from the oil sector, the country had nothing significant to show for it. He said: “Despite the enormous resources generated from the oil sector, no accurate data is available to present daily production of crude in the country. “This has led to corruption and negative twist in the economic fortunes of the country as only a few who control the monopoly siphon our commonwealth. “The exact figures are only known to the people involved as transparency is limited. “Instead of economic gains for the ordinary Nigerians, crude oil discovery in Nigeria appears to be more of a problem, as it has killed agriculture which was the mainstay of our economy.” On the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, currently before the National Assembly, the governor said: “Do we deserve the kind of tension, apprehension and anxiety that follows some national issues in the country? Why should politics of revenue generation and sharing or the PIB generate so much passion in this country today? “This is happening because of our penchant for cake sharing rather than cake baking and lack of confidence by the citizens in the process and motives behind some of the policies.” Speaking on the spate of terrorist attack by Islamic insurgents in the North, Aliyu maintained that there is no compulsion in Islam, arguing that a person can be persuaded to convert to Islam through actions but not to the point of saying the person must convert. He insisted that members of the Boko Haram sect do not represent Islam, do not know and fight for the religion, stressing that members of the sect engaged in things that were anti-Islam.

The governor said: “We must tackle unemployment or we must be ready to tackle one security challenge after another. “If we do not solve actual problems on ground, then another group will succeed them. We must arrest that situation in rebuilding our country.” Also speaking at the event, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, urged the Federal Government to take its fight against corruption more seriously. He said Nigeria could only record meaningful development if the government tackles malfeasance and general insecurity in the country. “Two of the obstacles before us which we must resolutely confront are corruption and insecurity. When we talk about corruption, I’m not talking about small bribes, but big, legal and official corruption in high places. “What is needed in Nigeria is radical renovation of the country. “We are hearing of billions of dollars being stolen. The people of Nigeria are being deprived of their belongings. “It is no longer a rumour that our monies are being stolen. This stealing must stop. No more cover up or pretence. Stolen resources must be recovered and put back in the places where they’ve been taken from. We should pardon our thieves, but they must return the loot,” he said. Onaiyekan, however, noted that there were no signs to suggest that the nation was on the verge of disintegration. He said: “I see a failed state in Somalia and I can’t say that about my country. We still have time to make amends and we can still hold on.” National leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, advised that the country should revert to the first national anthem it had before independence, stressing that “the anthem represents what the country stands for.” “Let’s go back to our first national anthem we had at independence. All we are talking about is to serve the nation. Let’s make the effort to go back to that national

anthem. Let’s sing it from the heart and not from the tone,” he said. Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha also advised the leaders to solve the chal-

lenge posed by the Boko Haram Islamic sect and stop what he called cynical blames over the challenge. He said that the current bloodletting in the country

had surpassed what obtained during the civil war. Okorocha, however, cautioned that this was not a time to point accusing fingers or engage in “pointing

cynical blame of responsibility.” He insisted that the problem of the nation lies in leadership and had nothing to do with followership.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power Ambassador Godknows Igali; Minister of State, Mrs. Zainab Kuchi; the Minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo and Vice-President Namadi Sambo at a meeting on power in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

CAN carpets JNI over Boko Haram comments CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

“But JNI should hear this; the Boko Haram insurgency is a snake on their (JNI) thatched roof. It is the Magida, the landlord and his tenant who can device the most effective way of dealing with it. “Asking the Federal Government to grant amnesty to the Boko Haram members amounts to calling the government to come and kill the snake with a torch. “The JNI must begin to query the change in its value system; a system that now makes them spokesperson of a murderous and bloodthirsty group without being sensitive to the victims of the sect, a system that allows for the slaughtering of human being like cows without any remorse,” Asake added. Asake called on President Jonathan “to, as a matter of urgency, dismiss the whole idea of amnesty for an unrepentant group, because it would be a panacea for confusion in the country.” He added that issue of victims of the sect should be taken with seriousness before any further step could be taken. The cleric urged Christians to pray while making efforts to defend themselves. “Since Boko Haram does not see any wrong with their style of Jihad against the church, all we can do now is to pray, while making ef-

forts to defend ourselves and communities,” he noted. In a related development, former governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, yesterday in Abuja advised the Federal Government to adopt the right measures in handling the proposed amnesty. They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, at the Leadership Newspaper 2013 conference and award ceremony. Shekarau and Ribadu urged governments at all levels to demonstrate the will to end the violence in the North. Shekarau said the amnesty contemplated by government would only work if government adopted genuine dialogue and engaged the right persons in the proposed talks with members of the sect. “It is the responsibility of the leadership to create a forum where people will interact, where people will be listened to, wherever you have crisis, one of the parties in crisis believe that there is injustice. “I think if the right measures are taken and if the right people are involved you will definitely get some of them over, all these things amount to persuasion, amount to some little

consideration, there must be some give and take approach,” he said. In his own reaction, Ribadu called on governments at all levels to embrace dialogue as a means to end violence and bloodshed in parts of the country. He said: “My own take about the whole thing is that from the very beginning I have consistently said that dialogue; don’t close any door to peace and to solving this problem. “My belief is that the solution to this problem is to get peace and also justice, if you want peace go through the road of justice; you can achieve these two through the road of dialogue; you cannot take the two, we want peace and we want justice, the two must go together.” Ribadu urged the Federal Government and other stakeholders involved in the peace building process to vigorously address the main issues and avoid politicising insecurity. He said that there was nothing wrong with Nigerians, noting that Nigerians were still united but want justice and equity. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan and service chiefs yesterday met in Abuja to examine the report of the Amnesty Security Committee set up two weeks ago to consider the modalities and possibility of granting pardon to the Boko Haram sect.

National Mirror gathered that the meeting was to also consider the position paper submitted on Monday night to President Jonathan by the Northern Traditional Rulers Council. The meeting, presided over by President Jonathan with Vice-President Namadi Sambo in attendance, ended without any word with State House correspondents. All efforts made to speak with the service chiefs were unsuccessful as they headed straight into their waiting vehicles amidst heavy security. Though the outcome of the meeting remained unknown at the time of filing this report, the service chiefs in attendance include Chief of Defence Staff, ViceAdmiral Ola Ibrahim; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Dele Ezeoba; Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshall Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika; and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. The committee was constituted two weeks ago by the President within the membership of the National Security Council, NSC, to consider the modalities to be adopted if the Federal Government granted amnesty to the members of the sect. The two weeks given to the committee to turn in their reports have elapsed.


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News

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NUC publishes names of illegal varsities in Nigeria TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he National Universities Commission, NUC, yesterday disclosed that no fewer than 50 illegal degree-awarding institutions are currently operating across the country. A report on the website of the university regulatory agency, signed by its Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, warned the public, especially parents and prospective undergraduates to beware of the illegal institutions so as not to fall prey to their activities. The commission said the affected institutions, which it described as ‘Degree Mills’ were never licensed by the Federal Government and consequently closed down for violating the Education (National Minimum Standards etc) Act CAP E3 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. The institutions, according to the commission, include the University of Accountancy and Manage-

ment Studies; Christians of Charity American University of Science and Technology, Nkpor, Anambra State; University of Industry, Yaba, Lagos; University of Applied Sciences and Management, Port Novo, Republic of Benin or any of its other campuses in Nigeria; Blacksmith University, Awka; Royal University, Izhia, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State; Cool Atlanta University, Anyigba, Kogi State; Sunday Adokpela University, Otada Adoka, Otukpo. Also on the list are United Christian University, Macotis Campus, Imo State; United Nigeria University College, Okija, Anambra State; Samuel Ahmadu University, Makurdi; UNESCO University, Ndoni, Rivers State; Saint Augustine’s University of Technology, Jos, Plateau State; International University, Missouri, USA, Kano; Lagos Study Centres; Collumbus University, UK operating anywhere in Nigeria; Tiu International University, UK operating anywhere in Nigeria; Peb-

bles University, UK operating anywhere in Nigeria; London External Studies UK operating anywhere in Nigeria; Pilgrims University operating anywhere in Nigeria. Others include Lobi Business School Makurdi; West African Christian University; Bolta University College, Aba; JBC Seminary Inc; Westlan University, Esie, Kwara State and St. Andrews University College, Abuja or any of its campuses in Nigeria and so forth. Others include National University of Technology, Lafia, Nasarawa State; Atlas University, Ikot Udoso Uko, Uyo Akwa Ibom State; Concept College -Universities (London) Ilorin or any of its campuses in Nigeria; EC-Council University, USA, Ikeja, Lagos Study Centre; Halifax Gateway University, Ikeja; Kingdom of Christ University, Abuja; Acada University, Akinlalu, Oyo State; Fifom University, Mbaise, Imo State; Houdegbe North American University campuses in Nigeria; Atlan-

tic Intercontinenta¬l University, Okija; Open International University, Akure; Middle Belt University (North Central University), Otukpo; Leadway University, Ughelli, Delta State; Metro University, Dutse/Bwari, Abuja; Southend University, Ngwuro Egeru (Afam) Ndoki, Rivers State; Olympic University, Nsukka; Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Abuja; Temple University, Abuja and Irish University Business School London, operating anywhere in Nigeria. Others are University of Accountancy and Management Studies, Mowe, Lagos – Ibadan Expressway; University of Education, Winneba Ghana, operating anywhere in Nigeria; Cape Coast University, Ghana, operating anywhere in Nigeria and African University Cooperative Development (AUCD), Cotonou, Benin Republic, operating anywhere in Nigeria. The commission warned that whoever patronised any of the institution did so at his or her own risk.

L-R: President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adesina; Chairman, Somolu Local Government, Mr. Gbolahan Bago-Stowe; Alhaja Abimbola Jakande; her husband, former Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; former Ogun State Governor, Chief Segun Osoba and President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mallam Muhammed Garba, at the Turning of the Sod of the multimillion naira NUJ Guest House in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

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Maku heads FG’s delegation to Oluwole Awolowo’s burial MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday raised a five-man Federal Government delegation to attend the burial of the Tribune publisher, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, scheduled on Friday at Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State. The team is headed by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku. Other members are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru; the Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide; the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben

Abati and the Special Adviser to the President on Research and Strategy, Mr. Oronto Douglas. The President had paid a condolence visit to the Awolowos in Ikenne shortly after the demise of the Tribune titles publisher. While condoling with Chief HID Awolowo in Ikenne, Jonathan urged her to accept her son’s passage as the unquestionable will of God Almighty. He also promised her that he would continue to support and assist the Awolowo family. Oluwole, second eldest son of the former Western Region Premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, died at the Wellington Hospital, St Johnswood, London, on March 27.

Army parades fake recruitment suspects •Sends locally-made surveillance vehicle to Mali

GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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he Nigerian Army, NA, yesterday paraded two men suspected to specialise on fake internet recruitment scam for the Army. The two men, Messrs Oronya Augustine, a 500 level student of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State and Emeremini Nwabueze of Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia, Nasarawa State are part of a seven-man gang. The suspects, who were arrested by the Army, were alleged to have used an online forum-www.topix. com/forum/world/nigeria/ T87E0G7JBTNOP117 to advertise application forms for recruitment into the Nigerian Army and defrauded innocent Nigerians who paid into their bank account. The Director of Army Public Relations, DAPR,

Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, disclosed this during the monthly press briefing at the Army Headquarters, Abuja, yesterday. The director said his men were on the trail of the remaining five members of the gang, adding that they would soon be apprehended. Attahiru also disclosed that the Army had recorded another landmark in its military innovation and invention following the manufacture of a Surveillance Vehicle, which it had already deployed for intelligence gathering for the Africanled International Support Mission to Mali, AFISMA, operations. He explained that the vehicle, which was produced by the 51 Division Signal Nigerian Army, was to realise the vision of the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, to enhance the effectiveness of the operations of the Army.

‘Stolen oil should be treated like blood diamonds’ Senate suspends debate on National Health Bill MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo Iweala said that monies realised from oil stolen by criminal in partnership with international cartels should be classified by the global business community in the same category as fund emanating from blood diamonds. Speaking yesterday on Cable News Network, CNN programme, Amanpour,

monitored by National Mirror, the minister admitted that oil theft remained a huge problem in Nigeria, with an estimayed 150,000 barrels per day being lost to thieves.. “Yes. I admit that. And we can’t afford it. I’ll tell you; my thesis on corruption is we are still a poor country. We cannot afford any leakage. “We also need the international community to weigh in. We have Mexico and Nigeria which are suffering from this problem,

you can check. Mexico is losing 25,000 barrels a day. “In our case, we have international people who also buy that stolen oil. We need them to treat this stolen oil like stolen diamonds, the blood diamonds. Make it blood oil. Help us so that those people don’t have a market to sell this stuff,” she said. She said Nigeria remains a huge and important country in the sub region, adding that many offshore investors are interested in investing in the country.

GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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n the first day of its resumption from a two-week Easter break, the Senate yesterday considered the National Health Insurance Bill but halted debate on it midway. The Senate returned the bill to its Health Committee to address some of the inconsistencies observed in it. The bill, which is for an act to provide a frame-

work for the regulation, development and management of a national health system and set standards for rendering health services in the federation and other matters connected therewith, was slated for third and final reading. The bill had progressed with the presentation of the lead debate by the sponsor and Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Ifeanyi Okowa. This was followed by

the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill until Senator Eta Inang observed that it was wrong for the bill to seek to establish an already existing National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA. He observed that the proper thing was for the sponsors of the bill to propose the repeal and reenactment of the NPHCDA and not to call for the establishment of the agency that was already in existence.


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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News

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

FG plans life jail for Leadership reporters ISE-OLUWA IGE

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he Federal Government yesterday docked the Group News Editor of Leadership newspaper, Mr. Tony Amokeodo and Political Correspondent, Mr. Chibuzor Ukaibe, for allegedly forging a document purported to contain a presidential directive to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to register an opposition political party. Government slammed a 10-count charge on the journalists, one of which carries a life sentence. They were accused of forging a document containing presidential directive, fraudulent publication of a bromide of the controversial document, inciting members of the public against the government to dislocate the nation’s peace and forgery of the seal, signet or sign manual purported to be the signature of President Jonathan Goodluck on the duo. The Nigeria Police which investigated the case is presently prosecuting the journalists. Although, the charge had been filed with the journalists served the court process, the high court judge, Justice Adetokunbo Ademola, who was assigned to

...Slams 10-count charge hear the case, aborted the plans by the police to take their pleas yesterday. The trial judge, who faulted the police over its failure to directly serve the accused persons the charge together with the proof of evidence in the matter, also ruled yesterday that the accused needed to be given time to study the charge, peruse the evidence against them and hire counsel of their choice to defend them. Justice Ademola said there was no need to sacrifice the rights and the justice in the matter on the platter of speed. Attempts by the police to get the court order remanding the accused journalists in either prison or police custody yesterday also failed as the judge ruled that the legal argument and authorities cited by both the police and the counsel to the accused on their bail were not applicable, the accused having not been arraigned. His words: “Having listened to the submissions of the opposing counsel, it is the court’s opinion that the submissions are premature, the accused having not been arraigned. The arraignment of the accused is thereby fixed for April 23 while the first and

second accused persons are released conditionally to the Leadership newspaper’s Company Secretary, Mr. Umar Jubril, who will produce them at the next adjourned date. In the 10-count charge filed against the two journalists and the newspaper at the registry of the high court, counts one, three, five, seven and nine carry seven years imprisonment each; count eight carries 14 years; counts two, four and 10 carry three years jail term each while count six carries life sentence. Count six reads: That you, Tony Amokeodo, Chibuzor Ukaibe, Leadership Group Limited and Taiwo Ogunmola Omilani, who is now at large, on the 3rd day of April, 2013 at Abuja in the Abuja judicial division did forge/ make a false document and placed same on the front page of Leadership newspaper of 3rd day of

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Ekiti govt to fortify police command against insecurity

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April, 2013, having on it the seal, or sign manual which purports that it is from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 467 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code Act Cap ‘C’ 38 Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004. There were conflicting reports yesterday on how Messrs Tony Amokeodo and Chibuzor Ukaibe, got to the police headquarters with the police saying that they were arrested at about 4.30 on Monday by them while the journalists were claiming that they walked into the police office on their own. The duo alongside Mrs. Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe and the Managing Editor, Mr. Chuks Ohuegbe, were last week arrested by the police following a story in which the newspaper alleged a presidential directive targeted at the country’s opposition political parties.

kiti State government yesterday said it is set to strengthen the state command of the Nigeria Police with fleets of patrol vehicles and communication gadgets as part of measures to help curb spill-over crimes from other neighbouring states. State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, made this known in Ado Ekiti, yesterday while receiving the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 8, Mr. Chris Dega, who was in the state on a condolence visit; saying that the gesture is also aimed at making the state more conducive for investment. While lamenting the shortage of police personnel in the state, Dr. Fayemi called on the leadership of the police to ensure that officers posted to Ekiti State do not lobby their transfers out of the state, adding that this has led to shortage of personnel in the state. “There are things you may be aware of that I have raised with the IG and I supposed you would have been briefed in the course of your coming here. The big issue on the table that I have al-

ways raised is the way and manner officers and men transferred to Ekiti manage to get themselves out of Ekiti, thereby leading to shortage of the men we are supposed to have. “If you look at your record, you will notice that Ekiti is far lower in terms of men and officers than your supply of officer necessitate,” he said. The governor said though men of the Nigeria Police are doing well in the state, the shortage has created some gaps which needed to be covered to prevent criminal occurrences. On the death of his deputy, Fayemi said the late Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, played active role in the state’s security activities by virtue of her statutory responsibility and had very warmth relationship with security agencies in the state. While also addressing his visitors from the Nigerian Governors’ Forum led by its Director-General, Mr. Asishana Okauru, the governor said he was very lucky to have had a deputy like Mrs. Olayinka who was very passionate about the transformation of the state.

How I escaped assassination –Melaye OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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xecutive Director, Anti-Corruption Network, Otunba Dino Melaye, has described his escape from men suspected to be assassins as dramatic. Melaye, a former House of Representatives member, was said to have been waylaid at the high-brow Central Business District, Abuja, at about 9.38pm on Monday on his way from an event. While the windscreens of the Bentley car he was driving as at the time the incident occurred were badly shattered, the civil rights activist escaped unhurt. The attackers allegedly drove in a Golf car.

Narrating his ordeal to journalists yesterday, Melaye said he had received threats to his life on many occasions and had intimated the Inspector-General of Police, adding that the police boss did not do anything to protect him. According to Melaye, the various attempts on his life were contrived in order to make him shy away from his anti-corruption crusade, a crusade he said he had dedicated his entire life to. It will be recalled that his Anti-Corruption Network, had taken on powerful people, including those in the present administration, calling for their investigations for alleged corruption offences.

L-R: First Deputy National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Alhaji Badaru Abubakar; National President, Dr. Herbert Ajayi and representative of the Vice-President, Mr. Olakunle Shogbola, during the two-day NACCIMA National Education Summit in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Pregnant woman detained for allegedly setting husband ablaze

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he police in Isheri Oshun area of Lagos State, yesterday detained a pregnant woman who allegedly killed her husband by setting him on fire. Eyewitnesses told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the incident took place yesterday morning at 7, King David St., Ijagemo, Ojo Local Government Area of the

state. Sources said that the woman allegedly locked her husband up in their one-room apartment and set it on fire. According to the witnesses, the woman was arrested by a vigilance group at a bus stop at about 5.00 am while trying to escape. “The vigilance group caught the woman as she

was trying to run away. They asked her where she was going; she began to shake and that made them to suspect foul play,” one of the neighbours, who simply identified himself as Sylvester, told NAN. “One of the security men identified her and led her back to her house where they met a wailing crowd. “By the time the door

to their room was forced open, the man had already been burnt to death.” The intervention of the police prevented the woman from being lynched by the crowd. The policemen declined comments, saying they were not authorised to speak to the press. They later removed the corpse and took the woman into custody.


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South West

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Bamigbetan’s kidnappers demand N158m ransom MURITALA AYINLA

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idnappers of the Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, have demanded N158 million ransom. Bamigbetan was kidnapped at about 11pm on Monday on his way home at Ona Iwa Mimo Street, near Egbe Bridge in Ejigbo. A senior Ejigbo LCDA official said yesterday that the kidnappers called Bamigbetan’s wife at about 4.00am and demanded the $1 million ransom (about N158 million) and warned her not to inform the police. Bamigbetan was with his driver, Abiodun Olayiwola, in his black SUV with customised registration number Lagos KOK when the gunmen waylaid them.

•OPC joins search for abducted chairman

The matter has been reported at Ejigbo Police Station. His SUV was badly damaged by an electric pole which stopped it while the driver tried to escape from the gunmen. All efforts to speak with his wife, Mrs Fatimah Bamigbetan, failed as she was shielded from journalists. His driver, Olayiwola, who escaped with bruises all over his body, said they were ambushed by four gunmen a few metres away from his boss’s residence. He said immediately he saw the kidnappers, he attempted to escape with his boss, but the poor state of the road made it impossible. Olayiwola said: "When I saw them, I put the SUV in reverse gear. They gave us a hot chase and started shooting in the air.

"They would not have succeeded in kidnapping him if the road is good. I tried my best to ensure that we escaped, but I was not seeing properly because it was very dark. "The SUV was eventually halted by an electric pole and we could not proceed further. I managed to squeeze myself out of the badly damaged vehicle and escaped. "I don’t know the kind of vehicle they came with and I could not recognise them because it was very dark." The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Publicity Secretary in Lagos State, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, condemned the kidnapping. Igbokwe said: “There is no place for kidnappers in Lagos State. The kidnappers should release Bamigbetan in the next 12 hours before we get at them. Nobody does

A building at 74, Aroloya Street in Lagos Island, gutted by fire.

anything funny in Lagos and gets away with it." The state House of Assembly Committee Chairman on Local Government Administration and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Moshood Oshun, described the incident as unfortunate, adding that it was lamentable that such evil was creeping into the state. He said: “Lagos has always enjoyed peace because the state government has been proactive. If the Federal Government is also doing its best like Lagos, the crime rate in the country would have become a thing of the past." He said the development further underscored the call for the establishment of state police. Vice-Chairman of Ejigbo LCDA, Alhaji Monsuru Bello Obe, declined to speak

Sympathisers at the scene, yesterday.

Knocks for Jonathan over 32-state target CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

the party nowhere. Musa, who is also chairman of CNPP, called on Nigerians to be watchful to defend democracy, adding that the new All Progressives Congress, APC, would defeat the ruling party in the forthcoming polls. He also advised President Jonathan to prepare his handover notes rather than heating the polity, stressing that PDP days were numbered. Musa added that the era of rigging had gone as Nigerians would not accept any election results contrary to their wishes. “We are aware that President Jonathan and his party, PDP, are planning to rig 2015 general elections again in this country. Because they aware of the consequences

of losing power. “But let me advise President Jonathan to drop such mission because it may lead to revolution in this country. “Second, PDP government should rather prepare its handover notes at the centre and states as Nigerians are eager to effect a change of misrule and massive corruption of today’s government at all levels. What happened in 2011 elections will never repeat itself again.” The CNPP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Osita Okechukwu, doubted if President Jonathan gave such directive to Tukur. Okechukwu said that based on what was on the ground, the President could not have given such tall order since “Tukur is presently in a precarious condition

with journalists over the incident, saying: “There is a directive that we should not speak with the media or grant any interview in order not to scuttle investigation into this matter.” He said: "We will speak with the media at the appropriate time. As you can see, we are not in the best of mood for now, please respect our privacy." Meanwhile, the founder of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr Federick Fasehun, has ordered his members to launch a manhunt for Bamigbetan. Fasehun yesterday gave the directive in a statement in Lagos. He directed his members in the South-West to collaborate with security agents to organise the search for the kidnapped council boss. Fasehun, however, called on the kidnappers to imme-

that he is not even sure of the seat he occupies.” Okechukwu stated that the PDP is not even controlling 21 out of the 23 that it won in 2011. “So where will they get the 32 states? The elections in a liberal democracy are based on referendum and Jonathan can’t say he has done anything in Bayelsa, in Rivers or in Edo states. So the condition on ground does not justify the statement. “The President couldn’t have given such herculean task to Tukur that his position is being contended,” Okechukwu said. Senator Abubakar Dan Musa, a chieftain of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, described President Jonathan’s desire to have 32 states under his

control as against the present 23 states in 2015 as a wishful thinking. Dan Musa, the Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic, said it would be a miracle if PDP retains power beyond 2015, pointing out that the party as it stands now lacks the capability to make it in 10 states because of the havoc the party has caused for the country through maladministration. He noted that the President was exaggerating his party’s capability, based on past glory and reminded the leadership of the PDP that: “What happened in 2011 where the nation witnessed massive rigging can no longer find a place in 2015. “My advice to Mr. President is that if he loves the Nigerian nation and people, he

should advice the relevant electoral bodies to allow the votes of the electorate count in the choice of leaders for the next dispensation as any attempt by the PDP to rig itself back to power may end in chaos,” he said. National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Maxi Okwu said: “What made the President think that other parties would go to sleep to pave way for PDP to win in 32 states? Every party wants to win overwhelmingly but the question is how, democratically or through rigging.” Okwu noted that while PDP and the All Progressive Congress, APC, would be battling for the soul of the nation, APGA would hold the balance of power. The National Chairman of CPC, Prince Tony Momoh, said that the mission

diately release of the council chairman in the interest of peace. He said: “We just heard about this unfortunate incident, which has filtered through Lagos State and is all over the Internet. “Kehinde Bamigbetan is our son, a Yoruba man. Whoever touches any Yoruba man touches the apple’s eye of OPC and will pay dearly for it. “We warn whoever is behind this evil act that Bamigbetan must be released unharmed. Not one strand of his hair must be hurt''. Fasheun said that the kidnappers had made the worst mistake of their evil career. It will be recalled that OPC last October assisted in the rescuing of Muibat, wife of the Osun State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr Nojeem Salaam, which resulted in the death of two of her abductors.

PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI

of the coalition of opposition parties, which is to send the PDP to the graves, must be accomplished. Momoh, who disclosed this in his opening remarks during an enlarged National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the party, also emphasised the need for opposition parties to put their houses in order to forestall chaos as they move into APC. He said it was only through an effective merger that APC could seal the fate of PDP, adding that contrary to claim by a PDP stakeholder. “It is regrettable that insecurity is pervading every nook and cranny of the country,” he said. Reports by: Ayodele Ojo, Augustine Madu-West, Obiorah Ifoh, Sina Fadare, Dennis Agbo, Abiodun Nejo and Aza Msue


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ACN has turned Ekiti to theatre of war –PDP ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday accused the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, government of turning Ekiti State into a theatre of war by attacking perceived opposition members. The state PDP Chairman,

Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, who said the weekend attack by alleged ACN thugs on one House of Representatives member, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, confirmed that ACN was intolerant of the opposition. In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti by his media aide, Mr. Femi Omolusi, the chairman expressed fears

that members of other political parties in the state were not safe again if the ACN members could be after the life of one of their leaders. While calling on traditional rulers and opinion leaders in the state to call the ruling party to order, Ogundipe said ACN should be held responsible in case of any breakdown of law and

order. He, however, reiterated his call on the police in the state not to bow to pressure from any quarter and allow justice to prevail in all matters relating to investigations of all political clashes that had taken place in the state. Bamidele, who was attacked at Igede-Ekiti, had ac-

cused some ACN leaders of sponsoring the attack. But the ACN leaders had denied the allegation. Meanwhile, former Afenifere chieftain and PDP governorship aspirant, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the attack on Bamidele showed that a killer squad existed in the state. Adeyeye, in a statement

by the Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement, PAAM, decried the spate of violence being orchestrated by the ruling party, saying it was appalling that instead of engendering development in Ekiti State, ACN government was superintending over killing and maiming of innocent Ekiti sons and daughters.

Reps probe Lagos bus driver’s killing by police TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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L-R: Guest Speaker, Mr. Gabriel Falokun; representative of the Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Prof. Victor Adeyeye and representative of the GOC 2 Div., Brig.-Gen. Haruna Momoh, at the NISER Research Seminar Series in Ibadan, yesterday.

Olayinka’s body arrives Ado-Ekiti Tuesday ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he body of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, will arrive Ado-Ekiti, her hometown, on Tuesday next week as part of activities lined up for her burial. The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, said yesterday that the funeral arrangements for the late deputy

governor would begin in Lagos on Monday with service of songs at Ikeja, which would be followed by a commendation service at Opebi, Lagos the following morning. Ekundayo, who reeled out activities scheduled to hold in Ado-Ekiti from the arrival of the remains of the late deputy governor, said a funeral service would be held in her honour at Emmanuel Cathedral, Ado-Ekiti before her

interment on Friday. The family of Olayinka, who died in Lagos on April 6 after a protracted battle with cancer at the age of 52, resides in Lagos. The commissioner said the deputy governor, who was married to an Ogun State indigene, Mr. Lanre Olayinka, would be buried in Ado-Ekiti following intervention of notable Ekiti State indigenes including the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe.

Resist government’s harassment, Osoba tells journalists DAYO AYEYEMI

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ormer Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, has called on journalists to resist assault on them by security agencies. Osoba, who made the call during the ‘Turning of the Sod of Lagos’ NUJ’s multi-million naira Guest House at Shomolu, Lagos, spoke against the backcloth of the recent arrest and harassment of Leadership newspapers’ reporters and a photo journalist with The Punch.

The former governor urged journalists to continue to resist undue harassment by government’s agents, because “the pen is mightier than the sword”. He said: “Journalists must continue to resist them man for man, blow for blow, word for word.” Osoba, who was former managing director of Daily Times newspapers, added that journalists would always go through the unfortunate situation but it was incumbent on them to fight it with their weapon. He said: “Write your

column, write editorial column, the pen is mightier than all the swords of government of this world.” Osoba also called on government to treat journalists with respect, saying: “When the worst happens, the first casualties are journalists. Journalists have paid the supreme sacrifice for the cause of the nation.” He enjoined media organisations to ensure that the welfare of journalists is well taken care of, bemoaning the poor salary structure of journalists.

Meanwhile, mourners continued to throng the state capital yesterday to condole with the government and people of Ekiti State and the family of the late Olayinka. Among sympathisers yesterday were the Director General of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Ashshana Okauru; NGF Executive Director, Alhaji Tayo Shittu; and an Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Chris Jega.

he House of Representatives has directed its committees on Police Affairs and Human Rights to investigate and if necessary, recommend appropriate sanctions against the killing of bus driver, Mr. Chrisantos Nwabueze Okorie, by the police in Lagos. A motion brought under Matters of Urgent National Importance by Hon. Raphael Nnanna Igbokwe (PDP-Imo State), alleged that the bus driver was “brutally murdered” by the police without provocation. The lawmaker said the incident occurred in the Mushin area of Lagos State, warning that if not quickly curtailed, rampaging police officers would continue the senseless killing of civilians. He said: “Mr. Chrisantos Nwabueze Okorie was, on Thursday, 12th April 2013, brutally killed by officers in the Mushin area of Lagos State. “The extra-judicial kill-

ing of innocent civilians by the police is becoming a national embarrassment and if not curtailed, Nigerians will continue to lose their lives in that manner.” Igbokwe said it was gathered that the police went to the driver’s area on illegal operation early in the morning, and a policeman brought out his rifle and shot Nwabueze dead. He said: “It is very painful that the police are still expecting the family of the deceased to go and plead for investigations.” The lawmaker added that “the police are not doing enough to protect the less-privileged Nigerians from violence,” in the hands of security men meant to protect them. The motion was seconded by Hon. Nadu Karibo (PDP-Bayelsa). In his contribution, Hon. Aminu Suleiman (PDPKano) expressed concern over the rate of extra-judicial killings in the country. He said: “I don’t know when and how we can address the insanity of the rank and file of the police.

Ondo cocoa merchants decry multiple taxes OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

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he Cocoa Produce Merchants Association of Nigeria, CPMAN, has cried out over taxes and levies recently introduced by the Ondo State Government. In a statement issued yesterday by its state Chairman, Abiodun Jacob, and Secretary Oyelere Adebayo, CPMAN said the development had become a great burden on its members and the general public. The association said its members were being compelled to pay N500,000 for warehouse despite paying

another levy as a business premises fee, adding that this was not applicable to other businesses in the state. CPMAN called on the government to immediately redress the issue. It said: “In recent times, cocoa merchants in Ondo State are being levied heavily by the state government through the Produce Department of Natural Resources. We have drawn official attention to this issue but we have not received any positive result. “At present, we are made to pay nothing less than N500,000 for the warehouse where we operate and at the

same time made to pay another levy on the same thing called Business Premises Fees which is not applicable to other business concerns like ours. “The Produce Department has also introduced a lot of taxes and levies that have constituted hindrances to our business. “The produce department is now forcing us to comply or go out of business. While we are taking a legal step to redress this issue as law-abiding citizens, we note that this ugly step by the Produce Department will affect the economy of the state drastically and the lives of the poor farmers.”


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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PDP chieftains offered me N3bn to impeach Okorocha –Speaker CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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peaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, yesterday made a startling revelation of how the elder brother of the impeached Imo State deputy governor, Chief Martin Agbaso and some chieftains of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, offered him a whopping N3 billion to impeach the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. Speaking during an interview with selected jour-

nalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Uwajumogu alleged that Chief Agbaso, a business mogul, Sir Emeka Offor, the PDP National Vice-Chairman, South East, Col. Augustine Akobundu and other high ranking PDP members promised to give him the money if he would facilitate the impeachment of Okorocha to pave way for his deputy, Jude Agbaso, to become the governor. His words: “Sometime in August, 2012, Chief Martin Agbaso, elder brother to the former deputy governor, invited me for a meeting to help

stop the PDP hierarchy from removing me from office. “I attended the meeting in Anambra State in the house of a high level member of the party, Sir Emeka Offor, we had other high ranking PDP members, including the current South-East National Vice-Chairman of PDP, Col. Augstine Akobundu. “I was shocked at the meeting. I was told that the Presidency has directed that impeachment proceedings be commenced against Governor Okorocha to remove him from office, so that the then deputy, Sir Jude Ag-

baso, can take over. “The sum of N3billion was offered to me and of course adequate protection. I now asked them to give me the evidence that was required to impeach the governor and up till today they have not given me any required evidence.” The Speaker further stated that; “While Chief Agbaso was trying to sponsor the impeachment move against Okorocha, the governor got wind of it and confronted him (Agbaso) and myself. I owned up having heard their discussion and there was no evidence but I didn’t think it was

anything to worry about.” Uwajumogu also debunked claims that the impeachment of the deputy governor was predetermined, stressing that, “I am actually surprised by some of the information being released by the Agbasos. If there was any predetermined impeachment action, it was to be against the governor, which was to be sponsored by Martins Agbaso and the PDP in line with the directive of the Presidency.” When contacted, Akobundu, said he was not aware of the Speaker’s allegation. “I am not aware of what he (Speaker) was talking about. I am a member of the opposition in the state and can’t be talking about impeachment; the PDP is concerned with

restoring good governance in the state.” Also speaking, the state Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the party, Chief Blyden Amajirionwu, described the Speaker’s claim as unfounded and total falsehood. He continued: “The PDP is not interested in the impeachment of Okorocha because if he is impeached the PDP will not takeover, however, we are only working so that we can win the next election and restore good governance in the state. “The PDP will remove Okorocha during the next general election; we are not talking about impeachment.” In his reaction, Chief Agbaso simply said, “I am not sure the Speaker can say anything like that.”

Probe ex-deputy governor’s murder, CD tells police NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

T L-R: Abia State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Kingsley Mgbeahuru; Managing Director, Grandstar Construction Company, Sir Leo Okoye; Governor Theodore Orji and Deputy Governor, Sir Emeka Ananaba, at the commissioning of the newly completed Geometric Power Station access road at Osisioma in Abia State, yesterday.

Police parade eight child trafficking suspects, others Ngwa South while the prospective buyer was reportedly at large. In the same vein, five suspected female child traffickers were also arrested by the police when they were allegedly inducing Ogechi Eberendu, a nine-monthold pregnant lady as they were negotiating to buy her unborn baby. The arrested suspects are: Nkeriuka Ogbodo, Uchechi Duru, Ngozi Obasi, Tochukwu Uwakwe and Ugochukwu Okafor and they come from Rivers, Imo and Anambra States. Also, two armed criminals

in military camouflage, who attacked some travelers on April 13, dispossessing them of their belongings and made away with a little boy who was in the vehicle, were paraded. A male driver, Dambala Yahaha, of Birnin Kudu in Kano State, who was driving a Land Cruiser Jeep with registration number: RIVERS AJ 953 AHD and others travelling to Sokoto from Uyo through Aba, where a woman, Zainab Mohammed and a young boy, Husseni Musa, residents of Onion Market in Aba, joined them before they were attacked.

bia State police command yesterday paraded eight child trafficking suspects and some armed robbery and kidnapping suspects in the state capital, Umuahia. State Commissioner of Police, Usman Tilli Abubakar, disclosed this in a press briefing yesterday. The police commissioner said his men, acting on a tip off, swooped on a syndicate of child traffickers at Tonimas Filling Station at Umode

in Osisioma Local Council Area, a suburb of Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state. The police arrested the suspects as negotiation was on to sell Adaobi Obu, a six-year-old girl by her father, Obinna Obu, 32, a native of Umudim Imeziowa in Ezeagu Council Area of Enugu State. It was further discovered that little Adaobi was the only daughter of her father. Meanwhile, the police have arrested Obinna Obu and one Eze Ochiegbu, 25, an accomplice and native of Isiala

K AYODE KETEFE

Foreign travel: Former Enugu governor knows fate

GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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judge of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Justice Mohammed Yusuf, will today deliver his ruling on whether or not to allow the embattled former governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, to travel outside Nigeria for medical treatment.

Nnamani is being tried before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, on a 105 countcharge of money laundering alongside others, for allegedly defrauding his state to the tune of N4.5 billion. The other accused include: Sunday Anyaogu, Rainbownet (Nig.) Ltd; Hillgate (Nig.) Ltd; Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile

(Nig.) Ltd; Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School. The judge fixed today for ruling at the yesterday sitting after hearing arguments from Nnamani’s lawyer, Mr. Ricky Tarfa, SAN, and lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Kelvin

Uzozie. The two lawyers had engaged in extensive arguments on the application brought by Nnanami seeking the court’s permission to travel abroad. Nnamani had filed the application through his lawyer, stating the urgent need for him to be allowed to travel on health ground.

he South-East zone of the Campaign for Democracy, CD, has called on police authorities in Enugu, Anambra and Delta States to probe what it termed as the despicable and gruesome murder of Dr. Chudi Nwike, Deputy South-East National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and former deputy governor of Anambra State. In a press statement issued yesterday in Onitsha, Anambra State, by Dede Uzor A. Uzor and Dr Jerry Chukwuokolo, chairman and secretary of CD SouthEast zone respectively, the human rights group fumed at the gruesome murder of Nwike, expressing worry

that the remaining seven months before the Anambra governorship election would be full of violence of alarming magnitude. “We are calling on both commissioners of police in Enugu, Anambra and Delta States to set up a high-powered investigation team to unravel the circumstances leading to his abduction and murder as well as the killing of two people, who went to pay the ransom for him. “The Federal Government should provide tracking devices in states with high rate of criminality especially Delta, Enugu and Anambra States. With the high profile kidnapping and murder of top placed personalities, it is clear that the state government cannot contain security the upheavals in the axis.”

We’re prepared for kidnappers –Orji GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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bia State Governor, Theodore Orji, has restated the determination of his administration to ensure that kidnappers never returned to Aba and indeed the state in general, saying “we are fully prepared for them.” The governor said it was because the government fought criminals, especially kidnappers out of the state that roads and other developments were being witnessed in the state. Orji, who spoke in Aba during the commissioning of seven out of the 16 roads

he flagged-off in January, said if the kidnappers were still terrorising people in the state, the roads would not have been done. Recalling the bad state of Aba, both in security and infrastructure before now, Orji said better days are waiting Aba residents, but urged them to always pay their taxes to enable the government do more. He announced that the state has introduced a single tax regime as against the old system whereby all manner of people demanded for different taxes from the residents, most of which ended up in private pockets.


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Wednesday April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

Amaechi: Daring Nigerians on revolution

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No decision yet on 2015, says Jonathan MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan has said he was yet to take any decision on whether or not to contest for the 2015 presidential poll.

The President said this in a reaction to a publication by a national daily (not National Mirror) yesterday through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati. While debunking the publication titled

“21-member C’ttee empanelled for Jonathan’s second term bid,” President Jonathan said he remained fully focused on the implementation of his administration’s agenda for national transformation and not the politics of

future elections. He also attributed the publication and similar insinuations to handiwork of persons “with eyes fixated on political opportunities in future elections.” The statement reads in

L-R: Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku; Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Darius Ishaku and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, at a news conference in Abuja, yesterday.

President, Amaechi’s feud deepens as PDP inaugurates new exco OBIORA IFOH AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he seeming feud between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi has taken another dimension with the formal inauguration of a new executive committee for the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the National Executive Council of the party at its headquarters in Abuja yesterday. The new executive, which includes Felix Obuah, who is the chairman, Walter Opuene (secretary) and 27 others who are said to be loyal to the Minister of State for Education, Nyson Wike were sworn in at about 2p.m. in compliance with a Federal

Sacked Rivers exco appeals judgement

High Court, Abuja order which nullified the election of the former exco loyal to Amaechi. The court in its judgment held that the state congress that produced the now sacked executive committee members was illegal, null and void. Dignitaries at the inauguration include Wike, Senator Lee Maeba, Sergent Awuse, former deputy speaker, Austin Okpara among a host of others who have fallen out with Amaechi. But the Rivers State caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday described the court judgement as not only “a travesty of justice but a broad day light judicial robbery”. At a press briefing yes-

terday, leader of the caucus, Asita Honourable, leading Uchendu Andrew, Dokonte Davies and former commissioners from the state and other chieftains of the party, said they would appeal the judgement as the presiding Justice Ishaq Bello, stood justice on its head when he made the order sacking the executive committee members. The caucus wondered how a judge could have delivered judgement in favour of parties who neither stood nomination in the March 17, 2012 Rivers State congress that produced the executive committee, nor participate as delegates at the said congress, despite submissions of the national secretariat of the party as

to who were duly elected into the Rivers State executive committee and the persons they inaugurated and accredited as bona fide delegates to the national convention, the judge went ahead to award judgment to “mere interlopers.” Meanwhile, indications emerged yesterday that the sacked chairman, Chief Godpower Ake, had lodged an appeal at the Registry of the Federal Capital Territory High Court. Umejuru is challenging Justice Ishaq Bello’s judgement, which sacked his state executive from office on the ground that the March 17, 2012 state congress that produced them, was not in compliance with the constitution of the PDP.

part: “The Presidency has noted with concern that some individuals, groups, organisations and sections of the media have continued to foster the myth of a president and administration solely concerned with jostling and self-positioning for the 2015 elections. “On Monday, April 15, ThisDay newspaper published a front page news story titled ‘21-member C’ttee Empanelled for Jonathan’s Second Term Bid’ wherein it was stated, inter alia, that ‘the president’s aides and associates have set up a 21-member committee to advise (President) Jonathan on the viability of his entry into the presidential contest in 2015’. The impression is further created that a group known as ‘We, the people’ has its roots in the Presidency and that the 2015 campaign has now become the main preoccupation of the Presidency. “This is totally untrue and without any basis in reality. As he has truthfully declared on several occasions, President Jonathan has not yet taken a decision on whether or not he will seek re-election in 2015 and has therefore not mandated any individual, committee or organisation to start working on

his behalf for the 2015 elections.” While stating that his wish to be left alone to focus on delivering on his promise of good governance and national transformation without unnecessary distractions should be respected, Jonathan cautioned “political jobbers and their collaborators in the media” to “stop heating up the polity with baseless speculations and falsehoods revolving around imaginary plans and schemes by the Presidency for the 2015 elections”. Abati said that the Presidency has observed what seems to be an emerging trend whereby persons with their eyes fixated on political opportunities in future elections are beginning to use President Jonathan’s name to promote themselves and their vaulting ambitions. “It was clearly in this regard that some unscrupulous persons began to print 2015 campaign posters with President Jonathan’s photograph whereas the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to announce the commencement of campaigns and political parties are yet to conduct any primaries for the selection of candidates,” he decried.

Lagos LG debunks impeachment story OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he Oshodi/Isolo Local Government has debunked the story making the rounds in social media that the leader of its legislative arm, Azeez Shobayo has been impeached. In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the chairman of the council, Gbenga Fatodu and made available to National Mirror, the council said the story was far from the truth. The statement stated: “We are made to address the issue and give better

understanding to people in order to avoid distraction, confusion and unfounded false alarm!” The statement added that what transpired at the legislative chamber of the council was that the seven councillors representing the seven wards of the council had an inconclusive plenary session, where Shobayo stormed out in anger, thus fuelling the impeachment story, which the council described as the handiwork of detractors hell-bent on “frustrating the enviable works of the Bolaji Ariyoh-led local council administration.”


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Politics

Wednesday April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Amaechi: Daring Nigerians on revolution Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi has said that revolution will not occur in Nigeria in foreseeable future due to the timidity of Nigerians and their inability to make sacrifices. OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU examines this thinking and aligned it with similar thoughts of other leaders who were eventually consumed by the peoples’ revolts.

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ivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi stirred the hornets’ nest penultimate week when in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, he said that revolution may not happen in Nigeria because Nigerians are timid. He added that he was certain that had President Goodluck Jonathan deployed soldiers to quell the protests against the removal of petroleum subsidies across the country in January 2012, the protesters would have fled. Amaechi, who doubles as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), while speaking at the second Nigeria Symposium for Young and Emerging Leaders, said that forceful revolution is not likely to happen anytime soon because Nigerians are timid and unwilling to make sacrifices. The governor noted that the ‘terrible living standard’ in Nigeria is more than enough panacea for revolution, the type that brought about dramatic and holistic changes in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere, but the lack lustre and lackadaisical attitude on Nigerians would not allow such in any foreseeable future. He said: “Yes, revolution can happen outside Nigeria. But here, I do not think so. Tell me what happened in Sudan, Libya, Zimbabwe and other countries that have not happened here. “Our elasticity has no limit. You do not pray for electricity to be regular but you know that some Nigerians pray ‘God, let the light be stable today.’ We pray without working to solve our problems and we think God will do what we are supposed to do for us.” Amaechi said that he would never support Nigeria’s breakdown or disintegration, but added that whoever wanted a change in Nigeria must be prepared to face up to guns and other instruments of intimidation and harassment. To him, “If we do not provide means of livelihood for the people, they will provide means of livelihood for themselves illegally. The country produces much wealth, but it is in the hands of a few. If we do not do things right, Nigerians will demand revolution. The problem is about the system. If we reform a bit, things will be okay.” But shortly after, Amaechi was taken to the cleaners by human rights activists who described him as one of the leaders in the country who has lost touch with the people they lead. Elder statesman and one time presidential candidate of the National Advance Party (NAP) and pro-democracy activist, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite said that ordinarily, he wouldn’t denigrate to give Amaechi a response, but told National Mirror that

Amaechi

Amaechi and his ilk would soon be surprised when Nigerians come out to show those who are leading them that they are not as docile as the leaders think. His words: “I dismissed offhand the statement by Amaechi because it is quite clear that he is far removed from reality. I don’t think he contested election and won, he must have been one of the courtinstalled governors, who after losing an election, ambushed the person who won election and got to office through court order. To that extent, his simplistic reading of the mood of the people in a manifestly oppressive and unjust situation should be dismissed offhand. You know what the election petition tribunals have become in the country today. “He would soon learn even before 2015, that Nigerians are not docile, as they perceived them to be. That revolution would soon take place in this country to free the people from the shackles of oppression of the so-called leaders who are oppressors. We would make a revolution happen in this country and it will be sooner than they think.” But to the spokesman of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, it was not surprising that such utterance was coming from the Rivers State governor, who he accused of organising a pro-subsidy protest in his domain while Nigerians were fighting the obnoxious removal of fuel subsidy on January 1, 2012. He said that the time is nigh that not only Nigerians, but even security agents, would join the revolution bandwagon, adding that with the resilience shown by the people during the fuel subsidy removal protests, Nigerians have shown clearly that they were ready to free themselves from the shackles of oppression thrown round their necks by the leadership in the country. His words: “Nigerians have shown clearly in January 2012 that they are ready to liberate themselves; they are ready for a revolt against this bad leadership and it’s a matter of time before the ruling class gets what it’s asking for. “The time is coming when security

YES, REVOLUTION CAN HAPPEN OUTSIDE

NIGERIA. BUT HERE, I DO NOT THINK SO. TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED IN SUDAN, LIBYA, ZIMBABWE AND OTHER COUNTRIES THAT HAVE NOT

HAPPENED HERE...

OUR ELASTICITY HAS NO LIMIT agents will be part of the protest because they suffer the same fate with the teeming masses of this country. The only exceptions were the ‘ogas on top’ who are benefiting and immune to the poverty ravaging the land. The rank and file are also suffering. It is that revolution itself that would convince Amaechi and those who think like him that Nigerians are capable of revolting.” Perhaps, Amaechi, who may not be student of history, needs to be reminded of some leaders in history who had the same line of thinking and oppressed their people and ruled them with iron hand. The first of such was Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, who with his wife, Imelda, held the Philippines by the jugular for over 20 years between 1965 and 1986. His administration was marred by massive corruption, political repression, and human rights violations. In 1983, his government was accused of being involved in the assassination of his primary main political opponent, Benigno Aquino Jr. The public outrage that trailed the assassination proved a catalyst for the People Power Revolution of February 1986 that consumed his administration and sent him to exile in Hawaii, where he eventually died. Another was the Romanian leader, Nicholae Ceasuscus, who up till 1989 had the

people of his country under his whims and caprices for years. What gave Romanians, whom Ceasuscus had thought, like Amaechi, were “docile and not ready to make sacrifices” the courage to revolt, was the shout of “liar, liar,” by an unknown woman while Ceasuscus was delivering a speech on December 24, 1989, at a public square. That infamous shout was all the people of Romania needed to galvanise them into a revolt that not only ended Ceasuscus’ iron fist rule, but also consumed him, his government and family. If 1986 and 1989 events were too far into the distance, may be Amaechi would be reminded of the events that led to the Arab Spring which had so far consumed not less than three powerful presidents who had held their ‘docile’ people by the jugular. Let him cast his mind back to Libya, a country where since 1969, Muammar Gaddafi was the only one calling the shots. Nobody dared challenge his authority; in fact, if anybody had predicted in 2010 what happened in 2011 in Libya, leading to the overthrow and death of Gaddafi, Libyans themselves would never had thought it possible. Many of them would have sworn that it could never have happened under Gaddafi. Perhaps, he needs to be reminded of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak powerful hold on Egyptians for 30 years and exiled Tunisian leader, Zine El-Abidin, who also held Tunisia by the jugular for 24 years. This trio were dictators while they lord it over their respective countries and could have sworn then that it was only death, which they had no control over, that could remove them from office. However, the moment the patience of their ‘timid and docile’ citizens reached its elasticity limit, they were consumed by the revolt of those who they had lorded it over for ages. Not only were they removed from office, while one was killed in circumstances befitting only animals, one was sent into exile and another spending time in solitary confinement. Perhaps, the chairman of the NGF needs to be reminded that it was this same timid and docile Nigerians that poured out to the streets in 2012 in major cities of Lagos, Abuja, Ilorin, Kano, Ibadan, amongst others, to protest the inhuman hike in petroleum prices unleashed on them by the government as New Year gift. The protests may not have achieved much or the desired result, but it was a pointer to the fact that ‘timid and docile Nigerians’ have the capacity and wherewithal to make a revolution happen. Amaechi should be reminded that perhaps, if Jonathan had not soft-pedalled but had remained recalcitrant, that January 2012 protests would have culminated in the revolution he thinks would not happen in Nigeria soon. Analysts have argued that if truly Nigerians are timid as Amaechi was making us to believe, why then are the governor and his ilk in leadership position at various strata of governance across the country moving about in convoys of security men, live in houses that are more or less prisons and ride in bullet proof cars? As one analyst put it, what those in leadership positions have failed to realise is “patience is exhaustible and when it happens, reactions that are never expected occur.”


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Reflections on Margret Thatcher PUBLIC DOMAIN

DELE

SETEOLU

deleseteolu@nationalmirroronline.net (08033137577 SMS only)

T

he death of former British Prime Minister, Mrs. Margret Thatcher, has raised varied comments and emotions about her tenure and politics. To some officials of the African National Congress (ANC), her death was good riddance. This comment was raised in the context of her roles in the apartheid government of Pieter Willem Botha in South Africa. The global community had isolated the racist and apartheid government in Pretoria on account of its inhuman state policy. The apartheid policy led to global campaigns for political isolation of and imposition of economic sanctions on that enclave; this cause was led by the ANC that pursued local and external struggles, including armed struggle, against the regime. Baroness Thatcher was though opposed to apartheid political system, she disagreed with the economic sanctions against Pretoria, arguing that economic sanctions were not consistent with the principle of economic liberalism. She was vehement in her criticisms of the mas-

O

ne had thought that by now President Goodluck Jonathan would have mastered the art and science of how to govern Nigeria with her complexities. The realities on the ground do not in any way suggest that he understands the enormity of the problems confronting his presidency. At no time in the history of this nation has it been so buffeted with serial and variegated crises that have come to question its existence than now. Beyond the Boko Haram menace which poses its own challenges to the security of the country and the presidency of Jonathan, there are other matters of national concern requiring astuteness and sagacity. A country, like any other entities, faces challenges from time to time, but the capacity of the leader is important in the apprehension and resolution of the challenges. A lot of people were in support of the Jonathan’s presidency drive. There were many things in his favour. One, the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was a great opportunity for him in spite of the intrigues of the clique led by Chief Michael Andoaka, the then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. Two, the groundswell of opposition to the clique was so intense that even some members of the Federal Executive Council identified with Jonathan. Three, the party apparatchiks were also favourably disposed to him. The Senate’s ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ should be understood within the context of the above. By invoking this Doctrine, which gave some legal teeth to the emergence of Jonathan as an acting President, the Senate was reflecting the national

sive trade and economic isolation of that regime. British companies therefore, did business with Pretoria, though under intense pressures from anti apartheid groups and states on account of this. Nigeria, under the late General Murtala Muhammed/General Olusegun Obasanjo military administration, was vehement in her opposition to the apartheid regime and insisted on global economic sanctions against it. The country’s radical stance led to the nationalization of British Petroleum (BP) by the Obasanjo administration in 1979. The cumulative economic and political pressures on apartheid Pretoria thus contributed to the collapse of the economic and political system in South Africa. Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of Britain as a member of the British House of Commons in 1979 and bestrode the European and global political landscape like a colossus for a period until her unceremonial exit in 1990. She was articulate, profoundly brilliant, showed strength of character and deep knowledge of global political realities. Baroness Thatcher was ideologically committed to market economy and state withdrawal from economic activities. In her tenure, she vigorously pursued economic liberalism in Britain and graduated the privatization of British public enterprises and phased reduction of government’s role in the economy. The former Prime Minis-

SHE WAS ARTICULATE, PROFOUNDLY

BRILLIANT, SHOWED STRENGTH OF CHARACTER AND DEEP KNOWLEDGE OF GLOBAL POLITICAL REALITIES ter’s pronouncements and commitment to liberalism were popularized as Thatcherism. Similarly, Reaganomics was coined in the United States to describe the commitment of the late President Ronald Reagan administration to neo-liberal economic principles. The IMF and World Bank prescribed neo-liberalism to developing states without consideration for their historical specificities. The resultant adjustment programs pursued financial and exchange stability to the neglect of structural and developmental issues. Consequently, the orthodox adjustment programs led to social inequality, pauperization, social alienation, loss of kingship system; as a result of anti-social and anti-people economic policies. It is difficult to point at a developing economy where neo-liberalism has mediated poverty and under development.

The Bretton Woods concession to obviating the social cost of adjustment reforms has not erased the major lacuna in the design, conceptualization and implementation of adjustment reforms. The failure of liberalism has led to increasing state role in coordinating the economy in the interest of the urban poor, rural peasants and vulnerable social categories. From the foregoing, neo-liberalism is not sacrosanct and should not be posed as single panacea to the economic crises of developing countries. Thatcher led Britain to war against Argentina on the Falkland Island. Falkland Island has oil resources thus raising the stake between these countries. The British naval ship, ‘HMS Sheffy the destroyers’ sank the Argentine warship thus deciding the war. Quite recently, Britain conducted a referendum in Falkland Island to determine its future. The populace voted to remain a territory of Britain; this decision provoked Buenos Aires that shunned invitation to the funerals for the late British Prime Minister. Baroness Thatcher was a global personality who contributed immensely to defining the contours of international politics. Though she is controversial, she had courage to ventilate and pursue her beliefs in local British politics, regional and global politics. She will be remembered for her unflinching belief in market ideology as against state led capitalism.

Jonathan and his presidency THE TIME WE ARE IN AS A COUNTRY REQUIRES A STATESMAN OF NOBLE INTENTIONS mood of the moment, and it was extremely favourable to Dr. Jonathan. Four, Jonathan looked (and still looks) very lambish, more so with his “shoeless childhood”. It will be stating the obvious to note that the election that gave the presidency to him was a southern “coup” of sorts with a national democratic imprimatur. South-East states and their South-South counterparts recorded very unbelievably high votes for Jonathan. The South-West was also not left out even when the party in power in the zone did not have anything in common with his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The southerners really saw 2011 as their own time to take presidential power and what it offered. Jonathan was packaged as another Azikiwe and was made to appear as a politician representing both the South-South and the Igbo nation. But like all things ephemeral, the overwhelming support that he had has suddenly disappeared into thin air owing to the way and manner he has carried on in the last two years or so. Apart from his ill-digested policies that inflict more pains on the people, his politics is also very myopic and pedestrian. You are either with him or you are his enemy. The former governor of Bayelsa State, Timpre Sylva and incumbent Governor

Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State have sad tales to tell about the politics of Jonathan. At a time when the President ought to concentrate on serious governance matters, he is busy planning for a re-election in 2015. From his body language and the utterances of his foot soldiers, it is clear that he is pre-occupied more with 2015 than how to salvage the country from its current descent into the abyss. The time we are in as a country requires a statesman of noble intentions whose wisdom will uplift the sagging interest about Nigeria noticed in the faces of most Nigerians because of their disenchantment with the goings on in the country. The slipshod and inanities are too many and do not raise the confidence of the people. What cristalises from the foregoing is the fact that President Jonathan was illprepared for the job and responsibilities that go with the office he is occupying. Some have argued that one of his undoing is his recourse to ethnicity as can be seen in the choice of his inner cabinet. It is believed by this group that the President’s inner cabinet is short-sighted and therefore, sees everything about Nigeria from its narrow prism. It is this group, it is claimed, that draws up his programmes and advises him on what to do. This may be true, but it does not explain the whole story. I think that his greatest is his unpreparedness for the job. He wanted to be the president of the country without the requisite wherewithal the occupier of the office must possess. This explains the numerous gaffes that have

Point Of Order er

CHIJIOKE

UWASOMBA

cjsomba@yahoo.co.uk (08037058775 SMS only)

continued to hallmark his presidency. From what we have seen so far, there is no doubting the fact that Nigeria is in a bind and the presidency of Jonathan may not have what it takes to reposition her. Those who insisted and still think that the leadership of the country must evolve and revolve along tribal lines can now see that a tribe does not make a leader. Our emphasis should be that the best from any of our ethnic groups should be allowed to run the affairs of the country for the good of all. It is becoming apparent that even those leaders who might have emerged based on ethnic politics end up not attending to the needs of their “own people”. President Jonathan and his clique should watch it. Dr. Uwasomba, jsoba@yahoo.co.uk, is of the Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Editorial

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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

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MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

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ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

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SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

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CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Baroness ‘Iron Lady’ Thatcher (1925 - 2013) O S B he was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and the only woman to have held the office; voted the fourth greatest British Prime Minister of the 20th century in a poll of 139 academics organised by Ipsos Mori while she was in power (May 1979 to November 1990). She was in 2002 ranked number 16 in the BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. And in 1999, TIME magazine named her one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century. These are the accomplishments that best capture the life and time of Baroness Thatcher - previously Mrs. Margaret Hilda Thatcher, a woman that gave her everything to politics and probably got the best out of it. Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, on October 13, 1925 to Alfred Roberts and Beatrice Ethel, Margaret Hilda Roberts was brought up as a strict Methodist. She attended Huntingtower Road Primary School and won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, where she was head girl between 1942 and 1943. She read chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford University, graduating in 1947. Her father was the Mayor of Grantham (1945–46) and was also an alderman. So for Margaret, she naturally gravitated towards politics. In her third year at the university, she emerged as the President of the Oxford Universi-

NE OF HER HARDEST JOBS AS

RITISH

PRIME MINISTER

WAS THE DECISION TO GO TO WAR WITH

ARGENTINA IN 1982 OVER FALKLAND ISLAND ty Conservative Association, and joined the local Conservative Association upon her graduation. In February 1951, she met her future husband, Denis Thatcher, a successful and wealthy divorced businessman, and they were married in December of that year. At the prompting of her husband, she studied for the bar examinations and became a qualified lawyer in 1953, the same year she gave birth to her twins, Carol and Mark. After failing to secure a parliamentary seat in 1950, 1951 and 1955, Margaret got her breakthrough in 1959 when she won the seat for Finchley. From then on, it was a roller coaster career in politics for her, culminating first in her election as leader of the Tories and Opposition Leader in the Parliament in February 1975, and later as Prime Minister in 1979. She was reelected in 1983 and 1987. Her political sun,

however, literally set in November 1990 following a major rift in her party over her domestic policies and stance on the European Community. “Thatcherism” encapsulates the totality of her approach to governance and ethics. For her, moral absolutism, nationalism and unfettered capitalism were non-negotiable. Given her perception of inheriting a country on the decline, she unleashed series of economic measures that emphasized deregulation, flexible labour markets, privatization and curbing the power and influence of trade unions. It may be recalled, the lethal blow she dealt the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) between 1984 and 1985. The late Thatcher was in power during the last stages of the decolonization process in Africa. However, her equivocation on the apartheid policy in South Africa at the time pitted the entire free Africa against her. It took hardball politics and arm twisting by African leaders to get Thatcher to convoke the 1979 Lancaster House Conference that packaged an independence deal for the then Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). The success of the Rhodesian deal was the catalyst for the crumbling of the apartheid regime in South Africa, while the release from incarceration of Nelson Mandela on February 11th 1990 was the beginning of freedom for South Africa. Thatcher enjoyed a chummy, yet bumpy relationship

with former President Ronald Reagan of the United States, who she supported blindly until her pride was hurt by the October 1983 invasion of Grenada after she had been assured no invasion was on the cards. The development, nonetheless, did not prevent her from attending the state funeral service for Reagan in June 2004. She was receptive to the defunct Soviet Union leader, Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost, and one of her hardest jobs as British Prime Minister was the decision to go to war with Argentina in 1982 over Falkland Island. She was decorated and honoured at home and abroad. In February 2007, Thatcher became the first living British Prime Minister to be honoured with a statue in the Parliament. Queen Elizabeth 11 honoured her with peerage in the House of Lords in 1992 as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, in the County of Lincolnshire. In 1991, ex-President George H. W. Bush of the US awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour awarded by the US, while in Croatia she was decorated with the Dame Grand Cross of the Croatian Grand Order of King Dmitar Zvonimir. The fallen Thatcher had been featured in quite a number of television programmes, documentaries, films and plays. We join the rest of the world in mourning this great woman.

ON THIS DAY April 17, 2012 Ilias Ali, Organizing Secretary of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and a former MP, disappeared from Dhaka along with his chauffeur, allegedly abducted by government forces. He remains missing and there has been a series of general strikes orchestrated by the BNP party members in Sylhet in protest for his kidnap; BNP members have also clashed with police in the capital Dhaka over his kidnap.

April 17, 1986 The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ended. The war was a theoretical state of hostilities between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly (located off the southwest coast of Great Britain). It is said to have been extended by the lack of a peace treaty for 335 years without a single shot being fired, which would make it one of the world’s longest wars and a bloodless war.

April 17, 1978 Mir Akbar Khyber is assassinated, provoking a communist coup d’état in Afghanistan. Mir Akbar Khyber, sometimes spelled Khaibar (1925 – April 17, 1978) was an Afghan intellectual and a leader of the Parcham faction of the communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). His assassination led to the overthrow of Mohammed Daoud Khan’s republic, and to the advent of a communist regime in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Health & Wellbeing Herbal medicine: NAFDAC to collaborate with practitioners

Infertility is not a disease –Former childless woman

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Nigeria can’t meet goal on maternal mortality –Minister • Says MDG 4&6 can be achieved • NHIS to be mandatory • New Yellow card emerges

Women, endangered species as Nigeria misses goal on maternity mortality

SAM EFERARO AND TOBORE OVUORIE

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ith less than two years away from the time set for the world to meet the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, the Minister of Health Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has revealed that Nigeria may not meet the target of reducing by three quarter, her maternal mortality ratio to achieve MDG5 or the universal access to reproductive health by 2015. Speaking at a media parley in Lagos, weekend, the minister disclosed that while the achievement of MDG 5 was doubtful, the country is on track in meeting MDG 4- reducing by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate and MDG 6- halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS, while providing universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it latest by 2015. “We thought MDG 5 could be achieved but we are not quite on track,”Prof. Chukwu told the newsmen. Nigeria ranks among countries with

the highest maternal mortality ratio. With a ratio of 800 death per 100,000 live births it is estimated that no fewer than 44,800 Nigerian women die from pregnancy related complications out of 5,600,000 pregnancies. According to UNICEF, many of these causes are preventable but the coverage and quality of health care services in the country have continued to fail women and children. The minister further disclosed that very soon, National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, would become compulsory for every workers in Nigeria as a bill to see to every employers of labour subscribing to it for their employees is in the offing. According to the minister, Nigeria is having serious health issues because NHIS is presently voluntary. “NHIS is voluntary but Nigerians are not subscribing to it. There is a bill in the offing to make it mandatory for all employers of labour to subscribe to it for their employees. Countries like Nigeria and US are having health issues because they made it voluntary.

“Right now, health is not mentioned in any of the legislative lists. But states can have their own alternatives to NHIS though it would be more difficult to be coordinated. Workers at the federal level are not contributing to it and anytime we mention it, they threaten to go on strike. The public that is making noise about NHIS are they really ready to contribute? Are they contributing? We presently have very few contributors. To make it a success, we must make it mandatory. “The community based insurance scheme can be embraced. It is already working in states like Kogi. Right now, people on that scheme pay N150 a month and they are enjoying the benefits. The scheme is working”. Prof. Chukwu also disclosed that a committee has been inaugurated by the ministry to work out modalities for the teaching of herbal medicine in the nation’s medical schools saying there is no place for traditional bone setters and treatment is presently not based on proper diagnosis. Before you call yourself a doctor, you must be able to diagnose. You must know the condition you are treating, he further said. He however disclosed that the nation through the ministry of health presently has no plans to increase the salaries of medical doctors adding that 77% of the ministry’s budget is currently expended on salaries which leaves very little for the development of the sector. “Regarding doctors salaries, we are a poor country but have potentials to be very rich but look at the budget, most part of it is to pay salaries, thus, little is left for development of the sector. How do we thus in-

Prof. Chukwu

crease salaries? The truth is that the country is poor. We need to grow the economy, when we create real wealth for the country and economy then we would be able to increase salaries. But notwithstanding the situation, we are now enjoying some of the advantages some doctors left in search for abroad, while they are now coming back to be able to enjoy such here in Nigeria” he explained. The minister also disclosed that the current yellow card being used by travellers would no longer be valid come September 30th. According to him, the ministry has designed a new card with adequate security feature which would be available nationwide from October 1st. He also said the card would only be available in designated Federal Government centres .


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Discourage establishment of breweries –Psychiatrist TOBORE OVUORIE

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L-R: Mr. Lanre Oyegbola, partner, Association for the Prevention of Infertility and the Promotion of Reproductive health and rights, ASPIRE; Mrs. Ifeoma Emekwue, Brand Ambassador, ASPIRE; and Ms. Degbetuwa Sammy addressing newsmen about infertility in Lagos recently. PHOTO: TOBORE OVUORIE

Herbal medicine: NAFDAC to collaborate with practitioners L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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he National Agency for Food and Drugs Agency and Control (NAFDAC), has declared its intention to give adequate support to the development of herbal medicine as a way of promoting healthcare delivery in the country. The NAFDAC DirectorGeneral, Professor Paul Orhii stated this recently during a stakeholders meeting on the Regulation of Herbal Medicine in Nigeria in Lagos where he reinforced the need to standardise herbal therapy in the country. He said there are some pharmacological effect of various herbal products which makes many herbal products unsafe and capable of posing serious side effects when used in excessive amounts or combined with other herbs or drugs. Prof. Orhii said the agency has the strong will to support traditional/herbal medicine due to the fact that the herbal products are good dietary supplements and also used to cure serious ailments He, however emphasised the need for ensuring safety of products, noting that committee of experts has been set up to identify best ways to assist manufacturers meet national and international standards of safety, efficacy and quality. According to Prof. Orhii, the scientific evidence of efficacy would be provided for herbal medicine in order to standardise the usage, adding that “the agency is now extending an arm of fellowship to manufacturers of herbal medicine

by endorsing their product after passing through series of tests. “Evidence of efficacy is not a pre-requisite for listing by

NAFDAC, but if you wish to put up claims of indication. You have to conduct scientific research and follow protocols because without this being

followed, it can have harmful and even deadly consequences when herbal products that are unsafe are allowed into the market”, he said.

Govt may re-introduce sanitary monitoring officers to prevent malaria L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

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clarion call has gone to the Nigerian government to re-introduce sanitary monitoring officers to ensure clean and healthy environment in communities within the state to propel people to guard their environments from malaria. This was disclosed by the Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, while delivering a paper entitled: ‘’Malaria and Socio-Economic Impact” ‘in a recent meeting on Malaria Elimination and

Ground Breaking ceremony of Biolarvicides (insecticides) factory. He said if people can take proper care of their surroundings against malaria, it will help save the N480 billion that is usually lost to malaria in the country annually. He stated that a child dies every 45 seconds in Africa due to malaria and that the figure is a significant thus, all stakeholders in the health sector have to begin a search on the solution to the menace. He noted that malaria occurrence has killed more people in poor rural com-

munities of the country, saying that poverty and sickness were related as he added that “people that fall sick with malaria mostly did so because they were poor.” He said poverty was a hindrance to the ownership of mosquito nets and noted that some people became poor due to the sickness. ``Malaria bites the income of families; malaria means poverty and the elimination strategy should be based on cost-effectiveness,’’ Chukwu said. He noted that malaria occurred and killed more people in poor rural communities of the country, saying that poverty and sickness were related.

Infertility not a disease –Former childless woman TOBORE OVUORIE

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igerian women have been urged to speak out about infertility challenges they are facing and not be ashamed, and make In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) top on their solution seeking list as infertility is not a disease. The call was made recently in Lagos by Mrs. Ifeoma Emekwue, brand ambassador to Association for the Prevention of Infertility and the Promotion of Reproductive health and rights, ASPIRE. ASPIRE is a Non Govern-

mental Organisation that advocates open conversations on issues of infertility and reproductive health while demystifying the socio-cultural and religious concerns around reproductive health solutions and options like IVF. According to Emekwue, many couples are faced with infertility problems but are keeping quiet because infertility has been wrongly attributed in Nigeria to the moral and purity standards of a couple adding that“the woman in particular is often labeled and stigmatized thus making many of them shy away rather than

seek solutions like going for IVF”. Emekwue was childless for the first six years of her marriage until she and her husband went to the Bridge Clinic- an IVF centre where she was able to conceive after undergoing treatment. She is now a proud mother of a set of twin- a boy and a girl who are 13 years old and in excellent state of health. Using herself as an example, she called on women who are currently passing through this phase which she had experienced to explore IVF as an option.

e-emphasising the establishment of more breweries, discouraging media advertisements of alcohol and cigarettes have been identified as major ways to prevent and control drug misuse and abuse in the country. This was made known by Dr. Babatunde Oyeleye, of the nursing department, Obafemi Awolowo University; at a three day seminar recently organized by the NeuroPsychiatric hospital, Yaba, Lagos. Speaking on the topic: “Combating Substance Misuse in a Depressed Economy: A challenge to Mental Health Nursing Practice”, Dr. Oyeleye disclosed that curtailing these two will go a long way in aiding psychological wellbeing of Nigerians. He however proffered improved efficiency of the country’s social control system such as the police, courts, customs, NAFDAC, NDLEA and prisons as veritable sources to curtail and eradicate drug abuse in the country. According to Oyeleye, the society alone is not to blame for the increasing use of substances and their abuse in the country. Looking within the nursing profession, he identified inadequate dissemination of new clinical knowledge on drug reaction, inadequate funding, inadequate training facilities and poor motivation of staff as barriers which have slowed down nurses from giving adequate treatments to victims of drug abuse.

Cerebral palsy, most expensive disability to manage –Parent’s patient TOBORE OVUORIE

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he Federal Government has been called upon to establish centres for early diagnosis and management of cerebral palsy in children as the health condition has been discovered to be the most expensive disability to manage. Air Vice Marshal Gbadebo, founder, Benola Initiative made the call recently in Lagos while addressing newsmen. Benola Initiative is a Non Governmental Organisation committed to change and progress for persons living with cerebral palsy by seeking their inclusion into society in order to ensure that they and those who care for them live the best possible life. According to Gbadebo, the condition has high prevalent rate in Nigeria while people’s ignorance about it and not going to hospitals worsens the situation. He also noted that early detection is still the best and can actually be achieved. “CP is the most expensive disability to manage. The drugs are not easy to come by. Last year, a pack for a month was N70, 000. We now buy our son’s medication from India every six months. The condition also requires some specialists working with the child such as speech specialist, psychologist, physiotherapists, and pediatrician among others” he disclosed.


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The unusual approach to governance in Osun State a

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A new school building. Inset: Gov. Rauf Aregbesola

Primary school pupils taking their meal

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sun: Unusual approach to governance, is a product of independent investigation undertaken by National Mirror Newspaper on a recent visit to Osun State to access spate of development in the last couple of years when the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola came into office. Unlike several other places where less is done but much is touted, the approach to governance as found out by the reporters reveal the style of a silent achiever, a future builder and groundbreaker, as evidenced by the noted massive infrastructure, education reform and moral rebirth, agricultural revolution, security, employment and skill acquisition, among others, currently going on in the place. The team of SHINA FADARE, JOHNSON OKANLAWON and MOJEED ALABI, which visited

The magic of school feeding programme > A4 P. 22

Osogbo-Ijabe road under construction

Osogbo railway terminal

the state, combed the nook and crannies of the entirely agrarian state including the major cities, nascent towns and some remote villages. Iwo, Ikirun, Ede, Ilesha, Ilobu, Inisa, Ikire, Ejigbo and of course the state capital, Osogbo were touched while grassroots of Obaagun, Ogbaagba, Awo, Iree, among others, were not left out. Within the three days, the reporters did not only inspect projects being executed by the state government, they also had interactions with members of various layers in the communities visited. Obas, politicians, market men and women and particularly artisans gave their opinions about the socio-political atmosphere in the newly rechristened Ipinle Omoluabi. At the same time, administrators and political office holders were interviewed on salient issues either

those raised by the community members or those observed in the course of the inspections at the various sites. Without being hypocritical, four major areas were discovered to have attracted the people’s interests and these were the physical turnaround of the major cities including massive road constructions, channelization of canals and drainages; reform in the education sector, the growing atmosphere of peace and agricultural revolution. The findings, including the ongoing Ayegbaju modern market in Osogbo; Oloba cattle farm in Iwo; model school projects, school feeding programme in major parts the state, among others, and the identified prudency on the part of the government informed the choice of our title of this independently commissioned report.

Changing the landscape

Train services as booster for economic activities> A10 P. 36

> A3 P. 21


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How channelisation changed Call it silent revolution in delivering the dividends of democracy. This was unveiled after an independent survey of the various programmes and projects of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as Governor in the State of Osun. It is an uncommon and unsual approach to governance, which is yielding tremendous results in all sectors. Enjoy the package SINA FADARE

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n 2009, an event which the people of Osun- State will not forget in a hurry happened when flood sacked residents along the river banks in Osogbo, the state capital, particularly people living around Alekuwodo, Old Garage, Gbonmi and Oke Oni Tea area of the metropolis where many were rendered homeless. Sharing her experience with this reporter, who was in the state on an independent fact finding mission, Alhaja Risi Adeoti said that she narrowly escaped death by the whisker when she was trying to rescue the children of a neighbour during a heavy down pour which affected the people of Gbonmi area in 2009. According to her, any time it is cloudy, “we are always apprehensive because of our past experience which was devastating. Where then helpless, but thank God the situation has been put under control by the channelisation project embarked upon by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola immediately he came on November 28, 2010. National Mirror gathered that government immediately embarked on a channelization of all the river banks in the state in order to avoid future flood disaster. The rivers that were dredged are Olonkoro, Alekuwodo in Osogbo, Oora in Ilesha and Esinmirin River in Ile-Ife. Aside this Ogbeni Aregbesola declared a 90 day emergency period against filth and dirt which included excavation of gutters and removal of pilled debris which had blocked the flow of river in the state. According to Alhaji Musibau Orelope, the proactive step taken by the government has kept the state and the people off from what could have been a monumental calamity when there was a flood disaster in the country. Speaking in the same vein, a community leader and a socialite, Chief Dejo Babalola, said that the first step taken by the governor was not only a right step in the right direction, but so timey that it saved the state from imminent flood. Orelope noted that the governor declared a compulsory environmental cleaning days for different artisans and traders with emphasis on gutters and drainages on different days of the week. “The government rolled out refuse carrying vehicles with which refuse generated around towns be put at designated places where it is collected and dumped at sites. You can go around the state, you will see some of the massive works that are under constructions with concrete, the type that has not been witnessed in the state.” Chief Babalola, who resides in Ayetoro area of Osogbo said that the governor’s ability to predict what could have become a calamity and prevented it by embarking on channelization of some notable rivers is not only commendable, but a right decision at the right time. “That is the basis of his successes. What he first did that impressed me which l will not forget was the channelization of rivers in Osogbo. People are talking about roads, where lives could have been wasted and houses destroyed”? Babalola explained: “When he came on board, the first thing he did to gladden my heart was channelization. He brought a caterpillar working inside the river, it was like a magic and it was throughout the state. Now that people are in pains all over the country because of flood, that of Osun and Osogbo in particular could have been worst. He conquered that”. He sees the governor as somebody, who come to put a solid foundation on the ground through some people may not agree with him. “I see Aregbesola as a reformer. A reformer should not look here or there, because he is not doing it to satisfy himself but the entire people of the State. Although it is painful that houses were demolished, it affects me also, because l have a house that is closer to the road. Some of us have fought for this type of development when the military boys were around. They did virtually nothing; the state capital, Osogbo was a glorified headquarters of local government.” He pointed out that “This man came in as a reformer and a very practical man. His vision about the state was clear at the onset; he has a global

Dredging of the waterways.

view of what the state should look like and how to achieve it. He approached things on the order of merit, not on the basis of people you know. In fact he brought sanity to governance.” Alhaji Muraina Asimiyu, who is a meat seller in lwo area of the state, told National Mirror that if not for the quick intervention of the state government on the issue of dredging of notable rivers, particularly the one at Odo-ori area of lwo, “the situation could have been worst by now when there was flood all over the country. But we thank God for giving us somebody with the ability to predict future occurrence and take right step to avert it.”

ACTION PLAN At the inception, the state zero its programme on six point integral action plan which centres on the following: to banish poverty, hunger, unemployment, restore healthy living, promote functional education and enhance communal peace and progress.

Banish Unemployment, Poverty and Hunger During the electioneering compaign of Ogbeni Aregbesola, he promised to eradicate unemployment in the state, but the people thought it was another political promise that may not come into reality, until he employed about 20,000 youths under the Osun State Youth Employment Scheme (OYES) where the youths, who were previously engaged in menial jobs as okada operators, labourers at construction sites and food hawkers on the road, got enlisted. Their vocations are diverse, security, environmental sanitation, self employment scheme and agriculture. OYES graduate are paid for the period of two years which they were engaged and they were exposed to a lot of skill acquisition programmes, which majority can fall back on with soft loans from the government. In the area of agriculture, the scope was enlarged

Chief Dejo Babalola

to accommodate various areas of agriculture such as fishery farm at Oyan, animal husbandry at Iwo and many hectares of land for farming all over the state. When this reporter visited Oloba Cattle Ranch at Iwo, the farm that was inherited from the old Oyo State was wearing a new look. The 78 hectares of farm land, which was initially a poultry farm where eggs were being hatched, has been abandoned in the last 10 years until Aregbesola government came to the rescue. According to Mr Yomi Fadare, the farm coordinator: The cows were inherited from the former Oyo State government when the state was created. The ones that were apportioned to the state were brought here and they were allowed to roam about. The people in charge were unable to take care of them in terms of food and security. But when the present administration took over, the governor listened to the complaints of the villagers on the havoc the cows were wrecking on their farm. Fadare explained that sheep rearing in the farm started in August 2012, adding: “We bought them from

HRH Akinrun of Ikirun

HRH Samuel Abioye Oyebode


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Prince Olaniyan Ganiyu

SINA FADARE

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oing through some selected local governments in Osun State, the rate of infrastructural development is drastically low, compared with the state capital, Osogbo. Aside some pocket of few constituent projects embarked upon by National Assembly members, few could be said to have been done at the third tier of government. Speaking to National Mirror on this, a community leader in Iwo axis of the state, Alhaji Abdulkarim Balogun, who is a businessman, noted that in the last two years, there was little the chairmen have done at the rural areas. According to him, while there is massive infrastructural development in Osogbo axis in terms of road construction, this could not be said in the rural areas. “When you see some of the projects embarked upon by the state government throughout the state you will be marvelled, especially in the area of road construction, education and health sector, but at the local government level, which is the closest to the grassroots, there is nothing appreciable going on there in the last two years.” Expressing similar view, Prince Olaniyan Ganiyu, a block maker in Ilobu in Irepodun local government of the state said that Aregbe has a good dream for the people of the state, especially with the level of on-going projects across the state. He explained that if he can complete all the embarked projects, the state will be better. He however regretted that the impact of the state government is yet to be felt in his local government. The local government is poor and the intervention of the state government in terms of citing any of the state project’ in this area is urgently needed’ “It will not be out of place if we too can benefit from the agric projects going on in the state. Our people are predominantly farmers who will really appreciate this kind of programme if it is cited here.” he explained. However the Chairman of Irepodun Local government, Mrs Nike Adegbite-Ogunsola pointed out that in

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mrs Nike Adegbite-Ogunsola, Chairman Irepodun Local govt.

THE O-MEAL PROGRAMME IN SCHOOLS HAS ENCOURAGED PARENTS TO HAVE FAITH AND CONFIDENCE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS as much as the local government wanted to do a lot of projects, insufficient fund crippled such vision. She explained that the local government benefited from the ALGON projects in the area of health centres that are cited in Ilobu and Ojutu area of the council. According to her, aside the projects embarked upon by the members of the National Assembly, which includes motorised and solar bore holes, procurement of transformers, the council was able to construct Konda to Anwo which is ongoing.”Aside this, constant grading of our roads, culverts, construction of markets and lockup shops were put in various places within the council” On her assessment of the general development in the state in, the last two years, she explained that “Ogbeni is a man of policy and very principled He has been trying in the area of construction of roads and dredging of rivers which assisted in averting flood disaster. He has a broad view of the needs of the states in the area of education, environment and infrastructure, therefore he tackling it within the limited resources at hand.” According to her “The O-Meal programme in schools has encouraged parents to have faith and confidence in the public schools. It has been assisting the parent a lot in the area of good food which the pupils are looking upward to everyday.” Justifying the reasons why little development was recorded in the local government in the last few months, the commissioner for Local government and chieftaincy titled, Mr Kolapo Alimi noted that the essence of local government is to bring development to the grassroots, but this tarry awhile due to allocation problem. According to him, “The problem we have at the local

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Mr Kolapo Alimi, Commisioner for Local Govt and Chieftaincy Affairs. government is that the allocation from the federation account has gone down. If you observe happenings in the country, you will realise that some states are even finding it difficult to pay salaries. Since inception of this government salaries of workers has been paid as at when due. Whereas there are some state that cannot boast of this. We are lucky to have a governor who is very focus and get things going on in the face of huge challenges”. Alimi explained that “In the last seven months, some local government gets zero allocation. What that means is that after the statutory reduction, there is nothing left on ground to do other things. You have the reduction of five per cents for the traditional rulers, primary school teachers salaries, salary of the local government staff and others, the left over is nothing to smile about. That has affected development at the grassroots You will realise that a local government which ordinary collects on paper between N50 million to about N60million gross, by the time all those reductions are made, what will be left will be in the region of N3 to 4million.” However he said there is ray of hope as the next few months will witness simultaneous development throughout the council area of the state, through Ecofund.”There is this money known as Eco-fund which we are working on now, it will matured in the next four months, by the time you come back to the state to do an independent assessment, you are going to see a lot of projects going on in all the local government. That money actually meant for capital project, we want to use it to construct roads in all the local government of the state. The arrangement has gone to the final state. As of now, the little they have is been spent on essentials which people may not see, like drug to the dispensary and other consumables” He regretted that the people are anxious to see all round development especially when they log to the internet and see what accrue to a local government at the end of every month “.Unfortunately the people could not understand,, all they are interested in is that where did they keep the allocation that goes to them especially when majority of the goes on the internet to pick the raw figure of what goes to each local government.”


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NEW FACE OF

Feeding school pupils with

The Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFHP) was in 2004 introduced by the Federal Government through the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act to achieve the Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals. Out of the 13 pilot states that began the programme, only the State of Osun still runs it till date. In this report, MOJEED ALABI, who was part of the National Mirror’s team’s recent visit to the state, writes on the vigour with which the Aregbesola administration is running the programme and the value it is adding to the education sector, among other educational milestones being recorded in the state. Excerpts:

Primary school pupils taking their meal

I

t is believed by the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola that for functional education to be achieved, students must take the centre stage, particularly, their wellbeing and fitness for learning. A well fed pupil, the governor says, is more likely to listen to teaching instructions than his/her counterpart on empty stomach. Consequently, the administration has reviewed the existing school feeding programme known as Home Grown. It now has a re-branded, rich-menu, and value added content programme, which is christened; O’Meal, that is, (Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme) Historically, the Federal Government of Nigeria initiated the Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFHP) through the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act, in 2004. The legislation stipulated that at a minimum, all state primary schools must be provided with one meal a day to each pupil. To begin the national programme, the Federal Ministry of Education decided on a phased-pilot rollout, beginning with 13 states selected from the six geo-political zones and Abuja. Others are; Bauchi, Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Rivers, Ogun, Osun, Nasarawa and Yobe states. The goal of the programme is in consonance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the six-point Integral action plan of the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. The Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O’MEALS), which was formerly known as Osun State Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme commenced as a pilot programme in the State in May 2006. However, out of the 13 original pilot states that started the programme, it is only the state of Osun that is as at today implementing the School Feeding Programme, feeding pupils in its 1, 378 primary schools across the state. One of the objectives of the O’ Meals programme is to increase enrolment and retention of pupils in schools. It is also aimed at improving the nutritional and health status of pupils, reducing poverty and stimulating de-

velopment of small and medium scale enterprises. The programme has impacted positively on school enrolment with an increase of 38,000 pupils, representing 25 per cent within four weeks of its introduction. Enrolment increased from 155,318 on 31st May, 2012 to 194,253 by the 30th of June, 2012 of pupils in primaries 1 – 3. This programme has now been extended to cover primary 4 making it a whole elementary school project as designed by the Federal Government. Therefore, the total number of pupils being fed has increased to 252,793. On the economic front, O’MEALS Programme has helped to improve the production capacities of Farmers’ supply of farm produce, and has empowered 3007 women, who are appointed as food vendors by the state. To further enhance this programme, at a ceremony held in the Governor’s office, the state has endorsed and signed the Osun State Elementary School Feeding Transition Strategy Plan document with the representatives of the Board of the Partnership for Child Development (PCD) of United Kingdom. To compare the the O-Meal Programme of the Aregbesola administration with the feeding programme of his predecessor reveals that; the new administration has reviewed the cost of feeding to N50 to enable it provide foods that are rich in protein, carbohydrates and fruits on daily basis to the pupils. At the inception of the repackaged programme in April 2012, the state was spending the sum of N7,765,900 per day to feed the pupils and now spends N11,793,500 per day because of the astronomical increase in enrolment which the programme has brought about. While the previous administration recruited 2,060 cooks, the new administration has recruited, trained and kitted 3007 food vendors and provided them with interest free loans for procurement of cooking utensils, transportation allowance, shop rent, for catering at weekends. Through the O-Meal programme, 1000 cocoyam farmers drawn from across the nine federal constituencies of the state have been assisted to plant red cocoyam.

Through this cocoyam rebirth programme, about 90 cocoyam women farmers, who have undergone training in modern method of cultivating cocoyam, were recently graduated by the state. It is noteworthy that while the previous administration spent N908, 610,300 on feeding the pupils per annum; the Aregbesola administration spends N3billion naira to feed primaries 1-4 pupils in all the public schools in the State of Osun per annum. The revolution in the education sector in State of Osun is not limited to the school feeding programme as the state in its wisdom dedicated a huge 22 per cent of its total budget to education in 2012 while hoping to invest more this year. Below are some other educational projects which investigations reveal have lifted the hitherto financial burden off the shoulder of the people of the agrarian states. They include the free uniform distributions, model school projects, payment of external examination fees, among several others.

1. NEW SCHOOL UNIFORMS Governor Aregbesola believes the central rule in group dynamics is identical similarity. Students, who for one reason or another could not be provided with school uniforms like his peers he argues, are likely to be easily distracted, and thus put the goal of functional education in jeopardy. Therefore, the state government has decided to introduce unified school uniforms as part of efforts by the government to create a unique identity for the students and promote the culture. This innovation is also expected to ensure uniformity and engender deep sense of belonging in public primary and secondary school pupils. Contrary to insinuations from some of the critics of the idea, the deputy governor, Otunba Titi laoye-Tomori, said; “For clarity, I wish to reiterate that no aspect of the school uniform is designed or intended to be offensive in any way because the sensibilities of all religious faiths in our state and our culture have been duly considered in its conception and design.” In December, 2012, the distribution of the uniforms was flagged off by the governor in Ede where he dis


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Special Report

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

EDUCATION

passion

distributed two pairs of uniform each to over 750,000 students free of charge, in the elementary and middle schools and students in high schools. He said the distribution of free uniforms and health education textbooks marks the beginning of free distribution to all public schools in the state. “The school uniforms of three different types are designed according to the school structures as elementary, middle and high schools. N800 million was expended on the school uniforms,” the governor stated.” Also, as a way of promoting economic development of the state, the new school uniform which has been distributed to the students is provided free by government but this would only be done once at the commencement of the programme. Subsequently, private investors, tailors and businesspersons are already in talks with the state government to venture into the production of school uniforms, which would be sold at controlled prices at designated shops across the state. Already, a garment factory known as Omoluabi Garment Factory, has been established in Osogbo by a private individual and has agreed to make complete set of uniforms for all categories of students at a price of N1, 200 (both clothing material and sewing). An agreement has also been reached between the state and the factory to build the capacity of local tailors sourced from every local government areas in the state for sustainability. Like the British Economist and Social Reformer, William Henry Beveridge, Governor Rauf Aregbesola knows quite well that “ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no true democracy can afford among its citizens.” As a clearheaded politician with a huge sense of responsibility, when he assumed power, Aregbesola ordered detailed researches into the state of education in the state and the findings are captured by his deputy and Commissioner for Education, Otunba Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori in the following words; “What we met when we came into the saddle of the administration of the State of Osun, was an education system almost at a stage of total collapse. Students’ performance in external examinations was abysmal and the schools’ infrastructure were in a state of disrepair; roofs and ceilings were caving-in, painted walls have faded, and huge debris of half-collapsed and abandoned school buildings adorned the compound of most public schools within the State.” However, under this pervading circumstance, Governor Aregbesola’s predecessor- Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had established a state-owned university with six campuses located in major towns across the state. The decision infuriated the incumbent, whose argument was anchored on what he termed the misplacement of priority. Aregbesola had argued for total overhaul of the basic and middle schools to allow the students compete keenly with their mates outside the state and be able to gain admission based on merit to any higher institution within and outside the country “rather than funding a university where the state indigenes would not be capable of enrolling either as a result of poor performance or even its high fees.” He also complained of its additional burden to the state’s finances despite the fact that Osun ranks 34th on the table of federal allocation accruable to it. To evolve a comprehensive solution to the rots within the system, the governor organised a well attended education summit where the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, chaired the opening session. There were scholars drawn from various agencies, local and international academic institutions and non-governmental organisations including teachers, parents and students. The findings, reports, and recommendations of the summit have since become the education roadmap in the State. Put differently, the summit recognised the

A5 P23

need for a total overhaul of the system and the Aregbesola-led administration has backed it up with the requisite political will in order to achieve the desired goals. Today, the story of education sector in Osun State is a success as radical improvement has been witnessed in all ramifications. As National Mirror’s investigation reveals, in the last 24 months, the state government has effected monumental and dynamic changes in the school structure and curriculum while embarking on massive development of school infrastructure through the construction of state-of-thearts schools, with modern facilities across the state. Below is, therefore, a panoramic overview of the radical changes so far effected in the education sector in the State of Osun:

2.

Increased budget allocation to education:

Unlike his predecessors and, in fact, better than governors of other states, Aregbesola’s administration allocated about 22 per cent of the 2012 total budget to education and effected a lot of physical and administrative changes.

3.

Introduction of new school system:

The new school system is now structured into Elementary, Middle and High schools as follows: a. Elementary Schools Pupils between the age range of six and nine years are now to be in the elementary schools currently being built in the neighbourhood. This categorization was hitherto known as Primaries 1-4 but would henceforth be referred to as Grades 1-4. Infrastructural facilities at the elementary schools have been designed to accommodate 900 pupils, with about 20 classrooms, audio-visual laboratory, elementary science laboratory, 24 toilets for both male and female pupils, six toilets for staff, a sizeable football pitch and other indoor games, among others.

b.

Otunba Lai Oyeduntan

Middle Schools

Pupils in the middle schools would have the age range of 10 -14 years. This is what was known as Primary 5 and 6, JSS1, 2 and 3 in the past. This categorization would henceforth be known as Grades 5-9. Similarly, infrastructural facilities at the middle school are now designed to have capacity for 900 pupils with other facilities as above.

c.

High Schools

Students at the high schools would have the age range of 15 to 17 years. This category would now be known as Grades 10-12. It is what was to be known as SSI-SSIII. The infrastructural facilities have been designed to accommodate 3000 students. Other facilities in consonance with international academic standard will include a standard football pitch, recreational facilities, laboratories, libraries, food court and examination hall to sit minimum of 1000 students. Government is now in talks with private investors to build students hostels and staff quarters on agreeable terms and conditions. The high schools would be sited on the premises of old schools with large grounds of not less than 10 hectares.

The table 1 below shows the information above in tabular form. AGE

CLASS

GRADE

6

1

1

7

2

2

8

3

3

9

4

4

10

5

5

11

6

6

12

JSS 1

7

13

JSS II

8

14

JSS III

9

15

SS 1

10

16

SS II

11

17

SS III

12

SCHOOL TYPE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS – WITHIN THE NEIGHBORHOOD IN URBAN CENTRES: 900 PUPILS

MIDDLE SCHOOL- CATCHMENT MAY BE WITHIN A RADIUS OF BETWEEN 3&5 KILOMETRES IN URBAN CENTRES: 900-1000 STUDENTS

HIGH SCHOOL TO BE BUILT IN OLD SCHOOL PREMISES WITH LARGE GROUND. THE SCHOOL WOULD ACCOMMODATE 3000 STUDENTS.

Mrs Dupe Ajayi

In all, government is going to commit a whopping sum of N30 billion (Thirty billion naira) to the building of the 100 elementary schools, 50 middle schools, and 20 high schools, within the first term of this administration. Similarly, the table 2 below shows the list of schools where work has commenced in earnest on the construction of the state of the arts school buildings in various locations in the state.

Table 2 ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 1

ST. MICHAEL PRIMARY SCHOOL, ODE-OMU

2

BAPTIST DAY PRIMARY SCHOOL, IGBAJO

3

ST. PETER’S ANG. PRIMARY SCHOOL, IFE-ODAN

4

BAPTIST CENTRAL SCHOOL, ILARE, ILE-IFE

5

ST. PHILIPS PRIMARY SCHOOL, ILORO, ILE-IFE

6

NUD PRIMARY SCHOOL, IKIRUN

Continued on A8 P34>>


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Special Report

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Why our N22bn bond was over s The Commissioner for Finance, Economic Planning and Budget of the State of Osun, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro in this interview with SINA FADARE, JOHNSON OKANLAWON and MOJEED ALABI, spoke on why the state government’s bond was oversubscribed, efforts to revamp the state’s potential in agriculture and other initiatives to enhance commerce and industry. Excerpts: What are the initiatives of the government to revamp commercial activities ?

The State of Osun has a lot of potentialities. In terms of economic activities, we can say we have bases from what we can call diverse economy. We can promote agriculture because of what we can call rich, fertile agricultural soil that we have in the state that is unique and unparallel in Nigeria. Osogbo, the state’s capital used to be the third largest commercial city, after Lagos and Ibadan. Since the train system collapsed, the economic activities have stopped in Osogbo. So, we are trying to bring it back through our flagship economic project, which we call Osun Hub. And what it is supposed to be is a centre of commercial activities where people can exchange goods and can warehouse finished goods that are going to the North. If you remember in the 1970’s and up to the early 80’s, we used to have all the big companies here distributing goods. We had UTC, WAPCO, PZ, MDS, CFAO, etc. Now, what we have done is to partner with the Nigerian Railway Corporation to bring in finished goods to Osogbo for distributors to engage in commercial activities, including textiles. People forgot that Osogbo used to be heavy textile centre. People who were coming from Kogi State, Ekiti State, Benue State, Edo and Ondo States would buy the goods for commercial activities. Don’t forget that Osogbo is a tourist centre, as from next year you will see more activities and we are improving on hospitality business by ensuring that we develop the airport. The first airport in West Africa was sighted in Osun. That is Aerodrum in Ido Osun, which we are now developing into an airport where cargo planes could bring goods for trading in Osun. These are diverse economic bases of Osun that we are developing. And once we do that there will be economic activities. What is the government doing on the social services?

If you look at our social services, why are we engaging in social services? Talk of O-meal, which is Osun meal where we feed pupils from primary one to four in elementary schools. That is a stage where their brains and mental capacity develop. I grew up in Osun and I was able to prove my mettle when I got to the University. We grew up here because we were properly fed. The free meal consume over N3billion within a year. What the O-meal does is to feed the children properly and create jobs for people. We have 3,000 food vendors that we have engaged as. We have also involved ourselves in O-uniform because when we were in the school, we were well kitted. We are providing uniforms for elementary, middle and high school students. Through the partnership with private sectors, 3,000 tailors

Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, Commisssioner for finance.

WHAT THE O-MEAL DOES IS TO FEED THE CHILDREN PROPERLY

AND CREATE JOBS FOR PEOPLE.

WE HAVE 3,000 FOOD VENDORS THAT WE HAVE ENGAGED will be engaged. So, those are the economic cum social activities that we have engaged on to create a new class of income earners and spenders. Once you have the spenders, you have gradual growth in Gross Domestic Product. If you look at our agricultural programme, we are providing land, input and support with agric credit schemes and through that we also stimulate that sector. We have Osun broilers, which is about poultry farmers. Through the programme, we are stimulating the economy of Osun. All these are economic strategies to improve commercial activities of the state. The fourth strategy is to bring in industries. We have stable electricity in Osun. This is the only place in the country where you can have regular 18 hours supply of electricity. Why? We have the national grid and it is the only one in the country, which means that 75 per cent of power generated in the country comes to Osogbo first before it is transferred to other places. We can encourage industries hence the reason for engaging in industrial revolution. Of cause, the previous government did not locate them properly. They are located far away from the electricity source. But we will find a way of letting them work by stimulating and attracting investors. We have a programme now that we are attracting minimum of five industries to Osun. If we have 20 industries that employ 20, 000

people that is huge and significant in terms of tax, in terms of Pay As You Earn to the economy of the state. What is the contribution of the state’s Gross Domestic Product to the National Gross Domestic Product?

I have a GDP figure that says I am in the neighbourhood of 758billion. The economy of Osun is made up of the informal sector. So you can see the correlation. If you look at my Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, when Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola came in, it was below national average. It was then about N300million, but it is close to N1billion now and we will continue to drive it. In the last three months, it ranges between N800 million and N1 billion, not by increasing taxes. We have not even introduced any form of taxes, just by blocking the leakages, processing our collection in a more efficient manner, by automation. By doing that, we are growing our revenue base and we will continue to do that, increase the industries and the numbers of spenders in the state. Once you have new spenders in your economy like O-Yes, you can say the salary is N10, 000 each, but when you have 20,000 people in an economy that is N200 million monthly. When you talk of 0-Meal, that is N260 million monthly. So, these have begun to impact the economy. When you talk of elderly, which is for elderly people, helpless and abandoned citizen of the state. We are paying them N10,000 each and currently it costs the state about N20 million, it is going to cost the state N25million soon because we are going to increase the numbers of beneficiaries. What is the attraction to shopping malls?

I said my state GDP is N758billion. The 90 per cent of it are in informal sector. When you go to Ile Ife and you stand at Lagere, you will see different shops. These are informal sectors. You will see


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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25

Arts Lounge Musical to relive Kakadu glory days

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AMAA 2013: Film world converges on Yenagoa TERH AGBEDEH

A

fter the submission of entries for this year’s edition of the African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, closed on January 30, there followed a flurry of activities leading to the announcement of nominations on March 15 in Lilongwe, Malawi. The 9th edition of AMAA with the theme: ‘Africa One’, got a record 671 films in competition with Francophone countries leading with entries. The prestigious awards, regarded as Africa’s Oscars, held a superlative gala night in Malawi with the country’s President Joyce Banda was chief host, literarily bringing the country to a standstill. The icing on the cake for Malawi, little known for film, is that Flora Suya got nominated for the AMAA 2013 Prize for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role in Last Fishing Boat, which walked away with four other nominations including the prize for Best Film. It was a big celebration for the country and it continued with a concert by music sensation PSquare the next day at the Golf Club in Lilongwe with many attesting to the show pulling one of the most unprecedented crowds for such gatherings in the country. The April 20 date for the awards looked like a long way ahead when announced at the gala but it is finally here heralded by a book and craft fair beginning today in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital. Already, Nigerian literary icons have gathered in Yenagoa for the international book and craft fair that is part of the activities for the 2013 AMAA to be hosted by actress Dakore Egbuson, comedian Ayo Makun and British/Ghanaian television presenter and actress, Ama K. Abebrese. The fair, which will have many readings and technical sessions according to Fair Director, Mr. Onyeka Nwelue, will have in attendance, accomplished playwright, Professor Femi Osofisan; NLNG Prize for Literature winner, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and former Minister of Federal Capital, Mallam Nasir El-rufai, who will read from his latest book, The Accidental Public Servant. Holding till April 19, it will also have popular Indian writer and supermodel, Shobhaa De and Portuguese actor, Jose Fildago attending. When the award night takes place on Saturday, the category everyone will watch keenly will be the one for Best Film, which has two Nigerian films in contention, Last Flight To Abuja and Confusion Na Wa. The former is based on a near miss in which a pilot steers a smoke-filled plane to safety, while the latter is a social comedy drama that traces the lives of a

disparate group of individuals as their paths cross over the course of one day. For being thrilling and adding up to the two nominations in this coveted category alone, a Nigerian film may well be sure of a win. But as those who know about such things would indicate, they do not necessarily go that way all the time. But there is no doubt that any one of the two films stands a chance. That is not to indicate that the remaining five are pushovers. The South African film Elelwani tells the captivating love story of Elelwani and her boyfriend who plan to spend the rest of their lives together until forces beyond their control step in. In the last couple of years, South Africa has been Nigeria’s biggest rival at the AMAA; it is looking to go that way this year as well particularly when one considers that Elelwani also shows up in the Best Director as well as Best Actress in a Leading Role categories, among others. There are countries such as Kenya, Cameroon, Malawi and Mozambique all relatively new to the AMAA but packing a punch with Nairobi Half Life, Ninah’s Dowry, Last Fishing Boat and Virgin Margarida, respectively, all of them films that cannot be ignored, not only for quality of production, but also depth of the story.

WHEN THE AWARD

NIGHT TAKES PLACE, THE CATEGORY TO WATCH KEENLY WILL BE THE ONE FOR

BEST

FILM, WHICH HAS TWO NIGERIAN FILMS IN CONTENTION

Then there is Ghana’s Yvonne Okoro (The Contract) and Nigeria’s Rita Dominic (The Meeting) nominated in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category for films pundits have continued to speak about since the nominations were announced. The other contenders in this category include: Florence Masebe (Elelwani); Mariam Ouedraogo (Moi Zaphira); Mbutung Seikeh (Ninah’s Diary) and Flora Suya (Last Fishing Boat). It is unlikely that any one of the two Nigerians actresses may not clinch the prize, but if that were to happen, it is a prize for any one of the other actresses. However, one prize many a Nigerian film enthusiast would like to see stay in

the country is for Justus Esiri’s nomination in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category for his performance in Assasins’ Practice. And this is not just that it will be awarded posthumously, it is also because the late veteran actor, only buried last Friday, was one of the best Nigeria ever produced. The other contenders in this category are: OC Ukeje (Alan Poza); Bimbo Manuel (Hereos and Zereos); Lindani Nkosi (Zama Zama); Hlomla Dandala (The Contract); Femi Jacobs (The Meeting) and Amurin Wumnembom (Ninah’s Dowry). Should either Esiri, Manuel, Jacobs or Ukeje (who has worked hard since coming onto the Nigerian movie scene by winning the now rested Amstel Malta Box Office, AMBO, reality show contest), win, it will be a big one for Nigeria. From the look of things, it will be a very interesting awards night come Saturday as film people in Africa and beyond stand up to be counted. In all, Elelwani got 11 nominations making it the film to beat followed by Nairobi Half Life with nine. The Twin Sword, Virgin Magarida, Blood and Henna, Ninah’s Dowry, The Contract and The Meeting got six nominations each. Last Fishing Boat, Last Flight To Abuja and Okoro The Prince each got five nominations.


26

Arts Lounge

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Free language lessons for Igbo children

FAR AND NEAR

NGOZI EMEDOLIBE

A

Ben Ogbeiwi (Lord Lugard) and other casts during the preview performance

Musical to relive Kakadu’s glory days ADENRELE NIYI ARTS EDITOR

T

he old ‘jazzy’ ways of Lagos and memories of the age of innocence in Nigeria will be reawakened in a new theatre production set to hit the stage next month. KAKADU the Musical, a first-of-its-kind, fully home grown production by Playhouse Initiative, was unveiled last Thursday to members of the media in Lagos during a press conference/sneak preview. According to the producers, “it is an exciting, inspirational and moving experience that takes its name from the famous Lagos night club of the sixties, which gave birth to an era of wonderful music and the distinctive social life that followed the birthing of a young nation”. The Playhouse Initiative, founded by theatre enthusiasts Uche Nwokedi, SAN and wife, Winifred Nwokedi, is drawing from a sterling antecedent of stage plays to bring to life Nigeria’s first home-grown musical drama. The company’s production credit of plays and concerts include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2004); Jesus Christ Superstar (2006); The Vision (2008); The True Colours Concert (May, 2011) and The Playhouse at MUSON Concert (October 2011). Present at the press conference held at Ayo Bankole’s Minstrelcraft Studios located in Surulere (which also doubles as rehearsal space for the cast) were Kakadu’s Writer/Executive Producer, Uche Nwokedi; Associate Producer, Winifred Nwokedi; Director, Chike Kani Omo; Musical Director, Benneth Ogbeiwi; lead actors Tina Mba,

Norbert Young and other members of the wholly Nigerian cast and crew. Speaking at event, Chike Kani Omo stated that “the production is addressing the voices that need to hear in this poignant moment in our country. Kakadu is saying that ‘there was a dream’, ‘there was a plan’, ‘there was a purpose’ and this production is to wrap up and share with its audience that ‘there is hope’” Kakadu the Musical’s compelling plot revolves around four friends and their love interests living in Lagos, with the famous Kakadu nightclub as the hub of their social lives, in the immediate post independence Nigeria –‘in a time of infinite possibilities’. The aspirations of the friends are premised on the dreams of nation building and the opportunities that it presents. Central to the story is the Manager of Kakadu, Lugard Da Rocha, fondly called “Lord Lugard” and the Civil War which ravages the land. Through their journey, the friends experience the loss of the innocence of the pre-civil war years and the changes that affect the spirit of the city of Lagos. A 10-minute preview of the two-hour production was also put up by the disciplined, youthful cast members whose task it was to convey the high octane, thought-provoking and emotive drama Kakadu is packaged to be. Assessing by the rapt attention during the presentation and resounding applause afterwards from the media audience, it promises to be a rousing experience as Kakadu hits the MUSON Centre stage on Thursday, May 9.

s a means of encouraging the use of Igbo language amongst Imo children in Lagos, the Imo State government led by Governor Anayo Rochas Okorocha, has rolled out Free Igbo Language classes at the Imo State liaison office in Lagos. The Governor’s Special Assistant on Lagos Liaison, Hon. Lisa Asugha emphasised that the on-going Free Igbo Language education was in fulfilment of the passion of the government to preserve Igbo culture and values especially amongst the future generation. This, she said led the government to unveil a blueprint to strengthen the Igbo cultural institution. According to her, the Free Igbo Language Education for Imo children both at home and abroad would be sustained as it would enable the children to speak the lan-

guage fluently, especially in this digital era when globalisation is threatening many local languages in Nigeria. “It has been noticed that our language and culture are gradually phasing out in this new generation, and on this note, the government established a school to educate our children”. Asugha also hinted that plans are in progress for the establishment of the ‘Imo City: Gallery of Igbo Heritage,’ a world class monument that will take people through the evolution of Igbo race. The gallery which would be depicting the Igbo culture and heritage will also help children understand what the life and culture of the Igbo man used to be. “It would reflect the different stages of transition and evolution with the aim of presenting the traditional ways of life of the Igbo man, showing life in the villages before the advent of colonialism and post-colonialism”, Asugha said.

Art21 opens to acclaim TERH AGBEDEH

F

ewer art events in Lagos have met with more enthusiasm as the opening of the Art21 exhibition space at Eko Hotel last Saturday. Who-is-who in the art were in attendance, so were art-loving expatriates and nationals of several nationalities. The idea of the space was birthed by Caline Chagoury, a photographer and art collector, who said that exactly a year ago, she started looking around for a space that could inspire artists to do greater things. “I stumbled into this space in the hotel because I was walking around with Danny (Kioupouroglou) the general manager. I decided it would be the space and I got all of them onboard”, she said. That done, it was time to find the perfect artist and works, and Chagoury, who was born in Nigeria, had bought a piece by the artist Olu Amoda about five years earlier and meeting him took care of that. Just like the artist said in his statement for the exhibition: “Art21 is the space one dreams of ”. He also said at an earlier gather-

ing with the press before the opening event that in some galleries, ‘they put you in one corner’. “In this space, my work has breathing space, it is interactive and they are more alive here”. Amoda could not have been more apt as the pieces, some of them larger than life, interact with the space exuding a magic most of the guests that included artists, collectors and curators of other exhibitions, attested to. Kioupouroglou, speaking about Eko Hotel’s interest in the arts said the Art21 space is an indication that they have always been there supporting the arts. “I came here 11 years ago and some of the artists that are now household names were very small; we supported them in different ways providing them space to exhibit in the hotel”, he said. Among those at the event were collector, Omooba Yemisi Shyllon; Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, CCA Lagos, Bisi Silva; founder of Nike Art Centre, Nike Ekundaye and her husband; artists, Tam Fiofori, Ndidi Dike and Taiye Idahor, among many others. The exhibition titled: Cequel II ‘a shifting of poles’, will run for five weeks.

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MIDWEEK JUMP Essay contest for African undergraduates

S

tudents in tertiary institutions across the country are encouraged to take part in an essay competition being organised for African undergraduates by ‘The Nation Campus Life’ in conjunction with ‘Blantyre’ newspaper, Malawi. The topic is: “Nations which are economically free out-perform non-free nations in all indicators of well-being. Discuss”. Applicants are expected to send in entries not more than 1,500 words as text in MS Word. On the first page of the completed essay, applicants should write full names, department, year of study and name of institution. E-mail addresses and GSM line should also be left on the entries that should be sent to: adedayo.thomas@gmail.com between now and June 11. Winning entries could get as much as $1,000.

Photographer Akinbiyi teaches workshop at Goethe-Institut

S

ince Monday April 15 and until May 3, a photo-masterclass workshop by Berlin-based Nigerian photographer, Akinbode Akinbiyi, has been on. The invitation only workshop will allow participants confront their skills with one of the outstanding Nigerian photographers of our time. Akinbiyi has been working as a freelance photographer since 1977. He got a STERN reportage grant to work in the cities of Lagos, Kano and Dakar in 1987 and was co-founder of UMZANZSI, a cultural centre in Clermont Township in Durban, South Africa, in 1993. Akinbiyi’s main photographic interest focuses on large, sprawling mega cities. He also works as a curator and leader of photographic workshops. The classes take place at Goethe-Institut, Lagos.

Jim Iyke Unscripted meets Press

N

ollywood star actor, Jim Iyke, is going the way of reality television with the debut of his show, Jim Iyke Unscripted tomorrow on DSTV’s Africa magic tomorrow. Today, however, Mr. Iyke would meet with pressmen for a pre-launch parley/press conference in Ikeja, Lagos. Although Iyke has not featured in recent film productions, he remains one of the high profile leading male actors out of Nollywood. Jim Iyke Unscripted is the second reality TV show to grace Africa Magic centred on a popular contemporary Nigerian celebrity. In December 2012, the diva actor and singer, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, came out with Omotola: The Real Me.

Jim Iyke


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sport

With all sense of modestly, I have one more goal to achieve: playing in the World Cup

Boston tragedy: London Marathon to hold –Minister

28

- MALI CAPTAIN, SEYDOU KEITA

Oboabona: Sunshine demands €2m from Lille

NPFL: Harp brands Rangers, four others

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ive Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs yesterday, signed shirt branding contracts with Harp Premium Lager, one of Guinness Nigeria Plc’s brands, in Lagos. The clubs are Dolphins, Lobi Stars, Heartland, Enugu Rangers and Sunshine Stars. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Seni Adetu, explained that the financial terms of the contracts stay undisclosed. “The financial terms remain exclusive and at the clubs’ disposition to disclose. We’ve chosen these clubs because they are among the best and are among the traditional clubs in the country,” said Adetu. Representatives of the clubs spoke about the deals at the unveiling ceremony. “I’m proud of what Guinness has done here today (Tuesday). I’m happy that they’ve partnered with us not by popularity. It’s like I’m in Europe with this kind of event,” said vice chairman of Lobi Stars, Dominic Iorfa. “This is the first of its kind since I came back from the USA. This is good for the clubs as the sport cannot be backed by government alone,” Rangers CEO, Ozor Paul Chibuzor, said. “We are calling on other corporate bodies to join this trend so that it will encourage the talents in the country and it will lead to having more than six players from the league in the national team,” said Sunshine Stars coordinator, Mike Idoko. Heartland’s GM, Fan Ndubuoke, said, “This is unique because most times corporate bodies only identify with successful teams at the end of international competitions. But Guinness Harp has proven to be different. We are hopeful that after this contract, we will renew it next year.” “I’m excited with this and I’m sure that our fans will be excited as well. We will make sure Port Harcourt becomes home to your brand,” said Dolphins’ GM, Dumbo Awanen.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Golden Eaglets’ Kelechi Iheanacho with eyes on the ball in a match.

CAF U-17: Eaglets battle CIV, set for s/finals EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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olden Eaglets of Nigeria coach, Manu Garba, has assured that his team that opened their 2013 Morocco, CAF U-17 Championship finals with a resounding 6-1 win over Ghana, will get better against Cote d’Ivoire. Garba was speaking to Cafonline.com ahead of his side’s Group B match today against the Baby Elephants in Marrakech. “This team is not a finished article at all; there are areas which need working on. It’s work in progress and although l have said before that this team is better than the one that won African and world titles in 2007, there is still more to come from this side,” said Garba. The Baby Elephants have been saying they will not try to match the Nigerians in open play but will come up with response to the overwhelming firepower possessed by the Nigerians. Cote d’ Ivoire will have noticed Ghana’s marginal success via the wings against Nigeria and will be looking to

Today’s Matches Cote d’Ivoire 0-0

Nigeria

Ghana

Congo

2-2

capitalise on that. In Kouassi Begbin and Junior Ahissan the Ivorians have some skillful and enterprising wingers, in particular Ahissan, whose dribbling ability was a menace to the Congolese in their match last Sunday. But whatever mischief Ivorian forwards will be looking to bring to the Eaglets, it will be perhaps a fraction of what their midfield and defence will expect from Success Isaac, Bernard Bulbwa, Taiwo Awoniyi, Musa Yahaya, Kelechi Iheanacho and company at the other end. The marauding Nigerians attack ceaselessly and from everywhere and bring so much threat from literally every player all this combined by intricate and beautiful football. “There will be not let up from our victory over Ghana; we are looking to seal semifinal and World Cup qualification after our second game. Our approach to football matches, be it an international, friendly or otherwise remains

the same. We play to win and it will be the case against Cote d’ Ivoire,” said Garba. “The last match is gone and behind us now on Wednesday (today) we start all over again and we need to win again: that is what l’ve told my boys.” For Garba the mission is to remain focused on the ultimate goal and not get carried away by results after each game. “We are targeting the nine points from the three group games and then carry on from there onto semis and final.”

unshine Stars have asked Lille to pay €2million for Super Eagles’ defender, Godfrey Oboabona, after the French club tabled half that sum. According to MTNFootball.com Lille has put on the table a million Euros for 22-year-old Oboabona, who shone at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Lille thus met the million Euros valuation of the Nigeria club for the player, but Sunshine have now demanded double that amount. “Lille have through an agent made a bid of a million Euros for Oboabona, but Sunshine Stars say they now want them to double that figure,” a top source said. “Sunshine through a top official wrote directly to Lille and not through the agents demanding for 2m Euros.” Efforts to reach Sunshine Stars general manager, Mike Idoko, were not successful. The versatile Oboabona, who could play as a right back, central defender or defensive midfielder, has attracted a rash of interests from across the big leagues in Europe after he shone at the 2013 AFCON, which Nigeria won. He was recently reported to be on his way to trials with top English Premier League side Arsenal, but Sunshine officials have since dismissed this. The player himself has said God will decide where he moves to in the summer. “There are speculations and inquiries from many clubs, but I don’t know where I will end up. God will decide and choose the best for me.”

Ezekiel snubs Nigeria, opts for Belgium IKENWA NNABUOGOR

S

tandard Liege Nigerian striker, Imoh Ezekiel, has told the media that he will apply for Belgian citizenship to enable him play for the Belgium national team, the Red Devils. Authoritative Belgian website, dhnet.be, reported yesterday that the 19-year-old star had received an invitation from Coach John Obuh to participate in the African Youth Championship held in Algeria last month, but was unavailable as his club refused to release him.

Obuh has been banking on the youngster who has attracted interests from top spenders in Europe, as he seeks to fortify his attack ahead of the World Cup in Turkey in June. But Ezekiel snubbed Obuh’s advances and is unlikely to answer his call to feature at the FIFA U-20s in Turkey this coming summer. National Mirror also gathered that Ezekiel, top scorer of Standard Liege with 15 goals, has decided not to travel to Nigeria at the end of the championship. He does not want to be coerced to play for the Flying Eagles.


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Sport

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Boston tragedy: London Marathon to hold –Minister YEMI OLUS

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

B

Ronaldo

Ronaldo shuns Madrid deal

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eports emerged yesterday that Real Madrid’s winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, has twice in recent weeks refused requests from club president Florentino Perez to open new contract talks. According to the reports, Perez is anxious about Ronaldo’s situation and eager to secure him to new terms before the summer’s club elections. But despite twice making contact with the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, to discuss terms, he has been given short shrift by Ronaldo. The Portugal international does not want any distractions as he chases Champions League glory in the remaining weeks of the season.

Life bans stare Toon fans

N

ewcastle United has vowed to hand out lifetime bans to the fans involved in the violence after Sunday’s North-East derby. The 29 people arrested for public order offences in Newcastle and Sunderland, following the 3-0 victory for Paolo Di Canio’s side at St James’ Park, have all been released on police bail. Police are continuing to examine CCTV footage for culprits and yesterday the club put out a strong statement saying that they were ‘embarrassed and appalled’ by the violence. Four police officers were injured in violent scenes across Newcastle city centre after groups went on the rampage following Sunderland’s first victory on Tyneside since 2000. “These deplorable individuals have no place at Newcastle United and bring shame on the club and the vast majority of its law-abiding fans,” a club statement said yesterday. The 29 arrested includes one 45-yearold man who was arrested for punching a horse during skirmishes in the shadows of Newcastle’s stadium. The West Yorkshire Police force horse Bud is recovering near Wakefield and expected back at work later this week.

Rooney

Rooney not in our plans –PSG

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aris Saint Germain’s Director of Football, Leonardo, says the club has not made an offer for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. A number of national newspapers in England suggested yesterday that PSG was lining up a summer swoop for England international Rooney. The club has also been linked with moves for Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. Leonardo has distanced PSG from these deals, although the Brazilian did admit the Qatari-backed French club would be looking to strengthen before

Jagielka

Everton defender, Phil Jagielka, has warned his team mates to prove themselves against the Premier League’s best teams if they are to challenge for a top four finish this season. Despite grabbing memorable scalps against Manchester United and Manchester City this season, Jagielka believes Everton must perform more consistently against the top sides.

next season. “I’ve never heard anything about Rooney or Cavani either,” Leonardo said yesterday. “I do not rule out big signings, but only if there is a suitable opportunity. “We do want a larger squad with adequate cover in all areas in order to avoid the sort of problems we had in January in midfield with all the injuries and suspensions.” Most of PSG’s big-money signings last summer came from Italy, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva arriving from AC Milan, Ezequiel Lavezzi from Napoli and Thiago Motta from Inter Milan, among others.

Platt

Manchester City, Assistant Manager David Platt believes the FA made the right call when choosing not to punish Sergio Aguero for a two-footed foul on Chelsea’s David Luiz on Sunday. Aguero will not face sanction for the incident in City’s FA Cup semi final win because match referee Chris Foy saw the foul and chose not to book the South American or send him off.

ritish Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson, has insisted that the London Marathon will go ahead on Sunday despite the devastating bomb attack in Boston that left at least three people dead, and at least 176 injured. Robertson said he was ‘absolutely confident’ that the capital event could be kept safe. “These are balance of judgments but we are absolutely confident here that we can keep the event safe and secure,” he said. “I think this is one of those incidents where the best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue and send a very clear message to those responsible. “We do have some of the very best security services in the world and they will do what’s necessary.” Meanwhile, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has joined other groups in condemning the attacks and offered its sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured during the tragic incident. “Our association mourns the loss of those killed in Boston, and offers its condolences and deepest sympathy to the families. Our thoughts are

with them as they are with the large number of people who were injured,” a statement from IAAF President Lamine Diack said. “We stand firm with the race organisers of the Boston Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Race and the oldest marathon in existence, the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races and the people of Boston at this time of tragedy and condemn this mindless attack.” The Boston Marathon, which began in 1897 and is the world’s oldest annual marathon, ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events and is one of six World Marathon Majors. The other five marathons in this category are the Tokyo Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon and New York City Marathon. The event is usually hosted by several cities in Greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts and held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday of April. It has been hosted by the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) since inception and has amateur and professional runners from all over the world competing. The event attracts at least 500,000 spectators each year and an average of about 20,000 registered participants

Distraught marathoners after the bomb blast in Boston, USA yesterday

LMC mourns Alade

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hairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Hon. Nduka Irabor, has commiserated with members of the Lagos State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on the death of their member, Mr. Kunle Alade, who passed on in the early hours of last Thursday. Irabor recalled that the late Alade attended the inaugural Media Roundtable he held with the Lagos SWAN at their Secretariat at the National Stadium, Lagos on April 9. “I am deeply saddened at the demise of Alade who has been a

frontline reporter of the Nigeria League dating back to his days at the defunct TodaySport and later on Compass Newspaper. His death is even more touching to me personally because we just had this interaction last Tuesday on the way forward for the league only for him to pass on,” the LMC boss stated. Alade reportedly passed on in his sleep in the early hours of Thursday, April 11. He is a member of the League Writers Association, a special interest group that chiefly reports activities of Nigerian League players, coaches, clubs and administration.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nigeria Premier Nig League

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Cricket

with

IIKENWA NNABUOGOR ikenwa.nnabuogor@gmail.com

Heartland star still hospitalised

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eartland’s right back Onyebuchi Onyechefule who was involved in vehicle accident that occurred last Saturday, is still receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri. The former Gombe United player told National Mirror that the doctors said he would spend a few weeks in the hospital before he would be back on his feet again. Onyechefule, nicknamed ‘Bakassi’ injured his ankle on his left foot and had laceration on his right shin while on board a rickshaw, popularly known as ‘Keke’ in Nigeria, on his way to training when the tricycle veered off the road and somersaulted severally after escaping being crushed by an oncoming heavy trailer.

“We would have been crushed to death by the heavy trailer had the ‘Keke’ not veered off the road, but I thank God we were spared,” Onyechefule said. “We were quickly brought here and treatment started immediately. The doctors have really done well since Saturday. “The treatment is going on fine and I’m responding well to treatment. The doctors said I would be discharged in a few weeks. “I thank God for my life because I was close to death and yet nothing happened to me. It was by the grace of God that I survived this.” ‘Bakassi’ joined the Naze Millionaires from Gombe United this season and has weighed in with some appearances.

Injury knocks Atule, Bunde out

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obi Stars will be without defenders Moses Bunde and Benedict Atule as they entertain Sunshine today in a rescheduled tie. Bunde is out with an ankle injury while veteran Atule is still nursing a knee injury he copped against ABS two weeks ago. Hard-fighting Bunde missed the ill-fated return leg of the Confederation Cup first round ouster by Mozambique’s Liga

Muculmana after they were battered 7-1, having copped the ankle injury in the first leg in Makurdi. Lobi will also miss the services of striker Tony Okpotu, who is still recovering from Athlete’s foot injury. But Okpotu and Atule will be available for selection for their Sunday’s home game against Rangers. Team doctor said both payers will recover on time for the encounter.

NPFL Standings – Week 7 Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

GF GA

GD

Pts

1

Kano Pillars

7

5

1

1

8

5

16

3

2

Rangers

7

4

2

1

11

5

6

14

3

Nasarawa

7

4

2

1

8

3

5

14

4

3SC

7

4

0

3

13

10

3

12

5

Sunshine

6

3

2

1

9

5

4

11

6

Nembe City

7

3

2

2

9

8

1

11

7

Heartland

7

3

1

3

14

7

7

10

8

Bayelsa Utd

7

3

1

3

8

9

-1

10

9

Enyimba

7

2

3

2

4

3

1

9

10

Kwara United

7

2

3

2

4

5

-1

9

11

Akwa United

7

3

0

4

8

10

-2

9

12

Lobi Stars

6

3

0

3

6

8

-2

9

13

Gombe United 7

3

0

4

7

12

-5

9

14

Warri Wolves

7

1

5

1

7

5

2

8

15

Dolphins

7

2

2

3

4

7

-3

8

16

ABS F.C.

7

2

1

4

5

6

-1

7

17

Kaduna Utd

7

2

1

4

6

10

-4

7

18

Wikki Tourists

7

2

1

4

5

9

-4

7

19

El-Kanemi

7

1

3

3

6

11

-5

6

20

Sharks

7

1

2

4

2

8

-6

5

Seun Taro

Results Sunday, April 14 ABS

2 – 0 Bayelsa Utd

Enyimba

0 – 0 Kwara Utd

Sunshine

3 – 0 Wikki Tourists

Rangers

3 – 0 Dolphins

Wolves

4 – 1 El-Kanemi

3SC

4 – 1 Akwa Utd

Nembe City

1 – 0 Kaduna Utd

Nasarawa Utd

2 – 0 Gombe United

Sharks

0 – 0 Kano Pillars

Heartland

3 – 0 Lobi Stars

Pierre Coly

Rangers appeal season-long ban on four players E

nugu Rangers have officially appealed to the NFF Displinary Committee to lift the season-long ban slammed on each of their four players for misconduct during their ill-fated Week 4 home clash against Warri Wolves that left the centre referee battered, National Mirror can authoritatively report. Rangers submitted the appeal last Friday and are waiting for the Committee to give a verdict on the four players – Senegalese duo of Coly Pierre, Ousmane Papa Sane, Seun Taro and Ambrose Onyema – that came under the LMC’s sledge hammer. Rangers were also punished by slamming them with five of their home games played before empty stadium. The said players were reported to

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have descended on the centre referee after the Enugu-based side played out a barren draw before their disappointed home fans on March 25. National Mirror can report that Rangers are holding out for a serious appeal on defender Ambrose Onyema who was mistakenly slammed with the ban. Rangers are saying that the said player who was not even dressed for the game, was erroneously roped in the incident after the centre referee was said to have recognised the player with his number 18 jersey. Onyema, National Mirror can reveal, wore the number 18 jersey last season and relinquished it for Taro, who donned the said number on the ill-tempered game. “What happened was that a fan invaded the pitch and slapped the referee towards the end of the game

and one of the Senegalese players was also said to have hit the referee as well,” a close Rangers source said. “The referee was dazed and ran for his dear life and after that was able to recognise one of his assailants as spotting jersey number 18. “The league body only made a mistake by going into the last season’s record and identified Onyema with the jersey number and that was how the defender was roped in. “Taro wears jersey number 18 this season and played in the game. The referee and their assistants maintained the player that wore jersey number 18 was involved in the assault.” Rangers are now at the mercy of the NFF and the league body and are expecting the bans on the players to be cut.

‘Bayelsa lose games to players’ bad lifestyles’

ome Bayelsa United players have blamed their season’s losses to their bad lifestyles stemming from alleged womanising and alcohol, National Mirror has been reliably informed. Some players, pleading anonymity, maintained that the club may be heading back to the lower league if the players’ youthful excesses are not checked.

“The players mostly old players live lives of drinking, smoking and womanising and have caused us to lose some games which ordinarily we were not supposed to lose,” one of the players said. “We were badly exposed in our last week’s game at ABS where we lost 2-0 because some players were not fit as a result of bad

lifestyles. “We have managed to win home games and go on to lose badly at away games but I fear we will begin to lose home games if things don’t change. “I’m here to do my part and focus on my career and move on to greater things. I hope the management will look into this and effect a change.”


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance Banks should train personnel in agricultural lending Former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Adeniyi Osuntogun

Private sector should play a bigger role in infrastructure development ACTING DIRECTOR GENERAL, INFRASTRUCTURE CONCESSION REGULATORY COMMISSION, GAJI BELLO

42-43

FG records N234bn drop in year-on-year revenue collection TOLA AKINMUTIMI

ABUJA

I

ndications that strategies being adopted by the Federal Government to improve revenue generation capacity may not have been yielding the desired results have emerged with a huge decline in federally-collected revenue by about N234bn in January 2013 when analysed on a year-on-year basis. According to the just published Economic Report on the Economy in January 2013 by the Central Bank of Nigeria, whereas total federallycollected revenue in January 2012 stood at N1,008.37 billion, revenue accruals to the Federation Account in the corresponding month (January) this year totalled N774.79 bn. The report further indicated that while the collections in January 2012 showed an increase of 11.7 per cent and 37.8 per cent over the levels in the preceding month and the corresponding period in 2011, the figures of revenue accruals in January this year

reflected a mere 1.8 per cent above the collections in December 2012 and also fell short of the provisional monthly budget estimate of N807.71 bn. A further analysis of the revenues also showed that in January last year, gross oil receipts stood at N802.71bn, representing about 79.6 per cent of the gross earnings, January 2013 earnings from the sector plummeted to N599.0 billion. This showed that

accruals to the Federation Account in January this year was lower than the corresponding month’s collection last year by a whopping N203.7bn. The report attributed the substantial earnings from the oil sector during the review month of January 2012 to largely, to the 18.7 and 22.7 per cent rise in receipts from domestic crude oil and gas sales and crude oil and gas export. Similarly, the slight

improvement in collected revenue which was said to be above the provisional monthly budget estimate from the oil sector in the corresponding month this year was ascribed largely to increase in prices of crude oil in the international market. On the non-oil sector revenue profiles, non-oil receipts in January 2012 which stood at N205.66 billion or 20.4 per cent of the total revenue was 16.6 and

35.9 per cent higher than the receipts in the preceding month and the corresponding month of 2011, respectively. In 2013, report revealed that non-oil receipt stood at N175.75bn or 22.7 per cent of the federally collected gross revenue even as it pointed out that the collection was 31.0 per cent lower than the provisional monthly budget estimate, but 0.2 per cent higher than receipts in the preceding month. The Bank attributed the decline largely to the fall in independent revenue of the Federal Government and corporate tax.

B

anks lending to agricultural sector of the economy decreased by 49.3 per cent, as a total of N626.1 million was guaranteed

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IRS

L-R: President/Chief Executive Officer, GE Africa, Mr. Jay Ireland; Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Ernest Nwapa and representative of the President, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria/Managing Director, WELTEK, Mr. Pedro Egbe,at the Engineering Fair in Abuja on Monday.

Banks’ lending to agricultural sector declines by 49.3 % UDO ONYEKA

Arik Air

to 5, 267, farmers under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) in the month of January representing a decline of 49.3 per cent below the level in the in December 2012. This was revealed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its Economic Report of January 2013. The report said sub-

sectoral analysis of the loans guaranteed indicated that the food crop sub-sector had the largest share of N454.9m (72.7 per cent) guaranteed to 4,762 beneficiaries, the livestock subsector received N148.1m (23.7 per cent) for 480 beneficiaries, while fisheries subsector received N12.8m (2.0 per cent) guaranteed to 13 beneficiaries.

According to the report cash crops sub-sector received N7.6m (1.2 per cent) for 8 beneficiaries, the mixed crops sub-sector N1.7m (0.3 per cent) guaranteed to 3 beneficiaries, while “other” share was N1.0m (0.2 per cent) for one beneficiary. Analysis by state showed that 20 states benefited from the Scheme

Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00

during the review month, with the highest and lowest sums of N208.3m (33.3 per cent) and N1.1m (0.18 per cent) guaranteed to Jigawa and Enugu states, respectively. “At end-January 2013, the total amount released by the CBN under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) to the participating banks for disbursement

‘Electronic import documentation will reduce capital flight’

NCAA tackles foreign airlines over non-compliance on revenue automation

Consumers groan as kerosene shortage, high prices persist

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Business Finance

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nigeria, France kick-start synergy on skills development, SMEs STANLEY IHEDIGBO

N

igeria and France have commenced the process of developing requisite skills needed for optimal performance of critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, as identified in the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan. The agreement to collaborate on skills development in Nigeria was reached in Paris, France, on Tuesday at a meeting between the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga and French Minister of Foreign Trade, Mrs. Nicole Bricq. Top French companies operating in diverse sectors and members of the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who attended the meeting, identified lack of requisite skills as a major factor hindering busi-

ness in Nigeria and indicated their interest in developing capacity across major sectors. They attributed their renewed interest in Nigeria to the fact that confidence in the Nigerian economy, globally, had been very strong in recent times and predicted a remarkable transformation of the Nigerian economy in the very near future if ongoing reforms were sustained. Specifically, the French minister said her ministry identified 47 countries that were most important to France in terms of its trade and investment drive and Nigeria was an important part of that list. The collaboration strategy for capacity development between the two countries, based on the skills gap in the various sectors, was mapped out at the meeting. A model for collaboration on the

sustainable development of Nigeria’s Small and Medium Enterprises, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment’s National Enterprise Development Programme, was also developed. The sector players agreed that the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce would work with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria and Ubifrance under the SME development scheme to achieve quick wins in the SME sub-sector. Aganga pointed out that the Federal Government had already begun far-reaching skills development programme as an enabler under the NIRP, noting, however, that it was a good thing for French companies investing in Nigeria to also invest in skills development to produce win-win results for both France and Nigeria.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NUJ threatens to sue Royal Air Maroc over missing luggage OLUSEGUN KOIKI

T

he leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has threatened to sue the management of Royal Air Maroc over the missing luggage of two of its executive members who travelled with the airline to Casablanca, Morocco sometime last month. The National President, NUJ, Mallam Garba Muhammed told aviation correspondents yesterday at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos that since the incident occurred, the management of the airline was yet to get in touch with those whose luggage were missing despite the fact that the union had written officially to the airline notifying it of the lost luggage.

NCAA tackles foreign airlines over non-compliance on revenue automation OLUSEGUN KOIKI

T

L-R: Marketing Manager, Larger, Mr. Paul Asemota; General Manager, Dolphins FC, Mr. Dumbor Aawaneni; Managing Director and Chief Executive, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Seni Adetu and Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Sesan Sobowale, during the announcement of Harp’s sponsorship of 5 clubs in the Nigerian Professional Football League in Lagos, yesterday.

‘Electronic import documentation will reduce capital flight’ FRANCIS EZEM

F

reight Forwarders under the aegis of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders have thrown their weight behind Federal Government’s decision to introduce on-line import documentation process in the country. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had in line with this new policy announced the introduction computer based filing of some import documents, especially the Form ‘M’, which specifies the actual volume of foreign exchange the importer requires for a specified import transactions. President of the association, Mr. Eugene Nweke, who spoke in an interview at the weekend, noted that the new policy was one of the best

things to happen to the Nigerian importing community, as the new policy will curtail increasing cases of capital flight and other scams associated with foreign exchange dealings in the country. According to him, under the new policy, the importer files his import documentations online, which he argued will remove all forms of forgery and fraud associated with the manual Form M. “The new electronic form will reduce fraud because it is no longer manual and because the bill of lading is also send online, the CBN will be able to reconcile whether the volume of foreign exchange bought by the importer is actually reflects on the quantity and value of goods imported”. “It will also facilitate revenue generation He also argued that this will

replace the manual system which does not give room for close monitoring, as it could be forged and manipulated after the hard currency had been bought. Apart from these, the electronic Form M will give full details of the importer’s identity, his tax identification number, which also eliminates the era of falsification of personal information of the importers. Over the years there had been rampant cases of importers taking foreign exchange and at the end fail to utilize it for the purpose for which it was applied. A celebrated case was that of dumping of animal waste in a container in Koko, Delta State in the late 1980s, which was suspected to have been associated with foreign exchange fraud.

He however said that the union had briefed its lawyers on the incident and appropriate action would be taken very soon against the airline. He said, “Actually there has been no response from the airline. We have briefed our lawyers. By next week, if there is no response from Royal Air Maroc, we are going to take a legal action. The luggage contains very important personal documents that we cannot just allow to go like that,” he said. He explained further that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, had invited some of the passengers with lost luggage and asked for the particulars, including the return tickets for the trip, adding that the Comptroller-General of Customs had assured that the agency would work towards the recovery of the missing luggage.

he Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, yesterday threatened to deal with foreign carriers operating into the country over their non-compliance with the agency’s revenue automation requirements. The regulatory authority however issued two weeks ultimatum to the erring airlines to comply with the revenue automation of face severe punishment from the agency. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr. Fan Ndubuoke stated that the Ag. Director-General, NCAA, Mr. Joyce Nkemakolam read out the riot act to the foreign

carriers at a meeting held at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos yesterday with the airlines. Ndubuoke stated that the Director-General was peeved by the non-compliance of a substantial number of the airlines to NCAA’s revenue automation requirements. He stated that the NCAA’s regulations regarding revenue collection, mandated operating airlines to forward derivable data at the end of every flight operation to the regulatory authority at the shortest possible time. These data he said are forwarded to the agency through NCAA’s Aviation Technology, AVITECH the contracting firm handling the automation for the agency.

NLC replaces old mass transit buses in Lagos MESHACK IDEHEN

T

he Nigeria Labour Organisation (NLC) said it has replaced its old mass transit buses with 133 new buses in Lagos and other cities in the country. Acting General Secretary, Mr Emma Ugboaja, said on Tuesday, that the old labour buses that were not in good condition had been disposed of, and that the new buses, which arrived in Lagos in March, have not started operation because the NLC and Lagos State Government were working out modalities. He explained that the Lagos state government already has buses that are plying certain routes, adding the congress does we do not want any conflict with the bus operators in the ci ty. The NLC acting scribe explained that as soon as the

congress concludes discussion on the routes and fares to be charged, the buses will be deployed for operations’. Ugboaja also confirmed that the buses were acquired through a loan with an interest rate of about 5.75 per cent annually. Meanwhile National Mirror visited the Labour City Transport Service (LCTS) office in Yaba on Tuesday and observed that none of the 80 buses received during former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration was functioning. It is to be recalled that in 2010, the Federal Government announced a N10 billion Public Mass Transit Revolving Fund meant to increase the availability of vehicles to the public through eligible transport operators across the country, and to be managed by the Urban Development Bank of Nigeria (UD BN).


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Special Report

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ubscribed —Dr Bolorunduro What are the initiatives of the government to revamp commercial activities ?

The State of Osun has a lot of potentialities. In terms of economic activities, we can say we have bases from what we can call diverse economy. We can promote agriculture because of what we can call rich, fertile agricultural soil that we have in the state that is unique and unparallel in Nigeria. Osogbo, the state’s capital used to be the third largest commercial city, after Lagos and Ibadan. Since the train system collapsed, the economic activities have stopped in Osogbo. So, we are trying to bring it back through our flagship economic project, which we call Osun Hub. And what it is supposed to be is a centre of commercial activities where people can exchange goods and can warehouse finished goods that are going to the North. If you remember in the 1970’s and up to the early 80’s, we used to have all the big companies here distributing goods. We had UTC, WAPCO, PZ, MDS, CFAO, etc. Now, what we have done is to partner with the Nigerian Railway Corporation to bring in finished goods to Osogbo for distributors to engage in commercial activities, including textiles. People forgot that Osogbo used to be heavy textile centre. People who were coming from Kogi State, Ekiti State, Benue State, Edo and Ondo States would buy the goods for commercial activities. Don’t forget that Osogbo is a tourist centre, as from next year you will see more activities and we are improving on hospitality business by ensuring that we develop the airport. The first airport in West Africa was sighted in Osun. That is Aerodrum in Ido Osun, which we are now developing into an airport where cargo planes could bring goods for trading in Osun. These are diverse economic bases of Osun that we are developing. And once we do that there will be economic activities. What is the government doing on the social services?

If you look at our social services, why are we engaging in social services? Talk of O-meal, which is Osun meal where we feed pupils from primary one to four in elementary schools. That is a stage where their brains and mental capacity develop. I grew up in Osun and I was able to prove my mettle when I got to the University. We grew up here because we were properly fed. The free meal consume over N3billion within a year. What the O-meal does is to feed the children properly and create jobs for people. We have 3,000 food vendors that we have engaged as. We have also involved ourselves in O-uniform because when we were in the school, we were well kitted. We are providing uniforms for elementary, middle and high school students. Through the partnership with private sectors, 3,000 tailors will be engaged. So, those are the economic cum social activities that we have engaged on to create a new class of income earners and spenders. Once you have the spenders, you have gradual growth in Gross Domestic Product. If you look at our agricultural programme, we are providing land, input and support with agric credit schemes and through that we also stimulate that sector. We have Osun broilers, which is about poultry farmers. Through the programme, we are stimulating the economy of Osun. All these are economic strategies to improve commercial activities of the state. The fourth strategy is to bring in industries. We have stable electricity in Osun. This is the only place in the country where you can have regular 18 hours supply of electricity. Why? We have the national grid and it is the only one in the country, which means that 75 per cent of power generated in the country comes to Osogbo first before it is transferred to other places. We can encourage industries hence the reason for engaging in industrial revolution. Of cause, the previous government did not locate them properly. They are located far away from the electricity source. But we will find a way of letting them work by stimulating and at-

THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE COUNTRY WHERE YOU

18 HOURS SUPPLY OF ELECTRICITY. WHY? WE HAVE THE NATIONAL GRID CAN HAVE REGULAR

AND IT IS THE ONLY ONE IN THE COUNTRY tracting investors. We have a programme now that we are attracting minimum of five industries to Osun. If we have 20 industries that employ 20, 000 people that is huge and significant in terms of tax, in terms of Pay As You Earn to the economy of the state. What is the contribution of the state’s Gross Domestic Product to the National Gross Domestic Product?

I have a GDP figure that says I am in the neighbourhood of 758billion. The economy of Osun is made up of the informal sector. So you can see the correlation. If you look at my Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, when Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola came in, it was below national average. It was then about N300million, but it is close to N1billion now and we will continue to drive it. In the last three months, it ranges between N800 million and N1 billion, not by increasing taxes. We have not even introduced any form of taxes, just by blocking the leakages, processing our collection in a more efficient manner, by automation. By doing that, we are growing our revenue base and we will continue to do that, increase the industries and the numbers of spenders in the state. Once you have new spenders in your economy like O-Yes, you can say the salary is N10, 000 each, but when you have 20,000 people in an economy that is N200 million monthly. When you talk of 0-Meal, that is N260 million monthly. So, these have begun to impact the economy. When you talk of elderly, which is for elderly people, helpless and abandoned citizen of the state. We are paying them N10,000 each and currently it costs the state about N20 million, it is going to cost the state N25million soon because we are going to increase the numbers of beneficiaries. What is the attraction to shopping malls?

I said my state GDP is N758billion. The 90 per cent of it are in informal sector. When you go to Ile Ife and you stand at Lagere, you will see different shops. These are informal sectors. You will see artisans, they don’t pay taxes, and government don’t record their activities. So, those are economic activities outside the purview of the government sector. I must begin to grow that sector and begin to record that sector and try to bring it to the formal revenue base of the state. If you go to Ilesa, you will see that type of economic activities, Ilesa can take that type of Ayegbaju market. Osobo will take additional two markets in terms of economic activities. As an economic planner of the state, I must continue to survey it. I just finished a survey of what the citizens perceive as baseline services that the government must provide. We had the jingles, visited many households and the questionaires were administered on them. I can now use that to plan and dispense economy activities of the state. What would you say made investors oversubscribe to the N22billion state government’s bond issued at the Nigerian capital market? It was not only oversubscribed; we had 78 entries and that is unprecedented for N22billion. You assume that if each entry is N5million, you will have 44 entries but we ended up having close to 80 entries. It is like a rally, it is more than the way you just described it. So, what makes us thick? Credibility. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is very credible. He would honour his promises.

Bolorunduro

A7 P33


Special Report

A8 P34 7

AUD PRIMARY SCHOOL, IPERIN, ILA

8

L.A. PRIMARY SCHOOL, ISOKUN, ILESA

9

L.A. PRIMARY SCHOOL, IMO, ILESA

10

ADC PRIMARY SCHOOL, OKE-ADA, IKIRE

11

AUD PRIMARY SCHOOL, IKOYI

12

ST. STEPHEN’S ANG. PRIMARY SCHOOL, IWO

13

L.A. PRIMARY SCHOOL, ESA-OKE

14

ASIYANBI MEMORIAL SCHOOL, INISA

15

ALL SAINTS PRIMARY SCHOOL, OLUODE, OSOGBO

16

IJ PRIMARY SCHOOL, IJEBU-JESA

17

AUD PRIMARY SCHOOL, OSOGBO

18

ST. FRANCIS PRY. SCH., IRAYE, MODAKEKE

19

ST ANDREWS, OKEBAALE, OSOSGBO

20

ST THERESA RCM, ILOBU

21

BAPTIST DAY PRY SCHOOL, OLUPONNA

22

LA PRY SCHOOL, OBADA, EDE

23

ANG. CENTRAL PRIMARY SCHOOL, ILE-IFE

24

NUD PRIMARY SCHOOL, SANGO, IKIRE

25

NUD PRIMARY SCHOOL ‘A’ IRAGBIJI

26

ST. STEPHENS PRIMARY SCHOOL, MODAKEKE

27

L.A. PRIMARY SCHOOL, AYETORO, OSOGBO

28

DTTC PRIMARY SCHOOLS, IJEBU-JESA

29

ST. JULIUS PRIMARY SCHOOL, ILA

30

AUD GRAMMAR SCHOOL, OKO ROAD, EJIGBO

31

AUD PRIMARY SCHOOL, ARAROMI, IWO

32

HOLY TRINITY PRY SCHOOL, OKE-AFO, IKIRUN

33

LATC DEMONSTRATION SCH, OKE-OYE, ILESA

34

LAROTIMEHIN PRY SCHOOL, A&B, OSOGBO

HIGH SCHOOLS 35

THE MODEL HIGH SCHOOL, EJIGBO

36

THE MODEL HIGH SCHOOL, OSOGBO

<<Continued from A5 P23 4. PAYMENT OF EXTERNAL EXAMINATION FEES It is pertinent to note that the state government has jut approved the payment of WASCE registration fees of all public secondary school students for the year 2012/2013 session. A total of 33,471 students would benefit from this gesture of full payment for all final year students as against the previous policy of payment for few successful students in a qualifying exam. A sum of N324, 745, 150 has been approved by the governor and payment already effected. This is in furtherance of the commitment of the government in removing the burden of payment of examination fees from parents in the state.

5. PAYMENT OF RUNNING AND EXAMINATION GRANTS Prior to November 27, 2010, when the new administration took over in the state, public primary and secondary schools in the state were paid a paltry sum of between N200 and N600 per month as running grants per school. When the Aregbesola administration assumed office, the governor considered the payment as highly unreasonable and unacceptable. In order to make for smooth administration and to ensure the quality of school-based examinations, he ordered the increase in the running and examination grants paid to public school head teachers and principals as follows:

Table 3 below shows the differences between the grants before and now. OLD RATE

NEW RATE

COST IMPLICATION IMPLICATION PER TERM (NEW RATE)

PRIMARY

N200 – N600 PER

N400 PER PUPIL

SCHOOL PER

PER TERM

N131,630,966.60

MONTH. SECONDARY

N150 PER STU-

N550 PER

DENT PER TERM

STUDENT PER TERM

N142,483,000.00

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NEW FACE OF

Feeding school pupils with passion

O’CALISTHENICS WAS

Whereas the immediate past administration was paying a paltry sum of about One hundred and twenty five million naira (N125m) per annum on school and examination grants to the primary, secondary and technical college sectors, the Aregbesola administration is paying the sum of about Eight hundred and fifty six million naira (N856m) per annum for the same sectors. In addition, the state government stopped the collection of PTA levies in all public primary and secondary schools with a view to removing the financial burden of school management from the parents.

6.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

SCHOOL

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

CREATION OF EDUCATION DISTRICTS

As part of efforts to provide functional education in the state, the government has appointed additional five permanent secretaries, as opposed to just one that was in place, to strengthen the ministry of education and make it more efficient for quality service delivery. Three of the newly appointed permanent secretaries were school principals, who were elevated to such position for the first time in the history of the state. The effort, according to the government is to motivate teachers and encourage them so that they too could aspire to get to the peak of their career like their counterparts in the core civil service. Permanent secretaries have also been appointed for the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the newly created Teachers Establishment and Pension Office (TEPO). Equally, the three newly elevated principals, who were designated as Tutor Generals/ Permanent Secretaries, are now at the helm of affairs of the newly created three Education Districts. Hitherto, the Post-Primary Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) was charged with the responsibility of the recruitment, deployment, remuneration and discipline of both the teaching and non-teaching staff in the public secondary schools. Today, TESCOM stands dissolved and the new district offices create located in Ila-Orangun (Osun Central), IleIfe (Osun East) and Ikire (Osun West).

7.

CREATION OF TEPO (TEACHERS ESTABLISHMENT & PENSION OFFICE)

Another innovation of the Aregbesola administration in the area of education is the creation of Teachers Establishment and Pensions office (TEPO). The new office now handles welfare, disciplines, training and retirement benefits of teachers in the post primary status.

TEACHERS WELFARE At the inception of this administration, teacher’s morale was perhaps at its lowest ebb. To boost the morale of teachers and enhance productivity, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola approved the promotion of staff in education sector across board. For example, the State Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM and SUBEB promoted 3,130 teaching and non-teaching staff serving in the public secondary schools. Among these were 135 principals who were stagnated on GL.16 for over six years that were elongated to GL.17 and 122 from GL.15 to GL.16 in the public secondary schools. In the primary school sub-sector, a total of 6,777 teachers were promoted. In the tertiary institutions for example, the government approved 80 per cent of the consolidated tertiary institutions salary structure for all staff of the state-owned tertiary institutions. In addition, peculiar allowance of seven per cent and four per cent of the total emolument were approved for both the academic and non-teaching staff respectively. Unlike what obtains in the past, teachers’ monthly salaries, and leave allowances are promptly paid by the 25th day of every month. With the creation of

COMMISSIONED DURING THE

21ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE STATE OF OSUN AT A VERY COLOURFUL CEREMONY. THE MODEST EXPECTATION IS THAT PUPILS the office of Tutor Generals, teachers can now hope to get to the peak of their career as this is an equivalent position of a permanent secretary. Furthermore, the administration has approved the elongation of the retirement age of academic staff of the state owned tertiary institutions from 60 years of age, or 35 years of service to 65 years of age without recourse to the length of ‘work-experience’

8.

RECRUITMENT OF TEACHERS:

In response to the dearth of teachers in specific subject areas and geographical locations within the state, Aregbesola’s administration recruited and deployed 6,000 teachers under the O’YES and voluntary PTA teachers programme into the public schools. In addition, another 600 teachers were recruited and posted to specific local government areas of the state. Also, the governor has approved the immediate recruitment of over 3000 teachers each into both the primary and secondary schools.

9.

STATE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION BOARD(SUBEB)

Pursuant to its resolve to make functional education a reality in the state, the administration has strengthened the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) with the appointment of a substantive permanent secretary as the chief helmsman. As a body, SUBEB is responsible for the administration and supervision of the state-owned 1,378 primary schools with a total enrolment of 357,533 pupils, and teaching staff strength of 12,188.

10. SUPPLY OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND TEACHING AIDS TO SCHOOLS To promote functional teaching and learning in schools, the Aregbesola administration, in the last 24 months, has committed N354,100,000.00 to provision of instructional materials, Home Economics equipment, science equipment and teaching kits for public primary and secondary schools in the state. In addition, the state government took delivery of books in core subjects like English Language, Basic Science, Technology and Social Studies from UBEC, Abuja. The government is also making arrangements for procurement of Reading and Talking Pen for public primary schools in the state to enhance and promote learning of Yoruba language.

11.

O’ CALISTHENICS

Mr. Governor demonstrated his passion for total development of the youth in the State of Osun when he approved the re-introduction of the physical exercise/ training into the school system and made it compulsory in all public schools. The policy is aimed at improving the physical fitness of students and enhancing their psychomotor domain. Calisthenics was also introduced as a specialised body of knowledge in the kinetic movement of human anatomy. At inception, 7, 940 students from the nine federal constituencies from 42 schools were trained for six months. O’Calisthenics was commissioned during the 21st Anniversary of the State of Osun at a very co-


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Special Report

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

EDUCATION

RATES of studentsCATEGORIES OF STUDENTS categories are as presented in Table 4 below:

combining lectures, tutorials and other activities in an environment designed to be supportive, enriching and captivating. The topics covered in the programme will span science, engineering and technology. The maiden edition of the O’KITS YOUTHS CAMP held in the state for one week in December 2012 with 300 students selected from across public secondary school in the State.

14. PROMOTION OF TECHNICAL & VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

Caterer at a workshop.

In order to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the nine Technical Colleges and to put a stop to all sorts of illegal collection of money from students, the administration has increased substantially the amount payable as examination grants/running cost to all the nine technical colleges in the state. The government now pays N150 per student as running grant and N400 per student as examination grant for the nine technical colleges per term amounting to N550 per student as against N150 per student for both running and examination grants paid by the previous administration. Prior to the inauguration of the present administration, there had been acute shortage of teaching and non-teaching personnel in the nine colleges leading to negative impact on the students’ performance in both internal and external examinations. On assumption of office, the administration promptly responded to the challenges and recruited a total number of 170 different categories of personnel for the nine colleges.

15. Model school at Oke-fa, Osogbo.

lourful ceremony. The modest expectation is that pupils physically and mentally fit are likely to do better in school.

12.

INTRODUCTION OF ICT IN EDUCATION

The administration has also taken concrete steps towards ensuring that students become ICT compliant, both for learning and self development. Towards this end, the Aregbesola administration has concluded arrangement to distribute computer tablets tagged; Opon-Imo to the SS 1 - 3 students in public secondary schools in the state. The tablet is preloaded with lesson notes on 17 subjects offered by students in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) and NECO. It also contains six extra-curricular subjects including Sexuality Education, Entrepreneurship, Yoruba Proverbs, Civic Education, Yoruba History and the Yoruba Traditional Religion. It is another landmark achievement by the Aregbesola administration which is novel and unprecedented in the annals of education not only in Nigeria but in the world at large. This initiative will definitely aid teaching and learning and would improve the general performance of the students in the State of Osun.

13.

KIDS IN TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE (O’KITS) YOUTH CAMP

As part of efforts of the administration to add value to educational development of the teeming youths of the State, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has approved that a technology and science educational exchange programme be conducted in the state. The programme is named O’KITS and would hold annually with secondary schools students participating during each camping session. O’KITS which is being organised by the state in collaboration with Champlain College, USA, is aimed at catching young the students of JSS2–SS2 in the Middle and High Schools of the state to encourage them to develop sustainable interest in learning technology and science in non-conventional classroom. The programme will take place during holidays in a carefully selected CAMP location within the State of Osun to ensure maximum gains of the benefiting students. O’KITS is designed to engage students from less privileged communities in hands-on experience in the Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines,

A9 P35

STATE LIBRARY

To ensure a conducive reading environment, the state government has committed the sum of N13, 894,377.22 kobo to the re-roofing of the state library at Oke-fia, Osogbo. Also to enhance the reading culture, books worthN4, 000,000.00 were purchased to replenish the stock of books in the library. The e-library donated to the state by Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has been completed and equipped with necessary accessories including internet connectivity. And the state is billed to take over the financial responsibilities of its operations to the tune of almost N20, 000,000.00 annually. The project is first of its kind in the South-West. This administration also established the Education Management and Information System (EMIS) centre for the processing of statistical data to assist the government in adequate planning of its education programme in the basic schools within the state.

16.

SPONSORSHIP OF UNIOSUN MEDICAL STUDENTS TO UKRAINE

It is no longer news that some medical students, 300 to 500 levels of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN) got stagnated in their academic activities as they could not proceed to the clinical classes. This is due to the fact that there was no Teaching Hospital with adequate facilities to cater for their needs. In the wisdom of Mr. Governor and in order not to abort the visions and dreams of the affected students, the state government has facilitated the transfer of the affected 98 students to Karazin University in Kharkiv, Ukraine to continue and complete their academic programme. The cost of training and maintaining the students in Ukraine in the first year, excluding other miscellaneous expenses is N152, 945, 400.00.

17.

BURSARY AND SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS

In order to reduce the burden of higher education for the citizen, the present administration has reviewed upward the bursary award to final year students of Osun State origin in Tertiary institutions from the N2, 000 /N3, 000 which was paid once to students for the entire duration of their studies by the previous administration.

The new rates which would be paid annually to the various

N10,000.00

COLLEGES OF EDUCATION

N10,000.00

POLYTECHNICS AND ALLIED INSTITUTIONS

N10,000.00

HUMANITIES, SOCIAL SCIENCES

N20,000.00

MEDICAL/LAW

N100,000.00

SPECIAL GRANT FOR LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS

It is on record that throughout the tenure of the immediate past administration (90 months), bursary was paid four times totalling N152, 758,720. This was in 2004/2005, when only N54, 870,920; 2005/2006 when N26, 907,000; 2006/2007 when N35, 980,800; and in 2009/2010, when N35, 000,000 was paid.. There was no bursary for 2003/2004 session, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 academic sessions. The cost of the new bursary by the new administration is put at N216,334,000 per annum, for 20,215 students in 74 institutions all over Nigeria and payment has commenced in earnest.

18.

DOWNWARD REVIEW OF SCHOOL FEES IN STATE OWNED TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

Government has reduced fees payable in the state-owned tertiary institutions as presented in Table 5 below: RATES

CATEGORIES OF STUDENTS

N10,000.00

COLLEGES OF EDUCATION

N10,000.00

POLYTECHNICS AND ALLIED INSTITUTIONS

N10,000.00

HUMANITIES, SOCIAL SCIENCES

N20,000.00

MEDICAL/LAW

N100,000.00

SPECIAL GRANT FOR LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS

THE OSUN STATE UNIVERSITY IS THE FIRST STATE UNIVERSITY IN

NIGERIA WHERE STUDENTS

ARE NOT DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ON THE BASIS OF ETHNIC ORIGIN WHEN PAYING SCHOOL FEES NON DISCRIMINATORY REGIME OF SCHOOL FEES The Osun State University is the first state university in Nigeria where students are not discriminated against on the basis of ethnic origin when paying school fees. For the government of Aregbesola, the indigene and non-indigene divide does not exist. All students are the same in the eyes of the Aregbesola administration. This is a remarkable feat in the education sector and the Nigerian project.

19.

THE GIFTED & PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED STUDENTS

The focus is for government to help the gifted child explore the world of possibilities while the physically challenged is assisted to be the best they can be. Though the state is yet to have a dedicated facility for the education of gifted children of Osun origin, some gifted children of the state have successfully competed for and secured admission into the prestigious Suleija Academy for gifted children. “The State Government of Osun is committed to the education and general welfare of its citizens irrespective of their state of ability or disability. For the physically challenged children, hitherto called handicapped, special residential primary and secondary schools were established in Ikirun, Ikoyi-Ile, Ilesa and Osogbo. The State Government of Osun is responsible for the feeding and maintenance of students of these physically challenged schools. “I also wish to place on record that SUBEB has also done very well for the physically challenged through the execution of the UBE Special Education Fund Projects for the Schools of Handicapped in the State,” the deputy governor stated.

TRAINING AND RETRAINING For innovative teaching/learning in public schools, periodic training and retraining are being organized for public schools teachers, an encouragement aimed at enhancing their productive capabilities. To this end, over two thousand teachers of public secondary schools were recently trained by UNIOSUN. Arrangements are in top gear to begin the training of another set of 6,000 teachers of public secondary schools in the state subsequently.


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Special Report

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A10 P36

Transforming Osun economy by train ser vices JOHNSON OKANLAWON

W

here is Ogbeni Aregbesola? Mrs Ruth Adegoke, a passenger looking for a free train ride from Lagos to Osun State asked this reporter in front of Iddo Railway Station in Lagos by 7a.m on December 24, 2012, a day to Christmas. In no time, one after the other, the passengers trickled in, asking where is Omoluabi train? This reporter was dumfounded until an elderly man, Mr. Taiwo Ogunleke, a staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, informed that the Aregbesola free Christmas train ride would soon take off, that they should go in and wait inside. He clarified that the passengers labelled the train ‘Aregbe’ or ‘Omoluabi’ due to the fact the current administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola provided the transportation free for the masses during festive periods. But Mrs. Adegoke did not plan to board the train initially. She and her two siblings were stranded at Ido Motor Park when they were informed that transport fare for a passenger was N3, 000 from Lagos to Osogbo, the capital of Osun. “I was thinking of what to do when I heard jokingly from one of the drivers saying that if you don’t have the fare, you can go and board free train ride at Iddo,” Adegoke said Mrs. Badmus Rukayat, an indigene of Ede recounted: “Not only me, other passengers got out of the bus to join the train, because the fare was N1, 400 before the festive period.” The Osun State Government offered free train rides to thousands of the state indigenes and other people transiting from Lagos to Osun and neighbouring states. This gesture was in continuation of the free train ride service embarked upon by the government during festive periods, which started in 2011. No wonder Mr. Mathew Olaitan, one of the train passengers named the governor, ‘Friend of the masses’. According to him, this is the first time in the history of the state that a sitting governor will provide free ride during festive periods. “I will advise any government in the state in future to continue the good projects of Governor Aregbesola, Mrs. Iyabo Tinusa, another passenger told National Mirror. When asked on the motive for transporting people from Lagos to Osogbo and vice versa by rail, the state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Ismail Jayeola, explained that the free train ride is one of the necessities to enhance commerce in the state and it underscores the responsiveness of the government to the plight of the masses. “During the last Ramadan, free train ride service was offered by the state government to take Osun State-bound passengers from Lagos to Osun and other neighbouring states. Passengers were also taken by the train service free of charge to Lagos State after festive periods in Osun State. “Lagos State is very close to Osun State, just about 289 kilometres by rail. Before the governor assumed office the rail way was at zero level. The rail was not functioning; nothing was going on in

Osogbo bound train taking off at Iddo, Lagos. Dr. Ismail Jayeola Commissioner for C and Industry.

Mrs. Rukayat Badmus

LAGOS STATE IS VERY CLOSE TO OSUN STATE, JUST ABOUT 289 KILOMETRES BY RAIL. BEFORE THE GOVERNOR ASSUMED OFFICE THE RAILWAY WAS AT ZERO LEVEL the state. But when he assumed power, he said that goods will be moved from Lagos to Osogbo free of charge and that is what we are doing now; that is what led to the rehabilitation of the railway so that the old days commerce in the state will be restored,” Jayeola said. According to him, the moving of the people from Osogbo to Lagos and vice versa during festival is not government priority, but to sensitise the people that the railway is back, useful and to serve as a challenge to the Nigerian Railway Corporation to wake up from slumber and improve on their services. “The cheapest way of moving goods is through railway. Last week, the train plied Lagos to Kano, which has never happened in the last 50 years and they moved from Lagos to Ilorin twice in a week, which also has never happened in the last 50 years,” Jayeola said. The first thing the state government did to assist the corporation was to rehabilitate Osogbo railway, as nobody knew that the corporation had such an edifice in Osogbo until the rehabilitation. “We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the corporation on freight services and to

Passangers at Iddo terminus of the NRC in Lagos, about to board the free train to Osogbo.

transport the people to the state,” the commissioner said. “This is one of the initiatives to return the state to economic hub of South-West Region.” When the project commence fully, farm produce merchants, manufacturers and other business people from any part of Nigeria only have to get their products to the state capital, Osogbo, while the state government takes the responsibility of delivering them at no cost to the various destinations in the country. This initiative will likely see entrepreneurs move into Osun in droves just to leverage on the resultant low or zero transportation costs. “I can assure you that clothing and other materials being sold in Oke Arin, Lagos State, would be sold at the same price in Osogbo. This is possible because the rail system that will take the agricultural products to Lagos would bring these materials and it would lower the price. Traders from Kwara, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti would prefer to come to Osogbo instead of travelling to Lagos to buy these items since the price would be lower here in Osogbo,” the governor said while signing the agreement The town became a commercial one with the arrival of railway in 1907 which brought the colonial government to the threshold of the town. Osogbo is now a highly commercial town. The busiest and most commercial parts of the town are Ayetoro area, Ajegunle area and the area along and around the station road. The commercial activities, which are enhanced by the provision of infrastructural facilities, include trading in building materials, vehicles, cloths, plastic wares and metal wares etc. In the 70’s, Osogbo happened to be the third commercial city in Nigeria. Then, all the blue chips companies had depots in Osogbo and people came from ad-

journing states to buy goods in Osogbo. said Jayeola, “You don’t need to come to Lagos and that is why we are trying to build warehouses at Osogbo for people to keep their goods. So, the governor is returning Osogbo back to the olden days commercial centre. “That is why you see us constructing, rehabilitating and reviving the infrastructure. Now, if you talk of commerce, after putting the entire infrastructure in place, people will like to do business in Osogbo, visit the markets and shopping malls. There is no way you will enter the market that you will not see one or two things to buy. That is leading to the construction of the markets that you are seeing presently, Ayegbaju and Aje international markets. “All of them are up to international standard. It will also lead to the development of hotels in the cities because by the time you move round, you will later look for a place to rest. By the time the likes of Cocacola, Promasidor, etc, bring their goods to Osogbo, it will be like a factory extension of the companies. People will come from Abuja, Kogi and the far North to buy goods. We are going to construct the warehouses through the private public partnership. All these will spur the companies to establish branches in Osogbo because they will say why should I not have my warehouse here and also the factory if I can get the buyer. “When you talk of location of industry, there are three things people consider namely power, proximity to the market and the market and land availability. When your market expense is more than the production expenses, the company is in trouble. But if the factory is in the state and the market is available with about 18 hour’s electricity, it will be easier to do business.” Apart from the above-mentioned major businesses, Osogbo people are famed for their commercial activities in handmade, traditional woven cloth “Aso Oke” and Batiks, same with cloth-dyeing, embroidery, pottery, goldsmithing. In addition, the people are renowned, worldwide, for their unique creations of art works of different cadre; painting, carving, bead-works, sacred artworks and even performing arts. Need to say this ever-increasing fame in contemporary African arts has shot Osogbo to prominence in the world as far as arts and antiques collections are concerned.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Special Report

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A11 P37

our lives —flood victims that can take 100, 50 etc. We want the farmers who are interested to come for training and do same. They can even use bamboo for the commercial cattle feed.

Work in progress.

the North and now fattened them for the Ileya festi-

val. Actually, not less than 800 were sold in October last year during the festival. We are trying to breed the remaining for the next Ileya. The idea behind this project is that the people of the state will no longer go to the North to buy rams during Ileya or Christmas by the time the phases of the farm are completed. Fadare said: “Comparing the cost of bringing them here and the transportation and the market prices in the town, ours is lower. The governor wants to ensure that people get cheaper cows and rams during the festivals. Our prices are lesser than what we have in the open market. That why many people across the state came here to buy. We have not sold any of the cows. We captured them

and we are rearing them. We have Ndama cows inherited from Oyo state and other diverse species. They are reproducing. The rams are being bred here for fattening.” He explained that the little success that was recorded on the farm was due to the doggedness of the governor, who insisted that the farm should take off with a sort of crash programme. “In fact this place is for cattle alone and we imported foreign cattle with good quality so that we can cross breed with the local Fulani Ndama cows to get better offspring. That is what the ranch is made up of and those who want to fatten their cows are allowed to come. We will feed and manage them at a price. We intend to make it a demonstrative farm as we have cattle feed lots

“ We want to encourage the O-YES youths, who were here during the fattening programme, to do similar thing. Government intends to give loan to them. In fact, they are going to be brought here for six or 12 months to learn the rearing. The loan has been approved by the government and any farmer that is interested can come for the training. I am an Agric economist with wide experience in animal husbandry both in private and public sector.’’ Corroborating the farm manager’s assertion, Alhaji Tafa Adepeju, a cow dealer and meat seller in Iwo said that it was a thing of joy to see that the old Oloba Farm came to live again. He regretted that past governments in the state have abandoned the farm for many years and all efforts and emissaries sent to them to develop the farm fell on deaf ear until Aregbesola come to power. “You can see that the road leading to the farm has been graded and is now motorable, likewise the staff quarters in the farm has been rebuilt, there is electricity in the farm with a giant generator . You can see that the governor actually meant business and is ready to create a lot of job opportunity for the people of the state. “I am sure by the time you re visit this place again, you will be surprised what you will see on the ground. Most of our youths who are interested in the animal husbandry projects have been advised to be in cooperative groups so that it will be easy for them to get soft loan to start their own farm business.” Adepoju explained.

Giving kudos to the governor for the engagement of the youths in productive enterprise, the Olokuku of Okuku, Oba Samuel Abioye Oyebode said that the governor has proved that he was a man of his words. “All what he said he would do in his manifestoes has come to reality. Take for instance, he promised to give employment to the teeming youths in the state, He kept his promise, by giving employment to 20,000 youths. This is highly commendable. “He equally promised to make the state roads accessible, if you drive round, you will see his impact on infrastructural facilities. Did you see the road from Osogbo that passed through Ikirun and Okuku to Ijabe, the boundary of kwara state. This is the fulfilment of his promise, Olokuku said.”

Peace and Security

HRH Olokuku of Okuku

HRH Oloyan of Oyan, Oba Kelani Adekeye Oyedare

In the area of peace and security in the state, the Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Olayiwola Olawale Adedeji, said that there have been remarkable changes and development in the state since the governor took over. According to him, he has made changes in virtually all the sectors be it education, health, rural integration and above all maintenance of peace and order in the state. “In the past, you cannot sleep and close your two eyes, to even go to a public function without molestation, you will be very lucky. The youths were engaged in act of thuggery and vandalism, but all that has changed now especially after the launching of SARS, a security outfit. The youths have been engaged in productive venture and peace has finally returned to the state, Akinrun said.” The monarch pointed out that there is political stability in the state, noting that in the past, a lot of people were sent to prison without committing any offence. “That is no more in the state,” he asserted. Speaking in the same vein, the Oloyan of Oyan, Oba Kelani Adekeye Oyedare, said that the relative peace which the state is enjoining is the best that ever come to the state in the recent time. According to him, There is virtually nothing you can do if there is threat to peace and security of lives and properties. In that area, he has done a lot.” I have not heard of any intimidation of people from any quarters like it used to be in the past. In all other sectors, he has performed extremely well.” The Olunisa of Inisha Oba Joseph Oladunjoye could not hide his feeling when speaking with this reporter, he declared that Ogbeni Aregbe is a reformer that has come to make things work in the state.” In all areas of development he has scored credit. There is relative peace since he came to the state. There is no form of harassment and intimidation like we used to witnessed in the past”. “I was a teacher and l know what he has done in the area of education. We have some of his farmers who were given loans to go into fishery

in this area, these are remarkable achievement you can see and feel in the grassroots”. Farm


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Special Report

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ON GOING PROJECTS IN THE STATE

Ongoing construction at the Osogbo township Stadium

Osogbo-Ijabe road construction

Construction going on at the Osogbo township Stadium

A township road project.

Ayegbeju market under construction

Construction of Aiyetoro road Osogbo


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

39

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Energy Week

udemea@rocketmail.com 07031546994

Consumers groan as kerosene shortage, high prices persist The Federal Government resolved to subsidise the consumption of kerosene in order to ensure the product gets to consumers at affordable prices in all parts of the nation. UDEME AKPAN reports, however, that the product is as scarce as it is expensive, following severe supply glitches.

Kerosene queue in Lagos.

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espite the criticisms of some global institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund, many developing nations, including Nigeria continue to subsidise the consumption of some petroleum products, particularly kerosene for some reasons. First, kerosene is widely put into various applications, including industrial and domestic. In other words, the product appeals to many consumers such as the urban and rural middle class who perceive it to be relatively cheaper than other energy sources. Second, the product is also known to be less inflammable than cooking gas. The product comes from mainly two sources. Part of the 11 million liters estimated daily consumption is refined at the nations’ four refineries, located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Warri, Delta State and Kaduna, Kaduna State. The government, through the Nigeri-

EVERYBODY IS AWARE OF THE SHORTAGE AND INCREASED PRICES. IF NO ACTION HAS BEEN INITIATED TO CHECK IT, IT THEREFORE MEANS THAT EVERYTHING THAT WE ARE SEEING HAS BEEN LEGALISED OR APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND ITS AGENCIES THAT SHOULD HAVE THE COURAGE TO EXTERMINATE SHARP PRACTICES an National Petroleum Corporation also import part of it from the global market to meet demand. Both the locally refined and imported product is distributed through the depots where major and independent marketers lift it to retail outlets nationwide at different prices. For instance, under the present price regime, the depot price of the product is N40.90 while the pump price is pegged at N50 per a liter.

This would have ordinarily been good news to consumers. But it is not because of acute shortage and high prices. Investigations showed that the price of kerosene has risen by over 150 per cent in many parts of the nation, especially Abuja, Lagos and its environs. Many marketers, including Capital Oil, a privately owned, wholly Nigerian concern that has an arrangement with the NNPC to sell the product at only N50 per a liter

did not have the product. A source in the company noted for the NNPC/Capital Oil and Gas KeroDirect initiative which aims at taking the essential product directly to consumers said: “We do not have kerosene at the moment and it is not possible to say exactly when we are going to have another stock.” Consequently, depot price of the product has increased from N40.90 to N102 per a liter, showing an increase of over 100 per cent in most depots visited. A Lagos-based operator who preferred not to be named also stated that: “There is no way marketers can sell kerosene at N50 per liter because we do not get it cheap. We cannot even sell it at N80 per liter because we source it at a higher price.” The NNPC stations expected to sell at N50 per liter because the corporation remains the sole importer of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 40


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Energy Week

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Consumers groan as kerosene shortage, high prices persist

Jonathan

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 product did not have it. Other major and independent marketers who managed to source the product sold it at high prices, ranging from N120 to N150, depending on some factors, especially location. This gives impression that the Federal Government might have withdrawn subsidy on the product. The fears are based on two factors. First, major stakeholders, including the NNPC are aware of the market situation. Second, they also prefer to play deaf and dumb. A source at a Lagos based depot stated that: “It is not hidden. Everybody is aware of the shortage and increased prices. If no action has been initiated to check it, it therefore means that everything that we are seeing has been legalised or approved by the government and its agencies that should have the courage to exterminate sharp practices.” Consumers who spoke with National Mirror said the product has not been readily available for several months, thereby causing them untold hardship in different parts of the nation. It was learnt that the prices of kerosene are even higher in remote parts of the nation, especially riverine communities because of difficulties associated with getting it delivered to consumers there. The Acting Secretary General of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG Mr. Isaac Aberare, whose members are involved in the movement of petroleum products from one part of the nation to another said it is not clear why the product was not available at affordable prices. Aberare who exonerated tanker drivers from illegal activities said it was only the NNPC and PPMC that can explain the latest market situation. We are aware of the market situation but cannot provide any explanation. It is the direct duty of NNPC and PPMC to explain to the consumers. Incidentally, the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Ms. Timinu Green did

Andrew Yakubu

not pick her calls or respond to text messages. The spokesman of Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, Mr. Nasir Imodagbe who expressed the commitment of PPMC to make the product available stated that: “We have not yet gotten information on the subject.” Investigation showed that so serious efforts were being made to address the plights of consumers as most stakeholders, especially marketers who seemed more committed to maximizing profit. There were also clear indications that the NNPC/Capital Oil and Gas Kero-Direct initiative targeted at delivering kerosene directly to consumers through massive utilization of mobile tankers has not been functional as in the past. The Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah did not take his phone calls yesterday. But investigations showed that the tankers have not been deployed this year. Last year, the they were used to deliver kerosene to Ondo, Imo, Ebony, Enugu, Imo, Abia, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Kano and Jigawa State. The Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas remarked in a telephone interview then that: “We have commenced sales of kerosene directly to the people at the grass root in about ten states of the federation which kick start this week. He stated that: “The NNPC/Kero-Direct scheme has continued its spread throughout Nigeria this week with distribution of kerosene to end user users at N50 a litre, he said. Ubah said that another sale of kerosene distribution of end user will continue in other zone of the states after the completion of the ongoing schemes in the ten states. He said that the Kero-Direct schemes had made the company to employ additional 557 youths, while the company has penciled down another 158 employment before the completions of the distribution. “Under the arrangement, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the

Allison

Osten

WE DO NOT HAVE KEROSENE AT THE MOMENT AND IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SAY EXACTLY WHEN WE ARE GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER STOCK NNPC provides the product that will be sold to end users at the official rate of N50 per litre, while the product is been dispensed through the use of Capital Oil dispensing trucks,” he said. Ubah stated that middlemen will not hijack the scheme; the sale would be restricted to 25 litres to each household, adding that the sales of the product we be judiciously distributed to Nigerians as stipulated, ``Capital Oil has been concerned about the difficulty in getting kerosene for domestic use. It is in response to this that the company came up with this innovation of deploying mobile filling stations with standard dispensing pumps to deliver kerosene at official price of N50 per litre to Nigerians.” He also lauded the initiative of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC for their good intention to provide kerosene to end-users through truck dispensing. Ubah said that the challenge of ending kerosene scarcity and ensuring uninterrupted supply of the product was one that could be handled through consistent investments in infrastructure. But some people who perceived the scheme as a temporary measure have tasked the government to emerge with options, capable of ensuring that kerosene gets to consumers in every part of the nation at approved prices. This, they maintained can be accomplished through some measures, including improved rehabilitation of the refineries. One of them who preferred not to be named stated that: “Renovate and

restore the existing Oil Refinery facilities to original state of optimal performance and production output. These refineries should include: PHRC II in Port-Harcourt, WRPC in Warri and KRPC which is located in Kaduna. These should give the nation an automatic and immediate refining capacity of 385,000 barrels per day (Bpd). He stated that: “Repair, restore and secure all oil pipelines that transport feedstock to refineries. Special attention should be paid to the 600km of pipeline between KRPC (Kaduna) and its feedstock source in the Niger-delta. In this way, the unimpeded supply of crude oil feedstock is secured and assured to all refineries at all times. The National President of Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria, OGSPAN, Mr. Colman Obasi called on the government to encourage the construction of new refineries in order to increase the nation’s refining capacity to meet local demand for petroleum products, including kerosene. Obasi noted that the nation’s refining capacity has stagnated at 445, 000 barrels per day for too long because new plants have not been constructed over a very long period of time. He said this have impacted negatively on the nation. For instance, Obasi observed that the demand for the product, and indeed other petroleum products seemed to have over stripped the capacity of the nation. The National President called for the completion of work on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB so as to pave way for massive inflow of investments into the oil and gas industry. Like others, Obasi tasked the government to find lasting solutions to the scarcity and high prices of kerosene as a short term measure while working on long term measures, especially the construction of new refineries needed to boost availability of the product at reasonable prices.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NERC moves to loosen standards, electricity codes for operators CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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n anticipation of private sector participation in the power sector, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, said it is perfecting guidelines that will enable operators to temporarily operate out of compliance, where the urgent need arises. The commission’s Assistant General Manager, Media, Maryam Abubakar said the weak state of the sector that will be inherited by the new players has necessitated the move, adding that loosening the standards considerably would ensure that operators do not breach their license obligations. She said: “There are many flaws, substandard equipment, among others in the system which will make it difficult for the new operators to comply with all the standards set by NERC to govern generation, transmission, distribution and overall customer care. Abubakar, who made this known in a statement disclosed that operators would be able to apply to NERC seeking for time to comply with codes and standards, and then submit detailed plans and timelines for eventual compliance. She noted that derogation may be granted by the commission after due consideration of such applications, stressing that it must found that there would be no impingement on health and safety

Amadi

issues, and must also be justifiable . The commission also called for public comments on a draft health and safety code to ensure the safety of persons during installation, operation or maintenance of electricity equipment. Abubakar said members of the general public interested in accessing these documents and making their comments may do so by visiting the Commission website.

NERC has assured stakeholders in the electricity industry that it is aiming at providing the best regulatory framework in cognizance with the transitory efforts at privatising the power sector. 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 privatisation of the power sector, he noted that it was being successfully carried out. Amadi said, “this is the time that we are successfully transiting at privatising the power sector”. According to him, the development makes it far more imperative for the Commission in conjunction with stakeholders in the industry to work out competitive pricing. He told the gathering that, “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.

NCDMB, Navy to partner on capacity building

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he Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigerian Naval Engineering College have started work on collaboration on training in the oil and gas. The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Ernest Nwapa and the Commandant of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College, Rear Admiral Akinjola Johnson confirmed this on Wednesday during a meeting at the Board Headquarters in Yenagoa. Confirming the collaboration, the Executive Secretary said the Board is leveraging on the facilities in the Naval dockyard to build more capacities in the country and extend the capacity of the local supply chain to execute complex industry work, thereby creating more opportunities for employment of Nigerians. Nwapa reiterated that the relationship between the oil and gas industry and the maritime is symbiotic and each cannot do without the other, adding that the Naval is playing a reasonable role in the industry He identified that training on machine tools and offshore welding will further help develop the industry and cause more indigenous participation in the sector. “We are collaborating with the Nigerian Naval Engineering College to improve on training machining which has been observed that more hands are needed in this section.” The Executive Secretary further said

Oil workers on duty

that the Board will make the machine tools section as pilot scheme the proposed centre of excellence to be based in the Naval Engineering College which already has enough facilities that can be used for training. He advised the Commandant on further development of the college to an awarding international organisation and also upgrade facility to be able to meet the standard required by Petrofac and Oil and Gas Training Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), the training outfit. “The visit to the various training

facilities to be used for Center of Excellence will commence shortly, I will encourage you to go back and fix you facility to meet the standard.” In his comments, Rear Admiral Johnson said the need to improve the facilities in the college, ensure that training is on at all time and that the Board will also help advance the programmes for the industry demands. He said, “the essence of our visit is to galvanise the synergy that has existed between the Board and the college, to cause further development on Nigerians”.

41

Facts on PIB

What is PIB all about?

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igeria is ranked Africa’s number one and the twelfth globally among oil-producing countries.1 Oil revenues account for about 96 percent of the country’s foreign earnings, rendering it the fifth largest oil producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Despite being among the world’s top oil producers, Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has been plagued by institutionalised corruption, corporate impunity, and grave environmental and humanitarian devastations. Decades of mismanagement of oil revenue have also deprived Nigerians of social and economic benefits from the sector, just as vested interests continue to block and stall important reforms. At the root of the rot in Nigeria’s oil industry is the absence of a coherent legal and policy framework for holding operators accountable and for addressing serious violations of environmental standards, forcing aggrieved persons and communities to resort to extra-legal and violent confrontations. Further compounding the situation is the lack of political will to enforce the potpourri of legislations governing the industry operations. Legal standards and operational procedures put in place at the initial stages of oil discovery and production in the 60s and 70s – such as Petroleum Act (1969), the Associated Gas Re-injection Act, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Act (1977) – had become out of tune with contemporary global business realities, necessitating a comprehensive legislative overhaul. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) provides a legal, fiscal and regulatory framework that will define and shape the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. First drafted in April 2000 by the Rilwanu Lukman-led Oil and Gas Reforms Implementation Committee, OGIC, the PIB represents an ambitious governmental effort to introduce sweeping reforms in the oil and gas industry, with a view to making the sector less corruption prone, more transparent and accountable, and environmentally safe. The bill was first presented to the sixth assembly in 2009, but efforts to pass it were then hampered by vested interests, intense political intrigues, and inadequate stakeholder consultation and engagement. A Technical Committee led by Senator Udo Udoma was set up on January 17, 2012 to review the 2009 version of the Bill after an unprecedented uprising in January 2012 forced high-level probes into the administration of fuel subsidies, including massive shake-ups in national oil and gas institutions. The resulting draft repealed about 16 pieces of petroleum legislation in Nigeria and then aggregated all the laws into a single piece of comprehensive legislation. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2012 was forwarded to the National Assembly on July 18, 2012 for consideration and passage into law.

What are the objectives of the Bill? Among several objectives, the current draft of the Bill seeks to open up the oil industry to privatization, address host community concerns, promote local content and optimize domestic gas supplies. It seeks to establish a fiscal framework that CONTINUED ON PAGE 43


42

Energy Week

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Investors, researchers should cooperate to solve energy problems –Inyang Inadequate and inappropriate use of energy resources constitutes serious challenge to Nigeria, and indeed other African nations. In this interview with UDEME AKPAN, the Duke Energy Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, Professor of Earth Science, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC, USA and member, Education Caucus, United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, Prof. Hilary Inyang speaks on a wide range of issues. What research would be the most appropriate and required to help address the energy needs of your region in a sustainable manner? African nations, including Nigeria need to deepen their research on a variety of energy issues, most of which are tied to the supply side of energy systems, especially in the electricity sector. A few of the issues that need to be investigated across policy, management and technical realms include: Network analyses of electricity supply to demand centers, relationships between energy demand and targeted strategic economic development levels at various jurisdictional levels, electricity pricing to spur power generation ventures without imposition of hardship on the poor, Identification of high-yield biomass sources in Africa for production of biofuel. Also, conversion of wastes of various compositions to energy for supply of electricity to small and medium sized communities and installations, development of novel excavation systems for pipelines that convey oil and gas, Field studies of potential sites for small-medium sized hydro-electric power plants, cataloging of insolation at various locations for possible sitting of solar farms, improvement in conversion efficiency of solar panels and batteries, Characterisation of thermal properties of rocks at sites of high geothermal energy potential, remote sensing of potential routes for international oil and gas pipelines and transmission systems for electric power and improvement of pollutant mitigation technology for power plants, and oil and gas drilling and processing facilities. What regional capabilities should be strengthened to support transformation towards a sustainable energy system? Many African scientists received advanced degrees from major institutions within and outside Africa, Thus, in terms of intellect and primary capacity, the knowledge base in there. What is lacking is the environment for harvesting of their talent. Libraries are poor; power supply is not dependable; internet connectivities can be problematic; and laboratories are often poorly-equipped in most African countries. Indigenous knowledge about energy sources such as special plants and building materials needs to be explored. Leading institutions in different regions of the continent should be scaled up to host both experienced and upcoming researchers on energy issues. This implies the set-up of lead institutions for this purpose. As examples, South African institutions can

lead coal processing research; Ugandan institutions can lead on biomass processing; Nigerian institutions can enfranchise research on electric power system networking, as well as mitigation of pollution from oil and gas operations; and a North African institution can address improvement of solar panels/ photovoltaic systems. These consortium cores can convene African expertise for propagation of knowledge in their respective fields of excellence if given sufficient support. What way can international research coordination contribute to addressing sustainable energy challenges in your region and globally? Being such a big and diverse continent, the current ad hoc system of supporting research in Africa will not produce the needed results and impact. In this inadequate system, many international agencies and some African national governments solicit for proposals and occasionally fund projects on a mosaic of energy and related issues which do not provide significant coverage of critical energy issues that constrain development of Africa. Only South Africa operates a National Research Foundation (NRF) that regularly funds investigatorinitiated research projects. As evident in the existence of the US National Science Foundation, China National Science Foundation, European Science Foundation which is overlapped on the science foundations of several European countries, sustainable development is not achievable without that operational mode which rests on the existence of entities that catalyze opportunities for continuous extraction of knowledge from talented people for use. For any field, including energy systems in Africa, dramatic intensification of research and related intellectual and economic progress are not possible without the creation and efficient operation of an African Continental Research Foundation that operates in the format of those that exist in the technologically advanced countries. I have long advocated this necessity. It should be supported by a fund that should be lodged in the African Development Bank to which African countries and all friends of Africa should contribute. What areas present opportunities for cross regional and/or North-South Cooperation and synergies? Most of the energy challenges faced by African countries have regional commonalities. Central to their needs are diversification of their energy

Inyang

NIGERIAN INSTITUTIONS CAN ENFRANCHISE RESEARCH ON ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM

NETWORKING, AS WELL AS MITIGATION OF

POLLUTION FROM OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS; AND

NORTH AFRICAN INSTITUTION CAN ADDRESS IMPROVEMENT OF SOLAR PANELS/PHOTOVOLTAIC A

SYSTEMS systems, reduction in inefficiencies, increase in energy supply (production, transmission and distribution), and mitigation of environmental impacts. For fundamental research that produces new technologies and rational models, country- and site specificity are negligible. Thus, the interest of many African countries can be covered by a single project which enables the involvement of researchers from many countries. Even for site- specific projects (e.g. a geothermal energy extraction model developed for Kenya), scientists from Ethiopia can be involved initially or subsequently in efforts to adapt and extrapolate such a model to circumstances in Ethiopia. Concerning North-South cooperation on energy research, a framework should be built for it. I am aware of the evolving programs of the Africa-Europe Initiative that have either overlapping or intersecting interests and utilities for European and some African countries. The research agenda drawn up by African scientists themselves should not be relegated to the background and ignored. Agenda can always be married to serve multiple interests. I see the possibility of Northern institutions hosting Southern scientists and establishing collaborative agreements on research and staff

exchanges under the auspices of ICSU and other international organizations. It must also be recognized that the concept of “research for research’s sake” is not favored in poor and developing countries that will only allocate scarce resources to endeavors that will produce impact initially, with much less concern for the long term. Thus, mechanisms for utilization of research results in public policy or entrepreurship should be incorporated into research projects implicitly or in complimentary programs/projects. Regional economic development blocks such as ECOWAS and SADC should be engaged by ICSU for this purpose, with the financial foundation that the African Development Bank can provide. Lastly, some of the largest firms in Africa operate in the energy sector but contribute negligible resources to the propagation of knowledge in the continent beyond their image-driven corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. The latter do not focus on research. Major energy firms in Africa should contribute funds to a central purse for funding energy research projects in Africa. This suits their strategic business interests as well as their sustainable development needs of the African countries.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Energy Week

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

43

Oil, rebels and Kabila’s snapshot Ossie

Esiemokai E-mail: anthonyossie52@yahoo.com Tel: 08023021212 (SMS only)

C

oinciding with when the oil prospecting project in the Republic of Chad, was showing strong signs of economic yields, came a period of what we term the musical chairs of power tussle in that country. It was a cat and mouse game between Mr. Hissene Habre, Mr. Goukouni Weddeyeh and Idris Derby, in that whoever succeeds in driving in his fighters riding on Technicals would chase away the other as occupant of the State House and take charge. This would hold until the one who scampered away behind the sand dune or nearest oasis would take a breather, regroup and return to attempt to recapture power. Yet under such mercurial scenario, the folks at Chevron were supposed to and did carry on with their prospecting including rock samples gathering, seismic data acquisition and test drillings. As an anti-dote against losing focus and getting in harm’s way, you do these two things, among a couple of other precautionary maneuverings. First, you as much as possible avoid the only highway that leads into the capital from Oum Hadjer, lest you run into the in-coming convoy of the ‘take-over attempt rebel groups’. Then the following imaginary alerting communication is carried out on the field radio: w‘This is HQ, Ndjamena, Zero One calling Thin Dome Field Two, over!’ ‘This is TD 2, over!’ ‘Just to let you guys know there had been another attempt by rebel groups to change Government this morning as we came to work’ ‘Yeah John, we heard sketches from the BBC that we monitored here this morning. Which rebel group is this?’ ‘Oh, it is difficult to know, Tony, they are so many and they always merge to unmerge. How is the test drill on Well III?’ ‘Going on Ok, would probably be ready to spud next week’ ‘Would this gush…?’ ‘Don’t know John, but not overtly optimistic’ ‘Good luck! And don’t forget to up the portrait of any new dude on the wall of CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 vestment and increases revenue inflow to the government, through the creation of new regulatory institutions and profit-driven oil and gas entities that will drive the industry operations. In addition to attracting the much-needed investment into natural gas, which will in turn, bolster energy security, the Bills passage is expected to bring an end to licensing rounds, contract renewals and investment that have been put on hold for five years, causing massive revenue losses to the country. Of specific significance is the Bills objective to infuse commercial orientation in all the relevant aspects of the industry mainly by moving the control of the downstream oil and gas sector from governmentcontrolled monopoly to private participa-

Congolese rebels

HE WAS VERY, VERY ‘UPPITY’. WHAT ELSE COULD HAVE LED HIM

TO DECLARE THAT: ‘WE ARE NOW INDEPENDENT AND IN POWER’. RIGHT

THERE IN THE PRESENCE

OF THE VISITING KING OF

BELGIUM

your mess’ ‘That’s Ok, who is likely?’ ‘Could be anyone, Over and out!’ ‘Where is Suleiman Fort Lamy? Yes, the Dispatcher. Ok, tell him to consign another two hundred pipes to Well Head III, right away. I am going across to the new mess to monitor things. After that I’ll have me a glass of cold Budweiser’ Right on, Sir. In the DRC, it is difficult to say who is really in charge ever since the departing Belgians instigated an armed revolt by the Army against the new man – Patrice Lumumba precisely two weeks after the DRC was granted independence in 1960. He was very, very ‘uppity’. What else could have led him to declare that: ‘we are now independent and in power’. Right there in the presence of the visiting King of Belgium! What exactly is happening? Imagine someone making such arrant declaration over a

land that a king, Leopold I of Belgium once had as his private farmland. He was said to have even once used it as co-lateral in obtaining a loan from a merchant Bank. Well, no problem. We’ll show the upstart a little power! The Belgian Army General left behind to retain charge of the Congolese Army simply reminded the boys that their pay was ten days overdue and all hell was let loose on Lumumba who claimed to be in power! He never survived the aftermath. Congo is yet to survive the consequences of that episode, especially the political consequences that followed. That was what brought and left the names of Moise Tsombe, Kasavubu and Joseph Desire Mobutu on the beaches of history. When we sat in the front row of an international conference in 2001 and listened to President Joseph Kabila elaborate, in impeccable English, the high hopes and plans that he had for his country Zaire, renamed the DRC, by his father and predecessor in office, we were bowled over. We did take a snap shot of him standing behind the microphones; but twelve years down the road, as we look at that photograph, it tells a million stories. One of them was that if wishes, delivered eloquently, were horses the lame would ride. Another lesson is that the secret of longevity in any African State House, the DRC included, is for the occupant to realize the limitation of power and restrict themselves to those domains in safer regions. Ask one time Master Sergeant Doe what he got when with the enticement news of a shipload of rice arrived at the port, he ventured out of his liar in Monro-

via. He was made to eat his earlobe live before he was done in. President Kabila has so far prudently confined himself to his bailiwick, where he wields absolute and securable control and so far so good. As we write, more than half a dozen rebel groups and an equivalent number of armies of neighboring states are occupying one tract of the DRC or the other, including regions around Kivu in the East. While foreign armies are still stripping away mineral resources in their zone of forcibly occupied territories, this lanky renegade with surprisingly well-kitted, bunch of rebels bearing a name of alphabet and number that sounds like the name of a highway, swaggers down-hill into town shaking the hands of anyone who cares for a handshake. He was bearing a freshly cut walking stick in the other hand. He even had the cojones to issue out an ultimatum to the resident garrison of the regular DRC army, to high-tail into the bush before his arrival downtown. And they did. Now, under such a scenario, who is the de-facto and even de-jure authority with whom an oil company prospecting in say, south-east of the Katanga Region is to strike an oil block license or concession Agreement? The tussles for oil and its accruals could often get bizarre. Take the recent near successful mercenaries attempt to high jack a whole Republic of Equatorial Guinea. As earlier promised, this column would discuss that incident in very great details later. Imagine you were an oil field worker manning a rig out there on the high seas, you could have woken up to hear that a mercenary ‘dog of war’ and an ex-SADF officer who cut his teeth in the bush wars in Angola is now in charge and calling the shots from the elaborate State House in Malabo. In the same vein, one can now think in terms the high insurance premium for an exploration and production crew headed for the wild creeks of the Niger Delta in Nigeria where the kidnap for ransom industry has become a major source of FDI in the rogue-economy of that mangrove neighborhood.

Ossie A. Esiemokai is the Resident Director – Academics of the Premier University of Sao Tome & Principe and author of the book – African Renaisance: Imperatives for Business Growth and Investment. His second book – The Gulf of Oil is due out in the fall.

Facts on PIB tion. Under that banner, the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will be unbundled and privatized in order to transform it into a viable, commercial oil company. Such a structural overhaul will also enable NNPC transmute from its current form as a cost centre to a profit centre such as Saudi’s Aramco, Malaysia’s Petronas and Brazil’s Petrobras. The PIB, when passed into law, requires serious political will to enforce the new regulations. The goal is to ensure the Bill contains iron-clad transparency provisions that would make clear what is going on, institutionalize accountability and prevent constraints to optimal operations. Oil industry operations are stratified into upstream and downstream petroleum

sectors. Upstream operation is exclusively limited to crude oil and gas exploration and production. S. 362 defines upstream as “all activities entered into for the purpose of finding and developing petroleum and includes all activities involved in exploration and in all stages through, up to the production and transportation of petroleum from the area of production to the fiscal sales point or transfer to the downstream sector”. The Upstream Petroleum Inspectorate (UPI) will regulate technical operations and commercial activities of the upstream sector, and take over assets and liabilities relating to the upstream petroleum sector, which were hitherto vested in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). All other activities are categorized as

downstream including the construction and operation of gas processing facilities, oil and gas transportation, natural gas transmission, natural gas transmission, product pipelines, tank farms and stations for the distribution, marketing and retailing of petroleum products, oil refining and so on. All these activities will be regulated by the Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (DPRA), and will be vested with the functions, assets and liabilities of the DPR relating to the downstream petroleum sector as well as the functions of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). Source: Spaces for change TO BE CONCLUDED


44

Executive Discourse

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Banks should train personnel in Professor Adeniyi Osuntogun, the former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, was the first Regional Programme Director of the Leadership for Environment and Development Programme for Anglophone West Africa, a Rockefeller Foundation Global Initiative on Capacity Building and he is the Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of the West African Science Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use. Osuntogun, who clocked 70 last Sunday, spoke to JOHNSON OKANLAWON on government policy on agriculture, the effects of climate change in the country among others. Excerpts:

What is your assessment of the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture in the last two years? One of the focuses of the government is commercialised agriculture, which is value chain system. This is to create value for farm products. For instance, the government handling of fertilizer has been reformed to the extent that it is now being sold directly to the users. The government set up the policy and does not intend to benefit from it. When the fertilizer was being distributed before the new minister came on board, the middle men would corner it and sold it to the farmers at higher prices. Some of this enhancement policy is to provide target support. Also, President Goodluck Jonathan directed that cassava flour should be commercialised. The commercialisation commenced in February 2012 when UTC, the largest corporate baker of bread, commercialised the cassava flour bread. With 20 per cent cassava flour substitution for wheat flour, the company was a pioneer user of cassava flour. In April 2012, Butterfields and other corporate companies began to include cassava flour to make bread. Cassava bread is 60 per cent cost of wheat flour. Two large scale cassava processing plants (Thai Farms and DATCO) which were at the brink of collapse when the flour millers in Nigeria stopped buying cassava flour before this administration, were back in business and have doubled their capacity to over 22,000 metric tons. In terms of cassava flour commercialisation, it appears that the target of 40 per cent inclusion in bread is attainable. Two things we need to think about is customers’ acceptance. Once the consumers have accepted the concept, then, it becomes a big thing. For now, I am not in a position to tell you whether it has been fully accepted or not because I have not carried out an empirical study to back whether the consumer prefer cassava flour mixed with wheat to produce bread. Do you eat cassava bread? For health reason, I don’t eat bread. Then, the increase in tariff on wheat has reduced its importation. It is used as weapon of helping domestic production. But with the increase in tariff and the local production could not meet up with the demand, it becomes a problem. With the transformation agenda of the present government, there should be enough production to meet up with the demand because we used to have a lot of rice produced locally before. There was Ofada rice in Abeokuta, East, North, etc. but when importation of cheap rice came, they collapsed. Therefore, with the increase in tariff, it will encourage local producers. For example, I would have suggested the government carry out or commission people to see to the acceptability of bread partially with cassava flour. The methodology of achieving that is to go through the retailers in the country. We should support the government to achieve the local production. Also, the government should encourage high quality production. With high demand, the producers will improve on it. Production of rice with stone will be a thing of the past. The only thing that is discouraging farmers

IN TERMS OF CASSAVA FLOUR COMMERCIALISATION, IT APPEARS THAT THE TARGET OF

40 PER CENT INCLUSION IN BREAD IS ATTAINABLE.

is that cheap rice is being imported from Thailand and others. For example, since the rice transformation started, the government has got some external and local investors. For instance, the Dominion farm, which is a United States based farm, has invested over $40 million to develop a 30 acres pyramid farm in Taraba State. That is foreign investors encouraging the local investors. Instead of producing in the US and importing it to us! It is going to generate employment. Together with fiscal policy programme by the government for brown rice, that they have now put tariff restriction to encourage local production. In the past, the US investors would produce it in their country and import it to us. But this time, they are in Nigeria because of the tariff restriction, more than 13 new private sector mills have been established, people are being encouraged now and they have started setting up rice mills. Can you say this policy has contributed to the growth of agro-allied companies in the country? The focus of the government policy is to ensure that local industries are well linked with local producers. Not only rice. If you look at Sorghum, some people blend flour with soya bean (Soya-akamu) for school feeding; beverages drinks, Dawa malt among others are coming up. High quality sorghum flour is being packaged as Tuwo meals. These are what have just started. The only thing we have to be sure is, government has to continue to monitor, to be sure that the desire impact set is not distorted by the stakeholders. And they have to find out whether the society is benefiting from the policy. The government has done well by developing high breed sorghum production; I am using sorghum as an example. The same thing happens to cocoa transformation, with the present agenda of the government, we can come up again as a leading cocoa producer. In 2011, about two per cent of banks loans were channeled into the agricultural sector, considering the ongoing reform in the sector, could you say it is enough? It is ridiculous. They have to use what it is called agricultural credit guaranty scheme by which commercial banks are encouraged to lend to farmers and the Central Bank of Nigeria guarantee the loan. Commercial banks stopped giving loans to agriculture when there was no more credit guaranty scheme or when the scheme was no longer at it used to be. When I was in the university, the banks used to give a lot of attention to training of banks personnel on agricultural lending. Things changed when everybody started going into oil and gas.

Osuntogun

The Nigerian Agricultural and Rural Development Bank, which you were once a director was established to give loans to farmers at an interest rate of four per cent, but today, the money meant for farmers in the rural areas are being cornered by the board members and influential people in the society who are not farmers. What is your comment? We started the board of the bank in 1976 and I left in 1980. One major official duty we achieved was the building of the head office at Kaduna. When we started, we introduced lending to small farmers, not by the core collateral but the group collateral. I introduced the policy to the board. Then, a lot of farmers were getting the loan through the bank. Also, there was on-lending scheme by which their cooperative receive loan from the bank and lend to their members. There were situations where the members could get the loan directly and a lot of farmers benefited from the on-lending scheme. If today the sharp practices have started, this is my first time of hearing it. What are the effects of climate change on Nigeria as the government is not so much care on mitigating the effects? When rain does not fall when it should fall, when raining season is not timely, that is effects of climate change. When you don’t have regular rainfall, it affects farm crops. We usually say the raining season is between May and June, you discover that sometimes in December you have rain. In October you


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Executive Discourse

agricultural lending - Osuntogun

THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO BE SURE IS, GOVERNMENT HAS TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR, TO BE SURE THAT THE DESIRE IMPACT IS NOT DISTORTED BY THE STAKEHOLDERS.

have rain. The likely effect which is serious is the flood. It was rained at Ibadan two weeks ago, roofs were removed by thunder and winds. A number of diseases would come up particularly for people living in Lagos, there are environmental germs, and we are breathing in vehicular and industry emission. It has impact on your lifestyles, housing, etc. You waste your lifetime through the house you live in, through what you breathe in and the effects of over fertilizer on what you eat. When you travel through Oyo North or where they caught fish, you discover that they are being caught with chemical, over fishing. There will be depletion of some specie where some of them will disappear in the river completely. Too much rainfall and flood will send them away because of biological diversity. Why is it that the developed countries failed to commit funds meant for climate change mitigation? One of the most important assets of efforts to address climate challenge is money. Without it you will

be unable to fight any form of diseases. Climate finance is critical to catalyzing the efforts of developing countries, to stemming climate restilence, curb green house gas emission and support sustainable development. That is the purpose of climate finance. Timely climate financing can also sending thrust among countries and generate process in negotiating. Once there is climate support from countries that caused the problem because they are the ones who are polluting, once they can agree that we know you are feeling the effects, we are the ones who are causing it, and they creates amount to mitigate the problem. On December 2009, we got high level advisory group on climate change finance. At the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, they asked industrialised countries to set a goal of mobilizing an annual $100billion by 2020 to support mitigation and adaptation activities in developing countries. My general advice is, it is feasible to mobilize $100bn annually for climate change from developed countries? In fact there was another form, they (developed countries) went ahead and set up advisory group and they said that $100billion per year is challenging. To kick-start environmental projects, a Fast Start Funding of the Green Climate Fund was agreed, encompassing $30bn for the period 2010 to 2012. However, while the fund was set up during Conference of Parties 16 in CancĂşn, Mexico, concrete pledges by developed countries are so far missing. There was no valid agreement on consensus on finance, adaptation. Everything was polarised.

45


46

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Index slides 0.6% as Fidelity Bank nets N18bn in 2012 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

rading in equities closed on bearish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took profit from the gains recorded the preceding day. Specifically, the All Share Index declined by 0.59 per cent to close at 33,334.67 points, as against the rise of 0.06 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 33,532.89 points. Market capitalisation dropped by N6bn to close at N10.65trn, in contrast to the increase of N6m recorded the preceding to close at N10.72trn. Royal Exchange Plc led

the gainers’ table with seven kobo or 9.86 per cent to close at 78 kobo per share, followed by African Prudential Insurance Plc with 15 kobo or 9.68 per cent to close at N1.70 per share. Cement Company Of Northern Nigeria Plc appreciated by 90 kobo or 9.38 per cent to close at N10.50 per share, while AG Leventis Plc gained ten kobo or 9.35 per cent to close at N1.17 per share. Ikeja Hotel Plc increased by seven kobo or 9.33 per cent to close at 82 kobo per share. On the flip side, DN Meyer Plc lost 17 kobo or ten per cent to close at N1.53 per share, while Capital Hotel Plc shed 62 kobo or 9.89 per cent to close at N5.65 per share.

John Holt Plc declined by 20 kobo or 9.80 per cent to close at N1.84 per share, while Learn African Plc fell by 15 kobo or 9.74 per cent to close at N1.39 per share. Costain (West Africa) Plc dropped by 21 kobo or 9.72 per cent to close at N1.95 per share. A total of 352.1 million shares valued at N3.59bn were traded in 6,693 deals. Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank nets profit for the financial year ended December 31, 2012 rose by 604.3 per cent, from N2.58bn in 2011 to N18.2bn in 2012, while net interest income stood at N36.8bn in the review period, from N30.6bn in 2011. According to the result presented to the Exchange yesterday, the bank’s inter-

est and similar expenses increased to N42.2bn in 2012, from N18.9bn in 2011, an increase of 122 per cent. Analysis of the result showed profit before tax of N21.6bn in 2012, from N161m in 2011, while operating profit stood at N20.8bn, from N161m in 2011. The bank’s balance sheet showed net assets of N161.5bn in 2012, from N146.1bn in 2011, while total liabilities rose by 27.2 per cent, from N591.8bn in 2011 to N752.9bn in 2012. The bank’s total assets appreciated by 23.9 per cent to N914.4bn in 2012, from N737.9bn in 2011, while cash and balances with Central Bank of Nigeria stood at N117.3bn, from N82.3bn in 2011.

SEC changes fidelity bond period for market operators DAMILOLA AJAYI

T

he Securities and Exchange Commission has said that all registered capital operators are required to maintain a fidelity bond which has a validity period from January to December of each year. A fidelity bond is a form of insurance protection

that covers policyholders for losses that they incur as a result of fraudulent acts by specified individuals. It usually insures a business for losses caused by the dishonest acts of its employees. The commission in a notice posted at its website titled, “Change of Validity Period for Fidelity Bond/Professional Indemnity Policy,” stated

that any fidelity bond which does not conform to the new standard will henceforth not be accepted. According to the notice, any perator that has already submitted bonds that will expire before December 2013 should extend his/her policy to expire in December 2013 before its expiry date. This, the notice added,

will enable them (the operators) have a new policy in January 2014 which will extend to December 2014. “Note that operating in the capital market without a valid fidelity bond is a contravention of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) No. 29, 2007 and SEC Rules and Regulations Pursuant to the Act,” it said.

Source: NSE

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 33,334.67 points Market capitalisation 10.66 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

ROYALEX

0.71

0.78

0.07

AFRIPRUD

1.55

1.70

0.15

CCNN

9.60

10.50

0.90

AGLEVENT

1.07

1.17

0.10

IKEJAHOTEL

0.75

0.82

0.07

NEIMETH

0.75

0.82

0.07

LIVESTOCK

2.65

2.89

0.24

ABCTRANS

0.64

0.69

0.05

TRANSCORP

1.29

1.39

0.10

STERLNBANK

2.75

2.94

0.19

LOSERS COMPANY

Skye Bank posts N12.6bn profit on improved risk management JOHNSON OKANLAWON

S

kye Bank has announced a profit after tax of N12.6bn for the 2012 financial year, an increase of 692 per cent when compared to N1.59bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s gross earnings rose by 24.8 per cent to N127.7bn in 2012, from N102.4bn in the corresponding period of 2011, while taxation stood at N3.11bn in 2012, from N203m in 2011. Profit before tax increased by 480 per cent, from N2.84bn in 2011 to N16.5bn in 2012, while earning per share rose to 95 kobo in 2012, from N10 kobo in 2011. Further analysis of the balance sheet showed net assets of N161.5bn in the review period, from N146.1bn in 2011, while total liabilities stood at

N752.9bn, from N591bn in 2011. Total assets appreciated by 23.9 per cent to N914.4bn in 2012, from N737.9bn in 2011, while deposit from customers increased to N716bn, from N563bn in 2011. The bank’s cash and balances with CBN rose by 42 per cent to N117.3bn in 2012, from N82.3bn in 2011, while loans and advances to customers stood at N345.5bn in 2012, from N279bn in 2011. Speaking on the result, the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, said the report reflected the commitment of the bank to its goal of quality and sustained growth and returns to shareholders. He noted that the improvement in the intrinsic profitability of the bank underscored management’s grasp of competitive edges that the bank

should build on as it progresses to its target of a leading top-tier bank. According to him, in a year of impactful regulatory interventions, including tight monetary policies, the bank recorded growth in the most of our performance indicators. “For instance, we grew our interest income by 35 per cent from N74.9bn to N101bn, signaling an accretion in our volume of business transactions, while customer deposits grew by 22 per cent, from N645.5bn to N790.1bn. He explained that the continuous focus on improved risk management practices yielded dividends as impairment and provisions charge fell significantly, which positively impacted on profit before tax of N16.5bn, a significant growth of 481 per cent, from N2.8bn reported in 2011.

“We also recorded a reduction in our operating expenses, from N42.3bn last year to N40.2bn, following the deliberate cost management and efficiency initiatives we commenced in the past few years, in spite of the high operating cost environment. “The critical performance ratios, in terms of returns, efficiency, nonperforming loans and liquidity, are well within acceptable regulatory levels. Therefore, we are confident that our focus on defined growth segments and efficient use of our branches and various electronics platforms will put us in vantage position to meet our future plans,” he said. He added that the bank was on a good stead to sustaining the impressive performance in 2013 given the early indicators in the year.

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

DNMEYER

1.70

1.53

CAPHOTEL

6.27

5.65

0.17 0.62

JOHNHOLT

2.04

1.84

0.20

LEARNAFRCA

1.54

1.39

0.15

COSTAIN

2.16

1.95

0.21

MAYBAKER

2.21

2.00

0.21

CONOIL

26.33

24.10

2.23

IPWA

0.76

0.70

0.06

CORNERST

0.54

0.50

0.04

WAPIC

1.25

1.17

0.08

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Days

30,159.21

11.55

11-Apr-13

119-Days

104,392.58

13.40

11-Apr-13

63 -Days

25,100.00

11.50

11-Apr-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

122-Days

76,995.77

13.49

11-Apr-13

119-Days

104,392.58

13.40

11-Apr-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$232m

15-Apr-13

$300m

N/A

$300m

10-Apr-13


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at April 16, 2013 1st Tier Securities

Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals Quotation(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

47


Cocktail

48

x

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (129) “If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” –Thomas J. Watson ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! Life is full of possibilities. In my life so far, I have seen so many possibilities. What we think is difficult in most cases is a mentality problem. There is power in deciding what you want to be and taking steps now. We are told that a journey of a thousand miles begin with one step. Indecision is dangerous. It has crippled many destinies. If we can but just take action now, we will be surprised how things will turn out to be. Even when we make decisions, some people set their decisions on sand that can be wiped off any moment. They are not committed. We should set our decisions on concrete where it cannot be wiped away. Anything is possible if only we can just take step and keep taking steps. Which habit do you want to stop in your life? Stop it right now. Which trait do you admire and will like to manifest in your life? Start right now! Your action matters if you want to matter in this life! The bonus of action is that whenever we truly act, we tend to find the next action easier and easier until we become masters. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

Man ttraded M d dM McDonald’s D ld’ ffoodd ffor sex’’

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olice in New Mexico said they arrested a man who allegedly bought a woman McDonald’s food in exchange for sex. Albuquerque police said Donald Jones, 58, was seen picking up a woman in an area known for prostitution and officers then watched as Jones received food at a McDonald’s drive-through window and drove to a nearby

park, KOB-TV, Albuquerque, reported Monday. Police approached the car at the park and saw the woman pulling up her pants. Both parties told officers Jones had bought the woman food in exchange for sex. Jones, who was found to have prescription narcotics in the car that had not been prescribed to him, was charged with possession of dangerous drugs.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Woman reunited with stolen horse after 10 years A

n Arkansas woman said she was reunited with her stolen horse after 10 years when the animal was discovered for sale in Texas. Michelle Pool, 40, of Eureka Springs, said she called authorities, put out fliers and posted on Stolen Horse International’s website when her Saddlebred Pinto, Opie, was taken from her father’s pasture nearly 10 years ago, The Daily Oklahoman reported yesterday. However, Pool said she thought the horse was gone for good until she received a call recently from Debi Metcalfe, the head of Stolen Horse International. Metcalfe said a woman named Deanna Bordelon had been considering purchasing a horse in Dayton, Texas, but the seller’s story of the animal’s origins struck her as suspi-

cious and she soon went online and identified the horse as Opie. “I clicked on it and there was a list of stolen horses, and all of a sudden I see a thumb-

nail of Opie and look at the photo I’d taken of him on my cellphone,” Bordelon said. Pool said Opie nuzzled her in recognition when they were

reunited. She said her story should serve as inspiration to others whose horses have been stolen. “There is hope,” Pool said. “You can get them back.”

Rasa Veliute holding a four- month- old puma who lives in her apartment in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

PHOTO: AP CLOS


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

49

Operators of illegal refineries demand amnesty E MMA G BEMUDU YENAGOA

O L-R: Outgoing Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Edo State, Mr. Joe Aligbe; Governor Adams Oshiomhole and incoming TUC Chairman, Mr. Charles Oronsaye, during a visit to the governor in Benin, yesterday.

Farmers threaten to sue Agip for alleged pollution SAM OLUWALANA

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armers in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State have accused an Italian oil giant, Agip, of pulling their farmland. The farmers alleged that their farmland had been damaged by the spill from one of the company’s facilities. They are now threatening to sue the oil firm for the alleged damage. However, farmers from Akala-Olu community yesterday staged a peaceful protest on the East-West Road to

call attention to their plight which they said needs immediate response and solution. The farmers, who spoke with National Mirror over the issue said, the oil spill had ruined their environment as well as hundreds of hectares of farmlands. An octogenarian farmer, Mr. Stephen Wallace, said his farmland was totally immersed in some oily mud from pollutants as a result of the spill. He said: “The whole land is covered with oil films and there is no way we can farm the land. Agip needs to do something to alleviate our

suffering.” The lawyer representing the farmers, Mr. Higher King, told National Mirror that notices had been served on the company to clean up the area and compensate the victims. The Senior Public Affairs Officer of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, Mr. Okpoyo Etim, could not be reached for comments on the matter yesterday. Meanwhile, Chairman of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Hon. Austin Ahiamadu, blamed oil firms operating in Niger Delta for the insecurity in the region.

Reps condemn killing of 10 youths in Delta TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives has condemned the killing of 10 youths at Ogume community in Ndokwa West in Delta State. A member of the House, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta), who raised the issue under matters of Ur-

gent National Importance, regretted the attacks on his constituents and the damage the assailants left behind. Ossai told the House that indigenes of Ogume were attacked by Fulani herdsmen and carted away several yams from their barns. He said that the victims were "brutally murdered in their prime by herdsmen". The lawmaker regretted that despite the Ndokwa

people's love for visitors, the herdsmen still attacked and wasted their lives. Hon. Peter Ede (PDP-Ebonyi), who spoke in support of the motion, suggested that "there should be away of grazing cattle without infringing on rights of host communities.” But Hon. Eziuche Ubani (PDP-Abia) regretted that most times, issues brought on the floor of the House

Ahiamadu attributed the insecurity in the Niger Delta to what he described as neglect and marginalisation of host communities by oil companies. He spoke at the First Egi City Trade and Investment Fair in Obite. The council chairman called on the oil firms and other private investors operating in the region to partner with stakeholders so as to fight the insecurity. Ahiamadu also asked companies operating in the area to create policies that would benefit their host communities. for discussions were not properly researched or looked into. He said: "Sometimes we address problems that are not properly diagnosed and it is worrisome. "The problem has gone beyond matters of law and order. What we need to do is to bring appropriate policy. We should go back and ask the President to sign the Bill on Climate Change Commission for proper regulation of grazing".

Anxiety as gunmen abduct businessman SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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ension rose yesterday in Delta State following the abduction of a prominent businessman, Sir Francis Orogun, by unknown gunmen. National Mirror learnt that Orogun was abducted on Monday night at Ujevwu village, few me-

tres away from the private residence of the state deputy governor, Prof. Amos Utuama. Orogun, a petrol dealer and owner of a popular bakery and eatery, was abducted at the gate of his farm in Urhobo community. An eye witness said that Orogun was ambushed by the gunmen as a guard was about to open the gate

for him. The gunmen immediately whisked the businessman into their waiting car and sped off. Although the incident has been reported at Ujevwu Police Station, the victim’s whereabouts could not be ascertained as at the time of filling this report. Investigation showed that the police are yet to

make any headway in the manhunt for the hoodlums and secure the victim’s freedom. Similarly, the abductors are yet to establish contacts with the victim’s family. The police have, however, confirmed the incident, adding that efforts were in top gear to apprehend the kidnappers and ensure the victim’s freedom.

perators of illegal refineries in Niger Delta have demanded for amnesty from the Federal Government to enable them end the illicit trade. In a statement made available to National Mirror yesterday, their spokesman, Mr. White Tamama, vowed that they continue with the illegal business until the Federal Gover nment offered them reparation for the property, such as boats, “refineries" and houses destroyed by its agent. He said: "We expect the government to encourage and complement us for coming up with these lucrative inventory skills to assist in creating millions of jobs for Nigerians youths.” Besides, Tamama demanded the immediate release of all the operators detained by security agencies. He said: "After this,

the government should convey a round table discussion. Nothing will stop us, despite the heavy military presence, burning of boats and our refineries.” Tamama noted that the illicit trade had been booming in some parts of Niger Delta, as some powerful businessmen acquired weapons to fight security operatives to enable them continue the sabotage. It will be recalled that an activist, Austin Ozobo, advocated the legalisation of illegal refineries by the government. He said that the illegal refineries had created more than 50, 000 jobs for youths and had improved the constant supply of petroleum products across the country. "Local refineries in the country have helped boost the downstream sector of the oil industry. It increases the supply and availability of petroleum products,” Ozobo said.

Oil blocks: N’Delta leaders drag Jonathan before NASS SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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eaders of oil communities in Niger Delta have dragged President Goodluck Jonathan before the National Assembly over the allocation of 11 oil blocks to non-indigenes by his administration. It was learnt yesterday that the leaders would present their grievances against Jonathan at the House of Representatives in Abuja today. It will be recalled that the leaders had protested the alleged sale of some oil blocks by Jonathan to the non-indigenes. They called for the cancellation of the allocation and repeat of the exercise to accommodate the interest of the host communities. Specifically, the leaders asked Jonathan to accede to their request as a minimum condition to guarantee peace in the region.

The ethnic leaders decried that the Federal Government sold the oil blocks, including OMLs 26, 42 and 30 without regard to the right of first refusal by qualified indigenes of the host communities to the facilities. The press conference coordinated by a Niger Delta rights activist and Akulagba of Warri Kingdom was attended by prominent Itsekiri personalities, including Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, Hon. Michael Diden and Evangelist Tony Aderojo as well as National Vice-Chairman of the Urhobo Youth Council, UYC, Mr. Jaro Egbo, Ijaw youth leader, Chief Boro Opudu and Barrister Emmanuel Uti, from Ndokwa among others. They said the action of the Federal Government constituted a breach of their right as citizens, adding that they would continue to fight the alleged injustice until it was redressed.


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North

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sambo expresses worry over Ajaokuta, Lokoja NIPP substation ISE-OLUWA IGE AND MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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ice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo yesterday expressed worry over the handling of Ajaokuta and Lokoja National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, substation and transmission lines. Sambo, who spoke during an emergency meeting yesterday with the contractors and the Federal Ministry of Power, directed the contractors to get

appropriate equipment for the work to be done according to specification and redouble their efforts. He also warned that delay in the completion of the projects would not be tolerated. The Lokoja plant is meant to supply power straight to Abuja which the government is planning a detailed programme for its commissioning after completion of the power plants. The vice-president also urged the management of NDPHC to make available

to him the current programme of work to enable him ensure monitoring of the work progress to meet government’s set target. Present at the meeting were the Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, and other top government functionaries. Others were representatives of the contractors and the consultants. In a related development, Sambo commended the Ministry of Power

for adequately managing the Kaduna Industrial Layout project, which had reached an advanced stage of completion He spoke yesterday when he chaired a meeting to discuss the progress of work at the plant located at the Kudenda Industrial Layout, which held at the State House, Abuja. The vice-president noted the collaborative efforts of the Ministries of Power and Works and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, in moving heavy equip-

ment meant for the plant from Onne Port in Rivers State, to the project site in Kaduna. He said: “I have been reliably informed that the plant’s equipment, with the support of the Ministry of Works, are now being moved to site, this is a good indication that our planned completion period for end of 2013 will be accomplished.” Sambo, therefore, charged the Ministry of Power and the contractors handling the project to scale up work at the

plant’s critical facilities such as the switch yard and the storage tank. He also asked them to expedite action on the road networks and the rail link to the plant. While directing the project team to strictly observe weekly site meeting, the vice-president said it was a veritable avenue for issues that might impede the pace of work to be tackled, as, according to him, it also provides an avenue that engenders proper coordination of work schedule.

Plateau Polytechnic lecturers suspend strike JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima inspecting renovation work at Maiduguri Hajj Camp, yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

Gaidam approves N5.1bn for LG projects, N786.2m pensioners’ gratuities INUSA NDAHI DAMATURU

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overnor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has approved N5.1 billion for the execution of various developmental projects across the 17 local government areas of the state. A statement issued yesterday by the Special Adviser to the governor on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, said the money was in addition to the approval of about N786.2 million for the immediate payment of gratuities and death benefits for various categories of retirees and their next of kin. The approval, according to the statement, follows the submission of a work plan that the gover-

nor had asked the council chairmen to prepare and submit for intervention in critical service areas that have direct impact on the lives of people at the grassroots, as well as to economically transform the lives of retirees and their families in the state. Bego disclosed that each of the councils would receive N300 million from the N5.1 billion. According to him, the governor has directed each of the councils to follow and implement the approved work plan conscientiously. He said: “As part of ongoing effort to improve living conditions for people in rural areas, Governor Gaidam is committed to ensuring that basic social services, including potable water

supply, functional primary school infrastructure, primary healthcare and sanitation, etc, are made more readily available and accessible to people at the grassroots.” Bego added that N5.1 billion approved for the councils brought to about N11 billion of such special interventions in a little over one year. In 2012, the governor approved over N5.2 billion for the councils to undertake special projects. To this end, Bego said the areas the councils would pay attention to included drilling of additional boreholes and hand pumps, repair of primary school classrooms and construction of new ones, construction of culverts and drainages, repair and improvement of

dispensaries and the provision of drugs and consumables to improve primary healthcare, among others.

ecturers of the Plateau State Polytechnic have called off their two months’ old strike. The lecturers, who pulled out of the strike called by the Joint Union of Tertiary Institutions’ Workers in the state, asked the students of the institution to resume classes immediately. Mr. Nanzim Jibrin, who announced the suspension of the strike on behalf of his colleagues yesterday in Jos, said the branch decided to pull out of the industrial action after considering its legal implication. He said: “Yes it is true we embarked on strike about two months ago. But after a second thought, we realised that the union that declared the strike did not follow the due pro-

cess. We have therefore resolved to pull out of it. “We have also realised that frequent strikes are doing serious harm to our education sector; the students are losing, the lecturers are not happy and it is not in the interest of government and parents. “We, the lecturers of the Plateau State Polytechnic, have resolved to pull out of the strike. We are asking our students to resume immediately and we call on other tertiary institutions under the Joint Union of Tertiary Institutions’ Workers in the state to also see reason to call off the strike.” Similarly, the President of the students union of the institution, Victor Wilfred, expressed delight over the suspension of the strike. He called on all students of the institution all over the country to resume immediately.

Niger guber: PDP insists on zoning formula PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has dismissed speculations that the zoning formula it adopted in 1998 in Niger State was a mere charade. The party said Niger North Senatorial District comprising of Borgu and Kontagora emirates would produce Governor Babangida Aliyu’s successor in 2015. The Chairman of the PDP Elders’ Committee, Colonel Aminu Isah Kotagora (rtd), said this

shortly after the inauguration of the committee by the state chairman of the party in Minna. Kontagora, who hails from Niger North zone of the state, said his emergence as the chairman had nothing to do with his zone producing the next governor. Ahead of the elections, he said despite the merger of the opposition political parties, the PDP would face the election with very seriousness required to remain on top, while denying claims that the party was jittery as a result of the merger.

He said: “PDP has been going into elections in the last 14 years, we have never been jittery. We can never be jittery; we will face every election with the seriousness it deserves. “Merger or no merger, we are pushing forward. PDP is set to face the next general elections no matter the merger.” According to Kotangora, the committee is saddled with the responsibility of mediating between the party and its members as well as settling problems and providing answers to them when the need arises.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

51

Benue still ranks first in HIV/AIDS prevalence –Suswam HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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enue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has expressed dismay at the resurgence of HIV/AIDS cases in the state, saying the state still ranks first in the North Central zone of the country. He also said that the state ranks fourth after Lagos,

Kano and Kaduna States at 12.7 per cent prevalent rate from the HIV/AIDS sentinel survey in the federation after several years of curtailing the menace. Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani, represented Governor Suswam during the commissioning of the chest clinic jointly donated to Benue State University Teaching Hospital in Makur-

di, yesterday by Agbami, NNPC and others. Lawani said tuberculosis is also on the prowl in the state and that the state also ranks fourth according to the survey. He commended the efforts of the oil conglomerate in donating a gigantic chest clinic to the university with a view to assist in dispensing cases of patients with related cas-

es of tuberculosis and HIV/ AIDS. The deputy governor further noted that the gesture demonstrated by the oil conglomerate is also in line with his administration’s blueprint of ‘Our Benue Our Future’ which its primary focus is to improve the well being of the people and also ensure qualitative health delivery, so far we have established 23

new general hospitals in the 23 council areas of the state. In his speech, General Manager, Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Deji Haastrup, said the donation is a joint effort aimed at partnering with the Benue State government through the university. He said one of their cardinal points is to offer assistance particularly in the area

of laboratory science as well as instituting specialised educational scholarship programmes in support of health manpower development in Nigeria. He implored the recipients to make judicious use of the facility and ensure its maintenance so as to safeguard it for lasting benefit for the purpose for which it was provided.

FCT lost eight to inferno in three months •Saved 75 lives, over N1bn property OMEIZA AJAYI

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Some of the newly appointed permanent secretaries taking their oath of office before Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

ACN berates Kogi govt over performance WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

•We are focused, says media aide penses is yet to be resolved, pointing out that the ugly trend was a serious setback for the state. He equally lambasted the state government for giving out stipends to victims of last year’s flood disaster in the state, insisting that the victims have been shortchanged. According to him, the payment of N3, 000 to flood victims was ridiculous, stressing the need for the PDP administration in the state to do more by assisting them to fully overcome the hardship being experienced as a result of the disaster. In his reaction, Spe-

cial Adviser to Governor Idris Wada on Media and Strategy, Mr. Jacob Edi, said it was maliciously presumptuous for the ACN to make such spurious allegation. Edi said the party should concern itself on how to resolve its leadership crisis arising from godfatherism, rather than running a progressive government down. According to him, the administration of Governor Wada was too focused to be distracted by the incurable ranting of the opposition, saying they would not allow themselves to be distracted by retrogressive elements.

hairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Kogi State, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, has berated the Idris Wada administration in the state, saying he was not surprised by the turn of events in the state. Ametou, who lamented the lackluster performance of the administration while speaking in a chat with National Mirror in Lokoja, insisted that Kogi State can only move forward if the former governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, stops interfering in the affairs of the state.

The ACN chairman alleged that the former governor was still calling the shots, directing the incumbent as regards the day-today running of the state, describing the development as most unfortunate. Ametuo said no meaningful achievement can be recorded by the present administration in the state unless the former governor allowed the incumbent governor to fully take charge of affairs in the state. He wondered how the present government can perform when 15 months after it came on board, the issue of settlement of election ex-

WOLE ADEDEJI

Pharmacists’ body moves against fake drugs

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ILORIN

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he National Association of Pharmaceutical Technology and Pharmacy Technicians of Nigeria, NAPTPTA, has embarked on the training of its members as a way of checking fake and substandard drugs’ production in the country. President of the association, Alhaji Yusuf Hojapa, disclosed this in Ilorin,

Kwara State while answering questions from journalists. Hojapa called on government at all levels, particularly the Federal Government, to complement the efforts of the association to fight adulterated and substandard drugs in the country. According to him, it is the lack of personnel in the pharmaceutical industry that allows for quacks to

engage in sharp practices thereby flooding the market with substandard and adulterated products. Meanwhile, NAPTPTA said it is mapping out strategies to stamp out the menace of fake drugs which includes registration of members, pointing out that only registered members could practice according to regulations. He also called on the government to secure the na-

tion’s borders, produce adequately trained pharmacists and encourage necessary equipments in the pharmaceutical industries in order to get rid of the menace. Hojapa also advised government to avoid listening to “self seeking individuals or groups” whose ulterior motives are to cajole the government to execute anti-people policies for their selfish purposes.

he Federal Capital Territory, FCT, said it has lost eight residents to various fire incidents which occurred between January and March this year. The administration also disclosed how it was able to save a total of 75 lives due to its prompt response to rescue calls in the territory within the same period. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, who made this known at a meeting with officials of the administration, also regretted the loss of eight persons which he said occurred during such rescue missions. Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule, said while 21 lives were each lost in Janu-

ary and February, 33 were lost in March. He revealed that the administration also saved property valued at N1.138 billion while N257.9 million worth of property was lost during the same period. According to him, the FCT Administration saved property valued at N258.2 million in January; N594.2 million in February and N286.4 million in March, 2013. He said that the FCT Urban Affairs Department received a total of 162 fire calls with 56 in January; 61 in February and 45 in March, 2013. While commending the staff of the FCT Urban Affairs Department for being proactive in handling all these emergencies, the minister enjoined them to redouble their efforts at further reducing the number of casualties in the future.

Social media pose greater threats to journalism –Expert INUSA NDAHI GHANA

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United Kingdombased journalist and media expert, Mr. Weatley Keith Arthur, has said that unless drastic measures are put in place to monitor the use of social media, the journalism profession as a watch-dog of the society, could be in jeopardy. Keith stated this yesterday at a five-day workshop on journalism which took place at the Coconut Grove Hotels, Elmina Bar Beach, Accra, Ghana. The workshop which is organised by Global Investment Limited in collaboration with Borno, Yobe and Nassarawa States in Nigeria, had in attendance over 30 journalists selected from various media organisations/practitioners working

in those states. The workshop with the theme; “Multi-faceted Journalism and Public Relations Training,” was on journalism skills, reporting disaster and crisis management, effective/compelling public relations, social media, politics/election reporting, among others. Keith noted that the social media, which have to do with communication using cell phones, twitter, facebook, BlackBerry chat/ping, among others, have constituted a lot of information-flow that, are mostly not credible. They also have problem with balancing and are often ineffective and unrealistic to the general public, thereby making some media organisations and editors worry about the consumption of such information by their target audience.


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror “If for any reason, we have an issue with anybody or with the government; we should come to the table to talk about it.” MINISTER OF NIGER DELTA; GODSDAY ORUBABE

Monarch stripped naked in Ogun FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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t was a show of shame at Ado – Odo in Ado – Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, as the indigenes stripped their monarch naked and destroyed properties worth millions of naira. The monarch, Olofin of Ado – Odo, Oba Lateef Akanni was humiliated by protesting natives, as he was coming back from a social function at Ilaro Area of Yewa South Local Government, while accusing him of uncaring attitude towards the victim of a car accident in his domain. Community Mirror gathered

that the victim was one of the Princes who contested the throne with Oba Akanni, which aggravated the protesters. It was further gathered that several cars at the palace were destroyed. Eye witnesses said Oba Akanni, who was unaware of the danger, ran into the protesters who beat him to pulp. “It was on his way from Ilaro that some of the protesters accosted and manhandled him, but luckily he escaped by a whisker”. Aside from the attack on the monarch, Community Mirror also recalled that the crisis over the Obaship tussle in Ado – Odo had

claimed more than 10 lives. It was also gathered that the Truth Commission set up by Governor Ibikunle Amosun at inception of his administration, had earlier released a white paper, indicting Oba Akannni for wrong doing over the stool of Olofin of Ado – Odo. The monarch was alleged to have ordered the beating of one Falana Jaiyeola by the anti-riot police who also stripped him naked. Reacting to the situation, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi confirmed the incident, but assured that normalcy had returned to the town. “’The Commissioner of Police

Road managers evacuating refuse at Makasa on the Abuja-Keffi road.

has been there and we are going to ensure that everything is done to bring all those involved to book’’. Meanwhile, the Ogun State Government has appealed to people of the community to shun violence and maintain peace. Governor Ibikunle Amosun who was represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Basorun Muyiwa Oladipo, stated this following an assessment tour of the community, Oladipo, who warned the residents to desist from taking laws into their hands, added that the government would not condone lawlessness.

PHOTO: IGBAWASE UKUMBA

Ondo: Residents raise alarm over waste disposal OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

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esidents of Adekugbe Street in Sabo Area of Ondo town have raised alarm over the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the water channel by unknown persons. The residents expressed fear that the development could lead to negative consequences, especially with the rainy season fast approaching. They urged relevant govern-

ment agencies at the federal, state and local governments to save the area from flood which could result from activities of unscrupulous elements. According to them, those who perpetrate the act always hide under cover of darkness. Speaking with Community Mirror, chairman of the landlord association, Chief Olukayode Akinnagbe, described the situation as worrisome. He expressed the fear that heaps of refuse dotting the area could

bring devastating consequences, saying except drastic and urgent steps are taken by the government the area could witness the worst flooding this year. Another resident, Mimiko Vincent, a former councilor in Ondo West Local Government, described the situation as unfortunate. According to him, the non-provision of bins, irregular refuse disposal and lack of supervision by health officials are factors responsible for the environmental challenge that has brought untold

hardship to residents of the area. He called on the Ondo West Local Government health department to redouble efforts at ensuring the problem of indiscriminate refuse dumping at unauthorised places is reduced to the barest minimum. Another resident, Pastor Ezekiel Adeniyi, suggested the need for relevant agencies to embark on enlightenment campaign in the area, adding that it would go a long way in checking the menace and prevent an epidemic outbreak.

Lagos to fine drivers without LASDRI Licence MURITALA AYINLA

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rivers of private companies and commercial vehicles who fail to be certified by the Lagos State Driver’s Institute, LASDRI, will soon be sanctioned in line with the traffic law. Soon, the state government would commence arrest and prosecution of recalcitrant drivers. According to the commissioner, any offender is liable to fines ranging from N50, 000 to N250, 000. Speaking at the 2013 Vehicle Inspection Service, VIS, road safety campaign week entitled: ”Driver’s Health-Key to safe driving”, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, added that from April, 22, 2013, traffic law enforcement agents will embark on arrest of any driver without LASDRI license. Explaining government’s magnanimity on the need to get certified, Opeifa, warned organisations to comply with the law, adding that most firms deny their drivers opportunity to attend trainings meant to upgrade their skills, as well as further ensure safety on the road. His words: “we are focusing on voluntary compliance. Over six months, we have been sensitising the public on driver’s documentation exercise. We will commence enforcement on April 22, 2013. Drivers with Guinness, Dangote and corporate organisations are advised to comply as there will be no waiver. “In order to improve the competence of drivers and ensure the safety of persons on highways, the Ministry of Transportation, has introduced periodic training for drivers through LASDRI for recertification and rehabilitation of professional drivers. “It is a fact that drivers have the responsibility to be properly trained, licensed and most importantly be physically and mentally fit before going onto the roads. Most accidents on our roads are as result of human error that could be avoided if necessary precautionary measures are put in place.” On the VIS safety week, Opeifa said it is aimed at further educating motorists and achieving the goals of the government on zero tolerance on unworthy road vehicles.


Wednesday April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

53

World News

Earthquake hits Iran, kills 34 in Pakistan

54

PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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enya’s Supreme Court yesterday said the execution of the nation’s March presidential election wasn’t perfect but that petitions to overturn the result did not prove President Uhuru Kenyatta was illegally elected. The court had announced its unanimous ruling upholding Kenyatta’s election in late March but yesterday released its 113page written decision. The ruling said that petitions by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and civil rights activist Gladwell Otieno do not disclose “any profound irregularity in the management of the electoral process.” Kenyatta beat seven other presidential candidates with 50.07 percent of the vote. That slim margin over the needed 50 percent was challenged by Odinga — who got 43 percent — and civil society groups that complained of anomalies in the voting process. No major anomalies were found between the total number of registered voters and the total tally in the declaration of presidential election results, the court said. “Although, as we find, there were many irregularities in the data and information-capture during the registration process they were not so substantial as to affect the credibility of the electoral process,” the ruling said. Kenya held a largely peaceful election process, avoiding a

“So we will continue to work at this and hope that President Abbas finds the right person to work with him in a transition, and work with us, to establish confidence” –JOHN KERRY, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE

Kenya’s Presidential election not perfect –Supreme Court

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Kiir

17 gold miners die in Ghana accident

Ghanaian Authorities say 17 people are dead after an accident at a gold mine in central Ghana. Local official Peter Kofi OwusuAshia told The Associated Press yesterday that 20 others had been rescued Monday afternoon. Owusu-Ashia said authorities did not believe that anyone remained trapped inside the area but he said efforts would resume Tuesday at the site. The deaths happened in Kyekyiwere, in the Upper Denkyira district in Ghana’s central region. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, and police promised to launch an investigation. Authorities have said that the miners were working there illegally at the time.

ECOWAS experts meet in Banjul on girl-child education

An electoral worker verifying votes at the National Tallying Center in Nairobi, Kenya

repeat of the chaos that rocked the country following the flawed 2007 presidential election, when more than 1,000 people died in violent attacks. But the March 4 election did not go smoothly. An electronic voter ID system intended to prevent fraud failed for reasons yet to be explained by the electoral commission. Vote officials instead used manual voter rolls. After the polls closed, results were to be sent electronically to Nairobi, where officials would

quickly tabulate a preliminary vote count in order to maximize transparency in light of the rigging allegations that dogged the 2007 vote. But that system failed, too. Election officials have indicated that computer servers overloaded but haven’t fully explained the problem. Odinga’s lawyers had argued that the switch from electronic voter identification to manual voter roll was stage-managed to allow inflation of Kenyatta’s votes to take him past the 50

percent threshold. The Supreme Court said Kenya’s electoral commission had no choice but to turn to the manual registers, though it had major weaknesses. The court recommended an investigation into the acquisition of the computer systems that failed during the voting process. The court said there was questionable conduct by members of the electoral commission during the acquisition of the systems, and that prosecution of the suspects could be in order.

South Sudan president strips deputy of some powers outh Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has withdrawn some powers from his vice president, officials said yesterday, clipping the wings of a likely challenger for the ruling party leadership. Kiir, who has led the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) since 2005, also halted a national reconciliation initia-

WORLD BULLETIN

tive that had been launched by Riak Machar and which had been viewed as an attempt to raise his political profile. The two men were on opposing sides of a split within the SPLM during much of the 19832005 civil war that ended after the two factions reunited. No major rival parties operate in the country that was formed in 2011 when the south split from Sudan in the north, so the battle for leadership of the SPLM is effectively the race to be president. A national election is due in 2015. A Western diplomat said Machar had indicated he wanted to compete for leadership of the party, and said this had prompted Kiir to act. A presidential decree issued on Monday withdrew all powers assigned to Machar that

were granted at the discretion of Kiir. Those are aside from functions specifically outlined by the constitution. The decree did not state what powers were removed. “The vice president of the republic shall be restricted to exercise and discharge only his powers,” Kiir’s office said in an emailed statement. James Gatdet Dak, the vice president’s press secretary, said they were seeking clarification on the powers withdrawn. “We don’t know which powers yet, they’ve not specified,” Dak told Reuters. Since landlocked South Sudan gained independence, it has been struggling to assert control over the nation and provide security and basic services to an estimated 11.4 million people.

The country ranks among the least developed countries in the U.N. human development index. The Western diplomat said the president’s decree may have temporarily flattened the aspirations of the vice president. Aly Verjee, a senior researcher for Nairobi-based think tank the Rift Valley Institute, said Machar had been jockeying for the top job in the party since his an abortive attempt in 2008. “I don’t think Kiir and Machar have ever seen completely eye-to-eye,” Verjee said, commenting via email. “As the memory of independence recedes into the distance, the unity of the SPLM will weaken, and as with other liberation movements, further fracturing of the party is almost certain in the years ahead,” he added.

A meeting of regional experts on education of girls and other vulnerable children is scheduled to take place in Banjul, Gambia from 16 to 19 of April 2013 under the auspices of the ECOWAS Girls’ education Programme. The program is part of ECOWAS’ efforts to promote universal access to quality education and training opportunities as well as harmonize admission criteria into educational and training institutes in member states. The ECOWAS Girls’ education Programme is designed to strengthen the operational capacities of national structures for the promotion of girls’ education by improving access, retention and completion. The Banjul forum will also propose a mechanism for enhancing the inclusion of children, who account for more than half of the population of school age children, into formal education for the timely realization of EFA and MDG goals.

Ex-Senegalese President’s son held over corruption

Karim Wade, the son of former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, is being detained by police as charges against him relating to a probe into illegal enrichment are being considered, the Justice Ministry said. A state prosecutor presiding over a court probing graft cases gave Karim Wade a 30-day deadline, which expired yesterday, to prove his assets were legally obtained. Wade simultaneously held the portfolios of energy, infrastructure, international cooperation and urban planning under his father’s administration, which ended with his defeat at a 2012 election. “He is being held at the police station, but he is not yet in prison,” Justice Ministry spokesman Macoumba Mbodj said today by phone from the capital, Dakar.


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World News

Pakistan bans Musharraf from polls

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akistan’s former military leader Pervez Musharraf has been barred from standing in general elections in May. An election tribunal disqualified him from running in Chitral in the northwest. Earlier, he failed in an attempt to stand in three other seats. Musharraf ’s lawyer says he plans to file an appeal with the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, at least four people were killed in an attack on a convoy of the main opposition PML-N party in the south-western province of Balochistan. Pervez Musharraf returned from self-imposed exile in Dubai and London last month saying he wanted to save Pakistan, hoping to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party into the general election next month. On his return, Musharraf submitted papers to contest the poll from Karachi, Islamabad, Kasur and Chitral. While Musharraf was given initial approval to run in Chitral, he was rejected in the remaining constituencies. His opponents later filed an appeal against the decision to approve his candidacy in Chitral on the grounds that he had violated Pakistan’s constitution when he imposed emergency rule in 2007. The former general seized power in a military coup in 1999 and remained in office until 2008 when his supporters were defeated in parliamentary elections. Under threat of impeachment, he left the country. He is already embroiled in a series of legal battles and has been attempting to stave off arrest and a bid to try him for treason.

Wednesday April 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Earthquake hits Iran, kills 34 in Pakistan

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major earthquake centered on a border area of southeast Iran killed at least 34 people were killed in neighbouring Pakistan, officials told AFP. Fifty others have been injured, destroyed hundreds of houses and shook buildings as far away as India and Gulf Arab states, yesterday. Communications with the area, a sparsely populated desert and mountain region, were largely cut, leading to conflicting preliminary reports of casualties in Iran. An Iranian provincial governor later said there were no deaths there. The epicenter was far from any of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Pakistani officials said at least eight people were killed and 20 injured in the town of Mashkeel in the south-western Pakistani province of Baluchistan, which borders Iran. Mohammed Ashraf, head of a health center in Mashkeel, said several hundred houses in the town had collapsed.

People standing outside of their office buildings following an earthquake tremor in Karachi, yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Three women and two children were also killed when their mud house collapsed in the Baluchistan district of Panjgur. “The earthquake has killed at least five people in Panjgur,” said Ali Imran, an official at the government disaster-response unit in Quetta, Baluchistan’s main city. Iran appeared to have emerged relatively unscathed. Experts said the depth was the likely reason for the relatively low level of damage from a 7.8 mag-

nitude quake. Soon after the quake, an Iranian official had told Reuters he expected hundreds of dead and state media quoted unconfirmed reports of 40 fatalities in Iran. But Hatam Narouyi, governor of Sistan and Iran’s Baluchistan province, later told the ISNA agency. “Fortunately, the earthquake resulted in no fatalities.” The U.S. Geological Survey, in a revised bulletin, said the quake hit at 10:44 GMT at a depth of 82 km (51

Over 2,000 guests invited for Thatcher’s burial today

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ore than 2,000 invitations were sent out for today’s funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Among the former U.S. presidents, surviving U.K. prime ministers, world leaders and celebrities who made the cut are some high profile wouldbe guests who sent regrets: Former First Lady Nancy Reagan — whose husband had a close relationship with the late premier — will not be able to attend; nor will former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who shared

key moments in history with the Iron Lady. Germany’s Angela Merkel is sending her foreign minister, while U.S. power families the Clintons and the Bushes won’t be making appearances. Meanwhile, hordes of protesters plan to disrupt the military funeral of Baroness Margaret Thatcher in scenes which threaten to overshadow the occasion today. Up to 300 people are set to turn their back on the flag-draped coffin containing the former prime minister’s body when it passes by the South Af-

rican embassy in Trafalgar Square. There were also reports of a ‘protest party’ at St Paul’s Cathedral, where the funeral service takes place. A bizarre protest could see bottles of milk hurled in the path of the horsedrawn funeral cortege, which will be accompanied by members of the military on its journey to St Paul’s Cathedral from Whitehall. Thatcher’s first ministerial position was as Secretary of State for Education in the Heath government of the early 1970s.

miles). The epicenter was 198 km (123 miles) southeast of the city of Zahedan and 250 km northwest of Turbat in Pakistan. People in the Iranian city of Zahedan poured into the streets when it struck, Fars news agency reported. Iranian Red Crescent official Morteza Moradipour said emergency crews, including dog teams to sniff through the debris for any buried survivors, had reached the area. “Because of the strength

of the earthquake we had expected to see significant damage in residential areas but the quake was at a depth of 95 km and therefore the extent of the damage was on par with earthquakes measuring magnitude 4,” he said. A Savaran official, Mohammad Sharif Khaleghi, told ISNA that about six or seven people had been injured and buildings were damaged in villages near the towns of Saravan and Gasht. It was the second big quake to hit Iran in a week. On April 9, a powerful 6.3 magnitude quake struck close to Iran’s only nuclear power station, killing 37 people, injuring 850 and devastating two villages. Most of Iran’s nuclearrelated facilities are located in central Iran or its west, including the Bushehr nuclear power plant on the Gulf coast. “It is far from Bushehr and other nuclear-related facilities,” Iran expert Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group think-tank told Reuters.

Seven die as Venezuelan rivals protest

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iolent clashes over Venezuela’s disputed presidential election have killed seven people and injured 61, the country’s Chief Prosecutor has disclosed yesterday, as both sides in the stand-off planned rival demonstrations. The deaths occurred when hundreds of protesters took to the streets in various parts of the capital, Caracas, and in other cities on Monday, blocking streets, burning tires and clashing with security forces, in some cases. The AVN news agency said two people were killed in Miranda state, which in-

cludes part of Caracas, one in Tachira state on the border with Colombia, and another in western Zulia state. It gave no further details. In one of the confrontations, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in a running battle with masked, rock-wielding opposition supporters in a wealthy district of Caracas. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles is demanding a recount of the votes from Sunday’s election after official results showed a narrow victory for ruling party candidate Nicolas Maduro, the acting president.

Space For Sale


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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WORLD RECORD

Largest population of wild camels Vol. 03 No. 601

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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N150

Intriguingly, the largest population of camels in the wild, numbering over 200,000 individuals, is found neither in Arabia nor in Mongolia, the traditional homelands of wild camels, but instead in the Australian desert.

The amnesty conundrum

amned if you do and damned if you don’t. This is the Catch 22 situation in which President Goodluck Jonathan now finds himself in his eagerness to grant members of the Boko Haram sect amnesty. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the President seems to be putting a brave face to all this. Before now, he had been hesitant to extend any pardon to those he called “ghosts”. Definitely, no one would have blamed him for taking such appropriate stand against some faceless urban guerillas that are in the habit of pretending to be sane human beings in the morning and turning to wild lunatics at night. Matters are not helped by the fact that they are not holding to any enduring demands and grievances that can be said to be the bellwether of their struggle. Rather, their evanescent list of demands has

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

been a hodgepodge of ideological and ethnoreligious canticle that continues to oscillate from the banal to the absurd, depending on their whims and those of their mentors. So bereft of any grand vision, they have taken to psychological warfare tactics of sowing terror on a mass scale among the population through indiscriminate bombings, in order to gradually whittle any presumed support for President Jonathan. Like all guerilla outfits, they have come to see innocent civilians as potential targets that could be ransomed for some political advantage in their war against the state. And by willfully attacking and killing those unlucky to be at any place of their bombings, those lucky to survive are forced to flee, while abandoning their territories to the insurgents without a fight, and thereby exposing the government to ridicule and accusation of impotence. To bring the sordid state of affairs to an end, those with enough influence and access to the President and insurgents had weighed in to find a way out of the thicket. What therefore, emanated from all the backroom discussions was recognition that only an amnesty could do the magic. But now, the optimism is not only seen as misplaced but also hasty. As is usual, there is Babel of voices condemning or commending the idea. Curiously, the first to cast a stone has been the Boko Haram. According to its leader, Abubakar Shekau, the sect should be the one granting amnesty to the Federal Government when it is taking into account “their atrocities against us”. For them, the

ANY IMPARTIAL OBSERVER WOULD READILY SEE A LACK OF CONSENSUS AMONG THE NORTHERN ELITES ON THE ACCEPTABLE WAY OF BRINGING THE PRESENT MAYHEM TO AN END issue of amnesty is a no brainer and therefore, should be dumped in the trash can. But for Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, those rejecting amnesty are the politically minded insurgents who are being manipulated by their mentors to extract concessions from the government. “Amnesty has been given to the Boko Haram and I believe they are willing to accept that. But there is the criminal and political Boko Haram that is responding that they do not want amnesty because they have different intention”. What then is their intention? Till now, they have refused to bring it to the public domain. Even at that, the Convener of Coalition of Concerned Northern Politicians, Academics, Professional and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has blamed the government for not handling the issue very well, as according to him, “the federal government

was listening to the so-called Northern leaders who speak only for themselves and their selfish interests”. In the heat of this confusion, the amnesty conundrum not only gets murkier but also trickier. Any impartial observer would readily see a lack of consensus among the northern elites on the acceptable way of bringing the present mayhem to an end. It also goes to buttress the arguments of some personalities in the South that the Boko Haram is only a tool in the service of some very ambitious persons who are bent on violently bringing the country into their political orbit. If not why should the sect out rightly reject an amnesty even when it is yet to know the terms and condition? In the light of this, which then is the authentic Boko Haram? As variegated as their objective and leadership is, it is pertinent that the federal government seek out adherents willing to accept the olive branch and make peace with them. Such move would definitely put enormous pressure on those still in hiding to either come out to dialogue or be treated like common criminals. Since Governor Yuguda has compartmentalised the sect members into the good and evil, it is proper that the government send feelers to those willing to accept amnesty offer and keep them safe havens, far from the deadly arms of those still elusive and who may be tempted to see them as traitors. And from these repentant militants, the country may get the opportunity to glean trove of information to the background of those surreptitiously funding them. It is not for sheer bravado that Abubakar Shekau waved aside the amnesty. He must have been told to do so. We know that even when such paymasters are running with hares and hunting with the hounds, they will be anxiously praying that the deal goes up in flames so they can blame the government. So, the federal government must keep its nerves and proceed with the amnesty proposal, as it is the last option before the country descends into total mayhem and anarchy.

Sport Extra

T

he Conference playoffs of the annual Nestle Milo Secondary School Basketball Championship will begin tomorrow at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium. The Atlantic Conference will see teams from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers,

Basketball: Milo schools tourney dunks off Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu and Cross Rivers participating. The Confluence Conference leg will hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of Lokoja, in Kogi State from April 24

to May 1, with Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kogi participating. The tournament would shift to Central Conference

at the Akure Township Stadium from May 2 to 8 with Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Kaduna, Gombe, Kebbi, Bauchi, Niger and Ondo. Ibadan, Oyo State with host the Western Confer-

ence on May 9 with Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, FCT Abuja and Delta participating to round off the zonal competition before the national finals hold between June 1 and 6 .

NBBF boss, Umar

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013