Arik Air crew members arrested in London for drug trafficking OLUSEGUN KOIKI
Vol. 3 N0. 626
or the second time in 18 months, cabin crew of Arik Air have been arrested at the
Heathrow Airport, London, for drug trafficking. The two members of the cabin crew were arrested on Monday for being in possession of dangerous drugs suspected to be cocaine and
scores of packets of cigarettes. The arrested suspects are Temitayo Olubunmi Daramola, who was found in possession of CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Mimiko became gov through fraudulent means P.5 â€“PDP
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Alams: Reps may strip President of powers on state pardon
NGF: Amaechi, Shema intensify lobby
...as election holds Friday P.7
L-R: Family members of the late Prof. Chinua Achebe: daughter-in-law, Dr. Mimi Achebe; grand-daughter, Chino Ekwueme; daughter, Dr. Ogundimu; wife, Prof. Christie Achebe; daughter, Dr. Chinelo Achebe; son, Dr. Chidi Achebe; son, Dr. Ike Achebe; son-in-law, Prof. Folu Ogundimu, during the reception of the body of the late author at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, yesterday. More photos on page 2.
Jonathan frees Boko T Haram detainees ...wives, children too Senate backs emergency rule
GEORGE OJI AND OMEIZA AJAYI he Federal Government yesterday announced its decision to release some suspected members of the deadly Boko Haram Islamic sect, their wives and children, who had been held in various detention centres across the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Jonathan frees Boko Haram detainees
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide (left); former President, Association of Nigerian Authors, Dr. Jerry Agada; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri (right) and others, during the airport reception in Abuja, yesterday.
Son of the deceased, Dr. Ike Achebe, praying during the reception.
L-R: Anambra State Governor Peter Obi; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Pius Anyim; Chairman, All Nigeria Peoples Party, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo.
Prof. Nwando Achebe with her mother, Prof. Christie Achebe.
Igbo cultural group entertaining at the reception.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
PHOTOS: ROTIMI OSASONA
country. This was a first major application of the government’s “carrot and stick” approach in resolving the nation’s internal security challenges. Although the government was silent on the number of those to be freed, it said women presently in custody would be released. The action, which it said was based on the recommendation of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Reconciliation, PCDR, would see the suspects being handed over to their respective state governors for consequent rehabilitation before they would be finally released to their community leaders and families. Defence Headquarters’ spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, in a statement yesterday said: “Consequent upon the directives of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Defence Headquarters will be releasing from detention, a number of persons being held in connection with terrorist activities.” Although it was not immediately clear whether high-profile suspects like Kabiru Sokoto, whose cases are already in court, would enjoy such “presidential reprieve.” Olukolade, however, said details of the directives and those to benefit from the gesture had been communicated to “field units and the Joint Task Force, JTF.” He added that “the move is in furtherance of the Federal Government’s position in response to requests by the amnesty committee. “The measure, which is in line with presidential magnanimity to enhance peace efforts in the country, will result in freedom for suspects, including all women under custody. “The beneficiaries will be released to the state governors who will be involved in further rehabilitation before these suspects are released to their respective community leaders/relations.” However, it is believed that the move could have a demoralising effect on the Armed Forces and other security operatives who had risked their lives in effect-
ing such arrests. A security source in Abuja told our correspondent that government’s action could have a debilitating effect on the ongoing efforts to halt terrorist activities in the country. He said security operatives in the North-East had about four years ago arrested “some of these boys who are currently fighting the nation.” According to the source, some were arrested and released by the courts due to the absence of an antiterrorism law, under which they could be prosecuted. Some were also released when some state governments intervened and said the boys would turn a new leaf. “Today, some of those boys are up in arms against the state. There is yet no guarantee that these ones would not do the same thing once they breathe the air of freedom. “It’s high time we made people pay for their sins. Besides, the ones being released, have they shown any sufficient sign of remorse? This is a key question which the so-called amnesty committee must answer.” Former Director in the Department of State Service, DSS, Mr. Mike Ejiofor, also faulted the release of the suspects, describing government’s action as “premature”. He told our correspondent that the move was unnecessary, especially with the government’s current offensive against terrorists in the North-East. However, a northern leader, Ahmed Datti, had accused the Federal Government of being responsible for the failure of the first attempt at dialoguing with the sect, saying the government reneged on its promise to unconditionally release women and children, who were arrested along with the suspects. Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday voted overwhelmingly in support of the state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. Approving the declaration, the upper legislative arm advised that all the
democratic structures in the affected states must be allowed to operate fully and actively. The senators added that the structures must also be involved in the Federal Government’s efforts to stop the ugly situation. The lawmakers also urged the Armed Forces to operate in a humane and benevolent way and ensure that all citizens are treated with utmost respect. The senators asked the Federal Government to fund the operations properly and provide relief as well as medical materials immediately to the affected areas. The motion on the state of the nation, sponsored by the Senate Leader, Senator Ndoma-Egba, incidentally was the only business in the order paper for yesterday. After the adoption of the votes and proceedings of last Thursday’s sitting, Senate President David Mark proceeded to read a letter from President Jonathan, which contained copies of the official gazette of the state of emergency proclamation for necessary action. Citing Rule 136 of the Senate standing orders, Ndoma-Egba immediately moved that the Senate retire into an executive session (closed-door), in accordance with the procedures for dealing with the issue of state of emergency. Rule 136 reads: “The President shall in a closed session brief the Senate on the circumstances of the proclamation of a state of emergency and thereafter make available to the senators, the documents as provided by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” When the senators emerged from the closeddoor session, the Senate President read out the outcome of the deliberations at the executive session. Subsequently, citing Rule 137 of the standing orders, Ndoma-Egba again moved that the Senate resolve into a “committee of the whole” to discuss what was agreed upon while at the closed-door session. Rule 137 provides that: “Except the Senate by a unanimous decision diCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
State of Osun Celebrates
The invaluable heritage that is our children in the
OODUA WORLD AY D â€™S N E R D IL H C
Participating : Obas and Children from South West, Edo, Kwara, Kogi, and Delta States, West Africa, South America, The Caribbeans and Cuba.
DATE: Monday 27th May, 2013
VENUE: OSOGBO CITY STADIUM Osogbo, State of Osun
Alowolodu @ 07030423237
am RSVP HON. OGUNTOLA M. TOOGUN Assistant Chief of Staff Chairman, Mobilization Committee email@example.com (08033966693)
... Children, Our Most Valuable Legacy
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Director, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS), Mr. Kayode Sofola, SAN, (left) and Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, at the Signing Ceremony of the $1,2b Loan Facility for EMTS in Lagos yesterday.
L-R: Lead Consultant/Chairman, Legacy & Legacy, Ghana, Mr. Albert Ocran; Managing Director, Secure ID Ltd, Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe; Managing Director, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, Mr. Joe Hudson and Chairman, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, at the Leap Africa’s 8th CEO’s Forum & Book Launch in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicolas Okoh (right) and the Ven. Thankgod Eche from St. Jude’s Anglican Church, Ohabiam, Aba Diocese, during the inauguration PHOTO: NAN of Directors of Ecumenism Network in Abuja, yesterday.
L-R: Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Reginald Ihejiahi; Chairman of the Board, Chief Christopher Eze and Company Secretary, Chijioke Ugochukwu, at the Bank’s 25th Annual General Meeting held at the Transcorp Hilton. Abuja, yesterday
CBN warns: Military operations pose liquidity risks TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Monetary Policy Committee rose from its two-day meeting yesterday retaining the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, at 12 per cent with a corridor of +/-200 basis points around the midpoint even as it warned that military operations against Islamic insurgents in the North could pose liquidity risks for the economy The MPR is the benchmark rate at which the CBN lends to other banks. By a vote of 7 members to three, the Committee also left the Cash Reserve Requirement, CRR, unchanged at 12 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent, with the Net Open Position at 1.0 per cent. This is even as the Governor of the CBN and Chairman of the Committee, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who briefed the media on major decisions taken at the meeting, pro-
• Retains interest rate at 12%
jected that the emergency rule declared in the three North Eastern states may spur increased spending by government, with its attendant liquidity risks in the economy and hinted the apex bank might have to tighten the MPR if there are serious risks on the fiscal side. Sanusi said: “The recent military action in the North-East will result in additional spending. Although the government has announced that there will be no supplementary budget, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honorable Minister of Finance has already announced that there will be a drawdown on a Contingency Vote embedded in the 2013 budget to cover emergencies. “Overall, the Committee is of the view that government spending will constitute a major risk to the inflation and exchange rate outlook,
thus advising prudence in monetary policy action at this time “Personally, I don’t think we should change rates for the sake of changing rates, I think we should respond to situations. The government will spend money, we will keep monetary policy very tight, if the spending gets excessive, we will respond appropriately. The risks if there is any from the fiscal side, is that we may actually have to tighten policy further, if this warrants. I don’t think that at this point in time, a reduction in rates is not imminent.” Sanusi also said the Committee further noted that in spite of increased borrowings, yields on FGN bonds have been declining steadily, signaling the impact of increased inflows, while equity prices have been trending upwards, adding that the evidence does not, there-
fore, support claims of monetary policy being too tight. According to him, the Committee was of the position that the principal risks to long-term stability could be addressed through diligent implementation of sound policies of fiscal consolidation and efficient sectoral policies underpinned by structural reforms since they are required to attract long term foreign capital inflows that would make the gains of monetary policy sustainable, and also support credit extension to the private sector players. The CBN governor also disclosed that by December this year, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, will pay off N1.1 trillion of its N3.6 trillion debt and urged Nigerians not to be worried about the operations of the company due to its huge debt portfolio.
He said: “AMCON has over N800 billion in assets and at the end of this year, it will build that up to over a trillion. AMCON has series one bonds maturing in 2013 and also series 2, 3 and 4 maturing in 2014. AMCON will issue a new bond of N3.6trillion, which we will invest in and that will be used to refinance our entire exposure at an interest rate of 6 per net over 10 years. “So that means the other creditor to AMCON will be those holding series 5 bonds maturing in October 2014 and AMCON will build up balance from the sinking fund and pay them off in 2014. The result of this is that by October 2014, the only creditor to AMCON will be the CBN, every other person holding AMCON bonds will be paid off as at when due. “This pay off will not be in the form of an injection of N1 trillion cash into the system. We have already compelled AMCON to convert them into securities. So these securities are
going to change. So, what you’re going to have is that by December, the balance sheet of AMCON will reduce by N1.1 trillion. And by October next year, the balance sheet will shrink by another N1 trillion, down to N3.6 trillion. Sanusi said many initiatives were being undertaking at the structural side of the economy, pointing out however that for the nation to achieve inclusive growth, a lot more needs to be done like proper implementation of reforms in the power sector and the petroleum industry. He explained that Nigeria cannot continue importing petroleum products and other consumer goods, including food, to expect inclusive growth. According to him, monetary and fiscal policies could only provide a stable, environment but that in the final analysis growth would be engendered in the economy through a combination of structural and fiscal policy reforms.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Mimiko became gov through fraudulent means –PDP HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ondo State chapter, yesterday said the outcome of the investigation on the security reports tendered by the Labour Party, LP, at the Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal over the 2007 governorship election in the state had revealed that the truth could not be concealed. The Chairman of the party in the state, Ebenezer Alabi, stated this yesterday while reacting to the outcome of the investigation which revealed that the security reports presented by the LP before the Justice Garba Nabaruma-led tribunal were forged. Alabi said that the inves-
tigation had exposed to the whole world, the fraudulent means through which Dr. Olusegun Mimiko emerged as the state governor. He said the party was interested in showing to the world that the judiciary erred in declaring Mimiko as the governor of the state in 2009 by relying on the fake security reports. He also added that the revelation would give the party the avenue to seek the attention of the court in putting things in order and right the wrongs that was done to the party in the state. Alabi noted that there was a section of the law that states that after the conclusion of a case and there were facts that revealed that the premise upon which the judgement
was based was fraudulent, the court was bound to review the judgement. Speaking on the call for the prosecution of the former LP state Chairman, Dr. Olaiya Oni, the state PDP chairman said the party had no right to prosecute the former chairman, saying “only the police can prosecute and we cannot take Olaiya Oni to court. “We have no right under the constitution of the country to prosecute; it is absolutely the duty of the
police.” He, however, said the revelation had vindicated the party despite the manoeuvrings of the LP to come to power in 2009 with nothing to show for it. But the former Commissioner of Information in the state and a commissionernominee, Kayode Akinmade, said Oni should be prosecuted if he claimed to have compromised security reports. Akinmade said the state government was looking beyond the 2007 issue and
that everyone that witnessed the 2007 election acknowledged Mimiko as the winner of that election, which forced the authorities to shift the declaration of the results to Abuja. Efforts to get the former LP chairman, however, were unsuccessful as calls to his phone were not going through. The Commissioner of Police in charge of Special Investigations Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Ali Amodu, who investigated
the petition of former Governor Olusegun Agagu, in his report titled “Police Investigation Report on a Case of Forgery and Uttering of State Security Services Report,” sent to the Inspector-General of Police, confirmed the forgery of the security reports. The tribunal relied on the forged security reports to nullify the result of election in 10 local government areas where the then incumbent Governor Agagu had won.
Arik Air crew members arrested in London for drug trafficking CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
6kg of cocaine and Delita Abibimgbi. who was in possession of 60 packets of cigarettes. UK Customs allow a maximum of 10 packets of cigarette per passenger. In November 2011, an air hostess with the airline, Ms. Chinwendu Ogbonnaya, was arrested at Heathrow Airport over an allegation of smuggling four kilograms of cocaine into the United Kingdom. In the latest arrest, one of the aircraft of the airline had taken off from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos to London only for the security at Heathrow to discover the illicit drugs with the two crew members. Information gathered by our correspondent indicated that eight out of 10 crew members that travelled with the flight had been cleared while the remaining two were still being held in London. However, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has ordered a full scale investigation into the incident. A statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, stated that the Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade, has ordered officials of the agency to immediately commence investigation into the matter. The statement reads in part: “We have received report of the arrest and I have
ordered a full scale investigation of the incident. “Anyone found wanting shall be brought to book as no effort shall be spared in protecting the image of our country.” The agency has also vowed to beef-up security checks at all entry and exit points in the country. A statement signed by the image maker of the airline, Mr. Banji Ola, yesterday stated that the attention of the management of Arik Air had been drawn to the detention in UK of two of its cabin crew members in connection with alleged possession of items suspected to be banned substances. He stated that the airline was co-operating fully with the UK authorities and all other concerned agencies in their investigations. Ola said: “Arik Air remains committed to the fight against drug and illicit substances trafficking and will not tolerate the use of any of its aircraft or crew for the courier of banned items and substances. “Arik Air carries out very stringent checks on all members of staff and its travelling guests ahead of all flights. It will continue to focus its attention on measures to prevent the possibility of any future similar incidents. “Arik Air is a responsible Nigerian company always seeking to maintain and uphold the integrity and proud reputation of the nation.”
L-R: Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple; FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed; Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam; Minister of Interior, Abba Moro; President Goodluck Jonathan and Group Chairman, Byuan Resources Group of Companies, Dr. Mathias Byuyan, at the foundation laying ceremony of Para-Military Village Housing Scheme in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Jonathan frees Boko Haram detainees CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
rects, the Senate shall then forthwith resolve into a committee of whole for the consideration of the proclamation and on reporting progress, the Senate shall decide in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria approving the proclamation.” At the committee of the whole, Mark announced that 100 senators attended the day’s session and unanimously supported the proclamation of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Admawa states by the President. When he asked if that represented the true position of what took place during the executive session to voice vote, the senators overwhelmingly said “yes”, without any single dissent. National Mirror, however, learnt that the 100 senators excluded the two presiding officers, Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu. The seven senators, who were absent from yesterday’s special session were Senators Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North), Maina Maji Lawan (Borno
North), Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central), Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central), Olusola Adeyeye (Osun Central), Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) and Ibrahim Musa (Niger North). The Senate President explained the absence of the senators, saying they were out on official duty. The Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, explained that the Senate decided to adopt the voice vote to protect members from victimisation they might face if there was headcount by the Senate President as required. In another development, Nigeria has asked Niger Republic for support in the offensive against the Islamist insurgent bases. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Nurudeen Muhammed, delivered the request for help from President Jonathan to his Nigerien counterpart, Mahamadou Issoufou, on Monday in Niamey. “We currently have military operations in Nigeria in three federal states to combat terrorism and we would like to have Niger’s support in the common
fight against these terrorists,” Muhammed said. Military sources said the Special Forces had faced stiff resistance by hardened Islamist rebels, using cross-border routes to smuggle in weapons. Nigeria and Niger signed a bilateral defence pact in October 2012 that includes sharing intelligence on Islamist groups and joint military exercises. The deal stipulates that a request for military aid by one nation cannot be refused by the other. The two West African nations share a porous frontier of more than 1,500 km (940 miles). The fighting in Nigeria has pushed over 1,000 refugees across the border into Niger in the past few weeks, according to UN estimates. Soldiers from Niger and neighbouring Chad participated with Nigerian forces in a joint assault on Boko Haram insurgents last month in Baga, a fishing settlement on the shores of Lake Chad. In a related development, the Federal Government yesterday dismissed specu-
lation that it has begun withdrawing troops from Mali to assist in the ongoing efforts to rout insurgents from parts of the North. Defence authorities in Abuja said its men on ground were capable of taking out the terrorists, stressing that its men were not weary but remained in high spirits. Nigeria’s military strength is estimated to be about 170, 000 with a fraction of this in foreign operations. The police is roughly 380,000. The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, however, stated yesterday that its men were capable of discharging their duties creditably and professionally. In a statement, the DHQ stated: “As the operation to rid our country of terrorist activities continues, the Defence Headquarters wishes to reassure Nigerians that the military is quite capable and ready to discharge this duty professionally and creditably well.” The DHQ said Nigeria’s human and material resources could prosecute the war, explaining that there was no need of withdrawing the troops from Mali.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Human parts dealers in police net •Sell hand for N6,000; head, N8,000; private part, N10,000
olice in Lagos yesterday paraded five suspects, who specialised in selling human parts. According to the suspects, different parts attract different prices. They disclosed that human hands go for N6,000 each, heads attract N8,000 each, while private parts are sold for N10,000 each. The suspects, Jamiu Adeleke, Ajibade Rafiu, Fatai Akiwowo, Kazeem Sanni and Agboola Kolawole, were arrested on May 15 at Owode town, Ogun State after it was reported that one of the suspects, Sanni, was looking for human being to sell to ‘ritualists’. Following a tip-off, detectives from the Special AntiRobbery Squad, SARS, Lagos, led by SP Abba Kyari, arrested Adeleke with a severed human hand at Owode town. He was trying to sell the hand for N21,000 when he was apprehended by detectives. During interrogation, he reportedly confessed that Sanni sold the hand to him for N6,000. Sanni was later arrested and he too reportedly confessed to the crime, explaining that he had supplied two human heads to a dealer who he identified as Akiwowo. Akiwowo told interrogators he received the two human heads from a supplier.
He added that he also received four heads from another supplier identified as Kolawole. Like his cohorts, Kolawole was arrested in Owode town. He said he had so far cut off four heads, among his relatives buried in their compound at Owode. Kolawole told journalists that he cut and sold the heads of his two late brothers and two sisters buried in their compound and sold each for N8,000. He said: “There are many graves in our compound. Our compound is full of graves. We normally do not bury our dead ones in the cemetery. But it got to
a time that I faced serious financial crisis and I needed to borrow money but no one was ready to borrow me a dime. “That was how I met Kazeem Sanni and he suggested the business to me that I could just cut of the heads of some of my family members buried in the compound. I agreed and we exhumed two of my brothers’ bodies and we cut of their heads. I sold each for N8,000. “After a few weeks, he came again and because I needed money, we exhumed two of my sisters’ bodies, cut of their heads and he gave me N16,000. “I don’t know what he
L-R: Human Resources Business Partner, Vlisco Netherland, Yvonne Chioke; music legend, Onyeka Onwenu; winner, Be Your Dream Award, Eugenia Abu; Nollywood star and award nominee, Joke Silva and Channel Activation Manager, Vlisco Nigeria Limited, Adaeze Alilonu, during the award presentation in Abuja, recently.
Alams’ pardon: Reps may remove Jonathan’s powers TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
he House of Representatives will soon consider a proposed law to strip the President of the power to grant state pardon to individuals. The piece of legislation seeks to bar the President from granting pardon to public office holders convicted for corruption. This may be a response to the controversy generated by the state pardon, which President Goodluck Jonathan granted the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was convicted for graft. The bill obtained by National Mirror yesterday, is entitled: “A Bill for an Act
does with it but he confessed to me that he knows some people who normally use human heads for rituals.” Investigations by police showed that Sanni usually sells the dry heads to a Babaalawo, (herbalist), identified as Ajibade Rafiu. The herbalist is popularly called Dudu in Owode town. SARS detectives arrested Rafiu and recovered a drink made of grinded human heads mixed with dry gin in a bottle. According to Rafiu, he usually gives the drink to his customers to drink for protection against evil powers; noting that his
customers are usually ignorant of its content. He also confessed that human part dealers, who get the parts from various graveyards in Ogun State, sell human head for N8,00, human hand for N6,000 and private part for N10,000. According to him, the middlemen in the illicit business double the prices and sell to herbalists who are the final receivers and end users. One of the suspects, Sanni also confessed that two popular ‘Alhajis’ in Owode town had bought a human head from him, adding that they had also requested for a human being for N40,000. He said he was looking for the human being when he was caught.
to Amend Section 175 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to subject the Presidential Powers of Pardon to the approval of the National Assembly.” The bill is sponsored by Hon. Emmanuel Jime (PDPBenue). The bill, which has a short title of “Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Amendment) Bill, 2013,” seeks to subject the decision of the President to pardon any felon to the approval of the National Assembly. The proposal goes thus: “Section 175(2) of the Principal Act is hereby amended to read as follows; (2) The powers of the President under sub-section (1) of this section shall be exercised by him after consultation with
the Council of State and approved by a majority of each House of the National Assembly. “Section 175 of the Principal Act is further amended by inserting a new sub-section (4) to that section to read as follows: (4) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1) above, the President shall not have the power to pardon a convict whose sentence was for an economic or financial offence.” The Principal Act (constitution) presently states in Section 175(1a) that: “The President may grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offence created by an Act of the National Assembly a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions.”
Abuja population will rise to 10m in 2018 –Minister OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
opulation of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, will by 2018 rise from five million to 10 million. The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Muhammed, who disclosed this while addressing the National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the Wadata House in Abuja, reassured the residents that the government was putting everything in place to contain the population explosion. Muhammed also said the FCT Administration was in tune with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. He said the FCT had removed 12,728 illegal structures, while approved plans within the territory stood at 1,489. The minister explained that in a bid to enhance descent transportation within the territory, 500 new taxis cabs would soon be distributed to commercial operators on hire purchase basis; adding that a new road would be constructed from Keffi to the Airport and Maramba to Mpape to reduce accidents. According to him, id direct foreign investment stands at N4.2 billion. He disclosed that the FCTA was, in collaboration with the Canadians, planning a monorail system from Nyanyan axis which would carry people from Massaka to Abuja.
Varsity sacks professor, lecturer for plagiarism FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB, has sacked a professor, an assistant lecturer and two other lecturers for alleged plagiarism. The professor, whose name was given as Mrs. Bamgbose Janet Titilayo and the assistant lecturer, Mr. Bamigbade, Akeem Adesina, were said to be from the same Department of Chemistry. The official bulletin of the university with reference number FUNAAB/ VC/PRD.08/42 and dated May 10, also gave names of the two who were demoted from Lecturer I to Lecturer
II as Dr. Nkiko Mojisola Olubunmi and Dr. Ahmed Sikiru Akinyeye. The bulletin added that the affected academics were all from the Department of Chemistry. The bulleting disclosed that the decision was arrived at during the just concluded 76th Statutory Council meeting of the university. Until her appointment was terminated last Thursday, Mrs. Bamgbose was a Reader in the Department of Chemistry which turned 25 years old in January. Aside the dismissed professor and the lecturers, FUNAAB also placed a Director in the Department of Works and Services,
Mrs. Banjo Omolola Theresa (an engineer) on three months’ suspension without pay for alleged conduct prejudicial to discipline and good governance. Again, two Chief Technical Assistants whose names were given as Mr. Chukwu, Vitus Onyekachi and Mr. Akinbola Oluwasina Oluwafemi of the same department were also warned and surcharged for engaging in illegal personal trade and businesses. Also, a Senior Clerical Officer of the Asset Department, Mr. Adebisi Olalekan Isaac, was also dismissed for alleged nonremittance of journal page charges to the university’s journal account.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
NGF: Amaechi, Shema intensify lobby
Lagos raises the alarm over illegal tank farms in Apapa
... as election holds on Friday
he Lagos State Government yesterday raised the alarm over the siting of many tank farms in Apapa without requisite permit. The illegal tank farms, according to the state government, pose security threat to lives and property. The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofiq Tijani, who revealed this at a media briefing on the activities of his ministry in the last one year, expressed worry over the development, saying government would soon begin clamp down on owners of the illegal tank farms. He said the government had taken necessary measures to avert the repeat of gas explosion which rocked MRS Tank Farm in Apapa early in the year. Tijani said: “Our research revealed that a lot of tank farms operating the state either do not have permit or are located on an unapproved sites. “But we are at the stage of collating the data because we are working with the relevant authorities. There is a
federal regulatory body that issues the permit while the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development also gives permit for the location of the tank farm. “We found out that some of them do not have the requisite permit for operation, until we finish our reports, anyone found operating illegally or found in an unapproved environment, the law will definitely take its course, I assure you. The ministry is engaging relevant stakeholders on the issue.” Tijani insisted that the ministry would scrutinize valid documents from the operators, such as approval to construct from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, authorisation by the police, Federal/ State Fire Service permit, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), licenses, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and perimeter survey. The commissioner, however, said that plans had been concluded to establish an early warning geodynamics centre to monitor and detect likely occurrence of natural disasters like earth tremors, earth quakes, ocean surges and flooding, among others.
he Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF) will meet on Friday in Abuja to elect a new chairman. This is even as the incumbent, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his Katsina State counterpart, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, who is believed to have been anointed by the Presidency, have intensified their lobby for support. A statement issued yesterday in Abuja on behalf of the NGF by Mr. A.B Okauru said the meeting, the sixth of its kind, would hold at the Rivers State Governors Lodge with the sole purpose of electing the forum’s officials, including the chairman. National Mirror learnt
that the lobby by the two contenders had pitched their colleagues against one another. A source said that Amaechi is still enjoying support of the 13 opposition governors who are said to be pushing for his re-election. He is also said to be making clear inroad in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) camp with over four other governors including Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara) and Sule Lamido (Niger) indicating interest to support him. There have been also unconfirmed reports that those backing Governor Amaechi hinge their reason on the NGF’s constitution which allows the incumbent to seek a fresh mandate of two years.
But another source revealed that governors from the North, who are sympathetic to Amaechi’s cause, are beginning to have a rethink and are already galvanising support for either Shema or a neutral candidate. On his side, Shema is banking on the other 18 PDP governors led by Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Theodore Orji (Abia), Gabriel Suswam (Benue) and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa. Governor Shema said last week that he was deep into the contest as the office is not a preserve of any individual, adding that the NGF’s constitution states that the chairmanship office will be rotatory. Governor Amaechi similarly said that he had made up his mind to re-contest and that it does not matter if he
wins or fails. He said that it is only his colleagues that will determine his political ambition and not anyone else. However, a twist appears to emerge in the scenario with some governors led by Kashim Shettima of Borno State who would not want either Amaechi or Shema, but a neutral candidate. They believe that a neutral candidate will not pander to the Presidency and therefore will protect the interest of the forum like Amaechi did. It will be recalled that an attempt by the pro-Jonathan governors to remove Amaechi during a meeting of the NGF on February 20 failed. But the problem assumed more complicated proportion a few days later, when Akpabio emerged chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
OGFTZ attracts $6bn investments to Nigeria –MD UDEME AKPAN
he Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority (OGFTZA) has attracted over 150 firms with investment portfolio of more than $6 billion to Nigeria. The Managing Director of OGFTZA, Mr. Victor Alabo, who disclosed this at the 4th annual Free Trade zone conference held in Lagos, said over 30,000 direct and indirect jobs been created. Represented by the OGFTZA Head of Department (HOD), Marketing, Adamu Mamman-Kontagora, Alabo said the development also created other multiplier effects in the nation. Alabo said: “Investment inflow into the free zones represents about 60 per cent of total investment into Nigeria within the last nine years. The Financial Times of London Magazine on FDI regards the OGFZ Onne as one of the most successful zones in Africa. “The OGFZ at Onne has attracted all major oil companies in the area and is now using the free zone as a hub
for activities covering the whole Gulf of Guinea up to Angola and Southern Africa. “There has been transfer of technology to Nigerians, through manpower training, particularly due to specialised nature of their operations. For example Tenaris which is the largest pipe producing company in the world has trained over seventy Nigerians overseas on pipe technology and many more companies do similar. “Hamilton technology work out regular courses/ training to staff for career opportunity and productivity, by sending staff (Nigerians) to ABERDEEN and MALAYSIA for Drilling Fluids Engineering courses, and it is a continuous process. “The presence of the free zones has increased economic activities in the area as the Onne Port is second highest port in Nigeria after Apapa. As a result of the Free Zone at Onne, there has been an increase in government revenue earning particularly for Customs, Port Authority and Federal Inland Revenue Service.”
Acting Director-General, National Sports Commission, Alhaji Mustapha Mohammed (left) handing over to the substantive DirectorGeneral, Mr. Gbenga Elegbeleye, in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Strike: Ex-commandant alleges NAMA risks travellers’ lives OLUSEGUN KOIKI
former Commandant, Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Grp. Capt. John Ojikutu (rtd), has flayed the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) for deploying its management staff to the control towers for aircraft separation following Monday’s strike embarked upon by the agency’s workers. Ojikutu said the deployment of the management staff was dangerous to air safety and contravened the recommended practices and standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation
(ICAO). This is even as a source yesterday confided in National Mirror that the Lagos Airport on Monday handled about 414 flights, including 61 over flyers, contrary to some reports, which claimed that the strike paralysed aviation activities. The breakdown of the 414 flights in Lagos alone indicated that aircraft arrivals in Lagos, both local and international, were 172 while departure was 181. The figures put the total number of arriving and departing aircraft to 353. Also, the airport handled 61 over-flyers within the period. The source, who did
not want his name mentioned, said the total number of passengers who departed and arrived the airport on Monday stood at 19,168. The breakdown revealed that 9,165 passengers departed the airport, while 10,003 arrived at the airport (both local and international passengers). Speaking on the strike, Ojikutu said the situation was risky for flight operations. Ojikutu, a trained air traffic manager, said it was worrisome that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) watched and allowed personnel “without prerequisite validation for
various air traffic control services to man the control tower during the one day strike embarked upon by workers”. He said the development compromised safety regulations and endangered lives of the travelling public. Ojikutu said: “It is worrisome that air traffic controllers went on strike and the NCAA could allow NAMA to deploy management controllers who are not current or facility rated to control air traffic. “Are we not endangering the lives of the travelling public? You need to reconsider this show of bravado before we have a disaster in our hands.”
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Building collapse: Lagos bans construction on weekends, public holidays MURITALA AYINLA
ollowing cases collapsed buildings in recent times in Lagos State, the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola said yesterday that it would no longer tolerate building construction on weekends and public holidays. The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the activities of his ministry in the last one year. This, according to him, is to check unscrupulous developers and building contractors who secretly engage in construction of buildings at night, weekends and public holidays in a bid to dodge building and control agents. The commissioner also said the government would impose appropriate sanctions on owners of about 407 abandoned buildings across the state. Ayinde, who also advised property owners to meaningfully take control of their buildings before they were confiscated, described the measure as means to check unwholesome developers
who secretly build on weekends and other odd times to avoid sanction by government’s enforcement agents. The commissioner urged the residents to inform government of illegal construction of buildings in their areas. He said: “More worrisome is the fact that some unscrupulous developers and builders have decided to embark on construction at the weekends, public holidays and even at night. This
will no longer be tolerated. “Consequently, the ministry would also extend its services to especially monitoring, removal of illegal structures and arrest developers and their workers found to on sites beyond the regular official hours so as to be able to tackle this unwholesome trend and behaviour head-on to stem the preponderance of these illegal activities appropriately. “It is true that these activities take place daily on our
streets, roads, in our neighbourhood. The ministry and its staff cannot comb the entire state 24/7 for illegal developments. “I therefore use this medium today, once again, to solicit the cooperation of members of the public to report any construction work whatsoever, at any level, especially those taking place at odd times earlier mentioned to the ministry via phone calls, SMSs, e-mails immediately.”
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Ex-IAR&T director’s absence stalls workers’ trial KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he trial of 15 members of the various industrial unions in the Institute of Agriculture, Research and Training IAR&T, Moor Plantation, Ibadan slated for definite hearing yesterday at the Magistrates’ Court III, Iyaganku, suffered a setback because of the absence of the complainant, Prof. Benjamin Ogunbodede. Ogunbodede, the immediate past executive director of the institute, had sued the ac-
L-R: Former Education Minister, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye; Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs. Gbolahan Daodu and Special Adviser to the governor on Eko Project, Mrs. Ronke Azeez, at the opening session of the 3rd Lagos State Education Summit 2013 tagged: “Qualitative Education in Lagos State: Raising The Standard,” in Lagos, yesterday.
cused on a four-count charge of conspiracy, conduct capable of breach of the peace of the institute, assault and misdemeanour. But when the case was called yesterday before Magistrate O. A. Adefisoye, counsel to the complainant, Mr. Alaka Babatunde, informed the court that his client was not in court because he was indisposed. Though counsel to the defendants, Mr. Kazeem Gbadamosi, tried to ensure that the case was heard on the strength that it was slated for definite hearing and that yesterday and today were set aside for it, the magistrate said it was not possible because Ogunbodede was indisposed. Following this development, Adefisoye adjourned the case till June 10 and 11. IAR&T had been embroiled in crisis over allegation of financial misappropriation against the former executive director, leading to several months of strike by members of the various workers’ unions in the institute. The arrest of the 15 unionists was at one of the several rallies held on the campus of the institute to sensitise the workers to the crisis and the need to keep the tempo of the strike.
Ajimobi disburses N100m scholarship, bursary to students Trafficking: Court affirms forfeiture of brothel to NAPTIP
overnor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday presented N100 million scholarship and bursary awards to students of Oyo State origin in tertiary institutions across the country for 2011/2012 academic year. The disbursement came 28 years after scholarships were last awarded in the state. Students and their parents who were present at the House of Chiefs, venue of the ceremony, were overwhelmed as Ajimobi presented a symbolic cheque of N100 million to representatives of the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries of the bursary/scholarship awards included final year students of universities and polytechnics, post-graduate students in tertiary institutions, both in Nigeria and overseas, as well as those in aviation colleges. Presenting the cheque, Ajimobi described the occasion as memorable because it was the first time that bursary awards would be given
to students in the state in the last 28 years. This, the governor said, was a demonstration of his administration’s high level of commitment to positively changing the face of education in the state and giving the dividends of democracy to all the citizens. He said: “Without mincing words, no nation can hope to make any meaningful progress without sound and qualitative education.’’ Quoting Martin Luther
HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
he Action Peoples Congress, APC, Merger Committee yesterday solicited the support of the people of Ondo State to enable the proposed party bring good governance to Nigeria in 2015. The state Chairman of the committee, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, made the call in Akure, the state capital, at a meeting to usher in the inaugura-
King who posited that “if you want to keep a man in perpetual slavery, do not give him education,” the governor said the pivotal role of education in the development of any nation could not be over-emphasised. He said: “It is with this premise in mind that the state government, under the present administration, has always made the education of our children a high priority.
Federal High Court sitting in Lagos presided over by Justice James Tsoho yesterday struck out an application seeking to nullify an order that a brothel, located at No 1, Anjorin Odoguyan Street, Ikorodu area of Lagos State be forfeited to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Person, NAP-
TIP. Two brothers, Taofeek and Lukman Jubril, had in their application prayed the court to set aside an earlier judgement delivered by Justice Tijani Abubakar, which ordered NAPTIP to impound the property. Tsoho upheld the decision of his brother judge, and dismissed the application for lack of merit. He said: “I hereby uphold the order granted by
men of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, who were at the meeting, said they had directed their members to work with the other merging groups to commence mobilisation ahead of 2015 general elections. Speaking during the inauguration of the working committee, the
state CPC Chairman, Mr. Olalekan Obolo, commended the arrangement put in place by the merger committee, saying it would give room for smooth transmission. He said since the members of the sub-implementation committee at the grassroots were made up of all the parties to the merger, APC would blossom to a household party in the state.
Borrofice solicits support for APC merger tion of the working committee of the party at the grassroots. Boroffice disclosed that the committee was put in place to provide a framework for easy transmission to APC by the merging parties. He said the essence of putting the committee in place was to give the party a strong footing which would catalyse into good governance. Also, the state chair-
the former trial judge, and order the premises located at No 1, Anjorin Odoguyan Street, to be forfeited to the respondent. This application is accordingly struck out for lack of merit.” Abubakar had sometimes in June 2007 sentenced three persons for using the said premises as a brothel. The convicts, Helen Elele, Joshua Igborobe and Uyi Oni, in case file No FHC/L/138/2007, were slamed with a two-count bordering on conspiracy and human trafficking. The prosecutor, Mr. Olurotimi Illori, had told the court that the convicts were in the habit of indulging young girls for prostitution, and using the said premises as a chalet to promote their illegal acts. The convicts had each pleaded guilty to the charge and were consequently convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment each.
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2015: Our platform not for Ladoja’s ambition –Accord Party •Says ex-governor remained suspended
ormer Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja’s plan to contest the 2015 governorship election might not be smooth sailing after all. The Accord Party, the party he nurtured and on which platform he contested the April 2011 governorship election, has disowned him. The party said Lado-
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
ja’s “much touted plan to contest the 2015 governorship election on its platform was arrant nonsense.” The Accord Party National Secretary, Dr. Samson Isibor, said in a press statement made available to journalists that the former governor, who had a turbulent tenure punctuated by impeachment and
judicial reinstatement between 2003 and 2007, had ceased to be a member of the party since 2011 because he had been expelled. The statement alleged that Ladoja had traded off the Accord Party with other parties for what it called “personal benefits” and “had orchestrated divisive antics which
have torn the party apart and undermined its cohesion.” The statement condemned the recent mayhem alleged unleashed on Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, following the clash between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Accord Party members and in which about 30 people were injured. It said: ‘We are peaceloving party, we condemn violence and brigandage. We respect constituted authorities, we sell our manifestoes without resorting to violence and other vices.”
ABUAD asks parents to inculcate sound moral values in children ABIODUN NEJO ADO-EKITI
s part of efforts to inculcate sound moral values in Nigerians and prepare them for leadership positions, the founder of Afe Babalola University in Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, has stressed the need to start grooming them from tender age. Babalola, who said certain traits would have been formed in the children before they got admission to universities, said building positive moral values and characters in them from their younger days would have far-reaching results. The founder, speaking at the ABUAD Parents-Teachers’ Consultative Forum in Ado Ekiti, said: “The institution is planning to establish a standard international school. This will enable students to pass through the trainings that would effectively prepare them for the future and make then role models from childhood”. He asked parents to stop indulging in immoral behaviour at home because of the negative effects of such on
their children, saying some wayward students were found to be victims of their parents’ immoral life-styles. Babalola, who lamented that some university students were finding it difficult to live without sex and hard drugs, said: “ABUAD is not a place for such life-styles. The university authorities are making efforts to reform such students. “Any student with immoral life-styles, who prove too difficult to be reformed, will definitely be dismissed so that such student will not corrupt others. So, let the parents support us by encouraging their children or wards to abide by the rules and regulation.” Earlier, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sidi Osho, who blamed parents for buying indecent dresses for their children and as well failure to check their wardrobes, said the institution would not tolerate any indecent dressing. Osho said: “We are training them on how to live in a corporate environment and so they should not dress like street girls on the campus.”
KIND, institute seek peace in Nigeria L-R: Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Adetokunbo Fayokun, presenting a symbolic cheque of N100 million to a post-graduate student, Muili Taofeeq of Manchester University, United States on behalf of other students of Oyo State origin awarded bursary/scholarship in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Police Station Father of man killed by Customs officer demands justice Divisional where the incident was trabands. Itabiyi said the Customs officer cocked his riffle and fired shot at the deceased, who had been forced to his knees, while attempting to explain the source of the 20 litres of vegetable oil found on him. The embittered father said Ebenezer died on the way to the hospital. The Ogun command of NCS was, however, said to have refused to surrender the suspect for interrogation at the Idiroko
he father of the 29-year-old Ebenezer Inutayi, who was shot dead by a Customs officer at Ilashe checkpoint at the Idiroko border area, has appealed to the Federal Government to prevail on the Ogun State Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to surrender the suspected killer for prosecution. Father of the deceased, Inutayi Itabiyi, appealed
to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and ensure that the Customs respects the police request that the triggerhappy customs officer should be surrendered for prosecution. Addressing journalists yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Itabiyi alleged that one Customs officer attached to Ilashe checkpoint, simply identified as Tope, shot and killed Ebenezer on Sunday, May 5 for being in possession of con-
2014: Ijesha chief seeks Aregbesola’s re-election
FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Oba-Odo of Ilesa, Chief Jacob Babajide Oduwale, has urged the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to return Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola as its candidate in the 2014 election. Chief Oduwale asked the party to return Aregbesola because of his performance for providing good governance for the people. In a press briefing held
yesterday in Ilesa, Oduwale said the governor had contributed immensely to the development of the state since he assumed office. The Ijesha chief said: “The Aregbesola-led government has lent great credence to democracy and the rule of law and justice; he has deliberately chosen to steer clear of judicial issues to allow justice to take its course. “I am here to throw more light on the various develop-
ment activities of Governor Aregbesola so that the overwhelming majority of the citizens of Osun State will appreciate why he has to be appreciated, supported and encouraged to lay a lifelong standard and model form of governance whereby incoming generations will refuse to tolerate lazy, corrupt, anti-people and dictatorial regimes. “I therefore canvass massive support for Aregbesola
reported. When contacted however, the Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Chike Ngige, said he was yet to be briefed about the incident. Ngige, who told National Mirror that he had been out of the command for sometimes on official engagement, added that the Area Comptroller had also been off station on official duties, but promised to get back as soon as he had enough information on the matter.
for a second term, a governor of uncommon physical and mental energy, robust intelligence and incomparable commitment to the welfare of the governed. “No previous government, immediate or remote has committed itself to development of infrastructure like the administration of Aregbesola. “The road network throughout the state is a thing of pride to all of us.
s part of its objectives to engender lasting peace among the nation’s six geo-political zones, the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), in partnership with Festzer Institute, has launched a project called: “Exemplars of Love” which will give Nigerians the opportunity to nominate individuals whose actions portray traits of forgiveness and unity. The project is designed to identify and highlight the works of unspoken heroes of peace who have relied on the transformative power of love and forgiveness from different communities across the six geo political zones of Nigeria in the hope that their examples will serve as an inspiration to others in ways that will transcend primordial sentiments of ethnicity and religious leanings and further promote and advance the capacity of Nigerians to love and forgive. According to a statement made available to National Mirror by KIND, the group sees this project as a chance and platform for exchange of ideas and opportunities for broader practical applica-
tion of the lessons that can be gleaned from the works of identified exemplars, which can be replicated and built upon while growing an enduring awareness around the concept of love and forgiving as a transformative energy among individuals, communities and the larger society. Participating groups and individuals are encouraged to send their nominations through an online portal created for this purpose: www. nijaexemplarsoflove-forgiveness.org/ The statement read: “Can a multi-cultural, multiethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual Nigeria live together in peace? Can we talk about national unity amidst incessant conflicts and within the tense and gloomy political atmosphere? What of the bitterness and gross animosity existing between Muslims and Christians, the two main religions, and among the ethnic groups? What of the crisis that has expanded to the more traditional institutions like the family, with the spate of violence being recorded on the home front? So also are the violent crimes of kidnapping, assassinations, rape and corruption that are now a daily occurrence in our land.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Imo youths disregard Pope’s order, lock out bishop CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he youths of Ahiara community in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday locked the Catholic Cathedral to protest the ordination of Monsignor Peter Okpalaeke as the Bishop of Ahiara Diocese. Okpalaeke, who is from Anambra State, was appointed bishop-elect of the diocese by former Pope
Benedict XVI last December after the death of the pioneer bishop of the diocese, Victor Chikwe. But while ordination was going on, the priests and Catholic faithful including the youths from the diocese, who preferred an indigene of Mbaise as bishop of the diocese, said the bishop-elect would not be allowed in the diocese. The youths, who took over the church, locked up the entrance gate to the cathedral
where the newly ordained bishop was to begin his 10year tenure as the bishop of Ahiara Diocese. The protesters, who disrupted vehicular and human movement in the area, vowed not to allow the bishop access into the cathedral, insisting that the diocese would remain without a bishop for the next 10 years. Some of protesters told journalists that “we will not allow this injustice. We don’t want the bishop who is not
from our community. That is all we are saying and we are ready to fight to finish”. Despite the protesters’ threat, Pope Francis directed Catholic authorities yesterday to ordain the bishopelect. The ordination, which was carried out amid tight security at the Seat of Wisdom Seminary in Ulakwo in Owerri North Local Government Area, was held several miles away from the Ahiara Diocese.
This, according to a source, was to prevent the breakdown of law and order. However, many Catholic faithful and other dignitaries within and outside the country, including John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the archbishop of Abuja, attended the ordination. In his sermon, the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia Archdiocese, Lucius Ugorji, said: “Only the Pope has the final say in the appointment of bishops. There is no provi-
sion for quota system in the appointment of bishops.” According to him, the acceptance of the appointment is a respect for the Pope, while rejection, inflammatory statements and protests are spiteful and disrespectful to the Papal authority. Ugorji urged the people to work with the new bishop for the progress of the diocese. He also charged the newly ordained bishop to foster peace and reconciliation among the people.
Disengaged ABS workers seek speaker’s intervention
Enugu inaugurates neighbourhood watch group
he disengaged 148 staff of the Anambra State Broadcasting Service, ABS, Radio/ Television, Awka and Onitsha have asked the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mrs. Chinwe Nwaebili, to look into their predicaments. The workers, in a fivepage petition signed by 18 of them, said their disengagement memo of March 1 captioned: “Rationalisation/Redeployment of 148 ABS staff,” had directed them to report to the office of the state Head of Service for redeployment to other relevant ministries. They said when they assembled at ABS headquarters, Awka on March 4, hoping to be issued with their letters of redeployment as stipulated in the public rule, they were again asked to go to the head of service who referred them back to ABS because, according to him, there was no such arrangement by the state government, to the best of his knowledge. The petitioners noted that on returning to ABS, they were again told by the Acting Managing Director, Rev. A. C. Ginikanwa, to go home and listen to Radio/ Television announcements for further directives. They said at this point, it became obvious to them that there was no plan to redeploy them even before the disengagement exercise. They said that as lawabiding citizens of the state and because they had lived up to expectation in their various capacities, they should not be thrown out of job without due process.
Women from Eke-Awka Market in Anambra State protesting the alleged mandatory payment of tax at the Government House in Awka, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Eight die in Anambra road crash NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
t least eight people died yesterday in an auto crash involving a Mitsubishi commercial bus and a tipper at the Ideani end of Nnobi-IdeaniOjoto-Umuoji-Nkpor Road in Idemili North Local Gov-
ernment Area of Anambra State. Eight others were said to have sustained various degrees of injury in the accident. According to a witness, the Ekwulobia-bound Mass Transit bus, coming from Onitsha/Nkpor end had, on getting to Ideani River, col-
lided with the tipper coming from Nnobi end. Six of the passengers in the bus died on the spot, while two others died on their way to a nearby hospital. Those who sustained injuries were on danger list in the hospital. A senior police officer,
who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the incident. He, however, said only four persons had so far been confirmed dead by the police. The Onitsha Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Mr. Metta, could not be reached on phone at press time.
South Africa: Group moves to reduce crime among Nigerians NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
he All Nigerian Nationals in the Diaspora, ANNID, has reiterated its determination to reduce criminal tendencies among Nigerians resident in South Africa. The Chairman of the South African chapter of ANNID, Hon. Aloy Johnson Emeka Ukwuoma, said this yesterday at the Rojenny Games/Tourists Village, Oba, Anambra State, during a courtesy call on a prominent Igbo leader and proprietor of the Games Village, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka. Ukwuoma said over the
years, members of the group had been working hard to ensure that Nigerians in South Africa do not engage themselves in criminal acts, thus tarnishing the image of Nigeria. He disclosed that their efforts had yielded fruitful dividends as less than 400 Nigerians were currently serving various jail terms in South African prisons, out of between 250,000 and 300,000 Nigerians resident in that country. Ukwuoma was on the visit with other executive members of ANNID, including former president of Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr. Jason Osuafor, who also doubles as ANNID’s dean of
Research and Development; the Global Woman Leader for ANNID, Dr. Tina Obi; Anthony Chukwujekwu; Rapuluchukwu Ofochukwu; Frank Anagu and Secretary, Owolabi Salako. According to him, ANNID owes it a duty to protect all Nigerians doing legitimate businesses in South Africa from undue harassment, intimidation and attacks from South Africans or their law enforcement agencies. He, however, noted that the group did not support criminal acts. On the image of Nigeria in South Africa, the ANNID chairman disclosed that apart from the negative
publications being dished out from Nigeria by both the Nigerian press and their international counterparts, Africans recognised Nigeria as the true giant of Africa. Ukwuoma also spoke on the insecurity in Nigeria, saying the current state of emergency in Nigeria was long overdue, based on the audience members of the group had with President Goodluck Jonathan during his recent visit to South Africa. He added that the group supported the President on the emergency rule, since he had the consent of all the service chiefs, the governors, the National Assembly and the judiciary.
nugu State Ministry of Human Capital and Poverty Reduction has inaugurated over 750 members of the Neighbourhood Watch Group to complement efforts of the police to combat crime. The Commissioner for Human Capital and Poverty Reduction, Mr. Godwin Ogenyi, said the neighbourhood programme was an off-shoot of community policing initiative spearheaded by the Department For International Development, DFID. Ogenyi said it was aimed at evolving new ways of tackling security challenges from the root by being pro-active rather than being reactionary. He said: “Before now we had vigilante groups scattered all over the place that are not coordinated, supervised and devoid of government backing. That led to the enactment of Neighbourhood Law in 2005 by the Enugu State House of Assembly.” The commissioner explained that the programme was communitysponsored, owned and driven by the people. According to him, government provides support for the groups in the areas of logistics and legal backing. Ogenyi added that the programme had led to a drastic reduction in crime rate in the state. He said the programme had created employment opportunities for the unemployed youths.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Rivers PDP crisis: Governor’s aide resigns from cabinet •As stakeholders pledge loyalty to governor SAM OLUWALANA
he on-going political crisis in the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken another dimension with the resignation yesterday of the Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Amaechi on Conflict Resolution, Mr. Obinna Anyanwu . This was even as some political stakeholders in the state from the contentious Obior/Akpor Local Government Area pledged their support to
the governor in the crisis that is gradually consuming the party in the state. Anyanwu, whose father has been critical of the governor in recent time, attributed his resignation to his father’s stance and the political development in the state PDP. In a letter dated May 20, 2013 and addressed to Governor Amaechi, Obinna Anyanwu said his resignation was due to the “recent political development in our great party, PDP Rivers State chapter and my father’s position as regards his
call for your resignation as the executive governor of Rivers State.” The former aide also thanked his boss for the opportunity given him to serve, while explaining that it will be unbecoming of him to stay after the latest development, especially his father’s criticisms of the governor. “I wish to tender my resignation with immediate effect since it is only natural and incongruent to still remain in office. I, therefore, thank you very much for the op-
portunity you offered me to serve in your administration,” he stressed. It will be recalled that Obinna’s father, Prince Emma Anyanwu, had called on the governor to resign from office. Prince Anyanwu said his call for the governor to resign was predicated on the governor’s alleged loss of the party structure that brought him into office and his inability to manage the political crisis in the state. Meanwhile, political stakeholders in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area have declared their unflinching loyalty
and support for Governor Amaechi. The group, the Obio/ Akpor Elders and political stakeholders said it has resolved to support Amaechi and commended him for his achievements in the state. A member of the group, who was also a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ikechi Chinwo, appealed to the opposition in the state to embrace the developmental changes of the Amaechi administration and operate within the rule of law. A former member of
the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Collins Ordu, said the people of Obio/Akpor appreciate the state governor for the infrastructural development in the council area, but lamented that some representatives by their actions portrayed the people of Obio/Akpor as being ungrateful to the governor. Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Staff of the Rivers State Government House, who also hails from the area, Sir Tony Okocha, said the stakeholders’ summit was to garner support for the governor.
Protesting students ordered to pay for damaged facilities SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
do State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has ordered students of the rebuilt Idogbo Secondary School in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state, who destroyed school properties during a protest over the death of one of them in a road accident, to pay for all the school properties destroyed. Speaking during an assessment of the damage, the governor also directed the Ministry of Lands to immediately demolish, without notice, all illegal structures put up by trespassers of the school’s land and other public schools’ trespassed land. Governor Oshiomhole said the students have no reason to resort to violence and the destruction of their school’s facilities, no matter the level of provocation. He added that if teachers could be sanctioned in Edo State for flouting educational directives, students are no exemption if the system must be sanitised. A junior student of the school was crushed to death less than a kilometre away from the school’s premises by a hit-and-run vehicle last week while playing football on the road as he was going home. He later died in an unnamed hospital even as goodspirited Nigerians laboured to save his life. Students of the school soon embarked on a destructive protest, blaming the school principal for the death of their colleague,
because he refused to vacate his WAEC exam invigilating seat to take the student to the hospital on time. The principal (name withheld), who was apparently angered by the manner the accident occurred, reportedly told the angry students initially that his authority over them is limited to the gates of the school premises. Oshiomhole told the students; “Let me advise you very strongly that on no account should you vandalise government property and, in particular, on no account should you vandalise your own school. It is like if you are annoyed over one thing or the other you tear your own shirt. Will that make sense? “Unfortunately, someone was knocked down by a car and the he died; it’s very unfortunate. We are still trying to find out the role of the teacher: whether the death was preventable or who was responsible. “I assure you once the facts are clear government will take the right decision because as a government, the life of every person living in Edo State is important to us and it is even more so when we are talking of children.” “However, nothing justifies senior secondary schools students vandalising their own school. You know we are using tax payers’ money to build these schools. We are devoting more of our resources to building beautiful primary and secondary schools; so that all of you would be able to learn in an environment that is clean and by teachers who are well paid.”
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole and Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, during the latter’s visit to the governor in Benin, yesterday.
Oyerinde: IGP drags Ugolor to Supreme Court SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
he Nigeria Police and the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday approached the Supreme Court asking it to set aside the ruling of the Court of Appeal which ordered the police and the IGP to pay N5 million compensation to the Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, for illegal detention. The police had detained Ugolor in 2012 when the IGP ordered the investigation of the assassination of the Principal Private Secretary to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. The police refused to release Ugolor on bail even after an Edo State high court had ordered his re-
lease before the same court later awarded Ugolor the sum of N5million against the police and the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, AGF, for illegal and unlawful detention. The police Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court listed as No: CA/B/360/12 and backed as Suit No: B/496M/2012, which named Ugolor and the AGF as the two respondents, was filed by one Mr. Henry MichaelIhunde of J. K. Gadzama Chambers in Abuja. Founded on three grounds of disapproval, the appeal complained against the whole decision of the appellate court. Notably, it argued; “That the court erred in law when it held in its rulings as follows. That the 1st and 2nd appellants/applicants shall deposit the judgement sum of N5, 000,000.00 within 60 days with the Deputy Registrar of the court...”
It further argued that; “The court erred in law when it failed to accept that the appellants, being statutory agencies of government, are buoyant enough to satisfy payment of the judgement sum,” if its appeal had been allowed and concluded that “The judgment is against the weight of evidence.” In a three-point relief, the Nigeria Police and the IGP are seeking an order allowing their appeal; an order setting aside the rulings of the Court of Appeal; and an order granting unconditional stay of execution of the judgement of the high court. In his reaction yesterday, Ugolor said; “The decision of the Inspector-General of Police to approach the Supreme Court reflects the desire to delay justice. But we are very convinced that the
Nigeria Police have come to the end of the tunnel and we are encouraged by the lessons and belief that any attempt to delay justice will not be allowed by the Nigeria judiciary of today.” “The police are wasting tax payers’ limited resources to pursue a case that the IGP and the Nigeria Police know they will lose because after more than nine months they have not been able to fault our claim that he was dubiously framed up to shield the real killers of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. “We have absolute confidence in the judiciary and we are hopeful as ever to get justice any time, any day because you cannot eat your cake and have it anywhere in the world. As an organisation, we are determined to end the culture of impunity in the Nigeria Police and any sector of our society,” he concluded.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Insurgency, our prize for moral decadence –Kwankwaso AUGUSTINE MADU WEST KANO
ano State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso yesterday blamed the nation’s security problem on the activities of government, politicians, traditional and religious leaders.
He also said parents and communities should also be blamed for the insurgency confronting the country, saying: “We are all guilty.” The governor spoke while receiving members of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Se-
curity Challenges in the North at the Government House in Kano. Kwankwaso traced the security problem to failure by the nation’s leaders to provide good governance for the people. Decrying the decline in family values, which he said were no longer being
upheld, the governor said: “Parents no longer take responsibility of their family. We have a situation in this part of the country where parents give birth to 20 to 30 children, chose only two out of them and send the rest away to God knows where. “Children are sent to
L-R: President, Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed; Chief of Staff to Dangote, Alhaji Isa Tata and Director-General, Kwara State Bureau of Lands, Alhaji Babatunde Abdulwahab, during a courtesy visit to the Government House, Ilorin, yesterday.
Boko Haram attack on Daura serious –Buhari JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
he Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate in the last general election, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has described last Thursday’s attack on his Daura country home by suspected Boko Haram members as unfortunate. Buhari spoke when he
visited Daura to assess the extent of damage and destruction of property by the sect members. It will be recalled that many people were killed and no fewer than four commercial banks, as well as some police stations were attacked by the sect. The former Head of State, however, paid condolence visit to the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Farouk Umar Farouk,
and prayed that such incident would not happen again. Responding, Alhaji Farouk said he never thought for once that such incident would ever take place in his domain. He, however, commended security personnel for their courage to confront the Boko Haram onslaught and reduced civilian casualties to the barest minimum.
Meanwhile, security personnel in Daura are said to have commenced a house-tohouse search for the suspected Boko Haram attackers. Sources said homes around the emir’s palace and some uncompleted buildings had been searched with the hope to arrest the suspects. The search, according to the sources, would continue for several days.
Emergency rule meant to spite us, says Northern Elders’ Forum DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
he declaration of emergency rule in three North-East states was deliberately done to spite and disgrace the Northern Elders’ Forum who met with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan shortly before the pronouncement last week. According to one of the elders, Mr. Solomon Dalung, a lawyer and human right activist, there was no justification for President Jonathan to have taken the action after he held discussion with members of the forum. Dalung said the President’s action was different from what was agreed as the discussion.
The public commentator spoke yesterday in Gombe, while answering questions from journalist during the Law Week of the Gombe State Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). The theme of the Law Week is: “Social justice as a panacea for a secured society in Nigeria”. Dalung said: “I was among the Northern elders that went to the Villa and mounted pressure on President Jonathan and told him that dialogue is the only instrument that could lead us out of the quagmire of insecurity we are facing. “Shortly after we left the Villa, he declared a state of emergency and my understanding or interpretation of the situation is that he intended to disgrace us as
elders of the North. He said that the President ought to have re-invited the elders for another discussion if he had a reason to take another decision different from what was initially agreed upon. Dalung said: “From every measure of rationality, the emergency rule declared in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states does not tally with the situation on ground. “President Jonathan was democratically elected. He was elected by Nigerian votes. We did not vote him so that we leave our house to live like refugees in another place. Nigerians voted him to protect them. So, the best that should have happened in that circumstance is for him to call us back as mem-
bers of the Northern Elders Forum. For us to ask him to grant amnesty means we know more than him. “If we are not in touch with the insurgents, we would have not asked him to grant amnesty. We have gauged the state of mind of the insurgents and that is why we confronted the government. “He should have relied on us, but all he did was to rely on soldiers. I think he has graduated into a military commander”. During his speech earlier, the NBA Chairman, Mr. Luka Haruna, regretted that societal values for peaceful co-existence are fast dwindling. Haruna, however, asked NBA members to always support effort to restore and preserve such values.
places that they don’t know. They are left to fend for themselves. We have a situation where you go round the city and find garrison of children, able-bodied youths begging. “These children were abandoned by their parents and they were sent away and brought into the state. They grow up to hate themselves, hate their parents, hate the leaders, hate the government and the society. They feel they were deprived, they feel injustice and they become enemies of the state and constituted authorities; and thereby becoming vulnerable to crime and violence. “These are the bitter pills we must swallow; we are all guilty of what is happening today. We have to wake up to the challenges. What started in Yobe and Borno is everywhere in the North, it may eventually envelope the country if we don’t check it now. It is a national issue that must be addressed.” On the solution to the problem, Kwankwaso said: “We should keep our eyes on what is happening; our leaders must plan properly - long-term planning. We must also do away with the issue of planning for a secondterm while the business
of governance suffers. “As a former Defence Minister, I advise that the rule of engagement must be strictly followed by soldiers deployed in those areas we have emergency rule. I appeal to those affected in this insurgency to come to the table and dialogue. We have to reduce the issue of greed, if we cannot eliminate it. We have to ensure that the right thing is done under the worst circumstance. We also have to control our emotion.” The chairman of the committee, Alhaji Kabiru Taminu Turaki, commended Kwankwaso for ensuring security of lives and property in the state, even in the face of the insurgency. He said the committee was in Kano in furtherance of its nation-wide consultation geared towards initiating dialogue for peaceful resolution of the insurgency confronting the North. He listed the committee’s terms of reference to include constructively engaging Boko Haram members to dialogue and in the process restore peace and stability in the country. The committee will also find comprehensive and workable framework that will ensure total disarmament within 60 days.
Police arraign nine Fulani herdsmen for homicide HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI
he Benue State Police Command has arraigned no fewer than nine Fulani herdsmen before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate’s Court for alleged homicide. According to the police prosecution, Sgt. Patrick Sunday, the accused persons were arrested in Guma Local Government Area on May 6, 2013 by a group of army officers from 72 Special Forces, Makurdi, and handed them over to the police. According to the prosecutor, the army officers received a report that some Fulani herdsmen had killed villagers in the local government and burnt their houses. The prosecutor explained that following the
report, the army officers rushed to the area where they arrested the accused and as well recovered three locally made pistols and four live ammunitions from them. The prosecution officer added that the army officers discovered four bodies which are yet to be identified at the scene of incident. When the case came up, no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction while the accused persons told the court that they were from Bassa in Nasarawa State. The prosecutor told the court that investigation was still in progress and asked for adjournment. Chief Magistrate Cecilia Tsumba ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case till June 11, 2013.
Wednesday May 22, 2013
Denials over 2015 presidential campaign posters
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Rule of law: Between Tambuwal and Aminu Kano
Ondo guber: S/Court throws out Akeredolu’s appeal Says section 285 of the 1999 constitution unfair
ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
he Supreme Court yesterday threw out an appeal argued by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, governorship candidate in Ondo State, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), challenging the decision by the lower court’s to strike out some vital paragraphs of his petition challenging the election of Gov-
ernor Olusegun Mimiko. The apex court held that section 285 (5) (b) had divested it of the jurisdiction to entertain the interlocutory application. The section provides: “an election tribunal shall deliver its judgement in writing within 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition.” Speaking after throwing out the interlocutory appeal filed by Akeredolu,
Justice Mahmoud Mohammed said the apex court had received many complaints against its judgements upholding section 285(5)(b) of the Constitution. His Lordship said that the Supreme Court was helpless and that the only thing that could be done to ensure litigants’ fair hearing was not violated was for the constitution to be amended. National Mirror reports that many aggrieved politi-
cians lost their petitions on this technical ground alone. The apex court also held yesterday that the appeal by Akeredolu was caught by the above provisions and further held that it would amount to embarking on an academic exercise to determine the merits of Akeredolu’s appeal when the tribunal had already wound up and delivered its final judgement. Justice Kumai Akaahs, who delivered the lead judgement, observed that:
L-R: Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Governor Rauf Aregbesola; Council’s Director, Dr. Sebastian Obasi and Director General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Prof. Peter Onwualu, after the briefing the Governor on the Pan African Competitiveness Forum in Osogbo, yesterday.
Don’t take credit for your achievements, Tukur tells govs OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has admonished the 23 governors under its platform to always credit the party for all their performances rather than appropriating the credits. He also claimed that the PDP governors remain the best with landmark achievements. He said: “If you are performing and everybody acknowledges it, it is not you who should take the credit, but the PDP. It is the party that gave you the platform to serve and so the party’s name, like a label, must be attached to every achievement you made.”
Tukur made this known in a chat with newsmen after a private meeting with some former members of the National Assembly at his residence, stating that he has personally been assessing the spate of development across Nigeria and had realised that PDP governors remain best performers. Tukur said most of the PDP governors have, indeed, been implementing the party’s manifesto on education, infrastructure, agriculture, rural development, power generation, transportation, aviation and others. He said from the efforts so far put in place by those he rated as high performers, it was clear that the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, pegged on the PDP manifesto was on full course.
“The best performing governors are in PDP, no doubt. I took note of this during the reconciliation tour we made, and I also got reports on their day-to-day performances and to me, we must give the PDP the credit,” he said. Tukur asked the governors to take a cue from President Jonathan who, according to him, has been demonstrating great virtues and consistency in the face of daunting challenges facing Nigeria, while also placing the PDP at the centre of his agenda. He charged the governors to be more hardworking and committed to the public goods, just as he urged them to commence early preparations for the challenges of winning their respective states in 2015.
“It had been 192 days from the day of filing the petition. The tribunal no longer exists having delivered its final judgement. “This court can no longer make any order that will be binding on a nonexisting tribunal.” The court largely upheld the arguments of Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) who represented Mimiko. Sensing the disappointment among Akeredolu’s legal team, the most senior justice in the panel, Justice Mohammed said: “There is a lot of complaints. There is nothing we can do, unless the constitution is amended. We have delivered many judgements on these issues. “Please bear with us. It is not our own making. It is extremely difficult to hear interlocutory appeals because of these provisions. “We don’t have legislative power to amend the provisions of the law.” However, not many lawyers shared the position of Justice Mohammed. Some who spoke with National Mirror said the court had itself to blame for foisting on itself an interpretation that did not accord with a community
reading of several provisions of the constitution. Many of them said that the apex court should not have extended the provisions of section 285 to interlocutory appeal, which is a right of appeal guaranteed by the constitution. Delivering judgment in a sister appeal which also emanated from the Ondo State governorship election tribunal, Justice Mohammed Dattijo said: “Since the tribunal no longer exists, this court has no jurisdiction. This court cannot exercise its jurisdiction in vain. To do so is to indulge in academic exercise.” According to him, any order to be made must have been made on or before May 9, 2013 when the tribunal delivered its judgement. “Any order made after that day when the 180 days had passed is of no consequence,” he added. In her concurrent judgement, Justice Mary PeterOdili said there was no live appeal. Akeredolu had appealed to the Supreme Court after the election tribunal had struck out some paragraphs of his petition which were found to be defective.
ACN accuses PDP of plot to destabilise Ekiti ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
he Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Ekiti State has alleged of plot by members of the opposition to create a state of lawlessness in the state with a view to make the Federal Government declare emergency rule in Ekiti State. The ACN state Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tunde Adeleke, said the opposition party members “plan to physically attack and if possible, assassinate top members of the government while others would be blackmailed in a well orchestrated plan to cause fear, disaffection and division among top officials of the government.” In a statement entitled:
“Unveiled: The Evil Plots of the Opposition” and made available to journalists yesterday, Adeleke alleged that “part of this plan is to print and paste posters of such officials portraying them as planning to contest for the gubernatorial position of the state in order to cause disaffection within government and the party.” He said: “The opposition is so pained by the good works of the Kayode Fayemi administration that it has become a big problem convincing Ekiti people not to support the government that has so much transformed their lives. Therefore, they have resorted to personality attacks and lies.” But the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the
state said the allegations were “false and baseless propaganda of a rejected government, looking for people’s sympathy.” PDP state Chairman, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, said on phone yesterday that Ekiti people would no longer be deceived by the propaganda, saying “its performance in office and the attendant intolerance and brutality say it all. In Ekiti State today, it is ACN that has criminal records with the police and not the PDP.” Ogundipe said: “Fayemi is a lone ranger who is afraid of contest but interested in political office. In PDP, we are less concerned about who is the candidate of other party. Everybody knows ACN will adopt Fayemi. PDP will not waste time pasting posters.”
FELIX NWANERI writes on the refutations which have trailed the continued emergence of presidential campaign posters of individuals who are yet to declare for the 2015 election.
he build-up to the 2015 presidential election is gradually gathering momentum despite denials by some of the personalities touted to be interested in the race, even when their campaign posters continue to flood major cities across the states of the federation. The first of such posters was that of President Goodluck Jonathan, which emerged in early January. With inscriptions such as “2015: No vacancy in Aso Rock. Let’s do more;” “One good term deserves another; Support Dr. Goodluck Azikiwe Jonathan for 2015 presidency,” they were first pasted in the Federal Capital Territory’s neighbourhood and public facilities on New Year’s Day, but later spread to the satellite towns and other states. While the opposition political parties, then described the development, as a calculated attempt to rig the election ahead of time, the President and his party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however denied approving the posters, saying those behind it did so on their own. In like manner, similar denials have trailed posters of other presidential hopefuls on the platform of the PDP, especially the governors of Jigawa and Rivers states, Sule Lamido and Rotimi Amaechi, respectively. The duo’s posters which emerged in February, shortly after that of the President, showed that they are working towards a joint ticket, though they have consistently denied the plot. Lamido’s spokeman, Umar Kyari, had then noted that it was too early for anyone to link his boss with the 2015 presidential election. His words: “We are just in the first quarter of 2013 and people are already talking about 2015. His Excellency, the governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, is in Jigawa, concentrating on repairing the damage done to our state by the previous administration.” He added: “As for his posters and other things, we are not aware. His Excellency is not behind it, he is a loyal party man. We are in the era of politics, people can say anything. If you recall, he (Lamido) once said if out of 150 million people, his name is being mentioned in the political arena, it means he is making an impact.” The Chief Press Secretary to Amaechi, David Iyofor, who also spoke in the same vein then, insisted that his boss does not have any presidential ambition and so, knew nothing about posters or photographs linking him to any presidential candidate. Iyofor said: “He (Amaechi) has said many times that he was focused on the task of developing the state. The governor has no presidential ambition for 2015. This issue has continued to come up, but the truth is that he has no presidential ambition and does not know anything about the photos linking him to any political office in 2015.” However, the more the two governors deny working towards upstaging Jonathan, the more their posters continue to spread to other zones of the country. So far, the posters have appeared in Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau and Kebbi states and expected
Wednesday May 22, 2013
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Denials over 2015 presidential campaign posters
to hit to others in the days ahead. Only recently, the promoters of the ticket took the campaign to Minna, the Niger State capital, where they flooded the streets with the duo’s posters, which had the logo of the PDP and an inscription: “Support Alhaji Sule Lamido and Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi for President 2015.” Niger is a PDP-controlled state, but the state chapter of the party as well as Governor Babangida Aliyu, who is also believed to have a presidential ambition, disclaimed the posters. Aliyu in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, said neither he nor the state government was serving as a campaign agent for the two serving governors, describing the surfacing of the posters in the state as the handiwork of political jobbers and advised members of the public not to link them to him or any government official. “Those who posted the posters are neither agents of the state government nor
that of the governor. They also do not have the sympathy of the government or any of its officials,” the statement said, adding that “the governor will continue to respect the decision of the national leadership of the PDP, which has placed a ban on all forms of campaign ahead of the 2015 general election.” Besides Lamido and Amaechi, other governors who have been caught-up in the posters’ denial web, even though they are yet to declare intention to contest for the presidency are Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and Ibrahim Shema (Katsina). Akpabio, whose posters as running mate to Shema, flooded some strategic areas of Lagos, last week, averred that he has no interest in contesting the presidential election but will only vie for a senatorial seat, as requested and endorsed by his people. The posters, which had first surfaced penultimate week in Abuja, were pasted on Awolowo, Airport and Medical roads – all in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.
A statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State governor on Media, Jackson Udom, said vigilance groups in the affected areas disclosed that those behind the posters came around 2a.m. with an Osun State-marked Toyota Sienna space bus, claiming to have been sent by one “Honourable.” The statement further noted that the posters have also been sighted around Sagamu, Ogun State with plans said to be in the offing to spread them to other parts of the South-West and the entire country. It added: “We wish to completely dissociate His Excellency, Chief Akpabio from the printing and circulation of these posters which are clearly the handiwork of political jobbers who are bent on causing undue tension in the polity with their political mischief. “For the avoidance of doubt, Chief Akpabio is not interested in the Presidency in 2015 and has not mandated anybody to campaign for him. His focus is on the completion of his Uncommon Transformation Agenda in Akwa Ibom State. In fact, he has made it very clear that based on the pressure by the good people of Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District, he wishes to represent them at the Senate in 2015. “We urge the general public to completely ignore this politically-engineered mischief and continue to support the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the arduous task of transforming this nation; Nigeria.” Shema, on his part ascribed the posters to the handiwork of mischief makers, insisting that he had not indicated interest in the 2015 presidency. Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Lawan Matazzu, he said: “I was shocked by newspaper reports that posters indicating my interest in the 2015 presidential race have flooded Lagos and Abuja when I did not print the posters or commission anybody to do so. This is obviously the handiwork of mischief makers and I have since directed the removal of the posters. “It is absolutely important for all men and women of goodwill in Nigeria, at this CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
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Wednesday May 22, 2013
Rule of law: Between Tambuwal and Aminu Kano IMAM IMAM
nyone privileged to have known, studied or heard about the life and times of Malam Aminu Kano would have marvelled at some of the sterling qualities of the late politician which no doubt are now lacking in present day Nigeria. Such qualities, we were constantly reminded, have the potential to change the fortune of our dear nation, but only if we apply them to our day to day activities. Before he died 30 years ago this year, Malam, as he is fondly called, stood for the emancipation of the downtrodden. In both his public and private lives, Malam preached and championed the cause of social justice, environmental harmony and spiritual purification. He upheld the universal principles of truth, honesty, sincerity and keeping to time. He was, as one writer observed, a proponent of the Usman Dan Fodio lifestyle of talking ‘to the people in simple, clear language; referring to their history and culture; composing songs to convey precise messages; living, eating and clothing self in the same way as the ordinary people; being accessible to all, high and low, educated and illiterate; and above all being morally upright, honest, sincere and truthful to the cause of the people.’ Annually, Bayero University, Kano, organises a lecture to, in part, honour Malam and also keep his memories and works alive for the benefit of today’s generation. As is the norm, this year’s lecture also held at the Mambayya House with the theme: “Rule of Law as Fundamental Condition for Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria.” It was delivered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. The choice of Tambuwal to deliver the lecture was apt, considering that he is today regarded not only as a proponent of the rule of law in Nigeria, but as a politician whose words and deeds expounds the concept in no small measure. Speaking at the event, Tambuwal described Malam as one whose doggedness in the fight against injustice and his quest for the flourishing of the rule of law in Nigeria is unparalleled. According to him, the legacies of Malam Aminu Kano are “unquantifiable and inescapably admired today principally
for his firm stand on the path of truth, human rights and empowerment of the talakawa, whom he viewed as a social group battered by the colonial and postcolonial state’s mechanism of exploitation and disempowerment.” Laying emphasis on the concept of rule of law in Nigeria, the Speaker said the quest for the entrenchment of the principle predates Nigeria’s independence; saying however, that “the practice of the principle is an integral part of the wider struggles against the arbitrariness of the Nigerian state under the military and civilian regimes the country has passed through since 1960.” He said the colonial regime in Nigeria with its outward trappings of repressive rule had fundamentally required for Nigerians to get involved in the decision making processes of their country. In practice, the proper functioning of the rule of law had no space in the political vocabulary of the colonial state and this had been partly responded with open expression of grievances by the nationalists and the organised trade union movement of the late 1940s and 1950s. Tambuwal equally observed that despite the fact that democracy in Nigeria today is young and toddling epileptically, there is still the possibility of light at the end of a dark tunnel. His words: “This is because the democratic institutions in the current phase of democratization are gradually being
WE HOLD THE FIRM PERSUASION THAT
THERAPY, HOWEVER PAINFUL MUST BE ADMINISTERED ON THE PATIENT TO ENSURE THAT THE ULTIMATE OBJECT OF PROPER CURE IS ACCOMPLISHED reawakened on the question of accountability, constitutionalism and the rule of law. It can therefore be stated that all hopes are not lost as democracy is like a life process of socialization; it is a process of learning and further learning.” He added: “Nigeria still has the chance of joining the list of great dynamic democracies of the world where laws are judiciously respected and leaders and their followers imbibe the culture of tolerance, accommodation, consensus, selflessness, objectivity, integrity, honesty, openness and leadership as the backbone of social, economic and political relations. It is obvious that no country can overlook the principle of the rule of law and survive its major challenges. For in the rule of law, a democratic state finds legitimacy and legitimacy promotes transparency,
Denials over 2015 presidential campaign posters CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 point in our country, to support the Federal Government and Mr. President’s efforts in addressing the current security challenge in the country instead of mischief creation and unnecessarily heating the polity. “I urge Nigerians to ignore the posters or any activity the mischief makers may engage in about me concerning the 2015 race because it is a needless distraction as I still have over two years to serve dividends of democracy to the good people of Katsina State.” The presidential campaign posters of the governors are not the only ones being circulated across the country. It would
be recalled that Senate President David Mark also had his’ flooding the streets of Abuja, late last year. And like the governors, the Senate helmsman had to publicly denounce them. In a statement then by his spokesman, Kola Ologbodiyan, he said the posters were the handiwork of mischief makers bent on causing disaffection between him and President Jonathan. Mark is likely to make the clarification again, as fresh posters declaring his 2015 presidential ambition were recently discovered being printed in Lagos. The posters have his picture in a red and black traditional Idoma cap over a black
and white apparel with bold inscriptions: “Mark of Hope 2015” and “David Mark for President 2015;” “Mark my words, Nigeria will be better again.” They also have the logo of the PDP on both sides and were courtesy of a group, Concerned Middle Belt for Better Nigeria (CMBBN). But what are the “mischief makers” out to achieve with the circulation of campaign posters of individuals who have neither declared interest nor commissioned them to canvass for them? Many have asked. A school of thought is however of the view that despite the refutations, the poster-game has nothing with mischief mak-
accountability , human rights protection, security, civil society empowerment, justice, equity and thus good governance.” Turning his attention to the functions of the legislature, Tambuwal emphasised that the House of Representatives recognises that the hangover of colonial repression and military arbitrariness at the foundation of our polity which unleashed inexplicable myopia on successive democratic regimes in recognizing and respecting democratic ethos must begin to be addressed frontally lest the system forfeits completely, the principle of the rule of law. “We hold the firm persuasion that therapy, however, painful must be administered on the patient to ensure that the ultimate object of proper cure is accomplished,” he stated. He said the three arms of government must be allowed to operate optimally and constitutionally without let or hindrance, as evidence of true entrenchment of the rule of law and that good governance will result thereby. According to him, that is the true path to deepening democracy. He said: “Therefore, when we intervened in the saga of the unilateral increase in the pump price of petroleum products, it was merely in answer to the call of constitutional duty to ensure the participation of the people in governance in accordance with Section 14 (2) (c) of the constitution. When we make appropriate adjustments to the appropriation bill to ensure that all sections of the country are patronised in the nation’s development programme, it is to ensure planned and balanced economic development that targets the common good and avoids the concentration of wealth and means of production in the hands of few individuals or groups to the exclusion of others, in obedience to section 16(2) of the constitution and when certain individuals convert billions of naira of public funds for pensioners thereby causing the deaths of these senior citizens in the streets of our cities and the legislature insists that such persons must be subjected to accountability, it is in the exercise of public duty. I am confident that overtime, these realities will be understood and appreciated by the majority of the Nigerian people.” *Imam is the Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to Speaker Tambuwal ers, as being claimed by the politicians. According to members of this political school, the respective gladiators are using the ploy to test the political waters ahead of time. Another side to it, other analysts opined; is that some members of the opposition parties may be using the strategy to feel the perception of Nigerians on the PDPled government, as they intensify plans to wrest power in 2015. While there is nothing wrong in any of the aspirants using the poster-game as a dummy to feel the peoples’ pulse concerning their respective ambitions, Nigerians cannot afford a long waitinggame, as the earlier they assess those aspiring to lead them from 2015, the better for the polity.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Unremitted taxes and commercial banks
till smarting from the sharp practice of dubious and illegal deductions from their customers’ accounts amounting to N5 billion (Central Bank of Nigeria’s figure), commercial banks in the country have again been accused of suspicious handling of the taxes they collected on behalf of the Federal Government. Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Kabiru Mashi, told the House of Representatives Committee on Finance recently that out of a total of N83 billion the local banks collected on behalf of the government in recent times, only N77 billion had been remitted, leaving the balance of N6 billion unaccounted for. The House Committee has, nevertheless, summoned the chief executives of the 24 banks involved for further explanations, according to reports. Before the latest development, however, reports said the FIRS had taken steps to prevent breaches in bank remittances by suspending two unnamed banks from partaking in the collection of tax revenues for the government, following their failure to remit taxes they had collected while in the
THE UNFOLDING TAX FRAUDS MADE POSSIBLE BY DEVIANT
AND SUPPOSEDLY TRUSTED BANKS POSE HUGE THREATS TO
good books of the government. To forestall the high incidence of remittance defaults, the apex tax authority also reportedly raised to N4.5 billion, the minimum non-tradable treasury bills, which major banks are to lodge with the CBN as collateral for funds held in transit prior to remittance to the relevant FIRS accounts at the CBN. Still, the problem persists. No less shocking was the FIRS boss’ seeming inability to properly articulate or explain in clear terms, the nature and content of the tax collection agreement his outfit entered into with the banks. In a keynote address at a one-day workshop on e-Payment of taxes and rendition of returns by Ministries, Departments and Agencies
(MDAs) in 2009, FIRS’ former Executive Chairman, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, had stated that banks in the country colluded with MDAs to use tax revenues to award contracts without remitting the funds to government coffers as stipulated by law. It was equally revealed at that event that some MDAs colluded with banks in misappropriating tax returns, and that in some cases, where the correct tax deductions were made, the classification of the tax types were fraudulent or not indicated at all. In most third world countries, including Nigeria, where taxation is viewed as punitive, exploitative and burdensome, it is reasonable that the government relies on banks to facilitate public compliance with tax payments. Indeed, it would seem that banks are best suited for the assignment, as engaging them for the task drastically reduces the bureaucratic bottlenecks and delays usually associated with government business. It cuts significantly the overhead expenditure that would otherwise have been incurred in retaining scores of revenue collection officers, contract staff and
agencies. It is also relatively convenient for tax payers. Ours, without any shred of doubt, has, however, become a country where impunity, lack of transparency and accountability, illegitimate application of discretion, etc., are the order of the day. The public sector is also a hardly tired veteran in all manner of corrupt practices, brazen thefts, frauds and obscene compromises, all purportedly in the name of service delivery. It is, therefore, an added shame that commercial banks, which ought to be shining examples of corporate best practices, now collude with public sector agencies to defraud the nation. The unfolding tax frauds made possible by deviant MDAs and supposedly trusted banks, pose huge threats to SERVICOM, a government initiative that aims at instilling integrity and efficiency in the country’s public service. We, therefore, wholly endorse the House of Representatives’ interest in the suspected fraud, with the hope that its findings and follow-up actions will assist in ameliorating the situation. The country’s decadent bureaucracy, public policies and processes, are long overdue for fleeting reforms.
ON THIS DAY May 22, 2012 Tokyo Skytree was opened to public. It’s the tallest tower in world (634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m). The Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010 and reached its full height of 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the Canton Tower.
May 22, 1997 Kelly Flinn, United States Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial. Flinn was discharged from the Air Force in 1997 after an adulterous affair with the husband of an enlisted subordinate, for military offenses including disobeying a direct order from her commanding officer to break off the affair, and for lying to him about having done so.
May 22, 1958 The Sri Lankan riots of 1958 occurred. The total number of deaths was estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils. The riots in Ceylon were the first island-wide ethnic riots that targeted the minority Sri Lankan Tamils in Ceylon after it became an independent country from Britain in 1948. The riots lasted from May 22 to 27 and led to the declaration of a state of emergency on June 1, 1958.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
African Union at 50 PUBLIC DOMAIN
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he African Union (AU) will be 50 years old on May 25. It seeks to promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, and representing a dynamic force in the global arena. The anniversary will ‘celebrate African narratives of the past, present and future that will enthuse and energize the African population and use their constructive energy to accelerate a forward looking agenda of Pan-Africanism and renaissance in the 21st century.’ The precursor to the AU, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), was established on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was formed by 32 independent countries; a further 22 states have joined over the years, with South Africa becoming the 53rd member on May 1994 and South Sudan in 2011. The OAU was committed to freedom and change in Africa; and the restoration of the dignity of Africans. Current exigencies led to the transformation of OAU into AU on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa; it was formally launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa. Morocco is the only non-member country. Madagascar was suspended in 2009 after the
political crisis that engulfed her; Guinea Bissau followed in 2012 after a military coup, and Central African Republic recently following the ousting of the civilian government there by rebel forces. The anniversary offers the opportunity to assess the gains and setbacks of the AU. The collapse of apartheid political economy in South Africa and the emergence of a black president, Dr. Nelson Mandela, in 1994 was a milestone in Africa’s political history. The black majority rule in South Africa was the height of the political and military struggle against the repressive white minority rule. The African Union was firm against the truculent policies of Britain to terminate white minority rule in Rhodesia, thus leading to the independence in Zimbabwe. It is noteworthy that Britain led by its Prime Minister, the late Baroness Margret Thatcher, was opposed to sanction against apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia on account of its negative consequences for capitalism. During post decolonization campaigns, the organization had the challenge of mediating and ending various conflicts among its member states and within states. The war in Angola, which ended with the defeat of Jonas Savimbiled rebels and the 30 month Nigerian civil war (1967-70), are instances of conflicts when the super-powers supported specific parties. Meanwhile, the collapse of cold war structures and the third wave of democratization aided the collapse of one party system in Africa. The AU introduced the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as instrument to measure
THE AU IS STILL CONFRONTED BY DEVELOPMENT
CHALLENGES, PROBLEMS RELATING TO REGIONAL INTEGRATION,
INSTABILITY, POVERTY, INEQUALITY, AND
ABSENCE OF COHESION democratic growth in the region. To critics, the review mechanism lacks enforcement mechanism; it is, however, a moral compass to guide member states on the basis of good governance. Critics argue that the region is undergoing de-democratization as a result of the resurgence of military interventions, election crises, wars and intra state crises. Military intervention is subverting democratic political institutions in some states in Africa; the election processes have also been rancorous in several states as they were characterized by massive rigging and violence. Moreover, there are wars in several states including, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Central African Republic. It is regrettable that Somalia has become virtually a nonstate amidst rebels struggle for domains, collapse of social infrastructure, famine and poverty related deaths and absence of a single government. The humanitar-
ian challenge occasioned by the Somalian crisis is embarrassing to the continent. There are equally failing states that are threatening African stability and deepening its developmental crisis. The AU is still confronted by development challenges, problems relating to regional integration, instability, poverty, inequality, and absence of cohesion. The main aspiration of continental unity envisaged by some of its founding fathers like the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana, has been a mirage. Nkrumah had told his peers on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa that ‘Unite we must, without necessarily sacrificing our sovereignties, big or small, we can here and now forge a political union based on defence, foreign affairs and diplomacy and a common citizenship, an African currency, an African Monetary zone and an African Central Bank’. As the AU marks its 50th anniversary with the theme: ‘Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance’, the challenge to tackle the question of African unity is more compelling now than it was 50 years ago. Against this backdrop therefore, certain questions have been posed. What progress has Africa made towards its unity? What does African unity mean today? What are the most plausible approaches for achieving unity in the light of the multifaceted historical, developmental, governance and environmental challenges facing the continent? What steps should be taken to achieve both political unity and economic integration? These issues should assist in defining new road maps for the future of Africa.
Jonathan and the emergency rule MICHAEAL JEGEDE
n Tuesday, May 14, 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan eventually mustered the courage to declare a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, a measure aimed at arresting the pervasive insecurity triggered off by the activities of Boko Haram sect in that part of the country. Relying on Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the President noted: “The activities of insurgents and terrorists have been reprehensible, causing fear among our citizens and a near-breakdown of law and order in parts of the country, especially the North. We have taken robust steps to unravel and address the root causes of these crises, but it would appear that there is a systematic effort by insurgents and terrorists to destabilize the Nigerian state and test our collective resolve… These actions amount to a declaration of war and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian state and threaten her territorial integrity. As a responsible government, we will not tolerate this.” Declaring the state of emergency, he directed the Chief of Defence Staff to forthwith deploy additional troops to the affected states for more effective internal security control. While many Nigerians see the action of the President as a welcome development, there are some who have condemned it in very strong terms, arguing that it won’t
NOBODY SHOULD EXPECT THE GOVERNMENT TO FOLD ITS ARMS AND ALLOW THE INSURGENTS TO CONTINUE TO HAVE A FIELD DAY in any way resolve the problem. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), in its usual characteristic manner, was among the first to attack Jonathan. The party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, insisted that the declared emergency was a deliberate gambit to subvert constitutional democracy. The party’s spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, equally dismissed it as “lacking in original thinking”. However, Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, felt it was unfair for people to unnecessarily crucify Jonathan for a courageous and laudable step he took in his bid to end the security challenges in the country. He implored Nigerians to rally round the President and ignore “those who have chosen to embark on the unwarranted politicization of the present national security challenges”. Interestingly, ACN presidential candidate in the 2011 general elections, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, while disagreeing with the position
of his party, hailed the action of the federal government. He, however, cautioned the military to respect the rights of individuals and communities. I believe very strongly there is truly the need for all of us to come together to support the Federal Government in every commendable, brave and valiant step it takes to surmount the precarious security situation we find ourselves at the moment through the noxious activities of Boko Haram terrorists. The government had offered amnesty to the insurgents (Boko Haram members), but the group clearly rejected the offer, pushing for the destruction of lives and property without let. Nobody should expect the government to fold its arms and allow the insurgents to continue to have a field day. I do not see how, in the opinion of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), the emergency rule in just three states amount to a declaration of war against the North, a region with 19 states. I wonder what would have been said if the President had dismantled the entire governmental structures in the affected states, leaving them in the hands of sole administrators, as pushed by some prominent Nigerians. Former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara, and National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (North Central), Yusuf Ayitogo, in separate interview noted that Jonathan should have gone further to disassemble the executive and legislative organs in the states concerned. In the thinking of the duo, the
President appeared to be too lenient in allowing the governors and other political office holders to remain and continue to discharge their constitutional responsibilities. Sample the opinion of Senator Wabara on the issue: “I am solidly behind the President in his decision to declare state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. I salute his courage. It is indeed a welcome development that must be embraced by all and sundry. However, it should have been a total declaration. I was in office as Senate President when state of emergency was declared in Plateau State. It was a full imposition of the emergency rule, where a sole administrator was appointed to run the affairs of the state at that time. This will make it much more effective. As it is now, we cannot say exactly who is in charge in the states affected. Is it the governors or the military commandants?” Social science and history will indeed be enriched by the experiment of President Jonathan. It is a novel one in socio-political engineering. Jegede, a media expert and public affairs commentator wrote from Abuja Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Judiciary, please be fair T he January 30 edition of your soaring newspaper featured the story of two staffers of the Federal Cooperative College, Ibadan who were jailed four years
Presidency and Osun 2014
mmmmmm! The body language of the presidency has been that it is desperate to rig the 2014 governorship election in the State of Osun. This is the reason Akinlabi, Omisore and Gani Olaoluwa have been working towards the justification of their rigging plan. I read an interview granted one of the national newspapers by Akinlabi where he was ranting that Ogbeni Aregbesola has not done anything in Osun. If Akinlabi decides to be a bare-faced liar, his numerous siblings, members of his extended family and the people of his constituency who have benefitted from the 40,000 employment generation of Aregbesola through OYES; the old people in Ode-Omu who are collecting monthly stipend from d state government; farmers; students whose tuition fees have been reduced; pupils who are eating free meals; those who ply the roads newly-constructed by Aregbesola and other numerous achievements of the government will resist any foul means the Osun PDP wants to introduce to achieve unmerited political gain in the state. Akinlabi is not too young to know what followed the rigging of the general elections in the Old Western Region that resulted into the breakdown of peace in the region. Half a word is enough for the wise.
without option of fine for mismanaging N3 million. This was few days after another man who agreed that he stole N3 billion was only given two years jail term with option
of paying N750,000. Is Nigeria operating two laws depending on who is involved? Anyway, we should know that one day, we will stand before the incorruptible judge of the uni-
The battle against Rotimi Amaechi
he battle against Chibuike Amaechi is premised on the wild permutations on the 2015 presidency. The Jonathan presidency, after a humbling score sheet, desires an encore and in this desire and with performance not favouring it, the regimes needs every rough tactics to strengthen its quest for a second term. Not that Amaechi has ex-
pressed interest in the presidency and not that he has given any flesh to the robust rumour that he is tagging as running mate to a northern governor in the run up to the 2015 presidency. Rather, much of his alleged sins are still domesticated on how he respects or greets the president and his spouse. Much of his sins are still located on how the mind-
ers of the Jonathan’s presidency read his body language and his swagger. In a Jonathan presidency afflicted by a rich swathe of commissioned and non commissioned courtiers, gossips, idlers, meal time jokers, petty lickspittles, ethnic denizens, mercenary activists, among a legion of ‘standpatters’ that struggle to eke out a living from the sowing dread, fear and crisis in the land, the business of
I support soldiers in Baga killings
ow people are condemning the killings in Baga. But where in the world would you kill a soldier and then go free? When the killers started using civilians as human shield, what do you expect? That the soldiers should run? If you keep accommodating killers in your midst, expect the unexpected. Sad that some innocent people became casualties, but.... Tope Adeyomoye, Ogun State
Paul Agbolade, Ajah, Lagos.
scavenging for who disrespects, frowns at and abuses the presidency has become a lucrative venture. For a presidency, inherently not gifted with the faculty of discernment and highly susceptible to mind manipulation by desperate hustlers to corner the larger chunk of the free meal that fires the pin of the presidency, this becomes a portent weapon to hunt down Amaechi. Segun Dele Dipe, Ibadan, Oyo State
totally disagree with Festus Keyamo that Henry Okah’s conviction is politically motivated with the active connivance of the Nigerian government because Okah refused the amnesty programme of the Federal government. Okah is a beneficiary of Yar’Adua’s amnesty programme because, prior to the amnesty programme, he was facing treasonable charges at the Jos Federal High court where he was being represented by Femi Falana. And as part of the amnesty deal, Yar’Adua government withdrew the charges and Okah was freed before he went to South Africa and continued his gun running business. To me, the facts of his involvement in the October 1 bombing are unassailable and we should not be sentimental about this, though l concede to Keyamo that he is working for his legal fees, which is legitimate. Justice is three-way traffic; Justice to the accused, justice to the state and justice to the victim. People lost their lives in this bombing, with a man losing almost his whole family. So, we should not politicize a patently criminal action. Richard Akinnola, Lagos
Abians, shine your eyes
bia State governorship position should be made open to any zone that has a good candidate that would move the state to the next level. The zoning formula we adopted since 1999 didn’t do us good. If we look at developmental projects done so far, there is nothing to write home about compared with other states. We are in zero point when it comes to infrastructural development. It is time Abians take our destiny in our hands in 2015 by electing a good candidate as governor wherever he or she may come from. Zoning is dead, buried and gone with 2011 elections. We should not compromise because of material things. The future of our children and development is paramount in Abia state. Let us shine our eyes in 2015, the people of God’s own state. God bless Abians.
A dry fish hawker takes time to rest in Lagos yesterday.
Kola Olabisi, Osogbo, Osun State
verse, where we shall receive the reward of our activities here on earth.
Okah’s conviction not political
PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
Gordon Chika Nnorom
Why do Nigerians celebrate of ill-gotten wealth?
n my birthday recently, I was told the story of a young man and his friend who both reside here in the US. The young man was reportedly in a telephone conversation with his father when he (his dad) was profusely showering praises on his son’s friend who ships assorted vehicles to Nigeria in a rumbling sequence for business. The Dad wondered why his son could not accomplish same feat. The son reportedly answered; “Daddy, he is a thief, that’s what he does
Letters to the Editor
here. He has no regular, legal job”. Daddy reportedly responded and said “I don’t care! Your friend is rich and we love him. What I am telling you is that you should ship cars home too”. “Ship-cars-home” in my dictionary means “by every means necessary, just make lots of money”. Many of our leaders who occupy lofty and plump positions in government are always revered by the family, the church, the mosque, Old Students Associations, for “shipping-cars-home”. They are revered not be-
cause they work hard and clean, they are because they “ship-cars-home” on the bruised and battered back of the proletariat and the voiceless poor. It seems like no one cares how “cars are shipped home”; no one cares any longer what the source of a man’s or woman’s wealth is. The bottom-line is that the society just celebrates wealth and wealthy people. When you hear Nigerian politicians utter words like, “dividends of democracy”, or “for the sake of our people”, or “I am ready to die for Nigeria”, these are all
code words for “shippingcars-home”. Is Nigeria not a thiefcelebrating society? In mosques, these thieves quickly become Mallams. In churches they quickly become deacons, deaconesses and pastors. In palaces they quickly become Chiefs. In families they become the appointed and anointed heads, even if they have older siblings or living parents. Red carpets are laid for them on the street, parties are held for them abroad, and diners organized for them at home. Our embassies
abroad have become enclaves of unending all-day, all-night parties for these sons of Eli and daughters of Belial. And these are our leaders! These grabbers and grubbers are our leaders! The metastasizing cancer cells of thieving in high places now make democracy a mere demonstration of craziness of the powerful few. Only God and gods in us can save us from these grievous wolves and gluttons who without a bridle continue to “ship- carshome” on the backs of hapless Nigerians. Fola Ojo, USA
Send your letters or or mails mailsto toPMB PMB10001, 10001,Ikoyi, Ikoyi,ororour ourEmail: Email:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or 08056180209, 07033375481 and firstname.lastname@example.org 08054103275, 07033375481 (SMS (SMS only).Editor The Editor reserves thetoright edit and letters reject letters or photographs. Psuedonyms may be but used, butbe must be clearly marked as such. only). The reserves the right edit to and reject or photographs. Psuedonyms may be used, must clearly marked as such.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Health & Wellbeing Many accidents on our highways could be linked to drivers with epilepsy -Psychiatrist
66th World Health Assembly opens in Geneva
igeria has once again been ranked by the United Nations as one of the top five countries in the world with the largest people defecating in the open. According to the latest joint report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), no fewer than 23 percent (37million) of Nigerians still defecate in the open all over the country – an increase from the 34 million people reported last year. The recently released report titled: “Progress on Sanitation and drinking water 2013 update.” Also showed that Nigeria has not achieved any significant sanitation improvement in the last 11years between 1990 till date. For instance, in 1990, 24 percent of the country’s population indulged in open defecation while this reduced by just one percent in 2000. The report further indicated that the country, since 2000, has not been able to reduce the number of people who defecate in the open as the latest study carried out in 2011 showed that 23 percent of the country’s population still indulge in the dirty habit. The sad story, the report indicates does not end there as it revealed that only 28 percent of the rural communities in the country have access to improved sanitation. This is just five percent away from that of those in the urban part of the country, hence, implying that no fewer than 75 percent of Nigerians still do not have access to improved sanitation facilities. Access to any form of sanitation facilities, reports indicate, varies widely in Nigeria, with estimates ranging from as low as 15% in some areas and higher than 80% in others. Nationally, estimates from recent studies show that less than half the Nigeria population has access to improved sanitation facilities, while institutional sanitation rates are also low, particularly in schools. On the average, there is only one toilet for every 500 students in schools, 8 ten times the standard of one for every 50 students. Consequently, Nigeria like the rest of the world still remains off track in meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) sanitation target, which requires halving by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to basic sanitation. In Nigeria, this means 70% must have access by 2015. An estimated additional 62 million Nigerians must gain access to basic sanitation from now until 2015. Unfortunately, with about 75 percent of the country’s population lacking good sanitation facilities, the consequences in various aspects of the lives of the country’s populace have been quite enormous. According to a joint UNICEF and World Health Organisation (WHO) 2012 report, more than 1.1 billion people across the world engage in open defecation with no fewer than 34 million from Nigeria. Consequences of this has however been dire as the faeces find their way into water sources when it rains
INDECENT: More Nigerians defecate in the open
WHO/UNICEF UPDATE ON SANITATION
More Nigerians still defecate in the open •Only 31% of populace have access to improved sanitation facilities
which in turn results in cholera, diarrhea, and other preventable illnesses and deaths. Unfortunately, children, reports so far indicate are often the ones at the receiving end. In short, reports indicate 3.5 million children die every year before their fifth birthday because of diarrhea, while one child every 15 seconds dies unnecessarily from diarrhoearelated diseases which could have been prevented through good use of sanitation facilities. Again, many families have stories to tell about pains suffered from loss of children, especially those less than five years. The effect of this poor sanitation situation has also been discovered to have direct impact on the nation’s workforce as many people are said to be affected in diverse ways as they lose thousands of man-hours to communicable diseases. According to Dr. Ogunnubi Peter, President, Real Visionaries Initiative – a non for profit group which seeks healthier living for Nigerians – lack of access to basic sanitation facilities, coupled with poor hygiene practices, causes diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is the 2nd largest direct cause of childhood mortality in Nigeria and is a major contributing factor to malnutrition and other dis-
eases such as pneumonia. He further revealed that lack of safe, private toilets and hand-washing facilities in schools affects educational enrolment and performance, adding that “girls in particular are the most affected. Believe me as I state this, our poor sanitary condition in Nigeria is a major contributing factor in the country’s low girl enrolment rates”. According to Peters, these consequences equally affect the nation’s economic development as much manpower hours are lost as a result of poor sanitation. He however noted that over 10million productive days would be gained if access to both water and sanitation rose to 100 percent. This, he says outweighs the costs, including health care costs and lost productivity presently being incurred in the country. In 2011, almost two thirds (64%) of the world population relied on improved sanitation facilities, while 15% continued to defecate in the open. Since 1990, almost 1.9 billion people have gained access to an improved sanitation facility. The world, however, remains off track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) sanitation target, which requires reducing the proportion of people without access from
51% in 1990, to 25% by 2015. The greatest progress has been made in Eastern Asia, where sanitation coverage has increased from 27% in 1990 to 67% in 2011. This amounts to more than 626 million people gaining access to improved sanitation facilities over a 21-year period. The exact opposite is the case in Nigeria as sanitation coverage has only increased by six percent since 1995 till date. With the rains already pouring in several parts of the country, and the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) predicting heavy downpours this year, Malam Adamu Danladi, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Coordinator in Dass LGA in Bauchi state prescribes “Construction and maintenance of toilets as well as maintenance and periodic evacuation of the household excrements” as top priorities. Also, UNICEF Head of Water and Hygiene Section, Vinod Alkari, advises: “though Nigeria is still faced with a lot of challenges in terms of access to improved sanitation and water, improving the disposal of human excreta, keeping our environment clean by not throwing refuse around and stopping open defecations can drastically reduce disease burden due to sanitation-related diseases and contribute to economic transformation. This way, the country will stop losing N455 billion annually as a result of poor sanitary habits among the populace”.
Health & Wellbeing
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
66TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY OPENS
WHO DG calls on world leaders to make health priority SAM EFERARO
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
he WHO’s World Health Assembly, the world’s largest health policy-making body, opened its 66th Session Monday in Geneva with a plea to world leaders by the WHO DirectorGeneral Dr Margaret Chan to ensure that health occupies a high place in their development agenda. In her opening address Dr Chan acknowledged that the world is facing challenging times, including financial crisis, job insecurity, armed conflicts and large numbers of people living on the edge, fearing for their lives. She however told the world health ministers that health remains the indicator of the success of all other development policies. “Health contributes to and benefits from sustainable development and is a measurable indicator of the success of all other development policies. Investing in the health of people is a smart strategy for poverty alleviation. This calls for inclusion of non-communicable diseases and for continued efforts to reach the health-related MDGs after 2015. Dr. Chan however disclosed that the world has within “these last thousand days” made significant progress towards
the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals. This is especially true for women’s and children’s health, and this is especially encouraging. Accelerating efforts to reach these two goals means accelerating efforts to overcome some very long-standing barriers to service delivery. A new Integrated global action plan for the prevention and control of pneumonia and diarrhoea was released by WHO and UNICEF last month. The plan focuses on the use of 15 highly effective interventions. Each one can save lives. When the 15 are put to work together, this is powerhouse that can revolutionize child survival. The newest vaccines and best antibiotics are included, but so are some time-tested basics, like breastfeeding, good nutrition in the first 1000 days, soap, water disinfection, sanitation, and the trio of vitamin A, oral rehydration salts, and zinc. Equally impressive are the ingenious delivery solutions, worked out by front-line workers, for reaching the poor and hungry children who are most at risk. I find this integrated delivery approach an exciting way to move forward. The tremendous success in controlling the neglected tropical diseases clearly tells us that integrated strategies can stretch the impact of health investments. They
Dr. Chan reading her address at the Assembly
can stretch the value of development dollars,” she further told delegates. The session opened with about 3000 participants from around the world in attendance. Major health being discussed include: • preventing and controlling noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers and chronic lung disease;
• monitoring of progress countries are making towards the Millennium Development Goals; •intensifying efforts to eradicate polio; • protecting more children from vaccine-preventable diseases; •supporting countries in their efforts to move forward with universal health coverage. The 66th Assembly ends its session today.
...World Bank President optimistic about global health future
he World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim yesterday expressed optimism that the world would overcome current challenges to drive poverty from the earth and end the scourge of inequality that divides and destabilises societies. In his speech titled “Poverty, health and the Human Future” at the ongoing World Health Assembly yesterday in Geneva, Mr. Kim told the world ministers of health that his optimism was based on current achievements on global health. “Yes, I’m optimistic. I’m optimistic because I know what global health has already achieved—what you have achieved. “In 2011, global average life expectancy reached 70 years, a gain of six years since 1990. The global child mortality rate has fallen 40 percent in the same period. In the ten years since Dr. LEE Jong-wook announced WHO’s commitment to support countries in scaling up antiretroviral treatment for AIDS, 9 million people in developing nations have gained access to this life-saving therapy. These are just a few of the milestones of recent progress/” The World Bank Chief however urged that the world must continue to struggle to provide high-value primary health care to all citizens. He acknowledged the fact that none of WHO;s 194 member states had yet built a perfect health care system. “The aims of universal coverage are to ensure that all people can access quality health services, to safeguard all people
The 66th Assembly at the opening session
from public health risks, and to protect all people from impoverishment due to illness: whether from out-of-pocket payments for health care or loss of income when a household member falls sick. “Every country in the world can improve the performance of its health system in the three dimensions of universal coverage: access, quality, and affordability. Priorities, strategies and implementation plans will differ greatly from one country to another. In all cases, countries need to tie their plans to tough, relevant metrics. And international partners must be ready to support you. All of us together must prevent ‘universal coverage’ from ending up as a toothless slogan that doesn’t challenge us, force us to
change, force us to get better every day. “The good news is that many countries are challenging themselves, measuring outcomes and achieving remarkable progress. Turkey launched its “Health Transformation Program” in 2003 to provide access to affordable, quality health services for all. Formal health insurance now covers more than 95 percent of the population. The health reform is one of a bundle of factors that have contributed to Turkey’s health gains. Between 2003 and 2010, Turkey cut its infant mortality rate by more than 40 percent. “Thailand’s universal coverage reform dates from 2001. The program has substantially increased health care utilization, especially among the previously
uninsured. And, as of 2009, the program had already reduced by more than 300,000 the number of Thai people suffering catastrophic health care costs. “And let me acknowledge that Thailand launched its universal coverage program against concerns over fiscal sustainability initially raised by my own institution, the World Bank Group. Thailand’s health leaders were determined to act boldly to provide access for their whole population. Today the world learns from Thailand’s example. “Many other countries are also advancing. And the growing momentum for universal health coverage coincides with a new chapter in the global fight against poverty.” To end poverty, the World Bank President said countries needed “robust, inclusive economic growth. And to drive growth, they need to build human capital through investments in health, education and social protection for all their citizens.” “To free the world from absolute poverty by 2030, countries must ensure that all of their citizens have access to quality, affordable health services. This means that, today as never before, we have the opportunity to unite global health and the fight against poverty through action that is focused on clear goals. “Countries will take different paths towards universal health coverage. There is no single formula. However, today, an emerging field of global health delivery science is generating evidence and tools that offer promising options for countries.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Health & Wellbeing
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Many accidents on our highways could be linked to drivers with epilepsy -Psychiatrist So much has been said and is still being propounded and believed about the health condition called epilepsy. As a specialist in this aspect of health, what is it really about? When you talk about epilepsy, in very simple layman’s term it’s abnormal discharge in any part of the brain because the brain has wires which we call neurons; they are like wires, they conduct electricity and this wire sometimes is like a current carrying loads of electricity and before you know it, at times, they may be of high voltage. In epilepsy, what happens is that when neurons in some parts of the brain are of high voltage, the thing will now spark and fire. And when it sparks and fires, it can now manifest in different ways. Please, what are these different ways? It can manifest in a motor way and if it happens this way, the person will be jerking. The body, the legs, the hands, head, everything will freeze, and be contracting and that is the one people usually call epilepsy. But do you also know that the brain, that is those wires I mentioned, they are neurons but I will call it wires so that every reader will understand, if it over charges, it can also cause another form of epilepsy in the behavioural type which we call psychic epilepsy. The person is still having the same cause of epilepsy but this time around it is not a motor function; it is a behavioural and psychic form. What happens to that patient is that he or she can be in a state of automatism in which he will be doing something that he won’t be aware of. He can move from here to Ojuelegba, he will kill somebody and come back and will sit down at home after everything when the discharge has stopped if you say what happened, he will not remember because everything he did was at that point of discharge. There are other forms of epilepsy but unfortunately, as a result of our culture people cannot explain it because it is something that is happening inside the brain, people just see people that have epilepsy and say that it is from the devil, it is a curse and begin to run away from the person especially those that have motor type. They will say don’t let the saliva touch you, they go and put ashes around the person and he or she is highly stigmatised and that is why you have a lot of suicide. I’m working on a study on epilepsy and I’ve discovered its overwhelming presence and and the resultant this social stigma. But between you and me, epilepsy is a medical condition caused by abnormal discharge in the neuron of the brain. What really causes the abnormal discharge? Could the lifestyle of the patient be a part of it? You have asked a big question but there are many causes of epilepsy. Let’s start from pregnancy. If a pregnant woman has some infections such as HIV, rubella, there’s no immunization during pregnancy, or they gave birth to the child and there’s no immunization against this diseases it can affect this part of the brain and this abnormal discharge can occur. Delivery problems could also be responsible. Some babies, may be, when their mothers got pregnant she was
Dr. Ogunnubi Oluseun Peters is the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Medical Assosciation, NMA. In this interview with TOBORE OVUORIE, the senior resident psychiatric at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba unveils more about epilepsy, a health condition which is still shrouded in mystery in Nigeria. Excerpt: they will just realise that their limbs are very weak, they wouldn’t be able to move their legs, and some, because majority of epilepsy occurs in the night, they are usually undetected. The ones that occur during the day, you see the person foaming in the mouth, the eyes closed, the person urinating on him or herself, that’s the common ones many people know but the ones at night which are less known does occur very well. People who have it during the day must have been having it in the night without knowing thus presenting themselves late to the hospital. We also have the petite one in which someone can just be sitting and holding something and the thing he’s holding falls down, he starts blinking, within two minutes he is okay and he continues his activity; it’s still epilepsy. Someone is looking at the board and suddenly everything is blank, even if he is talking to someone and everything about him just goes blank, he could be having seizure.
busy eating all sorts of junks and the baby now became so big or the mother had diabetes. Such a baby should be delivered through caesarian operation but you now see the baby being delivered through normal form of delivery. The baby gets stuck in the birth carnal and before you know it, there would be prolonged labour and can affect the brain. Such a baby when, he grows up, can develop epilepsy. Another problem is after giving birth to a baby, everybody is happy greeting the mother and maybe during the naming ceremony while everyone is carrying the baby, the baby falls down or he or she is carelessly put by the side of the bed and the baby rolls off and falls down, the baby at that time cannot complain. He or she cries a little and they quickly take him or her back, only for epilepsy to creep in years later. I have a case of a patient with epilepsy who was left with the house help some years ago, the baby fell down several times in the househelp’s hands, the parents never knew, the house help went away only for the baby to grow up and started having epilepsy. Further retrospective history made them get the house help and she confessed that the baby fell down one time along the staircase and the mother never knew. So, in trauma- head injury through an accident even in an adult can lead to such a condition. The adult may survive the road accident but may have suffered a head injury which would make him develop epilepsy in future. Another thing is cancer. There are some cancers that when
PLEASE, EPILEPSY IS NOT A SPIRITUAL PROBLEM... IT IS A
MEDICAL CONDITION THAT REQUIRES MEDICAL CARE in the brain, it would be irritating that part and would be causing abnormal firing of that neuron and that’s why when you do brain scan, ECG, you’ll see the result of this problem. Please, epilepsy is not a spiritual problem, it is not evil from mother-inlaw, father-in-law, it is a medical condition that requires medical care. And there is a medical care for it. What are the symptoms of this health condition? We have aura. Someone will just realise that where he is is strange, we call it generalisation. Or you yourself you feel or discover you’ve changed from the environment, it’s called personalisation and in the process of either of these two environmental changes the person would begin to have epilepsy. In some, they realise that their intestine or stomach is twisting, it may be a sign that epilepsy is about to occur. We call it seizure and it’s when you have two or more seizures that it becomes epilepsy. If it is only one, it’s called seizure and when more than one, it’s called epilepsy. Some,
How can they be managed? People must always be attentive to their friends, relatives and people around them for any persistent thing as this and encourage them to go to the hospital for investigation. We have basic, biological and social management. The first thing is to first control that seizure because the more you continue to have seizure, the more it damages the brain. There are drugs for this purposes and once taken, stabilises the condition. It cannot be cured, but can be controlled because whatever has caused it may still be there but if it is the one caused by cancer and you’re able to remove the pus, blood, that one is curable. But if it is a brain injury, then you simply have to control the episodes of seizure. Maybe it occurs everyday, the control mechanism would reduce it to the barest minimal episode. After that, the patient has to prevent or stay away from things that cause that seizure. Tell them not to go to where there is too much bright light, that is why when you watch some movies, they warn ahead that the movie is not for people with certain health conditions because when it begins to change scenes, it could affect someone with epilepsy. It is not good for people with epilepsy to be changing channels or go to places with loud noise where drums and all sorts of noise take place. Some people go to church and end up having seizures. They must know and avoid whatever makes them have these seizures. Again, they must avoid driving or operating machines because they don’t know when a seizure could occur. We’ve seen the case of a driver with almost 40 passengers in a bus who had epilepsy and the bus was just going and resorted to an accident. Who knows, some of the accidents on our highways could be as a result of epilepsy fit.
Health & Wellbeing
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Family planning not for population control in Nigeria –NURHI STORIESBYMARCUSFATUNMOLE ABUJA
amily planning is not for population control in Nigeria as implied in some advanced countries of the world but to check maternal mortality, State Team Leader, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), Mrs Adebusola Salako, said at the weekend. Adebusola spoke with National Mirror during one of the football matches NURHI uses to woo men and married youths in the society to embrace the programme. Speaking at Jiwa in Abuja during a football match between Chief-Don and Bwari Area Council teams, she said Nigeria was not interested in using family planning to prevent the growth of its population at the moment but to avert deaths that often ac-
company childbirth among women. According to her, country such as China has a population control policy that punishes any family that has more than one wife, but Nigeria could not compare its population with such a nation. “In Nigeria, we are promoting family planning to drastically reduce maternal mortality. What does this mean? It means to allow our women to rest in-between pregnancies. When a woman rest between one pregnancy and another, there is probability she will be strong enough to carry another one, including the choice of how many children individual family could have,” Adebusola stated. Also, Advocacy and Demand Generation Officer of the group, Mrs Khadijah Ibrahim, listed the benefits of family planning to
Honour for Babangida Aliyu, others at WAPCP AGM
he Governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu is among other dignitaries to be honoured at the Special Scientific Symposium and Annual General Meeting of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP), Nigeria Chapter, which holds today and Thursday May 23, 2013 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. Apart from honouring the governor as a patron of WAPCP, the 2-day event will also feature an investiture and award to Pharmacists Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi (appreciation), Prof. Fola Tayo (appreciation), Sir. Ifeanyi Atueyi (appreciation), Prof. P. Iwe Akubue (appreciation), Dr. Uford S. Inyang (appreciation), and Moses C. Azuike (appreciation). The Chairman of the
Day is Prof. Fola Tayo, immediate past president, WAPCP, while the Guest Speaker is Prof. Abraham Malu, Chief Medical Director, Benue State University Teaching Hospital. There will also be appreciation to past leaders like chairmen, chairladies and founding fathers of the College. According to Sir. Ike Onyechi, Chairman, WAPCP, Nigerian Chapter, all Fellows of the College and guests participants should be seated by 8.30a.m.
include helping the man to plan better for the family. “He is able to channel his resources for his wife, children and himself. He is able to come back home and have quality time for the family and his blood pressure and state of mental health are also improved. “The chances of the
woman dying because she is pregnant on and on are taken away, she is able to rest, bring income into the family and is able to look after her husband, her children and herself. The children get more attention in the home and, they are given quality education. It allows the parents to plan for their children and the
meeting which had delegates of state primary health care (PHC) boards in attendance that more active involvement of states and local government in the running of basic health services across Nigeria was required to foster primary health care services across the country. According to him, previous exclusion of states and local government from the review was a hindrance.
we know football is a unifying factor for Nigeria, whether you are dark or fair, Hausa, Yoruba or Ibo. Football brings everybody together. For us, we have been looking for that unifying factor among Nigerians to now use it to promote family planning. That is what they have in common; unifying Nigerians.
L-R: National President, Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele; Public Health Physician, LUTH and a member of IGNITE Scientific Committee, Dr. Kemi Odukoya; and Director General Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Innocent Ujah, at the 53rd Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association in Lagos, recently.
NGO blames maternal/child mortality on uneven distribution of skilled personnel
ave the Children Initiative, a non-governmental organization (NGO), has blamed persistent maternal/child mortality in Nigeria on uneven distribution of skilled birth attendants across health facilities in the country. This is even as the organization said the problem was partly responsible for the death of about 241,000 new-born annually in Nigeria with less than 1,000 days to meeting 2015 eight-point Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of which three are health-related. The organization said this at a media-workshop for health journalists in Abuja recently.
A doctor with the organization, Oyibo Emmanuel, decried concentration of skilled birth attendants including doctors, nurses and midwives in some parts of the country which he said often deprived women of the disadvantaged areas from benefitting from the services of the skilled personnel. He said Nigeria had about 57,000 doctors with estimated 137,000 nurses and midwives. He noted most of them work in southern part of Nigeria. “Even in the South, they are not equal everywhere. Nearly 50 percent of doctors in Nigeria are in SouthWest. That doesn’t mean
States, LGs get bigger roles in running of primary health care tates and local government in Nigeria are now to play greater roles in the running of primary health care. Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Ado Mohammad, made the decision known in Abuja, recently, at National Stakeholders’ Meeting on Primary Health Care Review. Mohammed said at the
children are happier children,” Ibrahim noted. On the reason the organisation uses football to promote the programme, Mrs Ibrahim said: “The reason is that football is a Nigerian game, every household loves football. Every household wants to have their child becoming a famous footballer. And,
“We realized in the course of implementation (of review) that much-needed buy-in from states wasn’t there. This revised methodology detailing how reviews will be done has made provision for active involvement of states and local governments.” Mohammad said further: “It is our expectation that the implementation of this revised methodology would entrench ownership
of the National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP). As part of this process, service delivery would be periodically assessed using data collated from all available sources. This data would be analyzed based on agreed indicators, to determine bottlenecks hindering effectively programme implementation and result oriented service delivery. “Based on the evidence
they are in Ekiti; they are largely in Lagos. Most of them are in urban areas. They wouldn’t want to stay in local communities. Yet, human beings live in the rural communities. That is where more maternal and child mortalities do occur. More than 80 percent of doctors in South-West are in Lagos,” he said. Emmanuel also argued that though Lagos State had more than half of the nation’s doctors serving its people, the doctors’ population in the state, he emphasized, was far from meeting the state’s medical needs given its overwhelming population. He disclosed that North-
West Nigeria had only 9.2 percent of the nation’s doctors, stressing that percentage for women in the region that were attended to by skilled birth attendants was just 9.8. “That means 90 percent will deliver without anybody that can handle their problems,” he lamented. According to him, Nigeria does not have enough skilled-birth attendants. He stated that standard says countries should have 23 doctors and nurses per 10,000 population. “That is, anywhere you have 10,000 people; you should have about 23 doctors/nurses as minimum. But, in Nigeria, we have 20.
thus generated, local government areas can develop action plans that would feed into the annual operational plans at state level and enhance joint planning. Likewise, feedback from the state reviews would influence the national reviews and inform changes in policies and strategies if so required. The implementation of these evidence based plans is expected to effectively resolve the identified bottlenecks and ensure fa-
vourable outcomes. This cycle of evidence generation and problem-solving is indeed critical to achieving the desired outcomes in lines with the national resolve to save lives under the ‘Saving-One-Million-Lives initiative and achieving the MDGs,” Dr Mohammed stated. In a remark, Dr Aboubacar Kampo of UNICEF said PHC was strategic in the attainment Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Nigeria.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
I have evolved much as a writer –Eke
Ake: From literature to feature film
Worthy homecoming for Chinua Achebe NGOZI EMEDOLIBE, IZUCHUKWU OKEKE, CHARLES OKEKE AND DENNIS AGBO
...remains receives stately reception on arrival in Abuja, Enugu, Anambra
oday, the Anambra State Government will formally begin the celebration of life one of its most illustrious sons, the deceased Professor Chinua Achebe, whose remains will be buried in his Ikenga, Ogidi compound tomorrow. The ceremony in honour of the internationally acclaimed writer and university don, scheduled to hold at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, would feature top ranking dignitaries eulogising Achebe for his towering achievements in the literary arts. Already, Anambra state government has announced that it would be mandatory for civil servants to attend the “celebration of life” ceremony, while markets would remain open. The Secretary to the State Government, Sir Oseloka Obaze, also stated that it is now time for the people to bid Achebe farewell in a grand way. The remains of the iconic novelist arrived Nigeria yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The body touched down at about 6.00 a.m. and was received by wife, Christy, children- Ike, Chidi, Chinelo, Nwando and other top dignitaries like Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo; former Abia State Governor, Ogbonnaya Onu and former Minister of State for Education, Jerry Agada. Laid inside a dark brown casket, covered with the Nigerian national flag, it was lifted down from the aircraft onto an ox-blood coloured Mercedes Benz ambulance with a plate number bearing the inscription: Chinua Achebe. During a quick procession at the airport led by Bishop on the Niger, Rev. Owen Nwokolo, with hymns and prayers, Nwokolo said Achebe was a great man of dignity and excellence. “I remember today Achebe’s legendary statement which says, ‘if a man returns from a long journey and no one says welcome (nno), he feels he has not arrived’. We are gathered to say nno to Achebe. He has come back, though dead but we know that his works keep him alive in our hearts”, he said. The highpoint of yesterday’s event was the tribute by Prof. Michael Thelwell, the Jamaican writer of They Harder They Come published in 1980, whom Achebe nicknamed ‘Ekwueme’ as a way of praising the book. According to Thelwell, being asked to speak at such a gathering was a paralysing responsibility. “On previous similar occasions when I have spoken about him, Ikejemba was physically present and visible. That was reassuring. But to appear before a gathering of his countrymen, kinsfolk, and foreign admirers without that reassuring, visible
L-R: Son of the late literary icon, Dr. Ikechukwu Achebe, a female relative and Dr. Wale Okediran after receiving the remains of Chinua Achebe yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikwe International PHOTO: IZUCHUKWU OKEKE Airport Abuja.
presence is daunting indeed. How does one summon language even close to doing justice, not merely to one of our world’s most consequential writers, but to one of the most superlatively achieved human beings any of us are likely to ever meet”. From Abuja, the remains of the literary icon arrived the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu at about 3.50 p.m. abroad a charted flight and was moved in a motorcade to Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria where the 369th special session of the university senate held an academic procession in honour of the late Achebe. The University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, formerly announced the passing away of their revered colleague who he said was a truly distinguished academic of international status and one of the finest academics that the University of Nigeria has produced. According to the UNN Vice Chancellor, while the world mourns Achebe for his literary prowess, Nigeria mourns him for his unwavering patriotism. “Here at the University of Nigeria, we mourn him for
his unique contributions to the development of our university and for his unique contributions to the development of our university and for the enormous visibility he brought to our university through his creative works, even in death”. Achebe served in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nigeria as researcher and teacher, leading to his position as Professor of Literature and Director of the Institute of African Studies. Meanwhile, other literary giants like Wole Soyinka, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Femi Osofisan, Elechi Amadi, and Wale Okediran have also been reflecting on Achebe’s works and times. In his recent interview, Soyinka described Achebe as a master storyteller and dispelled the erroneous impression being peddled in the media that they were enemies. “If I don’t answer it, we shall all continue to be drenched in misdirected spittle. “At this stage in our lives, the surviving have a duty to smash the mouths of liars to begin with, then move to explain to those who have genuinely misread, who have failed to place incidents in their true
perspective, or who simply forget that life is sometimes strange – rich but strange, and inundated with flux. It would be stupid to claim that it was all constantly harmonious, but outsiders should at least learn some humility and learn to deal with facts. Where, in any corner of the globe, do you find perfect models of creative harmony, completely devoid of friction? But – “rivalry for domination,” to quote you – healthy or unhealthy? Now that is something that has been cooked up, ironically, by camp followers... these empty, notoriety-hungry hangers-on and upstarts need to find relevance, so they concoct”, the Nobel Laureate said. Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, author of Weep Not Child in an email to Arts Lounge described Achebe’s death as the beginning and end of an epoch. “As the general editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series, he had a hand in the emergence of many other writers and their publication. As a human being, he embodied wisdom that comes from a commitment to the middle way between extremes. And of course courage in the face of personal tragedy! His passing marks the beginning of the end of an epoch”. Wale Okediran, author of Tenants of the House noted that Achebe was a great man. “He is a loss to the literary world. As the founder of Africa’s largest and most enduring writers’ body, Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, of which I am a past president. His last controversial book notwithstanding, he deserves a state burial”. Elechi Amadi, author of The Concubine, acknowledged Achebe’s role in the formation of the ANA. “It is difficult to discuss African literature for any length of time without mentioning Chinua Achebe; he was a great pioneer and don’t forget he started the ANA. He is a global literary figure”. Femi Osofisan, author of The Chattering and the Son, described him as a great mind. “That is perhaps why he has ended amidst a burning controversy for such is always the paradox of genius. Only the small stars die without a noise”. Obaze reiterated that the Anambra State Government is committed to giving Achebe a heroic burial in collaboration with government of South East states as well as the Federal Government. Obaze also stated that the State Government will discuss with the Achebe family on how to immortalise the award-winning novelist in perpetuity. Chinua Achebe will be laid to rest tomorrow at his country home in Ikenga, Ogidi after a church service at the St Philips Anglican Church, Akpakogwe, Ogidi where he attended primary school, followed by a viewing session by his kinsmen at the Ogidi Town Hall.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
AS AN ARCHITECT,
T AL K FAD
THE ONLY METRES
I KNEW WERE THE
ONES THAT COULD BE MEASURED WITH TAPES AND RULERS his blood painting your hands, I watched amazed. What we both saw: a sad and broken man. My heart flew there; my feet remained with me. You answered your heart, ran and played your part; I was held back by thoughts of what could be. Hadiza
Serendipity: Creative writing, Yasmin and I CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK
asmin was more than a daughter to me in that last year I spent with her. She became my friend. She was involved with everything I did. She got to know many of my course mates. She attended our readings and other activities. She critiqued my writing and what a wonderful critic she was. Every time she looked at my work she made it better. I took poetry as one of my modules because I wanted to make my writing a little more flowery. I wanted to learn the use of metaphors and similes and to improve my descriptions. I was the only non-poet in that class and was immediately intimidated when they started talking about metres. As an architect, the only metres I knew were the ones that could be measured with tapes and rulers: millimetres, centimetres. These people were talking about iambic pentametres and hexametres. I almost dropped the module, but I stuck it out and ended up enjoying it tremendously. The first assignment the tutor gave us was to write a sonnet based on an exploration of some kind of memory, cherished or dreaded. Searching for inspiration, I remembered something Yasmin had told me. She was walking in Bath one afternoon when she came across a drunk sprawled on the ground, bleeding. He had shoved his arm through a glass window. She had been shocked that people were just passing him by, she said. So she knelt down beside him, removed her scarf and used it to bandage him up. I was not happy with her for doing that and I told her so. How did she know that the man was not HIV positive? How could she put herself in danger like that? That was certainly a dreaded memory, even though it was not my own. But being that it was a poetry assignment, I decided to take poetic licence and insert myself into the story. This is what I came up with: A Sonnet to my daughter The smell was strong: urine and booze and gore; the gash so deep. You dashed to him unfazed. You pulled your scarf, to tie around his sore;
How did you grow to be so kind, so bold? I saw something in you that day, my dear. How did you get to be as good as gold? What I had glimpsed that day was not quite clear. But now I know what it was I had seen – you are the me I could and should have been I was in Yasmin’s flat when I finished writing that poem. I printed it out to give it a final reading before e-mailing it to my course mates and the tutor –I still preferred to read on paper. I then handed it over to her. I could tell from how long she held the sheet in her hands that she read the poem more than once. She then turned to me, smiled and handed it back without saying a word. But I knew she was pleased. For what better compliment can a mother pay to a daughter than to say, ‘You are what I should have been’? Indeed, what better compliment can one person pay to another? Those of you who are familiar with poetry know that in a sonnet the last two lines, the rhyming couplet, are important. They resolve the argument or narrative of the previous lines. The last line in the sonnet I wrote to my daughter summarised everything I felt about her. I am grateful that I was able to communicate it to her. I left the UK (and Yasmin) in October 2011, having completed my course. We, the MA course participants, had compiled an anthology of extracts from our novels and were each required to submit a short bio that would precede the extracts. Below is the last sentence of what I sent in on November 20, six days before my daughter died: Hadiza El-Rufai is now back in Nigeria where she runs creative writing workshops for children aged 10 to four 14 while putting finishing touches to her novel. Of course I had not yet started conducting the workshops, but once again I had taken poetic licence. In December 2012, Tunji submitted a proposal to my husband for a creative writing workshop he wanted him to sponsor. My husband handed the proposal to me; the rest is history. I had never met Tunji before and there was no way he could have known that I was planning to start running creative writing workshops. Serendipity; such a lovely word. CONCLUDED Hadiza, an Abuja-based writer, is the wife of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
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2015 and the future of Nigeria
was in Cape Town, South Africa, a fortnight ago for the steering committee meeting of the African Festival Network, AFRIFESTNET, of which I am the president of continental body that has over 160 members from over 40 countries representing different disciplines of festivals. It was also in Cape Town that simultaneously the World Economic Forum on Africa was taking place too. Barely two days into the WEF and President Goodluck Jonathan’s four-day state visit to South Africa and Namibia was cut short as a result of the rising level of insecurity in the country. To many observers, this is not an issue because rather curiously, this administration unfortunately has witnessed more insecurity than any government in Nigeria since independence and the question to ask is why this government? Many have ascribed the high level of terrorism to politics from a certain section of the country orchestrated and sponsored by a few politicians. This, to large extent, is believable by virtue of the utterances of some highly placed individuals who had made inciting and threatening statements ahead off the 2011presidential elections. But like they say in politics, people can say anything but strangely some of these threats are manifesting by the day, even though the elections have come and gone. Jonathan had won an election considered free and fair even though the opposition party, the CPC, contested the results in courts and lost. Now, what has elections and politics got to do with the wanton killings going on Nigeria today? It has become a recurring decimal that human lives are being lost on a daily basis through acts of terrorism. At the last count from statistics released by Human Rights Watch, over 2000 lives have been lost and this is a staggering figure because sadly, there is no solution in sight to curtail the activities of the terrorist insurgents. We will recall how over 40 students of a polytechnic in Mubi, Adamawa State were killed by these same terrorist group and recently, the massacre has taken its toll on the police who are suppose to protect lives and property. First, it was in Bayelsa where 12 policemen were ambushed and killed by a terrorist group and only last week it was the turn of Nassarawa State where over 550 policemen were killed like chickens. If the policemen who have been empowered to protect us are being killed with impunity, then I beg to ask that who is safe. Terrorism has taken its toll on the Nigerian society. Or how do you explain the killings of the policemen in
THE ONUS IS ON THE POLITICAL CLASS TO REALISE THAT THE ENTITY
BELONGS TO THE OVER
Bayelsa which the Niger Delta militant group claimed responsibility. It is obvious that even the Boko Haram group has been infiltrated and hijacked such that they are several splinter groups with influence from our neighbouring countries. In my estimation, what started as an Islamic group has now become a political cum ethnic militia group sponsored to truncate the political sphere and disintegrate the entity Nigeria. It must be realised that these plot has some politicians involved and if the report by a private United States intelligence agency is anything to go by, then we must realise that there are external forces who do not believe in the continued existence of the Nigerian nation as one country. The onus, therefore, is on the political class to realise that the entity Nigeria belongs to the over 160 million Nigerians and the continued waste and level of corruption that has become a norm in the country are some of the reasons why these acts of terrorism will continue. Those who engage in such terror acts are sponsored by certain individuals. Government must see it as responsibility to provide the basics such as food, employment, qualitative health, education, housing and importantly, what covers all the aforementioned, appropriate social security. Until then, will we be unable to curtail these excess. So Mr. President, running home to engage a security chiefs meeting or declaring a state of emergency will not completely solve the problem as long as poverty pervades the country. As a coincidence, the next general election is in 2015 and it is the same time the purported report has predicted the breakup of Nigeria. Feelers from the political gladiators are nothing to write home about, even though the president has not come out to declare his interest to contest; sadly the polity is being heated up. My advice to our politicians is that they should consider the interest of Nigeria because no break up can happen without violence or war and no country has gone to war and come out the same; not to mention twice after our Biafra experience.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I have evolved much as a writer –Eke As a teenager, Iquo Eke scribbled her thoughts on paper, not realising it was poetry until the late Ambassador Segun Olusola made her realise it in 1996. She has never looked back since culminating in performances across Nigeria and her first collection of poems, Symphony of Becoming recently published. TERH AGBEDEH
or a poet who also writes prose and drama, as well as performs her poems, the natural question is; why publish poetry first? And the response from Iquo Eke, who started writing as a teenager and is currently working on a collection of short stories and a novel, is simple. “I am well known for poetry so I felt it was best for it to come out first. Besides, the poems have been ready for a long time”. She spoke to our correspondent, who has seen her perform a couple of times in Lagos, about the release of her new collection poems, Symphony of Becoming which is quickly ‘becoming’ a darling even among seasoned writers. Among the writers that have found it scintillating are Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Amatoritsero Ede, Lola Shoneyin and Segun Sofowote, as reflected in the blurb. Many of the poems, some of which were written back in 1999, are steeped in the folklore tradition of her people of Akwa Ibom State. They are also pregnant with rhythm that delights the reader. Iquo Diana Abasi Eke was born in Uyo, Nigeria in 1980. The graduate of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management has worked as a journalist, scriptwriter and administrator. “I think there may be one or two poems from 1999 which I felt still resonated with who I am as a writer today. I decided that the rest were not serious enough to go to press with. I went through all my works and then looked at each for what it meant to me at the point of writing. Some of them represent a certain reality, but maybe not in totality anymore. But I had to ask myself, what is that true representative of who I am right now as a person and how much I have evolved as a writer?” she explained. At the moment, the poet said she is working on a collection of short stories but doubts that she will add any stories she wrote back when she was a teenager. “Because I have come a long way from between then and now, I have
MIDWEEK JUMP Nollywood Movies Awards accepting entries till June 7
ubmission of entries for this year’s edition of the Nollywood Movies Awards, NMA, the second in the series, is open until June 7. A statement released by the organisers said that only English and Nigerian Indigenous Language movies produced, released or premiered between January 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013 will be eligible for consideration. Also, submitted movies should not exceed 180 minutes and/or should be in a maximum of four parts. The organisers, who have added a Best Short Movie category to the awards, said that short movie entries should not exceed 40 minutes. Those intending to be part of the awards that will take place on September 7 must fill a submission form at the website dedicated to the awards and deliver movies in hard drive or DVD’s to: SW1 Media office in Lagos. “The deadline for submissions is June 7, 2013 and nominations will be announced in July”, the statement said. Organised by Nollywood Movies Channel 329 on Sky platform based in the United Kingdom, the first edition held on June 2 at The Civic Centre in Lagos last year and was hosted by Julius ‘D Genius’ Agwu and Kate Henshaw.
evolved so much as a writer as compared to back then”, she said. That should gladden the heart considering that apart from the collection of short stories, there is also a novel in the works. “One needs focus and discipline in writing. It is not easy though because the average writer in Lagos cannot be said to be living on writing alone, you have to be doing something else. If it is not some 9 to 5 work, it might be some craft; but it just means that when you decide to write, you have got to be disciplined and take yourself away from everything else and face the writing. This is what I have tried to do in the last one year”, she said. Iquo’s drama scripts may not have been published, but those who love radio drama and listen to the ones produced by the African Radio Drama Association, ARDA, must have come
across her work since she writes scripts especially for radio. That endeavour is a constant one, too and not only does she write in English, she also translates her scripts to Pidgin. Asked if she has enough poems for another collection, Iquo said she is constantly writing and at the moment, she is beginning to write short poems; “which is not something I did often in the past. It is possible that another collection will come up, maybe not just yet. But I am still writing”. She has since entered this collection into the LNG Prize for Literature, whose jury is already looking at the works for this year’s edition. So, what would she do with the $100,000 prize money should she win it? “$100,000; I kind of like the way that roles around my tongue but why plan for what I haven’t got yet? Even if I do not make the shortlist, I do not think that it will colour the way I feel about my work or my perception of my poetry. It is good that this came out just in time to enter the prize”, she said. About coming out now, Iquo does not think it is late, she believes it is the right time. “I’m happy; I feel like a woman who is taking her maiden dance for the first time after having watched many maiden dances take place. I feel this book ought to have been out long before now. But I don’t think it is late, it just feels like it is about time even though it should have been here before now and I am happy about it”. Iquo has performed her poetry on various platforms across Nigeria to the accompaniment of traditional drums, flute or strings. The artist has two children and resides in Lagos.
Executive Director, Nollywood Movies Channel, Dipo Winsala and actress Monalisa Chinda at the 2012 Nominees Party for the awards held in Lagos.
COSON Week in full swing
he fun, glitz, razzmatazz and intellectual content which has coloured COSON Week since it started on Sunday with the ‘COSON in the Church’ event, continues tonight with the glamourous ‘COSON Green Ball’. Holding at the MUSON Centre, Lagos, Chief Host is Evangelist Dr. Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi (MFR), the Chairman Board of Trustees, COSON Music Foundation. Government functionaries, celebrities and industry stakeholders are expected to grace the formal event, dressed in their finery. On Monday, the ‘COSON Lecture’ was held at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. This was followed by ‘COSON in the Streets’ which kicked off at the Apple Junction in Festac and moved through some major roads and bus stops in Lagos before culminating in Maryland, Ikeja for a huge thrown down party that was wild and exciting. Tomorrow, it would be finals of the COSON Table Tennis Blowout where qualified celebrities form different fields will slug it out for the ultimate prize of N1million and the giant trophy. Muslims faithful will continue with the prayers and supplication for the nation on Friday and for the grand finale on Saturday, May 25, Nigeria will witness the COSON Song Awards at the New Ball Room of Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island. Speaking on the success of the event thus far, Copyrights Society of Nigeria Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, expressed appreciation to everyone who has supported the organisation’s effort to start a non-profit trust in support of creativity in Nigeria.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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FAR AND NEAR
FG to establish fund for art soon TERH AGBEDEH
he National Endowment Fund for the Art by the Federal Government will soon see the light of day. This was made known in Lagos by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Edem Duke, when he visited the private gallery of Solomon Ogbonna Nwainyinya in Ajah recently. “We are in a short while going to establish the National Endowment Fund for the Art. We believe that when that is done, people like this would be given a prominent attention and support”, Duke, who was accompanied by the Director General of the National Gallery of Art, NGA, Mr. Abdullahi Muku, said. He explained that the visit was to see for himself the rich array of works in the private collection of Nwainyinya. After embarking on a tour of the gallery Duke commended Nwainyinya for being able to single-handedly maintain such enormous works and in such great numbers, adding that the works are treasures and cannot be hidden from global view. “The world must see these collections. I want to commend you; there are not too many Nigerians like you. These are treasures that tell the history of 100 years plus. Nigeria owes you a huge debt because what you have here challenges even what are held in National Museum of Nigeria”, Duke said. He said the ministry is about
to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with Ford Foundation for the renewal and expansion of the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, adding that Nigeria is about to launch the history and heritage aspect of the centenary celebration. He assured Nwainyinya that the Ministry will work with him to not only preserve but also exhibit the works. “What we will do is to work with you and experts in the maintenance and restoration and mount public exhibition of your works. It is my hope that I can get the permission of Mr. President to open that exhibition”, the minister said. Born over four decades ago, Nwainyinya’s interest in the preservation of the arts and culture of his people began at a very early age having been born into the art loving family of the late Aguene Nwainyinya Okorie of Umuchita-Umudoni village in Onicha Igboeze, Onicha L.G.A, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. He is involved in advocacy aimed at protecting and preserving the art, culture and tradition of his people, especially those being eroded as a result of Western influence. As the patron of Onicha Igbo-Eze Town Union Lagos branch, an Ambassador for Peace, also a recipient of the Pan-African Partnership Award for Peace, Art & Culture Development, among others, his resolve, he said, “is to encourage and support other cultural groups which have been neglected in Igbo land to limelight”.
1940 Willyscoupsr; one of the props to feature in the film.
Ake: From literature to feature film ADENRELE NIYI
he autobiographical account of events which happened in the childhood of Professor Wole Soyinka as captured in Ake: The Years of Childhood is to be retold in riveting details in motion picture. Ake, as written by the Nobel Laureate, is set in the years before and during World War II, specifically between 1934 and 1945; the author himself was born in 1934. Apart from a narrative aesthetic and lucidity of prose which is rare in Soyinka’s regular literary works, it combines a beautiful child-view narrative technique with direct echoes from the war as heard or imagined down in Ake, Abeokuta. The political import and rumbles of war that Soyinka covers through the eyes of a child perhaps endows the film with its greatest significance as a historical text. The famous women’s riots led by Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (aunt of the writer) was hatched under the young Wole’s very eyes; his own mother, Eniola, having been one of the prime-movers. The film project, produced by Dapo Adeniyi’s Back Page
Productions, a modern multimedia productions outfit, has been in process over a long period of 25 years, when it was first mooted as a television series. Shortly after receiving the Nobel Prize for literature in 1986, Soyinka was contacted by the board of Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, on the possibility of producing one of his plays for television. The first choice then was Season of Anomie, which Soyinka wanted foremost journalist Adeniyi to adapt. Season of Anomie was later considered too politically sensitive at the time, hence the choice of Ake: The Years of Childhood. Subsequent change of board members at the NTA eventually rested the project –the political terrain then did not favour the Soyinka name. The epic production, which has a projected budget of N350m ($2.5m), is being directed by Yemi Akintokun and will feature some of the most prominent practitioners in the business for its cast and crew. Prof. Soyinka’s voice narration will be coming over the moving image. From next month, Ake will be in production for six months in Abeokuta and Ibadan, Nigeria. Many buildings on the
film’s location in Egbaland will be restored to their pristine beauties; the film also features period automobiles and properties. Just in April, the producers received help from the Ogun State government for a suspension of demolition work occasioned by metropolitan road expansion that should have claimed one of the film’s key locations. Speaking on motivations which sparked the film idea, Akintokun, described Soyinka as ‘one of the most enigmatic beings in recent history’. He said: “There is no better means of demystifying Kongi than to enact his childhood years on the screen... Ake shows the world all the factors and elements that made W.S who he is, especially his idiosyncrasies and his passions. The question is not why telling the world about Soyinka again; the question is why not tell the world about the traditional values that helped to create the literary giant”. With post production expected to be completed before June 2014, the film will be on hand for two landmark events– the Centenary celebrations of the Nigerian Amalgamation and Soyinka’s 80th birthday.
2013 Students’ film fest to light up Jos
Nwainyinya (in white) conducts Duke on a tour of the gallery.
os, Plateau State will come alive for four days as the International Students Film Festival, ISFF, is set for June 18 through June 21 at the National Film Institute Jos. The Theme of the ISFF is: ‘Moving Images: Talking Peace’. According to the Film Festival secretariat in Jos, the objective of International Students Film Festival, ISFF, among others, is to expose students to international standards in film production, foster interaction with industry professionals, reward excellence, raise the awareness of young talents and refine skills through competition on an international level. Building on the successes and global penetration of Nollywood and the creation of opportunity for film practitioners, the statement said that students from Nigeria and beyond will en-
counter new film techniques during the event. ISFF is powered by the National Film Institute, NFI; Jos, University of Jos (UJ); University of Lagos (Unilag) and sponsored by the World Bank, under the STEP –B project for Centre of Excellence in Multimedia Technology and Cinematography. It will draw participants from over 50 institutions of higher learning within Nigeria, Africa and Asia. Meanwhile, submission of film entries has opened. Entries will be accepted from students currently in schools, who must be at least 16 years old. All entries must be in the DVD format, accompanied by a completed International Student Film Festival entry form, press materials, film and filmmakers’ stills or digital images on tiff, gif or jpeg formats not larger than 1 MB until June 12, when entries close.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Agu drags Enyimba to LMC over unpaid wages
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Whatever happens, we will get the Super Eagles adequately prepared and I think Kenya will fall
- NFF’S TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, SHAIBU AMODU
I’ll not disappoint Jonathan –NSC DG …Olympians hail Elegbeleye JOEL AJAYI ABUJA
Super Eagles’ players listening to Coach Stephen Keshi (2nd left) during a training session in Nuremberg, Germany, yesterday
Eagles’ future tied to World Cup ticket – Oboabona
uper Eagles’ defender, Godfrey Oboabona, has said that the future of most of the senior men’s national team players hangs on qualification for next year’s World Cup. Nigeria is leading Africa qualifying Group F for Brazil 2014, but the Eagles are hard pressed by second-placed Malawi and would need to win their next two games away in Kenya and Namibia early in June to stay on track in the qualifiers. Oboabona has now admitted that a World Cup ticket will go a long way in shaping their careers both at club and country levels. “We know the importance of
clinching the World Cup ticket and the coach has also let us understand that our careers will be built on this ticket, that is why we can’t let it go. We are ready to give everything so that we are victorious at the end,” Oboabona told MTNFootball.com. The Sunshine Stars’ captain said he believes a good outing in a May 31 friendly against Mexico in Houston, Texas, will boost the Eagles confidence leading up to the two crunch matches. “The Mexico game is a friendly, but we are looking beyond that. A good performance against Mexico will give us more confidence to tackle Kenya and Namibia in the
World Cup qualifiers,” he added. Oboabona further said that he was delighted with his growing profile with the African champions. “Hard work is good and that is what is keeping me in the team every time. I never let my success with the team get me carried away because I still believe there are better, glorious days for me in the team in future, but I am happy for being here,” he said. The promising centre back’s days are numbered in the Nigeria league as he is a summer transfer target for several European clubs, but says that will not distract him.
Mikel opts out of Mexico friendly
helsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, is likely to stay away from Nigeria’s international friendly game against Mexico on May 31. An official of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) revealed to supersport.com that Mikel had asked to be excused from the tuneup match in order to rest and take care of personal issues.
“Mikel has said he will prefer to be left out of the friendly game against Mexico later this month. He says he will want to just take a rest after a long season with Chelsea and also take care of personal matters at the same time,” said the unnamed NFF official yesterday Tuesday. However the 26-year-old midfielder was said not to have made mention of being excluded from
he new Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, has promised never to let down President Goodluck Jonathan who appointed him to reposition the sports sector. Speaking yesterday, after formally assuming the mantle of leadership of the NSC, Elegbeleye said the era of mere participation in competitions for Nigeria were over, adding that with the support from staff of the commission, the press and general public, Nigeria would regain her winning streak. “First, I want to thank President Jonathan for having trust in me by appointing me the new DG of the NSC; therefore, I will pay him back with my achievements in the commission within the period I will be here as DG. “However, this job is not the work of an individual alone; with the help of my directors and the entire staff of the commission, the press who are the key stakeholder in sports and the general public, I see us succeeding in our new task,” Elegbeleye said. Stating his agenda, the new DG said his main focus now is to develop the athletes from the grassroots because the only way to reinvent winning streak is to develop athletes who will take over from the ageing ones. Earlier, the NSC director of Human Resources Management and Finance, Alhaji Mustapha Mohammed who acted as the DG until last Wednesday when Elegbeyele was appointed, praised the out-gone DG, Dr. Patrick Ekeji, for his meticulous service to the nation during his tenure. Mohammed reminded the new DG that sports are playing
the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Namibia in June. “Nothing has been said about the World Cup qualifiers. He has only asked to be left out of the friendly against Mexico,” the official stated. Already, the trio of Victor Moses, Kalu Uche and Gabriel Reuben have opted out of the Nigeria squad ahead of the World Cup qualifiers and Confederations Cup citing injury concerns.
critical roles in the development of nations, Nigeria inclusive, noting that sports have kept Nigeria together as an entity despite ethno-religious and political differences. He said that Elegbeleye took office at a time the NSC was facing a lot of challenges in repositioning the nation’s sports, but added that he has what it takes to surmount the challenges in the commission. Meanwhile, the Nigeria Olympians Association (NOA) has applauded the appointment of Hon. Elegbeleye as the new DG of the NSC. A letter of congratulations signed by the NOA President, Prince Henry Amike, described Elegbeleye as experienced and a goal-getter in sports administration. Part of the letter reads, “We at the NOA congratulate you on your well deserved appointment as the new DG of the National Sports Commission. As a foremost administrator and goal getter, we’ve no doubt that you will bring your vast experience to bear in your new assignment.”
Wolves give Rangers Agbim ultimatum
arri Wolves have given Rangers two weeks to pay up Chigozie Agbim’s transfer fee or they would be forced to recall the goalkeeper. Both clubs agree the international shot stopper could leave for N8million. Media officer of Wolves, Etu Moses, in a statement described as sad that “since the agreed date of May 15 for payment expired we have not heard from Rangers.” Moses also spoke on Super Eagles’ forward, Sunday Mba, who played a CAF Champions League match for Rangers at Recreativo Libolo of Angola, insisting the player remains their property. “We would want to use this opportunity to tell the whole world that we only gave Sunday Mba to Rangers for the continental game,” Moses disclosed. Wolves have demanded Rangers pay N12million for Mba, who is best remembered for scoring two tournament-defining goals at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, where Nigeria won a third continental trophy.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Pepe Manchester City will need to spend £20 million to secure Real Madrid defender, Pepe. Reports said Pepe had been listed to top Manuel Pellegrini’s list of transfer targets at Manchester City. The departing Malaga coach Pellegrini will talk to Pepe in the coming days to find out whether he would be willing to move to England.
Heineken ticket winners set for London
Road to Wembley 2013…
Kahn votes Bayern over Dortmund
A FOLABI G AMBARI
Real Madrid’s representatives are in Brazil in an attempt to broker a deal for Santos star Neymar. Santos officials confirmed last weekend that they had rejected a bid from Barcelona for the player. According to reports yesterday, Madrid is willing to hand Neymar a six-year deal worth 10 milliona-year to move to Spain this summer.
Ferdinand Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, could sign a new contract with the club on Friday, according to reports. Ferdinand, 34, has expressed a keen desire to remain at Old Trafford beyond the end of his current deal which expires this summer. The star player recently announced his retirement from international career.
Newcastle Manager, Alan Pardew, admits he has a nervous summer ahead as he tries to keep his squad together. Pardew is due to speak with owner Mike Ashley in the next few days to plot a way forward for the club, who struggled badly towards the end of the season and spent the last few weeks fighting against Premier League relegation. The Toon lost its last EPL game at home to Arsenal who itself also battled to stay in the Champions League next season.
Reina Liverpool goalkeeper, Jose Reina, has once again insisted he is happy at Anfield despite flattering reports linking him with a return to his former club Barcelona. The 31-year-old, who is under contract with the Reds until 2016, has been touted as a possible replacement for long-serving Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who could leave the Spanish club this summer. “I have three more years with Liverpool. I’m satisfied, comfortable and my family is very happy,” he said yesterday.
ero of the hour the last time FC Bayern München won the UEFA Champions League, Oliver Kahn, yesterday said he expects a Bayern victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final in London on Saturday. Bayern had missed out on its fourth Champions League final in 1999 in agonising circumstances, surrendering a 1-0 lead in added time against Manchester United. The Bavarians’ opponents at San Siro in 2001, Valencia, had been beaten
finalist the following season–one team was facing redemption, the other was on the brink of further heartache. “We were under a lot of pressure as a team,” the former goalkeeper for Bayern and Germany recalled. “I think it was the peak of that team. If we hadn’t won it against Valencia in Milan in 2001, I think it would have become difficult, because top players like Stefan Effenberg, Giovane Elber and Bixente Lizarazu had already reached top form. It was actually the last chance for that generation.”
Something had to give. It finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and remained deadlocked throughout extra time, meaning penalties were required. At 4-4 in the shootout, with both sides having missed twice, Thomas Linke scored for Bayern before Mauricio Pellegrino’s effort was saved by Having fallen at the last hurdle in two of the past three campaigns, Khan believes that Bayern will hope that, like the class of 200, its time has also come to triumph over Dortmund in Wembley on Saturday before about 75, 000 fans.
Bayern, careless spender–Dortmund coach
orussia Dortmund’s Coach, Jurgen Klopp, has criticised Bayern Munich’s big-spending transfer policy, describing the club as a spendthrift Bayern has already secured the services of Mario Gotze for a fee of £31.2 million, while it is also keeping tabs on fellow BVB stars such as Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski, much to the dismay of Klopp. “Bayern wants a decade of success like Barca,” Klop said yesterday in an apparent mind game against Bayern as both sides prepare to clash in the Champions League final on Saturday. “It’s really not a problem if the money is there because it increases the possibility of success. But it’s not guaranteed. “We are not a supermarket but they want our players because they know we cannot pay them the same money. “It could not be our way to do things like Real Madrid and Bayern and not think
about taxes – and let the next generation pick up our problems. We need to work seriously and sensibly. We have this amount of money so we can pay that amount. But we lose players.” The 45-year-old coach, however, revealed that he was close to the Bayern job in the past, but eventually missed out as the side opted
for former Germany international, Jurgen Klinsmann instead. Klopp would eventually leave Mainz for Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2008 and, after guiding the Yellow Machine to two Bundesliga titles since, will be looking to add the Champions League to his trophy cabinet this weekend.
he last leg of the Champions League’s ‘Road to the Final’ beckons for five inventive Nigerian fans who will get the once in a life time opportunity to watch the final match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday. The quintet, whose trip will be fully funded by UEFA Champions League sponsor Heineken, will depart Lagos to London tomorrow as they look forward to savouring a unique experience. The traveling Nigerians had emerged from a contest among over 350 consumers at the Heineken Champions Planet across the country and will join thousands of other football fans to witness the Wembley Showdown. “These consumers have shown that they are openminded with a passion to go beyond their comfort zone,” Senior Brand Manager, Heineken, Jacqueline van Faassen,” said in Lagos yesterday. “They have also proved more active and resourceful in their pursuit to progress in life and are inspired by the inventiveness displayed by great players in the UEFA Champions League,” she added, stressing that the lucky travelers would return to Lagos on Sunday. “Arrangements have been concluded to have them participate in the annual UEFA Champions League Festival which will begin in London on Thursday (tomorrow),” Van Faassen further said. “They will be ushered into the Champions Village where they will interact with great football personalities as well as feel the Champions League trophy.” Heineken International has sponsored five Nigerians to watch the Champions League final annually since 2007. But this is the first time the winners have gone through a contest for tickets unlike the previous years when winners emerged through lucky draws.
Lukaku waits on Chelsea
n-loan West Brom kaku, says his futur and he will wait t when he returns to Chelsea ing. The Belgian striker h on loan at the Baggies an of the opportunity by League goals. West Brom is keen to back at The Hawthorns Swansea City has also loan bid as Lukaku awai future. “I will go to the intern day with my friends and c hard with my dad and th with Chelsea” Lukaku sa “We will see what happ always have a place in m that put me in the spotlig my career.” The former Anderlech joyed his time with West mined to build on his im season.
RVP dream partnership
anchester Uni striker, Robin v Persie, is look forward to a new challen under David Moyes and confident the club will s be challenging for troph next season. The Dutch strik joined United last summ from Arsenal and end the campaign with his fi Premier League winne medal, and the divisio top scorer. “I’m 100 per cent sure will play for trophies eve year and, hopefully, win few every year. That’s o standard for this team,” said yesterday. “Of course, we get a n manager next year and erybody is looking forwa to that. It’s a new ch lenge for everyone. W have a nice break now a go again.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
striker, Romelu Lure is out of his hands to see what happens a for pre-season train-
as spent the season d has made the most scoring 17 Premier
CMCL Open: Odoh tipped, Lasisi eyes title defence AFOLABI GAMBARI
resh from his victory in Warri, where he won the Olu of Warri Cup in Ogunnu last weekend, Minnabased professional, Andrew Ochei Odoh, is set to add to his trophy haul at the 15th CMCL Open Golf Championship teeing off on May 28 at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja. Odoh, who is still regarded as Nigeria’s best professional golfer ever, will however have the championship’s defending champion, Lateef Lasisi, to contend with. Lasisi told National Mirror yesterday that he would be the man to beat in Abuja. “Having played in Abuja regularly over the past 10 years, I have good knowledge of the course,”
he said, adding, “In addition, the fact that I am the defending champion will propel me to excel.” Rave of the moment, Odoh, as well as Gboyega Oyebamji, Edet Umoh and Bashiru Bakare have also contended that they will be in Abuja to stake their honour for the biggest prize, underlying the belief that the CMCL event will be keenly contested. Organisers said yesterday that the professionals, expected to play over 72-holes, would round off their game on May 31 while the amateurs drawn from across the country would compete competition on June 2 when the Open ends. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of CMCL Golf Tours Limited, Frank Igbene, has assured that logistics have been put in place to ensure that the competition is hitch-free.
nationals, go on holicome back and train hen go to pre-season aid yesterday. pens. West Brom will y heart. It’s the club ght and re-launched
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Odoh (r) and Gboyega Oyebanji will be among the star attractions at the IBB Club in Abuja next week
Golf: Eze wins WellManned Open AFOLABI GAMBARI
agamu-based Eze Sunday emerged as the star at the Elephant Club Sagamu as he carted home the 4th WellManned Amateur Open Golf Tournament 2013 trophy. Sunday saw off fierce rivals Sylvester Uche and Kazeem Lasisi to emerge winner of the competition. The trio had tied at a gross score of 155 over holes to force a playoff. While Kazeem Lasisi came out in the first 3-hole playoff, it took Sunday and Uche extra 3-hole sudden death to decide the eventual winner. “I think my hard work did the magic for me,” Sunday said. “I may not return next year to defend the trophy, but I must
commend the sponsor, Uwem Udoh, for his relentless effort of the years,” he added. Udoh had told guests at the prize presentation that he intended to expand the competition from the edition. “I will also continue to improve on the quality of prizes for the event,” he remarked. The WellManned Open attracted players from across the country, including the former captain of the Ikoyi Club (Golf Section), Demola Mumunney. The competition was cosponsored by Coastland Energy Logistics Limited, AOS-Orwell, Anbas Energy Systems Limited, Lafem Oil & Gas Services Limited, Oceanwind Marine & Logistics Limited and Recharge It Now Nigeria Limited.
Taekwondoists get German visas YEMI OLUS
he German Embassy has rescinded its decision not to issue visas to the national Taekwondo team as the athletes had their wish granted yesterday. The international training tour is part of the build-up to the 2015 All Africa Games and 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil. The eight-man team comprised Segun Olushola (-68kg male), Sunday Onofe (-80kg male), Uche Chukwumerije (-87kg male), Joy Ekhator (-49kg male], John Victor (Coach), Ekundayo Ogunkunle (physiotherapist), Joyce Ezeala (Nigeria Taekwondo Federation Secretary General) and Chika Chukwumerije (Chief Executive Officer CCSF and Organiser). “The trip will help the athletes improve and make them believe in themselves,” Coach Victor said. “It will also help my personal improve-
ment in the technical area of the sport,” he added. Onofe, who won bronze medal at the 2011 All Africa Games in Mozambique, said the trip would aid his future performance at international tournaments. Beijing 2008 bronze medalist, Chukwumerije, thanked the German Embassy for overturning its earlier decision. “We are pleased and can now focus on our target on the training tour,” the captain of Team Nigeria to the London 2012 Games said.
Glo Academy players train in Dubai
have the 20-year-old next season, while been linked with a its a decision on his
ited van king nge d is still hies
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
elecommunications giant, Globacom, yesterday, said four members of the Glo Soccer Academy have arrived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on a training tour of the city. A statement by the company said that the players, Aminu Murtala (16), David Abagna (15), Daniel Abaa (16) and Bismarck Larbi (17), had commenced training immediately at the prestigious Football Academy of Dubai Sports City. Their training is focused on the fundamentals of modern football, including attacking and short passing skills after which they will be exposed to the use of team work and strategic passing style in match situations,” the statement said. “The boys were later incorporated into the Dubai Football Academy team which played against Baniyas Real Madrid, a youth team from another academy in Dubai and they gave a good account of themselves,” it added. Senior Coach of Football Academy of Dubai Sports city, Carlos Garcia, commended the Glo boys for their outstanding performance in the match, saying that their presence made his team stronger and contributed to the victory. He also commended the duo of Aminu Murtala who played at the central defence and Bismark Larbi who played as the left full back. “Their presence solidified the defence and made it difficult for the Real Madrid side to score,” Garcia said. Glo Dream Team is made up of sixteen players that comprised ten Nigerians, four Ghanaians and two Beninoise who emerged in February. The 16 finalists have been presented with their cheques for N1million each for 15 boys while the Most Valuable Player, Muri Lawal, got N5million, even as twelve of the boys had earlier trained at the prestigious Manchester United training school. The Glo Soccer Academy was conceived to provide a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for talented footballers around West Africa to kick-start their career in professional football.
W’lifting: Ekpo wants new dawn YEMI OLUS
ne of Nigeria’s top weightlifters, Felix Ekpo, has called on the new board of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF) to shun the use of fire-brigade approach for preparing for international competitions. A former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chibudom Nwuche, emerged as the new president of the NWF, having beaten former president, Chimdi Ejiogu, to the seat during the elections held in Abuja last week. Ekpo, who represented Nigeria at the last Olympic Games, admitted ignorance of the new board’s programmes but appealed to the helmsman to put the athletes first. “I got information that Nwuche has good plans for us. However if I am asked about my expectations, I would say that we just want good preparation for competitions,” he said. “Let us even begin camping for the Commonwealth Games so that we would enjoy seamless preparations, rather than resort to the fire brigade approach which we are used to in this country. There have been international competitions taking place since March so I don’t understand why we didn’t participate in them.” The former All-African Games champion said dearth of competition had ensured a lull among his mates. “We are like people who don’t know their destination, so we have chosen to tread gently,” he said. Meanwhile, there are reports that the National Weightlifting Trials will hold next month to set the stage for the African Weightlifting Championship to be hosted by Nigeria in September.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Nigeria Premier Nig League with
IIKENWA NNABUOGOR firstname.lastname@example.org
NPFL clubs yet to share in the GLO booty
Nasarawa players end strike, ready for showdown
asawara United’s players have suspended a strike action in protest over poor condition of service after the intervention of the club’s Supporters’ chairman who promised to get the state government to look into their grievances. The aggrieved players who do not want their names in print revealed that the strike was to go on in protest over the meagre N3, 000 daily feeding allowance they receive from the management coupled with unpaid sign-on fees renegation of the management’s earlier promise that all their entitlements would be settled by Week 9. National Mirror learnt that the Supporters’ Club chairman got the wind of the players’ meeting to embark on a strike and stormed the meeting venue to plead with them to shield their swords on the promose that he would get the Nassarawa State governor involved to resolve the matter. “We almost went on strike after our home draw against Akwa United because of the ridiculous feeding allowance of N12, 000 paid to players for four days,” one of the aggrieved players began. “Why would this continue to happen when the chairman collects N3million per match and we will be suffering with just N3, 000 daily allowance and unpaid entitlements? “But after long deliberation with the Supporters Club chairman, we agreed not to embark on the strike but rather take the necessary steps. “We agreed to inform the coaches and the management and we will take action if things do not improve.” The Supporters Club chairman, National Mirror gathered met with governor Al-Makura on Monday, who summoned the Commissioner for Sports and the Special Adviser on Sports. The governor held a meeting with the two parties in the absence of the Supporters’ Club chairman and the result of the meeting is unknown as at press time.
Nasarawa’s keeper, Afeso Atta
Agu. Inset: Enyimba’s boss, Anyansi-Agwu
Agu drags Enyimba to LMC over unpaid wages
mbattled former Enyimba striker Gabriel Agu has reported Enyimba to Nduka Irabor-led League Management Company (LMC) over unpaid entitlements totalling N5.4 million. Agu was Enyimba’s top striker in the 2006/07 and 2009/10 seasons before he copped a bad knee injury that sidelined him. The former Kwara United striker is currently in Enugu where he’s struggling to eke out a living. The Beach Soccer star, who is yet to kick a ball for the past two seasons due to the knee injury blamed Enyimba chairman Felix Anyansi-Agwu, for his woes. He told National Mirror that the Enyimba boss refused to pay him his outstanding signon fees for the two seasons after he learnt that funds had been released by the state government to offset the outstanding fees of old players. Agu said the LMC boss was livid with anger when he narrated his woes and compelled him to write a fresh formal protest letter to the Court of Arbitration and hand him a copy. Agu said he had earlier taken the matter up with the Court of Arbitration but nothing came out of it. “I’ve been suffering since I left Enyimba because I have tried every necessary avenue to get my hard earned entitlements from my former employers but nothing happened,” Agu lamented. “I was informed by some of the officials that funds had been released to pay me but Anyansi refused to pay me. I have called him several times on the phone but he refused to
answer my calls. “I can’t be suffering in silence like this when I got some huge amount of money in Anyansi’s possession. “Mr. Irabor has assured me that he would do everything within his powers to help me get my entitlement.” Anyansi-Agwu could not be reached to state his own side of the story as his phones were switched off.
everal weeks after telecommunication giant Globacom, signed a three-year sponsorship contract worth N1.8 (about $12 million), National Mirror checks revealed that the NPFL clubs are yet to receive their own share of the money. Some of the clubs contacted by National Mirror expressed shock when the questions about the share of the sponsorship money were thrown at them and wondered if other clubs had started receiving theirs. Dolphins’ spokesman China Acheru said he was not aware of any thing like that but said he was not sure if his club had received any money from GLO. “Have clubs started receiving GLO sponsorship money?” Acheru wondered. “I’m not aware of such development at Dolphins but I will find out. But from all indications, there’s no such thing here at the moment.” Rangers are also yet to get hold of their booty from the telecoms giant and wondered why the delay. Club’s media officer Foster Chime told National Mirror they were yet to receive any dime from GLO. “We need money to offset a lot of expenses but we’re yet to receive any money from GLO,” Chime said. “It’s our entitlement and I don’t know what’s keeping it. I hope the LMC will look into the matter and make sure the monies are disbursed to clubs as soon as possible.”
NPFL Standings – Week 7 Pos
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance Our focus is on investments that are both relevant to the current needs of Nigerians and profitable and sustainable at the same time. We are ready to go anywhere to get the best deals for Nigeria.
Power sector workforce ageing, no longer getting required skills Director-General, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, Reuben Okeke
MANAGING DIRECTOR/ CEO, NIGERIA SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT AUTHORITY, UCHE ORJI
FG to access N77.5bn AfDB loan CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Federal Government has activated a $500 million African Development Bank (AfDB) loan with the constitution of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) committee Tuesday in Abuja. Deputy Director and Head of Press in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Timothy Oyedeji, stated that the loan which aimed solely as intervention for the power sector is to be released in tranches of $100 million and the setting up of the committee is one of the pre-conditions for drawing on this development bank budget support loan. Oyedeji added that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), one of the successor companies of the now unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), charged with the responsibility of evacuating and transmitting generated power, has been asked to access the funds as it works towards bridging the enormous gap in the sub-sector. It would be recalled that
Minister of Power Chinedu Nebo has said that about $3.4 billion is needed to help upgrade the transmission network to the standard that it would evacuate the expected generation capacity coming on stream. “We have been challenged by the problem of not being able to evacuate power beyond 4,500 mw. From the TCN gave us, if we have appropriate funding in the next one year we will be able
to double our transmission capacity. The technical committee is critical as it is required by AfDB to access the loan,” said Nebo, represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Godknows Igali. He said the committee is constituted by representatives from the Federal Ministry of Finance, ministry of power, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and TCN, adding that the inauguration
ceremony was performed at the power ministry’s head quarters in Abuja. The minister, while challenging the members of the committee, said that the federal government expects much from the members as their efforts would help fast track the disbursement of this initial $500 million loan and the possibility of accessing even more funds. Haruna Mohammed, Chairman of the Committee and Ministry of
igeria’s fourth largest telecoms network, Etisalat, yesterday signed a $1.2 billion medium-term syndicated loan facility
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L-R: Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa, Mr. Phillips Oduoza; Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans; members of the Board of Directors, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, Mrs. Isabella Okagbue and Mr. Junaid Dikko and MD/ CEO, Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, at the Etisalat $1.2bn Medium Term Loan signing ceremony in Lagos, yesterday.
Etisalat signs N187.2bn financing deal with banks KUNLE A ZEEZ
Finance director for international economic relations department, speaking on-behalf of the group noted that members were well informed on the problems in the sector and promised that all projects would be properly tracked and assessed to ensure successful execution. “We need to leverage on execution of these initial projects to be able to access other available funding moving forward,” he said.
with a consortium of Nigerian banks. The company plans to use the proceeds to refinance the existing commercial medium-term debt of $650 million and continue its network rollout across Nigeria. The company will also continue the release of innovative products and services to its over fifteen million subscribers.
The facility includes both naira and dollars tranches from a consortium of Nigerian banks, namely: Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, United Bank of Africa, Fidelity Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, Keystone Bank, First City Monument Bank, FSDH Merchant Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Union
Bank. Speaking on the transaction, Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie, highlighted that the loan was yet another key step in the company’s development. According to the BeloOsagie, “Etisalat Nigeria has grown from strength to strength reaching 15 million subscribers ear-
lier this year. This loan is a testament to the robust strategy of the company and the faith of the banking community. “It will serve to further boost the company and the telecommunications sector. It is important to also note the enabling environment created by the Federal and state governments of Nigeria as well as the Nigerian Communications Commission.”
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
BPP saves N572bn through procurement reforms
FG reads riot act to new FHA team
Indigenous oil and gas firms boost production capacity
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
BPP saves N572bn through procurement reforms TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on Monday put the total savings of the Federal Government based on the implementation of the public procurement Act over the last six years at about N572 billion. The Bureau disclosed that while a total of N450 billion was saved for the five year period 2007 - 2011, about N122 billion was saved last year consequent upon the Bureau’s initiatives targeted at ensuring that procurement contracts follow due process and that all avenues for leakages or corruption in the procurement system are plugged.
Giving this hint at the opening of the International Law Institute (ILI), Washington and BPP Workshop for Procurement Officers in Abuja, the Director General of BPP, Engineer Emeka Ezeh said the country had every cause to be happy for embracing the path of procurement for the economic and political development. “We are gratified as a nation that we have embraced the path of procurement for our socio-economic and political development. More than 10 years after the commencement of the reform, and barely five years after the public procurement Act, 2007, we have continued to consolidate on our gains, while charting new paths to the institutionalisation of
methods in the public contracting process,” he said. According to him, the workshop was significant because it was facilitated by ILI with the overall aim of enabling the BPP to comply with international best procurement practices, adding that “as stakeholders in the implementation of the Act, we have to establish a synergy so that we can properly ensure that all hands are on deck in our bid to stamp out corruption through best procurement practices” Ezeh said the Bureau had strengthen its operational modalities further by beginning to register, classify and categorise contractors and consultants working or intending to work on Federal
Government projects as part of the bureau’s statutory responsibility. “This responsibility enshrined in section 5(h) of the public procurement act 2007, expects the bureau to maintain a national database of the particulars of Federal contractors and service providers for ease of information sourcing and analysis and in conformity with the needs of the new information age” he said. In his keynote address, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim reminded the participants of their responsibilities which entail superintending the nation’s procurement practices in line with the global
standard and by so doing, ensure the attainment of the broad of objectives of establishing the procurement cadre as enunciated in the vision and mission of the Bureau. Anyim advised the procurement officers to shun corrupt practices in the discharge of their duties, warning that any public official caught in the act of corruption will be made to face the full wrath of the law. He urged participants to be dedicated to learn what could be taught and participate fully in the programme so as to improve their individual and collective capacities to understand the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
Aviation professionals urge NASS to confirm Akinkuotu OLUSEGUN KOIKI
oncerned Aviation Professionals, CAP, has urged the National Assembly to expedite action on the confirmation of the appointment of Capt. Folayele Akinkuotu as the new DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA. The President of CAP, Capt. Tito Omaghomi in an interview with National Mirror yesterday wondered why the Senate was yet to announce the approval of Akinkuotu after almost a month of his L-R: Fellow, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, Dr. Ify Uriah; fellow and member of council, Mr. Jare Ajiboye; Acting President, Alhaji Ganiyu Koledoye; Commercial Director of Promasidor Limited, Mr. Onyekachi Onubogu and Registrar/CEO of screening. According to Omaghomi, the institute, Rev. Deji Olokesusi, during the institute’s courtesy visit to Promasidor in Lagos recently. Akinkuotu was screened last month by the Senate for 3hrs 10minutes inside the the International Multilateral we speak, North Korea already KUNLE A ZEEZ Partnership Against Cyber Ter- can boast of 15,000 cyber securirorism (IMPACT) and Akano ty experts well trained to defend o cope with the challeng- himself, who is the West Africa the cyber space of their country while China has over 25 million TOLA AKINMUTIMI es of increasing cyber representative for IMPACT. Stressing the need to prepare cyber commandos.” crimes, cyber terrorism ABUJA Meanwhile, Akano said with and physical terrorism, Nigeria for cyber warfare to protect its will need nothing less than one economy in the 21st Century, the appointment and acceptance hareholders of Fidelity million cyber security experts in Akano noted that in 2012 alone, of the Nigeria First Lady as Bank Plc yesterday lauded an estimated $1trillion was lost Global Champion on Cyber isthe next two years. the Board and manageChief Executive Officer, New to cyber-related frauds globally sues, it will serve as a catalyst to ment of the bank for its impresHorizons and Vice-Chairman “although only $390 billion was raise awareness of Nigeria. sive performance in the 2012 He charged the Federal Gov- financial year with the Profit WiniGroup, Mr. Tim Akano, dis- reported for obvious reason.” He said the increasing depen- ernment on the need to quickly After Tax (PAT) rising to 18.2 closed this to National Mirror on dence of economy and gover- put in place a sound national cy- billion, up from the N2.6 bilphone yesterday. nance in banking, e-commerce, ber security architecture and law lion earned in the preceding Speaking on the sideline of recent global cyber champion military, hotel and travel book- that will make Nigerians doing year amongst other positive recognition conferred on the Ni- ing, university registration and business online more secured highlights of the International gerian First Lady, Mrs. Patience education, among other brings and reduce the incidence of child Financial Reporting StandardsJonathan, Akano said that Ni- the challenges of security to the abuse- as they say charity begins based Audited Accounts and Reat home. geria currently has expertise table. ports of the bank in the year. He described Mrs. Jona“The more we deepen the usdeficit in fighting both online to Most of the leaders of the the current cashless economy as age of technology in a cashless than’s recognition as “one of shareholders groups, including well as in addressing cases of ter- economy like Nigeria the more the best things that could hap- Messrs Sunny Nwosu and Bonirorism where Internet platform the vulnerability of the people pen to Nigeria, especially at face Okezie and Alhaji Muktar this crucial time when the na- Muktar, specifically praised the and the Nation. is used to orchestrate. “This is why a country like In- tion’s image is sagging arising Board and Mr Reginald IhejiahiThe award was presented to her last week in Abuja by top dia is targeting five million cyber from a back-to-back combina- led management for transformofficials of the International security experts between now tion of both cyber and physical ing the bank, repositioning it Telecommunications Union, and the next three years. And as terrorism.” for the competitive edge in the
Cybercrimes: ‘Nigeria needs one million cyber security experts’
hallow chamber of the National Assembly, stressing that he perfor med well at the screening. The former Director-General, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren was sacked by President Goodluck Jonathan in the first week of March after a long battle with some stakeholders and professionals in the industry to save his job. Barely 48 hours after his sack, Folayele was announced as a replacement for Demuren, a move, which was commended by experts in the sector. But since the announcement, he is yet to resume work due to the non-confirmation of his appointment by the Senate. In his place, Joyce Nkemakolam was announced in acting capacity by the Presidency.
Shareholders laud Fidelity Board as PAT rises to N18.2bn
increasingly dynamic global financial services market and paying dividends to shareholders. The major highlights of the incomes of the Bank showed that its gross earnings grew by 62.3 per cent from N73.6 billion in 2011 to N119.4 billion in 2012 while the Net Interest and Discount Income was N36.8 billion in 2012 as against N30.6 billion recorded in 2011, representing an increase of 20.5 per cent. Similarly, Non-interest Income increased by 65.6 per cent to N39.4 billion compared to 2011 figure of N23.8 billion, a development which was attributed to continued increase in customer recruitment, new business acquisition, and the continued linkage effect of a well implemented branch expansion programme.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
FG reads riot act to new FHA team OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
n line with its ongoing re-structuring exercise, The Federal Government yesterday inaugurated the Interim Management Team (IMT) of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), with a stern warning that it would henceforth not tolerate cases of “missing title files.” The Federal Government had last year fired the management team of the Housing Authority, setting up in its place a technical board to oversee its affairs in preparation for commecialisation. The new IMT which comprise the interim Managing Director, two Executive Directors and four General Managers, is expected to work closely with the Technical Board as well as the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as part of the restructuring exercise of the Authority. Speaking while inaugurating the interim team approved by President Goodluck Jonathan
last week, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple harped on the urgent need to computerise the operation of the FHA to avoid issue of missing files which had bedeviled it for some time. She said, “As I inaugurate this team, there is a work plan to sign. I don’t want to hear the stories that files are missing. We have resolved to issue titles to the houses built by FHA, particularly those in Gwarimpa. We have come to agreement with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory on this. We need to identify the bonafide owners of the houses? If we had computerized the operations, we will not have that kind of problems. Other areas the new interim team is expected to work on include, development of a new corporate plan, operationalisation of the approved structure, putting in place of a new human resource practices and to work closely with the Technical Board and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to commercialise the operations
of the Authority. As part of the restructuring process, the minister also added that government had commenced the review of the Act establishing FHA, stressing that it had also pruned down the management team for more efficiency. “We are also review the Act establishing the FHA to make sure that it is line with the restructuring that is taking place. Previously we used to have more executive directors and general managers than we have in this IMT. We believe that we need a slimmer management team to run the affairs of FHA. And the organogram we have is line with the recommendations of the committee we set up to run the affairs of the authority. “Nobody should go away with the impression that this is a permanent team. We are going to readvertise the six positions next early year, internally and externally. The onus lies on you to prove yourself and work hard because it is not a permanent thing,” she said.
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ITF’s MoU with DTCA will improve capacity building MESHACK IDEHEN
he Industrial Training Fund (ITF) said its recently signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA) will build on capacity building and create employment opportunities for Nigerians. Director General of the Fund Professor Longmas Sambo Wapmuk told National Mirror on Tuesday, that the idea of the MoU was first conceived and actualised in about seven years ago when ITF and DTCA signed a three-year agreement to guide their collaborations in the area of human capacity building. The ITF DG said also that with the expiration of the first agreement in 2008 came the
Sterling Bank, Intel drive PC acquisition scheme KUNLE A ZEEZ
L-R: Managing Director, Infosoft Limited, Mr. Pius Okigbo; Managing Director, CSCS, Mr. Kyari Bukar; Chief Information Officer, Stanbic IBTC, Mr. Leye Babatunde and Special Assistant to the Minster of Communication & Technology, Mr. Bunmi Okunowo, during the techlaunchpad initiative screening and selection process in Lagos yesterday.
need to renew it in order to so as to encourage future collaboration between the two agencies. Wapmuk explained ITF and DTCA are in the joint venture to things train people and ensure that there was adequate manpower to ensure adequate skill for Nigeria industries, and for the purpose of exporting technical manpower to other African countries, adding that Nigeria and its people stands to gain a lot from there. According to the him, “The MoU will now have a life span of five years; we hope to achieve the following among which are partnership with Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (VETA) of Tanzania for vocational training scheme in the informal sector, sourcing for funds to implement programme.
terling Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s commercial banks in collaboration with Westgate Computers, has entered into strategic partnership with Intel Corporation Nigeria to deepen access to technology in the country. The partnership is designed to improve the quality of living for the general public, especially the youths, through the Sterling Bank-Intel new Laptop acquisition scheme. The new PC acquisition scheme is a scale-up on the Create Your Tomorrow campaign rolled out by Intel late last year. The initiative was announced at a media launch held at the Pearl Garden, Victoria Island, Lagos
this week. Speaking on the collaboration, the Chief Financial Officer, Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, explained that, “At Sterling Bank, we understand the interrelatedness of technology and genuine development in any nation. This initiative offers everyone, the opportunity of a lifetime by empowering them play active roles in creating their tomorrow with sheer ease and convenience.” Speaking in the same vein, the Country Manager, Intel Corporation, Mr. Olubunmi Ekundare, said the scheme, being a sequel to last year’s sought to reinforce Intel’s commitment to being “the sponsors of tomorrow and fuelling the potentials of technology in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”
Customs lampoons Global Scan over cargo inspection contract Sceintists link fish migration to ocean warming FRANCIS EZEM
he Nigeria Customs Service at the weekend took a swipe at the Global Scan Systems Limited, an indigenous service provider under the ongoing Destination Inspection contract over its calls for further extension of the contract over allegations that the service is currently ill-equipped to effectively takeover and manage the scheme as specified in the seven -year contract agreement. Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Fred Udechukwu had however in a recent interview with newsmen canvassed a further extension of the contract, which was earlier extended by six months from January-June, 2013, citing allegations of inability of the service to handle the scheme, especially the scanning operations. He had alleged specifically that
Nigeria risks the outbreak of cancer at the seaports and borders if cargo scanners were handed to Customs officers, who he described as ‘untrained and inexperienced Customs Service operatives’. National Public Relations officer of the service, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, who accused the company, in particular of failing to perform its obligations under the scheme, described such calls as desperate claims to retain a non performing contract According to him, June 2013 end of the extension period for DI operations approaches, the swan song about capacity gaps in the service have become more strident and desperate from Globascan, regretting that the Global Scan-boss described officers of the service as ‘un-trainable’ because ‘there are no Engineers in Customs’.
“As we approached the end of the extension period for DI operations, the swan song about capacity gaps in Customs became more strident and desperate from Globascan. In another recent publication, Mr Udechukwu described Customs Officers as ‘un-trainable’ because “there are no Engineers in Customs’’, he said. While going down the memory lane he said: “In 2005, Federal Government of Nigeria had conceived the DI programem as a viable approach to Customs Modernisation. Four Companies were engaged on a BuildOwn- Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis over a Seven year period to provide the required infrastructure. Globanscan, one of the SPs contracted was allotted Seme Border, Ports of Calabar, Warri, Port Harcourt as well as International Airports in Lagos and Port Harcourt”.
WITH AGENCY NEWS
cientists have wrestled for years with the problem of detecting evidence of climate change in the oceans. Now, a Canadian team has found a way to do so: by working out what temperatures suit different fish species. After wrestling for years with the problem of detecting evidence of climate change in the oceans, Canadian scientists have devised a new scale for measuring ocean change - the fish. According to Climate News Networks, they have used the changing make-up of the global fisheries catch to detect the signature of global warming. In a warming world, fish that find the sea temperatures too hot for comfort could move north or south, away from the tropics, or
to deeper and therefore cooler waters. Although oceans are warming, and the chemistry of the seas gradually changing, William Cheung and colleagues at the University of British Columbia report in Nature that it has not been easy so far to detect any evidence of change for these reasons because over-exploitation of the traditional fishing grounds, and greater pressure on more distant and deeper waters, made it difficult to identify any climatic effect. But the researchers tried a different approach. They calculated the temperature preferences of fish species - confusingly, they called this the mean temperature of catch - and then they analysed the annual haul of 990 species across 52 large marine ecosystems between 1970 and 2006.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Indigenous oil and gas firms boost production capacity For many years, the International Oil Companies, IOCs, dominated the upstream sector of the petroleum industry. However, UDEME AKPAN reports that the future looks bright as many indigenous companies have joined the league of petroleum producers in the nation.
or several decades, the upstream sector of the petroleum industry, involving exploration and production of crude oil and gas was mainly left in the hands of International Oil Companies, IOCs. The reasons were not farfetched. First, it was the multinationals that pioneered the development of the industry in Nigeria. For instance, it was Shell D’Arcy, the forerunner of Shell Petroleum Development Company that made commercial oil find at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State in 1956. Second, the firms had the technologies required for exploration and production. Moreover, the companies, especially Mobil, Agip, Safrap, Texaco and Amosea also possessed other resources such as funds and specialised personnel. These and others placed them in an advantageous position to dictate the pace of development in the sector. Efforts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, that came into existence in the early 1970s did not make much impact because of some fac-
THE NPDC IS CURRENTLY THE FIFTH LARGEST PRODUCER IN THE COUNTRY WITH ABOUT
tors, especially inconsistent government policies. For instance, records abound to illustrate how one administration would allocate some oil blocks to the corporation while another that succeeds it would reallocate such blocks to the multinationals. Despite the early setbacks, many indigenous firms have recorded important milestones in the past few years. Take the Nigerian National Petroleum Development Company Limited, a subsidiary of NNPC as an example. The firm, established in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the NNPC with responsibility to explore and produce crude oil and natural gas presently have operations in states such as Imo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers. The firm that has the vision to be a commercial oil and gas E&P flagship company, operating responsibly and applying the best industry practices and technologies
is involved in 23 concessions (16 OMLs & 7 OPLs). It has 100 per cent ownership of five blocks: OMLs 64, 65, 66, 111 & 119. The NPDC has 55 per cent equity in eight (8) blocks: OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 40, 41 & 42, varied interest in seven deepwater concessions and non-equity operations in 3 blocks (selected NNPC JV fields). The NPDC is currently the fifth largest producer in the country with about 130,000bopd. It owns and operates the 7th largest FPSO in Nigeria. The firm has also started to deliver 105 million standard cubic feet wet gas per day (MMSCFD) to the domestic market through the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS). The company is presently drilling on two locations. One Offshore Okono 8 in OML 119 and one on land, Oredo 12 in OML 111. The NPDC is not alone. Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited,
formed by two Nigerian E & P companies - Shebah E & P and Platform Petroleum - has also made much impact. The firm registered in 2009 as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the acquisition of 45per cent interest in Oil Mining Licenses 4, 38 and 41 successfully acquired stakes in OMLs 4, 38, 41 from Shell/Total/Agip. The firm stated that: “The acquisition represents a 45per cent stake in the three onshore licenses located onshore in the Western Niger Delta region. At acquisition, NNPC held the balance 55per cent, but by September 3, 2010 transferred her stake in OML 4, 38 and 41 to her subsidiary – the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Ltd. SEPLAT is the operator of the SEPLAT/NPDC Joint Venture. The combined track records of the consortium that founded SEPLAT in Nigeria, Gabon, Congo, Tanzania and Colombia place them in very good stead to efficiently operate these new assets on beCONTINUED ON PAGE 36
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Indigenous oil and gas firms boost production capacity CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 half of the Joint Venture Partners, Seplat stated that: “The transfer of assets by International operators (Shell/ Total/Agip) to an indigenous Nigerian company has been hailed around the world as a landmark initiative that has given added fillip to and redefined Local Capacity Development in the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Industry. It is the first time a Nigerian Independent company will acquire a major stake from an International Oil Company, complete with a smooth transfer of Operatorship.” Available records showed that Seplat assumed operatorship and production from the assets seamlessly, accounting for a daily production of over 30,000 barrels of oil daily. This has gone a long way to boosting the nation’s producing capacity. Another firm that has made progress is Oando Exploration and Producing Company which has interests (directly and indirectly) in 15 licenses for the exploration, development and production of oil and gas assets located onshore, swamp, and offshore. Indirectly, Oando Plc holds interests in 4 licenses. It has a 40per cent and 95per cent Working interest in OML 13(Qua Iboe) and OPL 236 respectively which are currently near term and exploratory assets. The company is also a Nigerian Content Partner with AGIP Oil on OPL 282. Following the reverse takeover of exile resources, Oando Plc holds 94.6per cent in Oando Energy Resources that is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Oando Energy Resources holds interests in 11 licenses. Besides Seplat, another firm that has made positive impact is the Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc (NDEP) originally registered as Midas Exploration & Drilling Fund Plc in 1992. NDPR is the operator of the Ogbele Joint Venture created prior to a Farm-out Agreement dated August 7, 2000 involving the FarmOut Area of the Ogbele Field, located in the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture’s OML 54. Also, Niger Delta Gas Development Company Limited - a wholly owned subsidiary, was established to pursue investment opportunities in the gas sector and ND Properties Limited, also a wholly owned subsidiary, was established to pursue NDEP’s property interests. The Niger Delta oil-producing region is characterised by many non-producing oil and gas assets, which are considered too small and thus not desirable enough to be considered economically viable investments by larger operating companies. The firm stated that: “NDEP, through its operating company, NDPR, has taken the initiative to set up a tight knit, highly skilled team of exploration and production professionals. Backed by robust funding and an experienced management team, NDEP has been the pioneering force in the successful acquisition of these highly profitable smaller assets in Nigeria. It stated that: “Although we had identified several dormant marginal field assets within the portfolios of many multi-
THE TRANSFER OF ASSETS BY INTERNATIONAL OPERATORS (SHELL/TOTAL/AGIP) TO AN INDIGENOUS NIGERIAN COMPANY HAS BEEN HAILED AROUND THE WORLD AS A LANDMARK INITIATIVE THAT HAS GIVEN ADDED FILLIP TO AND REDEFINED
LOCAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT IN THE NIGERIAN UPSTREAM PETROLEUM INDUSTRY national oil companies, we saw Chevron Nigeria Limited as a company, which shared our desire and vision to implement new operational models providing sustained and profitable revenue from these dormant oil assets. In 1996, a Farm-Out Agreement was negotiated purely on commercial terms, the first of such in Nigeria, between NDPR and the NNPC/Chevron JV. In 2000, the FarmOut Agreement was executed for the assignment of the Ogbele Field in OML 54 and the right of first refusal on the Omerelu Field, in OML 53.” Another firm that has made impact is Amni Petroleum Development Company which has completed the drilling of Okoro 13 well in the eastern flank of Okoro as well Okoro 5 ST 1 and Okoro 5 ST 2 wells. The stated that: “We are currently completing Okoro 5 ST 2 horizontal well after which we will drill Okoro 14 well and complete same. Amni is overhauling gas injection plant in IMA in readiness for gas injection into 2 wells as well as zero flaring policy of the government. It stated that: “We recently installed a newer and bigger FSO “Ailsa Craig 1” which replaced the old FSO “Ailsa Craig”. The new FSO is spread moored. With Okoro 13 well drilled and fully tested, we are evaluating full field development options of okoro east field.S Amni, with Total, continues to move toward the monetisation of its IMA gas reserves. These accomplishments would not have been possible without the cooperation of the IOCs. For instance, the
implementation of the divestment policy of Royal Dutch Shell enabled the indigenous firms to acquire new investments. The divestment created the opportunities for operators such as Conoil producing, Oando, Dangote Group, and Niger Delta Petroleum to bid for the blocks. Expectedly, the feats have attracted the comments of some observers. For instance, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alsion-Madueke stated that the NPDC has joined the league of major oil and gas producers in the nation. She said: “It is of interest to note that NPDC is now the major gas supplier to the nation’s domestic gas market with the current supply of approximately 400MMSCFD and expected growth to 600MMSCF by the end of this year”. The minister observed that the early first gas phase is currently delivering 45MMSCFD to the Ihovbor Independent Power Plant (IIPP) and the remaining 20MMSCFD to the domestic market for other users. She remarked that the NPDC gas project is an eloquent demonstration of the company’s capability to take a leading role in actualizing the Federal Government quest of monetizing natural gas endowment through gas-to-power and other gas related industrialization, thus increasing power supply to the country. Alison-Madueke stated that it was based on the strategic position which NPDC occupies in the petroleum, and by extension economy of the nation that made the government to allocate many oil blocks to the firm. She disclosed that the Federal Government has established the Gas Aggregator Company of Nigeria
which will primarily act as a market place that would bring together buyers and sellers of gas. The minister hopes that when the IGHF is completed by the fourth quarter of 2013, NPDC would be able to deliver 100 MMSCFD of lean gas to Ihovbor Independent Power Plan (IIPP) and the domestic markets; another 100 MMSCF of raw gas per day to Pan Ocean Gas Plant and about 330 tones of LPG per annum to the domestic market. The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Andy Yakubu disclosed that the Corporation was pursuing the development of more resources in order to provide gas to Pan Ocean gas plant. Apart from its capacity to process 100MMSFCD with the model for LPG production and other liquid extraction facility, the GMD stated that the gas project would improve power supply to Nigerians, generate employment opportunities as well as eliminate gas flaring in compliance with government environmental requirements. The Managing Director of NPDC, Mr. Iyowuna Briggs assured the Federal Government of the company’s responsibility to perform to its expectations. He said: “We at NPDC will like to give the HMPR comfort that NPDC will not only meet the 200 MMSCFD from OML 111 but will also be able to sustain production for the next 20 years based on existing reserves. We would like to express our gratitude to the FG for this administration unflinching support to NPDC. We would also like to thank you immensely for your belief in the Nigerian project which has made all these possible. Thanks to you HMPR, NPDC’s Oil & Gas reserves have increase 400 per cent”. However, many stakeholders, including the Chairman/Managing director of International Energy Services, Dr. Diran Fawibe who have watching developments in the industry believed that the giant strides could have been more if the nation was able to put its Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB which has been on the drawing board since 2008.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
OPEC forecasts hike in oil demand M ember states of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, including Nigeria may have to pump more oil to the market has the cartel as forecasted an increase in global oil demand. OPEC in a monthly report forecasts 2013 demand for its crude will average 29.84 million barrels per day (mbpd), up 90,000 bpd from the previous estimate. Both world oil demand and the demand for OPEC oil will increase in coming months. The average requirement for OPEC’s crude in the second half will be 30.47 mbpd, up from 29.14 mbpd in the current quarter. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, in a speech in Ankara, said the outlook was brighter for big economies such as top oil consumer the United States, even though Europe was still struggling. “Europe continues to grapple with austerity and anemic levels of growth. That said, other regions are showing signs of progress,” Ali Al Naimi said. “Major economies are leading the way and the US economy is improving.” Oil has dropped to just above $103 a barrel from almost $120 at the start of February, worrying some in OPEC. But the expectation of stronger demand later in 2013 argues against any suggestion of lowering output, say OPEC officials. “On production issues, demand is expected to pick up, so most likely an-
other rollover,” said an OPEC delegate of the outcome of the group’s meeting in Vienna. OPEC for now is pumping more oil than its 30 mbpd official target. Output rose by 280,000 bpd in April to 30.46 mbpd, according to secondary sources cited by the report, led by higher output in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. While higher than the current demand for Opec crude, that output rate would match the average requirement in the second half of 2013. OPEC held its forecast for growth in world demand unchanged at 800,000 bpd and repeated a warning that the rate of expansion could underperform due to the euro zone’s
economic problems and uncertainties about China. Another oil forecaster closely watched by the market, the US government’s Energy Information Administration, took a more bearish view on demand growth in its report, cutting its forecast by 70,000 bpd to 890,000 bpd. The overall goal of OPEC at inception was market stability. While this still remains the goal, some of the present challenges OPEC has to deal with were either not seen or they did not even exist almost 53 years ago when OPEC was established.
Alison-Madueke seeks investment in energy sector
he Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke has appealed to the global community and the developed World to invest in the development of the burgeoning African energy economy so as to ensure a win-win scenario for the continent and the rest of the globe. Speaking at a lecture titled: The Future of African Energy in a Changing World, delivered at St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, over the weekend, the minister stated that unlike in the past when Africa was a ready example of a pitiable basket case, the continent has emerged a potent destination for investments in oil and gas. Celebrating the rising profile of African energy in the global energy matrix, Alison-Madueke stated that the recent flurry of offshore and onshore oil and gas discoveries across the continent has placed Africa on the front burner of the global energy map. The minister argued that while it
may make economic and geo-strategic sense for a nation to meet its energy needs from domestic sources instead of imports, it may not make so much sense from the perspective of the broad-based global development necessary to ensure the global stability. ``We believe that global stability comes from the balancing of regional interests. To achieve optimal development for the African energy sector, the support and partnership of the industrialised world is critical. This would not only be in the interest of Africa, but also in the enlightened self-interest of the global community as a whole. We see a win-win outcome when industrialised nations source their energy needs from African nations.’’ She added that this would enable the wealthy nations satisfy their energy needs while at the same time generating for Africa, the vital export revenue that will make the continent less dependent on foreign developmental aid. `` Investing in Africa’s growth opportunities is undeniably a much better model for providing long-term solutions to Africa’s developmental challenges than the grant of
charitable aid,’’ she said. Establishing a strong correlation between Africa’s development and drive to attaining global security, the Minister noted that the economic stability of Africa is a key factor in global security. She argued that when Africa is ravaged by socio-economic instability, the rest of the world is less safe stating that no nation of the world, no matter how far away from Africa, is genuinely at peace with itself because the reality of our globalized world is that no nation is too far way to be impacted by upheavals in other regions of the world. The minister emphasised that the more Africa’s economy develops and African States earn export revenue that will lift their people from poverty, disease, illiteracy and other socio-economic depredations that have held Africa back, the less likely that Africa will provide the breeding ground for terrorism and other forms of violent civil unrest. The minister listed the investment opportunities on offer in the continent to include: upstream drilling and related services, pipeline engineering and construction,
Crude Oil (WTI)
Crude Oil (Brent)
TOCOM Crude Oil
NYMEX Natural Gas
engineering and construction of oil and gas processing facilities, logistics and related support services, technical training and general human resources development, gas utilisation for value added purposes such as fertiliser, power generation, petrochemicals to mention but a few. ``The world must have learned by now that Africa’s issues cannot be treated as side issues but must be placed front and centre in dialogue about the future of our planet. African energy has a role to play in the global energy market, but it can only play that role if the global community empowers it to play it,’’ she said. On the threat posed to the Africa Energy market with the embrace of shale oil and gas by the US and China, Alison-Madueke described the threat as potent and called on the continent to rise up to the challenge. Commenting on gas flaring and environmental pollution, the minister stated that the country has begun the implementation of mitigation strategies that will over time compensate for years of carbon emissions adding that Nigeria aspires to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 at the latest.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Insecurity causes drawbacks in power sector â€“Nebo Recently, when the Federal Ministry of Power hosted the Abuja Bureau of National Mirror; the Honourable Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo spoke on critical issues in the power sector. CHIDI UGWU was there. What should Nigerians expect from the visit that you and President Goodluck Jonathan paid to South Africa recently? The visit to South Africa was all encompassing. It was not only because of power. President Goodluck Jonathan was in South Africa for a state visit. He addressed the parliament of South Africa. That address was one the most powerful speeches I have heard in a very long time. He reminded South Africans of the role Nigeria played against apartheid. But in addition to that, there was a World Economic Forum which the President also addressed. These and other engagements were targeted at enhancing the bilateral relations between South Africa and Nigeria. So, there were signing of nine Memoranda of Understanding and one of the nine was in the power sector. In other words, we now have MoU with South African Ministry of Energy. We are hoping that the MoU will lead to lots of bilateral activities. In fact, we have set some time lines to meet, share information, sharing expertise, strengthen each other and making sure that the energy industry of both countries benefit from that. How far have you gone in curtailing the activities of cabals in the power sector? There are cabals that have been so formidable and determined to make sure that Nigerians do not get the best in the power sector. They come in various shapes and sizes. But we have a vision that is irrepressible. We have a goal that we must attain. So, cabal or no cabal in whatever form or shape they come both from within and from without, we will get to our destination. The cabals include people who stop to benefit once power supply becomes more constant than we presently have in the nation. These people do not want Nigerians to have power. There are many of them out there but by the grace of God we will overcome them. The mechanisms have been put in place. These mechanisms are pure, strong, technical mechanisms well conceived, well articulated and designed in such a way as to give Nigerians maximum benefit in power delivery. So we are getting there. It is very likely that within a year, there will be a significant improvement in the power delivery. What is government doing to resolve the labour issues so as to restore investorsâ€™ confidence? We have come a long way in resolution of the labour problems. There is no need for labour to be afraid just because the government is bent on privatisation of GENCOs and DISCOs at least for a reason. The successful bidders who are buying up the GENCOs and DISCOs know that they are not going to import work-
What is the level of European Union support for the power sector? Most of these are in terms of soft loans. These are not grants. They are just soft loans. But they are necessary in order to assist the country to do these things as painlessly as possible so that the economy does not bleed because one sector is in need of a huge amount of money.
ers from another planet. They are going to make do with some of those that are available. It is likely that a significant proportion of those who are working there would be retained. But, we do not want to encumber them with excess luggage. This explains why the ministry has concluded with the Bureau of Public Enterprises to make sure that they are paid off. The paying off is supposed to start within a week from now because if they are not paid off, it would be impossible to handover the companies to new buyers. There have been suggestions that sacking some of the PHCN workers could be a the solution to the crisis. What is your take on that? Well, we are not planning to sack anybody at this time. PHCN is essentially defunct and moribund because these companies have been bought. So, we are paying them off. We are not sacking them. We are saying: thank you for job well done and bye bye!. If the new companies want to retain them, they are free to do so. So, it is not that we are sacking anybody but we are paying them off for all the work they have done. If their services are required further, I believe they will be retained. What is the current generation and evacuation capacity of the sector now? I am a bit frightened to tell you that because in generation we do hit peaks. For instance, we recorded a pick of 4,500mw recently. But the average off peak has been in the neighbourhood of 3,800mw to 4000mw. By the grace of God, by the end of the first quarter of 2014, we should hit generation capacity and capability of 10,000mw. But we will not hit a transmission capability. That is our problem. And that is why we are moving very hard to strengthen transmission. So by the grace of God, we will be able to transmit up to 5,500mw. And we are hoping that by the end of 2014, if all the things we put in place work, we should be able to wit-
THERE ARE CABALS THAT HAVE BEEN SO FORMIDABLE AND DETERMINED TO MAKE SURE THAT
DO NOT GET THE BEST IN THE POWER
IN VARIOUS SHAPES AND SIZES ness a significant improvement in power supply. What are those things that are being put in place? There are many things that we are putting in place, including financing of projects. We are also doing a lot in transmission. Transmission is so capital intensive and the Federal Government alone cannot do a super grid for Nigeria. What is needed for a super grid transmission alone is more than the entire capital expenditure of the whole country. So, there is no way the Federal Government alone can do it. We are involving external partners. Some are coming as banks, World Bank, African Development Bank, China Exim Bank and a few others in addition to real financiers within the electricity sector who are coming to invest. Some of them are coming to invest in transmission so that as we transmit, they will be recovering from the transmission component of the tariff. They will be recovering their investments. So, it is actually who is open to investment, Federal Government is considering the model of having people or companies invest in transmission in addition to Federal Government sourcing for funds to strengthen transmission super grid.
What plans have your ministry made to ensure that there is no gas deficit for power generation? There is a lot of work. There is a master plan for gas already developed by government and government is looking at that blueprint and funding the blueprint. In fact, of the one million dollar Euro bond that Nigerian government is floating, 550million or more will be devoted to gas infrastructure to ensure that our capacity to deliver gas is improved. But in addition to that, government is doing a heavy investment in hydro power. Zugenru will be flagged off by the President in a couple of weeks and that will deliver over 700mw. Mambila is already being conceived and there is big movement to make sure that that project is realised. That could add another 3,050mw that will be one of the biggest hydro power plants in the whole of West Africa. It is a very big one. We are also thinking about solar. There are solar power stations, wind power, like the one in Katsina to deliver small, like 10mw. When you talk of 10MW people will think it is small, 10mw will power a whole village and everywhere will be so full of light. You know, because in small of these rural areas nobody has air conditioner or those things that consume a lot of electricity. And we are also working and ensuring that Nigeria has a very good power mix. So that it is not only gas to power, we are working on coal to power. We are working on hydro power; we are working on wind power and solar power. In fact we are signing a MoU with a Korean company that intends to do 1000mw per year of solar power for Nigeria. We are diversifying because for security reasons you do not put all your eggs in one basket. How has the current security challenges affected the planning and execution of these projects across the country? It has not been easy. Like the good project that is being done in Katsina State, on wind power, which was something that was funded by an external agency, and mostly as a grant form, and the elderly man who was the coordinator of the programme was kidnapped for several weeks. Insecurity has caused a lot of drawback on that, and also some of our young people who want to get rich quick by dismantling transmission and distribution lines, but we are working on that to ensure that we minimise vandalism when it comes to our transmission lines. So, insecurity has not augured well for the sector. But it is good that our President saw it fit to declare a state of emergency where these problems are mostly felt.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
TCN rearranges electricity supply in Lagos
Frequently asked questions
When was the EPSR Act, 2005 enacted? The Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 was enacted on March 11, 2005. The Act is the legal framework through which government intends to address the country’s power problems to ensure that power is adequate, safe, reliable and affordable.
he Transmission Company of Nigeria has rearranged electricity supply in Lagos in view of the recent fire incident that gutted its 150 MVA, 330/132/33kV Power Transformer at the TCN’s 330/132/33kV Transmission Substation. The rearrangement aims at ensuring that all parts of the state experience staple power supply while the firm continues with the rehabilitation of the station. The TCN which confirmed the development in a statement signed by its Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs), Mr. Dave Ifabiyi stated that: “Lagos power load has been re-arranged to take advantage of excess capacity from other locations such as Akangba and Aja Transmission Substations, in Surulere and Victoria Islands extension, Lagos State respectively, as well as Olorunsogo Transmission Substation in Ogun State, so that available power is evenly distributed, in order to spread the effect of the loss. The statement added that TCN Management has commenced investigation into the immediate and remote cause of the inferno that gutted the 150 MVA Power Transformer which was manufactured by Mitsubishi in 1976 and commissioned in 1979. The company affirmed that it will continue to work hard at enhancing transmission capacity in the area and improve grid power delivery and reliability nationwide. TCN regrets any inconvenience the power disruption caused the government and good people of Lagos and Ogun states on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
Why the need for Power Sector Reform?
Transmission station in Nigeria
However, it confirmed that with the quick intervention of its Engineers in re-arranging the power load, the situation has stabilised. While TCN is looking into quickly finding a replacement for the burnt Power Transformer, it thanked the Lagos State Fire Service for assisting in putting out the fire. Also, the management of PHCN Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company said the fire was caused by transformer defect. The Chief Executive Officer of the zone, Mr. Chris Akamnonu made the clarification in Lagos stated that: “We deem it fit to inform the general public most especially our customer within the axis not exercise any panic about any power outage due to the fire incidence, as adequate measures has been put in place to ensure no place within the axis is left out of supply. Mr Chris Akamnonu said that the essence of the media briefing is to set the record straight be-
cause we have read various versions of the stories from different media which were in accurate. He said: “There was a fire incidence on Tuesday, May 14 at the Ikeja West station which has resulted in a loss of one out of the five numbers of units that transmit voltage from 33kva/132 which basically feeds customers in Ikeja and part of Ogun State. Akamnonu stated that: “The transformers was lost due to the fire incidence but we are able embarked on network re-arrangement to move load from other place to affected area to be able to get supply. He said: “immediately the incidence occured, we were able to transfer some feeders to Oworoshoki, Ajah, Ojo and Akangba to accommodate supply in the affected transformers. Akamnonu said: “We move load to Aja and Akangba where we have capacity, the purposed is to ensure that those affected cus-
tomers from Ikeja West Station are stranded the restricting was done within 24-hours. He stated that: ``I want to assured Lagosians and customers of within the network to put their mind at rest as the station has enough power to distribute. We are also working hard to ensure that the burnt transformer is replaced immediately. Akamnonu also stated that: “The fire has nothing to do with total outage in the affected area because immediate the incidence occurred we have restructured the supply channel to supply effective power to our customer within the axis.” However, Mr Oyeleke Adeoye, General Manager, Transmission Company of Nigeria, West Region said that the fire was caused by some defeat in the transformers in May around 11 am while the affected transformers was isolate from the rest to avoid been affected.
NERC begins new metering scheme, directs discos to supply meters
he new metering scheme kicks off today with an official order from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission – NERC mandating the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to commence implementation of the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation – CAPMI. CAPMI came about due to the slow pace of customer metering by the DISCOs, as well as the high level of complaints received from customers and dissatisfaction with the current estimated billing practices. CAPMI provides a platform for willing customers to pay the cost of the meter into a dedicated account jointly managed by the DISCO and meter Vendor/Installer. Once payment has been effected, the customer will have their me-
ter installed within 45 days, by a NERC accredited Vendor/Installer. Chairman NERC – Dr. Sam Amadi explained that, “The cost of the meters was arrived at using the standard market price plus the most efficient installation costs. The DISCOs submitted data based on costs submitted by the DISCOs during the MYTO review, as well as review of prices supplied by local manufacturers” In arriving at a list of meter Vendors and Installers of meters to partake in the CAPMI scheme, NERC followed a comprehensive due process by first advertising, and inviting the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to supervise the process of certification based on the Metering Code. Consultations were also held with various stakeholders includ-
ing preferred bidders, would be vendors and installers and Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs), as well as the financial institutions to agree on the framework and logistics of implementing the scheme. In selecting
successful applicants, the Commission gave emphasis to local firms as a way of localising and promoting local content in the sector”. In a related development, the Commission has also signed an order mandating DISCOs to supply meters paid for by customers dating back to January 2011. Amadi said: “It is regrettable that customers paid for meters and not supplied with same months even years after. This is a double jeopardy considering that meters ought to have been supplied to them free once they paid bills. The commission had to take January 2011 as deadline for a number of reasons. Nevertheless, we are working on measures to ensure that customers who paid before January 2011 are metered within the shortest possible time”.
The history of electricity in Nigeria is well known. It is generally inadequate, unavailable in most rural communities, and unreliable where available. Prior to the reforms in the Power Sector, the industry was a monopoly run by a single government owned utility company handling generation, transmission and distribution of electricity? Over the years, this single utility company had metamorphosed in name from Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN), to Nigerian Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and finally, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). To address the power problems, a provision of the Act has further broken down the business of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the country into 18 separate entities made up of 11 Distribution companies, six Generation companies and one Transmission company.
What is NERC and when was it established? NERC is The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. The Electric Power Reform Sector Act, 2005 gave birth to the Commission. This is an independent watchdog and regulatory body for the power industry and was inaugurated on October 31st 2005.
What is the mandate of NERC? The commission was created to oversee the orderly reform of the electricity industry and mandated as follows: To ensure adequate, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to all consumers.
What effort is NERC making to protect consumers as well as the electricity sector? The commission has established the following consumer protection measures: Customer complaints handling standards and procedures; connections and disconnections procedures for electricity services; customer Service standards for distribution companies and Meter Reading; Cash collection and credit management for electricity supply. The commission has embarked on a public enlightenment campaign titled ‘Power Consumer Assembly’ to enlighten consumers on their rights and obligations. TO BE CONCLUDED
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
IMF commends FG on Petroleum Industry Bill
he International Monetary Fund, IMF, has lauded the Federal Government for efforts made to produce the nation’s Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, stating that it would stimulate investment in the oil and gas industry. The IMF also observed that the PIB which is a comprehensive legislation would boost government revenue, accountability and fiscal transparency in the industry, and by extension the nation’s economy. The commendation came in spite of varied criticisms by oil majors and other interest groups against some of the fiscal propositions in the bill, and the first of international endorsement for Nigeria’s economic reforms. The IMF in a Public Information Notice, PIN, released on March 28, also called for early passage of the bill saying, “Directors welcomed reforms underway in the energy sector, and looked forward to an early passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.” The IMF said its appraisal followed the conclusion of consultations between it’s Executive Board and Nigeria under the 2012 Article IV, on February 6, 2013 The PIB is one of Nigeria’s most important pieces of legislation, which proposes massive reforms in t6he petroleum industry. As such, the IMF pass mark comes at
Senate President, David Mark
a time the bill is going through critical appraisals under public hearings in the lower house of the National Assembly. The IMF’s endorsement analysts believe will provide a counterweight to the trenchant criticism coming mainly from the international oil companies, IOCs regarding the bill.
The IMF’s remarks is expected to present an important international perspective on the bill for the benefit of the lawmakers who are daily fed with disparaging remarks on the document. At the recently concluded Offshore Technology Conference, OTC in Houston Texas, USA, the lawmakers who attended
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the conference like the IMF, agreed that the bill will institute greater transparency in the system and maximise government’s revenues. Speaking on behalf of their colleagues, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, also Committee Chair on Upstream, and his junior counterpart, Honourable Samson Osagie, Deputy Committee Chair on PIB, reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly to passing the bill before year end. They maintained that unlike its predecessor, the new bill will not suffer from undue political manipulations, but will protect national interest. The IOCs have continued to insist that the passage of the Bill will force operating companies to exit Nigeria for countries with more generous fiscal terms, but the legislators gave the assurance that the fiscal regime will not be too harsh as to drive away existing or prospective investors. The IMF in its notice also declared Nigeria’s Macroeconomic performance as being “broadly positive over the past year”, notwithstanding that “real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to have decelerated slightly to 6.3 percent, reflecting the effects of the nationwide strike in early 2012, floods in the fourth quarter of 2012, and continued security problems in the north.
NLNG, NIMASA to begin negotiation on terms of payment Oil & Gas firms UDEME AKPAN
he Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited and Nigerian Maritime Safety Administration, NIMASA, have concluded plans to meet and agree on some issues, including terms of paying about $1 billion to the government. This follows government resolution demanding that the gas firm which has not been paying three per cent of annual levy, freight and sea protection levy in accordance with the laws of the nation. Investigations showed that this was the resolution of representatives of the Federal Government that intervened to put paid to the dispute. Authoritative source in attendance who confirmed the development stated that: “The Federal Government has resolved that Nigeria LNG Limited should pay outstanding levies or charges as stipulated in the laws of the nation. He said: “The gas firm and NIMASA will have to meet further to work out the cost and mode of payment. The government has many things to do with money, including the building of capacity and provision of basic infrastructure.” Investigations showed that the payment would be calculated from 2010 as the tax holiday granted the gas company expired in 2009. The gas firm has not paid these charges before as the Nigeria LNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act which the government put in place to provide many incentives for successful construction and operation of the Nigeria LNG Limited stated among other things that: “The registered company known as the Nige-
ria LNG Limited (hereafter in this Act referred to as “the Company”) shall be regarded as a pioneer company within the provisions of the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act. It stated that: “The provisions of the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act, other than sections 2, 3 and 7 thereof and as otherwise provided in this Act, shall apply to the company. The business undertaken by the company and its products are hereby declared as pioneer industry and pioneer products respectively. For the purposes of this Act, “production day” means the date of the first commercial delivery of liquefied natural gas produced by the company to a purchaser of the liquefied natural gas, upon which date the trade or business of the company shall be deemed to commence for the purposes of the Companies Income Tax Act. It stated that: “Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10 of the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act, the tax relief period of the company shall commence on the production day of the company and shall continue for a period of 10 years, so however that the tax relief period shall terminate at the first anniversary date after the first five years when the cumulative average sales price of liquefied natural gas reaches US 3 dollars/mmbtu as calculated in the First Schedule to this Act in accordance with which such calculation shall only be made annually at each anniversary date. The Act exempted the firm from the payment of customs duties when it stated that: “The company and its contractors and sub-contractors shall be exempt from the payment of import duties, taxes and all other duties, levies, charges
and imports of a similar nature, in respect of all necessary imports of plant, machinery, goods and materials for use in the construction of, or incorporation in the plant, jetties, shipping, transmission facilities and ancillary works used in the company’s business, and in respect of any major spare parts needed in the event of a plant failure and ordered within two years of commissioning that part of the plant for which the particular spare part is ordered, subject to subsection (2) of this section. Despite the dictates of the Act, NIMASA insisted that the firm should pay tax to the government as its 10 year holiday period has expired. The new Deputy Director and Head Public Relations of NIMASA, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi stated in a telephone interview that: “The government has already intervened to settle the problem amicably between the institutions. It is necessary for the Nigeria LNG limited to pay because its tax holiday cannot be forever.”
tasked on document control, others KUNLE A ZEEZ
leading document and electronic content management firm, Young & Bailey Nigeria Limited, has advised operators and regulators in the Nigerian oil & Gas sector to improve on their document control and management processes. The company said taking such a step will guarantee business efficiency and stem the tide of corruption and inefficiency currently threatening the sector, and by extension, the nation’s economy. Giving the advice a recent workshop organised by Young & Bailey Nigeria Limited with the “Document Control and Management: Turning Challenges into Opportunities”, lead paper presenter, Mr. Shola Adeola, noted that document control and management requirement is one of the most difficult and ineffectively implemented requirements in the nation’s Oil and Gas sector, leading to errors, delays, costs, poor records management and non conformities. While submitting that the relevance and impact of proper document control and management processes in oil and gas servicing organisations cannot be over emphasized, Adeola, who is the IT manager at Shell Nigeria, said lack of proper document control can lead to dissatisfaction of Contractors, Engineers and Project Managers, thereby resulting invariably in project failures. He challenged document control managers in the various spheres of the nation’s economy to update their knowledge base as well as adopt cutting edge, world class solutions in order to protect the integrity of their organisations.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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‘Power sector workforce ageing, The Director-General of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Mr. Reuben Okeke in this interview with CHIDI UGWU, speaks on the mandate of NAPTIN, the dearth of trained engineers in the power sector and sundry issues. Excerpts:
Not many Nigerians are familiar with NAPTIN and its activities, what is NAPTIN all about? National Power Training Institute, like you know, we just celebrated our four years of operation, on March 23, 2013. You are correct, not many people know what we do except for those who need the training in electricity sector and the stakeholders, There is still much room for us to increaase our popularity so that people can appreciate and know exactly that such agency as NAPTIN is existing. The National Power Training Institute is 100 percent owned by the government. It is not a private entity; neither is it scheduled to be privatised like all other successor companies. It is an arm of the power sector that was handling training and capacity development in Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). And PHCN is 96 percent of the power sector. So, any time we talk of the power sector, we are indirectly referring to PHCN. And PHCN used to have a training department right from time. Training department was established in the early 70s. Government decided to make a priority in its agenda for power delivery to the people. Government knew very well that that cannot be achieved without the real workforce. So, the training arm of the PHCN was made an agency or a parastatal under Ministry of Power in 2009, and ever since, the training arm stand alone, that particular mandate that they were doing when they were under PHCN was fortified and NAPTIN was given that mandate of being a focal point for human capacity development in the power sector and as well to coordinate all trainings in the power sector. And that is what NAPTIN has started to do since 2009. The mandate of NAPTIN is strictly on human capital development both for technical and non technical courses. Whether it is generation, transmission or distribution, we have to train and guarantee that we have credible, skilful workforce that are provided to man the envisaged generation capacity improvement in the power sector. Anybody that has to work in the power sector, both those who are working, we retrain them and also give the new entrants the skills that will enable them pursue a career in the power sector. We have trained about 5,320 of those who are working in PHCN. Presently, we have fresh ones, those who have not worked in the power sector before, but fresh graduates from electrical engineering, mechanical engineering that wish to pursue their career in the power sector, about 244 of them are presently with us undergoing a one year training programme. You can take it as an internship programme for those who want to pursue their career in the power sector. But these ones are strictly engineers and we hope to graduate the batch because it was launched on September 17, 2012, so the very first batch will be ready for deployment by the August 2013. And we hope to take on another 1000 by September this year, through this very particular scheme, we are preparing both young Nigerians and those who are already in the power sector for the envisaged privatisation that is almost completed because without training you will not be able to achieve whatever improvement that is being made on the physical infrastructure of the electric power delivery. We are the only power training institute in Nigeria. We exist in every part of the country at least in every geo political zone. We have regional training centres where we train both those who are already in the power sector and those who wish to join the power sector. Did you say the first batch of your trainees would be deployed into the labour market in August? The first batch of our trainees would be graduating in August and they will be ready for deployment, they will be
THE MANDATE OF NAPTIN IS STRICTLY ON HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT BOTH FOR TECHNICAL AND NON TECHNICAL COURSES ready for engagement into the power sector to start work. How many are they? About 244 of them will be graduating. There have been outcries about the growing depreciation of skilled engineers in the power sector, how can you describe the quality of engineers compared to what you have in the 70s? Like I told you before, the training stopped 1989, those of us that are in the power sector are about the last batch of trained engineers because I did my own training between 1978 and 1980. That was when I did my two year mandatory tutelage training. Then, some other people came but by 1989 such structured training stopped. And demand for electricity kept on increasing. The workforce is no longer getting the required skills, and worse still, by 1998 there was embargo on employment in the power sector. We resolved that since we are not bringing in people and even the new people you are bringing in are not trained. You do not expect miracle, definitely, the skill we have right now cannot be compared with the skill that we had before 1990. Those of them that had this skill before 1990 like me, we are aged, and we are retiring. And we do not have a replacement. All the engineers that came in after 1990 were given ad-hoc training by the units that employed them still on ad-hoc basis because there have not been any structured recruitment again since 1998. So, what is sustaining what you see are those that had that skill before 1990. In the next two, three years, in fact by 2015, all these people with this kind of skill would have gone on retirement. What will be left would be those who have not received good training. And that was why when NAPTIN was established 2009, the first thing we did because having come from the system myself, we were able to identify intervention courses that can reduce accidents we have in the network and failure of equipment. So, that was the first thing we tackled within the first three years with the backing of the ministry of power and with the backing of the Federal Government because they gave us the seed money with which we started. We are not there yet, because what we have done is just like a drop in the ocean. Many people have disengaged due to age and we do not have replacement. The ones that were employed on ad-hoc basis by various units have not been given that structured training. But if you look at what the government wants to do by 2020, we are going to have 40,000mw, and from the 4,500mw where we are right now, you will discover that huge work that will be delivered by the workforce is required. In fact, from the man power planning we did, we required about 17, 200, technical workforce to support 40,000mw. And out of that 17000 plus over 8, 400 would be engineers that read either electrical electronics or mechanical engineering. So these are going to be a new injection into the power sector that have to be trained before they can start to operate and manage any new unit, generating unit, or injection sub-station and transmission station that have been called into the national grid. The privatisation programme will naturally affect the professionals in the sector. What in your opinion would be the implication to the industry?
The privatisation programme of the Federal Government for the power sector is the best that can happen to the sector at this time. The implication of it is that power is going to improve. The business is going to be approached from the private sector scheme. They are going to look at the business as private sector outfit. Because you cannot run government enterprise as a private enterprise, so if privatisation is completed by July or August and they take over, we will begin to see improvement because in this case, workers are no longer working on the basis of ‘whether I work, or I do not work I must get my pay’. The new owners will pay you according to what you have achieved, your inputs, if you have not contributed much, and the private company does not have money to pay salary, workers will know and they will tell you there is no money to pay you. So, this is one of the implications and to the staff themselves they are going to be highly priced. That is for those who have the skill, so everything working together we are going to see a very bright and better future. And for NAPTIN in particular, it is going to put us on our toes, because the new owners coming would want to get the best for their staff so that they can deliver the desired goals. There will be a lot of pressure on us both in terms of number and in terms of the quality of the trainings which we deliver. And that is going to keep us very busy. What will be the implication of privatisation for the experienced and skilled man power? If I understand you very well, every privately owned outfit will look for very well skilled and experienced staff. Right now, we do not have enough and that is why I said that NAPTIN would be under serious pressure to provide this skilled man power. Nobody would want to bring his money, his equity to buy equipment and due to mal-operation, or out of ignorance loose a transformer for instance. And once you lose one transformer, there will be no light for the local-
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
no longer getting required skills’
THE PRIVATISATION PROGRAMME OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE POWER SECTOR IS THE BEST THAT CAN HAPPEN TO THE POWER SECTOR
AT THIS TIME.
OF IT IS THAT POWER IS GOING TO IMPROVE ity and you will not make money. You may have the product to sell but you cannot deliver the product, so you ought to look for a skilful hand. Right now, we do have enough in the system. But the new owners coming in will be in a hurry to deliver and make money because that is what business is all about. So what they will do is to scout for those who have the skill and those on retirement now who have the skill and still have strength to work will all be marketable. They will start looking for them. So, it is going to increase employment. Like I said, since 1998, there has not been any structured employment. The man who is going to buy Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, first of all, has the duty to sell his product and make sure that people have light 24/7, this cannot be achieved without skilful labour. Since they do not have enough now, and they are not even there, of the entire country we have less than 2000 engineers available both skilled and unskilled. So, when they come in, they must have to look for skilled labour before they can achieve want they want to To what extent can you say NAPTIN has achieved its mandate as a parastatal?
Well, within the time period we are given, and with our key Performance Indicator (KPI), I think that we are achieving our mandate and we are still on it. If within four years, well, the first year 2009, we did not do training as much because that was the time we were trying to set up, improve infrastructure of our training outfits, but 2010, 2011, and 2012, we have been able to train over 5400 workers, giving the skill that they require to work in the power generation, transmission, and distribution. And we do not have any other mandate than to ensure that the human capital, the workforce we have in the power sector are well trained. So I should think that we are doing well as far as this is concerned. For as long as we will continuously benefit from the Federal Government’s support, we will expect that the new owners who know that they cannot achieve their objectives without the skilful workforce would be bound to send their staff to NAPTIN for adequate training. And in doing that they should be able to pay. For the past four year we have been training these people with a common fund from PHCN. From the MYTO, the capacity building component of it is what is made available for NAPTIN with which we are using to do the training. But, since privatisation has started, we have been removed from that particular source of funding, because you do not expect government to still pay for workers to be trained when they are going to be passed on to the privately owned companies. So we hope that funding for training will be made available by the stakeholders and we will train more people. What are your challenges with regards to funding? Like every other departments and agencies of the federal government, we have a lot of challenges with funding. Our projects are not being funded completely. Even in getting approval and that is one of the reasons why the privatisation is a welcome development. So that private owners can as well bring their own funding. We are not funded enough to help us to achieve what our dreams are. Federal
Government is responsible for the funds we use. They are responsible for the capital expenditure and operation expenditure. Capital expenditure is the fund used for new projects while operation expenditure includes payment for staff emoluments and payment for what we use to operate the system. So we do not have enough funding but what we have we have been able to use it to achieve up to an extent of what somebody can give us a pass mark. We are looking at SURE-P which has indicated interest to sponsor some young Nigerians up to 1000 of them in our institute for this year to acquire the skill with which they are going to use to work in the power sector. And we have just advertised for NAPTIN Graduate Skill Development Programme, which is a kind of internship programme for engineers that wish to work in the power sector. So, if SURE-P is coming in, that is still government fund. And with it, we should be able to train manpower that would support the government’s transformation agenda. What is your relationship with the GENCOs and DISCOs? Well, the privatisation is not completed yet, even though we know in the next few months it is going to be completed. We all belong to the same family, we are all PHCN. Until the successors companies are being put for private owners to buy, the relationship with DISCOs and GENCOs and TRANSISCos is still the same thing right now. They are our major clients; they are the people that give the people we train. So, we advertise our product to them even right now they are in transition period some of them will pay to us with their own money direct to train their staff. Our relationship is still very cordial, we still relate to ourselves as members of one family. We do not know what is going to be when the new owners take over in few months time. But I think the relationship will be the buyer and the seller relationship we are going to have because the new owners still have to train. And we will go and market ourselves to them; we will try to prove to them that they can get the best from us. So they will pay for it and we will train their staff. Who is eligible for your training; can someone without engineering background benefit from NAPTIN training? Of course, we have technical courses and non technical courses. For as long as you wish to work in the power sector there are so many non technical courses that take place in the power sector. Like yourself as a journalist, you can be a public relations officer, if you come to us, we can train you on the terms you use in the power sector when you are writing or speaking. In fact, we have what we call, technical for non technical course which runs about five days; there we have every other person that is not a technical person. As long as you want to work in the power sector, first, if you want to come as an engineer, then you must have read an engineering course, like electrical, mechanical, civil or even chemical engineering. If you are not an engineer and you have a BA in English, you can come to us, we can still for whatever vocation you have been employed for. Now, those who are already in the power sector, they do not have problem because that one is like a refresher course. But those coming first, we have to look at your credentials, and find out what career do you want to pursue in power sector. If it is an engineering career then you have to have a degree in engineering, if it is a non technical, like you are an auditor, or you want an HR or ICT person, we will admit you based on certificate you have. Everything that has to do power sector, even customer service, we classify them under non technical. We even have course for those who did not have the benefit of going to tertiary institution, maybe Standard Six, we take in as craftsman, as an artisan. That one we do not take fresh people, the qualification is that you are already working in power sector somewhere. Then, from there we can now take you and train you. But we now want to try to start something for the youth, who would not have benefit of going to university or polytechnic. We want to take them right from the street with their standard six and train them as artisans.
redit downgrades, recession and President Francois Hollande’s gaping budget shortfall have done little to prevent French bonds from outshining gold. Investors who bought French bonds when Standard & Poor’s stripped the country of its top credit rating on Jan. 13, 2012, have chalked up a 12 percent return, about triple the gains of German debt. Gold, touted by some investors as the world’s safest asset and a potential beneficiary when AAA rated governments are downgraded, lost 17 percent in the same period. The rate on 10-year French government securities tumbled to a record low of 1.659 percent this month. Unprecedented stimulus from central banks, including interest-rate cuts and asset purchases, are eroding yields from toprated bonds, forcing investors to ignore credit ratings and the shortcomings of Hollande’s economic fundamentals for higher returns. France’s bond market, Europe’s second biggest after Italy’s, also offers investors comfort they can exit the market without difficulty.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Hollande bonds without AAA shine brighter than gold
“French bonds are fundamentally weak, but they are attracting strong demand,” said Soeren Moerch, the head of fixed-income trading at Danske Bank
Borg tells Swedish banks to gird for buffer rule topping 12%
wedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said Sweden’s banks need to prepare for even stricter capital rules than those due to be enforced from 2015. A requirement that Sweden’s four largest banks ahold at least 12 percent core Tier 1 capital of their risk-weighted assets by 2015 may be too lax, Borg said yesterday in Stockholm. The government, led by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, should look into tightening bank regulation further over the next five to 10 years, he said. We’re about to raise capital requirements; we won’t back down,” Borg said. “There are possibly reasons” to look into “taking a few further steps on capital requirements,” he said. Sweden is defending its right to impose some of Europe’s harshest capital standards to shield taxpayers. Borg has rejected bank industry pleas to adhere to more harmonized capital rules, arguing nations with oversized financial industries face a higher risk of losses. Sweden’s four biggest banks, including Nordea Bank AB, have assets that are more than four times the size of the $500 billion economy. The government will ensure that steps toward tightening bank requirements further will protect the economy from a decline in lending, Borg said. Borg also said there are “probably good reasons” for the financial regulator to revisit its initial plan to triple risk weights on banks’ mortgage assets to 15 percent, signaling a higher level may be necessary. The central bank has proposed 20 percent as a safer level, Borg said. Shares in Sweden’s four biggest banks traded down. Swedbank AB (SWEDA) lost 1.4 percent, while Nordea and SEB AB both lost 0.6 percent yesterday, in Stockholm. Svenska Handelsbanken AB dropped 0.5 percent. The lenders lost more than Sweden’s benchmark OMXS30 Index, which slipped 0.3 percent. Some of Sweden’s biggest banks have argued the government’s approach is hurting
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their ability to lend. Without harmonized capital rules, banks will suffer competitive distortions, Nordea Chief Executive Officer Christian Clausen has repeatedly warned. Clausen, who is also president of the European Banking Federation, said in February lenders need “one rule book.”
A/S in Copenhagen. “France may be at risk of further downgrades, but that doesn’t matter much as long as there’s massive amount of money out there
seeking returns. France is part of a global story of liquidity boosts and search for yield pick-up.” French bonds outperformed Europe’s top-rated government debt this year, gaining 1.4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies. AAA rated Germany returned 0.1 percent, the Netherlands gained 0.3 percent and Finland 0.3 percent. France was stripped of its top credit ratings last year by Standard & Poor’s in January and Moody’s Investors Service in November. France’s 1.42 trillion-euro ($1.83 trillion) market is bigger than the Austrian, Finnish and Dutch government debt markets combined, according to data from respective debt management agencies. Germany’s tradable debt outstanding stands at 1.14 trillion euros.
Connecticut homes biggest losers as Wall Street cuts jobs
onnecticut, for 25 years the state with the highest per capita income in the United States, is now leading the nation in home-price declines as Wall Street trims jobs and bonuses that had driven multimillion-dollar property sales. Prices in the Fairfield County area, home of the banker bedroom communities of Greenwich and New Canaan, tumbled 12.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline of the 147 U.S. metropolitan areas measured by the National Association of Realtors. While the number of home purchased within the state financed with conventional mortgages rose 8.4 percent in the first half, deals using jumbo loans for pricier properties slid 9.4 percent, according to Warren Group, a real estate tracker. “We’re in a tough slog here relative to everybody else, which is surprising given where we’re located, near New York and Boston,” said Terence Beatty, director of the new homes and land division of Prudential Connecticut Realty in Wallingford. The state, which hosts the world’s two largest bank trading floors within UBS
AG (UBSN) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS)’s Stamford offices, is falling behind a U.S. housing recovery after losing 3,900 financial-services jobs since July 2011, the most of any industry. Connecticut also is struggling with rising foreclosures, posting the nation’s secondbiggest jump in notices of default and repossession last month.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy
Brezhnev bonds haunt Putin as investors hunt $785bn
he European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ordered Russia last month to pay Yuriy Lobanov, a septuagenarian from the Ivanovo region near Moscow, 37,150 euros ($46,497) in compensation for the 1982 notes he held, or about 140 times the average monthly pension. Mariya Andreyeva, a 95-year-old survivor of the Nazi blockade of Leningrad, won a preliminary 4,300 euros on the bonds, which doubled as lottery tickets. The securities are part of the 25 trillion rubles ($785 billion), equal to almost half of Russian economic output, the government says it still owes the public from lost Soviet savings. Putin is stalling, most recently signing an order in April to halt
payments on the notes until at least 2015. Now, armed with court rulings, veteran speculators are joining pensioners in seeking to cash in. “This all should have been settled back in the 1990s,” said Boris Kheyfets, a Soviet debt specialist at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economics in Moscow. “How do you assume a debt that huge? It would collapse everything immediately.” Soviet authorities began selling the 20year certificates in 1982 for 25, 50 or 100 rubles, partly to redeem earlier bonds and partly to sop up cash from a command economy with few consumer goods. The State Domestic Lottery Bonds offered a token 3 percent interest and a chance at
payouts of as much as 10,000 rubles, Kheyfets said. The top winners were entitled to a “chic” Volga sedan, while second prize was a Zhiguli. Unlike other former Soviet republics that settled similar debts in the 1990s at a fraction of what was lost, Russia pledged to cover the whole amount. President Boris Yeltsin signed a law in 1995 ordering the government to restore savings via bank deposits and Soviet bonds based on what those holdings could have purchased in 1990. Payments started in earnest during Putin’s first term, when surging oil prices pushed the budget into surplus. Now Putin is back in the Kremlin for a third term and the budget is barely breaking even.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
pain’s recession eased in the first quarter as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy prepares plans to foster growth while reducing the country’s budget deficit. Gross domestic product fell 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter, when it dropped 0.8 percent, the most since 2009, the Bank of Spain said in its monthly bulletin yesterday. That’s the seventh quarterly contraction. This data is in line with the median of 15 economist estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Rajoy pledged on April 17 to unveil measures to stimulate the economy and create jobs later this week. His government is seeking more time from European Union peers to reorder public finances in the euro-area’s fourth largest economy after a banking-sector bailout propelled Spain’s deficit last year to the largest in the region. “It’s a good sign after a horrible last quarter in 2012, but we are still in an intense recession,” said Jose Carlos Diez, chief economist at Madrid-based brokerage Intermoney SA. “It’s difficult to see a recovery. Our main trading partners
Spain’s recession eases as Rajoy prepares growth plan
aren’t doing well and unemployment is going to continue increasing.” The yield on Spain’s 10-year benchmark bonds fell 23 basis points to 4.264 percent yesterday in Madrid, narrowing the spread with German debt of similar maturity to 3.05 percentage points after met its maximum target of 3 billion eu-
Japan’s fiscal impasse threatens stimulus to spur growth
ros ($3.9 billion) in a bills sale. The Spanish 10-year yield rose to a euro-era record of 7.75 percent in July before the European Central Bank pledged to do whatever it takes to save the euro. The International Monetary Fund last week cut its outlook for Spain, predicting the economy to shrink 1.6 percent this
American growth. A government report yesterday showed capital spending rose 6.6 percent in the second quarter from a year before, less than the 7.8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. This report spurred economists to cut forecasts for Japan’s second-quarter gross domestic product, initially reported at an annualised 1.4 percent gain. Officials may pare that calculation to 0.9 percent on September 10, according to the median of seven projections in a Bloomberg survey.
year before growing 0.7 percent in 2014. Still, the Washington- based fund’s managing director Christine Lagarde offered support for Rajoy’s calls for the EU to loosen demands for further deficit cuts. Spain “needs more time,” Lagarde said in Washington on April 18. “We do not see a need to do upfront, heavy-duty fiscal consolidation as was initially planned.” Funding conditions remain restrictive for households and companies, weighing on domestic demand, the Bank of Spain said. Households’ limited capacity to save in a context of declining disposable income as well as uncertainty on the labor market and a high level of debt leave little space for consumption to pick up in the short term, it said. Spain’s export growth was also held back by the euro-area recession during the first three months of the year, the Bank of Spain said. Spain’s National Statistics Institute will report first-quarter GDP data on April 30.
U.K. inflation rate falls more than forecast to 2.4%
apan’s political gridlock threatens to curtail the government’s ability to apply fiscal stimulus as a rebound falters in the world’s third-largest economy. Opposition parties in the upper house of parliament stymied legislation approved in the lower house August 28 that enables the issuance of 38.3 trillion yen ($490 billion) of deficit- financing bonds, seeking to force Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda into an early election. The government could hit a spending ceiling as soon as October, according to the Finance Ministry. The freeze may suspend outlays from this year’s budget for the first time, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and limits Noda from proceeding with the supplementary spending package he mooted in July. With economists increasingly seeing an economic contraction this quarter, the deadlock adds to risks facing global expansion that include a so-called fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax increases in the U.S. at year-end. “The impasse on deficit-covering bonds may delay the compilation of a stimulus package and would be a drag for the economy,” said Taro Saito, Tokyo-based director of economic research at NLI Research Institute and a past winner of a Japan Center for Economic Research award for accuracy in forecasting. “This is not as severe as the U.S. fiscal cliff but could be said to be Japan’s fiscal slope.” Japanese stocks headed for a fourth day of declines, the longest losing streak in more than a month, on pessimism about the global expansion. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average was down 0.4 percent Monday in Tokyo. The yen was at 78.37 per dollar, about 4 percent from its postwar high, underscoring the threat to exporters of a strong currency. Besides exchange-rate appreciation, Japan’s manufacturers are facing diminishing demand abroad, hurt by the European crisis, China’s slowdown and stunted
.K. inflation slowed more than economists forecast in April to a sevenmonth low and producer prices rose the least since 2009 as fuel costs fell. Consumer prices rose 2.4 percent from a year earlier, down from 2.8 percent in March, the Office for National Statistics said in London yesterday. The median forecast of 35 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was 2.6 percent. Core inflation also cooled, while factory-gate prices increased at the slowest annual pace in 3 1/2 years. The pound weakened. The Bank of England lowered its forecasts for inflation last week and said price growth may hit its 2 percent target earlier than previously estimated. The central bank, which also raised its growth projections, kept its bond-purchase program at 375 billion pounds ($569 billion) this month. Minutes of the decision to be published tomorrow will show whether Governor Mervyn King continued his bid to boost quantitative easing. “Looking to short-term inflation in the U.K., it is still likely to move higher in subsequent months,” said David Tinsley, an economist at BNP Paribas SA in London. Still, the data “support our view that inflationary
pressures are set to wane due both to lower imported price pressures and because domestic cost pressures are subsiding.” The pound extended its decline against the dollar after the data, falling toward a six-week low. It was trading at $1.5173 yesterday in London down 0.5 percent from Monday. Against the euro, it weakened 0.5 percent to 84.82 pence.
Manufacturing in U.S. probably stagnated amid global slowdown
anufacturing probably teetered between growth and contraction in August, a sign the pillar of the recovery is now struggling, according economists surveyed before a report Monday. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was little changed at 50 compared with 49.8 in July, according to the median estimate of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between shrinking and expanding. Spending on construction projects probably rose in July, other figures may show. The possibility that taxes will rise and government outlays will fall if U.S. lawmakers don’t act by January may shake confi-
dence and cause consumers and businesses to curb spending. The European debt crisis represents another stumbling block that threatens to limit orders to American factories. “Domestic uncertainty and global weakness are both restraining growth in manufacturing,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “It’s a weak sector of the economy right now. We don’t expect a lot of pickup in investment activity this year.” The Tempe, Arizona-based ISM released the report Estimates ranged from 48.7 to 51.5. The group has said that an index (S15MACH) reading above 42.5, while signaling contraction in manufacturing,
is generally consistent with an expanding overall economy. The gauge averaged 55.2 in 2011 and 57.3 in 2010. Other reports show manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy, weakened last month. Factory activity in the New York region contracted in August for the first time in 10 months, and production in the Philadelphia-area shrank for a fourth month, Federal Reserve reports showed. The Institute for Supply ManagementChicago Inc.’s business barometer also fell in August, indicating manufacturer’s pace of expansion was slowing and that companies may hold the line on production until sales pick up.
NSE slams N4.4m fine on Honeywell, others over compliance breaches JOHNSON OKANLAWON
he Nigerian Stock Exchange has fined Honeywell Plc the sum of N1.26m for unauthorised publication of the notice of its Exra Ordinary General Meeting held recently. Also, Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc and the defunct Crusader Insurance Plc were asked to pay the sum of N66,000 and N472,000 respectively for publication of notice of court ordered meetings without the NSE’s written
approval. Wapic Insurance Plc was fined N496,000 for appointment of its directors without notifying the Excgange, while Julius Berger Plc was asked to pay N1.47m for non- disclosure of the substantial shareholding of Oasis Petroleum Company Limited in the 2011 annual report and accounts. According to X-compliance report posted at the Exchange’s website, the company holds 9.8 per cent of Julius Berger shares. X-Compliance report is a
transparency initiative of the Exchange, which is designed to maintain market integrity and protect the investors by providing compliance related information on all listed companies. Companies that are listed on the Exchange are required to adhere to high disclosure standards which are prescribed in the listing rules. The NSE stated that financial information which is periodic disclosure and on-going material events disclosure should be released to the Exchange in a timely man-
ner to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market. The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, had announced a few months ago that the Exchange had zero tolerance for errant companies and market operators, adding that companies and operators found wanting would be duly sanctioned. The NSE had recently rolled out sanctions aimed at checking the activities of operators in the capital market. According to the Exchange, the sanctions and rules will guard against various infractions by dealing members of the Exchange.
he benchmark index of equities turned green on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took positions in stocks with good earnings. Specifically, the All Share index rose by 0.62 per cent to close at 37,046.63 points, as against the decline of 0.24 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 36,817.75 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N8bn to close at N11.84trn, in contrast to the dip of N3bn recorded the preceding day
to close at N11.76trn. All the sectorial indices gained substantial points except the Oil and Gas index which lost 1.41 per cent to close at 185.06 points. The Lotus Islamic index increased by 2.56 per cent to close at 2,635.86 points, while the Consumer Goods index added 1.49 per cent to close at 1,091.29 points. The Industry Goods index appreciated by 0.85 per cent to close at 2,189.25 points, while the Alternative Securities Market index rose by 0.69 per cent to close at 1,013.41 points. The Insurance index increased by 0.58 per cent
to close at 144.89 points. The NSE 30- index gained 0.56 per cent to close at 1,770.07 points, while the Banking index added 0.19 per cent to close at 426.31 points NNFM Plc led the gainers’ table with N2.35 or 9.97 per cent to close at N25.91 per share, followed by MC Nicholas Plc with 14 kobo or 9.79 per cent to close at N1.57 per share. Wapic Plc gained nine kobo or 9.78 per cent to close at N1.01 per share, while Constain Plc appreciated by ten kobo or 9.71 per cent to close at N1.13 per share. Evans Medical Plc increased by 19 kobo or 9.64
ccion Microfinance Bank Limited has declared a profit after tax of N281m for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 33 per cent when compared to N211m recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s profit before taxation rose by 33 per cent to N406m in the review period, from N306m recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. Gross earnings increased by 27 per cent to N1.13bn in 2012, from N890.2m recorded in 2011, while taxation stood at N125.1m, from N95m in 2011. Analysis of the bank’s bal-
ance sheet showed total assets and liabilities of N2.64bn in 2012, from N2.27bn recorded in 2011, while deposit and other accounts rose by 26 per cent to N174.9m, from N431.8m in 2011. The bank’s share capital remained flat in the review period, while cash, short term funds and investments dropped by 11 per cent to N502.2m, from N564.1m recorded the preceding financial year. Loan and advances was up by 18 per cent to N1.84bn in 2012, from N1.56bn in 2011, while fixed assets increased by 88 per cent to N174.9m, from N93m recorded in 2011. Speaking at the bank’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Monday, the chairman, Mr. Patrick Akinwun-
tan, said the bank has consistently worked towards the achievement of its mission to economically empower micro-enterpreneurs and low income earners. According to him, the customers have continued to grow and have served over 100,000 customers, with a gross loan portifolio of N1.8bn in 2012, from N89.8m in 2007. He added that customer’s convenience is number one priority of the bank as the management plans to focus on electronic banking channels. He said, “We will focus on electronic banking channels to leverage access to the unbanked in an efficient manner, extend our ‘brick and mortar’ branches reach to all local
All-Share Index 37,046.63 points
per cent to close at N2.16 per share. On the flip side, LearnAfrica Plc lost 20 kobo or ten per cent to close at N1.80 per share, while Jos International Breweries Plc shed 13 kobo or 9.77 per cent to close at N1.20 per share. Neimeth Plc declined by eight kobo or 9.64 per cent to close at 75 kobo per share, while UTC Plc dipped by eight kobo or 9.64 per cent to close at 75 kobo per share. Courtville Plc fell by nine kobo or 9.57 per cent to close at 85 kobo per share. A total of 466.6 million shares valued at N7.89bn were traded in 6,723 deals.
AMFB net profit hits N281m in 2012 DAMILOLA AJAYI
Equities regain vigour on corporate actions DAMILOLA AJAYI
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
governments in the state to serve as hubs while investing significantly in mobile banking access”. The Managing Director, Ms. Bunmi Lawson pointed out that the last five years have been challenging, but with steadfast support of shareholders, the staff and board management, the bank moved steadily towards achieving its mission. She said,” 2012 was a particular busy year for Accion Microfinance Bank, as we forged ahead in implementing our starategy in four key areas. First is in expanding our reach as we commenced operations in five new branches, bringing the number of braches to 18 by the close of the year.”
Market capitalisation 11.85 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at May 21, 2013 1st Tier Securities
1st Tier Securities No Of Deals Quotation(N)
No Of Deals
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (151) “Ones best success comes after their greatest disappointments.”–Henry Ward Beecher SEE EVERY DISAPPOINTMENT AS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE! How we see things will largely determine how things will turn out. Jack Canfield of Chicken soup for the soul fame taught me a powerful formula that practically revolutionized my life. Here it is: E+R=O. E represents the events of life. R represents our responses to the events of life while O is the outcome. This means that it is not the events of life that will determine the outcomes of our life, but our responses to the events of life. This is a life changing insight. If we can persistently see every disappointment in our lives as blessings in disguise, we will live more blessed lives. I suggest that you write boldly where you can see it from time to time: EVERY DISAPPOINTMENT IS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE. Burn this statement into your subconscious through repeated invocation. I promise that the act will literally change your life for good. The way you see life is the way life will respond to you. But let me warn you. This way of life will not be easy as you encounter one disappointment or the other. There will be the temptation for you to murmur, complain and be bitter. Move through these negative feelings boldly and hold on to the empowering view. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: email@example.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile
TToy hhelicopter li t triggers t igg school h l fire sprinkler i kl
fficials at a Virginia high school said students were soaked when a toy helicopter collided with a fire sprinkler. Brenda Mayo, principal of Cosby High School in Midlothian, said the fire sprinkler in a classroom was triggered when it was struck Thursday morning by a toy
helicopter, WTVR-TV, Richmond, Va., reported Monday. “While Cosby had no fire issues and students were never in danger, students in that classroom were moved to other locations,” Mayo wrote. “With cleanup currently going on, we will retrieve and return belongings tomorrow for students in the affected classroom.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Airline mix-up sends passengers to wrong continent
couple who had intended to fly from Los Angeles to Dakar, Senegal, ended up 7,000 miles away in Dhaka, Bangladesh, because of an airline error. Sandy Valdivieso and her husband Triet Vo, 39, told the Los Angeles Times that they didn’t think anything was amiss when they got their Turkish Airlines boarding passes for their flights from Los Angeles to Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Their passes had them going from LAX, the airport code for Los Angeles International Airport, to IST, Istanbul, to DAC. It turns out that DAC is the airport code for Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The airport code for Dakar is DKR. “I guess we were just going by the flight number on our tickets, and that DAC was printed on them,” Valdivieso, 31, an academic counsellor at UCLA, told the Times. “You just assume
that everything is correct.” Valdivieso booked economy class seats on their December flight from Los Angeles to Dakar, via Istanbul, for $2,700. Both their tickets
and baggage claim receipts had DAC as their final destination. Their flight to Istanbul went smoothly. On their second flight, “when the
flight attendant said we were heading to Dhaka, we believed that this was how you pronounced ‘Dakar’ with a Turkish accent,” Valdivieso said.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Community Mirror Prison trains inmates in vocational skills
“My pardon was in order. If I fulfill my own part of the obligation why shouldn’t the Federal Government fulfill its part?”
FMR. GOVERNOR OF BAYELSA STATE, CHIEF DIEPREYE ALAMIEYESEIGHA
Police parade suspected fraudsters FRANCIS SUBERU
hree suspected fraudsters specialising in defrauding unsuspecting oil dealers in Lagos have been paraded by the Lagos State Police Command. The suspects, Clement Aladay Enenche, Lawrence Audu Oduh and Mike Edache Enenche were arrested by the police after a long trail, having being in their wanted list since 2012. The other suspect, Emmanuel Amakre is still at large. The suspected fraudsters who claimed to be dealing in petroleum products had succeeded in defrauding several innocent people of over N75million. Their mode of operation was
to source for products, especially, diesel and petrol from unsuspecting marketer, then bargain on a price and issue the victim a dud cheque. Later, the victim receives false bank alert,even as they escape with the products. Usually, the transaction turns out to be a scam since the fraudsters’ accounts in the banks are not sufficiently funded. To make their business seem genuine, the suspects registered three companies namely Hephzibah Energy Resources Ltd, Deep Flank Energy Resources and Blue Moon Energy Resources through which they perpetrated their illegal acts. They also opened several ac-
counts with various banks to facilitate their criminal activities. These include: UBA Bank Account Number 1016490678; Diamond Bank Account Number 0024570380, Sterling Bank Account Number 0016979153, FCMB Account Number 0738460014 and GTB Bank . Some of their victims include Emmanuel Nnamezie, MD Echemas Nigeria Limited situated at No. 2, Bauchi Road, Jos, Plateau State who was defrauded of 33, 000 litres of PMS valued at N4 million. The matter was reported at Area B, Apapa. Following investigations, detectives traced the buyer of the products to one Okey Ikeh, who claimed to have bought them from Mike Edache Enenche.
Other victims include Nikky Best who was defrauded of N5.2million, Mrs. Ogini, N6.1million, Professor, N6million, Innocent Okonkwo, N9.6million, Pesu Temisanre N4.7million, Royal Oil N2.9million, Metna Oil and Gas N4million, King Simon N11million, Jonathan N5million among others. In an interview with reporters, the syndicate’s kingpin, Clement Aladay resorted to insulting journalists, saying he was being victimised by some unnamed persons. He said he could only say one thing, that; “we are talking about money here, all I can say is that I am owing some people and some owe me too.”
Rail line vandals arrested in Enugu DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
our persons have been arrested in Enugu for alleged vandalism of railway tracks on the Port Harcourt to Makurdi route. The vandals were arrested by vigilantes at Amaodu,Nkanu-West Local Council Area of Enugu State. Narrating this, the Eastern District Manager of Nigerian Railway Corporation,NRC, Mr. Felix Njoku said,”Our tracks, weighing 80 pounds each were vandalised at Amaodu in Nkanu. The culprits were arrested by vigilantes and handed over to Nigeria Railway Police”. “The vehicles used in the operation were a trailer and pickup van. The four suspects are already in police custody. The success in apprehending the culprits is attributable to the visit we made to heads of communities early this year, calling on them to help in protecting railway properties in their communities,” he revealed. He further called on the public to always avail security operatives of timely information that will check the nefarious activities of vandals, while calling on community leaders to assist the Federal Government in its drive to resuscitate the moribund railway lines in the South-East region.
Suspects L-R: Lawrence, Mike and Clement
Market women protest tax payment in Awka Man jailed for stealing CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
arket women at the Eke Awka main market, have staged a demonstration against payment of tax. The women, led by their coordinator, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ezenwa had after closing shops stormed the the Government House, Awka with placards, protesting against alleged demand for each person to pay N6,000 as tax. They angrily chanted slo-
gans like,”We no go pay, iwe na ewe anyi”. Speaking to journalists on why they were protesting, Mrs. Ezenwa said,”We are here to demonstrate against taxation, recently, the task force invaded Eke Awka, and destroyed our wares, while confiscating our goods, even as they sealed our shops and demanded N6,000 from each of us,”. The women, who demanded the cancellation of the tax, decried that the new tax is being demanded at a time they each paid N2,000 for electricity,N500
for water and N40 for use of the toilet to the market authorities. In his reaction, Chairman of Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Nwanne Ejike said, what the traders were asked to pay is not excessive, stressing that when the women lodged their complaint , he told them to come back for resolution of their grievances. Similarly, the Commissioner for Commerce, Robert Okonkwo,who gave a break down the levies and taxes, promised that to meet with the women to resolve the matter.
ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
26-year-old depot staff, Kelvin Ugwu has been sentenced to three years imprisonment with no option of fine by an Osogbo Magistrate’s Court for stealing his employer’s money and assorted beer all amounting to N1.2 million. The convict though pleaded not guilty, the Police prosecutor, Inspector Adegoke Taiwo, told the court that the offence was committed as the stolen properties belonged to one Mr. Rauf A. Olaiya,even as the
convict’s action contravenes and punishable under section 390(9) of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol. 11 laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2003. He was said to have committed the offence between November 2006 and December 2009. Counsel to the convict, Barrister Ramigus Ugwu, prayed the court presided over by Magistrate Muhammed Lasisi to mitigate the convict’s punishment, as he could still be useful to the society. But Magistrate Lasisi thereafter, sentenced Kelvin to three years imprisonment without an option of fine.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Prison trains inmates in vocational skills KENNY ODUNUKAN
total of 500 inmates at Ikoyi prison have been trained in technical and vocational skills. Deputy Comptroller of the Prison, Emmanuel Bamidele disclosed this during a visit of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Ikeja to the prison. Receiving the members, Bamidele said the inmates were trained on skills like shoe-making, soaps, insecticides, among others.
He said “More than 500 inmates have been fully trained on vocational and technical skills and now earn a living. We have abundance of talent that if given a second chance in the outside world, would make it better place”. We taught them how to make soaps, shoes and other things. If given another opportunity they will sin no more”. Bamidele also disclosed that the prison is the most peaceful as no case of jail
break or bad behaviours have been recorded. “This is the most peaceful prison in this command. There have never been attempts of jail break. Their mind is now at rest with your visit, you have come here to give them hope and we look forward to your continued assistance them through legal service.” Also speaking, the Chief Judge of Lagos State,CJ, represented by the Chief Magistrate, Mr Emmanuel Ogundare told the inmates
that the CJ is already looking into the case files of some of them to ascertain those to free when she visits the prison in June. “I want to assure you that the some of your names are with the Chief Judge and before end of the second quarter, she will be here to release some of you.” Addressing the inmates, the NBA chairman, Monday Ubani, said the branch visited the prison with the aim of offering free legal service to those with no means to se-
Katsina residents begin drainage construction JAMES DANJUM KATSINA
s way of checking erosion and flooding, residents of Bajagidda community in the Katsina State capital, have commenced extensive construction of drainages,
culverts, slabs and earthfilling embankments. The project is being executed through the assistance of the Community and Social Development Project, CSDP, in the state. While CSDP is financing 90 percent of the project, the community is
financing outstanding 10 percent with work expected to cover 719 metres of drainage, and earth-filling roads in the area. The community has for long been facing erosion and flooding challenges especially during the rainy season.
Chairman of the project management committee, Isa Abdullahi assured of timely and quality completion of the project,even as he said the that when completed, the project would solve the problem of flooding and erosion in the area.
cure the services of a lawyer. “The Ikeja branch is concerned about you. We are trying to make sure your matter is decided in the court instead of being on awaiting trials for a long time. We will render legal service free to those unable to afford the services of a lawyer. Your rights must be protected.” Ubani and other members however distributed rice, tissue papers, plastic buckets, tooth brushes, detergents and others household necessity to the inmates.
Governments urged to promote breastfeeding KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
takeholders in the health sector have charged governments and communities in the country to participate in the exclusive breastfeeding advocacy for newborn babies. They made the call at a programme entitled, ‘Improving nutrition in the first 1,000 days; Setting the future’, organised by Nestle Nutrition Institute Africa at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Ibadan. A guest lecturer, Prof. Mitilda Asiedu, said, “We have to get everybody on board. We have to get social workers, and people in the community to encourage breastfeeding. “ According to her, the advocacy should not be left to health workers alone; stating that politicians should be involved so we can see the healthy future leaders of Africa. She said in her country, Ghana, there is advocacy with volunteers promoting breastfeeding with the knowledge that being familiar with the communities they could easily effect changes. She said, “We also use men as family heads. We
are getting them on board because whatever they say, their wives obey. We are carrying out research on perception of men on breastfeeding. The outcomes would help us see what men think of exclusive breastfeeding”. Asiedu, who said woman’s breast was meant to feed babies, explained that they should not be used by men as sex organ, adding that unlike cow milk, breast milk reduces infection, is hygienic and could easily be digested by babies. She said, “Women who lactate have reduced risk of breast and other forms of cancer. A famous pediatrician, Paul Gyorgy, says, cow milk is best for calves and human breast milk is best for babies”. He however disclosed that breast milk could be substituted if the mother has tuberculosis, HIV, a drug addict or on medication. The National Field Operations Manager, Nutrition, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Dr. Obijiofor Atuchukwu, said, “The issue of breastfeeding is crucial; it is very important to us. We collaborated with the Paediatric Association of Nigeria to produce booklet on breastfeeding”.
Church holds anniversary Sunday
he Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Agbala Agbara Itusile, Jibowu Estate, Abule-Egba, will hold its 15 th anniversary thanksgiving service with the theme: God of Possibility on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at the church’s auditorium by 10.00am.
In a statement by the Publicity Chairman of the Anniversary Committee, Mr. Tunde Awe, the programme will feature sermon by the host, Prophetess E.M. Ogunlade (JP), praise worship, award presentation, drama/ music and entertainment of guests.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday May 22, 2013
Oklahoma tornado: 100 survivors pulled from debris, toll falls
“(This is) one of the most destructive storms in the nation’s history. The town of Moore, Oklahoma needs to get everything it needs right away”
–UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
19 killed as fight continues in DR Congo PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
ighting between government and rebel forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has continued for a second day, near the regional capital, Goma. Four government soldiers and 15 rebels died on Monday, government spokesperson Lambert Mende told the BBC, yesterday. These are the first clashes between the two sides since the rebels pulled out of Goma last year. The UN said it would speed up the deployment of a new intervention force in response to the violence. It was a familiar sight at Kanyaruchinya, 10km (6 miles) north of Goma: White armoured personnel carriers had taken up positions along the road. Indian peacekeepers wearing blue helmets sat peering through binoculars. A group if civilians stood around in a tight knot, waiting to
Winnie Mandela’s forced auction flops
n auction to pay off a debt of Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife failed to take place because no one would open her home to the sheriff. Officials and reporters gathered yesterday outside the gated home of Winnie MadikizelaMandela. No one responded to the doorbell although a black car sped out of the gates. Madikizela-Mandela is loved by many for her role in the antiapartheid struggle and abhorred by others for her alleged part in the kidnapping deaths of several young men in the 1980s. A 2011 court ruling allowed the sale of art works and other belongings to pay R20,000 ($2,150) owed in private school fees for a family member. Mandela and Madikizela-Mandela married in 1958, were separated because of his 27-year imprisonment and divorced in 1997 while he was president.
M23 rebels seen in Sake, eastern Congo.
see what would happen. Sporadic shots rang out from the surrounding hills. The sense of security the UN soldiers provide is little more than an illusion, as the people here know only too well. The force, known by its acronym, Monusco, has repeatedly pledged to stand its ground. It has repeatedly failed. In November it stood by as the rebels overran Goma. The UN is in the process of boosting its forces with 3,000 extra troops, who will have a more aggressive mandate to actively pursue the rebels. But peace may still prove elusive: By some estimates there could be as many as 50,000 armed men in the region, belonging to several dozen armed groups. A 3,000-strong brigade is being sent to neutralise and disarm the rebels, with the first contingent
arriving last week. “Considering what has happened I think we must expedite the deployment so they will be fully responsible as soon as possible,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told AFP. The BBC’s reporter in the capital, Kinshasa, says the government believes the M23 is trying to disrupt the deployment of the UN force. Ban is due to visit DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda later this week. The two sides exchanged artillery and mortar fire north of the city of Goma, with each accusing the other of provoking the clashes. Fighting in Mutaho, 10km (6 miles) east of Goma, broke out early on Tuesday after M23 rebels tried to take back positions lost to the army on Monday, Col Olivier Hamuli told AP.
In a statement to AFP, M23 denounced the “military option” taken by the government and reaffirmed its commitment to peace talks. Peace talks began following the withdrawal of M23 troops from Goma in December but have stalled in recent months. On Monday, Rwandan President Paul Kagame told the BBC that UN troops had “in some cases” made the situation in DR Congo worse. He said any military effort to bring peace to DR Congo needed to be “properly co-ordinated” with political efforts. Kagame dismissed long-standing UN allegations that Rwanda backed the M23. Some 800,000 people have fled fighting since the M23 launched its rebellion last year.
Tunisian man dies of new coronavirus
man has died of the novel coronavirus (NCoV) in Tunisia, in what is believed to be the first such case in Africa. Tunisia’s health ministry said the 66-year-old had visited Saudi Arabia, which is badly affected by the virus. About 20 deaths and 41 cases have been reported worldwide since 2012, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says. NCoV is from the same family of viruses as the one that caused the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2003, killing about 770 people. However, NCoV and Sars are
distinct from each other, the WHO says. It appears likely that the virus can be passed between people in close contact, it adds. The Tunisian man, a diabetic, had been complaining of breathing problems since he returned from Saudi Arabia and he died in hospital in the coastal city of Monastir, AFP news agency reports. Two of his children also contracted the virus, but had responded to treatment, the health ministry said, in a statement. “These Tunisia cases haven’t changed our risk assessment, but they do show the virus is
still spreading,’’ said WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl, AP news agency reports. Cases have been detected in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, the UK and France. “All of the European cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East, including two cases with recent travel history from the UAE,” the WHO Update says. Twenty-two of the 41 cases reported worldwide are in Saudi Arabia, it adds. Out of the 20 deaths, nine of them have been in the kingdom, WHO says.
Minister lauds ECOWAS volunteers programme
Guinea’s Minister of International Cooperation, Prof. Koutoub Sano has commended the burgeoning ECOWAS Volunteers Programme (EVP) as a strategic tool whose faithful implementation will contribute to the realization of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 for a citizen-driven community. The EVP was launched in Monrovia, Liberia in March 2010 and, under its ongoing pilot phase, covers Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Its objective is to deploy volunteers as part of efforts to promote the ECOWAS ideals including peace, unity, democracy, sustainable development and regional integration. Opening a week of induction training for 40 ECOWAS volunteers deployed to the country, the minister described the programme as an important mechanism for cooperation and development in the region. He applauded the use of youths as the best guarantors of the success of the programme considering their vigour and capacity to contribute to change and development through structural transformation of Member States. “Youths are the best tools for promoting progress and improving the conditions of our people,” the minister stated, noting that the volunteers will be deployed to strategic sectors of the country’s economy. He enumerated the four pillars of volunteerism as a tool for cooperation and development as the capacity to adapt to various conditions, contribution to the reinforcement of human capacity, the neutrality of members and capacity to maximize impact.
South Africa releases man accused of rape, murder
South African prosecutors dropped charges yesterday against one of the two men charged with raping, mutilating and killing a teenage girl in a crime that outraged a country hardened by some of the world’s highest rates of sexual violence. Prosecution spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the man had been released from custody because there was not enough evidence to take him to trial. The victim, Anene Booysen, 17, was found at a building site in the town of Bredasdorp, 130 km (80 miles) east of Cape Town, in February with horrific wounds that included having her stomach slit open to her genitals. Before she died a few days later in hospital, she named one person she said raped her. Police at the time suspected she had been gang-raped and arrested three people to faces charges of rape and murder. Prosecutors later decided to bring charges against just two of them.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
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WORLD BULLETIN Ex-Georgian PM detained on abuse of office
Two allies of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili — a former prime minister and a provincial governor — were charged on Tuesday with embezzlement and abuse of office in another sign of an ongoing power struggle between the country’s top two officials. After dominating Georgian politics for nine years, pro-Western Saakashvili suffered a humiliating defeat last fall when his party lost a parliamentary election to the Georgian Dream coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who became Georgia’s prime minister. A constitutional reform further weakened Saakashvili’s hand by shifting the government’s powers from the presidency to the parliament and the prime minister. The election was the first constitutional transfer of top executive power in Georgia, and it was hailed as a breakthrough for the post-Soviet region. But problems soon emerged. Saakashvili’s presidential term does not end until October, so he must serve alongside his arch-foe, Russia-friendly Ivanishvili. The two men have been locked in an intense power struggle, and authorities have levelled abuse of office charges against some of Saakashvili’s top lieutenants. On Tuesday, former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili, who currently leads Saakashvili’s party, was charged with embezzlement and abuse of office charges and arrested him in Kutaisi, a city in western Georgia.
Suicide committed at cathedral in Paris
Some 1,500 visitors were cleared out of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a man put a letter on the altar of the 850-year-old monument yesterday, pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head. It’s the first suicide in decades at the landmark site, Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, the cathedral’s rector, told The Associated Press. “It’s unfortunate, it’s dramatic, it’s shocking,” Jacquin said. The motives for the suicide, and the contents of the man’s letter, were unclear. Police ushered people out of the cathedral after the shooting, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said from the grand stone plaza in front of Notre Dame. “We call for compassion,” he said. It’s highly unusual for the cathedral, visited by some 13 million people from around the world every year, to be evacuated.
More attacks across Iraq kill seven
New attacks in Iraq killed seven people and wounded dozens yesterday, officials said, after a bloody day that claimed more than 100 lives across the country. A suicide bomber set off his explosives-laden vest at a military checkpoint in the town of Tarmiyah, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Baghdad. The blast was followed by militants who opened fire at the Iraqi troops, killing three soldiers and wounding nine, a police official said. A medical official confirmed the causality figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Meanwhile, in the northern city of Tuz Khormato, two parked car bombs went off simultaneously, killing three civilians and wounding 38 people, said Mayor Shalal Abdool.
Wednesday May 22, 2013
mergency workers pulled more than 100 survivors from the rubble of homes, schools and a hospital in an Oklahoma town hit by a powerful tornado, and officials lowered the death toll from the storm to 24, including nine children. The 2-mile (3-km) wide tornado tore through Moore outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, trapping victims beneath the rubble, wiping out entire neighbourhoods and tossing vehicles about as if they were toys. Seven of the nine children who were killed died at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which took a direct hit, but many more survived unhurt. “They literally were lifting walls up and kids were coming out,” Oklahoma State Police Sergeant Jeremy Lewis said. “They pulled kids out from under cinder blocks without a scratch on them.” The Oklahoma state medical examiner’s office said 24 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage, down from the 51 they had reported earlier. The earlier number likely reflected some double-counted deaths, said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer for the medical examiner. “There was a lot of chaos,” she said. Thunderstorms and lightning slowed the rescue effort on Tuesday, but 101 people had been pulled from the debris alive, Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokeswoman Betsy Randolph said. “We are absolutely positive that there are still people that could be trapped
Oklahoma tornado: 100 survivors pulled from debris, toll falls
Two men stand in front of Plaza Towers Elementary after a tornado destroyed the school on Monday.
under the rubble and in shelters,” Randolph said. The National Guard and firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments as well as rescuers from other states worked all night under bright spotlights trying to find survivors. President Barack Obama declared a major disaster area in Oklahoma, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in Moore after the deadliest U.S. tornado since 161 people were killed in Joplin, Missouri, two years ago. “The people of Moore should
know that their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them, as long as it takes,” Obama said at the White House. Glenn Lewis, the mayor of Moore, said the whole town looked like a debris field and there was a danger of electrocution and fire from downed power lines and broken natural gas lines. “It looks like we have lost our hospital. I drove by there a while ago and it’s pretty much destroyed,” Lewis told NBC. On Tuesday morning, a helicopter was circling overhead
Israeli military chief warns Syrian regime
srael’s military chief issued a stern warning to Bashar Assad yesterday, saying the Syrian leader would “bear the consequences” of any more attacks on Israeli forces near the Syrian border. Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz issued his threat hours after an Israeli jeep came under fire during a patrol in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Syria claimed it destroyed an Israeli vehicle that crossed the cease-fire line in the Golan Heights overnight. The Israeli military said the vehicle suffered light damage. It said that the Israeli troops reported a “direct hit” from the return fire but pro-
vided no further details. It was the latest in a string of incidents in which gunfire and mortar shells have struck the Golan in recent months. Israel believes that most of the fire has been spill over from the Syrian civil war, but that several cases, including Tuesday’s were intentional. That was bolstered by the fact that it was the first time the Syrian army has acknowledged firing at Israeli troops across the frontier in what appeared to be an attempt by Assad’s regime to project toughness following three Israeli airstrikes near Damascus this year. “Assad encourages and directs the widening of different operations against Israel, including the
An Israeli soldier carrying another soldier as they walk with their comrades PHOTO: AP during training, recently.
Golan Heights,” Gantz told a conference at the University of Haifa. He said in Tuesday’s incident, the Israeli patrol was targeted several times by a “clearly marked Syrian position.” He rejected Syrian claims that the vehicle had veered into Syrian territory. “We will not allow the Golan Heights to become a comfortable space for Assad to operate from,” Gantz said. “If he deteriorates (the situation on) the Golan Heights, he will have to bear the consequences.” Israel has warily watched the Syrian civil war, fearing the more than two-year-old conflict could spill across its borders. Israel is concerned that Assad, in a bid of desperation, will try to escalate tensions on the border to draw in Israel and divert attention away from his struggles against rebel groups seeking his ouster. Israel also fears that Assad’s sophisticated weapons could be transferred to Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon or fall into the hands of the rebels, including Islamic extremists connected to al-Qaida who are among their ranks who Israel believes will turn their attention to the Jewish state if they topple Assad.
and thunder rumbled from a new storm as 35-year-old Moore resident Juan Dills and his family rummaged through the remains of what was once his mother’s home. The foundation was laid bare, the roof ripped away and only one wall was still standing. They found a few family photo albums, but little else. “We are still in shock,” he said. “But we will come through. We’re from Oklahoma.”
US court rules bin Laden death photos can stay secret
federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the U.S. government had properly classified top secret more than 50 images of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden taken after his death, and that the government did not need to release them. The unanimous ruling by three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a request for the images by a conservative non-profit watchdog group. Judicial Watch sued for photographs and video from the May 2011 raid in which U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after more than a decade of searching. The organization’s lawsuit relied on the Freedom of Information Act, a 1966 law that guarantees public access to some government documents. In an unsigned opinion, the appeals court accepted an assertion from President Barack Obama’s administration that the images are so potent that releasing them could cause riots that would put Americans abroad at risk.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Court halts IGP’s order of arrest on lawmaker WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
L-R: Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and Minister of Sports, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Army Combat Sports Championship in Kaduna, on Monday. PHOTO: NAN
Family of abducted lawmaker’s mother yet to be contacted
INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
wo weeks after the mother of Borno State House of Assembly member, Hon. Zakariya Dikwa, was kidnapped by gunmen, the family yesterday said they were yet to be contacted by the abductors. They also expressed worry over the state of health of the 60-year-old mother of the state legislator. “We are really worried about her condition and health. How would she cope with the condition at her
age? We are worried because it is exactly two weeks now that she was kidnapped and we don’t even know if she’s still alive. “But, we believe God will take control of everything,” one of the children of the kidnapped woman, who did not want his name in print told journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital. Our Correspondent gathered that four gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members had stormed the residence of the woman at Dikwa on Wednesday, May 8, at about 6.30pm. The eyewitness account
said the gunmen came in a Carina Saloon car with a plate number they could not recognise. “Two days after the abduction of mama, they came again and left a note with a letter written in Hausa and a phone number. They said we should call the telephone number. We called several times before they finally picked the call. The kidnappers ask my brother, the House of Assembly member, whether we knew where our mother was. “They told him that they (abductors) decided to kidnap
mama because my brother was doing haram work. They said the legislative work he was doing was haram, (sin or forbidden in Islam),” one of the children disclosed. Hon. Zakariya Dikwa, who represents Dikwa Constituency in the Borno State House of Assembly, in his reaction, said he has handed over everything to God. “As a Muslim, God knows why certain thing happens to man. He is our creator and I have handed over everything to him but I am really depressed. How can I be happy when my mother is held in captive at her age?”
Kogi Assembly tasks police on armed robbery WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
he Kogi State House of Assembly yesterday called on the state police command to tackle the rising wave of armed robbery in the state, advising the police commissioner to stand up to the challenge and provide adequate security for the people of the state. Moving the motion on the floor of the House yesterday, Minority Leader, Hon. Yori Afolabi, drew members’ at-
PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
he Niger State chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, has called on the judiciary to punish the chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, for his refusal to conduct by-election despite a court order asking him to do so in two wards in Minna,
tention to the activities of men of the underworld who now rob with impunity, undermining the security arrangement of the police in the state. He said robbers now rob on a particular spot along the Okene-Lokoja road, precisely at Irepeni village, stressing that many unsuspecting travellers have fallen victim in last few months. Afolabi, who represents Ijumu Constituency in the state House of Assembly, said last week Tuesday, the
robbers operated on that same spot, adding that about 500 metres away, there was a police vehicle with registration number: PF 11504, belonging to the Kogi State command and that the two officers in the vehicle said they were not aware of the incident. The lawmaker said yesterday morning, several people were attacked on that same spot as the robbers again unleashed terror on another set of unsuspecting travellers.
He said the wife of the former Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ogunmola; the wife of a former member of the state House of Assembly, Mrs. Salawudeen and others, were victims of yesterday’s attack on the Lokoja-Okene highway. Afolabi urged the House to making a resolution mandating the authorities concerned to live up to their responsibility to provide adequate security for the people and also the travellers plying the OkeneLokoja-Abuja highway.
LG poll: CPC wants Niger SIEC chairman sanctioned
the state capital. The party said part of the notice served on the chairman by the state high court, categorically reads, “Unless you obey the order of the court forthwith as contained in the judgement of this honourable court commanding you to conduct councillorship by-election in Limawa ‘A’ Ward, you will be guilty of
contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.” The affected polling unit in Limawa ‘A’ ward is Kofar Umar Kura ‘1’, while those of Nasarawa ‘B’ ward are Dogon Moro and Kofar Ali Katsina It will be recalled that the councillorship by-election which took place on Saturday, September 29, 2012 was
inconclusive in Limawa ‘A’ and Nasarawa ‘B’ wards. In a press statement signed by the party Chairman, Mallam Umar Shuiabu, the CPC said for more than eight months, neither the winner nor the new date for yet another repeat election in the polling units has been announced by the commission.
Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja yesterday, restrained the Inspector-General of Police from arresting a Kogi State House of Assembly member, Hon. Friday Sanni, over alleged murder and the setting up of an illegal security outfit in the state. The House of Representatives had recently passed a resolution compelling the Inspector-General of Police to arrest and prosecute Hon. Sanni, representing Igalamela/Odolu Constituency over allegations bordering on murder, thuggery and illegal setting up of a security outfit known as ‘Ajana Mopol.’ The House of was acting on a petition written by a former minister of interior that said that the lawmaker had sometimes been declared wanted by the police over these allegations and wondered why the police still left the lawmaker walking around the streets a free man. The National Assembly therefore ordered the inspector-general of police to issue a warrant of arrest on Sanni and cause him to appear before the Ethics and Public Petitions Committee to answer to the allegations. However, the lawmaker,
who denied committing any crime whatsoever headed for the court to stop the Inspector-General of Police, the National Assembly or their agents from arresting, detaining and or summoning him before the House Committee. Counsel to the applicant, John Adele and Tanko Musa, in their application, said allegations raised against Sanni was malicious, spurious and baseless and cannot therefore be used to haunt the lawmaker. They averred that the fundamental rights of Sanni, especially to freedom of movement as enshrined in the constitution, has been greatly impinged upon. They therefore urged the court to grant them an interim injunction restraining the inspector-general of police, the Speaker of the House and or any of their agents from arresting or summoning the lawmaker, pending the determination of the substantive suit. “We hereby seek for an order granting interim injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, servants, privies or workmen from arresting and detaining the applicant or taking further steps in connection with the matter of the application of fundamental human rights enforcement procedure of 2009.”
Police arrest 32 suspects, recover N32m property JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
lateau State Police Command yesterday said it has arrested 32 suspects for committing various crimes in different parts of the state, including murder and armed robbery. The police also said N15 million worth of property was recovered from the suspects. Parading the suspects yesterday at the Police Headquarters in Jos, state Police Commissioner, Chris Olakpe, vowed to make Plateau State an uncomfortable zone for criminals, who are bent on terrorising innocent citizens of the state. The police boss said most of the suspects were arrested for murder, car snatching, robbery and possession of firearms, among others.
According to him; “With the combination of human and material resources, we were able to surmount the impediments that make the act of policing in the state difficult. In furtherance of this, we imbibed the spirit of collaboration and cooperation with other security agencies and all stakeholders to ease the task of ensuring the security of life and property and construct security strategies that raised the hope of law abiding citizens in the plateau to go about their lawful activities without trepidation.” He said over 15 vehicles worth N15 million were recovered while 25 people were arrested in connection with robbery and car theft while four people were arrested in possession of firearms and ammunition.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Governors spend UBE funds on thugs, others –Ezekwesili MURITALA AYINLA
ormer Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, yesterday accused some state governors of mismanaging the Universal Basic Education, UBE, funds meant for education development, hiring of teachers and others, to hire thugs, praise-singers during the 2007 general elections. Ezekwesili said this yesterday in Lagos even as she expressed concern over the growing rate of jobless youths in the country. The former Vice-President of the World Bank (African Region), who said the development is a dent on Nigeria’s integrity, said no fewer than two million Nige-
rian graduates and youths joined the country’s labour markets annually. Speaking at the third Lagos State Education Summit at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos: entitled: “Qualitative Education in Lagos State: Raising the Standard,” the former minister said the dearth of analysis, data and research, practically contributed to the falling standard of education in the country. She said the Department of Research and Statistics in the Ministry of Education had been turned into a contract-awarding department, which according to her, is responsible for the provision of inaccurate data in some government agencies. Lamenting the misman-
agement of the Universal Basic Education, UBE, which was launched in 2006, Ezekwezili bemoaned the partisan approach of some state governors, who did not use the funds earmarked for recruiting teachers under the UBE scheme for the purpose, but used such to hire thugs and praise singers. She said: “When the UBE was launched to increase access to basic education, there was demand for more teachers in all states of the federation. The Federal Government responded to the challenge by providing funds for recruiting more qualified teachers. At the end, some state governors used the fund to recruit praise singers and thugs during the electioneering campaign of 2007.”
Reeling out the country’s falling education profile, she said; “Nigeria accounts for six million out of the 36 million school girls that cannot access primary education worldwide. There are about 56 million illiterates in Nigeria. Primary school completion rate ranges between two percent and 92 percent, depending on the state.” Ezekwesili identified bureaucracy as a major hindrance to raising the standard of education in the country, expressing profound concern, for instance, about the overwhelming power of the education minister with respect to decision-making in unity schools. This, she said, was the practice before her appointment.
Bribery allegation: Adoke slams N10.2bn libel suit on Melaye ISE-OLUWA IGE
ttorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Bello Adoke, SAN, yesterday instituted a N10.2 billion libel lawsuit against the Executive Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Network, ACN, Otunba Dino Melaye, in an Abuja high court. The suit was instituted over allegation that Adoke was compromised to bungle a chain of high profile corruption cases against powerful individuals and corporate persons including the $180 million Haliburton bribery scandal. Already, the Federal Capital Territory high court sitting in Abuja has summoned Melaye to appear either in person or by his counsel to substantiate the allegation. Specifically, Adoke is demanding N10 billion as damages if Melaye could not substantiate the allegation. He is also asking for N200 million to defray the professional fees of lawyers he hired to prosecute the case. A consortium of four chambers of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, including Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN; Donald Denigwe, SAN; Babajide Koku, SAN;
and Ahmed Raji, SAN; prepared and filed the case for Adoke. The attorney-general of the federation, through the suit, is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining Melaye, his nongovernmental organisation or privies from further publishing libelous stories about him. He is contending that contrary to Malaye’s allegation, he said he was neither a saboteur nor associates of oil thieves and criminals. Melaye, had in a letter addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan, entitled: “Reporting a case of flagrant abuse of power vested in the office of the AGF by Mr. Mohammed Adoke,” chronicled the alleged sins of Adoke to include refusal to produce 14 witnesses that were to testify in the $180 million Haliburton bribery scandal, which led to the striking out of the suit by Justice Abubarkar Umar of an Abuja high court. Melaye yesterday said that he is ready to tackle the attorney-general of the federation in court over his allegations that he abused his office in the handling of high profile corruption cases against powerful individuals and corporate persons in the country.
Osun tertiary institutions call off strike L-R: Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha; Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, at the the commissioning of the new Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) permanent head office in Umuahia, yesterday.
Repeal colonial laws to make fight against graft work –Waziri ISE-OLUWA IGE
he immediate past Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, yesterday said that the on-going war against corruption in the country would not be meaningful until all inherited colonial laws on crime are repealed. She said the present laws on crime which had colonial origin were enacted without envisaging the terribly corrupt situation the nation has found itself, hence the need for them to be repealed to pave way for potent ones that would help salvage the country and curb corruption. The retired Assistant Inspector General of Po-
lice spoke in Abuja at the public presentation of a book; “Law of Evidence in Nigeria” authored by a renowned academic and legal practitioner, Chief Sebastine Tartenger Hon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. Waziri said it would be foolhardy to believe that the present laws would wipe out corruption, because of the too many escape routes for the corrupt to escape punishment. “It is a notorious fact that corruption is being fought partly with archaic laws, the laws that are no longer suitable for the unpleasant situation we have found ourselves.” At the time most of our laws were being enacted by the colonial masters, nobody envisaged cyber
crime, nobody envisaged internet fraud and nobody even envisaged manipulation of computer to defraud, because those things were not there at the time.” “I use this singular opportunity to call on members of the National Assembly to rise to the challenge. They should give us potent laws that can confront corruption and corrupt tendencies headlong. We must not shy away and we must not spare any effort to review and reform our laws to suit present circumstances. “I charge legal practitioners too to be concerned about the nation’s archaic laws and no effort should be spared to ensure that the laws are periodically reviewed and updated to meet the demands of the present age and developments.
For over 40 years, our Evidence Act was left at the mercy of crooked manipulations in the law courts, especially in criminal matters. “In reviewing our laws, the National Assembly should make sure that the laws cover all segments of the society. She threw her weight behind the judiciary reform being undertaken by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, whom she described as a no-nonsense woman and called on Nigerians to give her maximum support. Mrs. Waziri also showered encomiums on the author of the book, Chief Hon, for his contribution to the upliftment of law development in the country and urged other lawyers to emulate his patriotic gesture.
ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
he academic staff union of four tertiary institutions in Osun State, yesterday called off their industrial action over the payment of their entitlements following the agreement reached between them and the state governmet. The state government, teaching and non-teaching staff of the affected institutions, after hours of deliberations, called off the strike and directed that normal academic session should commence in the institutions with immediate effect. In a statement jointly signed by the unions on the implementation of the 2009 Consolidated Salary of Tertiary Institution, CONTEDISS and the Colleges of Education Staff Salary Structure, CONPCASS, they both agreed to meet up
with the demands of the unions. The associations’ Presidents and Secretaries; Ademiluyi F. A; Fasipe O. O; Jimoh L. A. and Esan D. O. and the representative of the state government further agreed that; “Government has concluded arrangement for the commencement of Group Life Assurance Scheme for the members. “All other issues relating to Contributory Pension Scheme will be addressed accordingly; that the state government would address the issue of under-staffing as soon as the governing councils are put in place. “That the 65-year retirement age issue, being a legal matter, be appropriately addressed by the state House of Assembly. “That no individual or group of people would be victimised as a result of their roles in the industrial action."
Most ‘around the world’ ball control tricks in one minute (male) Vol. 03 No. 626
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Winning the war and peace
very war is a destructive venture that leaves both the victor and vanquished traumatised for a long time, even after the campaigns are over and the victory flag flying over the ruins of battles. Nigeria is no stranger to the dislocating consequences of war. From 1967 to 1970, the country was embroiled in a bloody civil war that left whole generations dead or dispirited. More than 43 years later, the fallout from that internecine conflict has continued to haunt the relationships between the myriad of ethnic nationalities in the country. Wars are a messy affair and no matter how enamoured we pretend to live with it, the bitter memories are always a sad reminder of its ultimate futility. Sometimes, however, wars are necessary for the restoration of
upersand Eagles were yesterday drawn to play Egypt, Libya and Cote d’Ivoire in Group B of the African Beach Soccer Championship starting in El Jadida, Morocco tomorrow. The competition also serves as qualifying tourna-
The most ‘Around The World’ tricks in one minute is 85 and was achieved by John Farnworth (UK) on the set of Guinness World Records - Smashed, in London, UK, on 3 October 2008.
Okay Osuji (firstname.lastname@example.org) 08034729256 (sms only)
peace and concord in the midst of chaos and despair. Some countries have gone to war, because they were faced with annihilation from a more determined aggressor. Others have been forced into it by the actions of some misguided elements out to establish a racial or religious utopia. Today, Nigeria is faced with the existential reality of a politico-religious uprising from the Boko Haram sect that wants to impose a bigoted ideology on the country. For long, the country has been faced with the prospect of an implacable enemy, imbued with fiery religious zealotry over running it. Such haunting fears were responsible for the slow, and often times, sloppy responses to the mortal challenge posed by the jihadists. Badgered on all fronts by accusations of ineptitude and inefficiency from a determined opposition and a call to arms by livid supporters, the government got frozen in inertia, as it was caught between a rock and a hard place. Seeking for a way out of the imbroglio, it took to appeasement by offering amnesty to the Boko Haram. That meant that all atrocities committed in the cause of their war to overthrow the government are to be forgiven by presidential fiat. So, it did not come as any surprise when the sect rejected such unsolicited olive branch. As someone given to solicitous impulse at placating powerful voices behind the sect, President Jonathan found himself engaging in embarrassing policy somersaults. Now that he has found his voice and sent the military after the Boko Haram, it is still early days to declare victory and hoist the flag. But a cursory
IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO DEFEAT THE BOKO HARAM, GOVERNMENT MUST GIVE HOPE TO THOSE WHO DEFECT FROM THE SECT AND HAND OVER THEIR WEAPONS BY REHABILITATING AND PROTECTING THEM look at the present development shows that the once vociferous jihadists are retreating on all fronts with amazing rapidity and vapourising in the face of determined onslaught by the security forces. Even when many have been killed and captured, the government must now direct a greater percentage of its energy at pacifying the situation in the area. Given the destructive nature of pitched battles, those caught in the area of military operations tend to resent the invading army, especially if they employ maximum force in trying to dislodge a lightly armed occupying force. Everyone knows the ragtag Boko Haram is no match to the fire power of the Nigerian army. But the present battle is not all about jet fighters, bombs, bullets and tanks, but has everything to do with the minds. Here, the sect has the upper
hand given its closeness to the inhabitants and the ideology that has enabled it to recruit large number of converts and acolytes into its ranks. The country’s northeast geopolitical zone is a fertile ground for suicide tourism, because of the mindboggling levels of poverty and deprivation. There, life revolves around jihad and the attractive prospects of an ethereal paradise for volunteers who blow themselves up in the cause of proselytising. Matters are made worse by the fact that the country’s borders in this area are not only porous, they remain unprotected. Successive governments have been mindful of the fact that the uncontrolled movement of persons from neighbouring countries, who speak the local language and belong to the same religious faith, serves a vital demographic purpose for population census. In the course of trying to allow as many Chadians, Malians, Cameroonians and Nigeriens into the north of the country, the authorities unwittingly gave refuge to zealots with avowed determination to wage war against western civilisation. So, after decades of turning a blind eye to the disruptive shenanigans of preachers from ultraconservative religious movements across the borders, the chickens have come home to roost, as the country is now paying the price for all the deceits and hypocrisies. It is not enough to defeat the Boko Haram, government must give hope to those who defect from the sect and hand over their weapons by rehabilitating and protecting them. Most importantly, there should be a consistent government effort to wean the people away from the misconception that western education is evil. They must be sensitised to the fact that their seeming world of poverty and hopelessness is not divinely ordained. For now, the government seems to be getting every act right, especially deporting thousands of itinerant loafers from across the borders who have been living a charmed existence in Nigeria. They must not be allowed to come back.
Morocco 2013: Nigeria to play Egypt, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire ment for this year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, taking place in Tahiti in September. Nigeria will play Libya in their opening match tomorrow, before confronting
Egypt on Thursday and Cote d’Ivoire on Friday. Host Morocco heads Group A that also has Senegal, Madagascar and Ghana. The two finalists will qualify for the FIFA Beach
Soccer World. Nigeria reached the quarter finals at the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup held in Ravenna, Italy, coming close to upsetting four-time world champions
Brazil before losing out after extra time. Meanwhile, Supersand Eagles’ captain, Isiaka Olawale, has assured Nigerians of a good outing at the competition.
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