Cabinet shake-up imminent
FG pays Dokubo, Tompolo, others $39.5m annually –Report
...as ministers sign performance contract agreement AYODELE OJO AND ROTIMI FADEYI
resident Goodluck Jonathan is set to overhaul his cabi-
Vol. 2 N0. 432
net which may result in the loss of jobs for many of the serving ministers. The eventual cabinet shake-up is expected to take place in September. Our correspondent gath-
ered that no fewer than 10 ministers across the geopolitical zones would be affected in the exercise. “I can tell you that the cabinet overhaul will take CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Danger looms over South West’s marginalisation
...say Balarabe Musa, Sani, others KEMI OLAITAN, AZA MSUE AND PRISCILLA DENNIS
rominent Nigerians yesterday bemoaned the marginalisation of the South-West in strategic appointments made by President Goodluck Jonathan, warning of grave danger ahead if the President fails to correct the glaring injustice. National Mirror had on Wednesday exclusively published a detailed report on how the South-West CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Ministers queuing to sign Performance Contract Evaluation Agreement with President Goodluck Jonathan, during the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
N61.3bn subsidy fraud:
FG indicts four more oil marketers NUPENG shelves strike
Civil war bombs found in South-East
2015: Obasanjo denies endorsing Lamido/ Amaechi ticket P.13
Bad weather disrupts flights nationwide P.32
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
N61.3bn subsidy fraud: FG indicts four more oil marketers TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND MESHACK IDEHEN
he Federal Government yesterday released the names of additional four oil marketing companies recommended for criminal investigation by the relevant agencies for sharing in the N61.33bn illegal claims under the fuel subsidy regime. The new companies, which now bring the total to 25, are Ceoti Limited, Heyden Petroleum, Master Energy Oil and Gas Limited and Capital Oil Plc. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, said that the amounts being investigated as they affected each of the companies are Alminnur Resources Limited N1,051,030,434.63; Brilla Energy Limited, N963,796,199.85; Caades Oil and Gas Ltd, N487,799,826.80; Capital Oil & Gas Industry Ltd, N8,898,180,238.91; Capital Oil Plc, N1,216,298,517.20; Ceoti Limited, N1,773,421,842.01; Conoil Plc, N2,948,078,077.90; Downstream Energy Source Ltd, N1,774,089,040.63; Eterna Plc, N2,122,859,123.70; Eurafric Oil & Gas Ltd, N2,261,859,123.70; Heyden Petroleum, N594,714,089.31; Lumen Skies Ltd, N774,787,752.86; and Majope Investment Ltd, N959,813,734.22.
Others include Master Energy Oil & Gas Ltd, N2,908,996,291.29; Matrix Energy Limited, N6,233,802,137.15; Menol Oil & Gas Limited, N1,691,595,830.87; Mob International, N2,137,328,914.10; MRS Oil & Gas Plc, N6,086,531,305.33; Nasaman Oil Services Ltd, N3,861,407,437.90; Naticel Petroleum Limited, N3,081,370,678.34; Ocean Energy Trading & Services Ltd, N1,778,180,051.20; Pinnacle Contractors Ltd, N2,755,646,744.04; Sifax Oil and Gas Company, N1,033,119,489.60; Tonique Oil Services Ltd, N1,575,014,046.51 and Top Oil and Gas Development Company Limited, N2,360,733,485.43. The total amount under investigations stands at N61.33bn. The allegations levelled against the affected oil marketers range from subsidy payments for which mother vessels were no longer operational at the time of transshipment and no shipping documents; subsidy payments for which mother vessels were not found in locations claimed at the time of trans-shipment; subsidy payments without proof of existence of the mother vessel bill of lading or daughter vessel bill of lading; and transactions which were discovered to be bills for collection transactions, but as at the time of the review it was discovered that the shipping docu-
ments evidencing arrival of the products had not been submitted to the respective banks for payment. Others are lack of evidence of sales proceeds in the banks; transactions disclaimed by banks; subsidy payments for which there were no shipping documents or evidence of payment for the products in foreign exchange; subsidy payments without the signature of external auditors and independent inspectors on shore tank certificates; and subsidy payments for which mother vessels could not be traced and subsidy payments without proof of existence of the mother vessel bill of lading or daughter vessel bill of lading . The statement also noted that the number of the list-
ed oil marketing companies had been confirmed by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments. It added that some of the companies claimed payments for consignments brought in by ships which investigations revealed were either non-existent or were somewhere else in the world. It will be recalled that government had last Friday listed 21 oil marketers being investigated, based on evidence that they might have engaged in fraudulent activities under the fuel subsidy regime. Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday shelved its decision to embark on a nationwide
strike in order to dialogue with the Federal Government over ways to resolve the crisis. NUPENG, whose leadership met with the Federal Government team yesterday, also said it had agreed to continue negotiations with the government to find a lasting solution to the dispute over non-payment of subsidy arrears to some fuel marketers. President of the union, Mr. Achese Igwe, who spoke through the Secretary-General, Mr. Issac Aberare, told our correspondent that NUPENG would dialogue with the government and the outcome of meetings would determine whether the union would go ahead with the strike. “We will attend the meeting and the interest of the masses will be considered
first in our decisions. The interest of the masses has always been our concern whenever we want to take any action,” he said. But the Trade Union Congress, TUC, has disassociated itself from the planned strike. TUC said arguments on the strike by the oil workers union were untenable. The congress added that its rejection of the proposed strike was because the action “is baseless and not in favour of Nigerians.” TUC President-General, Mr. Peter Esele, in a statement made available to National Mirror on Wednesday, said that NUPENG’s conduct was disgraceful, warning that the leadership of the union should be careful not to lose the sympathy of Nigerians.
Construction workers erecting a gate at the entrance to Kuramo Beach in Lagos, yesterday.
PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
‘Danger looms over S’West’s marginalisation’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
had been marginalised in the present administration which cut across organs of government – executive, legislature and judiciary. While calling on President Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to correct the imbalance, former governor of old Kaduna State and Chairman, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said he foresaw danger ahead over the marginalisation of the Yoruba. The elder statesman said the continued violence in Nigeria was due to injustice perpetrated by leaders, stressing that the negative trend in the nation at the moment should be corrected for peace and stability. Also, the President, Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria,
CRCN, Mallam Sheu Sani, described President Jonathan’s action as ingratitude, considering the support he got from the South-West during the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s health crisis and the 2011 poll. Musa and Sani in an interview with National Mirror in Kaduna yesterday said the South-West voted massively for the PDP during 2011 presidential election and deserved fair treatment like other geopolitical zones. The former governor said: “We are calling on President Jonathan and his PDP to explain why a section of the country will be marginalised because I foresee great danger ahead over the South-West issue and urgent action needs to be taken by correcting it. “PDP should explain the
imbalance to a geopolitical zone. If it is civil servicerelated, the Federal Character Commission, FCC, will be asked, but this issue is beyond them. It is purely political issue; PDP is the party that gives appointments at federal level. “Injustice in this country started long ago and it always brings instability. The government of the PDP should quickly explain to Nigerians why the lopsidedness. We are tired of violence as a result of injustice. “Some people said SouthWest belongs to the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, but this region voted President Jonathan against ACN presidential candidate, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. “During former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, there were
allegations that he favoured South-West, but after he left office, there was nothing to show that the former president favoured his people. “We are one Nigeria, therefore, resources, appointments and development should spread across the nation for peace and stability. “All the problems we are having are products of injustice and marginalisation by our leaders.” Sani lambasted the Jonathan administration, noting also that the Yoruba voted massively for the President during the presidential election, despite the fact that they voted for the ACN candidates in other elections. He said: “The marginalisation of the South-West is a clear case of ingratitude with the support President Jonathan got from the re-
gion. “After the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua, it was the South-West that mobilised a national uprising that challenged the cabal who were holding the country to ransom. “Secondly, during the 2011 presidential election, the South-West dumped Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of ACN and voted massively for President Jonathan. “Jonathan’s marginalisation of the South-West is first of all between the regions that stood with him when in need. “Perhaps, President Jonathan is waiting for the campaign of bombing to start in the zone before he will listen to their voice. “We are living in a country where our leaders believe when they
see,” he said. Sani, however, advised the region to be wary of party candidates in the future elections. He said: “For the SouthWest, this should be a lesson for them to assess and appraise a candidate before throwing their weight behind such candidate. “President Jonathan has no pedigree of progressive politics; he is a product of the establishment. We live in a country where leaders bow to violence and not common reason.” The presidential candidate of the National Action Council, NAC, in the 2007 elections, Dr. Olapade Agoro, said that the South-West had not only CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote; Kwara State Commissioner for Social Development, Culture and Tourism, Hajia Ramat Adesina Abaya and Director, Culture, Mr. George Ufot, at the opening ceremony of the 8th Council of Tourism and Culture in Ilorin, Kwara State, yesterday.
Representative of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Sen. Magnus Abe(left) and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. David Iyofor, at the unveiling of the first official website of the state and new book, Governor Amaechi’s Giant Strides in Rivers State, The Press Testify, in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L – R: Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; President and Chairman, Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr. Segun Aina; Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Chairman, CIBN, Abeokuta branch, Prince Adewale Ademola; Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mrs. Oluwande Muoyo and Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru; during a courtesy call by the executive of CIBN to the Governor’s Office
L-R: Director, Management Services, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Areh Patrick; Director, Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr. Chris Okoyomoh and Director-General, Mr. Yomi Bolarinwa, at a news conference on the 20th anniversary of NBC in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Subsidy fraud: Tukur, Arisekola’s sons seek court’s nod to travel FRANCIS FAMOROTI
few weeks after they were granted temporary reprieve by an Ikeja High Court, some oil marketers, are seeking the court’s permission to travel outside the country. The marketers include Mahmud Tukur, son of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; and Abdullahi Alao, son of the Ibadan-based business mogul, Alhaji Abdulazeez ArikesolaAlao. Tukur and Arisekola and their co-defendant, Felix Ochonogor, have asked an Ikeja High Court to order the release of their international passports to enable them attend to some urgent commitments abroad. In a joint motion on notice dated August 14, 2012 and filed before a vacation judge, Justice Lateefa Folami, the men are making the request to enable them undertake business trip to Paris in France
and London in the United Kingdom. The men were last month arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Ikeja High Court for fraud-related offences ranging from conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretences and forgery. They were, however, granted bail by the court and remanded in EFCC custody pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions. But shortly after perfecting the bail conditions, the men through their lawyer, Olaniran Obele, applied for the release of their passports to enable them travel abroad. Specifically, Mahmud, the first applicant, is seeking the court’s permission to travel abroad to attend a company board meeting in which he is a director and also has substantial interests. Besides, the applicant claimed he also intends to perform the hajj. The second applicant,
Ochonogor, is praying the court to grant his application to travel to Paris to attend a bond holders’ meeting which ought o have taken place last month but was rescheduled to August 27 at his instance. This, he said, would enable him brief the conveners of the meeting on the charge preferred against him before the Ikeja High Court. Arguing the application, Obele submitted that the applicants would not abscond if their pleas were granted. He said Mahmud’s father, who is the PDP chairman, stood surety for his son and as a result he would return to the country as soon as possible after his engagements in London. The counsel said Ochonogor was outside the country when the charge was filed against him and voluntarily returned to Nigeria to face trial. According to him, when they were granted administrative bail, “the second defendant travelled to Ukraine and did not abscond but came back for
his arraignment”. But the EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application on the ground that the order of Justice Onigbanjo directing them to deposit their international passports had not been varied. Oyedepo also argued
that there was nothing before the court to suggest that the meeting Ochonogor wanted to attend had been rescheduled. He said granting them permission to travel would amount to opening an escape route for the defendants as it occurred in
the case of the convicted former Delta State Governor, James Ibori. Oyedepo said it would be in the best interest of justice to turn down their request. Justice Folami reserved ruling on the application till tomorrow.
Electricity workers crisis: Negotiation postponed till next week OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he ongoing negotiation between the Federal Government and the organised labour over the settlement of the severance package of the workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, has been postponed till Tuesday next week to enable both parties address the grey areas. Speaking with Journalists yesterday night after a closed door meeting held in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Ayim Pius Ayim, Trade Union
Congress of Nigeria, TUC, President, Comrade Peter Essle, said the adjournment became necessary to enable both parties harmonise their differences. He said: “The meeting was more of a preliminary meeting and we have adjourned to meet by 3:00 pm on Tuesday next week. The government delegation promised to be around. We just have terms of reference on what we need to do and by Tuesday we will carve out the terms of reference.” Esele also stated that the proposed strike would no longer commence. He said: “We are still talking and negotiation
is on. The issue at stake is clear. We are not telling you not to privatise or not to carry out the reforms. Our position is very clear. For you to do this, the severance package and condition of service should be provided to the letter. If this is done, we don’t have any problem.” Other members on the negotiation table include a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Dr. Timiebi Koripamo-Agari; Secretary-General of TUC, Mr. John Kolawole; General Secretary of NUEE, Mr. Joe Ajaero and Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Mr. Promise Adewusi.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
place before October 1,” a source in the Presidency told National Mirror. It was learnt that the President is disappointed in some of the ministers in terms of “competence and efficient delivery on the Transformation Agenda of the government” since they were appointed one year ago. The agenda still remain in the realm of dream. This is coming just as the President yesterday signed a Performance Contract Agreement with the ministers. It was learnt that President Jonathan had done his assessment on the performance of the ministers in which many of them were said to have fared badly. “A year is enough for the ministers to show the stuff they are made up, but what
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Cabinet shake-up imminent
we have seen so far are mere promises. “The President is in a hurry to deliver on his promises on which his performance will be measured. “So, there is need for urgent action to address the drift in the delivery of dividends of democracy. “I can tell you that some of the ministers will soon be shown the way out of government,” an aide of the President told National Mirror. He, however, added that the 2015 election was not on the mind of Jonathan for now. “What the President is concerned about is how to deliver on his promises. “Nigerians will ask him what he has done with the four-year mandate they have given him at the time he would be asking for the renewal of the mandate.
“So, Jonathan is more concerned with his achievements. “Unfortunately, some of the ministers are not operating on the same frequency with the President. This is why he would sack some of the non-performing ministers,” the source added. Already, some politicians are already lobbying for the ministerial appointments. A former governor in the South-East confirmed his interest in the ministerial appointment. “We have been given assurance that before the Independence Day, October 1, there will be cabinet shakeup. “So, we are waiting for the exercise which may see to our re-emergence in the political landscape,” the former governor, who did not want his name mentioned, told National Mirror.
Meanwhile, President Jonathan yesterday said that the Performance Contract Agreement with ministers was not meant to witch-hunt or be a basis for sack. In his remarks after signing the agreement with all the ministers in his cabinet, Jonathan noted that it was a way to set targets and measure performance. At the meeting, each of the ministers, including the ministers of state took turns to personally sign the performance contract bond with the President starting with the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Bello Adoke (SAN). The ministers are also expected to sign similar agreements with their permanent secretaries and heads of agencies and para-
L-R: Representative of Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Jack Nwaogbo; representative of Chief of Defence Staff, AVM Tomboiyi DickIruenabere and Director-General, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Prof. Tijjani Bande, at a lecture for participants of Course 34 of the institute in Kuru, Plateau State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
‘Danger looms over S’West’s marginalisation’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
been marginalised but relegated in the scheme of things in the country. He said the present situation in which the Yoruba were not in the top echelon of decision-making in the country was terrible. Agoro added that it was only an undiscerned person that would not know that the South-West was no longer recognised in the scheme of things. He noted that the moving back on the rung of the ladder for the SouthWest started when former President Olusegun Obasanjo left office and that the leadership of the PDP had conspired to pay
the region back for failing woefully in the region in the last general elections. He said: “The SouthWest is not only relegated in politics but also in the economy and other sectors. “Indeed, in organisations like INEC, police , customs and others, no Yoruba could be found in the top echelon. It is that bad.” The NAC national chairman warned that if the situation was not quickly looked into, the nation might found itself sitting on a keg of gun powder. He stressed that in a complex country such as Nigeria, it would be sui-
cidal to marginalise any region. An PDP chieftain in Niger State, Alhaji Bala Jos, said that rather than concentrating on political appointments to appease the North or any region, President Jonathan should concentrate his efforts at providing basic infrastructural facilities for Nigerians in line with his campaign promises. He noted rather than compensate people with juicy appointments, such positions should only be given out on merit, irrespective of ethnicity. “We want Mr. President to concentrate in given the people basic infrastructural facilities. They should not
camouflage under the guise of political appointments ahead of 2015 and shy away from their responsibilities to the people of this country. “Secondly, my main concern is that the appointments should be on merit. This is because when a person is not performing or representing a region well, what becomes of the region? “They should do what is right for this country,” Jos, a former Political Adviser during Governor Musa Inuwa administration in 1992, said. He lamented that at present over 70 per cent of the nation funds was spent on the payment of salaries of political office holders which should not be so.
statals under them. President Jonathan explained that with the Performance Contract Agreement, the administration had set a tough task for itself and there was no going back. “Nigerians expect a better deal from government and that is what they shall get under my watch. And that is what each and everyone of you must see as your primary goal,” Jonathan told the ministers. He noted that media assessment was not totally reliable, stressing that the media had been politicised. The President also told the ministers at yesterday’s Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting that “It gives all of us targets and you can assess yourself whether you are really achieving that target. “You will not depend on what the newspapers will want to write because the media today is highly politicised. “The media used to be the voice of the ordinary people but now, the media is the voice of those who own the media houses and those who own the media have private jets and those who have private jets are not ordinary people. “So, the media is now the voice of the powerful people. So, we have to have a way of assessing ourselves,” he added. He said that the exercise was to ensure service delivery to the people of the country. The President added: “There have been all kinds of speculations about this exercise. “It is important to state what it is and what it is not. “I want to assure every one of you who has taken part in the exercise that this is not meant to witch-hunt anybody. “It is to remind all of us, from President to directorsgeneral, to advisers and other aides that we are representatives of the Nigerian people and we are accountable to them at all times. “I had stated clearly during the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council that ministers are expected to be accountable, productive, transparent and focused.” He noted that the major objective of his administration was to ensure enhanced performance, trans-
parency and accountability in governance. President Jonathan explained that though relatively a new concept in Nigeria, the performance contracting system was geared towards improving performance and delivering quality and timely services to the citizenry, improving productivity and instilling a greater sense of accountability for effective service delivery. He said: “The performance contract that has been signed by each minister today is part of the process aimed at ensuring that we deliver on our mandate to Nigerian citizens. “Already, we have spelt out the goals in the government’s Transformation Agenda to which every minister was given an opportunity to contribute.” The President said the citizenry expected government to be more proactive and effective in its actions. “Nigerians expect to be provided with the basic necessities of life to function more effectively in a competitive environment. “The majority voted for us because they believe this administration will ensure an improved standard of living. “Since our assumption of office last year, we have strived to ensure improved quality service delivery in all the key areas identified for putting our nation on a solid path of development. “Beyond the periodic ministerial press briefings as witnessed prior to the last Democracy Day celebrations, we must continue to set targets for ourselves by agreeing on outcomes to be achieved. “The process leading to today’s agreement has been long and thorough, with each minister and his/her permanent secretary and other directors involved in identifying the key benefits to be delivered to the citizens - the outcomes and the tangible projects that need to be put in place by their respective ministries to bring about those benefits. “I am aware that the teams from the various ministries, departments and agencies were also involved in determining the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the various targets for 2012 and beyond.”
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Reps lobby Jonathan to endorse bills - Ihedioha TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
Long queue for petrol on Olusegun Obasanjo Way in Abuja, yesterday.
Amnesty: FG pays Dokubo, Tompolo, others $39.5m annually – Report SAM OLUWALANA
merican Wall Street Journal yesterday published a report on how leaders of former Niger Delta militants are being paid hundreds of millions of dollars annually by the Federal Government so as to maintain peace in the oil-rich region. The highest beneficiary of the government largesse to the ex-militants is Government “Tompolo” Ekpumopolo, who was awarded a $22.9m-a-year contract to check crimes on Nigerian high seas by the Federal Government last year. Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo earns about $9m-ayear while the trio of Tom Ateke and Gen. Ebikabowei “Boyloaf ” Victor Ben
each takes a slice worth $3.8m. The two ex-militants are said to receive the $3.8m each to guard oil installations and pipelines they used to attack while in the creeks. The Federal Government Presidential Amnesty programme will cost the country a massive $450m this year alone, more than any other programme of its kind in any part of the world. Dokubo shrugged off a question on the amount of money he receives from government. “I don’t see anything wrong with it,” he said. Crude production is back up to 2.6m barrels daily, a situation that government officials offered as a success story. But others said the programme, including a 2009 amnesty,
had sent young men in the turbulent delta a different message: that militancy promises more rewards than risks. Yet because four-fifths of government revenue flows from the oil fields, aides to the President defended the high cost of peace by saying the treasury would face an even worse drain if a fullblown militancy in the region flared up again. “If it is too huge, what are the alternatives?” said Oronto Douglas, a senior adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan. “For you to address the whole issue of poverty and development, you need some kind of peace. That is what I think the amnesty programme has offered,” he added. Several militants were enticed by the amnesty
programme, and the rewards that followed it. Some of the leaders took up residence in the executive floors of Abuja’s Hilton and through much of 2010 and early 2011 spent months enjoying the Executive Lounge’s complementary supply of Hennessey V.S.O.P. cognac, priced at $51 a shot on the room-service menu. “These are young men who came out of the creeks and were given the opportunity to hang out with the crème de la crème, wearing gold watches and drinking from gold-rimmed teacups,” said Tony Uranta, a member of the government’s Niger Delta Technical Committee advisory group and a frequent Hilton executive-floor guest. “It’s a natural thing,” he added.
he House of Representatives has decided on a subtle way to get President Goodluck Jonathan to sign into law key bills it passed in the last one year. The refusal by the President to sign bills passed by the House of Representatives has, in the last four months, strained the relationship between the executive and the legislature. Three weeks before it embarked on recess, the House had threatened to veto the powers of the President on some bills on resumption. Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, disclosed this while addressing the executive of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology, NCFST, led by Dr. John Onuorah who sought the intervention of the House in the NCFST Bill passed on June 1, 2011. Ihedioha assured the group the bills passed by the National Assembly would not go without becoming laws. He said: “The National Assembly has done its responsibility. We are on recess. But when we reconvene, we will find out the status of this bill and take it from there. “Obviously the import of the NCFST Bill cannot be over emphasised. As our elders have enumerated, the necessity for this bill to become law is obviously to address some of our challenges today in the country, particularly wealth creation and job creation which is very key and fundamental to our national stability.”
Onshore/offshore: Politicians heating up the polity – Presidency ROTIMI FADEYI
he Presidency yesterday accused some unnamed politicians of attempting to heat up the polity by creating fresh controversy over the onshore/ offshore abrogation law enacted by the National Assembly in 2004. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said in a statement that some
of the pronouncements were disruptive, outright mischievous, and aimed at causing disaffection among Nigerians. According to Abati, the Presidency advised such politicians to desist from playing up sectional and ethnic sentiments, over a matter which was addressed eight years ago to the benefit of all parties concerned. The Presidency also noted that at a time when the government was working hard to re-
solve security challenges in parts of the country, the political elite across board were expected to cooperate with the Federal and state governments to promote the cause of peace, stability and national transformation. It added that those issuing threats and counter-threats over every issue, were not just reinventing a controversy, they seemed determined to fuel acrimony and needless conflict. The government, the
statement said, was working tirelessly to ensure that all Nigerians enjoyed their fundamental rights in an atmo-
sphere free of rancour and tension. The Federal Government warned that no individual, political interest or group should attempt to violate this, either overtly or covertly. The statement said while the Federal Government respected every individual’s right to freedom of expression, it was equally duty bound to forestall any attempt to undermine the peace and security of the country, under whatever guise.
“We will look at it and I’m sure when we look at it, we will get back to you and if there is any other lobby that we need, we would do it. We want to engage the executive appropriately to ensure that if there is any misunderstanding in regards to the status of this bill, we will try and provide the necessary explanation by facilitating it.” Speaking earlier, the NCFST president had explained that the bill, when signed into law, would regulate the training and practice of the profession of food science and technology. Onuorah noted that the bill enjoyed overwhelming support during the debate on the floor of the House and Senate as well as various stakeholders from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, the Consumer Protection Council, CPC, Association of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employers, AFBTE, Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria, IPAN, Nigerian Universities Commission NUC, many universities and polytechnics, and the National Planning Commission during the public hearing. He said: “It is important for the President to give assent to this executive bill and other key bills, for the following reasons: the issues of food safety and food security have become too complex and complicated for the untrained and therefore require professional skills for proper management. “Apart from classical issues of food hygiene and sanitation, there is the increasing global concern on the impact of additives, veterinary drug residues, pesticides and other agrochemicals, microbial mutations and radiation contamination on food safety. “There are frequent national and global alerts on threats to the food supply chain to the extent that several deaths are recorded periodically on account of accidental and or deliberate contamination of food. Therefore, we require welltrained food professionals to mitigate these problems.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Police parade varsity students for killing General’s daughter FRANCIS SUBERU
Three undetonated civil war bombs discovered at Udi in Enugu State on display at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre by the Nigeria Mine Action Centre, yesterday.
Civil war bombs found in Enugu DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
ome of the undetonated bombs allegedly left behind in the South-East by the federal troops during the 1967 to 1970 civil war have been discovered in Enugu. The Nigeria Mine Action Centre raised the alarm yesterday that over 50,000 undetonated bombs left behind by the federal forces are still buried in the South-East. The agency therefore warned people to beware and report any discovery of such explosives. Field Administrator of the Nigerian Mine Action Centre, a department of the Federal Ministry of Defence, Dr Emeka Uhegbu, who displayed three recovered bombs from a construction site in Udi Enugu State, yesterday, said that
• 50, 000 others still buried in South-East if the bombs were accidentally detonated, they would cause mass killing. According to Uhegbu , if anyone mistakenly hit a object on one of the three bombs, which look like rocket launchers, it could kill thousands of people. He said: “We have our zonal office in Owerri with the responsibility of removing remnants of the civil war explosives in 12 states. We have continued to remove some of these explosives since 2009. Not long ago, we removed bombs in Enugu and detonated them at the UgwuOnyeama area in the presence of Governor Sullivan Chime represented by his deputy and other security personnel. “Today, we removed three from a construction
site close to 9th mile in Udi. We are not supposed to move about with it, but we decided to come hear to show it to journalists and use the opportunity to ask our people to be vigilant because these object is scattered across South-East states. “We remove the explosives always. We are aware that we still have over 50,000 remnants of explosives.” Uhegbu, however, called on residents, who may run into these objects in their farms, places of work, construction sites and churches to immediately report to the nearest police station to facilitate their removal. He said: “If you tamper with it, it could kill. The least it can do would be to maim you. We are appealing to our people that the
war has ended, but these things are still continuing the war. We are one in this country; we are going round removing them. “The United Nations compelled the country to de-mine the country after the civil war ended, but the then Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, did not de-militarise Nigeria, he merely asked the people to go to work. There ought to have been a deliberate measure to remove all these things so that our people could go to farm without running the risk of losing their lives. “We have been asked to scan the land and remove them. We have facilities, scanners and locators which we are using to know where these ordinances are located.”
Civil defence issues licences to 45 private security firms OMEIZA AJAYI
ommandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ade Abolurin, has threatened to withdraw the licences of some private security companies for engaging in what he described as acts inimical to the nation’s security. Dr Abolurin, who declined listing the affected companies, spoke yesterday in Abuja when NSCDC issued licences to 45 new private security firms.
According to him, the issuance of the new licences took a longer period to realise because it has become imperative to critically reassess the credibility of applicants with a view to
picking the best out of the barrage of requests that the NSCDC had to contend with. He said: “We took time before giving you this certificates not because we wanted to punish you, but because there were some circumstances we needed to overcome and we equally needed to take our time to reassess the credibility of the applicants especially in the light of the number of requests we had and the current situation in our country. “In the past six months, we were hit by a barrage of
requests for licences and we were not comfortable. So, we had to raise the bar. We had to stipulate more stringent conditions and increase the licence fee not because we want to make money. We are not giving you licences because we have mortgaged our conscience. We don’t issue these certificates to riff raffs.” Urging them to cooperate with government security operatives deployed in their various beats, Dr Abolurin charged them to sniff for information that could be of assistance to the country.
wo university students suspected to have killed Cynthia Osokogu, daughter of a retired Army General, were paraded yesterday by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko. The suspects - Nwabufor Okwumo and Ezekiel Odera - are 300 level Accounting students at their different universities. They allegedly murdered Cynthia in a hotel at Festac Town area of Lagos. Nwabufor is a student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), while Ezekiel is a student of Anambra State University. Speaking during the parade, Manko said that the build-up to the arrest of the suspects began on July 22, 2012 after Cynthia was invited to Lagos by Nwabufor, following a friendly relationship he had established with her through a social media chat. It was gathered that the deceased’s transport fare was paid by Ezekiel. Ezekiel also paid for Cyn-
thia’s lodgment in the hotel where she was murdered. On arrival at her hotel room, the police commissioner said Cynthia was drugged with 10 tablets of grounded Rohypnol mixed with water and injected into a Ribena drink. She was thereafter killed. Responding to journalists’ question, Nwabufor confirmed that Cynthia was his girl friend and that he was the one who invited her to Lagos. Nwabufor also confessed that he had lured several ladies with his black berry chat or facebook chat to either rape or rob his unsuspecting internet lovers in four hotels around Festac Town. Items recovered when detectives stormed the hotel room - where the crime was committed, were two sunshades, two syringes, eight wristwatches, Automated Teller Machines (ATM) cards of four different banks, one chain and padlock, one international passport, complimentary cards, many SIMS cards as well as bags and various identification cards.
How to tackle unemployment – Okojie IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
he Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, has called for robust relationship between industries and universities with the aim of addressing unemployment in the country. Prof. Okojie said that entrepreneurship would not only improve the quality of service delivery, but expand employment opportunities.
He spoke yesterday in Abuja. He urged universities across the country to teach entrepreneurship courses at the degree level, saying that some countries have already started entrepreneurship as a programme in their universities of which Nigeria will not be an exception. Okojie identified lack of facilities in schools as some of the challenges bedevilling the proper upgrade of skills among youths.
Thursday, August 23 , 2012
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Terrorists: No basis for dialogue –Oritsejafor HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
he President of Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, said yesterday that there was no basis for dialogue between the Federal Government and the Islamic sect terrorising the country. Oritsejafor spoke in Akure, the Ondo State
capital, while addressing journalists after an Extraordinary Council Meeting of the National Executive Council of CAN. The CAN president said that dialogue could only be embraced if members of the sect tabled their demands or grievances, adding that there must be basis for the dialogue before the two parties could sit down to find a lasting solution to
the group’s demands. He also condemned a statement credited to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Nurudeen Muhammed, referring to the country as an Islamic state. Oritsejafor said the minister should be sanctioned because his statement was worrisome. He challenged Muhammed to tell Nigerians
where the data emanated from; pointing out that Nigeria was not an Islamic state. The CAN president disclosed that there were some forces within the system funding the activities of the terrorists group, saying the latest demand by the sect for President Goodluck Jonathan to resign had a political undertone. He said: “Those who are
sponsoring the terrorists, God will bring them down as David brought down Goliath. We believe the time has come; they will be ashamed. “God will expose those financing evil. Those that are behind problems and pains that Nigerians are going through will be exposed; their days are numbered. God will end their time for Nigeria to go forward.”
Oritsejafor also frowned at the idea of compensating the families of sect members killed by security agents. He said: “If the killers are being compensated what will happen to the families of thousands of people who have been killed. This is wrong. The killers should be made to face the wrath of law and let the law take its natural cause.”
Oyo awards N5.8bn road project in Ibadan KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he Oyo State government yesterday awarded the contract for the expansion into a dual carriageway of the Ibadan Toll Gate Interchange - Efunsetan Roundabout - Podo Roundabout (New Garage) - Toll Gate Interchange, as well as extension of Challenge Roundabout - Efunsetan Roundabout, at a cost of N5.8bn. The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Bosun Oladele, who made the disclosure while briefing journalists in Ibadan shortly after the state Executive Council Meeting, said the project would be in two phases. He said the first phase, which would gulp N5.3bn, would commence from
the Toll Gate Interchange through Efunsetan Roundabout, Podo Roundabout (New Garage) back to Toll Gate Interchange, and would be completed within the next nine months. The commissioner said the second phase, the expansion of Challenge Roundabout to Efunsetan Roundabout, would cost N509m and would commence immediately after the completion of the first phase. Oladele said the project, which was awarded to Hitech Construction Company Limited, was aimed at boosting inter-city transport links, improving inter-city trade, drastically reducing inter-city transport connection bottleneck and decongesting traffic at all the entrances to Ibadan, the state capital, especially from the Lagos axis.
NICOM: Court vacates order stopping A&G management’s sack K AYODE KETEFE
Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday discharged its earlier order restraining the National Insurance Commission, NICOM, from sacking the management of Alliance and General Insurance Plc, A&G. Ruling on an ex-parte motion filed by A&G, Justice Pat Ajoku restrained NAICOM from implementing a directive which suspended the insurance company from transacting insurance business in Nigeria for the next six months with effect from August 6. The court had at its last sitting earlier in the month gave the order restraining NAICOM from either sacking the management or appointing new directors to assume control and management of the company
after entertaining argument from the lawyer to A&G, Ayodele Akintunde. The judge had also restrained the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her ministry from either approving the removal of directors and management of A&G or ratifying the appointment of new directors and management to assume control over the company. But at yesterday’s proceedings, Justice Ajoku vacated the orders on the grounds that they were made in error as A&G failed to comply with some mandatory procedures before procuring the orders. The vacation order was based on an oral argument by lawyer to the defendants, Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) who said that both the ex-parte motion and the written address upon which the orders were based, were not signed by a legal practitioner.
Guest Lecturer, Prof. Matt Ivbijaro (left) and Executive Director, Lux Terra Foundation, Rev. Fr. George Ehusani, at a summer youth camp in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Confront insecurity, corruption, Catholic bishops tell Jonathan ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
atholic bishops have said that the inability of the Federal Government to tackle corruption, insecurity, crime and unemployment had detracted from the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. The bishops, under the aegis of Conference of Catholic Bishops in Ibadan Province, asked the President “to shed the toga of timidity and foot-dragging and courageously confront the
monsters of corruption and insecurity as a panacea to unemployment, crime and despondency in the land”. In a communiqué at the end of their two-day meeting in Ibadan, the President of the conference, Most Rev. Felix Alaba Job, and Secretary, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, said “this fact greatly detracts from the credibility of the transformation agenda of the current administration and further demoralises our fractious nation”. The bishops, in the communiqué made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, accused the Federal Government of shielding
some powerful people in the country from prosecution over corruption charges, describing the step as a manifestation of the country’s woes and backwardness. The communiqué reads in part: “There are allegations of corruption against eminent Nigerians and even government officials in the current administration at various levels up to the very top. Government has so far not only failed to seriously investigate and prosecute most of these allegations but is now seen by many to even be shielding certain individuals and interests from prosecution.”
‘Lagos ready to tackle power, environment challenges’ MURITALA AYINLA
agos State Government has formalised arrangement with International Society for Energy and Environment Development, ISEED, to address power and environment challenges confronting the state. The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Taofiq Tijani, disclosed this at the maiden
edition of Electric Power Infrastructure Congress, EPIC 2012, organised by ISEED. Tijani also stressed the need for the Federal Government to accelerate the privatisation of power sector and consider clean renewable sources of energy to reduce the level of impact on the environment. The commissioner said it was necessary for the country to seriously look towards the right mix of non-renewable and renew-
able sources of energy such as solar and wind to sustain the environment and create jobs for the citizens. He said: “It is critical that we find the right balance between energy development and environment in the most sustainable manner. We cannot afford to compromise one industry at the expense of another; neither should we expose the environment to unnecessary risks as a result of the dire need to solve our energy challenges.
The clerics called on Nigerians, particularly all religious leaders and people, Christians and Muslims to save religion from ridicule by preaching justice, tolerance and dialogue to their adherents at every opportunity.
Olugbo reinstates baale of Awoye
he Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom in Ondo State, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, yesterday reinstated the Baale of Awoye, an oil rich community in Ilaje area of the state. Scores of people witnessed the return of Chief Mathias Oyekanmi Omomowo at the reinstatement ceremony at the palace of the Olugbo. Olugbo, who performed the ceremony, lauded members of the community for their loyalty to the throne.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Foundations donate N15m equipment to EKSUTH
One dead, four injured in Ogun auto crash
he Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), in partnership with Canadian-based CASA Foundation for International Development, yesterday donated medical equipment worth N15million to Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti. The equipment included ultra-sound machines, complete dental room, two digital X-ray printers, automated external defibrillator, transfer stretcher with head and neck restrainer, computers and books. This was as the EDF Founder, who is wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, and CASA Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Olutoyin Oyelade, signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of the two organisations to signal take-off of their working relationship. The partnership, according to them, will also provide an update on opportunities through donation of other start-up equipment like photography, fashion, clothing and books with other additions like free health immunization services provided by volunteer medical personnel. Mrs. Fayemi, in her speech, praised CASA and
urged Ekiti people at home and abroad to continue to support the state in its developmental drive. The governor’s wife assured that her foundation would monitor and manage the utilisation of the machines. She said: “I will like to emphasize that it is extremely important for us to see what we can do to attract support from Ekiti citizens who live outside of the country. Anyone can support the efforts of the state from wherever they are; you don’t actually need to come home to do so.” Mrs. Fayemi said EDF was committed to support the state in the areas of health, education, promoting women leadership, youths, arts and culture. Also speaking, CASA boss said the foundation focused on developing communities through an empowerment of emerging leaders and spearheading social change through development programmes in the public and private sectors.
Ogun to revive moribund information laboratory FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Ogun State Government has promised to upgrade its moribund and obsolete Geographic Information System Laboratory (GISL) so as to meet the demands of modern-day geographical data gathering, storage and processing. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Lands Matters, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun, who is also the Director General of the Bureau of Lands, spoke yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, after sealing a deal with a consortium of Geo Informatics specialists on behalf of the state government. Mrs. Sokefun stressed that the revival and upgrading of Ogun GISL became necessary to fast-
track the process and efficiency of procuring land documents going by industrialisation drive of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led administration. She said the state had begun working on deploying a robust Geographic Information System platform which will ultimately lead to the automation of the operations of the Bureau. Mrs. Sokefun said that computerisation of the work processes of any organisation could only lead to efficiency and higher productivity. She, however, urged the consortium to adhere to the terms of the agreement reached, stressing that the essence of it was to help the government discharge its statutory functions.
t least one person died and four others were injured in a multiple accident that occurred at the early hour of yesterday in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State. The accident, which involved an 18-seater passenger white Mazda bus marked Lagos XR 822 KSF
and two tipper lorries marked Ogun AE 249 DED and Lagos XR 969 BDG was said to have occurred around 5am few meters away from the Ifo Police Divisional headquarters. Sympathisers told National Mirror that the accident was caused by reckless driving of one of the tipper lorry drivers, who was razing with another lorry, but suddenly rammed into the Ifo mar-
ket bound Mazda bus. The driver of the tipper lorry which rammed into Mazda passenger bus, loaded with vegetable and other farm produce, was said to have died on the spot. As at the time National Mirror visited the scene of the accident, the carcasses of the wrecked vehicles were being towed to the Ifo Divisional Police station. The Federal Road
Safety Corps (FRSC) unit commander, Fatai Bakare, confirmed the incident, adding that five vehicles were involved in the crash. Bakare said while one of the crash victims died on the spot as a result of injuries, four others were seriously injured. The police spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, blamed the crash on the recklessness of the tipper lorry driver.
L-R: Chief Medical Director of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Dr. Patrick Adegun; Founder of Ekiti Development Foundation and wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi and Commissioner for Health, Prof. Olusola Fasubaa, during the donation of equipment to the hospital by Canada-based Casa Foundation for International Development in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.
It’s criminal for ACN to seek Salami’s reinstatement –PDP KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he South-West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday decried call by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the National Assembly’s intervention in the reinstatement of the suspended President Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Isa Ayo Salami, saying it is not only preposterous, but criminal. In a statement signed in Ibadan by the Zonal Publicity Secretary of
PDP, Hon. Kayode Babade, the party said ACN was aware of the pendency of not less than five court cases on Salami’s suspension, including the one instituted by Justice Salami himself, but was only living up to its hypocritical self by asking the National Assembly to compel the President to over-reach the court. It said: “No responsible institution will risk its reputation for a judge, who committed perjury, an offence that attracts 14 years jail term.” PDP said that instead
of prevailing on President Goodluck Jonathan to reinstate Justice Salami, the National Assembly should rather support the call for the prosecution of Justice Salami for perjury, saying: “Involvement of a liar in the administration of justice is a direct invitation to anarchy.” PDP said: “This is one of the reasons we say these ACN people are incurable hypocrites. As at today, there are two recommendations of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on Justice Salami. One was for him to be retired
and the other that he be reinstated. The one asking Mr. President to retire him was made last year and the suspended PCA could not be retired because of the case he filed, challenging the recommendation. That case is still pending. “Again, the NJC report stating that Justice Salami lied on oath, thereby committing perjury is still a subject of various court actions, and no sane individual or organisation would defence a man, who lied on oath not to even talk of a whole Court of Appeal President.
CLAM hosts leadership seminar Sept 4
he Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM) in Lagos will on September 4, 2012 host a one-day leadership development seminar at its corporate headquarters at Omole, Lagos. The theme of the seminar is: “How to become an effective Leader.” The seminar, which coordinated by CLAM Inter-
national Academy (CIA) - the education and training arm of the church - will feature speakers such as Pastor (Mrs.) Bukola Oladiyun, CLAM’s Director of Family Life; Pastor Seyi Oladimeji, Mr. Ademola Akinbola, CEO, BrandStewards Nigeria Limited and Pastor Gbenga Ademujimi, Life Coach and CEO, Kingshill Academy. The seminar will be
opened by Pastor Wole Oladiyun, Senior Pastor of CLAM, while the overview of the event will be provided by Pastor Tony Uche, Director of CIA. According to Pastor Uche, the seminar will address various aspects of Leadership and Personal Development, including Personal Branding, Work/ Life Balance, Time and Self-Management as well
as personal spiritual development. He explained that the Seminar is aimed at helping youths, young graduates, professionals and other leadership-minded individuals to identify, develop and hone their leadership development skills. “Over the years, we have identified a vacuum in leadership both in the private and public sectors.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Anambra 2014: Governorship aspirants lobby APGA leaders CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
rospective aspirants have begun to lobby chieftains of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for support ahead of the 2014 Anambra State governorship election. Sources said that the aspirants had been seeking the endorsement of the chieftains as the party’s
governorship candidate ahead of the poll. The sources said that the aspirants, some of who are from Onitsha and other towns from the Anambra North Senatorial District, had been wooing prominent APGA leaders in local, state and national levels for support. They said the aspirants even wooed the party chieftains with gifts. National Mirror learnt
that an aspirant from Onitsha, who reportedly has a deep interest in the governorship post, was alleged to have given an APGA leader the sum of N1 million as a way of courting his support. A chieftain, who attended an enlarged Anambra State Executive Committee meeting of APGA on Tuesday, told National Mirror that many aspirants had been approaching the
party leaders for support. He said: “It is the determination and wish of APGA executives at all the levels to conduct an open primary for all aspirants who are working discreetly to be the party’s governorship candidate ahead of the 2014 poll.” Meanwhile, the party has begun the reconciliation of its aggrieved members in Anambra.
Addressing journalists after the Tuesday special meeting held at the party headquarters in Awka, its chairman, Akunwata Mike Kwentoh, said the party would embark local government tours after the reconciliation. Kwentoh said for now, the major concern of the party is to rebuild it at the state level in readiness for future elections. When asked to throw
light on the crisis rocking the party and which has led to the suspension of some key stakeholders and pitched its National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, against Governor Peter Obi, Chief Kwentor said: “What you called crisis, we don’t see it as crisis because people are now joining our party. We are now focused and we have accepted that there is no crisis in Anambra “.
Pains as candidates scramble to check WAEC results CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he price of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) direct access card used by students to check their results online has skyrocketed by over 100 per cent, following the release of May-June 2012 Senior Secondary Certificate results. Investigation by National Mirror in Owerri, the Imo State capital, showed that the scratch card sold by WAEC to agents for N350 is now being sold at banks at the rate of N600. Many students, who stormed the banks as early as 8:am yesterday to buy the scratch cards manufactured by Fleet Technologies Limited, went home disappointed as they could not purchase the item due
to its scarcity. Some computer business centre operators now make brisk sales from the few available scratch cards as they sold it between N600 and N650. According to a business centre operator, who pleaded not to be mentioned, some operators went to banks as early as 7am to purchase the scratch cards without success. Meanwhile, WAEC and banks are busy passing the buck to each other. A WAEC official interviewed told National Mirror that they sold the cards to the agents at N250, but an official of a first generation bank along Douglas Road said it was scarce to purchase the cards, adding that they were instructed to sell at N600.
Industrialists laud Obi’s developmental strides CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
he Anambra State Association of Industrialists has praised Governor Peter Obi for developing the state. The association, led by its chairman, Chief Dr. P.A. Okonkwor, and secretary, Felix Otta, had, in a press statement made available to journalists, expressed gratitude to the governor for the construction of roads in Harbour Industrial Layout, Onitsha and other places. The industrialists also commended the governor’s efforts aimed at attracting investors to the state, including SAB Miller Brewery which, they claimed, has potential of providing
over 2000 jobs for youths. They recalled the governor’s efforts in providing office accommodation and attracting Bank of Industry to open its office in the state as well as disbursement funds to the first set of beneficiaries of the N2bn intervention fund for industrialists by the bank. The industrialists noted that by this gesture, the governor has brought the source of funds for industrialisation closer to industrialists. They described as radical and innovative, Governor Obi’s routine meetings with manufacturers on how to expand the manufacturing base of the state and his conscious efforts to promote made-in-Anambra goods.
Anambra State Chairman of Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Ephraim Ndife (right) presenting a Bible to Governor Peter Obi when he led a CAN delegation to the Government House in Awka, recently.
Protest trails postponement of Imo lawmaker’s swearing-in CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
ver 500 protesters yesterday stormed the Imo State House of Assembly, demanding the immediate swearing-in of Chief Eugene Dibiagwu, the acclaimed winner of the Oguta constituency seat. Dibiagwu won the runoff election held recently
in the state. National Mirror learnt that the swearing-in of Dibiagwu billed for yesterday was postponed because of the protest. According to the Special Assistant to the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Samuelson Iwuoha, the House postponed its sitting in order to prevent breakdown of law and order by
the protesters who were alleged to have carried dangerous weapons. Iwuoha alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sponsored the protesters who were mostly youths from Oguta the area where the acclaimed winner of the runoff election hailed from. According to him, some of the protesters attacked the lawmaker represent-
ing Nkwerre constituency, Hon. Obinna Opara. He said Speaker Benjamine Uwajumogu did not deliberately postpone the swearing-in, adding that it was done in the interest of public peace. Heavily armed security operatives were seen at the entrance of the Assembly complex when journalists visited the place.
Union gives FG wake-up call on security
he Warri branch of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association (UNAA) has called on the Federal Government to address the security challenges confronting the country. The association said the challenges had been denigrating the image of the country locally and internationally. UNAA spoke at its recent general meeting held at the Home Economics
Residence of the College of Education, Warri, Delta State. Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, the Warri branch president of UNAA, Mr. Charles Ikedikwa Soeze, advised the government to create employment opportunities, reduce poverty, youth restiveness and aggressiveness in the country, as well as overhaul the nation’s security. Soeze pointed out that
the continuous killings of innocent citizens through bombings and shootings as well as setting buildings and other properties ablaze by a religious sect has left many Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora in a stupor of surprise and pangs of anger and righteous indignation. “The violence has caused shock, grief and lamentation in many families,” he added.
According to him, whatever grievances being harboured by persons or groups, the interest of the nation should remain paramount and supreme. Soeze said: “We should all contribute objectively and openly towards rapid development of our nation and where necessary, constructive and not destructive criticism or engage in actions that will make the country ungovernable”.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Gunmen kill two, injure one in Port Harcourt
Ex-LG chair sues Dickson, others over removal from office
hree gunmen suspected to be cult members on Tuesday night shot and killed two people at a drinking/ relaxation joint in the Diobu area on the popular Ikwerre Road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Another victim of the attack, who managed to escape with bullet wounds, is now receiving treatment at a clinic in the city. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Benjamin Ugwuegbulam, confirmed the incident. He also said that the police had commenced
investigation into the matter. A witness said the attackers arrived the place in a green bus, walked straight to the back of the building where the joint is located and opened fire on the three people at the
2012 budget: Delta records 50% performance –Commissioner
elta State Government said yesterday that the implementation of its 2012 budget had reached about 50 per cent. The Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr. Kenneth Okpara, disclosed this at the commencement of the 2013 budget preview by ministries and agencies in Asaba. He said that the performance rate was determined by the number of projects already completed and payment made for capital projects as at the end of July. Okpara said the draft of the 2013 budget would be ready in October. He said the Appropriation Bill would be passed by the House of Assembly and signed into law by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan before the end of the year.
The commissioner, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said the 2013 budget would focus on completion of ongoing projects and the inauguration of new ones. He urged government agencies and ministries to identify projects needed by the communities and ways to ensure that public infrastructure added value to their host communities. Okpara disclosed that the two-week budget preview was to generate data for the 2013 budget. He said: “The final output of the budget review will go the State Executive Council through the state governor for consideration and approval before it will be sent to the state House of Assembly by latest October.’’
‘Protesting ex-militants can’t be part of amnesty programme’
he Presidential Amnesty Office said that it had no power to include protesting youths claiming to be ex-militants in the amnesty programme. The Head of Media and Communication of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja yesterday. Alabrah said the youths, who were protesting their non-inclusion in the amnesty programme at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja yesterday, were not part of the 26,358 enrolled in the
programme by the government. “The mandate of the Amnesty Office does not include providing training or manpower development opportunities for persons outside the 26,358 Niger Delta ex-agitators enrolled in the Presidential Amnesty Programme,’’ he said. The leader of the protesting youths who identified himself as “General Ogba,’’ said they surrendered and submitted their arms and ammunition to the Joint Task Force, JTF, but were not included in the programme.
Chairman of Southern Ijaw council, Felix Ayah, and the state commissioner of police. Dickson sacked Orunimieghe from office on August 8 based on the resolution of the state legislature, but the former chairman described his removal as unconstitutional and illegal. In his statement of claims, Orunimieghe averred that he was democratically elected in April 2010, arguing that he was entitled to hold office as chairman of the council, until the expiration of the period for which he was elected subject to the provisions of Section 25 of the state Local Government Law, as amended. Orunimieghe also averred that the third defendant which is the state legislature was not empowered under the constitution or any state legislation to inquire into the affairs of the Southern Ijaw council
as it had purportedly did by inviting the claimant to give account of his stewardship. According to the former chairman, the auditing of accounts of the council was the statutory function of the Auditor-General for local government. He said it was during his invitation to the Assembly that he was informed, for the first time, that there were pending petitions against him, adding that he was never confronted by the said petitioners. Orunimieghe contended that the entire proceedings on July 26 on the floor of the Assembly were marred by substantial irregularities and is therefore unconstitutional. He also said that the impeachment of his former deputy, now Chairman of the council, Felix Ayah, on January 24 had not been set aside by any court of law.
Niger Delta ex-militants protesting their non-inclusion in the amnesty programme in Abuja, yesterday.
PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
relaxation spot. “They came in a bus, which they packed in front of the building. One side of the doors was left open with a driver inside. They came out of the bus and walked straight into the joint like policemen looking for somebody. “The next thing we heard was the sound of gunshots. They killed two people. One of them was playing snooker, the other person was an elderly man we call Ambrose a.k.a Liverpool who usually goes there to watch football,” the witness said. Another witness told our correspondent that the killers didn’t just shoot and run away, they actually confirmed that their targets were dead before rushing into their bus and speeding off toward the Abali motor park, near Isaac Boro Park.
EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ormer Chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government, Bayelsa State, Chief Tiwei Orunimieghe, has taken Governor Seriake Dickson and six others to a High Court in Yenagoa over his removal from office. Orunimieghe is also praying the court to restrain the state government from arresting him based on trumped up allegations. Supporters of the former council chairman alleged that Orunimieghe’s sack had a political undertone because he was a core loyalist of the erstwhile Governor Timipre Sylva. Other defendants joined in the suit with reference number YHC/126/2012 include the state AttorneyGeneral, speaker of the state House of Assembly, the Assembly clerk, the
New book showcases Amaechi’s achievements
new book has documented the achievements in office of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. The book entitled; “Governor Amaechi’s giant strides in Rivers State and beyond: The press testify,” and a website for the governor, were launched on Tuesday at the Executive Council Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt. Speaking at the launch, the senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, who is also the Chairman of the Petro-
leum Downstream Committee, Magnus Abe, said the way Amaechi emerged as the Rivers State governor attracted public interest which had continued also to attract the interest of journalists in his performance. “If you go through this book, you will easily be able to follow the many programmes and achievements and innovations and even the style and character of the governor as far as his public outing is concerned and I really want to recommend this book to anybody who is interested in Rivers
State,” Abe said. The senator also commended the author, who is also the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. David Iyofor, for his several innovations in trying to manage the image of the governor. He said: “I want to use this opportunity to publicly commend Mr. David Iyofor for the work that he has been able to do. So what you (Iyofor) have done again is another important process in that difficult assignment of trying to let the world see the governor as he really is,
see the impact of what his work and his contributions have actually brought in the lives of ordinary people.” Abe said that the Rivers State governor had made achievements fit to be so widely publicised. He, however, added that Amaechi seemed not so favourably disposed to using the press to give publicity to his accomplishments. Abe also lauded Amaechi’s innovations in completed and other ongoing projects especially in the health, education and road sectors among others.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Ihejirika wants more recruitment into armed forces
he Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has called for more recruitment into the Armed Forces to meet local and international security challenges facing the country. “The need for expansion of the Nigerian Army to meet contemporary challenges cannot be overlooked; some new units are being created and such units require personnel. “This requires, therefore, that the Nigerian Army must recruit and train more soldiers toward greater efficiency in resource utilisation and ensure that units have adequate rest and recuperation at all times after operation,’’ the COAS said in Jos yesterday. Ihejirika spoke in a lec-
Tofa, Lawal Kaita oppose state police
ture entitled: “Resource diversification and utilisation in the army for human security management in Nigeria in the 21st century,” delivered at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, near Jos. The speech was delivered on his behalf by Major Jack Nwogbo, the GOC, 3 Div, NA, Rukuba, Jos. Pointing out that the population size and threats facing a nation usually determine the strength of its armed forces, the COAS noted that there were massive recruitments into the army during the civil war. “Immediately after the war, the Nigerian army had to downsize its strength in tune with post-war realities. “Since then, recruitment into the Nigerian army, though consistent, has been conservative, since there were no apparent threats, both internally and externally.
“However, demand for the involvement of the Nigerian army in containing security threats within and outside Nigeria, has increased since the 1990s. “Nigeria has been in Liberia for two decades and in Sudan since 2004, while troops are currently being prepared to be deployed to Mali and Guinea Bissau. “All these demands, coupled with internal security problems, have stretched Nigerian army to a great extent; the result is that
practically every army unit is engaged and there is no redundancy or reserve to cater for rest and recuperation of troops.” Ihejirika, who said that the situation was also stressing limited resources, called for legislation toward a more holistic view of funding so that state governments would make supplementary budgetary allocations to soldiers deployed to their states. To source for more funds for its activities, the army chief said that a direct labour unit had been established to carry out rapid and urgent construction works geared toward minimising expenditure on barracks rehabilitation. “The unit has also been transformed into a limited liability company engaged by state governments to construct roads, bridges and buildings to earn revenue for the army,’’ he said. Other sources of fund-
ing, he said, included the setting up of guest houses in Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos, which had been leased out to private management companies to ensure effective management and rake in revenue. He said that the army was also upgrading the 44 and Creek reference hospitals in Kaduna and Lagos, to international standards to provide quality service and reduce expenditure on overseas trips for medical care. “The Nigerian Army Small Scale Drug Manufacturing Unit (NASDMU) also manufactures some of the drugs used by the army and the general public which also saves resources,’’ he added. In his remarks, NIPSS Director-General, Prof. Tijjani Mohammed-Bande, said that no amount of deployment of troops would be sufficient to end Nigeria’s security challenges.
AUGUSTINE MADU WEST KANO
wo prominent Northern leaders, Alhaji Bashir Tofa and Alhaji Lawal Kaita, yesterday opposed the agitation for the state police, saying Nigeria is not ripe for such. In the same vein, two retired Deputy InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Mr. Azubukor Udah and Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed, opposed the agitation, which they described as a call for anarchy. Speaking on the issue, which has generated heated debate across the country lately, Alhaji Tofa noted that if the call for the creation of state police is heeded, it will weigh heavily on the nation’s economy. He said: “In advanced countries like the United States and United Kingdom which permitted state police, they also have national police which take care of national security, bearing in mind the limitations of the state police. “It could be a wasteful investment since you still need to have federal police, which will take care of national security while the state police handle local security because of their limited jurisdiction”. Like the former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawal Kaita, Tofa said such situation would be difficult to manage in Nigeria, stating that he would support the creation of state police on the condition that there would be also a federal police with national jurisdiction and special powers.
L-R: A Director in Gombe State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Benjamin Wabida; Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Yason Yonge and Gombe State Head of Civil Service, Mr. Eli Akeme, during an inspection of the resumption of work by civil servants after the Eid-el-Fitri holidays in Gombe, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Kwara LG workers suspend strike notice WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
he Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Kwara State has suspended its 14-day strike notice given to the state government over nonpayment of members’ June and July salaries Addressing journalists yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital, after a meeting that lasted about five hours with the government functionaries, NULGE secretary, Abayomi Afolabi,
said the state had agreed to pay salaries of aged worker for now. The labour leader, who said the union had achieved an understanding with government, added that the initial problem was necessitated by a communication gap between the labour and the government. He denied insinuations that the union was being used or sponsored by the opposition party, adding that local government workers formed the majority of those who elected the
present government into power. Afolabi also said that the union was not opposed to the biometric verification exercise on local government workers and the joint project account in the state. He said the union believed the issues would help bring development, accountability and value for money in the council areas. Also speaking, Commissioner for Finance, Ademola Banu, who led the government side, said the meeting achieved the desired result.
Banu explained that the delay in salary payment was caused by late release of federal allocation to the state. The commissioner also said that the shortfall in the federal allocation had brought about a fundamental challenge, which he said called for concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the state. He regretted that the opposition capitalised on the problem at hand to play politics knowing well that the shortfall was a general problem.
‘Katsina-Alu, Salami’s saga worst in nation’s history’ PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
ustice Musa Dattijo Mohammed of the Supreme Court has described the Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and Justice Ayo Salami saga as the most horrible mess ever witnessed in the history of Nigeria’s judiciary. He said the ongoing amendment of the country’s constitution may not yield the desired results, unless modifications are carried out in the interest of all, and not to protect some few members of the society. Justice Muhammed spoke when the executives of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Minna chapter, visited him at his Minna residence, Niger State. He explained that the confusion became more complex due to the fact that Justice Kastina Alu was involved thus making it a case of a judge sitting over his own case. Justice Muhammed said: “Genuine judicial reforms and disciplinary measures are difficult to carry out in the system because of the constitutional provision that made the Chief Justice of Nigeria as the chairman of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the National Judicial Council (NJC).” He said that to address the issue properly, Justice Katsina-Alu and Justice Salami ought to have resigned their appointments as obtained in other developed nation. Justice Mohammed said that those given the task of amending the constitution did not do a serious work in past amendments, especially on the Electoral Acts. The Supreme Court justice noted that the amendments effected in the Electoral Act by the National Assembly that stipulated a time lag for filing and hearing electoral petition cases was not enough, hence many petitions were not decided on their merits. He added that there was injustice in the time lag of 60 days set for appeal by aggrieved parties from the day judgment was delivered to hearing of the appeal, saying: “The processes followed in obtaining judgment and for the respondent to respond to the appeal, most times consume the time lag provided by the constitution.”
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Aregbesola, Oyinlola flex muscles over Centre for Black Culture
PDP behind plot too unseat me – Akumee
2015: Obasanjo denies endorsing Lamido/Amaechi ticket OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that his purported endorsement of the ambition of Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State as presiden-
tial and vice presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general election is untrue. The former President said that what is uppermost on his mind presently are pressing national issues such as national security, poverty allevia-
tion strategies, control and prevention of preventable diseases such as malaria, polio, infant and maternal mortality, among others. In a statement signed by his Media Advisor, Garba Deen Muhammed, the former President said that the media reports linking him with the endorsement of
Lamido/Amaechi ticket are untrue. “Far from thinking or planning for the 2015 elections, the former President is deeply concerned with more pressing national issues. Along with other national and world leaders, it is on record that former President Obasanjo has
Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi (left) addressing students of the University of Ibadan during a solidarity rally to his office in Ibadan, yesterday.
N/Delta youths fault agitation for new revenue formula FELIX NWANERI
politcal pressure group, Almagation of Niger Delta Youths for Peace has picked holes on agitation for more revenue by the governors of states in the Niger Delta, asking them to justify the allocations they presently receive from the federation account. National president of the group, Hon. Henry Nwabueze, who stated this while addressing journalists on the forthcoming national annual achievement awards of the group, also stressed the need for Nigerians to rise up against the neglect of infrastructural development by those in government. He said: “Attention should be focused on indus-
tries and not road projects that are never completed to create jobs for our teeming youths in order to minimise violent crimes. “We must also rise up to stop the financial recklessness of those in government and impress it on
them to revive our industries and infrastructure so that our youths will be gainfully employed.” Nwabueze said the role models to be honoured by his group among who are former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Senate Presi-
dent, David Mark; Governors Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) and Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) is meant to challenge those in authority to do more to uplift the living standard of the people.
Boko Haram: Expert proffers solution SINA FADARE
n ex- member of the United States (U.S.) Army AntiBomb Squad, Major Chris Moghalu has said that the country’s security agencies need urgent training in preventive and explosive tactics to combat the Boko Haram insurgency. Moghalu, while speaking with National Mirror in Lagos, said as a Nigerian, he felt the impact of
the bombs blasting virtually in public places in the country, adding that he is ready to work with relevant agencies in the area of training which he has been doing many years in U.S. in order to curb the menace. He said: “One of the major reasons why l left the U.S. where l am running a consultancy outfit is to see how l can assist the government in the area of my expertise to make sure that the issue
of Boko Haram becomes a thing of the past. I did a similar a assignment when l was in the U.S. Army where l performed covert operations in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Germany.” he explained. According to him, the country needs a fusion centre that will be spread in the six geo-political zones and will serve as a centre where information will be collated, analysed and dispatched to the relevant security agencies.
been actively involved in the search for viable solutions to these problems,” he said. However, the former president said that he does recognise the rights and privileges of any Nigerian to vie for any elective office of his or her choice and this applies as much to Governors Lamido and Amaechi as to any Nigerian citizen. But in the end, he said, it is usually the political party to which aspirants belong that determines who bears its flag. The statement further stated that Obasanjo however enjoined all Nigerians to be mindful of the present challenges the country is facing and try to contribute their quota towards finding a lasting solution, rather than speculating on an election that is still several years away. Similarly, former President Obasanjo noted with considerable regret, the unedifying statements credited to former governor of Oyo State, Lam Ade-
sina. Adesina was reported to have criticised the efforts of the the Obasanjo regime in fighting corruption. “Former President Obasanjo feels it was sad and unfortunate that at his age, Lam Adesina would make statements that can only ridicule him and make nonsense of his elderly status. It is self-evident that no government after former President Obasanjo had fought corruption with the same commitment as his regime. It is equally self-evident that the institutions for fighting corruption that the country relies on today were set up by the Obasanjo regime, likewise some of the individuals manning those institutions today were nurtured by the same Obasanjo regime that Adesina so mischievously described as “deceitful”. He said former President Obasanjo remains Nigeria’s, Africa’s and indeed one of the world’s most respected statesmen of all time.
Okupe must go, ACN insists FELIX NWANERI
he Action Congress of Nigeria has once again asked President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately fire Dr Doyin Okupe, his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, especially in the wake of the inevitable disclosure by the Benue State government that Messrs Value Trust Investments Limited owned by him was awarded a contract on April 24, 2004 to construct 230 kilometres of rural roads in the state at the cost of N2.3billion but abandoned the project after collecting the sum of N886.8 million. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said in the face of this overwhelming evidence, the Presidency will only
further hurt its already battered image if Okupe should stay one more day in his position as the President’s spokesman. According to ACN, “what the Presidency and the PDP must appreciate is the fact that the appointment of a presidential aide is a projection of the President’s purpose, personal philosophy and sense of direction. This is more so when the appointee is to serve as the President’s mouthpiece and intermediary with Nigerian citizens and the entire world. In that situation nothing but the highest standard of probity and integrity is expected of the appointee. “Therefore whether Okupe is under scrutiny for breach of contract or under investigation for fraudulent conversion of public funds, common discretion requires that he be kept away from public service until he clears himself.”
Thursday, August 23, 2012
WALE FOLARIN writes on the ongoing feud between Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and his predecessor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola over the ownership of the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU).
Administrative building of the centre
Aregbesola, Oyinlola flex muscles over Centre for Black Culture
ho owns the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), Osogbo? This is a burning question presently agitating the minds of the people of Osun State and culture icons in and outside the country. Prior to now, the multi-million naira CBCIU, which was set up in 2009, with the administrative building officially commissioned by the Director-General of UNESCO Koichuro Matsuura. It has since then enjoined encouraging patronage and positive publicity. The beautiful structure that adorns the vintage landscape on which the centre is built, as well as its serene atmosphere, has made it a choice property that any rational being would dream of owning. With the facilities available at the centre, its first class standard is indisputable and since its establishment, it has played host to many important state functions, workshops, seminars and art exhibitions. National Mirror learnt that the centre was established to elevate black culture by focusing on its recovery, preservation, promotion and utilisation of its enduring ways of being for the purposes of holistic development, appreciation, and international understanding, while its goal is to retrieve, curate, and sustain historic cultural assets. It was also set up to foster cross-cultural and inter-generational engagement for global harmony, undertake the systematic presentation and cataloguing, including digitalisation, of all archival materials, induce academic and scientific studies and promote scholarship, as well as provide access to a larger audience from Nigeria, Africa and worldwide to view and study the materials. The centre was also expected to contribute to a virtual global network of specialists on black culture and cultural expressions being established at the institute, prepare publications and exhibitions as appropriate, organise workshops, seminars and training activities, expand and consolidate the collection with other relevant materials and artistic items. It is not in doubt that a former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has the credit from establishing the cen-
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tre which is now in the eyes of the storm. It was learnt that the genesis of the establishment of CBCIU goes back to the friendship between Ulli Beier and the father of the former governor, the then Olokuku of Okuku, Oba Moses Oyinlola. At the twilight of his life, Beier who was a great influence on the Osogbo Art Movement in the 1950’s, decided to bequeath his archival materials to Osogbo. With Oyinlola at the helms of affairs and the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the centre was established with Beier’s works and materials from Nigeria, Benin Republic and Ghana in West Africa, as well as from Papua Guinea, India and Native Australia. While Oyinlola was in government, he ensured the promulgation of a law that established the CBCIU and a board for the centre. He was said to have, with the backing of the law, made himself the chairman of the board in his personal capacity. The law was such that even while out of office, he (Oyinlola) remains the chairman of the board. However, the present administration in the state under Mr. Rauf Aregbesola is not pleased with the arrangement which more or less took the ownership of the centre away from the state government; hence, an amendment to the law establishing the centre was carried out by the state House of Assembly. The state government also announced Prof. Wole Soyinka as the chair-
man of the board. This action sparked off a fresh row between Oyinlola and Aregbesola, as the camp of the former governor kicked against the amendment. Oyinlola was said to have petitioned the Federal Government, describing the amendment carried out on the CBCIU Law as a product of malice, disdain and negative disposition to all matters pertaining to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and himself. He also accused the state government of wilful disrespect for international conventions and regulations thereby jeopardising the continued existence of CBCIU whose establishment was promoted by the Federal Government of Nigeria under a cooperative arrangement with the UNESCO. According to him, the Osun State government under his leadership supported this move as part of its avowed commitment to developing the tourism and culture sub-sector of the economy. Also speaking on the issue, the Secretary of the Board, Mr. Femi Adelegan said that Aregbesola should not allow some disgruntled civil servants to mislead his administration on the composition of the board of trustees of the centre. According to him, the centre was established on a tripartite arrangement between UNESCO, Federal Government and Ulli Beier. He said that the centre was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), while
UNESCO had insisted that the government must not have a hand in its running. Adelegan said: “It was a tripartite arrangement between UNESCO, the Federal Government and Ulli Beier and the centre, its Board of Trustees was registered with the CAC as an NGO. They don’t want government to be involved. They can’t change the composition of the centre with the Osun State Law. If they want to remove Oyinlola they should follow due process. “One of the agreements reached when the centre was being established was that the state government would donate the land and structure free of charge and the executive governor of the state can donate money. Nigeria will be the loser if UNESCO pulls out and they are not helping the state. Oyinlola has never attempted to illegally convert CBCIU, an NGO and cultural property which was established by the Federal Government to his property as he has always acted dispassionately and patriotically through the Board of Trustees. “Oyinlola even went to the extent of writing to Ogbeni Aregbesola to seek audience to educate the governor on the position of things at CBCIU but his correspondence was ignored. These are the facts of the matter. Indeed, the path of truth may be long but arrival at its destination is definite. “No amount of propaganda could replace truth which is always constant. It is certainly wrong for anybody to unilaterally alter the composition of a BoT of an organissation that is legally registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission without following the provisions of the constitution of the organisation. I must let you know that one of the conditions stressed by UNESCO before giving its approval was that CBCIU would be incorporated as a non-profit, Non Governmental Organisation, and it was so registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. “If the House of Assembly went through the records properly, it would see that the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, the Federal Minister of Culture and the UNESCO Representative to Nigeria are members of the BoT appointed to cater for diverse interests. UNESCO regulations does not allow for control of CBCIU by any government. It is important to state that the Federal Government has a stake and input into the CBCIU project while UNESCO also has inputs that must be considered. Did the CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
PDP behind plot to unseat me – Akume Former governor of Benue State and the Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume recently fielded questions from newsmen in Abuja on the plot to remove him as a principal officer of the Senate. He also spoke on some other national issues. GEORGE OJI reports.
Shortly after the National Assembly commenced its annual vacation in July, there were plots to remove you as the Minority Leader in the Senate. How do you see the development? The issue is very simple; the office of the Minority Leader is a decision of minority senators. In their wisdom I was elected and I have been holding forth that position. Due to sinister motives, somebody from the majority party decided to interfere for obvious reasons. I don’t want to go into the details, but the bottom line is that the party that controls the leadership positions in the minority leadership of the Senate has made a wonderful statement that: “we are totally behind Senator George Akume.” Whatever the majority leadership in the Senate is trying to do, it has nothing to do whatsoever with the position of the minority leader. We are aware of what is going on. The few people in the minority parties are being used to destabilise the minority leadership. Fortunately, the leadership of the minority parties has spoken that they have absolutely confidence in George Akume. All the parties in the minority including the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have said the same thing, we are totally behind Akume. So, I want to say that it is a normal thing in a democracy for the majority party to try to destroy the minority leadership. We don’t think they will succeed after all, most of them who are hanging there did not win election and I will keep saying that they did not win election. I am happy that the party made that statement. Who do you suspect are behind the plot? Some people think they could destroy and weaken the minority leadership in the Senate. But I believe in the sanctity of democracy. I have said it all, whether they are coming from the so-called majority party, they did not win election, so they do not believe in the sanctity of one man one vote. So, if their intention is to create confusion in the minority in the Senate they cannot succeed because the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is a solid party, a party that believes in the sanctity of democracy. Truth is that ACN defeated PDP in Benue State. It is alleged that some of your colleagues are not happy with your leadership style in the Senate particularly that you don’t attend sittings? I have held several meetings with minority leaders of the Senate. We will continue to hold strategic meetings whenever they are necessary. That is not to say that we do not know that some people are being lured to cause confusion among our fold. But I have held series of meetings which I’m duty bound as the leader of minority in the Senate to hold. So, it is not true that I have not held meetings. I sponsored all these meetings and I am not worried. But the basic thing is that they are labouring and trying to blackmail me that I have never held meetings. It is all blackmail. The truth is that as minority senators, we have held meetings; so anybody who is saying we have not is not saying the truth. It is part of the blackmail. But I can assure you that they have failed. There is reported lack of cohesion among the minority senators hence the recent move to change the leadership. There is nothing like change of attitude of the members of the opposition in the Senate. If you talk of one or two people in the ACN it is a different ball game.
• Says Jonathan must shed excess load
THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS JONATHAN AND HIS PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW. WE SHOULD NEVER THINK OF BREAKING UP THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE IT WILL BE TOO TRAUMATIC AND TRAGIC TO CONTROL Do you feel threatened by this plot? I am not threatened in anyway. I am a strong-willed man. I believe in the sanctity of democracy, of human life and of what is in the best interest of our country. Nobody pushes me around. I am a believer in democracy. The question is do we all believe in democracy? If we do we will show love for the democracy we practice. I tell you most Nigerians believe in democracy. For me as a person, I will continue to represent my people to the best of my ability no matter what happens. We must continue to work to sustain democracy and national cohesion. Nigeria is a complex society structurally if we break up today, Nigeria will be worse than Sudan. We don’t want that. We are a large country. I will never support the breakup of this country. There are certain things Jonathan and his people may not know. We should never think of breaking up this country because it will be too traumatic and tragic to control. For some of us who founded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) we feel sad because there are some people that are there who believe they are benefiting. So for them that is democracy. I have seen it all and I want you to know that Jonathan must shed excess load and bring people who will help him. He is a minority like any of us. Some people are deceiving Jonathan, they are reaping where they did not sow. Let us do the right thing and leave this country to be. You earlier spoke about the inability of some people who won election but could not take their mandate, can you shed more light on this? Democracy is about one man one vote. The issue about democracy is that the people’s will is supreme. In 2011 elec-
tion that was not the case. I love democracy, without it I would not have been governor or be where I am today. But the truth of the matter is that Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) destroyed democracy because he allowed the executive to interfere in the affairs of INEC in 2011. People who did not win election are hanging around. And I can tell you that 2015 is going to be a different ball game like Gen. Muhammadu Buhari said. So, what is the way out? The way out is to conduct free and fair election. By so doing, there will be no problem. Free and fair election is the only way to genuine democracy. Some of us have decided to talk about Nigeria and I will talk loudly. Like I said, I was one of those who formed the PDP. A lot of them there now were not there when we formed the party. What is going on in DPD is different from what our mission statement was. Some of you in the media are not doing enough. Let us not destroy this country. I will continue to speak the truth, they can’t remove me. The truth is that we are not doing enough. One of the safeguards of any democracy is the judiciary; do you believe in the Nigerian judiciary? People believe and rightly too that democracy is the right way to go. Because of that constitutions all over the world have decided to apportion responsibilities to various tiers of government. So, there is this separation of powers; it is not just a concept but also an application in the realm of our democratic process. If the judiciary fails, then, democracy has failed. I am so disappointed by what happened. For us in Benue State, we did not vote for PDP. We defeated them in Benue. The media should be more active in the process. The process of constitution amendment has just commenced, what are the areas in the 1999 Constitution would you like to be amended? Nigeria is a federation. Let us devolve powers. The Federal Government is too strong. The Federal Government can control the military. The military, internal affairs, foreign affairs, currency should be under the control of the Federal Government. But more powers should be devolved to the states so that more money will go back to the states.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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‘Mimiko has performed below expectation’ Hon. Femi Adekanmbi is a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)in Ondo State. In this interview with AYO ESAN, the former House of Representatives’ aspirant condemned calls for the resignation of President Goodluck Jonathan to resign over insecurity in the country. Excerpts:
term for anybody. So, if you don’t believe in second term for anybody, you cannot say you want to be governor for a second term. There are also insinuations that some of your supporters are being harassed because you refused to return to the Labour Party, how true is this? It is saddening. Because we refused to join them they are now working with the police in Ondo State, coming up with frivolous charges and they were picking up our supporters. There have been unnecessary arrests of our boys so that they can have upper hand in the election. But I must tell you all these will not help our politics
You were formerly with the Labour Party (LP) before you crossed over to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Why did you dump the LP? I actually moved from the then AC to the Labour Party. I joined politics as a progressive and the LP made overtures to me that I should join them. Along the line, I realised that after meeting Governor Olusegun Mimiko for four times and he assured that there would be a level playing ground concerning the primary election for the House of Representatives. But at the end of the day there was no level playing ground. The primary was manipulated for the man who is representing my constituency. This informed my decision to return to ACN. I was given the House of Representatives ticket though I won the election but I was not declared as winner. God knows the best as to what happened thereafter.
Are you supporting Rotimi Akeredolu, the ACN governorship candidate, because he is from Owo, and not because of what he can do if he gets to power? Akeredolu has an excellent record. He was formerly a Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Ondo State. There was no bad record against him. He was also the past president of the Nigerian Bar Association and he performed excellently to the extent that a building, the NBA building in Abuja was named after him.
Did you go to tribunal to challenge the result released by INEC? I decided not to go to court. I just felt why the need to go to the court. I just felt pity for the man there now because he contested before and lost. I am a businessman and I can easily go back to my business and do a lot of things. Politics is not what I do to feed myself and my family. I have a chain of businesses that is going on for me. I felt I should not make the election a do or die. How has politics been in the state in the last three to four years? Ondo is a peculiar state that is very different from other states in the country because the politics in the state is different. Why? It is because Ondo people believe in integrity; they believe in the future and in their leader. In the past
four years, it has been mixed feelings in the sense that some believe that the present governor has performed, while some believe he has not. But to me, he has performed below expectation. I don’t expect a governor to be building markets and motor parks. These are projects for local governments. The local governments in the state are basically not doing anything; they are just moribund. Another thing is that Ondo State is a state that believes in one term for a governor. I remember vividly that Dr. Olusegun Mimiko was against Adekunle Ajasin, he was the Secretary of the Akin Omoboriowo group. He was against Adebayo Adefarati’s second term. He came in and joined Olusegun Agagu. He was also against Agagu’s second term and he said it publicly that he is going to government for just one term as he does not believe in second
Will you say President Goodluck Jonathan has performed creditably well in the last 15months or so? I am confident that President Jonathan will eventually come out to be the best president Nigeria ever had. He is a kind of man that got to the seat of the Presidency neither because of his power nor might, but by the Grace of God. Jonathan didn’t create Nigeria’s problems. Nigeria’s problems have been there for long and they cannot be eradicated within a year. But some people are calling on him to resign, especially those accusing him of not being able to tackle insecurity in the country? Why must he resign as president of Nigeria? The sect that is troubling the country came out of the thuggery of the politicians. Thuggery in the sense that politicians gathered youths together, gave them guns and at the end of the elections, they abandoned them. So, nobody have any reason to call on Jonathan to resign.
Aregbesola, Oyinlola flex muscles over Centre for Black Culture CONTINUED FROM 14 House of Assembly consult the Corporate Affairs Commission to find out what the rules say for registration under the Company and Allied Matters Act? Reacting, the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, said the claim by Adelegan must have been made out of total ignorance or pure mischief, as he reiterated the position of the state government which debunked claims by Oyinlola that the centre does not belong to the state and therefore, the state cannot alter the composition of the board governing its affairs or even amend the law setting it up. He said: “Much more ridiculous is the desperate attempts by Oyinlola and his cohorts to hide under the cover of a global organisation with its own integrity to subvert the people’s will. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation known the world over to be a credible organisation which follows procedures and can never be associated with the plot by Oyinlola to appropriate a public property as his own. “If they have failed woefully to deny the fact that Osun’s taxpayers’ money was used to procure the artefacts at the Centre and the same taxpayers’ money was used to build the edifice which houses the Cen-
tre, and the law setting the CBCIU up was passed in Osun, on what moral pedestal do Oyinlola and his co-travellers stand to challenge the decision to appropriately reconstitute the centre’s Governing Board?” Explaining why the lawmakers carried out an amendment on the law establishing the centre, the Speaker of the state Assembly, Hon. Mojeed Salaam said that the law was taken back to the legislative surgical table for amendment when it was realised that the people of the state were shortchanged for a parochial interest. Salaam in a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Goke Butika, said that the repealed law setting up the board for the Centre was made to mortgage the chairmanship position of the board to Oyinlola in and out of office permanently, despite the fact that the state fund and landed property were deployed for the Centre. According to him, the objective of changing the law was to return the state’s stake to the people of the state which own the resources deployed not only to secure the artefacts, structure, but also the return of missing heritage of the state. He stressed that the parliament under his watch would not compromise the collective patrimony of the people for any reason, adding that some other laws including public procurement law had been repealed
THE STATE GOVERNMENT IS NOT A CHARITY ORGANISATION THAT WILL COMMIT MILLIONS OF NAIRA ON A PROJECT WITH A VIEW TO GIVING IT TO AN INDIVIDUAL FOR PERSONAL USE when they were found to be created for the pleasure of one man. He said that the state government is not a charity organisation that will commit millions of naira to a project with a view to giving it to an individual for personal use, when the objective was to attract collective value for the people of the state. “The State of Osun has committed huge fund in hundreds of millions into the inauguration of the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, and would not for any reason compromise the collective patrimony of our people. Let it be
known that we are a government holding trust for the people, we cannot afford to forsake the trust for any reason, which is why we are not charity organisation,” he said. The speaker insisted that the parliament as the custodian of democracy in the state has spoken, and would not look back on the law guaranteeing the sitting governor or his appointee to be the chairman of the board of the centre, saying if UNESCO wants the explanatory piece of the law, the parliament would make it available to it. “The parliament demanded explanation from Governor Rauf Aregbesola when we found out that the Centre in which the state committed fortune was being run at the board level independent of the state government, and we were compelled by that show of impunity to revisit the law setting it up, and what we saw was an affront to the people of the state; thence, there was a need to take the law back to the legislative surgical table for amendment,” he said. No doubt, the CBCIU is very important to the state which prides itself as the cradle of human race. As the battle for the soul of the Centre continues, one only hopes that the issue would be resolved in a way such that the state and the country as a whole would not be the loser. It is said that where two elephants fight, the grass on the battle field suffers.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Who is afraid of state police? WE SHOULD NOT EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM
NDUBUISI firstname.lastname@example.org (08023016709 SMS only)
he debate on the desirability or otherwise of state police seems not to be abating. It has gone so bad that it is threatening the cohesion of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). Northern governors, with the exception of Plateau State’s, have disassociated themselves from the decentralisation call of the police force. They have, however, rather favoured the amendment of relevant sections of the Constitution to allow for the domestication of the control of the state police commands. This is seen by their southern counterparts as a repudiation of an earlier decision of NGF supporting the creation of state police. Instructively, a recent meeting of the NGF in Abuja to resolve the imbroglio was inconclusive due to the absence of northern governors, who sent mostly their deputies to the meeting. Ironically the Presidential Committee on the Re-organization of the Nigerian Police Force is against the creation of state police. The Committee has, however, opted for the autonomy of the police as implied in its recommenda-
ALLOW SENTIMENTS AND POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY TO OVERSHADOW THIS PRAGMATIC IDEA OF DOMESTICATION OF STATE POLICING tion of the scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs. The Committee believes such autonomy will enable the hierarchy of the police high command prioritize and maximize the resources allocated to the force for effectiveness. Interestingly, former military president, General Ibrahim Babaginda, has spoken in favour of state police. According to him, state police should co-exist with the federal police and should be saddled with grassroots policing responsibility. There have been different reasons, from the most intriguing to the absurd on the desirability of state police. Some have argued that it is a recipe for secession while others have reasoned that it could be a weapon of repression in the hands of the ruling parties in the states. And the experience of the First Republic is easily quoted to buttress this fact.
I find the raging controversy rewarding for it is only when all the issues revolving round state police are well thrashed out that an informed decision could be reached. A fundamental constitutional issue like this requires a national consensus. It is imperative on the NGF to have a second look at the issue and take a position that would be in consonant with our present realities. This is one problem that cannot be wished away. Those who say state police could be abused by governors cannot be faulted. It is the same attitude that has made the state independent electoral commissions cheap tool in the hands of governors. But there is the need to look at the positive side of the argument. We should not be scared of state police just because of its negative coloration. In the First Republic, the Nigerian police force was not a centralised institution. It was the military incursion into the body politic of the nation that has given us the unitarised system we are now battling to rid ourselves off. Under the present order, a state governor is seen as the state’s chief security officer, but only in words and not in deeds. Section 215(2) of the 1999 Constitution puts the entire police force under the authority of the Inspector General of Police. The Police Commissioner in each state takes order from the IGP in Abuja and not the state governor. He/she will have to get clearance from Abuja to act on the directive of the governor. And yet the governors have been
spending a lot of resources to equip the police force in their domain. Even if the constitution is amended to make the police commissioners see the governors as their boss that will be of minimal effect as who pays the piper dictates the tune. This is why we have to take the ultimate decision to decentralize the police force. It could be abused quite alright, the antidote is to create the instruments that will insulate the police from politics. With the enormous security challenge facing Nigeria, especially the rising incidents of terrorism and kidnapping, community policing has become imperative, and this will have to be domesticated. There is no way people that are not familiar with the local terrain, culture and subculture can do effective policing of the area they are posted as we have under the current dispensation. We should not allow sentiments and political expediency to overshadow this pragmatic idea of domestication of state policing. On likely abuses, the judiciary is critical to its resolution. If the judiciary lives up to expectation and the citizenry guard against infringements on their rights, abuses can be checked. So, it is important Nigerians are sufficiently educated on their rights and the police are put on strong professional footing. When this happens the fears of abuses would be well assuaged. Prof. Ndubuisi, an attorney at Law, is of the Dept. of Philosophy, UNILAG
One year after Gaddafi: Not yet uhuru for Libya
oday, August 23, 2012 marks one year that the late Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was practically overthrown by a coalition of opposition elements that coalesced into Transitional National Council which had the backing of NATO. It was a day the last vestiges of Gaddafi 42 years rule was brought to an end. On that day his palatial compound in Tripoli was captured and reduced to rubbles by the rambunctious rebels. Thereafter, the former Libyan strongman dissolved into hiding and remained there until his eventual capture and murder on October 20, 2011. The exit of Gaddafi was meant to herald a new ‘golden’ dawn for the oil-rich country, but it appears that the Libyans still have longer time to wait to reap the “dividends of their revolution.” With the de-frozen of about $60bn liquid assets belonging to the country by western governments and its oil production climbing back to 2 million barrels per day, the stagnation in the economy has, however, not eased. Unemployment and insecurity still remain major concerns. In a nutshell, the standard of living of the average Libyan has gone down, but what makes it worse is the fact that human rights record of the new regime is giving observers, including NATO countries, a big source of worry. The human rights reports on the “renascent” Libya, as being continually churned out since the past one year by credible organisations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders), are replete with gory highlights of widespread arbitrary detention, torture, killings and
even rape. The onslaught is harsher on Sirte, Tajoura, and Bani Walid, the so-called Gaddafi stronghold. It is reported that there are more than 8,000 detainees in Libya today, majority of who are no criminals, but adjudged dissidents and “old enemies”. Furthermore, the TNC has not succeeded in bringing the entire country under one effective control as happened under Gaddafi. In Libya today, well armed militia factions still constitute threat to law and order in many parts of the country. Even the TNC itself has been accused of vengeful, hatred-filled reprisal killings and detention of the perceived loyalists of the old regime. The extant small pockets of Gaddafi’s loyalists themselves have not been folding their hands, only last Monday, they reportedly bombed the car of the Egyptian consulate’s first secretary, Mr. Abdelhamid Rifai, in Benghazi city. The latest attack was sequel to multiple car bombings that rocked the interior ministry and security buildings in the Libyan capital itself last Sunday, which resulted in the death of two people and multiple injuries to many. The two separate attacks within the space of 24 hours had fueled the fear of renewed rounds of guerilla insurrection in the country. The TNC last July 7 successfully organised a popular democratic elections to produce the 200 representatives into the General National Congress that would take over the affairs of the country and midwife general elections in 2013. On August 9, 2012 this GNC acting, as the Electoral College, elected Mohammad el-Megarif as President with 113 votes to defeat his closest rival and human
REMOVING GADDAFI OUT OF THE WAY IS JUST THE PRELIMINARY STEP
IN THE COUNTRY’S LONG
TORTUROUS JOURNEY TOWARDS NATIONAL REBIRTH rights lawyer, Ali Zidan, who polled 85 votes. The GNC is also slated to inaugurate a 60man panel that will produce the country’s new constitution. This new political class has replaced the hitherto ragtag TNC, which seems to be remarkably un-resourceful in stemming the tide of descent into anarchy. The effectiveness of the new transitional regime in addressing these myriads of problems remains to be seen. Although hope abounds that things would improve positively with the ascendancy of cerebral el-Megarif, author of a number of books on Gaddafi’s repressive, dictatorial regime and one of his most vociferous critics, who founded the country first armed opposition movement (the National Front for Salvation of Libya), one should expect some positive change. But it is too early to make projections on what he might achieve. Giving all the foregoing, it would not be too optimistic to think that Libya’s revolution is already a success story. Removing Gaddafi out of the way is just the preliminary step in the country’s long torturous
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journey towards national rebirth; the real revolution is yet to come. Now the interim government should strive to promote economic resurgence and national reconciliation. An end must be found to revengeful killings and other disturbing human rights abuses. The new interim leaders must be able to reconcile all the factions and pockets of dissidents, repressed the criminal elements, chart the way forward for a greater Libya, and conduct credible elections next year. Otherwise the cause of the revolution, in which many Libyans paid the supreme sacrifice, would be lost. The ghost of Muammar Gaddafi should not be allowed to keep haunting the Arab country. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ 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.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Lagos State and the new traffic law
he Lagos State Government recently came out with a new traffic law which it thinks is in congruence with the new concept of Lagos as a mega city. The Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012, which repealed the 2004 Road Traffic Law CAP R10 Vol. 17 Law of Lagos State (as amended) was signed to law by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on Thursday, August 2, 2012. According to the governor, the new law seeks to “eradicate the diverse, anti-social, abnormal and dangerous practices associated with traffic operations in the state; and envisages a condition of free flow of traffic and orderly transportation as part of its mega city blue print project”, among others. Under the new road traffic law, trailers (excluding fuel tankers and long buses) are prohibited from plying the roads between 6.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m. In broad terms, the law provides that any motorist caught driving against the traffic is guilty of an offense and liable to a jail term of one year for a first offender, and three years for repeated offences. Driving an unregistered vehicle would attract a penalty of N20,000 for a first offender, and N30,000 if repeated. The new law prohibits motorcycle riders from plying certain routes within Lagos Metropolis, and adjacent expressways to neighboring towns;
such as Ikorodu Road, Funsho Williams Avenue; Apapa-Oshodi, Lagos- Badagry and Lekki-Epe expressways. Motorcycle riders are also prohibited from carrying pregnant women and children under the age of 12 years. Other offences in the law include engaging in “dangerous activities” such as making or receiving phone calls, eating, counting money, et cetera, while driving. The law also forbids pedestrians from crossing the expressways, and insists on compulsory use of the pedestrian bridges provided for that purpose. Violation of any of the laws would attract between N30, 000 and N50, 000 fines or a jail term of up to three years, etc. Against the backdrop of the chaotic traffic in Lagos and the recklessness of commercial bus drivers and motorcycle riders, which often result in accidents and loss of lives, and sometimes criminality, the new road traffic law would appear a sound piece of legislation. For too long, Lagos Metropolis has been a spectre of lawlessness for commercial motorists and motorcyclists, especially. We therefore think Governor Fashola is genuinely concerned about the overwhelming traffic gridlock that has become the trade mark of Lagos and the resultant loss of man hours. Perhaps to be singled out for commendation is the provision of the law which prohibits
A GREATER PORTION OF THE LAW SEEMS ANTI-PEOPLE
the movement of heavy-duty vehicles in the day. When fully enforced, it will help the free flow of traffic during the peak hours. However, we see a number of problems with the new Lagos road traffic law. First, it is not stated as yet whether there is the option of fine for some of the offences; especially the law pertaining to motorists who drive against the traffic. Why should a law not provide for an option of fine in this day and age? Was there a stakeholders meeting prior to the enactment of the law? Was there a public hearing on the issue? Are the motorcycle riders aware of and sufficiently sensitized about the new law? Does the traffic situation in Lagos Metropolis make obedience to some of the provisions of the law practicable? Are there adequate road signs and feeder roads for diversion, to aid motorists comply with the law? The fines of N20, 000, N30, 000 and N50, 000 for the different categories of traffic offences appear more like a revenue generating strategy than a corrective measure to heal Lagos of its chronic traffic and transportation disorders. And should this be the
undeclared objective of the new law, we honestly think it would work more in raising the extortionate and immoral desires of its operators than putting money in the coffers of Lagos State. A greater portion of the law seems anti-people, and could ultimately incriminate otherwise innocent and law-abiding citizens. Of common knowledge, for example, is how officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) deliberately hide to incriminate and extort money from road users, instead of helping and guiding them to avoid breaking road traffic laws. Our fear is that the new law has the capacity, perhaps not intended, to make the situation worse and even exposes them (LASTMA officials) to the grave danger of mob action from irate and irrational drivers and disenchanted commuters anxious to get to their places of work, etc. We, consequently, suggest that the high-handed, draconian, provisions of the new law be reviewed immediately in the interest of the public. In addition, there should be, at least, a three-month gestation period to test-run the law; educate and sensitize road users, and provide ample opportunity for the state government to provide adequate road signs to make compliance with the provision on driving against the traffic or prohibited tracks easy for motorists.
ON THIS DAY August 23, 2011 The late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces took control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan civil war. Gaddafi (1942 – 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi or Colonel Gaddafi, was the official ruler of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977. He was also the “Brother Leader” of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
August 23, 1989 About 1,645 Australian domestic airline pilots resigned from their jobs after the airlines threatened to fire them and sue them over a dispute. The dispute began on August 18, 1989. As part of the basis of the disagreement, the pilots imposed on their employers a limitation on the hours they were prepared to work, arguing that if they were to be treated in exactly the same manner like other employee groups, their work conditions should also be the same.
August 23, 1948 World Council of Churches was formed. The World Council of Churches (WCC) is an inter-church organization founded in 1948. Its members today include most mainstream Christian churches, but not the Roman Catholic Church, which sends accredited observers to its meetings. The WCC describes itself as “a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches…”.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Education Today Rejected by schools, physically challenged girl dreams on
Ogun: 4,000 private schools to go TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
They are illegal, says governor’s aide
he Ogun state government has identified no fewer than 4, 000 private schools currently operating illegally in the state and is poised to shut them in September. National Mirror can authoritatively disclose that the schools, which cut across nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in different parts of the state, will soon be shut down as the state government is said to have run out of patience with their activities. According to the Special Assistant to the governor on Education, Dr. Tunji Abimbola, the state government has informed the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools about the development and confirmed that previous meetings with some of the schools over their illegal practices had not yielded any positive result. He noted that out of about 7, 000 private schools in the state, only about 3, 000 of them are operating legally. He disclosed that the problem was inherited from past administrations adding that the government would not apportion blames but focus its attention on how to address the challenge. Abimbola, disclosed that the government had embarked on another round of surveillance and inspection of all private schools in the state to ascertain their current standing before permanently closing down those found not worthy to be called schools. “We have many private schools whose sites are worse than that of some of the public schools. Some are operating inside shops, on balconies and some inside mere dilapidated plywood structures and yet, they charge high fees. Many of them do not have toilets and no space for sporting activities and the likes. But how parents are taking their children to those kinds of schools in preference to public schools near them is what I cannot understand but we need to address the situation. “Many of them do not have regard for standard but just to make money and the state government will not allow the trend to continue and now it has come to the climax to close down those that cannot meet up with our standard and guidelines irrespective of their numbers,” he said. Abimbola added that the exercise which had been on for the past three months would be completed by September 10. He accused some registered private schools of indebtedness to the government, saying the state government is
SOME ARE OPERATING INSIDE SHOPS, ON BALCONIES AND SOME INSIDE MERE DILAPIDATED PLYWOOD STRUCTURES
AND YET, THEY CHARGE HIGH FEES now ready to sanction them unless they pay their levies and revalidate their operation licences. “Some schools owe the state government up to N14m registration and renewal fees and they are big and popular schools. They don’t want to pay anything to government. Their argument has always been that they don’t know who to pay to and how to go about the payment but now we have told them how to go about it, they take it as an offence
against the government.” He further said. The special assistant concluded that by 7th of September, the government hoped to have a list of all schools operating legally in the state, which would be uploaded on government website and published in the dailies for members of the public to be aware of. “If after we had done that, we still find parents sending their children to unregistered schools, they do that to their own peril. So, between 22nd and 31st of this month, all proprietors of private nursery, primary and secondary schools, continuing education, as well as tertiary institutions will have to revalidate their documents and registration and by 10th of September, we will proceed with formal sealing and closure of illegal schools across the state and by 17th of the same month; we should have no illegal schools again in Ogun State “In fact, we want healthy competition with private schools because we know government cannot do it all alone. Even
at the moment, government wants to partner some of them with good practices to use their expertise to train our teachers in certain subjects. So we need them but at the moment, we have a big running issue with them,” he said. In another development, Abimbola disclosed that the ongoing model school project in the state was purposely for the entire people of Ogun State who are patronizing government schools. According to him, the state embarked on the project to create a standard for other states of the federation. He said: “People should know that the model schools will be tuition and accommodation free as this administration is operating a free education policy at both primary and secondary school levels. The schools are being built to give private schools a good run for their money simply because they will have the same or better facilities with the very good ones among them. When some parents see the standard of the model schools, they will want to withdraw their children from private schools, but they will not be considered. “Parents will now have an opportunity to choose from. They will not need to go to where they will be paying N500, 000, N1m, 2m or just N70, 000 or less for the same or even better service they can get in public schools where they would have to pay a dime. “So, the government will be very careful in the selection of students who come to the schools but they could come from both the cities and villages, as well as from the rich and the poor homes in the state. But the bottom line is that, about 25 per cent of new intakes will be academically sound.” he said. “We will ensure that only children from public primary schools from the state are admitted into these schools and that is why we want to start with students in JSS1. We want quality, we want standard all through. So admission of students won’t be across the board, the recruitment of teachers and school administrators will also be based on competence. We want these students right from JSS1 to develop a particular culture that will be a model in the state. So, we want to grow them from JSS1 up to SSS3. “ The students in the public primary schools are the priority but then if there are still spaces; students from private schools could also be considered for admission. But frankly speaking, the schools are meant for children who want to move from Primary Six in public schools to the government secondary schools,” the Special Assistant further said.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Rejected by schools, physically challenged girl dreams on Enrolled into primary II at age 13, physically challenged Jumai Barak was, in 2007, admitted to Stadium Grammar School, Agege, Lagos, where the then school’s principal discouraged her from enrolment. Moving from one school to the other on account of financial challenge, Dream Makers International College, Agege later offered her admission on scholarship. Today, the 21-year-old is happy leaving the school. MOJEED ALABI reports.
he was spotted while struggling to sit comfortably on her overused wheelchair. Dressed in a beautiful graduation gown, the lady, who later identified herself as Jumai Barak was busy chatting with some of her friends. But for the wheelchair, an average onlooker could mistake Jumai for a girl without any physical challenge. Full of life and in the midst of her conversations, she was applying all sorts of make-ups. That was on the day her school – Dream Makers International College, Agege, Lagos – held graduation and valedictory ceremony in honour of its final year students including Jumai also. Attracted by her conviviality, when National Mirror approached Jumai for a chat, she was all ready to answer any question. “I am happy as you can see because as a graduating student of Dream Makers International College, Ifako, my dreams are gradually becoming real.” When asked of her experience as a student with disability, she responded; “It is a mixed bag. There have been moments of trials and challenges and moments of rising hope such as we are witnessing today. But, in all, I give glory to God almighty and the support of everyone for making me, who I am today.” Meanwhile, Jumai’s sacrifice has paid off. She scored good grades in the recently released Senior Secondary School Examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). “My result is as follows: “Mathematics A1, Commerce A1, English language B3, Agricultural Science B3, Account C4, Biology C5 and Literature in English C6,” she said proudly, adding; “Economics is pending and I believe I will also pass it when it is eventually released.” Jumai has every reason to thank God. According to her, she was born into a family of eight just like any
THERE WAS A TIME WE INTRODUCED A BURGLAR PROOF TO OUR CLASSES AS SAFETY MEASURE BUT WE NOTICED
WHEELCHAIR COULD NOT GAIN ENTRANCE INTO THE
CLASS AND I ALMOST SHED TEARS other child with all features intact. “My parents told me I was only a year-old when I developed measles which became chronic and kept me bedridden for almost six years. It eventually crippled me and was at the mercy of my family.” At age 13 when she was found stable enough to be able to do some basic things by herself, a church member noticed the potentials in her and sought Jumai’s parents’ consent to enroll her in her personal school without tuition fees. “The woman owns the Bethesda Nursery and Primary School, Alex Tailor Estate, Iju-Ishaga and when my brother took me there, we were told I should be taken to the nursery class but my brother insisted that I should be tested instead. They then set examinations for me and my excellence performance surprised them. I was then asked to be taken to Primary II, and that was where the journey started.” Jumai explained. Jumai was at the school for three years before she wrote the Common Entrance Examination while in Primary IV and was admitted to Stadium Grammar School, a public school in Agege. “On the day I went to the school to resume, the then school principal, a woman, said I would not be able to cope due to the huge students’ population. She advised that I be taken to a private
school but my parents said there was no money. I then insisted that I would cope and that settled the matter,” she recalled. Along the line, another church member at the Liberation Assembly, Oyemekun Road, Ifako, also believed the girl needed a special attention at a private secondary school and offered to provide the required fees. At a nearby school, Barachel Model College, a Good Samaritan, who she has forgotten his name paid Jumai’s tuition fees for a period of three years upfront. According to the girl, he had paid upfront because he was not resident in the country. Then, she moved from the public school to a private one for a detailed attention. “When I was in Junior Class III, we lost contact with the man and the school started pestering us for fees. My parents explained the situation to the school management and appealed for scholarship but they declined. When my pastor, Apostle George Chidi-Ebere heard about this development, he approached the management of Dream Makers International School, right beside my former school. The school then offered me a full scholarship,” Jumai said. According to the proprietor of the school, Mr. Adurogboye Shadrack, the support was to encourage Jumai in her aspiration to live beyond her challenges. “As our name implies, this is a place where dreams are made. So the scholarship is our own way of contributing to societal growth and I am particularly impressed with her excellent performance in the recently released SSSCE. I am happy that she did not disappoint us,” he said Asked about her challenges back in school, Jumai said her family, teachers, classmates and friends never allowed her to feel the pains of studies. “It was fun being a student here. The teachers
were friendly and the management too, and they are very helpful. I am in the commercial class and we are just 21 but all the students are very helpful. They don’t even wait till I call them before they come to my aid.” The School Principal, Mr. Ajakaye Abiodun while recalling Jumai’s days in the school described her as an average student but amiable and friendly with everyone. “She enjoyed everybody’s affection because she was also affectionate. There was a time we introduced a burglar proof to our classes as safety measure but we noticed Jumai’s wheelchair could not gain entrance into the class and I almost shed tears. As a result of this, the management had to move her class downstairs for her comfort.” Today, as a senior secondary school student graduand, Jumai feels fulfilled and ready to move higher in life. Though, she did not write the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, she promised to write the next one and gain admission into a university where she will study accounting. “I want to become an accountant and through that, contribute to the development of the country.” she said. However, the choice of school has become another issue for Jumai. According to her, my parents would want me to go back to our state- Gombe- for my higher education because of lower fees there. But I would prefer to study at the University of Lagos, Akoka. I love Lagos apparently because I was born and raised in Lagos and I am also used to the environment. Her elder brother, Nadab Barak, said Jumai had proved to the family that she could do well and that the family was set to assist her in whatever capacity they could. The secondary school proprietor too, has promised to lend a helping hand whenever such is expected.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
‘Why we want to provide free accommodation for teachers’ What level of teachers do you cater for? The focus is only on teachers in the public primary and secondary schools in all states of the federation and they are over 600, 000.
Mr. Adetoro Aina, founder, Teachers’ Shelter Foundation, is a businessman and philanthropist. He spoke to TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE on the efforts of his non-governmental oraganisation in addressing the accommodation challenge confronting teachers in the country. Ecxerpt: What is Teachers’ Shelter Foundation is all about? It is a non-governmental service-based organisation committed to the development of education through the provision of free and comfortable accommodation for teachers in the public primary and secondary schools across the states of the federation and Abuja. The organisation is six years old and it was founded to address primarily the accommodation challenge confronting people in the teaching profession. It is terrible that many teachers, especially at the basic educational level-from primary school to JSS3- have no decent accommodation over their heads. I wonder then how they will be able to teach effectively in such a condition. Also due to the fact that many of them in the cities cannot afford house rent, they live in remote communities where they will have to trek several kilometres because many of them cannot also afford the high transport fare. So, our vision is to elevate the dignity of the teaching profession through the provision of comfortable quarters for all teachers throughout the country. Do you think it is only teachers that are confronted with this problem? I am not saying that, but teachers deserve special consideration. Their job places them above every other profession because no matter a career to be pursued in life at whatever level of education, you have to pass through teachers’ tutelage. So, for them to do the job well they need decent accommodation, they need to live happily with members of their families and so on. It is not that people in other professions do not deserve good things of life. They do but teachers deserve special consideration because of the nature of their jobs. It is like most people in our society do not really understand what it is to be a teacher and the work of a teacher. That is why we don’t value them and we don’t place them in their rightful position in the society. What exactly prompted you into floating this NGO? It all started in 2006 around Ilepeju in Oshodi, Lagos, where I used to visit a friend in his office. Nearby his office I used to see one old couple who often sat in front of a make shift cubicle. I was attracted to them and on enquiry; I was told they were both retired primary school teachers and that they were ejected from their rented apartment when they could not pay their rent. I was moved and I seriously disturbed over the news, especially when considering their advanced ages. I was told that the two of them lived all their lives in that area. They started as bachelors, married and all that in a rented apartment with their three children. I was told that when the owner of their house died, the children took over the property
How does your foundation intend to achieve this objective? Our target is to build teachers’ housing estate in every state. We are proposing a three-bedroom apartment for each teacher across the board. We are partnering the respective state government, especially for land donation for the purpose. We will also seek the support of corporate organisations and spirited individuals for the project. How does your organisation intend to allocate the estate? Each teacher, irrespective of sex will be entitled to one flat. They will enjoy the facilities only when they are in service. But we will encourage them to save the money they would have used as rent to enable them plan for their own houses which they will move to when they retired or quit teaching job.
and increased the rent beyond what they could afford and because they could not pay their rent, they were ejected from the house and they began to squat in their respective family’s house while they came to see each other and played with their old neighbours around where I used to see them. They used to spend hours at the place before they later
departed to their respective place of abode. I felt for them but I couldn’t do anything to help them as of that time. Right there, I decided that something must be done to help teachers and I considered the provision of good accommodation as their most important need. So two years after, I formed this organisation.
How would you assess the country’s education standard? Generally the standard is low. Government is not paying adequate attention to the sector, the private sectors, as well as individuals do not also give it a deserve priority either. There is no adequate assistance, especially for teachers. If the teachers can be assisted, they will do their work more effectively because they and their members of the family will be happy and that will have positive effect on their jobs, educational system and the society at large. The teachers deserve to live in decent accommodation, good welfare package and to live happily.
Benue, Delta win Mobil-STAN quiz competition MOJEED ALABI
epresentatives of Benue and Delta States have emerged winners of this year’s edition of the annual national science quiz and project competition organised by the Science Teachers’ Association of Nigeria. The keenly contested competition, which was sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Mobil Producing Nigeria (NNPC), featured participants from across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. After the final round, the duo of Odang Omoha and Akuhwa Fater representing Benue State defeated other challengers to emerge winners in the secondary school quiz category with 122.5 points. The feat fetched them the top prize of N200, 000 and a trophy. Adebayo Shalvah and Benstowe Tamunoiduari of Rivers State came second with 118.25 points, while the Uwalaka Ngozi and Amadi Uzoaku of Imo State won the third position with 116 points which attracted total prize of N100,000 and a trophy each. In the primary school science quiz category, Delta State’s representatives, Ufuoma Morgan and Omohwovo Uyota grossed a total of 128 points to emerge winners. In second place was Ondo
L-R: Susan Eshett, Manager, Public and Government Affairs presenting a trophy to Odang Omoha and Akuhwa Fater of Benue State, winners of the Science Quiz (Secondary School category) at the 17th STAN/Mobil/NNPC National Science Quiz Competition in Abuja.
State, represented by Seidu Abdulrazaq and Owamoyo Evans who scored 117.25 points, while the third position was clinched by Imo State’s representatives of Nwabueze Pascal and Akukwe Kevin with 116.75 points. Delta’s representatives went home with a cash prize of N100, 000 while both Ondo and Imo state representatives received N50, 000 each. Winners also emerged in various categories in the project section. The major highlight of this was the Teachers’ Project, where Mr. Seun Olufolaji of Benue State came first and went home with a N200, 000 cash prize and an HP laptop worth N100, 000.
Speaking at the ceremony, the General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arinze, said the sponsorship of the event was a demonstration of the company’s commitment to corporate citizenship and an opportunity to contribute to the development of science education in the country. “As the institutional sponsor of this competition for the last 17 years, we are delighted that in partnership with STAN, we are providing a veritable platform for outstanding science students in the country to showcase their intelliCONTINUED ON PAGE 22>>
How we spend our holidays –Students Lateefah Ibrahim-Animashaun spoke to some pupils in Lagos State on how they are faring duing this ongoing long break
urojaiye Nimotallahi, SSS3 student of Command Secondary School, Ipaja, Lagos. Holiday period is a time to help my mum in her shop. I do petty jobs for her in the shop. I ensure I partake in cooking before I go for lesson. The holiday is also affording me the opportunity of reading as many novels as I can. My dad is the Imam of Ogudu Central Mosque, and I am able to see him often. I am a boarding school student and I prefer we resume earlier so that I can concentrate in preparing for my final SSS3 exams and also to gist with my friends. dura Odetoye, Primary five student of Tolulope Schools I have started a tutorial class organized by my school. We were told that this would soon end and my plan would be to go to my granny in Ibadan to spend the rest of the holiday. I believe I will have enough time to play as nobody will disturb me.
bdullahi Mustapha, Grace International College, Ede, Osun State: I am using the opportunity to see some of my Lagos-based friends. I visit them. The holiday has enabled me to get some level of freedom because during the school time, in boarding school, our movement is restricted. The holiday gives me all the time to myself. I sleep any time I want and am not afraid by being punished by a teacher or senior. I do some household chores including washing of plates and sweeping ad at times, I visit my brother living nearby.
avour Muraina, JSS1 student of Federal Government College, Ogbomosho I wish to be a very good cook, so I stay with my mum and help her while she cooks which never happened while school is in session. During school time, I wake up by 5:30am, dress up and wait for school bus which comes around 6:30am to pick me. I hardly see my dad then because as the Marketing Manager of NTA Channel 10, he spends more time outside home. So the holiday is an avenue to see him at least in the mornings before he goes to work. I also play games as I like and eat a lot now that I am at home. I prefer holiday to school. I don’t want us to resume early, if not for my friends that I will miss.
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hadijat Saheed, JSS1 student of Ojota Secondary school I have time to see my dad. This is because he lives home as early as 4.00am for work. Now, he takes us to eatery where he buys us food and drinks of our choice. Sometimes, I take some of my friends along. Since there is no school, I wake up around 8.00am, wash plates and go for lesson at Children’s World School in the neighbourhood. When I get back home, I go to shop to help mum run some errands. Now I am planning to go to my Aunty place at Itire to spend the remaining part of the holiday. I like going there as I will have opportunity of making new friends.
abeebah Animashaun, a primary five pupil of Tolulope Schools. ‘The beginning of my holiday has fallen within the Month of Ramadan. The holiday is an opportunity for me to finish finish reading the whole Quran which had never happened before, and also meeting highly placed government officials in Ramadan lectures. Also, my cousin has come to spend her holiday with us and is quite interesting as we will do have all the time to play and discuss. I am also following my guardian to lectures at University of Lagos where I usually see students of higher institution receiving lectures. I am able to sleep well and go to Arabic school in the evenings because during school, I usually get to Arabic school late and Alfa fond of beating me for lateness.
latoye Oluwatobiloba, SSS1 student of Immaculate Heart High School I have been spending my holiday by assisting my mum in the kitchen. This is also an opportunity to run errands for her. On the other hand, holiday gives me time to wash dad’s car. While school is in session, I wake up early to meet up with the free BRT that takes us to school by 6:30am. Also, I don’t see my dad during school periods because he works in NIPOST and leaves home as early as 5.00am. So holiday is a good opportunity for me to see him regularly. He usually asks for my needs during this period and gets them for me before the school resumes. He usually gives my mummy money to cook good food for us. I eat well and also have time to play and sleep.
oy Olukayode, SSS1 student of Sunrise Midas Heart School. I sneak out to play with my friends whenever my parents are not around. My mother just gave birth to a baby and the holiday has given me time to help her take care of the washing. I also help her to carry the baby while she goes to rest. I hardly see my dad because he works in Enugu State and comes to Lagos on weekends. So, the holiday makes no difference to him as it is only on weekends that I get to see him. I have the time to rest well but I still prefer school periods to holiday because school is fun. I prefer reading, writing and socialising than being at home, idle.
Benue, Delta win Mobil-STAN quiz competition CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21
gence and skills. We place a high premium on the development of science and technology education, and have over the years demonstrated this commitment in Nigeria through various scholarship schemes (both undergraduate and post graduate) as well as science infrastructure provision to several schools in Nigeria at all levels. “Last year we also brought to Nigeria Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African American astronaut to walk in space, to motivate our children to know that they can aspire to do anything in the sciences if they would put their minds to it. Our expectation is that the Mobil/STAN National Science Quiz and Project competitions will continue to re-awaken the interest of students and teachers in the sciences,” Arinze said. In his remarks, the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Rufai, who was represented by Dr. Aderemi Adedibu, charged the winners to see their exploits as an opportunity to aim higher for a glorious future, adding that the country would be looking to them as those that will launch her into the league of technologically advanced nations. The President of Science Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (STAN), Dr. Prince Okorie, commended MPN for its unwavering support for the competition over the years. He enjoined other corporate organisations to emulate the company’s gesture. Dr. Okorie expressed joy at the gesture by MPN with its sponsorship to broadcast the various stages of the quiz competition on the network service of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) over a 26week period after the competition to enable a wider audience of students benefit from the knowledge the competition provides.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Unpaid salary: Kogi teachers lament untold hardship ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA
ssociation of Primary School Head teachers in Nigeria (AOPSHON), kogi State chapter has accused the state government of refusing to pay 30 per cent of the primary school teachers on the excuse that they misspelled their names and their bank account numbers. They claimed that the action had caused the
affected teachers untold hardship. The state’s Chairman of the association, Mr. Dominic Ondeku told journalists in Lokoja, the state capital that the state government was all along hiding under faulty screening exercise, which according him was to punish the affected teachers. He alleged that the affected teachers have not been paid since July last year adding that some
have died while others have lost their beloved ones due to financial problems confronting them as a result of lack of payment of salaries. The union leader equally stated that even as teachers in other states were enjoying minimum wage, Kogi State was yet to implement minimum wage for its teachers. To this end, he said, the primary school teachers in the state
might join the planned strike by 13 states in the country to press home their demands. It would be recalled that the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, the umbrella body of the teachers’ association in the country has been embroiled with kogi State government over the continued refusal to pay salaries of teachers, as well as implementation of the teacher’s salary structure, TSS.
Rivers moves to upgrade polytechnic CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT
overnor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has reassured the people of the state that his government was determined to upgrade the facilities and improve the academic environment at the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori in Gokana Local Government council area of the state. Amaechi spoke at the polytechnic’s convocation ceremony held recently, saying the upgrading of the polytechnic was necessary to enable it produce graduates whose technical and professional competence would not be doubted anywhere in their areas of
specialisation. A total of 9,000 graduands were presented with certificates at the event. According to him, the first step is to recruit competent lecturers and equip the school with the necessary scientific infrastructure, adding that, the state wants to produce graduates that will grow its economy. The governor congratulated the graduands on their successful completion of their programmes and wished them well in their future endeavours. Earlier, the Rector of the polytechnic, Obianko Nwolu-Elechi, while lauding the Governor for financially sustaining the institution, he appealed for more assistance from the state government.
Teaching in mother tongue advocated for pupils GEORGE OPARA ABIA
A L-R, Managing Director/CEO, Interswitch Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mitchell Elegbe; Winners of Robotics League Tournament: Jemina Osunde, Alex Agadaga and Harison Obasigie; Operations Manager, Shell Petroleum Nigeria, Mr. Onuoha Okey and Executive Vice President & Head of Private Banking, First Bank plc, Mrs. Bernadine Okeke at the final stage of Robotics education competition organised for secondary school students in Lagos. PHOTO: TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
Unified exam: Ogun ASUSS calls for gov’t, stakeholders’ dialogue FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Ogun State chapter of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) has called on the state government to convene a meeting of all stakeholders in its educational sector to address all issues pertaining to secondary education in order that the next academic session may not be disrupted. With particular reference to the unified examination and new curriculum which it called new policy change, ASUSS which said it was committed to leaving teaching better than the way it met it, also declared that it would be in the interest of the students, as well as the teachers for the government to convene the meeting. Speaking with journalists in Abeokuta, the state
capital, ASUSS President, Mr. Tunde Folarin, said the meeting would afford the union, as well as that of other stakeholders the opportunity to understand government’s policies and how they want to run it “so that we will be working in synergy to ensure that Ogun State secondary education which happens to be the bridge is not collapsed”. Faulting the implementation of the unified examination policy meant to improve the academic performance of the students, ASUSS president said the implementation was wrong; hence, the expected result was not forthcoming. He said: “Why we are saying this however, we are calling on the attention of the state government that there are a lot of things to be
discussed at the round table so that before resumption, we don’t have our schools academic programmes to be disrupted. “A lot of stakeholders like All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPS), Parents Teachers Association (PTA), ASUSS that need to come together in a round table with the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and the Ministry of Education and possibly, with the representatives of Federal Ministry of Education so that all issues that we have placed on the table of government will be thoroughly thrashed, so that when we are starting a new session, it will be on a new note and on the same page”. Folarin however, dissociated his union from the rumour that teachers would not resume for another aca-
demic session if the state government fails to pay the 27.5 per cent Teachers Peculiar Allowance (TPA). “What the stakeholders need to do is to ensure that we meet Governor Amosun before resumption on 27.5 per cent TPA so that it can be restored; it is a promise made and must be kept. So while our members are agitating, I want to say that they should relax, remain focus. I want to say that when we get to the rivers, we will know how to cross it”. Reiterating that his union cherished partnering the government and was ready to cooperate with the Amosun- led administration, Folarin stated that the issue of mass failure recorded at the terminal examination like in the WAEC results of about four years ago was “very appalling”.
n educationist, Dr. Jude Opara, has urged teachers in nursery schools to always teach children between two to five years in their mother tongues, saying childhood education is best learnt in mothers’ tongue. Opara, who is the Head of Department, Early Childhood Education at the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State, made the call at a 2-day lecture on early childhood education at Okpuala,
Isialangwa North council area of Abia State. The lecture was organised by Power Education Foundation Corp, a United States-based non-profit organisation, where about 200 teachers in nursery schools drawn from Isialangwa North and South councils participated. According to Dr. Opara, teaching a child with the mother-tongue enhances his/her chances of learning better than teaching them in a foreign language like English and condemned the practice where English language is used to teach in childhood education.
Our programmes are NUC certified –Crawford varsity
he Vice- Chancellor, Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, Prof. Simeon Ayanlaja, has said all the courses running by the institution were accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC), the regulatory body in charge of university education in the country. He also said the focus of the university was to produce well-rounded graduates, who would contribute meaningfully to the development of the country and the world at large. The VC stated this in a release made available to National Mirror on Tuesday. According to him, Crawford University has obtained 100 per cent accreditation status of its programmes
across its three colleges including Natural and Applied Sciences, Agriculture, as well as Business and Social Sciences and these programmes are now in excellent standing in content, context and operation. Ayanlaja, however, noted that Computer Science and Information and Communication Technology were only two courses that are yet to earn full accreditation status.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Emergence of new CJN will boost girl-child education OPEOLUWA SONUGA 300L L AW OAU
tudents of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, in Osun State have welcomed the choice of the new Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mrs. Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, saying it will help the ongoing campaign for increased girlchild enrolments in schools. The students, who have continued to shower encomiums on the CJN for blazing trail in the nation’s history, congratulate her on her success and encourage her to give a good representation of the womenfolk. Her success many of them say will also boost the ongoing battle against gender imbalance in Nigeria and the continent of Africa as a whole. Mukhtar, regarded as
the first female lawyer in the Northern part of the country, recently replaced Just™ice Dahiru Musdapher as the nation’s CJN following the latter’s retirement having attained the prescribed 70-years retirement age. Yvonne Balogun, a 200 level student of Law Faculty said the achievement was not only good but historical. “It’s a boost to the campaign for women to get more interested in the affairs of the country. It is really motivating because she has proven that women are not just backbenchers but front liners in the judiciary.” Ayodele Oyebanji of the Department of Literaturein-English said; “What makes the new development worthwhile is her ability to standout at all times. And as regards ridding the judiciary of its dregs
and malcontents, I can still vouch for her considering her track records. I don’t expect her to drag the image, of the African woman which for ages has been that of repute, in the murky waters of Nigerian politics and its corrupt practices.” The Vice-President of the university’s chapter of National Association of English Language Students (NASELS), Tony Joy, said Mukhtar had only confirmed the words of the late American President, Eleanor Roosevelt, who compared a woman to a tea bag. “You never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water, and in this case Justice Mariam Mukhtar is like a tea bag in the hot waters of Nigeria, we equally hope to see that she proves us right by being diligent and committed.”
Members of the Alpha Club of Obafemi Awolowo University during a recent campaign against gender imbalance and violence against women.
UNN to wear new look CAROLINE CHUKWUKA 200L MASS COMM.
here are ongoing efforts to rebuild the collapsing structures and restore the old glories at the University of Nigeria, Nzukka, in Enugu State. This renewal effort includes the demolition and reconstruction of buildings of the department of Fine and Applied Arts, Economics, Personnel Unit building, office of the institution’s Public Relations Officer and
the Faculty of Pharmacy, among others. In their place are new structures which are magnificent both in scope and size, and currently being furnished with modern tools. According to the university’s ViceChancellor, Prof. Bartho Ndubuisi, the step is to restore the institution’s past glories and make it a world-class university that is in tune with modern development. “This is part of the efforts to achieve our target objective of creating a
conducive teaching and learning environment for our students and staff, and being the university with the nation’s emblem, we cannot afford to offer less. The elements of this renewal plan include upgrading and renewal of infrastructure, activation of international linkages and partnership, development of alternative funding sources and promoting the core values of education which will ensure the restoration of the dignity of man,” Prof. Ndubuisi said.
Members of the association with Hon. Adigun Abiodun after the event.
Ibadan Poly students honour Oyo chief whip, NUJ chair MUSILIUDEEN ADEBAYO
tudents of the Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, who are members of the institution’s branch of the Association of Campus Journalists otherwise known as Press Council, recently honoured dignitaries including the Chief Whip of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Adigun Abiodun; the Chairman of Oyo State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Olugbenga Opadotun, among others. The event, which was part of the organisation’s annual celebration attracted hundreds of alumni members of the institution and featured seminar, workshops and lectures. Members also visited media houses within the ancient Ibadan city, including the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State
(BCOS) and the Nigerian Tribune newspapers’ headquarters. There were also novelty matches, awareness rallies and orphanage homes were visited where useful items like detergent, bowls and other products were distributed to them. The award presentation ceremony was according to the organisation’s president, Temitope in recognition of the awardees’ contribution to the socioeconomic and political development of the state and the school in particular. He said the lawmaker was rewarded for the judicious use of his office and connection which he said included the construction of blocks of classrooms in schools within his constituency, provision of scholarships to two pupils, who participated in the maiden edition of Florence Ajimobi inter-school debate competition, dona-
tion of reading materials to schools, and encouragement of teachers in his constituency, among others. Another award recipient and Oyo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Bosun Oladele, who was represented by the Special Assistant to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Information and Orientation, Hon. Ademola Solalu, enjoined Nigerian youth to make use of the weapon of information to develop the country. In his remark, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the institution, Alhaji Adewale Soladoye, congratulated the council for the success of the event saying the school management is working towards restoring the institution’s proscribed Students’ Union Government (SUG) which was suspended sometimes ago.
LASU students elect new officers OLASUNKANMI AROWOLO AND MUSBAUDEEN SHEKONI
tudents of the Faculty of Management Sciences of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, have elected new members of the executive council of the Management Science Students’ Association (MASSA) for the 2012/2013 academic session. The electoral committee headed by Sonaike Idris assured the elector-
ate of their safety and provided all necessary tools for free and fair process. Members of the university’s security outfit were positioned at the polling centre to ensure maximum security. At the end of the election, Bola Ilesanmi was declared by the electoral umpire as the duly elected president of the association having polled a total of 281 votes against his opponent, Oyenuga Olayiwola, who polled 210 votes. Other results declared had Onabiyi Bola as
the Vice President; Alakija Olakunle, General Secretary; Shokunbi Ahmed, Welfare Director; Ogundeji Olayinka, Financial Secretary; Awofeso Oladipupo, Public Relations Officer and Daudu Sodiq as Assistant General Secretary. Journalists from Campus Life Reporters, NTA, and Pen Parrot Media, which was the official media partner of the association, were on ground to observe the election which was the first ever in the history of the faculty.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
L-R: Vice Chancellor, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Prof Barineme Fakae; Rector, Rivers State Polytechnic, Prof. Obianko Nwolu-Elechi, Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and the polytechnic’s Chairman, Governing Council, Prof Augustine Ahiauzu, at the polytechnic convocation ceremony recently.
Introduce robotic education –FG told TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
he Federal Government has been urged to introduce robotic education into secondary school curriculum. A group of Nigerian students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States gave this advice in Lagos at the final stage of the inaugural robotic competition which they organised for students in secondary schools across the country and Ghana recently. A total of 33 students from Nigeria and two from Ghana participated in the competition, tagged: ‘Exposure Robotics League’. According to them, robotic education would expose students at that level of education to computer programming using robots to do critical thinking in their studies. The group leader, Mr. Obinna Ukwuani, an Economic major in the university in his speach said the Nigerian education system does not really emphasise concept of knowledge application. The implication of this, he said, was that students could only learn just to pass examinations while caring little about their knowledge after the exams. According to him, the application of classroom knowledge needs a lot more emphasis and children should be encouraged to use their education while in school and after graduation to effect positive change in the world around them saying that was how things were being done in the developed world. He urged the to government should to also move along that direc-
tion. “As our own contribution to the development of education in the country, we believe that through the programme, students should begin to be curious to find out how the things
they learn in school can be applied to solve societal problems. “That is the type of thinking that drives innovation towards technological development in a country,” he added.
As part of the measures to offer better opportunities to its students, the school management in 2004 established its secondary arm and named it after the founder of the primary section. Called Andrew Foster Memorial College, a government approved private missionary school, the school according to Ilabor has played major roles in transforming the lives of the deaf in Nigeria and Africa by extension. “By establishing government approved schools for the deaf, the present generation of the deaf now attends tertiary institutions with positive education and knowledgeable output. In fact, many of our graduates now hold sensitive positions in institutions, companies, government agencies and parastatals, and the gain to our country for pioneering missionary efforts for the deaf is the high literacy level of deaf Nigerians compared to what obtains in many other African nations. “To allow the trend to continue therefore, we encourage people of goodwill and philanthropists to contribute meaningfully to our efforts to offer best education to the deaf while we also encourage parents and guardians to enroll their children in our school for more dedicated attention and specialized training,” Ilabor said.
Deaf school seeks N.5b cash support, calls for enrolment
he management of the acclaimed Nigeria’s pioneer school for the deaf, Christian Mission School for the Deaf, Onireke, Ibadan, has appealed to philanthropists and business owners to donate to its purse to rebuild the collapsing structures in the school and cater for the needs of its students. The school, which pegs its financial requirements at N434 million, said the amount will be judiciously used to educate the “often neglected” children due to their deaf condition. According to its General Director, Engr. Emmanuel Ilabor, the needs of the two schools currently run by the church include blocks of classrooms estimated at N35 million, dormitories for both male and female at the cost of 100 million, staff quarters for N55 million, among other numerous items. Established in 1960 by late Dr. Andrew Foster, a deaf black American educator and missionary, who introduced sign language to the country in 1957, and named Ibadan Mission School for the Deaf, the school has since been renamed Christian Mission School for the Deaf. It was also relocated from its Molete compound to Onireke, in the same Ibadan city.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
NTA newspaper review
TA A.M. Express makes its debut in this column today. Its August 19 Newspaper Review constituent had this terse entry: “Last but not the least is….” Station for the nation: Last but not least is…. Last Thursday’s edition of this medium fumbled twice on its front page: “Jonathan orders probe of (into) poor Olympics (Olympic) performance” Daily Sun of August 15 contributed its own quota to our pool this week: “Daily Sun reliably (before nko?) learnt that the five-man armed robbery gang that operated on two motorbikes had laid siege along (to) Warehouse Road….” Let us welcome Statesman, the Imo State government-owned newspaper, for the first and probably last time to this column! Its edition of July 26-29 scandalized the provincial publication: “In the eyes and reckoning of every Imo citizens, there has only been two administrations in the state.” Every Imo citizen or all Imo citizens…and this: there have (not has) only been two administrations in the state. “NPA commends FG over (for) port reforms” (THISDAY, May 27) “Nigeria’s aviation industry has witnessed some changes since the administration of late Musa Umar Yar’dua….” (THISDAY, May 27) The administration of the late…. “After four years of solid performance on the saddle…”’ (UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR ALUMNI ASSOCIATION’S Full Page Congratulatory Advert for Chief Godswill Akpabio, THISDAY, May 27) Let God’s will be done: in the saddle. “Some states have seized the opportunity to make waves….” (NIMASA Full Page Advertorial, THISDAY, May 27) It is only in America and Nigeria that opportunities are seized. In New (Formal/ Standard) English environments, you either use or take opportunities. ‘Seize’ inseparably involves the use of some measure of force or even deployment of violence in extreme cases. “Gowon, Jang, others pay last respect to Madam Pam” (National Mirror Headline, May 26) No news: last respects. Yet another headline goof from the above edition: “Tantalizers fete (fetes) kids on Children’s Day” Tantalizers is just a company. “Post election panel is illegal and diversionary” (DAILY CHAMPION Headline, May 26) Get it right: Post-election panel illegal, diversionary “It is perhaps in this light that the series of consultative meeting....” Folk (popular) etymology: the series of consultative meetings. “In this regard, one must doff one’s hat for Chief Sylvanus Ogbonna....” This way: doff/take off one’s hat to (not for). No acidulous entry, please. “The security-men who arrested Chima were eight in number (what would
DOFF/TAKE OFF ONE’S HAT TO (NOT FOR)
‘eight’ have been?) and arrived at about 10 a .m. in the morning.” Towards Standard English for readers: at 11.a.m or about 11a.m, if there is an element of uncertainty. To employ the two in one breath is irksome. How does this sound: ’10 a.m. in the morning’? “Of course film-makers should also watch them so that the public can be told the videos are not some Hollywood makebelief.” My comment: make-believe. “Pondering over the nation is the spectra of economic corruption and a descent into chaos and anarchy.” Singular: spectrum and plural (spectra). “It is therefore most expedient for exGenerals like Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida to re-examine its (their) role in government and take a honourable bow from politics.” A time to quit: an honourable bow. “Even now, no talk of regional or subregional integration is complete in this continent without an echo from Nigeria.” Diplomacy: on the continent. “…am convinced that what held the audience spell-bounded (spell-bound)
and excited was the fact of an Anglophone being able to tell him in their own language….” “Instead, people compete and fall over one another for the crumbs and fallouts from the ‘high table’ (platform/dais/rostrum) and even defend the indefensible.” ‘Fallout’ is uncountable. “…others point out the moral ground for such action (an action), given Labour’s antecedents in the past.” ‘Antecedents in the past’? This is unacceptable for obvious reasons. One of these days, somebody would write ‘future antecedents’! Yank off ‘in the past’. “As at 1985 there are (were) over 36,000 dams in the world with about 18,000 in China alone.” “Are you therefore surprise (sic) to find mediocres promoted beyond their highest level of competency.” The noun form of ‘mediocre’ (an adjective) is ‘mediocrity’ or ‘mediocrist’. “Statistics of African debt profile shows (show) that Nigeria owes about 15 per cent of the continent’s debt.” “But none of these leaders coming with large (a large) retinue of people (would it have been of animals?) will agree that it is important to back-up (back up) their good wishes with concrete policy (a concrete policy) in the area of debt management for sustainable growth.” “Within the 15 years of the four mili-
tary regimes under review, Nigeria moved twice from one extreme end of the scale to the other in her (its) relation with other nations.” Either extreme or end. Both cannot co-function. “General Babangida’s emergence on the scene brought an initial soothing balm in Nigeria’s foreign relations because of his early release of a transition programme.” ‘Soothing balm’ is offensive to good scholarship. What else, apart from soothing, would balm do? “While the Chinese were still protesting the bombing of their embassy in Belgrade, NATO had gone ahead to bomb the Swiss embassy, causing damages (damage) to the Angolan embassy and hit (hitting) a hospital, among others.” “What is laying a siege on (to) public wealth and traumatizing all those who dared to point accusing fingers.” Delete ‘accusing’ because of its redundancy. And this: point the finger (stock expression). “How does the separation of powers that are (is) discernible in Government textbooks operate in real life?” “Just as the banning of books and newspapers give (gives) rise to an illicit trade in them….” “Perhaps it may interest you to note that the average take home (a hyphen) pay of a fresh university graduate a month, in any of the Federal ministry (ministries), was slightly above N3, 000.”
Licence: Private varsities seek audience with NUC BIYI A DEGOROYE, A KURE
isturbed by the recent negative portrayal of private universities in the country, there are indications that Vice-Chancellors of private universities will soon meet with the National Universities Commission to stave what they consider embarrassments and promote better operator/regulator relationship. Sources said the universities felt they were demonized and portrayed as mere cash centers concerned merely about raking money for their proprietors instead of being major partners and stakeholders in the development of education in the country. To this effect the association has written to the NUC, intimating it with a strong desire to hold the meetings, to iron out matters, correct misinformation about them and ensure a healthy relationship between them and the commission, even as they will stive to ensure compliance with the commission’s guidelines. The letter signed by the Secretary of the association, Prof. Michael Faborode was sent to Abuja about two weeks ago, seeking to discuss vari-
ous issues with the NUC, to promote healthy relations and grow the education sector. According to the letter, the meeting was to hold after the completion of a conference of Vice Chancellors of West Africa Universities, recently held in Ghana. No date however, has been fixed for the meeting with the NUC. Speaking on the proposed meeting, Prof Faborode, a former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Osun State and also the current Secretary of the Committee of Vice Chancellors said “it is a family meeting between the regulator and the universities. We cannot but meet periodically to address issues for mutual importance.” A Vice Chancellor of one of the universities whose license was suspended and later reinstated, however, said the recent clampdown on the universities and what they considered to be NUC’s high handedness and the activities which tend to demarket would feature on the agenda. He said while they are very conversant with the NCE Act and recognize the need for compliance, some Vice Chancellors considered the recent suspension of operating licens-
es as a disincentive for investment in the education sector, at a time when the Federal Government is making frantic efforts seeking investment in the country. “Whether we like it or not, we must agree with the fact that the structures in the public universities are incomparable with the ones in the private universities. And come to think of it, how can the VCs of the varsities who graduated in the 60’s and 70’s, who had the privilege of schooling broad, who are abreast of international educational standards be said to have lowered same in Nigeria? It is unthinkable,” he said. He, however, frowned at such infractions as “unwillingness to comply with NUC’s regulations, inappropriate governance structure, conduct of multiple admissions exercises in a year, unjust expulsion of students, use of corporal punishment, violation of students’ rights to freedom of worship, imposition of illegal fines on students, compulsory forced graduate service, delay in the release of academic results which prevented graduates from being mobilized for NYSC, by some of the universities and urged them to turn a new leaf.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Let Nigerians be assured that my team will be ready to face the Lone Stars on September 8 - Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi
D’Tigers can rule the world–Bakare 30
‘Edo ‘ll win Eko 2012’ S EBASTINE E BHUOMAN BENIN CITY
he Edo State government is working to ensure its athletes win the National Sports Festival to be hosted by Lagos in November, according to the Director of Sports, Mr. Godwin Okute. Okute spoke in Benin City against the backdrop of rumour that sports have taken a back seat in the state for politics as athletes prepared individually for the annual games that have become a talent discovery platform. Okute told National Mirror that the government was resolved to take the state out of the prevailing before the advent of the Oshiomhole administration. “I want to state that sports in Edo State will regain its lost place because this administration is very serious about it,” he assured. “Edo State still remains a force in sports in the country as we have maintained a regular pattern since 2002 and we can only come out stronger.” “We have the athletes and coaches to drive us to excellence,” Okute further said.
Falconets winger Esther Sunday (in green shirt) during their World Cup group game in Saitama, Japan yesterday.
Japan 2012: Falconets delay q/final ticket AFOLABI GAMBARI
WITH AGENCY REPORT
or the second time in two matches, a late equaliser from Brazil has rescued a point for the South Americans at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, with Giovanna Oliveira’s header delaying Nigeria’s early passage to the quarter finals. A superbly hit drive from Francisca Ordega a minute from half-
Fed Cup s/finals results Lobi
5-4 (pens) Pillars
Heartland 5-2 (pens) Prime
time appeared enough for Nigeria to claim all three points in a hardfought and at-times physical encounter in Saitama. However, Oliveira secured another important point for Brazil with a glancing header three minutes from the end, after an injurytime equaliser earned A Selecao a draw in their opener against Italy. Despite a good pace to the contest in the sapping heat, there were few chances on goal until the later stages of the first half when
both teams made some inroads, with Nigeria eventually profiting from Odega’s intervention. The second half was an entirely different affair with Brazil on top and narrowly failing to score on several occasions. Notably, Ingrid headed home a free-kick at the back post only to be denied by the offside flag. Brazil finally made their domination pay as Thais Guedes’ whipped in free-kick was glanced home. Nigeria will have a second op-
portunity to qualify for the last eight when the Falconets meet Italy in Kobe on Sunday, while Brazil faces a must-win encounter with Korea Republic.
My girls made me proud proud– – Okon AFOLABI GAMBARI
hief Coach of the Falconets, Edwin Okon, yesterday said the players played according to instruction and commended his wards h for their fighting spirit against the Brazilians who he described as gritty. Okon, who spoke at a postmatch conference, said he anticipated a tough game with the South Americans and weaved his match plan on the observation..
“We played against a good side and l must praise my girls for their resilience in the face of constant threat by the Brazilians,” the hugely relieved coach said. “But I must also say that my players proved equal to the task. We wanted victory but a draw is not a bad result either. Our focus is now on our next game against Italy which we have to win to stay atop of the group,” he added. A draw with Italy would however see Nigeria through to the last eight should Korea defeat or draw
with Brazil who needs outright victory. Meanwhile, Team Coordinator for the Falconets, Aisha Falode, said yesterday that the support given the team had helped to influence the result. Falode, who expressed delight at the patriotic gesture from Nigerians resident in Japan, said the team hoped to savour the treatment as the competition progressed. “It was the first time I have seen such outpouring of support by Ni-
gerians for the country’s team in a foreign land,” the media personality told National Mirror hours after the encounter. “I was not surprised, therefore, that the girls performed brilliantly against the Brazilians and I think they will go far in the competition based on the support,” she added. According to Falode, the support was spontaneous. “I am aware if any of the Nigerians were contacted by the NFF to render their support,” she said, adding,” “This makes the action wholesome.” Okon
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Igiebor pens Betis deal
uper Eagles fringe player, Nosa Igiebor, has signed a four-year contract with Spanish La Liga side Real Betis, according to his agent, Atta Aneke. “Nosa will join Betis on a fouryear deal. I will travel with him to Spain this weekend for his medical and to finalise the contract,” Norway-based Aneke said yesterday. The deal is believed to be worth about one million Euros. Earlier, the transfer appeared to have hit the rocks with claims that the player had made an outrageous wage demand. The 21-year-old Igiebor has also featured for Lillestrom in the Norwegian top flight. The former Warri Wolves star was capped at full international level by coach Stephen Keshi in November, but he has since not been called up by Nigeria. Several Nigerians including Finidi George, Victor Ikpeba and Sunday Oliseh have played for Betis, which placed 13th in La Liga last season.
Chelsea teenager dreams Eaglets OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA
igerianborn teenage Chelsea player, Habib Makanjuola, has expressed readiness to play for the country’s U-17 team if invited, although he also said he would play for England if Nigeria rejects him. Makanjuola, who hails from Ifon, Osun State, recently signed for English Premier League side Chelsea told National Mirror in Abuja yesterday he was elated at his rise in football. The 15-year-old is expected to turn professional as soon as he gets to 16 years. “I am very happy to sign for Chelsea because they have a lot of facilities and training programmes for youth football development. With Chelsea, I can aspire to my dreams,” the teenager who had attracted interest from Barcelona and
French club Lyon, said. “I want to play for Nigeria as there is no place like home. My aim is to be the world’s best player and I want to play for Chelsea and for Nigeria,” he stated. On his relationship with Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi, Makanjuola said: “I don’t really see Mikel that much. But I was close to Jose Bosingwa because he liked me a lot and believed in me,” He won the U-13 International Tournament in the UAE in 2009 and he was the first Nigerian and youngest participant at the World Final Juggling Tournament in South Africa in 2010. His performance at the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s Camp in 2010 earned him a scholarship to Canbury School, England by the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
Gunners nears Sahin catch
rsenal was reported ye s t e rd ay to be wrapping up a loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin. Reports said Madrid wanted a fixed price of £14m attached to the deal if Arsenal decides to take up the option of signing the Turkey midfielder once his loan ends. However, there
seems to have been a compromise between the parties and the Gunners have finally got their man. The Gunners had been confident of securing Sahin’s services and planned a photo shoot on late yesterday ahead of his official unveiling, only to call off the shoot in late minute.
Ronaldo faces trouble
here are concerns around Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo over his mental state, according to latest reports. Ronaldo is yet to recover from Portugal’s failure at the Euros, which has contributed to his dismal start to the new season. The famous player is also alleged to be in a love triangle involving himself, long-time girlfriend Irina Shayk and Portuguese TV presenter Rita Pereira. It’s claimed Ronaldo’s Mum, Dolores, never has accepted Irina and would prefer to see her son with Rita.
contribution, and to try to play as well as I can. I also played as a centre-back at Arsenal, so I’ll play where Vilanova asks me to.” Song will be hoping to make his debut for the club during the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup clash against Real Madrid today.
Akpala Akpa p
Akpala set for Werder switch IKEN KENWA NNABUOGOR
iverpool has er Luis Suare son out of its Also absent from Saturday’s defeat at Joe Cole, who cam ling while new sign former club Heeren Manager Brenda ority since arriving ingly decided to res After the hugely the agenda for Live ter City at Anfield o
Song targets utility role ew Barcelona signing, Alex Song, says he is expecting tough competition at the club and is willing to play in any position for the club. The 24-year-old Cameroun international, who o was officially unveiled nveiled by his new club on Tuesday, hass starred for Arsenal in a deep midfield role ole over err the past, but has expressed his willingness ss to play as a defender iff required to o do so. “I’m with h a team that’ss full of stars; it’ss the best team in n the world. I’ll need to adapt to o the squad and wherever the manager anager thinks I’m most suited to play is where I’ll play,” Song said. “I haven’t n’t come here to take e Sergio Busquets’s place, I think he’s the best there is in his position. “I’m coming ming to make my own
uper Eagles striker, Joseph Akpala, has concluded arrangements to team up with Bundesliga side, Werder Bremen, his Belgian Werd club Club Brugge have confirmed. firme The Th former Insurance striker, w who has been on the wish list of o many clubs from France, Germany and Turkey, told NaGerm tional tiona Mirror yesterday that he could be signing the dotted co lines in am a matter of days. Brugge’s website had reportBr ed that th an agreement had been reached reach by the two clubs. Akpala said that when he Ak was reached at his base in Belgium on phone that he would get a across as soon as the deal was wrapped. w
The striker was left out of Club Brugge squad that travelled to face Hungarian side Debreceni in a Europa League game today, suggesting he will soon be completing his switch. Akpala was billed to undergo medicals yesterday after which he would sign a contract with the top German side He has been capped by Nigeria at full international level and has scored 44 goals in 102 appearances for Club Brugge since he joined them in 2008. Akpala scored 15 goals last season and made the last five man short list for the Ebony Shoe Award, a prize given to players from African and with African roots. He also won the Belgian top scorer award with his 18 strikes for Sporting Charleroi in 2007/08 season.
eports yeste that Quee Rangers hav deal in principle to Madrid defender R valho on a season-l The 34-year-old out of favour at M will be allowed to m search of regular fo Carvalho was om the Real squad wh the United States mer, sparking s that he could be o out of the club an to England, where viously taken in a spell with Chelsea, ly mooted. Tottenham Hot said to be keen on rienced centre-half three Premier Lea during a six-year Stamford Bridge.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Pepe Real Madrid defender, Pepe, says he feels in good shape after being released from hospital on Monday. Pepe underwent scans for head trauma after a collision during Sunday’s draw with Valencia. “I want to thank you all for the many messages of support that I have received over the past few days. I’m flattered by the encouragement and hope to be back soonest,” he said yesterday.
Manchester United has slashed its asking price to help Dimitar Berbatov get a move away. Reports yesterday said Berbatov is on the verge of a move to Italy after making a personal ‘Let me go’ plea to Manager Alex Ferguson. The misfit Manchester United striker, who spoke to Ferguson after the £24m arrival of fellow forward Robin van Persie last Friday, negotiated on a cut-price £3m move to Fiorentina.
save best for EPL
decided to leave captain Steven Gerrard, star strikez and key defenders Martin Skrtel and Glen Johns trip to Hearts for today’s Europa League playoff. m the squad is left-back Jose Enrique, who missed t West Bromwich Albion with a knee injury. me off injured at The Hawthorns, is also not travelning Oussama Assaidi is ineligible as he featured for nveen in an earlier round. an Rodgers has made little secret of the fact his prig at Anfield is the Premier League and he has seemst his stars. y disappointing defeat against West Brom, next on rpool is a tough game against champions Mancheson Sunday.
s land o
spurs was n the expef, who won ague titles r stint at
Manchester City is switching focus to want-away Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila. The France international is up for sale as Rennes President, Pierre Dreossi, has hinted at an offer from Arsenal this week. However, the Gunners will face competition from City, according to reports yesterday, after City Manager Roberto Mancini moved for M’Vila upon his agonizing pursuit of AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi.
Rino Gattuso feels the sales of former AC Milan teammates Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic rocked Italian football to its foundations. Gattuso also left in the summer for Sion of Switzerland. Asked about the two PSG signings, Gattuso admitted: “Funny. But with the sale of Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Milan has not only lost, but the whole Italian football.”
erday said ens Park ve agreed a o sign Real icardo Carlong loan. has fallen Madrid and move on in ootball. mitted from hich toured this sumspeculation on his way nd a return he has presuccessful was quick-
Thursday, August 23, 2012
PSG Coach, Carlo Ancelotti, has dismissed criticism from Sir Alex Ferguson over the summer spending. The Manchester United boss said “the game’s gone mad” after he missed out on Brazil starlet Lucas Moura to a last-minute £34m bid from the Qatar-backed French club. “Players now come to PSG for the project,” Ancelotti reacted, adding, “Lucas will join a strong Brazilian colony here and for him it is better to live in Paris.”
Our plans for Federation Cup–Oshodi Lagos State Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Mr. Wahid Enitan Oshodi, spoke to AFOLABI GAMBARI on how the state will host a successful Federation Cup final on Sunday What will make the 2012 Federation Cup final different from previous editions? I think the most important thing this year is that Governor Babatunde Fashola has tasked us to ensure that we get the passion of yesteryears back and we are trying to achieve this through awareness of the tournament, the history and what made it such a great tournament that brings all Nigerians together. In the cup, everybody from all corners of the federation has to fight hard to come to the centre to be the top knockout team in the country and that is what we have been working with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to recreate to bring back the glory of yesteryears. So far, we are on the right path. His Excellency has donated a new befitting trophy to symbolise the importance of this competition to the country. This is the most important national knockout kout tournament in Africa and we need to bring the glamour back. On honouring ng of the cup legends that you highlighted last week, how regular will this be? Of course, e, it will be an annual event. But this is just the beginning. I know in anything you do in football, when you select people, there re will always be criticisms of the choices but this is just the beginning and we will strive to give honour to whom it is due.
as the traditional home of the Federation Cup. Of course, His Excellency has also appealed to the NFF to continue to host the cup final in Lagos. The cordial relationship between Lagos State and the NFF is not in doubt. Are you not concerned that as host, Lagos does not have a team playing in the last stage of this competition? The truth of it is that it is a knockout tournament and in Lagos we harp on fairness. All we ask is that there is fairness in officiating and the best team should be there because people want to watch the best teams and if Lagos has the best teams, so be it. We are going to be working hard to get one of our teams into the premier league. With a team in the premier league, we will be bringing all the teams to Lagos and the fans will certainly yearn for more. We believe in doing things properly and we hope one of our teams will get to that stage someday soon.
What is the relationship between NFF and Lagos State in staging a befitting final match this year? His Excellency llency made a valid point during the unveiling veiling of the new trophy when he pointed nted out that the greatest knockout competition ompetition is the English FA Cup with the h Wembley as home of the e finals, so all teams in England are fighting hard rd to come to We m b l e y. Lagos is the traditional home of the Challenge Cup and nd we want it to continue
Heroes claim Dareta Cup
uture Heroes of Iyana Ipaja have won the 2012 Abesan Dareta Cup after beating United Academy 7-6 through penalty shootout in the final decided at Keda Field Abesan Estate Ipaja. Both teams failed to find the net as poor markmanship robbed them of several scoring chances after sharing 31 goals between them en-route the final. Sponsor of the competition, Chief Dare Faneye, commended the participating team for their outstanding performance and assured of continued sponsorship for the event. “I will enjoin the organizers to expand the eight-team format to 16 next year,” he said. President of the Abesan Estate Residents
Association, Bisola Ogunyanwo, said during the final that the community had produced national stars like Pius Ikedia and Mutiu Adegoke, among others. The two finalist got gifts of jerseys from Mastersports International boss, Ejiro Omonode, while the sponsor donated N100, 000 to the winner. Meanwhile registration for the Abesan Senior Championship has commenced with N700, 000 prize at stake for the competitors. According to Coordinator of the championship, Tayo Adeyemo, the event will feature 32 teams drawn from Lagos and Ogun states. “The eight quarter finalisst at the competition will receive a set of jerseys each,” Adeyemo said.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
SLAMMING AND E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 08027536696
With SAYO OGUNDEJI
First Deepwater targets continental
USA’s Chris Paul (c) drives to the basket past Nigeria’s Tony Skinn (r) and Ike Diogu during their game at the London Olympics
D’Tigers can rule the world–Bakare
espite his side’s failure to make it to the quarter finals of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Coach of the Nigeria’s senior basketball team, Ayo Bakare, says the team has the potential to rule the world but insists that positive programmes that will improve the players must be implemented. D’Tigers proved their critics wrong by picking the Olympic ticket and made history as the first African basketball team to win a match at the quadrennial event after beating their Tunisian counterparts 60-56 in their first ever competitive match at the games. Despite their impressive start to the tournament, the team however failed to make it out of the group as they succumbed to the United States of America, Russia, France and Argentina who are regarded as the best teams in the world. Bakare, who only assembled the team few weeks to the Olympics, expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance, adding that team could have done better at the tournament safe for the injury problems that hampered some of his best players. The Nigerian team currently ranks 17th in the current FIBA ranking shortly after the games, a sharp contrast to their standing before the competition. According to Bakare who guided D’Tigers to victory at the Maputo 2011 All African Games where they won gold, the current players are talented and will win laurels for the country if they are monitored and given proper environment to develop. “Every Nigerian needs to be proud of our performance at the Olympics despite the fact that we could not make it to the quarter finals of the competition but we have many positives to take out of the event and that can only make the team stronger in the nearest future.
igeria domestic women league champions, First Deepwater Basketball club, has set a personal goal of having a good outing at the 2012 Africa Champions Cup Zone-3 qualifiers slated for Monrovia, Liberia from September 1 to 8. Head coach Lateef Erinfolami says the players are in high spirit ahead the qualifiers which has over ten clubs contesting for the two slots at stake. Erinfolami says part of the plans is to get the players in the competition mood and battle ready for the task ahead. The club who won the 2009 zone-3 qualifiers in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire is eager to prove a point that her third place finish at the final round of the continent biggest women club competition on home soil was not a fluke. First Deepwater basketball club golden girl and reigning Nigeria women league most valuable player (MVP), Nkechi Akashili, told our correspondent that the players will not leave anything to chance in their bid to qualify for it third final round. “Our coaches are doing everything possible to put us in top shape for the qualifier because we are aware it will be tough out there in Liberia and that was why we skipped
the public holiday in other no to lose focus. “The African terrain is not new to us but we must not be complacent as we aim to qualify for our third final round of the club championship which is holding in Abidjan in October this year so the Liberia qualifier must be accomplished,” she concluded. Three other clubs will fly Nigeria’s flag at the men and women club qualifier. They include two-time Africa champion First Bank basketball club who will join First Deepwater as Nigeria representative in the women category while DStv premier league champion and runnerup Royal Hoopers basketball club of Port Harcourt and Kano Pillars basketball club will represent the country in the men cadre.
Paralympics: NBBF boss laments inadequate funds
N D’Tigers Coach Ayo Bakare celebrating after his team defeated Dominican Republic during their Olympic qualifying tournament in Venezuela
“These players are young, talented and ready to learn. I believe we can rule the world if we can harness their talents and build on the recent achievement. “Managing to pick one of the tickets available at the qualification tourney despite coming up against some of the most experienced teams in the world is a testament that we have the materials to greater things and we must not lose focus of where we are going. “We lost our remaining games of the group due to injury but we have learnt so many lessons which I am very confident will make the team stronger and our recent rise in the FIBA ranking shows how far we have come in this game.”
igeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President, Tijjani Umar, yesterday said the N2.6b given to Team Nigeria to prosecute the just concluded London 2012 Olympic Games and the forthcoming Paralympics was grossly inadequate. Umar said the budgetary allocation for the two events was inadequate to guarantee medals for the country, compared to the millions of dollars spent by other countries to prepare their athletes for the global sport fiesta. According to him, Team Great Britain through its Lottery Fund spent £300,000 as insurance cover for only one of its NBA players during the Olympics. “I consider it laughable that we expected magic with
N2.6b for both the Olympics and Paralympics,” the NBBF boss stated. “The truth is that Nigeria has not started in the area of big funding to ensure winning of medals. The money spent by Team GB on their basketball athletes as insurance alone is incredible. When converted to naira, it is more than what Team Nigeria as a whole got to prepare for the Olympics. “Insurance cover for only one of the NBA players on Team Great Britain cost £300,000 while investment to prepare each sport Team Great Britain featured over four years amounted to about £30 million. The United Kingdom government is to spend 124 million pounds annually to prepare its teams for Rio in 2016.”
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance Marketing is not the problem of Nigerian businesses, but government’s inability to formulate policies that would attract foreign investment
Mr. President has set the transformational economic agenda for our country and our role is critical to the success of that agenda. We must ensure that we play our own part in delivering sustained economic growth and jobs.
GMD, Verdant Zeal, TUNJI OLUGBODI
MINISTER OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT, OLUSEGUN AGANGA
Broadband: Telcos fail 155 million Nigerians KUNLE A ZEEZ
leven years after deregulating the country’s telecoms industry, more than 155 million Nigerians still lack access to broadband internet services from networks operators and Internet Service Providers, National Mirror investigation has revealed. With only 11.16 million people, representing 7 per cent of the current 167 million population in Nigeria having access to broadband internet services, a large proportion of the population is yet to enjoy the services. It was gathered that only with only 7 per cent broadband penetration in the country, a significant number of Nigerians totaling over 155 million representing about 93 per cent of the population are broadband-lacking. National Mirror gathered that though the about 28 per cent of the population (about 42 million) have access to the internet, actual broadband access, which means faster internet experience, still hovers at 7 per cent, according to the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.
However, amidst the huge broadband connectivity gap, the country has also set an optimistic target of 20 per cent broadband penetration by 2012, though non-availability of necessary spectrum to deploy broadband services has been hindering lastmile connectivity in the country. With Main One and Glo 1 providing huge bandwidth capacity still located mainly in Lagos, experts have insisted that, to realise increased broad-
band penetration, there is need to attract both local and foreign broadband-centric investors need to be adequately addressed. Investigations revealed that the speed of most of the socalled broadband internet services being provided by the telecoms companies and Internet Service Providers is far below international benchmark for ‘true’ broadband speed. Nigeria has, however, over-
taken South Africa in terms of Internet speed according to the latest State of the Internet report by Akamai Technologies Global Internet Platform. According to the report, Nigeria has an average connection speed of 322kbps with a peak rate of 5674kbps. “However, South Africa’s average speed is faster at 496kbps, the country’s peak speed is only half that of Nigeria, at 2172kbps,” says the report.
he country’s non-oil export to Ghana has hit $113m, representing about 38 per cent increment from the 2010 which stood at
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Arik Air Los-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 10:20, 15:20, 16:20, 16:50, 18:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Abj-Los: 07:15, 09:40, 10:20, 12:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat); 12:15, 15:15, 16:15 (Sun) Los-PH: 07:15, 11:40, 14:00, 16:10, 17:15, (Mon-Fri) 07:30, 11:40, 15:50 (Sat) 11:50, 3:50, 17:05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07:15, 11:20, 15:30 (Mon-Fri) 07:15, 16:00 (Sat) 13:10, 16:00, (Sun) PH-Abj: 08:45, 12:50, 17:00 (Mon-Fri) 08:45, 17:30 (Sat) 14:40, 17:30 (Sun) Abj-Ben: 08:00, 12:10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08:55, 12:10 (Sun) Ben-Abj: 09:55, 13:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10:50, 13:30 (Sun)
L-R: Head, Ecosystem EDX, Nokia West Africa, Mr. Teemu Kiijarvi; winner of N100,000 of Nokia Danfo Reloaded competition, Mr. Samuel Afolabi and Manager, Planning and Analytics, Nokia West Africa, Mr. Fikayo Aremu, at the prize presentation for the second draw of the competition in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Nigeria non-oil export to Ghana hits $113m OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
$81.76, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has said. NEPC’s Director of Trade Information Mr Aliyu Lawal, who gave the nation’s non-oil export data in an interview in Abuja yesterday, explained that the bulk of the exported products were cosmetics, footwear, textiles, confectionaries, insecticides, plastic (empty bottles), electric cables, food and bever-
ages, including noodles. The director described Ghana as one of Nigeria’s biggest markets in West Africa, stressing that, the export data covered only official transactions and registered businesses between the two countries. “The figure only puts registered non-oil export transaction into account. So, officially, the volume is $113 million excluding unregistered business-
Nigeria plans to boost oil exports in October
Los-Abj: 06:50, 13:30, 16:30, 19:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 16:45 (Sat). Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat) 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun) 18.30 (Sat) Los-Ben: 07:45, 11:00, 15:30, (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 15:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Ben-Los: 09:15, 12:30, 17:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat/Sun) 17:00 (Sat), 14:00 (Sun) EXCHANGE RATES
es. This is because most of the transactions are not registered. “If the unregistered transactions are included, then the volume should be more than double the official volume,” he said. Lawal said that the feat was achieved through proactive trade policies and incentives for non-oil exports introduced by the Ministry of Trade and Investment.
OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT
E-payment: Import duty increment Experts review on wheat, flour rocks consumers’ boats execution strategy for MDAs
Business & Finance
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
CSOs, others seek review of nation’s tax regime TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
oncerned about the gross inefficiency of the nation’s tax regime, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations and other key stakeholders have canvassed a holistic review of the nation’s tax regime with a view to making it more progressive. Besides, they want to ensure that tax revenue is channelled to areas of national development needs and promotion of accountability in governance The stakeholders who converged on Abuja penultimate week at the public presentation on Report of Baseline Study on Tax in Nigeria and the launching of National Platform on Tax Justice in Nigeria, noted that inability of the nation and relevant agencies to adapt international best practices on taxation in the areas of domestic taxation, revenues from natural resources extraction and monitoring of business transactions and declarations of returns by multinational corporations in the country had led to huge revenue losses to the country over the years. The study, which was commissioned by the Civil Society Legis-
lative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), with support from Oxfam Novib, examined the tax system in Nigeria, paying special attention to relationship between tax, social inequality, resource mobilisation for national development and accountability in governance. Similarly, the participants who were drawn from a broad spectrum of the nation’s tax system including, ActionAid Nigeria, Budget Office, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Chartered Institute of Taxation in Nigeria, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Centre for Democracy and Development, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), USAID and Christian Aid Nigeria, amongst others, posited that a combination of strategies should be adopted to curb the ugly development. For instance, the National Platform in the communiqué issued after their parley recommended urgent need to track tax revenue as key component of domestic resources needed for development; improve tax education and tax awareness among the citizens at all levels as well as mobilize them to develop positive attitudes to tax payment and demanding ac-
Members of Amilo family of the Maltina Dance All Season 6 on arrival for the competition in Lagos recently.
countability and service delivery on taxes paid. Similarly, the Platform also agreed there was a growing and urgent need for advocacy, campaign and lobbying for abolition of harmful and regressive tax practices and adoption of pro-poor tax regimes and further research into tax systems, structures, and administration for evidence based en-
gagement. According to the stakeholders, the need to also build international partnership and collaboration within the West Africa sub region and globally to address issues of tax treaties, revenue generation for development purposes and tax as instrument for environment protection should be addressed by the government.
The Platform advocated for a fair, just, transparent and equitable tax system that adequately protects the rights and interests of Nigerian citizens through research, advocacy, partnership and mobilisation and a progressive tax regime that will curb tax evasion and avoidance by multinationals and other corporate bodies as well as the rich.
Improper record keeping, bane of Naira weakens to lowest in week on dollar fraud, says ICAN boss demand before Auction STANLEY IHEDIGBO
he President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Doyin Owolabi, has debunked the allegation that accountants and auditors should be held responsible for fraud being witnessed in the financial institutions in the country. Rather, he blamed improper record keeping of accounting books by most organisations as a major problem. Owolabi said that the basis of any audit exercise is the existence of accounting records that have been prepared and properly kept to aid auditing, verification and investigations where necessary. Speaking at an event organised by the Business Club Ikeja, recently, he explained that where financial records have not been kept or poorly maintained, it would be foolhardy to expect an audit exercise to produce a reliable result. According to him, a well planned audit has the potential of preventing and detecting fraud than poorly planned audit assignment, adding that audit firm must also improve on the quality of personnel they send out on audit assignment.
Owolabi added that many shareholders failed to appreciate the need to have wellinformed, active and independent audit committee in their organisation as to check the excesses of the management. He said, “The trend today is the existence of audit committee made up of poorly educated members who cannot make meaningful contribution to the corporate governance processes of their organisation. Even in the public governance, the quality of public account committee which is supposed to check excesses of officials is suspect”. He noted that his institute has introduced some initiatives designed to sustain the trust of users of the services of chartered accountants which include practice monitoring, enactment of the Whistle Blowers ‘ Act which will help to protect the whistleblower in the event of victimisation by his employer, client or person with governance responsibilities for blowing the whistle on their unofficial misconducts.. He further noted that aggressive public awareness and urgent need to embrace global financial reporting standards as a strategy has been put in place to ensure greater transparency in audit system in the country.
he naira depreciated to the lowest in more than a week as dollar demand increased after the end of public holidays before a central bank auction yesterday. The declined 0.3 per cent to N158.23 as of 11:35a.m yesterday morning, the lowest on a closing basis since August 14, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The naira has risen 2.7 per cent this year, making it the best performing currency in Africa after the Zambian kwacha. The Central Bank of Nige-
ria, which sells dollars to lenders at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to support the naira closed on August 20 in observance of the Islamic public holiday. The interbank market where lenders trade the currency was also closed. “We are expecting higher dollar demand after the Eid el Fitr holiday as no sales were made during the period,” Usman Onoja, chief executive of Lagos-based Lovonus Bureau De Change Limited was as quoted by Bloomingdale Tuesday. CBN held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a re-
cord 12 per cent on July 24 to contain inflation and support the naira. The inflation rate declined to 12.8 per cent in July from 12.9 per cent a month earlier, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said August 17. Yields on 16 per cent domestic debt due 2019 fell 33 basis points to 15.55 per cent according to August 17 prices on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Borrowing costs on the nation’s $500m of Eurobonds due 2021 were little changed at 4.958 percent.
Bad weather forces airlines from take off, landing OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ad weather in some parts of the country yesterday forced some domestic airlines from take off and landing. Flight operations to airports like Enugu, Port Harcourt and Owerri were affected by the weather. Aero and Arik Air were affected by the bad weather. The situation forced the airlines to either cancelled or delayed flights to the affected airports Passengers who had hitherto intended to board flights to the destinations were disappointed as they could not fly as sched-
uled. Information gathered by National Mirror indicated that Aero, which took off from the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two, Lagos yesterday to Enugu had to return to base twice due to the bad weather, which prevented it from landing. National Mirror observed that passengers who had intended to travel to the locations were disappointed with the happening and requested for their refund, which the airline officials obliged to. Also, some deferred their travel plans to another day. There was a long queue on the Aero counter. However, Aero official who does not want to disclose his
name, said that flights to the affected airports are already full for today (Thursday). Confirming the development, the Media Consultant to Aero, Mr. Simon Tunba, said the weather affected Owerri flights and disrupted Port Harcourt and Enugu flights. He said, “The weather in Enugu has disrupted the flights to Port Harcourt and Owerri. After two trips to Enugu, Aero could not land due to weather and the same weather was scheduled for Owerri and Port Harcourt” However, the Media Manager, Arik Air, Mr. Banji Ola, said the bad weather did not affect its flights for the day.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Business & Finance
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Nigeria to boost oil exports in October UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT
he nation has concluded measures to increase the export of Bonny Light and Forcados crude oil grades in October, this year. The Bonny Light export is to be increased by 49 percent from September to 236,613 barrels per day, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg. The October schedule comprises 10 cargoes totaling 7.335 million barrels, compared with five shipments amounting to 4.75 million for September, the plan showed. The nation also plans to increase exports of Forcados crude to seven cargoes of 950,000 barrels each in October, one more than September. The nation will ship five lots of Bonga, five Brass River, four Escravos and two Antan blend, according to separate loading programs. The size of each consignment ranges from 237,000
barrels to 1 million barrels. The agency stated that oil in New York traded near a three- month high after a report showed stockpiles fell to the lowest level since March in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude user. It maintained that October futures were little changed after climbing 0.6 percent yesterday on speculation European leaders will make progress in resolving the region’s debt crisis. Crude inventories dropped by 6 million barrels last week to 361 million, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said. An Energy Department report today may show supplies slid by 250,000 barrels. The agency stated that the price of Brent, usually used to benchmark other crude oil prices stood at $114.60 a barrel, down 4 cents at the London market. It added that, “Oil’s rally in New York may stall as a technical indicator shows futures have risen too quickly for further gains to be sustained, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The 14-day relative strength index is near 70, the highest reading since February. Crude also has chart resistance along its 200-day moving average around $96.74 a barrel yesterday. The front-month contract yesterday traded higher than this indicator without settling above it.” The nation is expected to generate adequate foreign exchange for the funding of this year’s budget that was benchmarked at $72 per barrel. The trend is expected to continue throughout a greater part of the year. Consequently, oil market watchers, including the Kuwait Oil Minister, Mr. Hani Abdulaziz Hussain have called on the organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to maintain its production ceiling at because oil prices have been rising. He is said to have remarked that the market is “balanced,” with positive effects from a better-than-expected performance in the U.S. economy and stability in Europe.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Etisalat opens customer care centre in Onitsha KUNLE A ZEEZ
igeria’s fourth largest teelcoms operators, Etisalat, has commissioned a new Experience Centre in Onitsha to bring its services closer to new and existing customers on the network and provide a platform for better interaction. The Experience Centre located at No 44 New Market Road, gives subscribers the opportunity to gain first hand brand information, while also providing easy access to a bouquet of Etisalat’s products and services. Through the Centre, customers’ sales, service, and education needs will be Speaking on the centre, the Director, Corporate and Indirect Channel Sales of the company, Mr. Ken Ogujiofor, said that with the launch of the new experience centre in Onitsha, the company is gradually actualising its desire to take its products and services
to every nook and cranny of the country. “At Etisalat, we are passionate about our subscribers and are also committed to not only make communication easily available but also more affordable to them. Every time we open an Experience Centre, it is an opportunity for us to bring our products and services closer to the people, and also celebrate our subscribers who are at the heart of our business,” he said. Ogujiofor noted that the experience centre will help solve customer-related issues by providing information to its everincreasing subscriber base on the best and unique benefits of its products and quality services, purchase data, devices, handsets and SIM packs. “Our courteous sales representatives will also offer a personal touch in providing information to our customers on ways to maximize the benefits of being part of the Etisalat family,” he added.
African countries urged to invest in infrastructure projects STANLEY IHEDIGBO
resident of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Mr. Donald Kaberuka, has urged African countries to remove some of their reserves from European and American banks and invest in infrastructure projects for Africans. He made the call at the 32nd Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), held in Maputo, Mozambique. Kaberuka proposed that each Central African Bank should invest five per cent of its reserves in an African Infrastructure Bond, adding that fifty years of aid or development cooperation as it is sometimes called must have taught the continent many things. He said, “Most important of all, Africa’s future must depend on its ability to fund its development from a whole range of sources.”
Heritage plans sell of Kurdistan to finance new oil block L-R: Representative of HRM Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, Chief Chukwuka Odia (middle) and Director, Corporate and Indirect Sales Channels, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Ken Ogujiofor (right), during the commissioning of the new state-of-the-art Etisalat Experience Centre in Onitsha recently.
CBN governor highlights challenges to women’s access to loan ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
he Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said that legal regulations and customary rules often restrict women’s access to and control over assets that can be accepted as collateral, such as land or livestock. He said this in a statement on CBN website that cultural norms and family responsibilities, biased attitude of banks, lack of collateral and start-up capital, lack of awareness of finance, financial market imperfections, formal employment are part of reasons women could not assess loans to finance their businesses. “Women are less likely to have
land titled under their name, even when their families own land, and are less likely than men to have control over land, even when they do formally own it,” said Sanusi. According to him, biased inheritance rights often bestow land to male relatives, leaving both widows and daughters at a disadvantage. He, however, said that government Initiatives such as the recently launched Public Works and Women/Youth Empowerment Scheme (PW/WYE), a component of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE) is targeted at generating about 370,000 jobs across the country. “The PW/WYE is intended to create employment opportunities for women and youth in labour
intensive public works and is expected to generate 50,000 skilled jobs and 320,000 unskilled job opportunities. The implementation would be in partnership with the States, the Local Governments and the private sector. To boost the scheme, the government has set aside some portion of the partial subsidy on petroleum prices removal proceeds to support the employment generation intervention nationwide,” said Sanusi. He advised policymakers to establish an enabling environment that will facilitate access to financial services for women entrepreneurs through the development of a supportive legal and regulatory framework, and the development of education and training opportunities that are more aligned with the specific needs of women.
UDEME AKPAN WITH AGENCY REPORT
foreign oil firm, Heritage Oil Plc has concluded plans to sell part of its gas block and borrow money from Genel Energy Plc to generate a total of $450 million required for the development of an oil field in the country. The amount will be utilized to finance Heritage Oil’s acquisition of a stake in Nigeria’s OML 30 oilfield assets. Reuters that confirmed the development stated that, “Heritage Oil shares jumped 18 percent after the company said it will sell a 26 percent stake in Miran Block in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region to Genel and will take a $294 million loan from the company.” It maintained that Heritage Oil had earlier planned to fund a portion of the OML 30 deal through a rights issue. The firm later changed in favour of the present option. The firm’s Chief Financial Of-
ficer, Mr. Paul Atherton is said to have remarked that, “There is no need to proceed with the rights (issue) and any capital raising is dropped.” The company will sell the Miran Block stake and an interest in a related joint operating agreement for $156 million, which would increase Genel’s holding in the block to 51 percent. Heritage Oil can repay the loan by transferring ownership of its unit Heritage Energy Middle East Ltd, which currently operates the Miran Block, to Genel. He said, “After we’ve completed the acquisition of OML 30 ... either party has the right to exercise this option, and we would expect to complete the same, by way of cancelling the loan in exchange for the remaining rights in Miran. OML 30 was previously controlled by Shell who sold it for about $1 billion; divest its onshore blocks to refocus efforts offshore.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
E-payment: Experts review execution strategy for MDAs With electronic payment system recording gradual acceptance in the private sector, experts and payment stakeholders have brainstormed on the best implementation strategy for the Ministries, Departments and Agencies for executing the emerging cashless economy in Nigeria, reports KUNLE AZEEZ.
ith the gradual progress being made in the electronic payment system in Nigeria amid poor infrastructure and inadequate awareness, stakeholders in the country have again identified the need for constant review of the cashless implementation strategy especially in the government circle. With only about 46 per cent of the 810 Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the Federal Government having online presence, according to the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, experts suggest that having an online interactive portal where transactions between the MDAs and other parties can interact would be the minimum readiness requirement for an MDAs to key into the cashless economy initiative. Therefore, the crux of deliberation at a two-day intensive forum, organised by the E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria, E-PPAN, in collaboration with Central Bank of Nigeria was to tinker on the strategies best suited for MDAs of government to implement the new government cashless society introduced by the CBN. According to the Chief Executive Officer of E-PPAN, Mrs. Onajite Regha, the programme was structured for knowledge building and skills development, designed to feature special workshop sessions facilitated by industry experts from various commercial Banks and epayment Service providers. Tagged: ‘E-payment for Government Summit’, the event held in Abuja, provided a veritable platform for industry experts, key government representatives, and professionals from various MDAs at the three tiers of government to discuss latest issues and trends related to electronic payments. According to Regha, the forum was also designed to create a framework for developing outstanding e-payment models and formulate winning e-payment strategies, which will enhance government administrative productivity, efficiency and transparency as they transit from cash to cashless transactions. Speaking at the forum, the CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, said that such interactive forum, was important and timely, being a veritable platform focused at ad-
WITH EFFECTIVE ADOPTION OF E-PAYMENT SYSTEM IN THE GOVERNMENT CIRCLE, THERE WOULD BE EASY TRACKING OF PAYMENTS TO BENEFICIARIES’ ACCOUNTS, WHICH WILL IN TURN, ASSIST AUDIT TRAIL
dressing issues that have direct bearing on electronic payments in Nigeria. Sanusi, who was represented by the Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, said that the objective of the programme would complement the effort of CBN in the realisation of the national payment system Vision 2020, aimed at promoting electronic payments in Nigeria. According to him, moving from cash to cashless society would facilitate the exchange of goods and services among economic agents at lower costs as well as it could help to integrate markets within and across regions. “I am therefore proud to be associated with such a collaborative initiative as it is my belief that its outcome will surely boost public confidence and prepare the sector for an easy transition towards an effective delivery of government services to its citizenry,” he said. Already, Nigeria has put various measures in place in pursuit of its efforts at ensuring the efficiency of the payment system in the country. According to Sanusi, the CBN had put in place some guidelines to achieve the objective. These, according to him, include the guidelines on Point of Service, PoS; regulatory framework for mobile payments; cheque truncation; Automated Teller Machine fraud prevention; migration to electronic magnetic valve cards, Europay, MasterCard to reduce fraud; maximum cap on cheques and establishment of policy and oversight office. On cashless economy, the CBN governor said the Nigerian economy was too heavily cash-oriented in
transactions of goods and services which runs fowl to global trends and may hamper Nigeria’s ambition to be amongst the top 20 economies of the world by the year 2020. Sanusi said that about 65 per cent of cash in circulation in the country was outside of the banking system and are severely limiting the impact of the CBN’s effort at price and economic stabilisation, stressing that monies at the banks cannot be subjected to regulatory and operational procedures. Also, the Director, Payment Solutions and ValueAdded Services, Interswitch, Mr. Charles Ifedi, observed that the attempt by CBN to entrench a cashless transaction structure in the country was a laudable initiative that can easily place Nigeria among the 20 world economies on or before the year 2020. He, however, pointed out that the initiative might suffer setback if past mistakes of government are not addressed and adequately corrected. For him, “several failed attempts at entrenching e-government initiatives like the National ID card project has created some form of apathy and mistrust on any project from government.” Ifedi also lamented that there were, “several closed systems with different cards for different purposes like the Voters Card, National ID card, state ID cards, Health Card among others, which are not adding any tangible value to the citizens”, adding that until these schemes were harmonised or done away with, government might not be taken seriously on any e-government issue. Meanwhile, Ifedi berated the insufficient and low presence of e-payment channels at various service points such as the hospitals, transport, among other centres. In another presentation, the Group Head, Remita Services SystemSpecs Nigeria Limited, Mr. Demola Igbalajobi, said that Federal Government through the Office of the Accountant General had committed to implementing a Treasury Single Account as part of the Economic Reform Programme. This included the implementation of an Enterprise Financial Management System, GIFMIS, to be integrated with a robust e-payment system, describing the event as an important opportunity for a synergy among major institutions in the financial sector. Meanwhile, Igbalajobi said with effective adoption of e-payment system in the government circle, there would be easy tracking of payments to beneficiaries’ accounts, which will, in turn, assist audit trail. According to him, the e-payment system, when adopted by the MDAs, would also reduce cases of corruption, assist corruption fighting agencies like Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission; increase in the efficiency of operation; reduce transaction costs and increase convenience of payments economic growth and development. In a presentation on settlement and reconciliations, Keystone Bank revealed that large scale of commercial banks in Nigeria and Africa have previously excelled at providing traditional banking services to different categories of customers. It, however, noted that recent developments in consumer enlightenment, telecommunications services and e-payment infrastructure along with a drastically more competitive environment had nudged banks toward exploring electronic channels for delivering banking services. The bank also noted that numerous opportunities had arisen for sustainable competitive advantage through the deployment of value added electronic services. Secure ID Limited identified some major challenges faced by state and local governments that genuinely seek to deliver infrastructure and services to the citizenry to include, the lack of financial resources to implement projects, need to block leakages within the tax collection and administration system; and personnel identity challenges.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Telecoms industry capacity climbs to 207 million lines KUNLE A ZEEZ
elecommunications industry in Nigeria has grown significantly in the past years with current combined installed capacity of 208.6 million lines, according to the latest figures from the Nigerian Communications Commission. The installed capacity is the total number of telephone lines which all telecom networks have the capacity accommodate at a given period of time. The NCC statistics showed that though the networks, including the Global System for Mobile Communication operators, the Code Division Multiple Access operators as well as the fixed line operators currently have the capacity to take up to 208. 6 million lines, the actual
active telephone lines on their network is 102.3 million lines. The telecoms industry had a total installed capacity of over 158 million lines in January 2011 but increased by over 15.3 million additional lines to reach the current figure by December of the same year. In the first half of 2012 into June, the installed capacity had reached a whopping over 208 million lines jumping from 199.6 million lines and 201 million lines in April and March, 2012 respectively. GSM operators top the installed capacity chart, in the latest official industry data released for June, with an installed capacity of over 182 million lines. This implies that the mobile network operators such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Eti-
salat currently have capacity for over 182 million lines. However, the four GSM companies currently have over 120.3 million connected lines of which 98.3 million lines are active. This also means that the GSM segment has 22 redundant telephone lines on their networks. The CDMA operators such as Starcomms, Multilinks, ZoomMobile and Visafone have combined installed capacity of over 17 million lines, 13.2 million connected lines, 3.5 million active lines with almost 10 million telephone lines inactive. In the same vein, the fixed wired/wireless industry segment remains at the bottom of the scale with an installed capacity of over 9.3 million lines. Industry analysts are of the view that though the operators might have the number quoted by the NCC as installed capacity; however, their performance in terms of quality of services was proving otherwise.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tech Box HP ENVY Sleekbook 6z:
Designed with impressive battery life
mpressive battery life and a nice design make the Sleekbook 6z quite attractive, but the weak keyboard and poor upgrade options limit the value, according to product analysts. The 15.6-inch AMD-powered notebook is 8/10ths of an inch thin, weighs less than five pounds and gets almost eight hours of battery life. That’s mighty impressive ... but read our review to find out what we don’t like. Some anlaysts believe it is impossible to discuss HP’s Sleekbook family of thin-and-light laptops without mentioning the obvious comparison to ultrabooks. Without getting too caught up in marketing details, the term “ultrabook” applies to a specific category of thin-yet-powerful notebooks that follow a very specific set of technical guidelines from Intel regarding components, physical dimensions, battery life, as well as startup and system resume times. The HP Sleekbooks might clearly have some design similarities to ultrabooks, but they are not ultrabooks. In terms build and design, the HP ENVY Sleekbook 6z (also called the Sleekbook 6z-1000) is
one thin and light notebook; it is about two-thirds the height and weight of a normal 15.6-inch notebook at just 0.78 inches and 4.75 lbs. Despite that, it is still a 15.6-inch notebook and therefore its portability is limited. This notebook is more about form than function. The build quality is solid; the chassis has a minimal amount of flex which is commendable given the thinness. Even the lid barely flexes and no ripples appear on the back when pressed in on. Something the Sleekbook 6z lacks is upgradeability as there are no user-accessible service panels anywhere on this laptop. The chassis of the notebook would have to be completely disassembled in order to gain access to the hard drive and RAM. The battery is also not userchangeable (which might not be a big deal given the long battery life, as we’ll see later).
Unique Internet security software
L-R: Head of Marketing, Interswitch, Ms Enyioma Abana; Country Director, Students In Free Enterprise, (SIFE) Nigeria, Ms Adesuwa Ifedi and Divisional Head, Techquest, Interswitch, Mr. Babafeni Ogungbamila, at the grand finale of SIFE Challenge 2012 sponsored by Interswitch in Lagos recently.
TD seals distribution deal with Mercury KUNLE A ZEEZ
igeria’s indigenous Information and Communications Technology distributor, Technology Distribution Limited, has increased its products portfolio with a new partnership sealed with Mercury to sell the latter’s IT and electronic products in the sub-Sahara Africa. Resellers of TD from the Lagos/West market assembled in Lagos recently to herald the new partnership that promises a new era in power solutions. Speaking on the partnership, the Executive Director, Marketing, TD, Mrs. Chioma Chimere, said the resources of TD and Mercury in terms of experience, technology, distributive channel, and finance would
resolve most of the challenges arising from power in the West African sub region. According to Chimere, the addition of Mercury to the portfolio of TD’s international ICT brands will provide resellers with a wide range of power products, computers and lifestyle products to meet the needs of the market, including power products such as UPS, AVR, inverters, surge protector; and computer parts such as the main board, casing, networking product. Others are accessories include speaker, PC camera, media disc; computer system such as tablet, PC system, notebook; consumer products such as Liquid Crystal Display television; mobiles and memory products. The TD/Mercury partnership, she said, would bring im-
mense benefits to the West African ICT market because of the opportunity to confront and domesticate trusted Indian technology. She described the partnership as a typical South-South collaboration in which the processes and infrastructure of TD would deliver the ingenuity of the Mercury technology for the benefit of the people. “The large stocking capacity of TD, shared logistics, affordable pricing and after sales support are some of the processes that TD would bring into the relationship to the benefit of the resellers,” she said. Also, the Country Head of Kobian Computers, Mr. Shahnawaz Khan, explained that Mercury is a brand /from Kobian Computers while expressing satisfaction on the partnership.
or as long as we’ve reviewed security software, Kaspersky has never been far from the top, and in our most recent tests the Russian brand lived up to its reputation, protecting us from every malware sample. It fell slightly behind only in the false-positive test, in which it wrongly flagged up 10 per cent of the anodyne samples. In fairness, the program did recommend allowing these applications to run, but the decision was ultimately left in our hands, making Kaspersky an imperfect choice for those seeking zero-interaction security. That impression is maintained when one delves into the
interface. Outwardly, Kaspersky presents a new, breezy front-end, with elegant fonts and tasteful icons. Even the main settings interface, which lets PC user tweak settings across a remarkable 30 areas of protection and configuration, is accessible. Many of the features and options, however, tend towards the technical: under Tools, for example, user will find the option to audit and change Internet Explorer security settings, not something the everyday user is likely to want to get stuck into. Click Applications Activity or Network Monitor and you can watch processes, traffic and ports in real-time. It’s great for would-be systems engineers; not so great for grannies. As with older versions, Internet Security 2012 lets user launch programs and websites in a sandbox, so he can try out downloads or visit unknown links without exposing his system to nasties. And the Virtual Keyboard is still there, enabling user to outwit keylogging trojans.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Brands & Marketing
Import duty increment on wheat, flour rocks consumers’ boats The spiral effect of the recent hike in import duty on flour and wheat grains by the Federal Government has agitated consumers across the country. ELLA OLAMIJU examines how the sudden government action could have otherwise yielded better results, had there been some time of preparation.
ince the Federal Government had, through the 2012 Appropriation bill launched a policy resistance against importation of wheat and flour by increasing import duty on flour and wheat to 100 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, groanings from consumers has remained at an all time high as many registered their displeasure at governement’s consistent approach towards sensitive human issues. In a bid to promote locally sourced cassava as economically viable alternative to wheat and flour importation which government claims currently stands at $4.2bn, government announced cassava displacement target rates of 10, 20, 30, and 40 per cents for the years 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively. Government’s immediate goal is to achieve cut in wheat and flour import by 40 per cent in 2015. According to government reasons for the drastic economic action include that the promotion of the use of cassava over its wheat and flour counterparts will achieve marginal growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), save foreign exchange earnings from reduced importation of wheat and flour, and boost employment rates; but already, consumers are groaning under the weight of the imminent increase in prices of basic food items. So far, the inevitable consequence of government’s action is the looming upswing in prices of staple food items as bread, noodles, busicuits, spaghetti, pastries amongst others made from wheat and flour. For instance, the Lagos State chapter of Nigerian Bakers Association has announced a 10 per cent increase in the prices of bread with immediate effect while market buzz has it that popular household food items as the mini noodles packs now sold for between N30 and N35 will soon go up to N50 while its
larger pack now N50 may be sold up to N70 soonest. Also, the loaf of bread at N100 is likely to increase to between N130 and N140, spaghetti from N100 to about N120 while regular pack buscuits would no longer sell @ its current prices of N5, N10, and N20 In his reaction, a family and business man Mr. Popoola Ajayi said, “This is burdensome on the ordinary and family man. We have just survived the agony of the oil subsidy removal and now this,it is so sudden. Of course, the manufcturers have to sell and if we prefer wheat bread to cassava bread we have to pay, it is a sad situation” Another respondent from Jos, Mrs Tabitha Amos told National Mirror “ It is the poor man that suffres all of this, food prices will go up but our salaries will remain the same, the masses have lesser options everyday and bad living conditions.” From Delta State, Mr. Eseoghene Tapi emphatically said “ Government can not force us to eat cassava bread when they spend millions in their kitchen eating what they like, is that what they eat in government houses? It is sad that Nigerians are not mobilising against this policy like the fuel subsidy removal, government knows they can just wake up and do what they like because they have a generally docile populace, what would happen to the money they save from the import? They keep draining the masses to enrich their purses it is a very sad situation”. To discerning minds, it is apparent that what is often wrong with government policies is the abrupt nature and immediate effect with which they roll out, leaving the citizenry often in a quagmire without time for planning nor preparation. Government owes its people the duty and responsibility of a gestation
Business activities in full gear at Abubakar Gumi Central Market after Sallah Holidays In Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
period during which its offerings will sit in with consumers. Nigeria definitely has a lot of cassava, a lot of which are even exported but whether the cassava has been technologically tested and popularised to be good enough for bread is a fact yet to be ascertained, and how much time given consumers to accept the new taste of cassava bread and products is a valid point to consider. Overtime, observation shows it is doubtful if government agenda at achieving economic rewards from the policy cut on wheat and flour will yield desired results as it is on record that Nigerian consumers would rather pay more for trusted brands than gamble with government alternatives, hence, the choice of many consumers has often been to meet the higher cost of their preferred choices than allign with queried government agenda. There are indications that current figures on wheat importation may be bloated to make the case for import cut as a conflicting estimate of $1.8 bn against government’s $4.2bn claim on wheat import is making rounds in the media. Perhaps it would have also been a better idea for govern-
WHETHER THE CASSAVA HAS BEEN TECHNOLOGICALLY TESTED AND POPULARISED TO BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR BREAD IS A FACT YET TO BE ASCERTAINED ment to first encourage the local production of wheat as a way of discouraging its importation. Rather than jack up import duty in a dracoonian manner government could give farmers incentives to produce sufficient amount of wheat in commercial quantities and promote the Nigerian brand as the Ofada rice. Lending his voice to this , a Marketing Communications practitioner and consultant who spoke under anonymity said, “ Of course it goes beyond the lip service of saying we are encouraging farmers with fertilizers, this lip service culture in government has become detrimental to our national life, government doesn’t have a listening ear, their attitude is that of take it or leave it and overtime,
it has killed the initiative of its people with such attitude that is never in the interest of the masses.” He offered that, “Ordinarily, one would have expected government to say come 2013, we would still be in power and would have formulated policies that would encourage mass production of wheat and then follow up with the launch of a sensitisation campaign to appeal to the sensibilities of its people to buy into the agenda, by such time they would have achieved the cut in wheat import or could then abolish its importation as the case may be, by then ,they would have prepared Nigerians and built upon the process.” Definitely, another immediate consideration of government could have been to grow the nation’s industrial sector by concentrating on facilitating the sector growth through infrastructure. For example, power has become a major resource that raises business bottomlines in terms of overhead cost afterall, the spiral effect of what it takes in cost to power such food productions whether wheat, cassava, or flour, takes its toll on everyone at the end of the day.
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, August 23, 2012
AAAN unveils plans for a resonating 2012 LAIF Awards ELLA OLAMIJU
he Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), has concluded plans to hold the 2012 edition of the industry Creative Awards, The Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF) Awards. According to the President of the association and Chairman of LAIF Management Board, Mrs. Bunmi Oke, this year’s LAIF awards with the theme: The Best Get LAIF, would be an outsatanding edition being one to commemorate the 7th year anniversary of the coveted ad industry awards. Speaking further, the president announced that the 2012 LAIF Awards will reward and recognise outstanding creativity, promote excellence in brand strategy development as well as create a platform for celebrating ideas. “The association will have reputa-
ble, international, creative and brand building personalities, from leading integrated marketing communication and creative agencies to serve as jurors and advisors during this year’s event”, she said. Explaining the process, the Vice Chairman of the LAIF Management Board, Mr. Lanre Adisa pointed out that the Creative Awards will hold in four categories namely, LAIF Television, LAIF Press, LAIF Outdoor and LAIF Radio with each category having 12 sub-categories. “Awards will be given in Gold, Silver and Bronze for each sub-category and the Gold winner of each sub-category will compete for grand prix in the category. In all, 144 awards will be given. Entries for the 2012 awards commenced on August 1, 2012 and will close on August 30, 2012. Qualified entries for this year’s awards are campaign materials
that were exposed between January 2011 and December, 2011”, he said Adisa added: “As part of the new category, the Awards Management Board has introduced the ‘Digital Marketing” category starting with web banner designs, and a Young Laifers category for practitioners 30 years old and below. The 2012 edition will also include the annual Creative Award’s Seminar and Exhibition, a forum for extensive discussion on issues as it affects the practice of Advertising in particular and the industry at large.” The LAIF Awards & Dinner holds on Saturday, November 3rd 2012 in Lagos. The awards dinner has adopted the global theme colour, “Tangerine”, with a touch of Africa as dress code for the event which hosts captains of industry, creative icons as well as government officials and policy makers in the country.
L-R: Financial Secretary, Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN) Mr. Emma Osagie, General Manager,Operations Mr. Isiguzo Isaac, Representative of Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Mr. O.A Ayodele and Executive Secretary, LUPAN Mr. Emeka Obidike, during a courtesy visit to the Director Department of Petroleum Resources in Lagos recently.
Coca-cola repositions Africa’s brand image with Happiness Manifesto ELLA OLAMIJU
he Coca-Cola System has announced the launch of its continental campaign dubbed the Africa Happiness Manifesto, targeted at which celebrating Africans. The Brand Manager Colas, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Femi Ashipa, who made the announcement in Lagos said, “The Africa Happiness Manifesto is a collection of the positive and inspirational stories that Africa has to tell the world about itself. There are over a billion people that live in Africa, hence there must be a billion different reasons to believe in Africa and the company is providing an avenue through this campaign for the people of Africa to tell their unique stories of optimism and happiness.” He noted that thoug most part of the world see Africa’s dark sides, and as
a home to war, famine, corruption, poverty and disease, Coca-Cola has chosen to see the beautiful continent through fresh and colourful lens. Ashipa added that “Coca-Cola has operated on this continent for several decades with footprints that extend to every country. We know, understand, live and breathe Africa; hence we can influence positive attitudes amongst Africans by providing a beacon of optimism. Although negative news sells, we are increasingly witnessing a positive shift in every facet of the continent and have chosen to celebrate those things instead.” Noting the vast improvement that Africa has made in the last decade in the areas of sports, music, business, arts, technology, politics and fashion, the brand manager explained that, “Coca-Cola believes that anyone with the proper African attitude can overcome
hurdles and achieve success. So, we are prepared to recognise excellence in the fields that directly impact the lives of the African man, woman, and youth. We want to see Nigerians collectively share their Billion Reasons to Believe in Africa.” “As we are not equipped to look into every corner and fish out the many great talents in the various endeavours of life, we want Nigerians to help us in this task. Send us stories, photos and videos of the people, places and activities that you think should be part of “A Billion Reasons to Believe in Africa”. We will give them the platform they need to show their worth to the world. We will celebrate them for what they are; true champions.” Consumers can participate in the Africa Happiness Manifesto by pasting their unique stories on the Coca-Cola Nigeria Facebook page.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Which sites are essential for social media marketing?
acebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are the most trafficked social media sites. You don’t have to use all of these tools, but it’s helpful to at least set up a profile on all of them. Don’t get overwhelmed! Learn and implement one and a time, then focus on the one that has the highest return on investment for your business. How can I save time when marketing on social media? Preschedule your status updates and use tools that can update multiple social media properties at once. My favorite free tool for doing this is HootSuite. com. But watch out for terminology that’s specific to one social network. For example, it can be confusing to post a status update that uses mentions or hashtags (technology that’s specific to Twitter) on Facebook. So when you’re posting across networks, make sure your message works across all the different social media sites that you’re posting to. Which social media site should I spend the most time on? The social media site that most of your prospects are on is the best one for you. In the begining, you will need to experiment with different sites. The great thing about social media is that you can track – exactly where your clicks are coming from, which site is sending you the highest-converting traffic, etc. So it really takes the guesswork out of seeing which site is most effective for you. Is social media marketing useful for every business? Social media marketing is useful for every business that has customers who are using the internet. If your business serves a country that doesn’t have the internet, or if all of your buyers are over the age of 85 then maybe social media marketing isn’t for you! My business is offline, can I still use social media to collect leads for my business? Absolutely! Social me Sustaining good customer service culture dia is just a communications channel. So in the same way that you aren’t closing people via a radio ad or postcard mailing, you can use social media even if you have nothing to sell online. Focus your efforts on leading people toward the sale – whether that’s a phone consultation with you or a visit to your store. How can a local business use social media marketing? Use social media to up the “know, like, and trust” factor with your business. Build relationships, make friends with customers and prospects, and let people know what’s going on with your business. Send out content that lets prospects get to know your philosophy and offerings without having to take up your time with oneon-one conversations. Does social media marketing really work? Yes! “Social media” is a term that just encompasses new ways of talking to prospects and clients online. And talking to people is always an effective way to market your business! Source: www.lauraroeder.com
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Luezer’s Archive nominates Noah’s Ark’s creative director as juror ELLA OLAMIJU
oah’s Ark ad agency ‘s Creative Director, Mr. Bolaji Alausa has been nominated as one of the three top creative directors selected across the globe to serve as jury in the Luezer’s Archive’s International Students Ad contest. This follows the remarkable recognition and milestone achieved by Noah’s Ark with its recent mention in the Luezer’s Archive. According to a blog posted by the Editor of Luezer’s Archive Alausa is the only African among the three judges consisting of Messers Francisco Vaile from Brazil and Ben Gough of Leo Burnett, London. Together, the jury is expected to take on the responsibilities of reviewing and adjudicating entries for the contest to
determine deserving winners. In his speech, the Managing Director, Noah’s Ark Communications, Mr Lanre Adisa, described Alausa’s nomination as another milestone achievement for the company and an endorsement of the creative ability of the Creative Director and the agency as a whole. He said, “To be selected as part of a 3-man jury amongst thousands of Creative Directors across the globe is not a small feat to attain; it is a clear confirmation of the creative competence of the individual in question and that of the Agency as an organisation” Adisa noted that the achievement is not only for Noah’s Ark Communications but also for all its esteemed clients for the opportunity given to the Agency to articulate its creative dexterity through their different brands. He added that Bolaji Alausa’s
nomination has once again put Nigerian advertising industry in global limelight. Alausa, who acknowledged the nomination as “a rare privilege and an opportunity to be a member of the panel of jurors in a global advertising contest with creative entries from all over the world”, is a First Class Honours graduate of Painting from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos., He had a stint with Rosabel Leo Burnnett in 2006, and spent 5 years with DDB, Lagos before joining Noah’s Ark. He has several national awards to his credit including the LAIF and local Young Lions Awards. Luezer’s Archive is a globally recognised world advertising archive published monthly and in which creative advertising agencies across the globe have equal opportunities to enter their works for considerations. Out of the thousands of entries received, only 70 best works are published at a time.
L-R: Executive Director, (Transaction Services & Information Technology Division), Access Bank, Mr. Victor Etuokwu; Managing Director/CEO, Technologies Platform Business Resources Limited (TPBRL), Kelechi Agbugba; and representative of British Standard Institute (BSI), supported by Ngozi Omeruah; during the official presentation of the ISO27001: 2005 certificate to the Bank in Lagos at the weekend.
Beyond states’ logo creation and brand identity campaigns
he new trend among states in Nigeria now is the creation of logo and new brand identity campaigns. Governor Aregbesola of Osun State was almost crucified for creating state logo, anthem and slogan. It was the turn of Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State last week. However, the question remains whether the state helmsmen and their functionaries understand the overall importance of their communication endeavor. The logo is the visual expression of a brand and it is expected to create an instant distinctive presence for such a brand. This means the logo clearly differentiates the brand from it competitors and develops a language of its own. The logo also communicates what a brand is all about in its entirety. The logo is however a key component of the brand identity as there are other elements . There are other symbols which also depict the identity of the brand, what it stands for, its per-
sonality as well the slogan. One thing the states should be mindful of is the critical need to translate the brand identity into concrete terms for the people. The Governors should not just embark on brand communication campaigns without making such real in the lives of the people. For instance, Eko o ni baje (Lagos will not decay) is the slogan of Lagos state. Right from the electioneering campaign, the slogan came into existence. Now, even a blind man knows Eko o nibaje is not an ordinary phrase. It is based on translating the brand identity into concrete results in terms of governance. The brand identity should be functional in terms of tangible benefits to the people. Brand identity in terms of logo, symbols and emblems should be reference points for people and this goes beyond designs that are attractive to the eyes only.
ad VA NT AG E icon
nyi Odigbo is a visionary, who prefers to be called an integrator. His group holding company, Casers, offers complete advertising services through a number of strong, individual companies. However, he ensures that all strategic thinking works through Casers Group Integration at the heart of his operation. Odigbo won the DDB franchise in 2000, and in the last decade his group has expanded to include Capital Media- one of the region’s largest independent media buying companies, and Magenta—a digital company, and now a new partnership with Fin International, the financial branding consultancy. Without doubt, he has made a profound impact on Brand Communications in Nigeria, but is also working hard to change the perceptions of the country. Given his client base, which include Gillete and the MTN Group, he is certainly in the center of Nigeria’s advertising world. Always looking ahead, he said that as of today, he is most proud of winning the MTN—Mobile Telephone Networks South Africa pitch, because it demonstrates how an agency group that starts with integrated, strategic thinking can make a difference even if they are based in Lagos, Nigeria. “Innovation is any form of marked improvement on current thinking. At Casers, we don’t benchmark against oth-
with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: email@example.com I do not stand to condemn the creation of new brand identity by individual states but the activity only has value when it is communicated correctly to the appropriate audience. Communicating untargeted messages to saturate the peoples mind would not work. The learning here is that the audience is selective in their response to branding campaigns. The branding campaigns are also directed to the media beyond the reach of the people. A state with a larger percentage of illiterates cannot claim to expend huge advertising budget in electronic and print media. Such State should create several touch points to connect directly with the people.
What touch points are being created for the people to interact with the brand? What presence does the new state identity has across the entire landscape? There are serious posers for the architects of the new branding campaigns. Some of the states evolving new brand identity do not have very strong corporate presence. Beyond the attractiveness of logo creation and symbols designs, what is the tangible impact these have on the populace? Though some state governors have already expended public funds on new brand identity the questions for them and others who have such intentions is: what does the new brand identity represents
WITHOUT DOUBT, HE HAS MADE A PROFOUND IMPACT ON BRAND COMMUNICATIONS IN NIGERIA, BUT IS ALSO WORKING HARD TO CHANGE THE PERCEPTIONS OF THE COUNTRY ers. We have to think about our environment and be one step ahead. Innovation must be original, it cannot be copied”, he once said. Odigbo had a stint with Beecham Limited where he managed brands like Horlicks, Lucozade and Ribena. He was also with Nigerian Breweries and foremost advertising firm Insight Communications where he grew to be Account Director. He established Casers Ltd in 1987 which became affiliated to DDB Worldwide in 2000. in the minds of the people? It is a mere waste of public funds if the branding campaign leaves no visible impact in the lives if the people. There is also no message effectiveness if it does not capture the minds of the people. The crucial role of research in the entire process was also decimated. Research is a potent tool to determine the state of mind of the people. Has any state conducted a research survey to gauge the minds of the people? This is the very first step that underscores the overall importance of the brand identity campaign. The citizens are essential towards making any brand communication campaign meaningful. What does new logo and brand identity represents to impoverished and poverty stricken people? The Lagos slogan “Eko o nibaje” resonates more with the people even at social and religious functions due to the Governor’s efforts to translate symbol into reality.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Spain deficit goals at risk as cuts consensus fades Q uarrels over who bears the brunt of cuts worth more than 10 percent of Spain’s annual Gross Domestic Product threaten Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s plan to tackle the euro area’s third-largest deficit as a second bailout looms. A seven-day rally that has driven Spain’s 10-year yield to 6.2 percent yesterday. in Madrid from 6.9 percent may falter as squabbles between the government, regions and towns about spending and tax receipt allocations hobble deficit reduction. Spain will miss its targets for budget gaps of 6.3 percent of GDP this year and 4.5 percent in 2013 as the nation’s recession worsens, according to the median forecast of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. “As budget deficit targets look unachievable, the risk of a potential full bailout of the Spanish economy is still there,” Jaime Becerril and Axel J. Finsterbusch, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London, wrote in a note. “Further measures must be taken to restore market confidence.” Five regions will boycott rules depriving illegal immigrants of free
health care, while towns such as Hospital de Orbigo and Cartagena are trying to alleviate the austerity burden on families, one by paying for school books, the other by compensating civil servants for wage cuts. Spain signed off July 24 on as much as 100 billion euros ($125 billion) of
aid from European rescue funds to shore up banks burdened with bad loans. Rajoy, who broke his first election pledge after nine days of office, is weighing a second bailout as he struggles to implement his fourth round of tax increases and spending cuts in eight months to preserve market access for the euro area’s fourth-biggest economy. Town halls are asking to share regions’ incomes and suggesting that responsibilities including paying for school maintenance might be reassigned. Madrid has discussed cutting back on its civic duties while criticizing that 83 percent of the taxes it collects go to poorer regions. Valencia, the second-most indebted region, said its debt load would be 60 percent smaller if it had received funding in proportion to its population. “The problem is that each one is trying to save time by blaming someone else,” said Jose Antonio Herce, a public administrations consultant in Madrid with Analistas Financieros Internacionales. “No one wants to tell voters they have to meet the targets with the resources they have because there simply isn’t more money.”
Japan swings to trade deficit as exports sink on Europe
apan reported a wider-than-expected trade deficit in July as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis and a slowdown in China dragged down exports and higher oil prices boosted imports. The shortfall was 517.4 billion yen ($6.5 billion), after a revised 60.3 billion yen surplus in June, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo yesterday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 28 analysts was for a 270 billion yen deficit. Exports fell 8.1 percent from a year earlier, compared with an estimated 2.9 percent drop. Imports rose 2.1 percent. Strength in the yen and faltering global growth threaten to restrain exports in coming months, undermining Japan’s recovery from an earthquake, tsunami and economic contraction in 2011. The report adds pressure for government spending or monetary easing to support the world’s third-biggest economy by bolstering domestic demand. “Japan needs more monetary stimulus to sustain the recovery,” said Hiroaki
Muto, a senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company in Tokyo. “Sentiment among manufacturers is deteriorating globally, triggered by Europe’s fiscal problems, and that’s adversely affecting Asian economies.” The yen traded at 79.22 per dollar yesterday in Tokyo, up more than 5 percent since mid-March. A stronger currency erodes export sales and profits. This level compares with a post-World War II high of 75.35 in October. Shipments to the European Union fell 25 percent in July from a year earlier, the biggest decline since October 2009, while those to China slipped 12 percent, the ministry said. The trade deficit was the biggest for any July in data going back to 1979, it said. This report adds to signs of weakness across Asia after growth in China’s overseas shipments collapsed in July and that nation’s economy grew at the slowest pace since 2009 in the second quarter. Japan’s gross domestic product advanced an an-
Japan Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda
nualised 1.4 percent in the three months through June, down from 5.5 percent in the first quarter. Hiroshi Watanabe, a senior economist at
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
‘Osborne doing too little to boost growth’
nited Kingdom business leaders urged Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to do more to boost growth, arguing his government is doing “too little, too slowly.” A poll of 1,277 members of the Institute of Directors published today by the London-based business lobby group found a majority thought Prime Minister David Cameron and Osborne had been “ineffective” at reducing tax, tackling regulations on businesses and simplifying employment laws. The poll, which also found that more than four out of 10 companies have delayed at least one investment or employment decision this year due to uncertainty, was carried out between July 26 and August. 3. “We don’t want to see any slowdown in deficit reduction but we do want to see much more aggressive supply-side action,” IoD Chief Economist Graeme Leach told BBC 5Live radio yesterday. Osborne is under pressure after figures published yesterday showed Britain unexpectedly posted a budget deficit in July as corporation-tax receipts plunged, partly due to the closing of the Elgin gas field in the North Sea. While the drop in revenue was largely centered on company taxes, the U.K.’s struggle to climb out of a recession has raised concerns that the chancellor will miss his forecast for a deficit of 120 billion pounds ($190 billion) in the current fiscal year. Osborne has resisted demands to ease the pace of his fiscal squeeze, saying his plans have helped to insulate Britain from the euro-area debt crisis.
China economy’s harsh winter to hurt cotton, commodities
otton consumption in China, the world’s largest user, may shrink 11 percent this year as a deteriorating economy hurts demand and causes a buildup in commodities, according to Weiqiao Textile Company Futures fell. “The Chinese economy is only at the beginning of a harsh winter,” Zhang Hongxia, chairman of China’s largest cotton- textile maker, said in an interview in Hong Kong on Aug. 20. “China now is facing a situation where everything from coal to steel inventories are piling up.” Zhang’s outlook runs counter to forecasts from banks such as Goldman Sachs
Group Inc. that forecast a second-half rebound as the government expands stimulus. China’s economy grew at the slowest pace in three years in the second quarter as Europe’s debt crisis hurt exports and a government drive to cool consumer and property prices damped domestic demand. Cotton for December delivery declined as much as 1.6 percent on ICE Futures U.S. “The slowdown in China is due to overall industrial overcapacity accumulated in recent years,” said Lou Zhi, head of the trading department at Hunter Capital Ltd., a Dalian-based commodity hedge fund. “Overseas demand is unlikely to revive
soon as the European debt crisis looks set to drag on. Despite a recovery in the U.S., growth there seems anemic.” Cotton usage may drop to 8 million metric tons this year, compared with consumption of about 9 million tons in 2011, according to Zhang, who had forecast in March that 2012 demand may increase to as much as 9.5 million tons. China accounts for about 40 percent of global cotton consumption. Cotton lost as much 1.25 cents to 76.05 cents a pound, and was at 76.27 cents at 4:38 p.m. in Shanghai, with most-active prices 28 percent lower over the past year.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Islamic index lifts ASI by 0.25% JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ains recorded mostly in Lotus Islamic Index lifted the value of equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took advantage of the relatively low prices of stocks. The All Share index rose by 0.25 per cent to close at 23,199.03 points, compared to the increase of 0.32 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 23.141.08 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N19bn to close at
N7.38tr n, lower than the increase of N23bn recorded on Friday to close at N7.37tr n. The Islamic index led the sectorial indices by 0.69 per cent to close at 1,352.49 points, followed by the consumer goods index increased by 0.56 per cent to close at 1,976.02 points. The NSE-30 index gained 0.33 per cent to close at 1,088.19 points, while the banking index appreciated by 0.32 per cent to close at 361.28 points. The oil and gas index rose by 0.18 per cent to close at 166.00 points,
but the insurance index dropped 1.15 per cent to close at 123.01 points. CAP Plc led the gainers’ table with N1,26 or 4.98 per cent to close at 26.58 points, followed by International Breweries Plc with 36 kobo or 4.95 per cent to close at N7.64 per share. University Press Limited gained 20 kobo or 4.88 per cent to close at N4.30 per share, while Air Service Plc appreciated by eight kobo or 4.88 per cent to close at N1.72 per share. Neimeth Pharmaceuticaul Plc closed at 87 kobo, up by four kobo or 4.82 per cent.
Access Bank bags ISO certification JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ccess Bank Plc has received ISO27001: 2005 certification from British Standard Institute (BSI) in attestation of its security management process. A statement from the bank yesterday said the certification was in recognition of its commitment to ensuring safety of its transaction platforms and information assets which guarantees the highest level of security for customers’ details and information.
The presentation ceremony which held at Access Bank Head Office in Lagos had in attendance Country Representative of British Standard Institute and Managing Director of Technologies Platform, Mr. Kelechi Agbugba. The Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Aigboje AigImoukhuede, commended the institute for the upward certification. He said, “We are proud to have received this certification. This is a confirmation of our pacesetting legacy in regulatory compliance. As a bank,
we will continue in our drive to deliver valueadding services to our diverse stakeholders by ensuring complete adherence to global best practices in our processes and operations.” The Director, Banking Supervision Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, who was represented by Mr. Sola Ogunmoroti said that the certification is a welcomed development, because it represents an holistic approach to security of information management, as it strengthens the bank’s security
On the flip side, Evans Medical Plc dropped six kobo or five per cent to close at N1.14 per share, while Japaul Oil Plc dipped by three kobo or five per cent to close at 57 kobo per share. ARBICO Plc fell 41 kobo or 4.96 per cent to close at N13.39 per share, while Niger Ropes Plc shed 41 kobo or 4.96 per cent to close at N7.85 per share. Ikeja Hotel Plc depreciated by six kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at N1.16 per share. A total of 410.7 million shares valued at N3.87bn were traded in 3,620 deals.
framework. According to her, the bank should continue its leadership role of adherence to best practices and regulatory requirements while delivering its services. The bank’s Chief Risk Officer, Mr. Greg Jobome noted that the certification is a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to setting standards for sustainable business practices. He added that subjecting the bank processes to a rigorous evaluation by a reputable organization like the institute, demonstrates the length “we can go as a bank to ensure the security of our customers’ transactions,” he said.
SEC votes 3-2 to finalise controversial ‘conflict mineral’ rules
he Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 on yesterday to finalise a controversial rule that requires manufacturers to disclose to investors whether their products contain certain minerals from the wartorn Democratic Republic of the Congo. The commission’s two Republican commissioners voted against the rule and said it fell outside the agency’s mission of investor protection. Meanwhile, the G20 has called on International Organisation of Securities Commissions to develop recommendations to promote market integrity and efficiency and mitigate the risks posed to the financial system by the latest technological developments.
In a report by the commission yesterday titled, “IOSCO Consults on the Technological Challenges to Market Surveillance,” sought public comments on a series of proposed high-level recommendations aimed at helping market authorities improve market surveillance. According to the report, the consultation report responds to a G20 mandate arising from the action plan it launched in 2010 to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth. The report said, “The G20’s commitment called for significant policy actions in several areas, including a far-reaching reform of the financial sector.
“With the objective of enhancing the stability of financial markets, the G20 called on IOSCO to develop recommendations to promote market integrity and efficiency, and mitigate the risks posed to the financial system by the latest technological developments.” The report noted that securities markets have experienced a dynamic transformation in recent years, adding that rapid technological advances and regulatory developments have produced fundamental changes in the structure of securities markets, the types of market participants, the trading strategies employed, the increase in the speed of trading and the array of products traded.
“Trading of securities has become more dispersed among exchanges and various other trading venues. The markets have become even more competitive, with exchanges and other trading venues aggressively competing for order flow by offering innovative order types, new data products and other services, and through fees charged or rebates provided by the markets,” it added. The report explained that risks posed to markets by illegal or otherwise inappropriate conduct can be substantially increased by automation, as market participants have the ability to trade numerous products and enormous volume in fractions of a second.
Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 17 AUGUST & 22 AUGUST 2012 30.00 29.00 28.00 27.00 26.00 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00
Market indicators All-Share Index 23,105.05 points Market capitalisation 7,354 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 4.98
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 22, 2012 1st Tier Securities Sector
1st Tier Securities No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Building future champions, the Osun State example MURITALA AYINLA
ike many philosophers have postulated, nothing could place a nation on a solid footing than investing in the life of its youths who constitute a larger percentage of the age distribution. Hence, it behoves on every purposeful society to inculcate the position of youths in its progressive agenda. Buoyed by significance of setting the state on the path of progress through strategic engagement of youths positively, the Osun State government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeshola has continuously initiated and resuscitated arrays of skills and mental development programmes for the children and youths to abstain them from potentially harmful activities. The move, according to the state government, is to provide a platform for fraternisation and positive interaction among the youths. For the state that is essentially dominated by civil servants, where jobs created by cluster of industries are not available, nothing could be more apt than embarking on human development initiatives like the current administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola is embarking upon to curb idleness, social vices among the youths. Twenty-one years after the state was created under the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, the state until recently, had been bedevilled with plethora of tribal, religious and communal clashes of which youths are the most vulnerable. They constituted the war front, clashing the dagger of hatred and bloodletting instigated by the selfish leaders. The reason for the protracted communal clashes of Ife/Modakeke for instance was simple; the youths who championed war were largely ignorance of what peaceful co-existence of the agrarian city portend. Also, they are largely idle occasioned by failure of successive administration of past military administrators to engage the youths in meaningful and brighter rewarding schemes like the current administration. These crises had not only impoverished the youths but had exposed them to violence of unprecedented magnitude in a state that largely expended its income on payment of salaries of workers. Apparently, the current security challenge threatening Nigeria's unity is traceable to increasing number of unemployed and unengaged youths masquerading in religious and tribal sects to unleash terror on other innocent citizens. Therefore, it takes a visionary leader who sees hope in the life our youths and passionate about the developing of their skills to become future champion to initiate what the state that prides itself as Ipinle Omoluabi is doing on youths empowerment. When the Oyes, a Youth Empowerment initiative of Osun State was first inaugurated by Aregbesola’s administration, there were flood of criticisms by many cynicisms. They discredited the initiatives, describing it as a calculated attempt to enslave the teeming unemployed and largely disenchanted youths. Some said it was strategic plan to train terrorists who will later turn to political thugs. But today the story is different; thousands of beneficiaries have a glowing story to tell in their involvement in the scheme. In the scheme, graduates are employed to do menial jobs, such as clearing of debris on roads and cutting of grasses. It is said that the jobs are a sharp contrast from their area of training and assumed expertise. According to Khalid Oguntayo, a graduate of Agric Extension from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, the Oyes Initiatives has restored hope of many youths in the state who hitherto earned their living through political thuggery. Oguntayo, before he was engaged in the initiatives
OYES members on parade ground.
worked as a bus conductor in Abule Egba where he managed when all efforts to secure a job after his national youth service proved abortive. “I see hope on the Oyes Programme because efforts are being made to distinguish graduates from school certificate holders. From all indications, I'm sure we shall accordingly be employed. This is incomparable with disdainful bus conductor work I was doing in Lagos. Nobody recognised my degree then,” he said. Sarah Abegunde who obtained Ordinary National Diploma (OND) from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree also commended the state governor for the initiative as she has been engaged by the state civil service through the scheme. The efforts, according to the governor, are geared towards wealth creation and youth employment, particularly, against the background of pervasive poverty, high level of joblessness with consequent disturbing criminal activities in the state. The majority of the population lives in the rural areas where there are no infrastructural facilities to provide the base for productive capacity. While the scheme employs a sizable number of youths for communal and environmental sanitation and other related projects. If the engagement of thousands of youths is widely described as commendable, then, the training of 8,000 students in callisthenics by Cuban experts under the Osun School Callisthenics Programme, otherwise known as O’ Calisthenics is passionate. Speaking during the flagging off ceremony of the programme, Aregbesola explained that the programme was designed to address the declining physical education in the state. He said the callisthenics programme is to, “re-examine the place of physical activities in our lives”, saying his administration places high premium on physical education and regard formal education without its physical development component as incomplete. He said: “The callisthenics programme is not only an out-of-school sports activity but a lifestyle change project for building a new generation of students who are physi-
cally robust, mentally sound and socially well-adjusted. “The importance of physical exercise to the development of a healthy human person cannot be over-emphasised. Calisthenics, for example, has been known to have the substance of unity, harmony, balance and team work and thus presents one of the best engagements for teaching young pupils the cooperative spirit in a simple, delightful and interesting way”. "This perhaps explains why, in the advanced countries of the world like the United States, physical education is generally taught to school pupils right from kindergarten all the way up to the university level. It covers a whole range of organised physical activities such as sports, calisthenics, gymnastics, dance and so on.” “By providing a platform for fraternisation and positive integration and engagement in a worthwhile endeavour, it makes the students unavailable for potentially harmful out-of-school activities such as political thuggery and other criminal and self-defeating activities,” he informed. Aregbesola recalled that such programmes were instituted by the regime of the late Chief Bola Ige in the old Oyo State and in the recent past, by the Bisi Akande administration in Osun State. He said the current efforts would be sustained, pledging that the programme was not designed to have a terminal date. Two Cuban specialists – Francis José Vásquez Rodríguez and Raiza Aljoe Guerra – were brought into the country by the state government to train the students as well as local trainers that would eventually take over the training of others. Under the first phase of the programme, 8, 000 students and 60 local trainers received training under the Cuban coaches. Many analysts however, are of the opinion that Osun State, through it numerous youth development and empowerment schemes, is breeding the future of the nation’s leaders not only for quality leadership but also for future champion in international competitions. Mr. Koleosho Iyanda said the development, especially the callisthenics training if well developed could help the nation build future Olympic champion. “When our teenagers are busy with the mundane activities, some teenagers of other developed countries are engaged in more meaningful activities, winning medals for their countries in the Olympic. As for me, this latest training of young lads in callisthenics is a good step in right direction”, he said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Young & Next Generation
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Group to examine impact of technology on children KUNLE A ZEEZ
A The enrolled children
120 enrol into Baby Dragon Academy DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
o less than 120 children between the ages of three and 15 years have enrolled in the 82 Division of Nigeria Army Enugu Baby Dragon Academy. The baby academy which was officially inaugurated at the weekend by the GOC of 82 Division, Major General Olayinka Oshinowo, is aimed at shifting children’s attention from the streets and various forms of crime through mental and physical training such as football, taekwondo, judo, karate, gymnastics among other forms of sports. Initiator and coach of the academy, LCPL Anthony Isah, said that the baby academy became inevitable because whenever a child is bred in a sporty way, he or she can hardly fall ill but will remain a strong to face challenges in any
field of sports especially if the child is flexible. He urged more parents to enrol their wards into the academy and train their children since according to him; there are many challenges in sports today. He cited the just concluded Olympics, saying that Nigeria could not provide all the athletes because the academy that would have carted for the sportsmen from childhood was not there. “But if the baby academy is there from childhood up to the time of maturity, it would enhance their abilities to go further in sports. Isah enumerated the courses in the academy to include dancing academy, singing academy, football academy, taekwondo academy, gymnastics academy, all comprised in the 82 Division Baby Dragon Academy. “So far, we have about 120 students in the academy right now and the academy is inside 82 Div with base in 82 gymnasiums in Abakpa barracks Enugu,” said Isah.
n Information Technology group with focus on the grassroots, Women in Technology in Nigeria, WITIN, has concluded plans to organise a day forum that will put on the alert, parent, guardian and others about impact of technology on their wards. The groups aid such a forum has become necessary in order to curb the growing negative trends coming from the adoption and use of technology, especially by the children. The international forum, which comes up in Lagos on October 4, 2012 would, among others, expose the risk factors and vulnerabilities connected with children's use of the Internet. According to the WITIN President, Mrs. Martha Alade-Omoekpen, the world today is shaped by the advancements in the field of Information and Communication Technology, its relevance to the development of individuals, organisations, nations and the entire world cannot be contested. Alade-Omoekpen added that ICT has frequently been incontrovertibly acknowledged to be the driving force behind today’s economy while playing a key role in the recent extraordinary economic and huma development. According to her, the use of ICT innovations by children in the new world of freedom for empowerment has in different ways influenced and to a certain degree also changed roles and processes within child development, noting that despite the noble objectives ICT is known with, it has its negative sides. She explained that the negative sides would come to fore at the forum, which would have in attendance speakers
from the International Telecommunications Union. She said the conference with the theme: "ICT and Child Development: Benefits and Challenges”, is expected to have in attendance the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah. Other dignitaries expected at the event are the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi. Alade-Omoekpen stressed that WITIN was looking at having close to 350 participants, including, proprietors of schools; parents, civil societies, media and the international community. Listing core objectives of the conference, Alade-Omoekpen said: “core objectives of the conference include helping stakeholders, especially parents, guardians and teachers discover the potential and impact of technology on a child's development; and provide a forum where stakeholders can profer their fair perspective solutions to issues relating to the adverse effects of children's use of internet.” Others, according to her, are to advance strategies to checkmate child online abuse; to understand regulatory framework regarding children's use of the internet and mobile technologies among others. “Some possible topics penciled down for discussion include; role of mothers in children use of ICT; mobile phones usefulness, risks and myths; bridging the gender digital divide: girls in ICT to be taken by ITU representative; ICT for improved healthcare of children,” she added.
Rotaract of Akure gets new officers ... donates to less privileged DAYO OJERINDE
otaract Club of Akure, Ondo State has inducted a new set of officers that will lead the organisation for the next one year. The club also made donations to the less privileged, as part of activities marking the investiture rites of the new executives. "Rotaract Club of Akure, Ondo State is a community base chapter of Rotaract Club worldwide, and like every other club, the club had her investiture ceremony, induction of Board of Directors, launching, donation of projects and presentation of awards to highly respected members of the society who have distinguished themselves in their chosen career", said the investiture ceremony chairman, Babatunde Afolabi. The programme was held at the Rotary Club House, opposite Owena Motel Alagbaka, Akure and was attended by well meaning people from all walks of life, including Rotaract Clubs from other chapters.
The event witnessed the donation of education materials to Ileri Ayo Nursery and Primary school, Akure and Oluremi Nursery and Primary School, Oke Ijebu, Akure. Also, drugs worth valuable amount was donated to Oba Ile Comprehensive Health Centre, Akure. The physically challenged were not left out as wheel chairs and walking sticks were donated to some of them. Awards were also presented to Rotarian Olaifa Akin, Rotarian Yemi Olajide, Chief Mrs. Monisola Oloro, Mr. Ojumu (NYSC Abuja) and Rotaractor Ola Bright Ayodele. High point of the occasion was the installation and investiture rites of the 22nd president of Rotaract Club of Akure, Rotaractor Olaifa Anthony Akintayo, an Estate Management graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). In his acceptance speech, the new president, Akintayo solicited for the support of members of the club in order to achieve his dreams for the organisation as the president. Speaking with our correspondent, the new vice president, Rotaractor Oluwatosin Ifafesobi, thanked all that made the investiture ceremony a success.
Pupils of Ileri Ayo Nursery and Primary School, Akure.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Print media will survive all odds –Igwe The City People Magazine last Thursday organised a one-day seminar in honour of journalism icon, Mr. Mike Awoyinfa, who recently turned 60.The seminar tagged, “Mike Awoyinfa and Tabloid Journalism in Nigeria: The different perspectives,” was attended by many respectable journalists, who paid glowing tributes to him. Dimgbe Igwe, often described as his “twin brother” was also there and spoke to LEONARD OKACHIE, on his long-time friend and other sundry issues. Excerpts: How do you feel about Awoyinfa being honoured today? Mike Awoyinfa’s celebration is well deserved and I consider him, as one, but when I deal with him, I’m dealing with a friend. I’m not seeing him in any superlative term; I’m seeing a normal person. It’s vice versa; we give credit to each other. It is a great honour; I feel exceedingly moved by the honour done to him and especially when the papers were coming and people were analysing Mike Awoyinfa School of Journalism. You begin to see that sometimes, greatness starts like a joke and before you know it begins to get encapsulated in concrete terms, in a context that you suddenly discover that you are making history. Obviously from the quality of papers and presentations today, if you preserve those documents you know that you have a lot that succeeding generation of journalists will begin to learn from. So, I feel honoured to be associated with Mike Awoyinfa who is being celebrated as a media legend. It takes greatness for you to recognise greatness in others. Some people that are insecured would rather not celebrate another man’s greatness because they feel it will diminish them. Whereas if you actually have adequate security and self confidence to celebrate greatness in others, it the evidence that you also have the seed of greatness in you. Mediocres fear success in others but those ones that are achievers appreciate. They look for ingredients of success in other people because they know it is the coalition of these elements that they themselves will draw from to add and consolidate their own greatness. So, City People deserves all the commendations and Seye Kehinde, the publisher of course, is a young man that I have tremendous respect for. Is there any budding Awoyinfa among today’s journalists? The level of dedication we apply to the job may seem to be lacking. We only wanted to be journalists and nothing else. I do not pray for political appointments. In fact, in the 90s when we were out of jobs because the military had closed Concord, I think there was a time when Mike’s people lobbied for him and he was made either a special adviser or a commissioner in Osun
State Government and Mike declined. His people were shocked and said, “Do you know this is our quota?” And he said “abeg leave me alone o.” This was a man that had no regular job; we only survived by any other things we did. Yet he wouldn’t take political office because that’s just not him. If he had taken it, he would probably not have done well because he doesn’t have that kind of passion. Mike quintessentially is an artist. He is creative man; he functions well in the literary field. Now, if you take him to go and begin do administrative and bureaucratic jobs he will be like a fish out of water and naturally you won’t get the best of him. Do you share the sentiment that media is to blame for society’s ills? Journalists are like mirror. We mirror reality. Question of sensationalism is not the issue, it does not matter whether it screams, what matters is do I have the fact? But what is happening is that the political class seems to have eaten too deep into journalism to such an extent that they seem to have cornered the media to themselves. So you find certain segment of the media will never report evil about certain personalities. That is not the craft of journalism. When people are doing journalism that must have credibility we must know that we should report the truth. And in reporting the truth it should not be based on who is involved; facts should be fact. Because of poverty, the political class have cornered the economy and they have refused to develop it with the result that everybody is almost at their mercy. They are the ones that dispense resources. And I think like the other segments of the society media people are also trying to bow to pressures from them because they have needs. But I also want to suggest that if people also take time to build their integrity and credibility, build trust from the public, ultimately in the long run it will pay off. Why are we celebrating Mike? He has taken time to develop himself to such a point that you could say he has credibility and it is that credibility that is the pedestal upon which whatever success he has made is being celebrated. If the public does not trust you, you will never be great. Why has journalism profession become
an all comers’ affair? Fundamentally, anybody even in the past could have gone into journalism profession but the thing is that you needed to go through a school. Whether in the past or now if you don’t understand the fundamentals of journalism, you will not do well. But if you have degrees or your education in other field and you feel that you are drawn to journalism then you needed to have a refresher course that will expose you to the fundamentals. You also need tutelage. You need to work under somebody who will mentor you so that you understand the issues involved and apply those principles into coming to success. Without knowledge of what you are doing you are just like a fish out of water. In any profession there should be minimum standard. To that extent, there should be regulation in terms of setting degree of minimum requirement for those that will be publishers, for those that will be practitioners. That is a function of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE). What we resent is government doing the regulation. What we ask for is that the industry should create a self regulatory mechanism so that touts will not invade the profession. If we don’t act then our credibility will be completely eroded and the profession will be the worse for it. There are fears that print media may not survive the next decade due to ICT revolution? How do you see this? The print media will not phase out. It will experience challenges. The doomsayers have always been there. When radio came people thought it would affect the print media. When television came people thought it would eclipse radio and destroy print journalism. It didn’t. Now internet has come. The fact of the matter is that who are the people that are practising their journalism through the internet? Most of them are not profes-
sional journalists. They are people that develop competence as bloggers. In other words they are not professionals. They call them citizen journalists. A citizen journalist is not trained as a journalist. He doesn’t know how to process news but whatever he has he puts it there raw. Whatever you see on those blog sites are raw materials. You consume them at your own risk. There is no ethical standard by which they are regulated. Now, the question is this: In journalism there is citizen journalist, will you like to be flown by citizen pilot? Will you like to have a surgery from a citizen doctor who says I know a bit about medicine but he didn’t really train? Now, if you won’t like that, then of course, you won’t expect the citizen journalist to replace the real journalist. What should keep the print media going is that they should go deep in providing specialised information. The television has a lot of razzmatazz but what about depth? When you finish listening to the story on television you will not remember 10 per cent of it. But if you have a paper it is concrete in your hand; it is convenient. If you are in a “Danfo” you don’t need a NEPA. What is going to happen to the person that is providing specialised information is that there is a market people will always need. They need information, they need quality, and they need interpretation of facts and reality. And that is what the Economist Magazine is doing. The Economist analysis the economy in such a way that every investor wants to hear the perspective of the Economist of London on any economic issues. They are hearing about it but they don’t know what it means; they can’t interpret it. These people provide specialised, interpretative reportage. Financial Times of London does it. You take it to the creative presentation of story that is also what the tabloid newspapers are doing. So, I believe there is nothing that beats the freshness of waking up in the morning, pick a paper, open it and it is fresh. It has a smell, an aura that is unmatchable.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
How African journalists excelled at WASH Media Awards STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE
igeria’s Francis Odupute and two other journalists from Africa last week beat 150 others from 40 countries across the globe to win at the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene-related (WASH) Media Awards for excellence in reporting. The other African, Alain Tossounon of Benin won for his for piece on Access to safe water in the town of Ava-Sô, A perilous conquest for survival (Accès à l'eau potable dans la commune de Sô-Ava, Une conquête périlleuse pour la survie) in the Print-Online Category, while Ngala Killian Chimtom won in the Radio Category for Taps Run Dry. Odupute, an artist, journalist and head of the Graphic Arts Department at the Nigerian Observer Newspaper won in the Cartoon Category for his work The Strategists. Other winners were Francesca de Châtel from Belgium for Water Around the Mediterranean in the High Income Category; Berta Tilmantaite from Lithuania for The River Runs Back in the TV Category and Ketan Trivedi from India for Alchemy of Earning Money
through Wastes and Making a Village Clean, Hygienic and Lovely in the Hindi Category. According to the organisers, the winners are to receive their awards on August 31, 2012 at the World Water Week, taking place in Stockholm, Sweden from 2631 August, while all entrants will receive certificates as an acknowledgement of their participation in the competition. The World Water Week organised by The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), is the annual meeting place for the planet's most urgent waterrelated issue. It brings together experts, practitioners, decision makers and business innovators from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions. The WASH Media Awards are organised by SIWI and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). SIWI said, "Journalists play a central role in the highlighting of water and gender related issues and positioning of women as environmental leaders," according to to a statement, "They greatly contribute to bringing in the spotlight the too often neglected issues of the necessity of toilets and hand washing for a dignified, safe and healthy life for billions of people."
Chairman, Lagos Council, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Deji Elumoye (second right) and a victim of brutality, Mr. Tunde Ogundeji during the protest in Lagos.
Members of Lagos NUJ, protesting against the brutality of their colleagues in Lagos.
eNews Channel Africa launches in UK
outh African independent television news network eNews Channel Africa (eNCA), formerly known as eNews Channel, has gone global, offering United Kingdom viewers African news coverage and content through the Sky pay-TV platform. Rebranded eNews Channel Africa on Sunday, the channel launch its 24-hour news service to UK viewers through the SKY digital satellite platform, which boasts more than 10-million subscribers, on Monday. On Tuesday, South African President Jacob Zuma congratulated eNCA on their move, "which contributes positively to the development of the broadcasting industry in our country and in Africa. "We sincerely hope that the outcome will be the provision
of an avenue for Africans to tell their own stories to the world in their own words and perspective," Zuma said in a statement. eNCA Africa editor Chris Maroleng told Business Day that the establishment of the UK network would allow for more objective international reporting on the African continent. Africa was often covered by the international media "in the form of stereotypes" presenting it "as a continent pervaded by doom and gloom," Maroleng told Business Day. The eNews African Edition, appearing during UK prime time, will provide an African perspective on Africa, working from bureaux in Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi. eNCA, available to African DStv subscribers on channel
403, offers its special daily pan-African news broadcast for Sky pay-TV subscribers on channel 518 from 21:00 to 23:30, repeated later. Patrick Conroy, group head of news at eNCA, said South African and African viewers would still get to see the same content locally, from 00:00 to 06:00. "But Sky viewers get that first, because we want to see if we can grow the appetite for not just South African news, but from the rest of the African content as well." Source: Allafrica.com
Kasuwa rebrands to JUMIA.com
asuwa.com, Nigeria’s number one online retailer announced that it has rebranded. It will begin operating under the new trade name JUMIA effective immediately to become part of the largest online stores across the African continent. Speaking about the reason for rebranding so soon after the initial launch, co-founder Tunde Kehinde said, “It has become necessary to accelerate growth and integrate more seamlessly with the rest of Africa, the new JUMIA is larger and better equipped to fulfil the growing demand for online shopping in Nigeria. The rebrand is the outcome of the overwhelming response to the online shop’s offerings in Nigeria. We have since the launch, received and fulfilled thousands of orders and expect to have sold significantly higher number of items by end of the year.” At JUMIA.com, Nigerians can expect the latest mobile phones, laptops, electronics and home appliances. Additionally, there are
over 20,000 book titles and an extensive catalogue of beauty, hair, baby and children’s products. JUMIA plans to soon add more categories to its wide selection, including fashion, shoes and accessories. JUMIA is indeed the largest general retailer of consumer goods online. “Being part of the largest online store in Africa, will allow us to better leverage our network to provide a wider selection of brands and products, customers will experience even better prices, improved customer service and more value added features that will improve their shopping experience.” says co-founder Raphael Afaedor. To celebrate its launch, JUMIA is offering free delivery anywhere in the country and sponsoring a giveaway competition where customers who fill out their birthdays in their free accounts stand a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S3. All the information for the competition is available on the new JUMIA website.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Thief uses sword to rob store
olice in New York State said they are searching for a man who held up a convenience store by holding a sword up to the clerk’s throat. Buffalo police said the robber held the sword up to the throat of the clerk at A-Plus Mini Mart early Tuesday and fled to the parking lot with an undisclosed amount of cash, The Buffalo News reported. Investigators said a 43-year-old man in the store’s
parking lot attempted to stop the suspect and was struck in the head with the sword. The clerk came out of the store wielding a baseball bat and struck the robber in the shoulder before the suspect fled. Police said the injured man was hospitalized in stable condition. Investigators are searching for the suspect, described as a black man standing at 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing about 300 pounds.
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Couple arrested, then engaged
man proposed to his girlfriend immediately after the couple was arrested for aggravated robbery, San Antonio, police said. Managers of a Family Dollar Store said they attempted to stop Treila Woods, 24, before she left the store Monday morning, suspecting her of shoplifting. The alleged driver of her
getaway car, Sean Foxx, 24, watched her attempt to leave through a broken and unmoving door, and came inside to help her, police said. “He sees she’s in trouble so he goes on in the store to try to help her escape,
goes in through one of the open doors. They exit the store. He threatens the managers, telling them he’ll be back to get them because they were going to hurt his girlfriend,” said Sgt. Daniel Alonzo of the San Antonio Police
Department Robbery Task Force. Foxx and Woods were arrested a short time later, after which Foxx proposed marriage and Woods accepted, KSAT-TV, San Antonio, reported Tuesday.
Patient sues over roommate mix-up
Spanish woman was compensated $37,287 after workers at a hospital twice confused her with her roommate and tried to give her unnecessary treatments. The woman, whose name was not released, sued the Hospital Virgen de los Lirios in Alcoi after her November stay at the facility, Think Spain reported. The woman said she
received surgery for an intestinal problem and while she was recovering, staff unsuccessfully attempted to fit her with a catheter through her main artery. She said the attempt left her with serious nerve damage to her left shoulder. Hospital staff later realized the procedure was meant for the woman’s hospital roommate. The woman said a nurse
came into her room two days later and attempted to give her an enema, which she said seemed “illogical” given that a large part of her intestine had been removed. The woman refused the procedure and the nurse soon realized the enema was also meant for the roommate. The patient sued the hospital and was awarded $37,287 in compensation.
Man took a shot with leaning tower.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Community Mirror Commissioner calls for compliance of traﬃc law
“Nigeria as a complex society structurally, if we break up today, it will be worse than Sudan.”
SENATE MINORITY LEADER, GEORGE AKUME
NGO donates cash, food to widows HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
total of 20 widows and school children have benefited from cash gift and food items donated by a Non-Government Organisation, RhodaJoy Centre for Mercy Concerns, RCMC. Presenting the donation to the widows, President of RCMC, Dr Rhoda Oluwasanmi, disclosed that she was moved by the plight of the widows and orphans in the society, saying the need to help them in alleviating the plight of vulnerable children and women led to the organisation. She condemned the inhuman sufferings that widows are usually subjected to after the death of their husbands, urging women to engage in economic activities and not rely solely on their husbands. The NGO also decried the increasing rate of domestic violence which invariably is turning women and children into widows and orphans particularly in Nigeria, saying that the women are at the receiving end of domestic violence by being raped defiled and infected with the dreaded HIV/AIDS because of their vulnerability. Delivering a lecture titled, “Conflict and Di-
sasters versus Women and Children, the imperative for action”, Chaplain of Government House, Waleola Akinfiresoye, said it has been established that one in every five females in the world has been physically or sexually abused at one time or other. Akinfiresoye, pointed out that conflicts and disasters happen at three different levels which he said can happen at home, community and national.
He stated that women irrespective of age, religion or social status, suffer from domestic violence which included battery, torture, acid baths, rape and death. He disclosed that no less than 54 children were separated from their parents in 2011, while 13 had gun shots injuries and 25 others with various psychological traumas resulting from post election violence in Kaduna State. He said “women at the
state or federal level are often seen as second class citizens, deprived of their fundamental rights. Conflicts and disasters against women and children sometimes are also exercised as weapon of war.” He said, these had many forms including murder, sexual slavery, hostage taking, forced pregnancy and prostitutions. The Chaplain however said the culture of silence that is making gender
equality a mirage, should be broken in the country. He said “the culture of silence and patriarchy that is making the achievement of gender equality more difficult in Africa should be discouraged. Women should be empowered economically for their voices to be heard in the society. Government should strive to ensure that women have a real voice in all governance institutions from judi-
A scavenger tying his bag at the site of a demolished building at Maza Maza, Lagos.
ciary to civil service, as well as in the private sector and civil society, so they can participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision making.” Also at the occasion, chairman of the event, Prince Femi Ebiotomiye, said conflicts and disasters are the principal causes of widows and orphans, saying concerted efforts should be made to resolve conflicts through dialogue and not violence.
PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
Osogbo set for grand finale of festival OKAY OSUJI
WITH AGENCY REPORT
he 2012 Osun Osogbo Festival which was heralded in the ancient town of Osogbo and palace of Ataoja has kicked off with spate of activities. Reports said the palace and the festival centre have continued to bustle with activities, even as the Osun Osogbo groove, which is centre-point of the festival, has received a face-lift, given its status as a UNESCO heritage site. It would be recalled
that activities leading to the festival commenced on August 9 and will be rounded off on August 25, which is meant to celebrate the special Oroki day. Men and women were seen playing the traditional ``ayo olopon`` (native ayo game) as part of the games lined up for the festival. According to Mr Fatai Adewusi, an indigene of Osogbo, the game is part of the traditional rites that will usher in the grand finale on Friday. Mr Folorunsho Yusuf,
Secretary of Osun Osogbo Festival Planning Committee, said that film shows, ayo game, raffle promotions and youth football cup competition, had been lined up to usher in the grand finale. He said preparation was in top gear to make the event a huge success, adding that everything would be done to achieve the desired target. Yusuf said that in order to ensure security of lives and property, entrance to the shrine would be strictly by invitation. “We want to ensure that
there is no confusion, because this is a world festival as declared by UNESCO, since it was listed on the World Heritage Site”. Mr Adeola Segun, a resident of Osogbo, said all hotels in the town have been fully booked as always during the festival, adding that it would impact positively on the economy of the residents and add value to the socio-economic life of the people. Already, motorists and commercial motorcycle operators have been making make brisk business as influx of visitors con-
tinue unabated. A taxi driver, Taju, said ``I make in a lot of money during Osun Osogbo festival, because we convey people from different places including foreign visitors who come for tourism purposes, `` he said. An official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mrs Mary Bashorun, said the agency is fully prepared for the event. Investigations revealed that since UNESCO listed Osun Osogbo Festival on the World Heritage List, it had witnessed a change
as it is now being visited by foreign visitors,even as the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, NCMM, is making efforts to have more tourist centres in the country like Idanre Hill in Ondo State and Oloibiri in Rivers State to be declared as World Heritage Sites. The Osun Osogbo festival took off on Monday, August 13 in Osogbo with a traditional rally known as Iwopopo which is the traditional cleansing of the routes leading to palace of the Ataoja and Osun Grove.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Commissioner calls for compliance with traffic law MURITALA AYINLA
agos State Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa,has urged operators of commercial motorcycle also known as Okada to comply with provisions of the state traffic law. The appeal came against the barrage of criticisms by road users who flayed government for doing little to sensitise the public, saying they are yet to comprehend what constitutes offence in the new law. Speaking at a stake-
holders’ meeting with transport unions and operators in the state. Opeifa said in spite of signing of the new law by Governor Babatunde Fashola, motorists are yet to comply with it. He said it was disturbing that commercial motorcycles below 200CC still ply the restricted routes, including bridges and highways with impunity which contravenes the law, saying as a result,many innocent lives have been lost. He said: “Many children had become orphans; many wives widows, while many husbands had
also become widowers, while traffic congestion and delays have continued to be compounded by the menace of Okada riders.” The commissioner said, it was necessary for operators, riders and passengers of motorcycles to voluntarily comply with the law, as any of them could be culpable if found to have contravened the law. Meanwhile, motorists in the state have continued to blame the government for not sensitising motorists on the new law. According to them, it
would be unfair for the state government to begin enforcement of the new law without educating the public on what it entails. According to Mr Ogundeji Kolapo, the only aspect of the law he is conversant with, is prohibition of eating while driving. “What I only know of that law is that we should not eat while driving. If they also say we must all enroll in the driving institute that means no driver would come to Lagos again, and I wonder
what will happen to motorists from other states that only come here for urgent assignment?” Another motorist who pleaded anonymity debunked the government’s claim on massive publicity of the law, describing the law as another way to extort money from already impoverished Lagosians. “If Lagos is planning to enforce the law without informing the public, it will be unfair. The government has not done enough publicity. Was it how they campaigned before being
elected, how can they say they want to enforce a law that we know nothing about, except that drivers must attend thedriving institute? So, all Nigerian drivers must come to Lagos to learn how to drive, if they must have anything doing in the state.” A commercial motorcyclist, Uchechukwu Kinsley, described the prohibition of operation of commercial motorcycle on 475 roads, as a way of forcing them out of business. He called for full publication of the law for the general public.
Traditional ruler urges inauguration of vigilantes WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
he traditional ruler of Pategi, Kwara State, Alhaji Chata Umar Idris, has directed traditional chiefs and village heads in his Emirate Council to inaugurate vigilante groups. The monarch, who is also Chairman of Pategi Local Government Traditional Council, said this during a post Ramadan address to people of the council where he admonished them on security consciousness in their areas. According him, everyone in the area is expected to look out for strangers in their communities and forward reports through their respective chiefs, district and ward heads to him for prompt transmission to the
government. He urged the people to beware of anti Islamic groups which seek to lure them into attacking their fellow citizens, pointing out that the religion abhors violence in all its ramifications. In a related development, the National Islamic Media Watch Group has called on Muslim leaders to stop going on pilgrimages to Mecca to atone for their sins, after stealing money from the public purse. Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, said Allah will not forgive their sins against the people and after which they rush to Mecca for pilgrimages, even as he called on the Federal Government to tackle security challenges in the country.
Shabu youths deny invading chiefdom IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
habu Youth Movement in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, has denied invading Kwandere after the elevation of the traditional stool of chiefdom to first class status. A statement by its solicitor, Tanze Benjamin Makama, said the youths never even demonstrated in Shabu town, more engaging in the destruction of lives and property. The statement read in parts: “it was simply a cheap fabrication of an event that never occurred.
No life or property was destroyed or razed down. At no time did Shabu people decide to engage in any form of mass action or violence as mode of registering their unhappiness at their traditional ruler being bypassed in the exercise by government.” However it admitted thus: “Few youths may have out of exuberance, decided to destroy some billboards bearing the photos of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura’s as those actions were not done with the knowledge or blessing of the people of Shabu Chiefdom.”
An official of Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency removing illegal posters on wall surfaces at Ojodu area of Lagos. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
Residents task Fashola on health centre project
esidents of IsheriOsun in IgandoIkotun Local Council Development Area of Lagos State have appealed to Governor Babatunde Fashola to inaugurate their community health centre, for better healthcare delivery in the area. They said they were not happy at failure of the government to inaugurate the facility, two years after it was built. Mr Ayo Odukoya, Secretary, Samadint Landlords’ Association, said they were surprised that the facility is yet to be inagurated. ``When Gov. Raji Fashola came to inaugurate the Isheri-Osun water project in Februrary 2010, the plan was that the health centre
would also be among. But he could not inaugurate the health centre because the facility was still under construction,’’ Odukoya said. Mr Bidemi Oduntan, said Isheri-Osun is fast developing with more people relocating to the place to warrant a functional healthcare centre. ``Due to the ongoing bridge construction in the last four years, many people have packed into the area and the population has increased tremendously. “Therefore, there is need for us to enjoy healthcare facility. If that building is not put to use, miscreants will take it over,” he said.
Mrs Kate Enearu, said some nursing mothers have resorted to visiting private hospitals or travelling to Isolo and Ikotun to get healthcare services. ``It is unfortunate that the state government is making the residents to suffer as most mothers now patronise private hospitals for their healthcare services of their children,’’ Enearu said. According to Mrs Tawakalitu Olowu, the construction of the health centre was completed some months ago, and is yet to be inaugurated. ``The health centre was billed for inauguration since 2011, but nobody can explain why it has not
taken off. ``The government should wake up to its responsibilities by providing healthcare services to the people who voted for it,’’ Olowu said. She said some motorcycle operators and commercial bus drivers in the area have turned the health centre into toilet, thereby making the place filthy. The Medical Officer for Health at the Igando/Ikotun LCDA, Dr Tunde Famoroti, said the area was experiencing shortage of manpower at the moment. ``As soon as we have more health workers deployed to us, the health centre will start operations,’’ Famoroti said.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Terrorists kill two in Yobe attack INUSA NDAHI DAMATURU
ome gunmen suspected to be terrorists yesterday shot and killed two people at Marori village in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State. The incident, which occurred about 4pm, caused pandemonium in the village. Many of the villagers have deserted the village for fear of being attacked at night.
• Flood sweeps away two in Adamawa One of the villagers, Mallam Usman Umar, told our correspondent in a telephone interview that some gunmen invaded Marori village, killed two people and fled. The state Police Commissioner, Patrick Egbuniwe, confirmed the killing. He said: “I can confirm to you that two people were killed by suspected terrorists in Marori town. For now, no arrests have
been made.” Meanwhile, two people have been confirmed dead with property worth millions of naira destroyed in floods which ravaged seven local government areas in Adamawa State. The Executive Secretary of the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. Shadrach Daniel, confirmed the development in an interview with the
News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Yola yesterday. He identified the affected councils as Numan, Demsa, Madagali, MayoBelwa, Yola North, Yola South and Guyuk. “Farm lands, houses and livestock were affected by the flood as a result of heavy downpour over the past two days. “We are now going round the affected local government areas for
proper assessment of the flood which claimed two lives in Gbalang village in Numan Local Government Area,” Daniel said. He added that SEMA had already reported the development to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for help. Adamawa is among states listed by a Federal Government weather alert, warning that some states could face severe flooding this season.
Shettima tasks contractors on good job INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has warned all the contractors handling the construction and renovation of eight secondary schools recently awarded by his administration at a cost of N3.7bn to conform to specification or face a disciplinary action. Shettima gave the warning yesterday when he paid an unscheduled visit to Government Girls Secondary School, Mirnga in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State. He said his administration had identified the rot in the education system across the state; hence there was the need to invest more in the sector despite limited resources. Shettima, who expressed happiness over the progress of work so far by the contractors handling the Mirnga School, urged them to intensify efforts to allow the students resume for their studies. Conducting the governor round the projects, which include renovation of classrooms, hostels, dining hall and staff quarters among others, the Director of Schools Management in the Ministry of Education, Alhaji Abubakar Musa, said the school was established in 1976, but most of the structures were dilapidated.
NDLEA seizes N7.4m cannabis in Bauchi EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI
en of the Bauchi State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have seized 498kg of cannabis sativa with an estimated value of N7.4m. Parading three suspects, the state NDLEA Commander, Julius Bawa, said the seizure was the biggest in the history of the Bauchi State Command. He added that the exhibit was concealed inside a truck with registration number XP 67 MUS, which was intercepted at Azare following a tip-off. According to the commander, the owner of the truck, Mr. Olisemeka Wilson, 27, from Delta State, resides in Akure, Ondo State where he sources for the Indian hemp and distributes in the North East zone, including Bauchi State. He said: “What makes this arrest spectacular is the fact that it is the largest singular seizure by this command since I assumed office here as the state commander and indeed, the largest singular seizure ever made in the history of this command.”
Traffic on Ahmadu Bello Way after Eid-el-Fitir holidays in Kaduna, yesterday.
Judiciary won’t allow misuse of state police – NBA
he Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has warned against politicising issue of state police in the interest of Nigerians and national security. The Chairman of the Illorin branch of the NBA, Mr. Rafiu Balogun, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Ilorin on Tuesday that selfish interest and politicking’ were taking centre stage instead of national interest in the matter. “The issue of state po-
lice is such that concerns all Nigerians because of the insecurity ravaging the country. “Political undertone has begun to creep in, but the best for this nation is to allow room for the creation of state police. “Our politicians should not politicise the issue; the creation is constitutional under a true federalism and it is obvious that we do not have enough police that can ensure the lives and property of Nigerians,” he said.
Balogun urged the Federal Government to reconsider its stance on the matter in view of the security challenges facing the country. The NBA chairman allayed the fears of abuse of the state police, saying that the bar and the judiciary would be on hand to handle any case of excesses and bring perpetrators to book. He said: “The issue of security of lives and property is crucial and germane to our existence
as a nation and it must be of great concern to any responsible government. “The NBA strongly urges the Federal Government to have a rethink about the creation because the situation at hand has made it inevitable in the interest of Nigerians. “If any state government attempts to abuse it, the court will rise to the challenge and such erring state governments and police will be dragged to court to seek redress.”
Violence: Northern govs raise 41-man peace committee
etermined to tackle insecurity in the North brought about by the activities of the terrorists group, the Northern States Governors’ Forum, NSGF, yesterday launched a 41-man peace committee in Abuja. The committee was mandated to work out modalities for reconciling warring parties and com-
munities in the North. It has Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim as its chairman while Nde Joshua Dimlong, the Ngolong Ngas and paramount ruler of the Angas tribe of Plateau State would serve as the deputy chairman. The committee, which is expected to submit its report within 90 days from the date of inauguration,
also has Mr. Iliya Ithuve as secretary and Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi as deputy secretary. The Niger State Governor and Chairman of the NSGF, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, who inaugurated the Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security, attributed the challenges facing the country to the rejection of core values of
honesty, fairness and justice by Nigerians. “We have realised that most of the challenges we are facing such as poverty, unemployment, youth restiveness and violence are manifestations of the rejection of core values of honesty, fairness and justice in our communities, societies and indeed the nation.
“We have allowed greed, corruption and incompetence to overwhelm us overtime,” he said. Aliyu said that it was time to restore the country’s lost values and virtue which previously distinguished its people from others as the most stable and orderly community with rich cultural diversity.
He added that the insecurity in the North had become a threat to the stability of the country and should be given urgent attention. The governor said it was the moral obligation of governors particularly in the North to ensure the protection of lives and property of their citizens.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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World News “This is painful to all of us. It is not acceptable for people to die where talks can be held” - South Africa President, Jacob Zuma
WORLD BULLETIN ‘48 dead in Kenya’s land disputes’ Hundreds of farmers attacked a village, killing at least 48 people in south-eastern Kenya in an escalation of clashes between the farming and pastoral communities over land and resources, an official said yesterday. Some people were burned to death in their houses, while others were hacked to death or shot with arrows, said Tana River region police Chief Joseph Kavoo. The majority of those killed were women and children, said area resident Said Mgeni. He said the attacks began Wednesday at dawn when a group of about 200 people belonging to the Pokomo ethnic group raided a village in the Riketa area and torched all the houses belonging to the Orma, a pastoralist community.
Tunisia journalists protest against Islamist govt Dozens of journalists protested in Tunis yesterday, accusing the Islamist-led government of seeking to take control of a press group, after the appointment of a controversial new director. Journalists from Tunisian dailies Essabah and Le Temps had called for the demonstration outside the government headquarters, where the protesters gathered, chanting slogans calling for a free press and criticising the ruling Islamist party. “Ennahda wants to put the media under its wing,” and “Don’t touch the public media!” read some of the placards held at the protest.
S’African gets life jail for white supremacist murder The judge ruled that Chris Mahlangu killed Terreblanche with an axe following a pay dispute in April 2010. He rejected Mahlangu’s argument that he carried out the murder in self-defence after Terreblanche had raped him. The killing highlighted South Africa’s fragile race relations, more than 15 years after white minority rule ended. Outside court, about 20 white protesters carried a dummy of a black man with a rope around his neck with a sign that read “Hang Mahlangu”. Judge John Horn said the murder was not racially motivated. A second man, who was a minor at the time of the attack, was given a two-year suspended for house-breaking.
Ethiopia’s new leader to occupy office till 2015 PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
thiopia’s acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will run the country until an election in 2015, showing that the ruling party is determined to ensure a swift and smooth transfer of power following the death of Meles Zenawi, Reuters has reported. Meles, 57, died late on Monday in a Brussels hospital after a long illness, leaving a gaping hole in Ethiopian politics and depriving Western powers of a trusty ally in the fight against Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa. “He (Hailemariam) will be the prime minister until 2015. He is to be sworn in and he is to finish the five-year term of government and that is indisputable,” government spokesman Bereket Simon told Reuters. Parliament would be summoned within the next two days and Hailemariam would be sworn in as prime minister, Bereket said. Crowds of mourners, many holding candles, gathered to witness Meles’ casket arriving in the capital, Addis Ababa, late on Tuesday. His body is now lying in
Ethiopian acting Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn
his private residence as preparations are made for a state funeral. Bereket said that the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) party, a coalition of region-based parties, would hold a party congress at an undisclosed date to
nominate a leader but said there was no scenario under which Hailemariam would not remain as premier. After taking power in 1991 from Mengistu Haile Mariam’s military junta, guerrilla fighter Meles became one of the central
Four killed in plane crash in Kenya
wo German tourists and two Kenyan pilots were killed when a plane carrying tourists crashed in Kenya’s Maasai Mara game reserve, local police said yesterday, Reuters has reported. Airstrip workers and locals rushed to the crash site and pulled survivors out of the mangled wreckage. There were 11 tourists on board the aircraft, all of them German. Peterson Maelo, the Narok district police chief in the East African country, said a middle-aged man and an elderly woman were killed along with the two pilots. “The twin-engine plane nosedived about one kilometre (0.62 mile) from the air strip and landed in a marshland,” Maelo told Reuters.
The nine survivors, he said, had been airlifted to the capital, Nairobi, and three were in serious condition. Chimwaga Mongo, Narok South’s district commissioner, said it appeared the plane failed to gain altitude before careering
into the ground. “Moments after the plane took off we realised that all was not well. Suddenly it came down crashing into a marshland,” said John Kipetu, an employee at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club who witnessed the incident.
The site where the tourist plane crashed in Kenya yesterday.
PHOTO: PRESS TV
political figures on the continent and drove domestic economic growth into double figures. An astute economist, Meles advocated a blend of heavy state spending and foreign private investment, focussing lately on energy and infrastructure projects, although Ethiopia remains one of the world’s biggest recipients of aid and average incomes are roughly a third of those elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Many Ethiopians complain that while he forged closer business ties with global powerhouses such as China, that did not translate into more jobs for Ethiopians and that despite a burgeoning middle class in urban areas, some three quarters of the country’s population still live on less than $2 a day. Speculation had been rife that a potentially divisive race for the top post would follow Meles’ death. Asked whether all coalition members of the party had approved Hailemariam’s selection, Bereket said: “They have no problem with this.” Analysts said Meles’ succession appeared a done deal but said there might still be horsetrading going on behind the scenes that might flare up and destabilise the party. A sombre mood hung over Addis Ababa under leaden skies. Flags flew at half mast across the sprawling capital of Africa’s second most populous country, and residents crammed around stalls in the rain to read newspaper headlines that hailed the late leader. Privately owned Daily Monitor ran the banner: “Grief Across Nation” while state-run Ethiopian Herald proclaimed “Visionary Leader of Monumental Legacy: We salute, we celebrate you.” Talk of Meles’ succession filled Addis Ababa’s cafes as the country looked ahead to an era without an austere politician who ruled firm-handed for more than two decades. The EPRDF has scrambled to assure citizens and foreign allies the policies of the former bushfighter-turned-economic-reformer would be continued.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Briton, denied right-to-die, dies
ony Nicklinson, a man with locked-in syndrome who fought for the right for doctors to legally end his life, has died, BBC has reported. The 58-year-old was paralysed from the neck down after suffering a stroke in 2005 and described his life as a “living nightmare”. Last week Mr Nicklinson, from Melksham, Wiltshire, lost his High Court case to allow doctors to end his life. His family solicitor said that he had refused food from last week. Saimo Chahal said Mr. Nicklinson died at home at about 10:00 BST accompanied by his wife, Jane, and two daughters, Lauren and Beth. She said: “Jane told me that Tony went rapidly downhill over last weekend, having contracted pneumonia.” She added: “Jane said that, after Tony received the draft judgment on 12 August refusing his claim, the fight seemed to go out of him. “He said that he was heartbroken by the High Court decision that he could not end his life at a time of his choosing with the help of a new doctor.
31 killed in Syrian forces onslaughts in Damascus
yrian regime forces shelled two Damascus districts Wednesday before troops backed by tanks swept through to carry out house-to-house raids in search of opposition fighters, killing at least 31 suspected rebels, activists said. The violence is part of a dramatic surge in fighting over the past month in Damascus, one of many fronts President Bashar Assad’s regime is struggling to contain as the 17-month-old rebellion against his rule gains strength. Government forces are also engaged in a major battle for control of the northern city of Aleppo as well as smaller scale operations in the country’s south, east and center. Also Wednesday, a prominent opposition figure rejected as “more lies” comments by a senior Syrian official that Damascus would be willing to discuss Assad’s resignation but only after the opposition agreed to join in negotiating a peaceful settlement. “As for his resignation, making his resignation a condition for dialogue effectively makes holding such a dialogue impossible,” said the official, Deputy Foreign Minister Qadri Jamil. “During the negotiating process any issues can be discussed, and we are ready to discuss even this issue.”
“He could not understand how the legal argument on his behalf could not succeed.” She said Mr. Nicklinson had told her two days after the ruling he was “crestfallen, totally devastated and very frightened”. He had added: “I fear for the future and the misery it is bound to bring. “I suppose it was wrong of me to invest so much hope and expectation into the judgment but I really believed in the veracity of the argument and quite simply could not understand how anybody could disagree with the logic. “I guess I forgot the emotional component.” Ms Chahal said Mr Nicklinson had made an advanced directive in 2004 refusing any life-sustaining treatment. His family had earlier updated his personal Twitter account. The messages said: “You may already know, my Dad died peacefully this morning of natural causes. he was 58. “Before he died, he asked us to tweet: ‘Goodbye world the time has come, I had some fun’.” Wiltshire Police said the force was not investigating Mr. Nicklinson’s death. Mr. Nicklinson had been paralysed since suffering a stroke while on a business trip to Athens. Gezz Higgins said Mr Nicklinson would liven up any room
WORLD BULLETIN Turkish-Cypriot’s tycoon convicted after 17 years on run Turkish Cypriot tycoon Asil Nadir, who jumped bail in 1993, was finally convicted in a British court yesterday of plundering millions from his old company to buy antiques, race horses and country houses. Nadir, who transformed the small textile company Polly Peck into one of the top British stocks of the 1980s, returned to Britain in 2010 after 17 years as a fugitive in northern Cyprus. Once one of Britain’s richest men, Nadir hung Turner watercolours in his office and had two English country estates and homes in the wealthy London districts of Mayfair and Hampstead. He was found guilty of stealing 29 million pounds from Polly Peck, a multi-national with interests in everything from fruit packing to electronics. The firm collapsed in 1990 when British officials began a fraud probe.
he entered before he suffered a stroke He had campaigned for the law to be changed to allow doctors to assist his suicide without fear of prosecution. Prior to last week’s case, in an article he wrote for the BBC, he had described his life as “a living nightmare”. He said: “What I find impossible to live with is the knowledge
that... I have no way out - suicide - when this life gets too much to bear.” He added: “It cannot be acceptable in 21st Century Britain that I am denied the right to take my own life just because I am physically handicapped.” However, three High Court judges rejected his plea for the law to be changed, saying the issue should be left to Parliament.
Ecuador’s President invites Britain to Assange talks
cuador’s president has invited the UK to talks over the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the condition that Britain guarantee it will not enter the diplomatic mission in London where Assange has sought shelter. Computer hacker Assange, who is wanted by Sweden for questioning over sexual-assault accusations, jumped bail and fled to the Ecuadorian embassy nine weeks ago. “Despite that rude, impertinent and unacceptable remark, we’re still open to dialogue,” President Rafael Correa said on Tuesday, referring to a statement issued by William Hague, UK foreign secretary, last week. “We don’t expect an apology, but of course we expect Britain to retract the extremely serious mistake they made when they issued the threat that they could violate our diplomatic mission to arrest Julian Assange.” Assange made an appearance on a balcony of the embassy, in London’s Knightsbridge district, on Tuesday before an audience of activists and a heavy police presence lining the streets. He called on the US to end what he called its “witch-hunt” against
him. Assange’s accusations have angered many in Sweden, who say the stories of two women who made the sex-crime allegations have played second fiddle to unwarranted theories of a US-led conspiracy to extradite him with the help of allies in Europe. The prosecutor’s office has sought Assange for questioning over suspected rape to a less severe degree, unlawful coercion and two cases of sexual molestation. The lawyer for the two Swedish women stood by the allegations and criticised Assange for not coming back to be questioned.
“It’s an abuse of the asylum instrument, the purpose of which is to protect people from persecution and torture ... It’s not about that here,” Claes Borgstrom told Reuters news agency. Correa granted Assange political asylum earlier this month and has said Assange is welcome to stay in the London embassy indefinitely, but the UK has pledged not to allow Assange to leave the country. The British government has also said it will not raid Ecuador’s embassy, though police are stationed both outside and inside the building that houses the embassy offices.
Iran to host 30 leaders at NAM summit Iran is to host some 30 leaders, including those of India, Egypt and Cuba, at an August 30-31 summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that officials are billing as proof the Islamic republic is not as isolated as the West would like. “So far, more than 100 countries have said they are ready to participate, and around 30 nations will be represented by presidents, prime ministers or vice-presidents, which is a very good number,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the ISNA news agency. The Tehran summit, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “is the greatest political summit in Iran’s history.” The NAM, born at the height of the Cold War, brings together nations that consider themselves independent of the world’s major power blocs. The organisation counts a total 119 countries plus the Palestinian territories.
Israeli minister wants Palestinians to sack Abbas Israel’s foreign minister is urging the international community to help replace Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Avigdor Lieberman sent a letter to international Mideast peace mediators calling Abbas an “obstacle to peace.” He wants them to push for Palestinian elections to choose a new leader. Lieberman heads a hard-line party and is known for heated rhetoric that sometimes embarrasses the government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly distanced himself from the letter Wednesday, while Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, called on Israel and the international community to condemn it, characterizing as “incitement to violence.” Peace talks have been frozen since 2008. The Palestinians say they won’t negotiate until Israel halts settlement construction in lands they claim. Israel says talks should resume without preconditions.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
How stenographic machines revolutionised
A set of stenographic machine in a Lagos courtroom.
With the trail-blazing efforts of the Lagos State judiciary at innovating the use of stenographic recording machines in the courtrooms of the state high courts about 14 years ago, WALE IGBINTADE reports that the electronic device being used in some courtrooms has hasten dispensation of justice even as the federal judiciary is set to replicate the scheme through its recent computerisation policy in the country.
uring the days of the late former Chief Justice of the Federal Territory of Lagos, Justice J.I.C Taylor in the ‘60s through the time when the first female Chief Judge of Lagos State, late Justice Roseline Omotosho bowed out of the Bench in February 1996, the stenographic recording machines designed to reduce the work load of judicial officers and capture court proceedings were obviously not in existence in the country’s courtrooms. As a result, Nigerian Judges of the pre-independence and immediate postindependence era had to contend with writing in long hands even as lawyers made oral submissions for hours. This was the period when the likes of the late Chief H.O.D Davies, QC, late Chief F.R.A Williams, SAN, Chief Olisa Chukwura, SAN appeared before the courts with their briefcases containing law books and bundles of documents which they referred to and cited while canvassing oral arguments. Indeed, it was the period when the judges took down submissions of lawyers appearing before them in their own hand-writing. But with the advent of the use of stenographic recording machines in the Lagos State High Courts, the state judiciary appeared to have set the pace with this innovation of the electronic computerisation of court data in the country. Basically, stenography is an important part of the legal field, because it provides accurate transcriptions of trials and other proceedings. Steno-typists, otherwise known as stenographic recorders are charged with the responsibility of ensuring
efficient and accurate recording of court proceedings. Investigations by the National Mirror showed that when the initial set of the machines were procured in 1998 during the tenure of the former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Omotunde Ilori, the equipment were kept in the high court storage room till subsequent years. Sources told National Mirror that at the time, a large number of typists and confidential secretaries in the state judiciary sent on an in-service Information and Computer Technology (ICT) training programme failed the course and hence they could not easily grapple with the intricacies of operating the stenotype machines. Investigations revealed that this situation delayed the implementation of the stenographic machines scheme for a couple of years until the successive past Lagos CJs, Justices. Ibitola Sotuminu, Ade Alabi and Inumidun Akande revived and implemented the project. With the construction in the year 2000 of about 22 modern courtrooms, and the refurbishment of 40 of the old courtrooms, the state government provided ultramodern power generators, more recording and transcribing machines, and computers in the Lagos and Ikeja Judicial divisions of the court. Today, the volume of court cases in the state is undoubtedly the highest in the country hence judges are faced with the challenge of delivering justice speedily. So far, it was gathered that most of the 56 courtrooms of the two main judicial divisions of the state High Court were
provided with the stenographic machines except about eight newly added courtrooms. Each court has a verbatim reporter who records and transcribes court proceedings for the use of the judges and parties in the suit. It was gathered that all the reporters were trained at the School of Stenography under the auspices of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice before they were posted to different courtrooms. Investigations conducted by the National Mirror showed that most of stenographic machines are still functioning while only a few court rooms are not putting the equipment to use optimally as expected. With the use of steno type machines in the state courtrooms, a trained verbatim reporter types and record proceedings with the machines at a speed of up to 225 -word per minute. National Mirror reports authoritatively that the efficacy of the court recording machine was evident during the murder trial of the convicted controversial leader of a religious sect, Chukwuemeka Ezeogu a.k.a Dr. King at the Ikeja High Court. The proceedings in the trial which were captured by recording machines before Justice Joseph Oyewole were completed within a period of six months. Also the recording machine was handy during the trial of Chief Olabode George, former chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA), and a chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP) and his subsequent conviction on August 8, 2008. Again, George’s trial and conviction before Justice Oyewole of Ikeja High Court lasted within a period of one year rather than the hitherto prolonged period that has been the hallmark of several criminal cases in the past in the state. The machine was also used during the
celebrated trial of the former Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi and others. It was also extensively used by the court throughout the trial and conviction of the former Chief Security Officer, (CSO) to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza AlMustapha and Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan, for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. However, sources at the state high court said that each time few of the machines developed minor faults; the state judiciary often ensured its prompt repairs. Some lawyers spoke on the impact of the use of the machines to justice administration in the state. A legal practitioner, Mr. Emeka Okpoko said: ‘’I must confirm that the verbatim recording machines were supplied to the Lagos High Court. Each time we went to court in those days, some of the judges will always insist that counsel should come to the front and speak directly at the microphone. But, I can assure you that those times are gone. Okpoko said from his recent experiences these days, however he doubted ‘’whether the equipment has added any value in terms of administration of justice. I still observed that virtually all the judges with the exception of very few are still writing in long-hands in court. “So, the delay associated with our judicial system that the verbatim recorders came to address is still there. We are still confronted with delays here and there. So many frustrations that ought not to take place in court are still there. But, we still have some serious judges in the Lagos High Court who are still doing the work judiciously irrespective of the verbatim recorders. “My take on it is that, it is not so much about the equipment but rather about the individual judges. ‘’ he added. A counsel in the state Ministry of Justice, Mr. Femi Adamson said ‘’the
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 23, 2012
justice delivery in Lagos courts
Chief Judge, Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips
verbatim recording has been so positive and helpful to a large extent.’’ He said, “parties are bound by the records of court. There are instances where parties have had cause to complain when they want to appeal against a ruling or a judgment of the court. They discovered that what they have as their own proceedings of the court is quite different from that of the court. But, because we are bound by the records of the court and the availability of the verbatim recoding machine everything would be easily solved. “However, it takes sometimes before the verbatim records could be compiled. But, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. I think it is a good innovation and most of the courts that are without it should be encouraged to make use of them. I would even implore the Lagos State Government to extend the usage to the Magistrates courts.’’ Another lawyer, Mrs. Grace Adenubi, a staff of the Legal Aid Council said “the verbatim recording introduced to the Lagos Judiciary has been very useful in that it helps speed up court proceedings. Unlike before whereby judges will have to write the whole proceedings.” According to her, “the recording machine is more accurate in that it picks everything said in court whether they are relevant or not. At times the judge may not be able to capture everything said in court. I have been in a court where a lawyer insisted that the judge should record his submissions. But, with the help of the recording machine there wouldn’t be any need for that. It has been a great thing to the Lagos State judiciary. ‘’ However, some legal practitioners believe that there is still room for improvement. They argued that there was the need for judges to be sensitised on the usage of the machines and the need to make the court proceedings available as at when due.
Mr. Kayode Bankole who is in this category said, ‘’the introduction of the verbatim recording machines is in line with international best practices in justice delivery. But, then we appear before judges, who still prefer to take testimonies in long hand. However, there are other judges who make use of the machine and insist that you must speak to the microphone during proceedings. I think the effectiveness of the verbatim recording machine depend largely on the individual judges.’’ Against this backdrop, he advocates that judges should be properly trained to enhance its usage. Besides, he said technical aides such as technicians and engineers should be on standby to ensure that they rectify problem that may arise as a result of power outage in the course of the usage. The provision should be made available to both the Magistrate and the Customary Courts and not limited alone to courts of record. Mr. Nnaemeka Amaechina said, ‘’my view about the verbatim recording machine is that it is important. But the way it is being employed is not good. His words, ‘’ Some courts do not have it and you find such court handling sensitive matters. The presiding judge is being tasked to writing in long-hand and again human imperfection is there, the judge may not get everything said in court right.” Amaechina said ‘’for instance, in the case concerning the Will of the former military governor of Lagos State, Air Commodore Gbolahan Mudasiru before Justice Ayisat Opesanwo, there was no verbatim recording in that court handling such a sensitive matter. ‘’When you look at the records of the court in that matter, there are grounds for questioning the accuracy of some certain recordings but there is nothing we can do. That is why it should be in every court. In some courts it is not there and in some other courts to get record of proceedings becomes a problem. It is embarrassing. The court that I know used the verbatim recording very well is Justice Joseph Oyewole’s court. If you go to the court to apply for record of proceedings, you will get it the next day. So, some courts are not putting it to good use. The provision is a good tool that will enhance administration of justice if well used. I hope that the new Chief Judge will look into this and ensure that every judge will make use of it. Let us have adequate recording, let justice be done because the high court justice should not in any way give room to injustice. ‘’ Beside Lagos State, no other state in the federation seemed to have adopted this
THE RECORDING MACHINE IS MORE ACCURATE IN THAT IT PICKS EVERYTHING SAID IN COURT WHETHER THEY ARE RELEVANT OR NOT innovation. However, the federal judiciary has woken up to the reality of introducing the electronic computerised system in its operations.
Federal Judiciary seeks to replicate innovation Shortly before the retirement of the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN ) Justice Dahiru Musdapher, he had launched the first -ever Nigerian Judiciary Information Technology Policy Document for the computerisation of all facets of the judiciary in the country. The launch last June followed the presentation of the policy document by the Chairman of the Nigerian Judiciary Information Technology Policy Document committee (JITPO-COM), Justice Kashim Zannah, Chief Judge of Borno State to the immediate past CJN. During the launch, Justice Musdapher said he was encouraged to set up the committee on January 30, this year with a view to having a judicial system that would replace obsolete processes and paper- based system which delays the administration and dispensation of justice in the country. The committee, which, he said was composed of both judicial and non-judicial officers, was directed to design and develop a comprehensive IT policy that could be implemented in all jurisdictions. Besides, ‘’the policy would serve as a blue print to integrate, propel and mainstream IT in the Nigerian judiciary. I am proud and delighted that within a short period of time, a major part of the assignment has been accomplished’’. However, the former CJN said that for easy adoption and implementation of the policy, he had earlier directed the National Judicial Institute (NJI) to commence the training of the judicial officers and judicial staff on the use and application of IT systems. ‘’ This includes electronic, digital recording and transcription of court proceedings as well as other electronic case management proceedings. This policy is the beginning of efforts to fast track trials, fair and speedy dispensation of justice’’.
The policy, he said, among other things would replace the use of long hands to record court proceedings by judges and also to ensure that within minutes of delivery of a court’s judgment, it would be accessible throughout the world. Besides, it would drastically reduce or cause the disappearance of many of the traditional obstruction to an efficient justice system, while filing and service of court processes would be done electronically. Justice Zannah however noted that the policy would be implemented as pilot project in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court and an Abuja High Court. The committee, Zannah said, would monitor trends, innovations and good practices across the globe for the benefit of the Nigerian judiciary. ‘’Indeed, the policy document is not a final one that is cast in stone. Technology evolves very fast and our policy must follow it,’’ Zannah said. He noted that if Nigerian banks could be fully computerised and adopt electronic technology to run all their services, Nigerian judiciary can do same.’’
Stenographic recording in USA and UK courts In England and United States of America, the use of traditional recording devices like stenography is the norm rather than exception. The Evidence Rules in both countries allow the use of sophisticated electronic device like video-conference which allows the evidence of the accused person or defendant to be taken even without being physically present in court. In California, US, court reporting is a growing field that allows professionals to learn about and work with some of the latest stenographic and computer-aided transcription technologies. According to court reporting in California obtained on the net, before a person can start working as a court reporter in California, he must undergo some form of training or get certification from the National Court Reporters Association. The qualified court reporter or steno typist will have to be ultimately licensed to engage in court reporting. The challenge posed to the Nigerian judiciary is to ensure that the innovation is manned by highly- trained personnel whose efficiency can enhance justice administration in the country.
Most songs nominated for an Oscar in a single year Vol. 02 No. 432
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The 18th Academy Awards held on 7 March 1946, saw a record 14 songs from films released in 1945 being nominated for the Best Original Song category. The following year saw the Academy change the rules to have only five songs nominated per year.
Ramadan in the National Concord years
tarting full journalistic professional life in the dead Concord Group, how can I forget the memorable years of that institution founded by the late Bashorun MKO Abiola. The Concord Group was where many made their names and influence, where many reached their fame and never floundered since; where many met their spouses and have built happy homes; where many struck their gold and remain in wealth; and where many nurtured their faith and accepted their fate in life. In National Concord, I met the best of my Muslim brothers, the most of my Christian counterparts, the league of my liberal colleagues with whom I share thoughts and ideas and one of my Marxist mentors who gave depth to my writings. At a time like just passed, Ramadan in the Concord years, we had no differences. We were just one family. I still think of Liad Tella’s everyday iftaar. Nobody was excluded from his sizzling hot ogi and moin moin courses.
efending champions Yobe Desert Warriors will lead Nigeria’s elite hockey teams to the International Energy Insurance (IEI) Premier Hockey League which will commence tomorrow. The competition, the flagship of the Nigeria
I still think of Tunji Bello and Kunmi Olayiwola’s gifts of bags of rice to Abdulfattah Oladehinde and my humble self; I can’t forget Victor Ifijeh and Sam Omatseye’s fun and banters that we were all fasting even when they had just finished plates of amala and ewedu; Kayode Komolafe, the Marxist in the house, comes as a colleague with some smattering knowledge of Muslim values and practices and will not shy from asking you any question on Islam just as he compares Islamic humanism with the socialist welfarism. He also proudly tells you he possesses a collection of Islamic literatures, a gift from someone. The best of Kayode Awobadejo’s management and organisational wizardry comes on display during Ramadan in the Concord. Dr. Hamidat Doyinsola Abiola becomes the Iya Adinni in Ramadan, donating the largest amount to the purse of the Muslim Community to host the sumptuous Iftaar in a banquet style. Between Tunji Bello and Liad Tella, I don’t know who the next largest donor is, but Engr. Mudathir Abisoye, the Chief Engineer, is the one who reaches out to all top management staff, including Mrs. Kalejaiye, to put something down towards the joint Iftaar. Then Ramadan is usually a lively period. We were sure of holding two joint iftaars in the newspaper house between the second and third week of Ramadan; we were sure of iftaar invitation to Abiola’s Crescent, off Toyin Street to breakfast with the Bashorun, and that was not for
WHEN RAMADAN IS IN THE AIR IN CONCORD, EVERYBODY BECOMES EXTREMELY CHARITABLE, NOT MINDING YOUR PERSUASION BY CREED Muslim workers alone. When Ramadan is in the air in Concord, everybody becomes extremely charitable, not minding your persuasion by creed. Everybody becomes Islamized in the salaamu alaekum, Ramadan Kareem greeting. Everybody looks for the best greeting card to give, whether Muslim or Christian agnostic. During Ramadan in National Concord and at our joint iftaar, it becomes a sin, if you forget to send a plate of the food we share in the masjid to your non Muslim colleague. It means you are partial and an extremist. Pastor Segun Babatope, a frontliner in the Dr. William Kumuyi-led Deeper Christian Life Ministry and chairman, Editorial Board, would never assign an editorial commemorating the commencement or conclusion of Ramadan to anyone who does not understand the values and beauty of Islam or who would preach hate and division. He finds the best hands in the house to write
such colourful editorials that preach peace, harmony and brotherhood in Ramadan or any of the Muslim eids. Femi Adesina, a leader in the Foursquare Gospel Mission, then Features Editor, before becoming deputy editor and ultimately the editor, was always very sensitive to showcasing Ramadan as a month of love and plenty, dedicating handsome features pages to Ramadan. Shola Osunkeye, on the Weekend Concord, would go places outside Lagos, giving scintillating reports on how Ramadan is turning many local economies and lives around. He would write reports on those who may be excluded from the joys of Ramadan to ginger others to do something to give them joy. Taiwo Ogundipe would go out of his place to discover Muslims in entertainment whose soulful music will mellow hearts and wake them for Sahuur. Ramadan in Concord was always special. Twelve years after the crash of the Concord newspapers with no one to reassemble the wreck of that glorious newspaper whose 20 years of existence between March 1980 and 2000, is still unmatched in the Nigerian newspaper industry, I still think of the unity in diversity and brotherhood in differences that Ramadan enhances. The nearest I have had of such fulfilling experience in Ramadan is the one I tasted in Brunei Darussalam while undergoing my graduate studies in public policy at the country’s premier university, UBD. Every night of Ramadan was a banquet. The next two or three weeks after Ramadan in the country are always spent in a grandeur of feasting nationwide in each family declaring an Open House. I intend sharing with you that experience in a feature I titled Open Houses of Bandar Seri very soon if the time permits on this page. Meanwhile, if Concord were still here, I would have shared with you the details of the greeting contents of Ramadan cards from my Christian friends and counterparts and Muslim brothers. Solanke, firstname.lastname@example.org, is Head, Voice of Nigeria Training Centre, Ikorodu, Lagos
Hockey: Premier League final flicks off tomorrow Hockey Federation billed for the Abuja Hockey Pitches, ends on September 1. The IEI league flicked off early this year with the Atlantic Conference National League in Port Harcourt where national
league clubs featured before moving to Kaduna where the Savannah Conference held. Kaduna and Kano teams qualified in the male category from the Kaduna zone, while Benue hockey team
came top in the female category and qualified for the Premier League final. Female teams expected in Abuja for the one-week round-robin tournament are Bayelsa Queens, Plateau Queens, Yobe Des-
ert Queens, Heartland Flickers, Ondo Babes, I.G. Babes, Edo Queens, Benue State, Kaduna Queens and Delta Queens. Niger Flickers, Union Bank, Plateau Tigers, Bayelsa Kings and Police Machine are among the male teams.
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